It’s not only agents and editors who judge a book by the first page: in an industry driven by ‘Look Inside the Book’, the opening of a novel or memoir is one of the keys which draws a reader in irresistibly – or lets them wander off. Before even that, your covering letter to an agent or editor can start your submission on the front foot – or hobble it hopelessly. What’s more, thinking clearly about your synopsis can alert you to problems with the rest of the book, before it’s too late.
In this tutorial we will look at what makes an irresistible submission across different genres, basing some of the discussion on examples from participants. You should leave with a clearer idea of how to grab your reader from the first line whether you’re writing a gritty thriller or the lightest of comedies, how to show an agent that you and your writing deserve their attention – and how to see that promise through.
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