The workshop is designed to help writers struggling to find the right opening for their novel or for those looking to perfect the all important first five pages before submitting for publication. Why the first five pages? Because if these aren't perfect, no agent, editor, or reader will continue reading to find out how great the rest of your story really is!
Why is the First Five Pages Workshop a GREAT Opportunity?
- You are mentored by at least two traditionally-published published or agented authors for the duration of the workshop. These authors have been through the trenches and know what it takes to get a book deal, solid reviews, and sales.
- In addition, you receive feedback from the four other workshop participants.
- Feedback is given not just on your initial submission, but on two subsequent opportunities to revise your manuscript based on the previous feedback so that you know you've got it right!
- The final revision will also be reviewed by a literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the one that may eventually become your query letter or cover copy.
- The best entry from among the workshop participants will receive a critique of the full first chapter or first ten pages from the mentoring agent, which may, in some cases, lead to requests for additional material.
How It Works
Please see the complete rules before entering the workshop, but in a nutshell, we'll take the first five Middle Grade or Young Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. (Double check the formatting - each month we have to disqualify entries because of formatting.) Click here to get the rules. We will post when the workshop opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman, @MelissWritesNow), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to the rotating team of our wonderful permanent author mentors, the final entry for each workshop participant will be critiqued by our agent mentor.
July Guest Literary Agent Mentor : Gabrielle Piraino
Gabrielle Piraino has previously worked for both major commercial publishing houses and literary agencies alike. Gabbie joined the team at DeFiore and Company in the summer of 2016.
Gabbie is actively seeking projects that you can lose an entire afternoon reading: imaginative sci-fi/fantasy with strong world building, blood-curdling horror, whip-smart thrillers, and up-market chick lit that pairs well with sand and a margarita. She’d love to see any of the above for Young Adult readers (virgin daiquiri, though!), and wholeheartedly enjoys spunky, stubborn characters that never do exactly what you’d expect. For Children’s and Middle Grade, Gabbie is looking for books that introduce curious young readers to new concepts—be it historically leaning or learning your manners—with compelling characters and an engaging voice.
Please query her at firstname.lastname@example.org with “QUERY” in the subject line as well as:
- A brief summary of your book
- A brief, relevant bio
- For fiction, please include the first 50 pages in the body of your email
- For illustrators, please include your website or online portfolio
- No attachments, please
Laura's currently on faculty at Solstice, Pine Manor College’s MFA in Writing Program and at Pacem School and Homeschool Center.
Laura's published short stories in Cicada, YA Review Network, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. In 2016, Clarion Books released her YA dystopian fantasy MARKED, which Kirkus Books called "an original, textured page-turner." Her other fantasy novels are WATER SHAPER and ALIA WAKING (both published by Clarion Books). For more information, it's best to visit her website.
Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed. When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible. Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.