Opening Pages that Lead to Yes!

A Three-Session Workshop with Angie Hodapp

Held 02/23/17 at 6:00-8:00 PM MT

This Webinar intensive is brought to you by NLA Digital.

Previous attendees of this Webinar have this to say about its impact:

“I found the opportunity to get fresh eyes on my work and have a professional opinion invaluable. Angie did a great job leading the Webinar and set the tone for the class being fun and useful. Having Kristin come in at the end made us work harder.” —S. S.

“This was an incredibly useful seminar for any querying writer. For me, figuring out what to focus on in the opening of a novel is very difficult. This Webinar helped my really focus on my opening and provided isolated feedback on what worked and what didn’t.” —M. C.

Sessions: 3 consecutive Thursdays (February 23, March 2, and March 9, 2017)

Duration of each session: 2 hours

Total contact time: 6 hours plus homework

Requirement: Attendees must use a phone for audio to call in and actively participate.

Class Limit: 12

Please note:

  1. This Webinar is a workshop and does not constitute a submission to NLA.
  2. Only fiction submissions are eligible for this Webinar. No memoirs or non-fiction works, please.
  3. Register early, as all attendees will have an assignment to do in preparation for the first session. Registered attendees will receive the assignment Thursday, January 26, 2017. Those who register after that date will receive the assignment as soon as they register. Registration will close (and a waitlist will open) as soon as all 12 spots are filled.

Workshop Description:

If your query letter or in-person pitch got you a request for sample pages, but your sample pages didn’t get you a request for a full manuscript, what went wrong? In this hands-on workshop led by Angie Hodapp, you’ll explore what agents are looking for in opening pages and learn ways to craft evocative beginnings that get your full manuscript read.

Each attendee must submit the first five pages of his or her novel and will be expected to actively workshop other attendees’ opening pages within the provided workshopping guidelines. We’ll discuss our works-in-progress and help each other brainstorm various possible entry points in relation to each work’s overall story structure. During the last session, March 9, Agent Kristin will join us to do a live, blind read on several revised opening pages. Join us and learn how to turn those sample requests into requests for full manuscripts!

What You’ll Learn:

  • The importance of establishing character, setting, and voice on page one.
  • How the opening image or scene should relate to a story’s overall structure.
  • How to introduce story questions that entice rather than confuse the reader.
  • How to avoid cliched openings.
  • What starting in medias res really means—and, more importantly, what it doesn’t.


  • Angie will be on video as well as audio.
  • Attendees are welcome to ask questions throughout the Webinar.
  • Attendees will have access to the video recording of the Webinar for six months.

Angie Hodapp holds a BA in English education and an MA in English and communication development. A graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute, she has worked in professional writing and editing for sixteen years, the last six of which have been spent at Nelson Literary Agency. She teaches workshops at writing conferences and loves working with writers who are looking to hone their craft and get their work ready for publication.

Cost: $299
This webinar has already been held.

If for some reason you cannot attend the presentation, your registration fee will allow you access to the recorded Webinar video for one full year.

Cancellations must be received seven (7) days prior to the Webinar for a full refund.

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