When your submission materials – a query letter, synopsis, manuscript, or book proposal – arrive in an agent’s inbox, they land among hundreds of others. At that point, one of two things will happen. Either the agent (or the agent’s assistant) will like the submission and request more materials, or they will reply with a rejection.
Authors who get rejected tend to fall in one of two categories when submitting materials: they try too hard, or not enough. This Writer’s Digest Boot Camp is designed to help you streamline your submission materials to stand out in a good way.
Attendees will learn how to write a dynamite query letter, tackle a one-page synopsis (for fiction) and a book proposal (for nonfiction). The instructing literary agents will also explain the importance of author platform in addition to basic etiquette in dealing with an agent and manuscript basics.
Lastly, all attendees will have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with an agent and submit ten double-spaced pages of materials (in any combination–query, synopsis, book proposal, first pages of your manuscript) for valuable feedback provided by successful literary agents.
Here’s How It Works:
On September 26, you will gain access to a special 60-minute online tutorial presented by literary agents Kimberley Cameron and Elizabeth Kracht. This tutorial will provide nuts & bolts advice on how to help you streamline your submission materials—including the query letter, novel synopsis, nonfiction book proposal, and first pages.
After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. Following the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the discussion boards and ask your assigned agent critiquer questions related to revising your materials. The agents will be available for a discussion session from 4-6 p.m. (ET) on both Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28. By end of day (11:59 p.m., ET) on Thursday, September 29, attendees will submit up to 10 double-spaced pages for review to their assigned agents. These pages can include any combination of double-spaced query, synopsis, book proposal, or pages of their manuscript.
The agents will spend three to four weeks reviewing all assigned pages, provide relevant feedback and offer suggestions to help attendees improve upon them. The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more.
In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also have access to “Everything You Need to Know About Literary Agents,” an on-demand webinar by WD editor Chuck Sambuchino.
While we accept requests to work with a specific agent, there are no guarantees that attendees will be matched with their requested agent. All agents are able to provide critiques for all genres.
Monday, September 26: Online Tutorials
Tuesday, September 27: Agent Q&A 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (ET)
Wednesday, September 28: Agent Q&A 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (ET)
Thursday, September 29: Writers Submit Materials
Friday, October 21: Agent Critiques Due
ABOUT THE AGENT INSTRUCTORS:
Kimberley was educated at Marlborough School for Girls in Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, and Mount St. Mary’s College. She began her literary career as an agent trainee at the Marjel de Lauer Agency in association with Jay Garon in New York and worked for several years at MGM developing books for motion pictures. She was the co-founder of Knightsbridge Publishing Company with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
In 1993 Kimberley became partners with Dorris Halsey of The Reece Halsey Agency, founded in 1957. Among its clients have been Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller. She opened Reece Halsey North in 1995 and Reece Halsey Paris in 2006. In 2009 the agency became Kimberley Cameron & Associates.
Kimberley resides and works from Tiburon, California and Paris, France, with many visits to New York to make the rounds of editorial offices. She is looking for exceptional writing in any field, particularly writing that touches the heart, and makes us feel something. She’s been successful with many different genres, and especially loves the thrill of securing representation for debut authors. She represents both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, with the exception of romance, children’s books and screenplays.
Note: While Elizabeth is on the presentation, she is not taking on any students for this boot camp.
Elizabeth Kracht represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.
Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors and researching the potential market for new books.
Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice or that offers wisdom for contemporary living. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by urban and multicultural themes and loves settings that are characters unto themselves.
In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, and YA with crossover appeal. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves memoir and other narrative nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.
NO: Fantasy, Science Fiction
YES: Women’s, Historical, Mysteries, Thrillers, Nonfiction (all types)
MARY C. MOORE
Mary started her career in publishing as a writer. She graduated from Mills College with an MFA in Creative Writing. After freelancing for two years as an editor and writer in non-literary sectors, she began an internship with Kimberley Cameron & Associates with the desire to learn more about the literary business for her own writing. During the internship she discovered a passion for helping others develop their manuscripts. Now she balances three jobs: writer, editor, and agent, and finds that the experience in each helps and supports the other. She is looking for unusual fantasy, grounded science-fiction, and atypical romance. Strong female characters and unique cultures especially catch her eye. Although she will not consider most non-fiction, stories about traditional dance or pagan culture may interest her. Above all, she is looking for writing that sweeps her away.
YES: Fantasy! Science Fiction, Mysteries, Thrillers, Historical, Women’s
Douglas came to Kimberley Cameron as a writer in 2014 with the purpose of learning what hid behind the curtain of publishing. While completing his MFA, he found that he loved the work both behind and ahead of the typewriter. At this time, his sole focus is representing science fiction and fantasy that stimulates the imagination.
As an agent he is looking for SFF manuscripts that utilize the craft elements of literary fiction and the best parts of imaginative genre. He is seeking novels with writing just as enticing as the story. Subtle and deft world-building techniques capture his attention; as do characters with raw magnetism and confused moral compasses.
Douglas welcomes all SFF sub-genres. He has a soft spot for Cyberpunk, Weird Fiction in the flavor of China Mieville, Steampunk and noir influenced voices. He seeks writers who write against genre and bend preconceptions. LGBTQ based manuscripts are welcome, as are unconventional SFF protagonists with marginalized voices in their world.
YES: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Speculative, Horror and Literary Fiction
Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. She has studied creative writing, design and business, earning her B.A. in Strategic Management from Dominican University of CA and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco.
She is actively building her client list with both debut and established authors. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work.
YES: Upmarket Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Speculative or Medical Science Thrillers, Science Fiction, Fantasy, NA, YA and Middle Grade.
Amy came to Kimberley Cameron & Associates in 2012 with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She seeks authors with unique, clear voices who put forth smart, tightly-written prose. She is actively building her client list with both debut and veteran writers.
She enjoys literary and upmarket fiction of all types in addition to commercial—including well-researched historical and well-told women’s fiction. She also loves a page-turning mystery or suspense with sharp wit and unexpected twists and turns. She has a soft spot for distinctive, strong, contemporary characters set in small towns. Amy always looks for an unexpected story arc, a suitable pace, and a compelling protagonist.
She is interested in narrative nonfiction when the plot and characters are immersed in a culture, lifestyle, discipline, or industry. She will also consider a travel or adventure memoir.
She is not currently focusing on military/government thrillers, fantasy, or YA projects.
Amy has studied creative writing, journalism, and literature and holds a B.S. in magazine journalism. She worked in editorial and marketing roles in magazine publishing and corporate business before shifting her professional focus to her lifelong love of books. She leverages her background in both words and business to benefit her clients.
from Writing Editor Blogs – WritersDigest.com