Young Adult Fiction First Pages with Rachel Diebel

January 16th, 2022 - February 15th, 2022

with Rachel Diebel

Members: Log in to register

Non-members may register on December 10th at 09:00 (EST).

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of your opening 15 pages (3750 words) from editor Rachel Diebel of Feiwel and Friends, plus get the opportunity to speak to Rachel individually in the live group call that follows critiques. You'll also exchange critiques within your group of up to 7 writers. 

How it works

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

We are pleased to offer a workshop spot free of charge to a writer of color or from a traditionally marginalized background. Apply by 12/20.


Who this workshop is for: This workshop is best suited for agented writers and writers who are querying or preparing to do so.

Focus: Children's - Young Adult - 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

About Rachel Diebel

Rachel Diebel is an assistant editor at Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group), acquiring middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. Originally from Oregon and now living in Brooklyn, she has worked on everything from thrillers to picture books, celebrity projects to breakout debut authors. She is always looking for commercial fiction with a unique voice, a great hook, and characters you wish would be your real-life best friends.

Critique style: I try to be honest & constructive in my critiques - I always try to point out things that I love, in addition to things that need work, with specifics about what isn't working and why. I focus particularly on voice and character in my critiques, as that is what grabs me as a reader. I focus on big picture notes in a short letter, as well as leaving in line comments.


Sun, Jan 16th - Submissions due
Sun, Feb 6th - Critiques due
Thurs, Feb 10th, 7-9 pm ET - Debrief call
Tues, Feb 15th – Group ends