Saturday, March 2, 2019

Free #1st5pages Writing Workshop Opens Today!

Our March workshop will open for submissions today at noon, EST. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have former 1st 5 Pages mentor, Heather Cashman, as our guest agent mentor! Heather is a fabulous editor and she's recently joined Storm Literary as an agent. We also are thrilled to have Chelsea Pitcher join us again as our author mentor!

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 the guest author as well as least one and usually two traditionally-published published or agented authors from among our permanent mentors 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 is reviewed by our mentoring literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the pitch 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@charlotteclg ), 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.

March Guest Literary Agent Mentor: Heather Cashman

Heather Cashman has worked as Managing Director of Pitch Wars, #PitMad, and Pitch Madness. At Storm Literary, she is seeking submissions for middle grade and young adult. Heather enjoys unique characters from their own experiences.  

For Heather, thematic elements and strong character arcs are a must. Heather's favorite books are commercial fiction with a literary flair, and inclusive books that bring us together as citizens of the world.

For more information on Heather, please visit: Agent Information

To submit, please send the first twenty pages in the body of your email below your query letter and signature to: with “Query TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT” in the subject line of your email. . Links to social media platforms are appreciated.

March Guest Literary Author Mentor: Chelsea Pitcher

Chelsea Pitcher is a karaoke-singing, ocean-worshipping Oregonian with a penchant for twisty mysteries. She began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. 


Juniper Torres, Ruby Valentine, Parker Addison, Brett Carmichael, and Gavin Moon receive mysterious invitations from the Ringmaster to attend a murder-mystery dinner contest. The winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship—something they each desperately need. As they arrive at the Cherry Street Mansion and take their seats around a table, it is obvious that the Ringmaster has more in store for them than a simple game. 

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free? Or will their lies destroy them all?

Where to Buy: 

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