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The Book Proposal Masterclass: How to write a dealwinning non-fiction book proposal

The Book Proposal Masterclass is taught by me, Beth Kempton, in partnership with my literary agency Hardman & Swainson and a host of invited industry experts. My books have been translated into 24 languages, selected by TIME Magazine as a recommended read, called ‘truly transformational’ by Sunday Times Style and chosen by Apple USA as a ‘Must Listen’ on iTunes. My four book proposals have secured 33 individual book deals with publishers all over the world.

The Book Proposal Masterclass: How to write a dealwinning non-fiction book proposal BethKemptonMayShoot 164 BLOG CROP

This course includes:

  • Everything you need to know to turn your non-fiction idea into a compelling, commercial pitch for agents and publishers. I do not believe in formulas for creative work, but I do have a process for developing book proposals that land book deals (and have had multiple publishers bidding for them in auctions), and it is that process that I share in this course.
  • Industry insight from a host of experts (see below) so you understand where your book idea will land, how it will be viewed, and how the key decision makers decide whether to bid for or reject a proposal, along with detailed explanations of how rights and advances work. Want to hear exactly what goes on at a Commissioning Meeting at a major publishing house? Want to know what happens at book fairs? Want to know whether or not you need a big social media platform? It’s all in here!
  • Behind-the-scenes details of my own experience, with details that are very difficult to find out on your own, including specific examples of the pitch to publication timelines for my books, an example of the actual  pitch email and press release used to land coverage in a major national magazine, an insight into creating an awesome book marketing plan and more.
  • Encouragement and support for your writing journey, including advice on coping with self-doubt, fear and rejection.
  • Tips for building a flexible and sustainable writing career with multiple streams of income.
  • Advice for taking care of yourself as a writer, so you can be in it for the long term.
  • And a little sprinkling of magic…

When is it happening?

Class runs June 29 – July 26, 2020. Places are strictly limited to allow me to support each and every student, and answer any questions you might have, and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. The last class SOLD OUT. Just sayin’.

So, if you are serious about getting your book proposal written, book yourself a place asap!

Who is involved?

I have designed this course to share everything I wish I had known when I was starting out, and most of the daily lessons are taught by me, speaking to you writer-to-writer, and also sharing my experience as a business owner with multiple streams of income, which support and are supported by my writing. I have also brought in the following experts to give you invaluable industry insight through my probing interviews with them:

  • Caroline Hardman, Co-Founder of Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency (my own agent)
  • Therese Coen, International Rights Director at Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency (my own foreign rights agent who has sold the translation rights for my books to 24 different languages)
  • Anna Steadman, Commissioning Editor at Headline Publishing, an Hachette company (Anna was the Commissioning Editor for Wabi Sabi before she moved to Headline and has vast experience in acquiring and publishing non-fiction books including the bestselling Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton)
  • Beth Wright, Senior PR Officer at Piatkus / Little, Brown (Beth has led on the PR for my books at Piatkus)
  • Aimee Kitson, Senior Marketing Officer at Piatkus / Little, Brown (Aimee has led on marketing for my books at Piatkus)
  • Beth Kephart, award-winning memoirist, writing tutor at the University of Pennslyvanie (UPenn) and author of ‘Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir’ and over 30 other fiction and non-fiction books

Where do I sign up?

Sound like exactly what you need to bring your book dream to life and land an actual real-life book deal? Then Register HERE now. You will instantly get access to the first part of class, so you can begin preparing right away. The first lesson will then be delivered into the classroom on Monday June 29.

Want to know more? Check out the course info page here.

#tinyautumnpoem daily poetry challenge for November – Are you in?

🍁I love autumn. There is change in the air, on the trees and often in our hearts at this time of year. It is often the time when we have a sudden burst of activity before winter moves in, and that is certainly the case for me, so I wanted to do something that kept me grounded in the here and now, so I didn’t miss the beauty of the season. ⁣
I have decided to set myself a little challenge, and you are invited to join in. Every day in November I am going to post a poem prompt over on Instagram @bethkempton, and then post my own poem in response to that. I’m calling it #tinyautumnpoem to take any pressure off. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. There are no rules. It can be a haiku. It can rhyme, or not. It can be a flow of consciousness with some kind of rhythm. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to just take a moment to just write the thing. Something that you notice, or feel, or think today. ⁣
I’m going to spend no more than ten minutes on my poem each day, and I’m going to post it in a raw-is-ready state. Some might be lovely, some might be rubbish. I don’t care, I’m going to post them anyway, and let go of judgement! I hope you will join in and get into a poetry habit this month. (And if you like the idea of joining #nanowrimo but can’t imagine writing a novel in a month, we can make this #napowrimo instead!)⁣
I invite you to either post your own poem in the comments over on Instagram, or post it over on your account and share with #tinyautumnpoem and tag me @bethkempton so I can read what you came up with, that same day, wherever you are in your world and in your life. I might even share some in stories!⁣ Of course it’s also fine just to squirrel it away in your notebook. It’s the writing it which matters.
So here’s to paying attention, and writing it down, and sharing it, and calling that a #tinyautumnpoem. Are you in?⁣
Our first #tinyautumnpoem prompt for Day 1/30 is…⁣
You can read my poem in the comments over on Instagram @bethkempton❤️
Photo by Neil Shaw

Join me for a restorative wellness retreat at River Cottage!


It is with real delight that I can reveal I will be hosting the first ever wellness retreat at the famous River Cottage HQ, deep in the English countryside here in Devon from 17-21 June 2019, and I would love for you to join me.

Your home for the week will be the 17th century farmhouse and 100-acre smallholding made famous by the long-running TV programme featuring chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

This very special intimate residential retreat will be an opportunity to step away from the rush and chaos of daily life and reconnect – with nature, with food and with yourself. Spending five days in this utterly gorgeous part of the world, you’ll have the opportunity to relax, recharge and explore what you really need in your life right now. I would love to spend this precious time helping you get a fresh perspective and practice self-care.

Through expert nutrition advice from gut health specialist Naomi Devlin, yoga with Barbara Mella, guided reflection, mindful outdoor activities, fireside conversations and more, you will get clarity on how to create more space, and make choices that support your own physical and emotional wellbeing. All this while being nourished with delicious organic food prepared by the River Cottage chefs, and hosted by… me!

If you are feeling stressed and exhausted, overstretched and overwhelmed, or lacking focus and direction, you will find this retreat to be a healing tonic. You will be pampered with attention, food, friendship and time, and leave rested, centred and inspired, with new wellbeing tools and renewed intention.

Every detail of this retreat has been designed to support and nourish you. You will laugh, you will probably cry, you will learn, you will connect, and you will go away feeling like a freshly revealed version of your true self.
Over the course of the five days of the retreat (running 17-21 June 2019) you will be treated with:
• Delicious organic food: all of your nutritionally balanced meals and snacks are included
• Daily yoga
• Mindfulness
• Daily inner wellness sessions with me
• Two full days of hands on cookery classes covering topics such as gut health, fermentation, healthy breakfasts and lunches, mindful eating and flavour bombs.
• Coastal walk along the stunning Jurassic Coast
• Kitchen garden foraging
• Lunch cooked on the beach
• Herbal workshop
• Nutritional advice and discussions
• Reading, relaxing, reflecting by a roaring log fire or under a starry sky
• All rooms and bell tents have comfortable beds with luxury mattresses and bedding

I very much hope to see you there. It’s a small retreat so places are very limited, and there are only a handful left so if you want to be part of this magical experience, hop on over to the River Cottage website and book your spot now. Then be sure to let me know you are attending!

Beth Xx


What I’ve learned since university (as told to 100+ teenagers earlier this month)

A couple of weeks ago I stood in a lecture theatre at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, in front of 100+ gathered teenagers who were all thinking about studying Japanese, invited to give them careers advice. It went something like this…

“Who here is 16?” (lots of hands go up)

“17?” (lots more hands go up)

“18?” (lots more)

“In that case you are probably looking at me thinking, she’s well old.” (Cue embarrassed laughter and some shuffling in seats. Gotcha!)

Maybe you are thinking when I studied Japanese, it was such a long time ago I must have used one of those massive heavy paper dictionaries as there were no apps on phones. In fact, there were probably no phones, or email, or Instagram or any of that. (Oh my, can you imagine?) And you’d be right.” (Cue laughter and uncomfortable glances at each other.)

“And maybe you are thinking that if I studied Japanese so long ago, in a completely different era, there cannot possibly be anything I can tell you that will be useful careers advice.” (Cue more embarrassed shuffling)

“But that is where I hope you are wrong.” (And this bit is for you too…)

“Because if there is one thing I have learned in the past couple of decades it is this… And it has absolutely nothing to do with technology, or the employment market, or the state of the world – The one thing I have learned is that life is one great big adventure, and you have most of what you need to navigate it already inside here.” (Hand on heart)

(Now I have their attention).

The next half an hour, explaining my unconventional decision making methods, winding career path and openness to adventure and opportunity had them spellbound in a way which made me wonder why my own children don’t listen to me like that (ha ha). What I was saying makes so much sense to me – but it’s not what we are taught.

The thing is, many teenagers are taught to give too much attention to other people’s opinions, and not put enough trust in their own life experience, and what their heart tells them. How about you? What career and life choices have you been grappling with lately? And have you been putting too much attention on other people’s opinions without trusting your own knowledge, experience and heart? It’s easily done…

Beth Xx

Next year can be different

“I want 2019 to be different.

Less stuff, more soul.

Less hustle, more ease.

Less chaos, more calm.

Less complexity, more clarity.

Less bravado, more truth.

Less resistance, more resilience.

Less control, more surrender.

Less head, more heart.

More time for me. More time for creativity.

More time for life.”

Sound familiar? We’ll show you the way.

Next year can be different DO WHAT YOU LOVE SALE BLOG BANNER

For almost a decade we have been designing courses and workshops and writing books that transform lives. We have helped tens of thousands of people to follow their hearts, and live a fuller, more authentic and inspired life doing what they love. Every single one of those resources is based on extensive research and testing, personal experience and a deep understanding of the field.

We never promise it will be easy. We don’t sugarcoat the reality of making different choices. But we know the rewards and understand the challenges better than most. And we really, really want you to fulfil your potential, find a rhythm and lifestyle that works for you, and appreciate the beauty of your wild and precious life.

Once a year we have a huge sale on all our courses, to make them even more accessible and help you plan for the year ahead. This is that sale, and it is your chance to invite a different kind of future. You can get 40% off our powerful, life-changing courses or save a huge 50% off if you invest in one of our multi-course bundles: The Perfectly Imperfect Life Bundle / The Time For A Career Change Bundle / The Set Me Free Bundle.

Sale ends Monday November 26, 2018. This might be the most important investment you ever make. We are honoured to be your guides.

Beth + Paul

Founders, Do What You Love

On getting lost and finding purpose

What happens when you chase financial success, achieve it and then realise that things don’t feel quite as good as you thought they would? My guest on the Freedom Seeker Chronicles podcast this week, Brandon Evans, is the CEO and co-founder of 1Heart, a conscious start-up studio who found out the answer the hard way. Brandon previously built two $100 million companies, but after achieving financial success, he woke up one day lost and began a spiritual journey which he chronicled in his first Medium article entitled, ‘Lost on purpose’. That went instantly viral and he has since founded 1Heart with his best friend, with the goal of helping entrepreneurs to find their path and build conscious companies.

I talked to Brandon about finding real meaning, and keeping it real.


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Key Moments:

[3m 00s] What Brandon has learned about how to find yourself

[5m 30s] How one particular blog post changed everything for Brandon

[9m 25s] Brandon shares the major turning point in his

[14m 15s] How his experience changed his relationships

[15m 43s] Brandon’s message to his younger, overworked self

[20m 59s] How Brandon’s start up studio is supporting other entrepreneurs

[23m 55s] The mistakes Brandon sees start ups make over and over

[25m 45s] On working with your best friend

[29m 30s] What freedom means to Brandon these days




What do you want to be grateful for, years from now?


Greetings from a cosy rainy England – such a difference from just a week ago. Right now my mum is building a theatre with our two little ones, and Mr K and I are in a café reviewing our numbers. We do this regularly, checking in on where we are, what’s going well, what has fallen behind, what we want to change, what we want to celebrate. And we each get to do this with one of our favourite people in the world. I am so grateful for the many varied opportunities entrepreneurship has brought to my door, but mostly I am grateful that we get to dream, plan and bring it to life together.

I’ll let you into a little secret. Back in the beginning, when I first started my business, every time Mr K came home from work (he was an civil engineer back then), we would do a high five for every course that had been sold that day. One day, soon after launching our first e-course there were a couple of high fives, a few more the next day, one the next, a couple the next and so on. It became a small but important reminder that it was working – this idea to do something different, and support others wanting to do something different, was working. I’ll never forget the first time we sold over 100 courses in a day, and our hands hurt from all the high fives, and our faces hurt from the grinning. It wasn’t about the money, it was about the freedom. I had created something from nothing, and it was helping people. That still blows my mind today, eight years on.

A couple of years after that day, the business was flourishing well enough for Mr K to quit his job completely and come on board. He started the first Monday after our honeymoon. It took a while for us to find our working rhythm, figuring out how best to use his skills, for me to let go of the need to do everything myself, and for him to get used to a very different way of working. But here we are, more than five years on, and he is absolutely crucial to the success of our business. He also gets paid a lot more than before, to work a lot fewer hours and spend large amounts of precious time with our daughters. We are building a life and future for our family, not just growing a business.

I am thinking about all this because tomorrow sees the start of our brand new online course, co-taught with my Make Art That Sells (MATS) co-founder Lilla Rogers. For the first time ever we are sharing all we have learned about money – in the context of business and life – in an intense and fun three week crash course, MATS MBA (Money BadAss). I love the title of the course because it is so Lilla – she has a brilliant attitude to business, while being both nurturing and fun, and a total badass. We combine strategy, practical guidance, advice on dealing with money stories and of course some woo, to bring you what I think will soon become one of our favourite courses. With daily video lessons, weekly live teaching and an amazing Playbook that provides a Game Plan for your business over the next twelve months. Class has just started but you can still squeeze in here.

Even if you don’t have a business, this week I want to challenge you to answer this question: What do you want to be grateful for having done NOW, in a few years’ time? I’d love to know your answer – come and share over on Instagram @bethkempton.

Have a great week

Beth Xx

Why Every Parent Needs More Headspace

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by guest writer Alison Qualter-Berna

The mother of a 6-month-old baby rushes to the kitchen as soon as her daughter falls asleep so she can mash organic avocado into the BPA free glass bowl she just bought. You know the kind; the one promising to seal in nutrients. As her breastmilk seems to be dwindling with each passing day, making her feel insecure and insufficient, she feels she has to provide supplemental nutrition where she can. She stops briefly to read 4 lines of an article about what she’s “supposed” to do when, alas, naptime is over and it’s back to parenthood. As she picks up her bundle of magic, she realizes she’s yet to brush her teeth.

The father of a 6-year-old child rushes home from the office to do “homework” with his first grader wondering if all little boys swing from the headboard while they are reading. The human brain can absorb vocabulary while upside down, can’t it? Is he the only one who doesn’t read chapter books yet? Is the dad the only father trying to squeeze the love of an entire afternoon into a few precious, tired hours before bed?

The mother of a 16-year-old teenager watches her daughter walk out of the house to go to a birthday party wearing a half shirt. Is it okay or if she suggests something with more coverage or does it means she’s sexualizing what is simply a fashion trend?  She swallows her inner disapproval with a smile that says ‘I love you no matter what,’ only to receive a comment about how much homework is on deck for the next day…that of course after the ride to soccer and then the drive to lacrosse in another state. Her overscheduled brain will still figure out how her daughter will fit piano and cello practice in before the big recital. “Oh, and I forgot…Mom, can you set your alarm for 6am? I need you to quiz me in science”

Every phase of parenthood is both blissfully fulfilling and (if you’re all in) utterly exhausting. You love and you love, and you give and you give, but some days you wonder where did I go?  Is there a pause button I can press in the struggle to find myself?

Enter meditation.

Meditation carries the answers to so many issues facing parents and yet many of us are too busy to slow down, let alone sit in silence for 10 or 15 minutes. There are lots of ways to get started and workshops to explore but the simplest way is right in your back pocket on your smartphone. My absolutely favorite app is called Headspace. Headspace is ideal for new meditators or for busy parents because it’s an app that makes it all accessible. You don’t have to sit cross-legged. You don’t have to practice yoga. You don’t have to be versed in Buddhist philosophy.  You just have to commit to taking 10 minutes for yourself, every single day.

Headspace’s incredibly varied theme packs range from managing anxiety or stress, to finding productivity or happiness. Whether you are looking to be more productive in your days or heal childhood wounds, meditation has a (different) answer for each one of us. I have many friends who seem to crave meditation but ask me how I can possibly fit it into my hour-to-hour, frenetic work days. I invite them to simply try Andy’s soothing and knowledgeable voice on Headspace for just 10 minutes a day for 10 days and then check back with me. Every single time I hear about the positive change it makes…and in such a short window of time.

Meditation offers a safe space for each of us to start a conversation with ourselves, however afraid we might be to have it.  What parent doesn’t long for the time to explore the musings in the mind and simply observe them, without judgement? Meditation can be exactly that “pause button” we crave as busy parents.

In that pause, we can learn many lessons that support not only our parenting journey but all of our relationships.

  • Meditation teaches us about letting go. Meditation helps us internalize letting go which may be the most difficult task of a loving parent: letting your infant sleep on their own, letting your toddler explore their boundaries, letting your young child lose or fail, letting your teenager individuate, letting your young adult enter the great big world. Meditation is a practice that supports our efforts to relinquish control and simply celebrate the various roads our children will travel.
  • Meditation teaches us to be comfortable in uncertainty. After 12 years of working with families I have not met a parent who isn’t racked with uncertainty.  How do I potty train my strong-willed child?  How come my kid won’t eat anything that’s green? Can I get my child into the best preschool? What should I do if my child doesn’t make the soccer team? What should I say when my teenager admits she’s been drinking? What do I do if my child is moving in a direction I didn’t expect? We long for answers but the truth is that life simply unfolds. Meditation teaches us to sit with the uncertainty until we get to the moment when we need to act. And when we do, we respond in a calmer and more centered way.
  • Meditation teaches us to be fully present. In these incredible tech-heavy times, I see too many parents on their phones while their child is talking to them, and too many kids with their face in their devices when they should be having face to face conversations. Meditation encourages us to step out of what we are doing and get into the present moment. There is no guilt in being swallowed by your inbox (I am) or working all day only to miss your child’s dinner and bath. But in those 30 rushed minutes before bed, meditation teaches us how to make those fleeting minutes the most present time you can spend with your child. I always tell parents it’s the quality of time you spend with your child, not the quantity. Meditation supports that line of thinking and the benefits are endless.
  • Meditation teaches us to be more empathetic and really see through the lens of our child. My babies are now teenagers and I have a deep well of empathy for their experiences.  But when I’m stretched thin or overly exhausted, I can easily forget that my way isn’t the only way. Meditation teaches us to be more sensitive to their needs, even if they aren’t meeting ours. The best part of this gift is its translation into every other relationship in life.
  • Meditation actually makes us less tired and more patient. If I could capture the number one thing parents have told me over the last decade at apple seeds, it very often comes back to, “I need more sleep.” Babies keep us up all night because they need us and teenagers keep us up all night because they don’t need us. It seems counterintuitive but taking just 10 or 20 minutes out of your day to meditate actually adds to how much you get done in that day. Your level of patience goes up and you complete more tasks in a less frenetic way. Meditation can improve your sleep which makes us less agitated. I used to pop a pill to fall back to sleep and now I just reach for Headspace. Headspace is the healthiest (and cheapest) cure for insomnia on the market.
  • Meditation is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children. We spend so much time and money on our kids and I often wonder if they greatest gift we could ever give to them is actually free. In this crazy world, as more and more screens dominate our children’s minds, teaching them to meditate and be present or mindful is a gift they will carry throughout their lives. Not many other things we give our kids can compare. Meditation can teach a child to step out of their mind and observe their thoughts, helping them manage natural anxieties, increase their level of empathy, and help them navigate the throes of life.

Someone once told me that I should take note of how I feel immediately after doing something. If it doesn’t feel positive, then I should stop. If it does, then I should seek more. I keep seeking meditation because it always shows up. It’s like a daily morning date with my mind, and a safe space to explore questions where I’m still longing for answers. It’s a way for me to find separation from issues that can overtake me and allow new ideas to flow in. It’s a way to for me to start my day more centered and grounded, ready to parent with calmer energy, and ready to walk into my office and face anything that comes.

Perhaps most importantly, meditation is way for me to let go of things I hold on to and internalize the deep appreciation for every single ounce of what I’ve got.  What busy parent doesn’t need that reminder?

Editor’s note: We also love Insight Timer (especially Yoga Nidra for Sleep with Jennifer Piercy) and Buddhify, created by our friend Rohan Gunatillake.

About Alison Qualter-Berna: Alison lives in NYC with her husband and three children. She spent five years in production at NBC News and six years at UNICEF where she created and managed a global program in Sports for Development. After her twin girls were born, she created apple seeds, an all-in-one play space for children 0-5 years, with three NYC locations and 20 songs for seeds music franchises. Alison is obsessed with yoga and endurance challenges. With her friends, she formed the nonprofit Team See Possibilities, making history three times.

Feeling rushed and exhausted? Try our on-demand course ‘How to be Happy (and Calm, Organized + Focused)

Read more about finding headspace and heartspace in ‘Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love.” by DWYL Founder Beth Kempton:

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What if you could get insight into what your soul really needs?

Last year at a conference I met an unassuming but extraordinary woman named Mary-Anne Wagner.  As soon as I met her I knew I wanted to be friends with her, and she later said the same to me. Funny how that happens sometimes. Mary-Anne has a unique gift which I had never even heard of, never mind experienced, but when I dug deeper to understand what she does for a living, I had my mind blown.

Mary-Anne does what is called ‘soul counselling’, communicating with the souls of loved ones and/or animals past and present to share messages you need to hear to find peace in your life. Something Mary-Anne told me about what the soul of one of my loved ones wanted me to know, that she had no way of normally knowing, actually changed the way I see a significant part of my life.

She can even invite your own soul to connect with her, to show her what it most wants you to know. And when she passes on what she has been shown, it feels like something you knew deep down, but perhaps ignored, or turned away from, or allowed to be shouted down by noisier things in your life. Many people have found what she tells them brings them great comfort after experiencing trauma or loss. I think she is magical.

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Mary-Anne’s personal story is compelling and the wisdom she has gained from this unusual ‘career’ is incredibly important. I simply had to invite Mary-Anne onto my podcast to find out more about how she discovered this gift, how she has helped others heal, and what we can all learn from the recurring themes that she has been witness to. The result is a conversation like no podcast you have ever heard. Don’t miss this!


I would love to hear what you make of this extraordinary story. Please do come and share over on Instagram @bethkempton.

Have a great week


Unleashing your creativity

There is beauty, creativity and purpose inside each and every one of us. Yes, we get days where our sparkle is dulled, but by breathing into it, understanding who you are and what’s important to you, will help you bounce back with the vivacity you’ve always had. My next guest on the Freedom Seeker Chronicles podcast, Pia Jane Bijkerk knows all about helping creative people to slow their minds and listen to their hearts.Unleashing your creativity FS PODCAST FB S2 015 LR

Pia is a stylist, photographer, author and creative mentor and down she is also a wanderer, a philosopher and a seeker of beauty. I called Pia to the show because I knew the strength her story has brought to the many people who know her (including me) and I can’t wait for her to share with you the creative, guiding principles she lives by which allows her to unleash magic across the world every day.

Listen in for a real dose of creative energy.

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