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April 2014
A Message from Kristin Nelson

What's Happening in the Query Inbox?

Kristin Nelson

This is a topic I haven’t tackled in ages. What are we seeing in the query inbox and why are we passing?

Historical novels centered around race, inspired by real events but entirely fictionalized. With the recent success of 12 Years A Slave, this isn’t a big surprise, but I’m still looking for that unique spin on history that sheds a new light on our world today.

Women’s fiction about women reinventing themselves after divorce. This concept is tough. We see dozens of queries a week for this type of premise. It’s going to need some other hook to grab my interest.

Comedic vampire YA novels. Actually I would be open to this, but if it’s a comedic novel, I kind of expect the query to have the same tone or voice to grab me.

SF with a ticking-clock element of rescuing someone. This is a really common SF trope in stories, so this in and of itself isn’t bad, but it will be generic if there isn’t some other unique element to make the story stand out as a must-read.

Adult Steampunk. Since I rep Gail Carriger, any Steampunk queries are going to need a really unique spin to capture my interest.

YA dystopian. Oy! This horse might be dead. It’s going to be too hard to shop it in New York, so even if I loved the story idea in general, I’m passing.

What grabbed my interest? Two middle-grade novels really cool and interesting worlds and an SF project from an author who also has a successful background in screenwriting.

Pub Rants University

Agent Reads the Slush Pile – Intensive

Brought to you by NLA Digital

Wednesday, April 30 at 6:00 - 8:30 PM MT

Class Limit: 15

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

Please note:

  • This Webinar is primarily a workshop and does not constitute a query letter submission for NLA to request sample pages.
  • This Webinar is for works of fiction only.  Non-fiction works will not be considered.

Have you ever wondered what an agent is thinking when he or she is reading the slush pile? What makes an agent stop or read on? If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at this process, then this webinar is for you. During this webinar, Kristin Nelson will read a slush pile–sample pages submitted in advance by our fifteen webinar participants–and give honest feedback about why she would or wouldn’t request more pages.

In this intensive version of Kristin’s popular webinar, every registered particpant’s sample pages will be read.

Registered participants will receive instructions for submitting the first two pages of their novels. Pages should include the work’s title and genre, but not the author’s name (submissions are to remain anonymous). In random order, we will display submissions on screen and read them aloud. If Kristin would have stopped reading, she’ll say so and explain why in an honest but constructive manner. If she makes it all the way to the end of the second page, she’ll highlight why she liked it enough to read on.

Warning: This workshop is not for the faint of heart. Participants need to be sure that they are ready to hear blunt, honest criticism, however nicely it is delivered. The point of this workshop is not to dishearten writers but to give them a clear, inside look at how an agent really reads the slush pile.

Register Now

eSpecial Price

0.99 USD Through May 6, 2014

         
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