Crafting Irresistible First Pages with Mary Kole

Mary Kole First Pages webinar

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Create a compelling fiction beginning that grabs agents, publishers, and readers.

Agents and editors often make decisions on whether to represent your manuscript based on the query and your first pages. Sometimes even your first paragraph! They rarely have the bandwidth to read to page 50 in the hopes that “it gets really good later.”

In this 60-minute webinar on Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. EST, with former literary agent Mary Kole, you’ll learn how to make your story opening as strong as possible. She will discuss scene work, characters, dialogue, action, pacing, and the “promise” of your novel—which is very important, yet few writers ever think about it.

This class will teach you:

  • What to include in your crucial first pages
  • How to introduce character
  • What to do with backstory and world-building
  • How to build toward your first few chapters
  • Examples from the shelves

Get inside insights from a publishing gatekeeper and learn about both higher-order and surface-level concerns that can make or break a story in those crucial introductory pages.

Who should take this course:

  • Novelists working in any genre
  • Writers of children’s fiction (YA and middle grade)
  • Memoirists

How does this webinar work?

This online class uses Zoom webinar technology. You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. (If you don't receive it within 10 minutes of registering, please contact us.)

  • When: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
  • Time: 1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Fee: $30

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

About the instructor

As a former literary agent with more than ten years of experience in the traditional publishing industry, Mary Kole offers no-nonsense, practical, business-minded advice from a professional on the inside. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is the author of Writing Irresistible Kid Lit by Writer’s Digest Books. Though she started out primarily working in children’s books, middle grade, and young adult, she is well-versed in novel editing for all categories and genres.

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I now apply Mary’s advice to every story I write and it’s really working!

Franziska G.

Mary truly is amazing! Thanks to her, I have learned so much about writing. She made me laugh. She made me cry. She made me a better writer!

M. Churchill

Mary is a one-woman MFA program.

Kim W.

You receive the following:

  • Access to the 60-minute interactive class. Around the 45-minute mark, Mary will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 1 hour.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of Mary’s slide presentation in PDF form.

Refund policy

Sorry, but refunds are not offered unless the webinar is canceled or rescheduled. All registrants receive access to the recording even if they are unable to attend. Have questions? You can contact us here.

System Requirements to Join the Webinar

We will be using Zoom webinar technology.

You’ll need:

  • An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers: built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth

Recommended bandwidth:

  • 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
  • If you connect through audio only: 60-80kbps (down)

Supported operating systems:

Supported tablet and mobile devices:

  • Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1
  • Surface PRO 3 running Win 10
  • iOS and Android devices
  • Blackberry devices

Supported browsers:

  • Windows: IE 11+,  Edge 12+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Linux: Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+

For a detailed listing of system requirements, check Zoom’s site.