Agent John Cusick Teaches How to Create Great Characters — New May 16 Webinar (With Query Critique!)

Every novel is driven by character. We fall in love with heroines, cheer for heroes, and loathe our villains. Characters draw us in, and through them we experience our favorite stories. Without a compelling cast, even the most engrossing tale can fall flat. What makes some protagonists iconic, while others go up in smoke? How can we create rich motivations without burdensome back-story, or nuanced supporting characters without stealing focus from our protagonists? How can we populate our novels with an unforgettable ensemble our readers will love? The answer involves giving your characters a great blend of relationships, history and motivations.

That’s why we’re excited to have a new webinar taught by literary agent and author John M. Cusick (Greenhouse Literary) called “FULL CAST: How to Enrich and Expand Every Character in Your Novel from the Leading Man to the Background Extras.” The event happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, June 16, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes.


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All writers are invited to submit a query letter for their novel. Every query is guaranteed a written critique by instructor John M. Cusick within 60 days of receipt. John reserves the right to request manuscripts or sample chapters from attendees by e-mail following the event. Sign up for the webinar here.


In this live webinar, John M. Cusick will answer these questions and many more, using his experience as an agent, author, and editor to explore the art and business of writing. This invaluable course with an industry insider will help authors open new doors in their craft and career.


  • How to create an unforgettable ensemble of empathetic, unforgettable characters
  • How to develop compelling motivations to drive your story
  • How to craft rich histories to inform your characters’ journeys
  • How to intensify relationships, creating intimate, intense connections within your tale
  • How to lend nuance and depth by creating “mini-arcs”
  • How to employ impressionistic details to bring background characters to life. Sign up for the webinar here.


John M. Cusick knows the business from both sides, as a literary agent for young adult and middle-grade fiction at Greenhouse Literary, and as a young adult author. His debut novel GIRL PARTS was published by Candlewick Press in 2010, and his much-anticipated follow-up, CHERRY MONEY BABY, will pub September, 2013. His clients include debut novelists and veteran authors. John has lectured for the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Texas Writer’s League, and for Utah’s Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. His pieces on writing for teens have appeared in Writer’s Market, The New Inquiry, and on multiple online resources for writers. John is also a founder and managing editor of 2012 Saboteur Award-winning literary magazine, Armchair/Shotgun. He lives in Brooklyn and is at work on his third novel.

Sign up for the webinar here!



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