Middle Grade First Pages, with Deeba Zargarpur, Summer 2021

July 23rd, 2021 - August 17th, 2021

with Emily M. Bailey

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 middle grade manuscript from editor Deeba Zargarpur of Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers and Salaam Reads, and a small group of writers.

How it works

You'll submit your first pages at the group start, then spend the next weeks critiquing peer stories. Deeba Zargarpur 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 Deeba 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 Deeba'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.

Deeba Zargarpur and Inked Voices are pleased to offer a spot, free of charge, to a writer from a diverse background. Apply by July 4th: https://inkedvoices.typeform.com/to/U7Po4Huw


Who this workshop is for: Middle Grade fiction writers interested in market and editorial feedback and interested in meeting other MG fiction writers. Editor workshops are especially geared towards agented writers and writers who are at or near the querying stage.

Focus: Children's - Middle Grade - 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 Emily M. Bailey

Deeba Zargarpur is an editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Salaam Reads. She works on a wide range of picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. Her aim is to acquire commercial books that empower young people from diverse backgrounds. At heart, Deeba believes there is magic and adventure waiting around every corner and especially loves middle grade novels that inspire heartfelt imagination and mischievous creativity. Follow her on Twitter and IG at @deebazargarpur.

About Deeba's Critiquing Style: "When reading opening pages, I tend to focus on bigger picture elements and lead with these questions: is the promise of the premise clearly established, is the voice engaging and distinct, is there a strong sense of character when it comes to both main character and supporting characters? From there, I comment on smaller elements, like dialogue, exposition, and scene transition. But my main focus, especially in openings, is big picture as I find that to be most helpful for writers in the long term."


Jul 23rd - Submissions due
Aug 10th - Critiques due
Aug 13th, 5-7pm ET - Debrief call
Aug 17th - Group closes