February/March Contest -- your Manuscript First Page
Your greatest challenge, in crafting the first page of your manuscript, is to motivate the agent/editor/publisher reading it, to eagerly turn the page to see what happens next.
(Once you're book is under production, a gang of book designers, editors, advertising people etc. will revise your first page so it becomes a sales page that will not only motivate a page turn, but also a purchase.)
At this stage of the game, the entire purpose of your manuscript first page is to motivate the reader to turn the page (or scroll down to see what happens next.)
Keep in mind, your story begins the moment it begins. Something is at stake. Your first page must reveal this. If you’re having difficulty pinpointing exactly what’s at stake, refocus. Create a ticking time bomb. The bunny is tied to the railroad tracks and the train is on the way. Your protagonist must stop the train, or untie the bunny, or resolve the issue by a certain time or else . . . bye! bye! bunny!
KEY POINTS to make your first page a compelling read:
FIRST PLACE winner receives 60 minutes of time with me in consultation to revise their manuscript first and second pages. Or, that time can be spent in a one-on-one phone consultation covering any aspect of their project. Plus, the winning first page will be posted on this website along with my revision comments. (Agents do troll through teaching websites like this one, always hoping to find talented writers with fabulous stories.)
Submissions accepted February 10 through March 5th.
(Note: One entry per writer.)
BTW: All writers who participate in this contest will receive (after the contest is completed) critique comments from me to help them revise and strengthen their first page.
Click here to read first pages crafted by former winners of this contest. They'll inspire you to re-look at your manuscript's first page and make some revisions to perk it up!
Also, read (and re-read) the "1st page" information on this website.
Click here to read
wining query letters from prior contests.
Click here to read manuscript first page winning entries from prior contests.
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QUERY "Sales Pitch" e-Workbook~
The information and writing exercises in this e-workbook will help you learn to write a sizzling query "Sales Pitch" first paragraph--often the only portion of a query the agent ever reads.
Another important aspect of mastering the query is that your next marketing document, the one-page synopsis, builds on what you've written in your query letter.
Then, when you begin to craft your manuscript first page, you'll have your query letter and synopsis to use as references. This will help you introduce your story in such a way that the agent will have to turn the first page to find out "what happens next."
This e-Workbook teaches you to reveal the "guts" of your story (otherwise known as the plot) by introducing goal-obstacle-resolution in a dynamic manner.
This is what agents want to know. Who is the story about? What do they want? What stands in their way? What is the terrible "if" that occurs should the main character not get what they want?
When an agent reads a query that clearly and quickly reveals the story plot, they'll jump up and down with excitement and order pizza. Nothing makes an agent's day more joyous than the discovery of a talented writer who has professionally presented themselves and a unique story with "best seller" written all over it!
What you get for $4.99~