When your submission materials - a query letter, synopsis, manuscript, or book proposal - arrive in an agent's inbox, they land among hundreds of others. At that point, one of two things will happen. Either the agent (or the agent's assistant) will like the submission and request more materials, or they will reply with a rejection.
Authors who get rejected tend to fall in one of two categories when submitting materials: they try too hard, or not enough. This Writer's Digest Boot Camp is designed to help you streamline your submission materials to stand out in a good way.
Attendees will learn how to write a dynamite query letter, tackle a one-page synopsis (for fiction) and a book proposal (for nonfiction). The instructing literary agents will also explain the importance of author platform in addition to basic etiquette in dealing with an agent and manuscript basics.
Lastly, all attendees will have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with an agent and submit ten double-spaced pages of materials (in any combination--query, synopsis, book proposal, first pages of your manuscript) for valuable feedback provided by successful literary agents.
Monday, October 26: Online Tutorials
Tuesday, October 27: Agent Q&A 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (ET)
Wednesday, October 28: Agent Q&A 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (ET)
Thursday, October 29: Writers Submit Materials
Friday, November 19: Agent Critiques Due
Here's how it works:
On October 26, you will gain access to a special 60-minute online tutorial presented by literary agents Kimberley Cameron and Elizabeth Kracht. This tutorial will provide nuts & bolts advice on how to help you streamline your submission materials-including the query letter, novel synopsis, nonfiction book proposal, and first pages.
After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. Following the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the discussion boards and ask your assigned agent critiquer questions related to revising your materials. The agents will be available for a discussion session from 4-6 p.m. (ET) on both Tuesday, October 27 and Wednesday, October 28. By end of day (11:59 p.m., ET) on Thursday, October 29, attendees will submit up to 10 double-spaced pages for review to their assigned agents. These pages can include any combination of double-spaced query, synopsis, book proposal, or pages of their manuscript.
For the submission, you will send in the first 10 pages of your double-spaced manuscript and a query letter for review. You are also welcome to send a synopsis, if you want to include it in the first ten pages (ie. 1 page synopsis + first 9 pages of the manuscript). The query letter is separate and does not count as part of the first ten.
The agents will spend three weeks reviewing all assigned pages, provide relevant feedback and offer suggestions to help attendees improve upon them. The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more.
Only registered students can access the discussion session. You'll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers.
Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.
In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive a download of "Everything You Need to Know About Literary Agents," an on-demand webinar by WD editor Chuck Sambuchino.
About the Instructors:
Kimberley Cameron: Kimberley was educated at Marlborough School for Girls in Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, and Mount St. Mary's College. She began her literary career as an agent trainee at the Marjel de Lauer Agency in association with Jay Garon in New York and worked for several years at MGM developing books for motion pictures. She was the co-founder of Knightsbridge Publishing Company with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Kracht: Elizabeth Kracht represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer. Elizabeth's career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her "vein of gold" in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors and researching the potential market for new books.
Mary C. Moore : Mary started her career in publishing as a writer. She graduated from Mills College with an MFA in Creative Writing. After freelancing for two years as an editor and writer in non-literary sectors, she began an internship with Kimberley Cameron & Associates with the desire to learn more about the literary business for her own writing. During the internship she discovered a passion for helping others develop their manuscripts. Now she balances three jobs: writer, editor, and agent, and finds that the experience in each helps and supports the other. She is looking for unusual fantasy, grounded science-fiction, and atypical romance. Strong female characters and unique cultures especially catch her eye. Although she will not consider most non-fiction, stories about traditional dance or pagan culture may interest her. Above all, she is looking for writing that sweeps her away.
Douglas Lee: Douglas came to Kimberley Cameron as a writer in 2014 with the purpose of learning what hid behind the curtain of publishing. While completing his MFA, he found that he loved the work both behind and ahead of the typewriter. At this time, his sole focus is representing science fiction and fantasy that stimulates the imagination. As an agent he is looking for SFF manuscripts that utilize the craft elements of literary fiction and the best parts of imaginative genre. He is seeking novels with writing just as enticing as the story. Subtle and deft world-building techniques capture his attention; as do characters with raw magnetism and confused moral compasses. Douglas welcomes all SFF sub-genres. He has a soft spot for Cyberpunk, Weird Fiction in the flavor of China Mieville, Steampunk and noir influenced voices. He seeks writers who write against genre and bend preconceptions. LGBTQ based manuscripts are welcome, as are unconventional SFF protagonists with marginalized voices in their world.