If you want to get a literary agent, you have to hook them quickly with your submission materials. And the two most important items during your initial agent inquiry are the all-important query letter and first pages of your story. This brand-new Writer’s Digest Boot Camp will teach how to do create an amazing agent submission.
Writing a strong query letter requires a great hook and clear premise. The first sentence should immediately catch the reader’s attention, while the ending should leave the agent wanting to dive into the manuscript. Your first pages should work similarly; you want the person reading to find it absolutely unputdownable. But this takes practice, patience, and an eye for detail. In this new boot camp, “Get a Literary Agent: How to Catch an Agent’s Interest with Your Query and First Pages,” which starts October 19, 2016, literary agents from New Leaf Literary will discuss what to do and not to do when submitting your work, and how to make your query and first pages as outstanding as possible.
All attendees to this boot camp get a critique of their first 5 pages and their query letter by the New Leaf literary agents.
This boot camp’s three instructing agents work for New Leaf Literary, an agency that has represented several massive bestsellers during the past decade—including Divergent by Veronica Roth, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and When It’s Right by Jennifer Ryan.
All three critiquing agents are currently building their lists at New Leaf Literary and understand what information will help prospective authors weigh all of their options before choosing an agent.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
— Tips on writing the most effective query
— How to hook your reader in the query pitch
— How each part of the query (intro, pitch, bio) work together
— What information to include (or leave out of) your query
— How to effectively use comparative titles
— Common querying mistakes and how to avoid them
— How to write strong first pages
— What works best in the first pages of a manuscript and what doesn’t
— Common first pages mistakes and how to avoid them
— What plot points to introduce quickly vs. which to allow to unfold slowly
— Tips on the actual querying process
— How many agents you should be querying at a time
— What to do if you don’t get any manuscript requests
— Common mistakes to avoid
— Key querying resources and key revising resources
Here’s how it works:
On October 19, 2016, you will gain access to an all-new special 60-minute online tutorial via the course system: “How to Catch an Agent’s Interest with Your Query and First Pages” presented by literary agents of New Leaf Literary.
After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. After viewing the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the course system and ask assigned agent critiquers questions related to revising materials. The agents will be available on the course system from 1-3 p.m. (EST) on both Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21. No later than Saturday, October 22, attendees will submit their query letter (including a pitch) and first 5 double-spaced pages of their manuscript for a critique. The submissions will receive feedback directly from the boot camp literary agents.
The agents will spend up to three weeks reviewing all assigned critiques and provide feedback to help attendees. (The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more; note that multiple agents have signed writers after reading their work as part of WD boot camps.)
No later than November 12, agents will send their feedback to writer attendees.
Recap on dates:
Wednesday, October 19: Online Tutorials
Thursday, October 20: Agent Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST)
Friday, October 21: Agent Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST))
Saturday, October 22: Writers Submit Materials
Saturday, November 12: Agent Critiques Due Back to Attendees
While we accept requests to work with a specific agent, there are no guarantees that attendees will be matched with their requested agent. All agents are able to provide critiques for all genres.
Please note: the boot camp schedule is subject to change depending on number of registrants.
Prior to joining New Leaf, Suzie Townsend graduated film school, earned her Masters of Education, taught high school English, and coached a swim team. In her spare time, she read everything she could, which prompted her move to publishing. As a literary agent, she represents all brands of children’s and adult fiction. She loves women’s fiction, all subgenres of romance, crime fiction, young adult, and middle grade. Suzie loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories. You can follow her on Twitter: @sztownsend81
Jaida Temperly, literary agent, is very excited to be building her client list. For middle grade and young adult titles, she’s drawn to quirky, dark stories (The Mysterious Benedict Society, Coraline, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, etc.) For adult fiction, she loves stories with strong mystery, art history, or religious undertones (The Westing Game, A Discovery of Witches, and The DaVinci Code). She loves logic puzzles, anything by Wes Anderson, horticulture, and everything related to Scotland. You can follow her on Twitter: @jltemperly.
Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, agent Danielle Barthel began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services. She’d love to find amazing adult family dramas and upmarket women’s fiction. A strong romantic subplot, especially with expertly crafted tension, is never a bad thing, and she’s particularly fond of historical romance (especially set in England). For no-fiction, she’s open to unique and poignant lifestyle and cookbooks. You can follow her on Twitter: @debarthel.