Middle Grade Fiction First Pages with Saba Sulaiman

February 9th, 2022 - March 7th, 2022

with Emily M. Bailey

Not open yet

Member registration opens December 9th at 10:00 (EST).
Non-member registration opens January 5th at 10:00 (EST).

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of your opening 15 pages (3750 words) from literary agent Saba Sulaiman from Talcott Notch Literary, plus get the opportunity to speak to Saba 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. Saba 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 Saba 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 01/19 https://inkedvoices.typeform.com/to/yKtdF30f

Notes

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.

Fee

Members: $105; Non-members: $127

About Emily M. Bailey

Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. In children’s fiction, she is building her Middle Grade and Young Adult lists, and is particularly (although not exclusively) interested in contemporary realistic stories. Being an immigrant who is constantly negotiating her own identity and sense of belonging in a place she now calls “home,” she is committed to highlighting more diverse voices with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues in both fiction and non-fiction with veracity and heart. Follow her on Twitter @agentsaba and learn more about her at sabasulaiman.com

Saba's critiquing style is one that focuses on broad, big picture issues interspersed with a few inline comments that point out specific instances where the voice/tone sounds inorganic, where there's room for the craft to shine a tad bit brighter, and where she feels distanced from the narrative.

For middle grade, Saba is looking for "anything that’s smart, accessible and written with flair. Whether it’s quirky and funny, or just plain sweet and heartwarming — it’s no big secret that this is my favorite category."

Schedule:

Wednesday, 9th Feb - Writers submit
Monday, 28th Feb - Critiques due
Thursday, 3rd March 4-6pm ET - Debrief call
Monday, 7th March - Group closes