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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

First Impressions: How to Hook an Agent/Editor with Your Opening Pages

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your written work, this means that your opening pages are critical. If an agent or editor isn't hooked by your submission immediately, he or she will put it down and move on. It's as simple as that. In this seminar, literary agent Amaryah Orenstein will show you how to capture a reader's attention with your opening pages and how to avoid the weak openings that lead to instant rejection. We will discuss the most common pitfalls found in first sentences and first pages, including overused beginnings and clichés that can drag down a work. We will also examine the pros and cons of using a prologue as the opening chapter of your novel.

Please submit your first 10 pages in advance at this link and bring a copy to class for a lively and engaging critique.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!