Agent One-on-One Boot Camp (w/ Critique): How to Craft Query Letters & Submission Materials That Get Noticed — Starts Jan 20, 2015

When your submission materials – a query letter, synopsis, manuscript, or book proposal – arrive in an agent’s inbox, they land among hundreds of others. At that point, one of two things will happen. Either the agent (or the agent’s assistant) will like the submission and request more materials, or they will reply with a rejection.

Authors who get rejected tend to fall in one of two categories when submitting materials: they try too hard, or not enough. This all-new Writer’s Digest Boot Camp, “How to Craft Query Letters & Submission Materials That Get Noticed,” is designed to help you streamline your submission materials to stand out in a good way. It all starts on Jan. 20, 2015.

Attendees will learn how to write a dynamite query letter, tackle a one-page synopsis (for fiction) and a book proposal (for nonfiction). The instructing literary agents will also explain the importance of author platform in addition to basic etiquette in dealing with an agent and manuscript basics.

Lastly, all attendees will have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with an agent and submit ten double-spaced pages of materials (in any combination–query, synopsis, book proposal, first pages of your manuscript) for valuable feedback provided by successful literary agents.

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Here’s How It Works:

On January 20, you will gain access to a special 60-minute online tutorial presented by literary agents Kimberley Cameron and Elizabeth Kracht. This tutorial will provide nuts & bolts advice on how to help you streamline your submission materials—including the query letter, novel synopsis, nonfiction book proposal, and first pages.

After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. Following the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the discussion session and ask your assigned agent critiquer questions related to revising your materials. The agents will be available for a discussion session from 1-3 p.m. (PT) on both Wednesday, January 21 and Thursday, January 22. By end of day (11:59 p.m., PT) on Friday, January 23, attendees will submit up to 10 double-spaced pages for review to their assigned agents.

For the submission, you will send in the first 10 pages of your double-spaced manuscript and a query letter for review. You are also welcome to send a synopsis, if you want to include it in the first ten pages (i.e., 1 page synopsis + first 9 pages of the manuscript). The query letter is separate and does not count as part of the first ten.

(Sign up for the boot camp here.)

The agents will spend fifteen days reviewing all assigned pages, provide relevant feedback and offer suggestions to help attendees improve upon them. The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more.

Only registered students can access the discussion session. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers.

Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.

In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive:

Download of “Everything You Need to Know About Literary Agents,” an on-demand webinar by WD editor Chuck Sambuchino
1-year subscription to the WritersMarket.com literary agent database

DATE BREAKDOWN

Tuesday, Jan. 20th: Online Tutorials
Wednesday, Jan. 21st: Agent Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PT)
Thursday, Jan. 22nd: Agent Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PT)
Friday, Jan. 23rd: Writers Submit Materials
Saturday, Feb. 7th: Agent Critiques Due

AGENT INSTRUCTORS

KIMBERLEY CAMERON

Kimberley was educated at Marlborough School for Girls in Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, and Mount St. Mary’s College. She began her literary career as an agent trainee at the Marjel de Lauer Agency in association with Jay Garon in New York and worked for several years at MGM developing books for motion pictures. She was the co-founder of Knightsbridge Publishing Company with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

In 1993 Kimberley became partners with Dorris Halsey of The Reece Halsey Agency, founded in 1957. Among its clients have been Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller. She opened Reece Halsey North in 1995 and Reece Halsey Paris in 2006. In 2009 the agency became Kimberley Cameron & Associates.

Kimberley resides and works from Tiburon, California and Paris, France, with many visits to New York to make the rounds of editorial offices. She is looking for exceptional writing in any field, particularly writing that touches the heart, and makes us feel something. She’s been successful with many different genres, and especially loves the thrill of securing representation for debut authors. She represents both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, with the exception of romance, children’s books and screenplays.

NO: Romance, Children’s, Nonfiction, Fantasy

YES: Science Fiction, Horror, Mysteries, Thrillers, Women’s, Historical

ELIZABETH KRACHT

Elizabeth Kracht represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.

Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors and researching the potential market for new books.

Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice or that offers wisdom for contemporary living. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by urban and multicultural themes and loves settings that are characters unto themselves.

In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, and YA with crossover appeal. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves memoir and other narrative nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.

NO: Fantasy, Science Fiction

YES: Women’s, Historical, Mysteries, Thrillers, Nonfiction (all types)

MARY MOORE

Marystarted her career in publishing as a writer. She graduated from Mills College with an MFA in Creative Writing. After freelancing for two years as an editor and writer in non-literary sectors, she began an internship with Kimberley Cameron & Associates with the desire to learn more about the literary business for her own writing. During the internship she discovered a passion for helping others develop their manuscripts. Now she balances three jobs: writer, editor, and agent, and finds that the experience in each helps and supports the other. She is looking for unusual fantasy, grounded science-fiction, and atypical romance. Strong female characters and unique cultures especially catch her eye. Although she will not consider most non-fiction, stories about traditional dance or pagan culture may interest her. Above all, she is looking for writing that sweeps her away.

NO: Nonfiction

YES: Fantasy! Science Fiction, Mysteries, Thrillers, Historical, Women’s

(Sign up for the boot camp here.)

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