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  • Guide to Literary Agents

Jan 13 Agent One-on-One Boot Camp (With Critique): Crafting Queries, Opening Pages, Synopses, and Nonfiction That Get Noticed

Categories: Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents Blog, Getting Published, Webinars, What's New.

When your submission materials arrive in an agent’s inbox, they land among hundreds of others. Authors who get rejected tend to fall in one of two categories when submitting materials: they try too hard, or not enough. This Writer’s Digest One-on-One Agent Boot Camp, taught by the literary agents of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, is designed to help you streamline your submission materials to stand out in a good way. Attendees will learn how to write a dynamite query letter, tackle a one-page synopsis, craft dynamite first pages, and more. 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 several double-spaced pages of their manuscript and a query letter for valuable feedback provided by the agent instructors. It all starts on Jan. 13, 2014. All WD boot camps have a limited number of seats, and plenty max out, so sign up now.

 

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Here’s how it works:

On January 13, 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.

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 blackboard and ask your assigned agent critiquer questions related to revising your materials. The agents will be available on the blackboard from 1-3 p.m. (PT) on both Tuesday, January 14 and Wednesday, January 15. By end of day (11:59 p.m., PT) on Thursday, January 16, attendees will submit up the first 10 double-spaced pages of their manuscript and a query letter for review to their assigned agents.

The agents will spend one week 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. (Sign up for the boot camp here.)

The agents at Kimberley Cameron & Associates are allowing all attendees to individually choose exactly what they want to receive instructor feedback on. You are able to submit the first ten pages (double spaced) of your manuscript and a query letter for review by the agents.

If there are questions about how to submit work for critique, please ask them during the boot camp’s multiple Blackboard Q&A sessions, and either an agent or WD staffer can help you with an answer. Please note that agents cannot edit materials a second time, so please do not send your revisions back to them for a second review, unless they have specifically requested more work from you in an effort to consider your book for representation.

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RECAP ON DATES:

  • Monday, January 13th: Online Tutorial
  • Tuesday, January 14th: Agent Blackboard Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PT)
  • Wednesday, January 15th: Agent Blackboard Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PT)
  • Thursday, January 16th: Submit Ten Double-Spaced Pages by EOD (11:59 pm PT)
  • Thursday, January 24th: Agent Critiques Due

Only registered students can access the blackboards. 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.

Please note that all attendees should have ten double-spaced pages of the beginning of their manuscripts finished and ready to submit to the agent prior to the beginning of the event. If you are submitting fiction, please send in a one-page query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript (double spaced). If you are submitting non-fiction, please send in a one-page query letter and ten pages (double spaced) of the same chapter text. If attendees have a preferred agent they want to work with, please notify the assigning WD editor. Though not guaranteed, we will try to link attendees with a preferred agent if they have one. Also, please note that no Additional discounts are available. All sales are final.

ABOUT THE AGENT INSTRUCTORS:

Kimberley Cameron 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.

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.

Amy Cloughley came to Kimberley Cameron & Associates with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She seeks authors with unique, clear voices who put forth smart, tightly-written prose. As a new agent, she is now actively building her client list with both debut and veteran writers. She enjoys literary and upmarket fiction of all types in addition to commercial—including well-researched historical and well-told women’s fiction. She also loves a page-turning mystery, suspense, or thriller with sharp wit and unexpected twists and turns. She has a soft spot for distinctive, strong, contemporary characters set in small towns. Amy always looks for an unexpected story arc, a suitable pace, and a compelling protagonist. She is interested in narrative nonfiction when the plot and characters are immersed in a culture, lifestyle, discipline, or industry. She will also consider a travel or adventure memoir. Amy has studied creative writing, journalism, and literature and holds a B.S. in magazine journalism. She worked in editorial and marketing roles in magazine publishing and corporate business before shifting her professional focus to her lifelong love of books. She leverages her background in both words and business to benefit her clients.

Pooja Menon represents both fiction and nonfiction for Adult and YA markets. Her passion for reading inspired her to acquire a BA in Literature and Media from England. Her love for writing then took her to Los Angeles where she pursued an M.F.A in Fiction from the Otis School of Art and Design. As a new agent, Pooja is looking to build her client list and is eager for submissions by debut novelists and veteran writers. She’s looking for writing that has an easy flow and a timely pacing, along with a unique perspective and a strong voice. In fiction, she is interested in literary, historical, commercial, and high-end women’s fiction. However, she’s most drawn to stories with an international flavor, vibrant characters, multi-cultural themes, and lush settings. In fantasy, she’s looking for original, layered plots with worlds as real and alive as the ones that were created by J.K Rowling and Tolkien. In nonfiction, she’s looking for adventure & travel memoirs, journalism & human-interest stories, and self-help books addressing relationships and the human psychology from a fresh perspective. In YA, she’s looking for stories that deal with the prevalent issues that face teenagers today. She is also interested in fantasy, magical-realism, and historical fiction.

Mary C. Moore started 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.

 

Sign up for the January 2014 boot camp here!

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