Young Adult Fiction First Pages with Stephanie Stein

March 19th, 2022 - April 14th, 2022

with Stephanie Stein

Group started

In this intimate workshop, you'll receive a written critique of your opening 15 pages (3750 words) from senior editor, Stephanie Stein at HarperCollins, plus get the opportunity to speak to Stephanie 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. Stephanie 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 Stephanie 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 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

We are pleased to offer a spot free of charge to a writer of color or from a marginalized background Applications for this scholarship have closed.

About Stephanie Stein

Stephanie Stein is a senior editor at HarperCollins Children's Books, where she acquires middle grade and YA titles for the Harper and HarperTeen imprints. In her ten years at Harper, she has worked with authors including Anna Bright, Rena Barron, Mark Oshiro, Misa Sugiura, Shveta Thakrar, Cynthia Hand, and Kiera Cass. She also edits the #1 bestselling Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Stephanie is always looking for genre-savvy fiction with a fresh premise, a clever sense of humor, or an irresistibly immersive world, and loves books that can break your heart—and then put it back together again. You can find her on Twitter @stephlystein and find her current wish list here.

Critique style:
I look for first pages to make a compelling and accurate promise to the reader about what they can expect to find in the story to come. In critiques, I aim to combine concrete suggestions with open-ended questions that get you thinking. I outline big-picture notes in a letter and use in-line comments to point out places that can be smoothed or strengthened, or highlight specifics leading back to my more general feedback.


Sat, March 19th - Submissions due
Sun, April 10th, 12pm ET - Critiques due
Thurs, April 14th, 8-10pm ET - Debrief Call
April 17th - Group officially closes