In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of your opening 15 pages (3750 words) from literary agent Leslie Zampetti from Dunham Literary plus get the opportunity to speak to Leslie individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques within your group of up to 7 writers.
Leslie seeks middle grade and young adult novels, especially mysteries and contemporary fiction. Historical fiction with a specific hook to the time and place, novels in verse, and off-the-beaten-path romances are on her wish list.
How it works
You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Leslie 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 Leslie 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
Participants should be sure they have at least 1 hour to give for critiquing each person's manuscript (plus reading time). Because this is a group of 7, this means you should have at least 6 hours available for your peers' stories.
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: Children's - Middle Grade - Contemporary fiction - Children'…
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 from a historically marginalized background. Applications for this scholarship have closed.
A former librarian with over 20 years’ experience in special, public, and school libraries, Leslie’s focus was on the reader, giving them the right book at the right time - which works for matching client work to editors too. Having negotiated with organizations from Lexis-Nexis to the elementary school PTA, she is able to come to terms that favor her clients while building satisfying relationships with publishers. And after cataloging rocket launch videos for NASA and model rocket ships for an elementary school, Leslie welcomes working with the unexpected challenges that pop up in publishing.
Leslie joined Odom Media Management in 2022. Previously, she was an intern for The Bent Agency and an agent with Dunham Literary.
A writer herself, Leslie is very familiar with querying from both sides of the desk.
For children’s books, Leslie seeks middle grade and young adult novels, especially mysteries and contemporary fiction. Historical fiction with a specific hook to the time and place, novels in verse, and off-the-beaten-path romances are on her wish list. For picture books, Leslie prefers nonfiction that tells a story almost too good to be true, stories that show everyday diversity to mirror under-represented readers and open windows to others (per Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop), witty wordplay, and dry, sly humor. Drawn to books about Florida, odd homes, and kids with book smarts and big hearts, Leslie is highly selective.
Mon, Sept 12th - Writers submit
Friday, Sept 30th - Crits due
Mon, Oct 3rd - Debrief call - 4-6 pm ET.
Fri, Oct 7th - Group officially ends.