It might seem as though getting a children’s book published is easy—just look at JK Rowling! In reality, however, children’s books (and middle grade books in particular) are among the most challenging works of literature to craft. Nailing the narrative voice of middle grade, and finding the right balance of character, heart, and plot to keep child (and adult!) readers invested in your work is an art. And then you have to boil all that down into a cover letter for an agent or a publisher to read.
That’s why we have literary agent Brooks Sherman (FinePrint Literary) teaching a new webinar, “Querying Middle Grade: How to Grab an Agent’s Attention and Keep It,” at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. It lasts 90 minutes. All attendees get a critique of their manuscript’s first 2 pages. And don’t forget that at least 4 literary agents have signed writers after reading their work as part of a WD webinar or boot camp.
ABOUT THE CRITIQUE
All registrants are invited to submit a query and the first 2 pages of your middle grade manuscript. All submitted queries and opening pages are guaranteed a written critique by literary agent Brooks Sherman. Sign up for the webinar here.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- The proper format and length of a query
- What agents mean when they talk about a compelling opening
- The guidelines for what constitutes “middle grade”
- What the current market for middle grade looks like
- How to approach a story’s moral without coming off as preachy
- How to find the right agents for your writing
Brooks Sherman is a literary agent with FinePrint Literary Management, a full-service literary agency based in New York City. For his children’s list, he is seeking middle grade novels of all genres (but particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), and is open to YA fiction of all types except paranormal romance. (Sign up for the webinar here.)
Recent sales include Heidi Schulz’s debut middle grade novel HOOK’S REVENGE (Disney*Hyperion, Fall 2014), Emma Trevayne’s YA novel CHORUS (Running Press Kids, Spring 2014) and middle grade fantasy FLIGHTS AND CHIMES AND MYSTERIOUS TIMES (S&S Books for Young Readers, Summer 2014), author/illustrator Sam Garton’s picture book I AM OTTER (Balzer + Bray, May 2014), and novelist Sean Ferrell’s debut picture book I DON’T LIKE KOALA (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, TBA).
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Writers who are currently querying middle grade projects
- Writers who would like to learn more about the middle grade category
- Writers who are receptive to constructive criticism
- Writers who are confused or frustrated by query format
- Writers who are struggling with crafting a strong opening
- Writers who are uncertain whether their story is middle grade or young adult
- Writers who want to impart a message to child readers
- Writers who wonder why children’s books can’t be like the classics from when they were kids