Among the most popular events at writing conferences today are “Why I Stopped Reading” panels, in which brave attendees offer up the opening pages of their manuscripts to participating literary agents, who then read them aloud and explain when and why they would likely lose interest (or, with any luck, not!). The agents follow this with a brief critique of constructive advice for the writer and for the others in attendance to learn by example.
Writer’s Digest wants to translate this experience to the pages of Writer’s Digest magazine, thanks to superstar agent Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency—and, with any luck, a little help from you. Here’s how it will work.
HOW TO SUBMIT
Writer’s Digest is looking for writers willing to submit their work to be considered for a free agent critique in the pages of the magazine.
To volunteer, submit the first 1,000 words of your novel manuscript in the body of an e-mail to email@example.com with “First Page Critiques” in the subject line.
You must include your name, mailing address and e-mail address to be eligible, but if you’d prefer for your work to be anonymously attributed should it be chosen to appear in print, simply write “PLEASE WITHHOLD NAME” next to your name at the top of your manuscript. Select entries will be chosen by Kristin Nelson to excerpt and critique in Writer’s Digest.
By submitting your work, you are consenting to have it published alongside an agent’s critique in the pages of Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Digest publications. (Your manuscript excerpt may be edited for space.) Of course, you will retain the copyright and all other rights to your work.
WHAT YOU’LL GET
A small selection of manuscript excerpts will be chosen by literary agent Kristin Nelson to receive an honest, personalized critique in the pages of Writer’s Digest, in which she will share her professional assessment of the opening pages of your manuscript as if it were a submission crossing her desk. She’ll explain what might entice an agent or editor to read further, and what might stall your submission’s chances before it starts, so that you can use her feedback to make your submission even stronger. You’ll also receive two copies of the issue in which the critique appears. Selected writers will be notified by June 30, 2011. All other submissions will be discarded.
DEADLINE: 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 22