What Agents and Editors are Looking for in First Pages OnDemand Webinar

What Agents and Editors are Looking for in First Pages OnDemand Webinar

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  • Writers at any stage of querying
  • Writers having difficulties with where their project might start
  • Authors who are in-between agents or contracts
  • Writers looking for encouragement (for writers who might be receiving rejections)
  • Writers looking for a new look at your project to see if your first pages are a knock-out
  • Writers who need guidance on pacing, back-story and character development
  • Writers who are looking for advice in editorial


Writing your query is the first step to grabbing the agents' attention, however, many writers are not aware that agents sometimes go directly to the first pages to even see if the writing is something to have a closer look at. Join agent Katie Shea Boutillier to discuss in detail what we are looking for when we approach your first pages.

Katie will go step-by-step to demonstrate the importance of strong first pages, focusing on voice, tone, mood, setting, urgency, pace, description, dialogue and your natural approach to your characters. Your ultimate goal is to make sure your reader (agent, editors, and beyond) are into your work immediately, and Katie will guide you with her knowledge and experience what makes impressive first pages to readers.


  • The importance of first pages in query submissions
  • What agents and editor expect to see in first pages
  • How to make sure the hook is presented clearly
  • Tips to world-building, creating a setting we will not want to leave
  • Understanding voice in first pages
  • Pace and urgency is needed in first pages - what does this mean?
  • How to create a mood and how that works in first pages
  • Natural character development
  • How to make sure there is a plot that is expanding into something we will want to read more of


Katie Shea Boutillier joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2011. She is the agency's Rights Director handling translation, audio and selected film/TV rights. In addition, Katie focuses on commercial adult fiction and young adult fiction. She is always on the hunt for upmarket women's fiction, psychological suspense and has a soft spot for coming-of-age young adult fiction. She loves books that present big hooks, imperfect characters, and strong voices. Katie is committed to help achieve her clients' long-term career goals.

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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