This class will tackle the process of preparing your work for submission to agents and eventually, editors. Writers with a manuscript that is ready or nearly ready for submission will get the most out of this class – but anyone interested in learning more about the publishing process is welcome to enroll. (Please note you will need to have fifteen pages ready for workshop by the start of class, along with a solid sense of the stakes of your book in order to position and pitch it.)
We’ll begin with the beginning of your book – polishing and tightening the first fifteen pages of your novel. This section is absolutely critical; these early pages must be some of your strongest writing and storytelling if you expect agents, editors, and eventually readers to continue through the whole of your novel. We’ll focus on first sentences, first paragraphs and eliminating anything that may drag your story down, workshopping the first fifteen pages of your book.
Once you have a beginning that is exactly right, we can move into the technical process of finding representation. We’ll focus first on researching agents and agencies to find the person who will be the best fit for you and your work, and then we’ll discuss the formal (and usually unstated) expectations for a successful query letter: elevator pitch, comp titles, bio, “voice” and personalization. At this point, you’ll have the chance to workshop your own query letter, and we’ll discuss how best to get your submission out of the slush pile. Finally, we’ll conclude by putting together a plan for submission and getting organized to send out your work.
At the end of this class, writers will have a strong opening to their manuscript, a polished query letter that is ready for submission and an organized plan for submitting to agents.
- intensive peer and instructor feedback on the first 15 pages of your manuscript and your query letter
- greater knowledge of literary agencies and how to get representation for your project
- a solidified plan for submitting your work
- access to a nurturing community of writers and readers
- exclusive access to our alumni newsletter, a monthly roundup of submission opportunities (prizes, residencies, lit mags, grants, and more), plus a 10% discount on all future classes
- more confidence as a writer, on and off the page!
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: The First 15 Pages
Week 3: Researching Agents and Agencies
Week 4: The Query Letter
Week 5: The Query Letter Perfected
Week 6: Submission
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