Why Agents Say No: The 20 Manuscript Mistakes That Keep You from Getting Published — Feb. 13 Webinar by Agent Kate McKean

You are probably making a lot of mistakes in your novel — right now. But that’s OK, because many other writers are doing that, too, especially in their first drafts. But how do you know what mistakes you’re making, and how do you fix them before you show it to an editor or agent? How do you prevent your manuscript from being rejected because of common writer’s pitfalls that can be easily fixed? This live webinar will show you the 20 most common mistakes novelists of any and every genre make, whether it’s your first or 21 novel.

Is your main character sympathetic? Are you sure? Do you know if you’re using too much detail? Too little? Do you know which darlings to kill? In this webinar, you’ll learn how to assess your manuscript like an agent or editor and recognize the most common mistakes that get between a writer and publication. If you think you’re not guilty of even a few of these things, think again. Are you sure? To answer these questions, literary agent Kate McKean is teaching “Why Agents Say No: The 20 Manuscript Mistakes That Keep You from Getting Published.” It’s a new webinar that goes down at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. All attendees get a personalized critique.


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This webinar includes a critique of the first 500 words of your novel, to safeguard against making one of these 20 mistakes (or others) right off the bat. All registrants are invited to submit the first 500 words of their novel and are guaranteed a written critique by Kate McKean. Sign up for the webinar here.

Please Note: Even if you can’t attend the live webinar, registering for this live version will enable you to receive the On Demand webinar and a personal critique of your material. Purchasing the On Demand version after the live event will not include a critique.


  • Tips on how to look at your manuscript objectively
  • How to spot lags in plot and pacing
  • When to kill a darling and when to let it live
  • To identify problems in POV, voice, and perspective
  • Whether your novel is too short, or too long
  • How to tell if you’re on, off, or ahead of trends
  • What agents really think when they see these common mistakes
  • How to tell if this is what’s standing between you and publication
  • And much more. Sign up for the webinar here.


Kate McKean is a literary agent at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency in Brooklyn, NY, where she has worked for over seven years. She earned her Master’s in Fiction Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi, and enjoys both the creative and business aspects of her job. Her clients include Madeleine Roux’s New York Times bestselling YA novel ASYLUM, and New York Times bestselling humor book I Can Has Cheezburger. She is most interested in contemporary women’s fiction, middle grade and young adult fiction.


  1. Writers who’ve reached a road block with their novel
  2. Writers who are unsure if they’re ready to submit their novel to agents and editors
  3. Writers who want to become expert self-editors
  4. Writers who don’t want to blow their sometimes only chance at publication
  5. Writers looking for tips on improving their first or final draft manuscript
  6. Writers wanting improve their skills for this and all novels to come
  7. Writers looking to take their manuscript to the next level

Sign up for the webinar here.

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