Adult Fiction First Pages with Samantha Fabien

March 31st, 2022 - April 29th, 2022

with Samantha Fabien

Group started

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of your opening 15 pages (3750 words) from literary agent Samantha Fabien from Root Literary, plus get the opportunity to speak to Samantha individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques within your group of up to 7 writers. 

Samantha's wishlist includes -- Upmarket Book Club/Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Rom-coms, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy (Contemporary/Grounded), Thrillers, Mysteries, Suspense, and Nuanced Horror.

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Samantha will submit her notes near the critique deadline. After critiques are complete, we host a 2-hour group debrief, in which each writer gets 15 minutes of individual time with Samantha to dig into feedback, brainstorm next steps, and discuss any writing questions. 

Our goal with these events is to help writers become stronger storytellers. That said, each opening pages event we offer also comes with a submission opportunity.

About the group workshop format

This makes for an intense workload for the few weeks of peer critique. However, we've also found that this format accelerates learning because you are able to read a professional's feedback on each story you have read and critiqued, and you will listen to each one-on-one in the debrief. Many writers have told us that listening and learning from the professional's notes to others has been just as beneficial to their learning as the feedback on their own work.


Who this workshop is for: This workshop is best suited for writers querying, preparing to query, or who have an agent but are looking for a high level educational opportunity.

Focus: Adult - Book-length works - Literary - Adult - Book-length works - Up…

Group size: 7 writers

Submissions: There will be one submission of your first 3750 words (approximately 15 pages) at the workshop start. Participants should also plan to share their pitch/short summary with their pages. Your pitch is not included in the word count and will not be critiqued.


Members: $105; Non-members: $127

We are pleased to offer a workshop spot free of charge to a writer of color or from a traditionally marginalized background. Applications for this scholarship have closed.

About Samantha Fabien

Samantha Fabien (she/her) is a literary agent at Root Literary.

Before joining the Root team, Samantha worked at Laura Dail Literary Agency as a literary agent and International Rights Manager. Her background includes a Bachelor’s in PR and Journalism, a certificate from the Columbia Publishing Course, and internships/part-time work at Ayesha Pande Literary, Writers House, and Chalberg & Sussman. From these experiences, Samantha has fostered her love for sharing diverse, lasting, and inclusive stories with the world– both in the U.S. and abroad.

Samantha can also be found working with events and organizations like DVcon, #Edits4BlackSFF, Gotham Writers, and the New York Writing Room among others.

For more information, you can visit her website: or follow her on social media as @samanthashnh on Instagram and Twitter.

About Samantha's Critique Style:
Straddling both the macro and micro approaches, in an editorial letter, I highlight larger categories and pose hyper-specific questions to encourage details that may be in the author's mind but are not as evident on the page. My in-line notes then focus more on cadence, voice, and pacing to highlight what's working and areas for improvement with room for dialogue and brainstorming.


Submit - Thurs, March 31st
Critiques due - Wed, April 20th
Debrief call - Mon, April 25th, 4-6 pm ET
Group closes - Fri, April 29th.