Adult and YA Fiction First Pages, with Kat Kerr

October 4th, 2022 - October 29th, 2022

with Kat Kerr

Group started

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

In both YA and Adult, Kat loves literary and upmarket fiction with a leaning toward strong, character-driven works and rich, literary prose. She loves books that make her think and have a strong emotional pull. For the commercial market, Kat is looking for high concept, voice-driven works with a close POV and well-developed, distinct characters.  

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Kat 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 Kat 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: 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 spot free of charge to a writer from a historically marginalized group. Applications for this scholarship have closed.

About Kat Kerr

Kat joined Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2019. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in English in 2009 and is drawn to literary and commercial voices within the adult and YA markets, as well as adult nonfiction. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say.

I tend to be pretty straight-forward, but encouraging, when it comes to both what is, as well as what is not, working for me. I think it's important for authors to be able to see what they did well and landed with a reader in addition to something that may need strengthening. My editorial feedback ranges depending on what I think a section needs or where I think the problem may be stemming from, so my feedback typically is a mixture of notes for big picture items in addition to inline comments when it comes to looking at the details.


Tues, Oct 4th - Writers submit
Sat, Oct 22nd - Critiques due
Tues, Oct 25th, 4-6 pm ET - debrief call
Sat, Oct 29th - Group closes