Write Great Openings for Young Adult or Middle Grade Novels: Oct. 3 Webinar (With Critique!) by Agent Carlie Webber

The opening of your novel sets the stage for everything you want to accomplish. You only have one chance to establish a memorable voice and get readers to follow your characters into your story. Writing YA or MG presents the additional challenge of an audience of discriminating, impatient readers who won’t wait until page 40 for your book to get good.

That’s why we have literary agent Carlie Webber (CK Webber Literary) teaching the new webinar, “Writing Great Openings for Young Adult or Middle Grade Novels” at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. It lasts 90 minutes. After sharing her own best practices, Carlie will use opening pages from published books to show you the dos and don’ts of opening your YA or MG novel (including: never start with your main character getting out of bed), and the common mistakes that stop agents from reading beyond your first page.

Don’t forget that multiple agents have signed writers after critiquing their work as part of a WD webinar. Also, all attendees receive a critique from Carlie.


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All registrants are invited to submit the first 500 words of their novel. All submissions are guaranteed a written critique by literary agent Carlie Webber. Carlie reserves the right to request more writing from attendees by e-mail following the event, if she deems the writing excellent.


  1. Why it’s important to hook the reader from the first sentence
  2. Why most prologues don’t work
  3. Common mistakes of first sentences and first pages
  4. Overused beginnings and clichés that can drag down a work
  5. How to balance action and character development in your opening
  6. How to hone the compelling details of your initial story set up
  7. How writing awesome first pages is simpler than you think. Sign up for the webinar here.


Carlie Webber refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. After college, she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a YA librarian and professional book reviewer for publications including KIRKUS REVIEWS. Wishing to explore her interest in the business side of publishing, she enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. After working for the Publish or Perish Agency/New England Publishing Associates and Jane Rotrosen Agency, she has established her own agency, CK Webber Associates. In addition to YA and MG, she is seeking mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, romance, contemporary fiction, and fantasy. Follow her on Twitter: @carliebeth


  • Writers currently composing a novel who want to make sure their work gets read
  • Writers who have been rejected by agents and editors, and want to evaluate why their novel didn’t make the cut
  • Writers who are getting page requests from agents, but falling short after that point
  • Writers whose stories “get good on page 40”
  • Writers who want a professional critique by a literary agent
  • Anyone with non-novel publishing credits considering making the jump to fiction writing

 Sign up for the webinar here!

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