Young Adult Fiction First Pages, with Laurel Symonds

February 17th, 2021 - March 14th, 2021

with Laurel Symonds

Group started

Preparing your work for submission? In this intimate workshop, you'll receive market and editorial feedback on the first 3,750 words (15 pages) of your young adult manuscript from literary agent Laurel Symonds of The Bent Agency, and a small group of writers.

How it works

You'll submit your pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Laurel Symonds will submit her notes near the critique deadline. After critiques are complete, we will have a debrief call where each writer gets individual time with Laurel to address key feedback themes and brainstorm next steps for their manuscript.

The group workshop format accelerates learning because, not only will you receive feedback on your own work, you will also be able to see and hear Laurel's feedback on the group's stories, which you will have read and critiqued.

Each agent and editor event we offer also comes with a submission opportunity.

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.

Inked Voices and Laurel Symonds are pleased to give away one spot free of charge to a writer from a diverse background. Apply by Jan 20th:


Who this workshop is for: Young adult fiction writers interested in market and editorial feedback from an agent and interested in meeting other YA fiction writers. These workshops are especially geared towards writers who are at or near the querying stage.

Focus: Children's - Young Adult - Contemporary fiction - Children'…

Group size: 8 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: $95; Non-members: $112

About Laurel Symonds

Laurel Symonds launched as a literary agent at The Bent Agency in Fall 2018 after nearly a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She began her career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City and has also held positions in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. As a literary agent, she is seeking children’s fiction and nonfiction, from picture books to young adult, particularly focusing on voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked.

What Laurel is looking for in YA:
Laurel's YA tastes are generally commercial with a great hook. She has a special spot in her heart for YA fantasy and she's currently keen for contemporary, especially voice-y romcoms.

Laurel's Approach to Critiques:
"My critique style is straightforward and honest, balanced with encouragement and the tools to address areas that could be improved upon. I generally focus on the bigger picture issues in my notes with inline comments within the manuscript used to point out specific places to address those issues or spots where craft could be stronger."


Feb 17th - Submissions due
Mar 7th - Critiques due
Mar 10th, 8-10pm ET - Debrief call
March 14th - Group ends