Special Note:

Short Story Incubator—Applications extended - the new deadline is Monday, July 29 at 11:59pm ET.

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

Killer First Pages: An Agent-Led Class on Starting Strong

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

It's common knowledge that rejection rates in this industry are up around 98 percent, and you have likely felt this bitter sting on more than one occasion, but do you really know why? Do you suspect that even when agents request your material, they sometimes don't read after the first page? You may be right. And it's the same for book reviewers and even readers.

Join an eye-opening session with agent Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank and dig into the impact, good or bad, of your first pages. Learn what some standard rejection phrasing means (agent-speak), why decisions are too-often made on the first page, find out if you are guilty of one or more of the top twenty reasons for rejection, know when to listen to advice and when to chalk things up to subjective difference, and through an intense critiquing and revision session, find your strongest start.

Send by email to [email protected] a one-page synopsis or query letter, and your first five pages, no later than Friday, July 24th. For class, please also bring three other random pages out of the first 25, and be prepared to have your work critiqued with other members of the class. Also, feel free to bring in a sampling of some rejection phrasing that has had you perplexed or particularly frustrated.

All students will receive handouts and a critique of their first page.

Limited to 12 students.

*Note: The deadline to enroll in this class has passed.

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!