CHAPTER ONE: How to Engage Agents, Editors, & Readers With Your Novel's First Chapter OnDemand Webinar

CHAPTER ONE: How to Engage Agents, Editors, & Readers With Your Novel's First Chapter OnDemand Webinar

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  • You're a writer who wants to strengthen your novel's opening chapter
  • You're a writer who wants to learn what publishing professionals are looking for in potential projects
  • You're a writer preparing to send query letters to literary agents
  • You're a writer hoping to understand what works and what doesn't work at the beginning of a narrative
  • You're a writer who wants to engage readers and keep them turning the pages of your book


It doesn't matter whether you write historical romance for adults or fantasy for middle grade readers, the opening pages of your manuscript need to make an excellent first impression. The first line, the first paragraph, and the first chapter of your story must engage all your future readers-literary agents, editors, and consumers purchasing your published book. The opening chapter of your manuscript is going to stick with you throughout the entire publishing process; its importance never wavers.

So how do you write an effective first chapter? What exactly are readers looking for in your novel's opening pages? And how can you make sure your story has the best beginning possible? Chapter One: How to Engage Agents, Editors, & Readers with Your Novel's First Chapter covers all these topics (and more), providing you with information that will help you polish the opening pages of your novel. You will hear from literary agent Maria Vicente about the best practices for drafting, writing, and revising your novel's first chapter, as well as receive professional advice on how you can make your manuscript's beginning stand out in today's crowded publishing industry.


  • How to engage new readers with your opening chapter
  • What compels readers to continue reading‚Ķ and what makes them stop
  • The pros and cons of using a prologue as the opening chapter of your novel
  • The clich√© chapter openings to avoid
  • How to fix mistakes commonly found in first chapters
  • How to establish your own voice as a writer through your novel's opening lines
  • How to structure your opening chapter to balance both plot and character
  • The best questions to ask while self-editing your first chapter
  • How to make the best first impression of yourself and your manuscript
  • What agents and editors are looking to find in your first chapter
  • Why having a great opening chapter is so important in today's publishing industry


Maria Vicente is an Associate Agent at the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Maria is dedicated to managing authors' literary brands for the duration of their careers. Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list. She specializes in children's books (picture books, middle grade, and young adult), but also represents select adult literary fiction and nonfiction projects in the pop culture, design, and lifestyle categories. She has affinities for literary prose, strong character development, original storytelling formats, and anything geeky. Maria's website ( includes articles about publishing and writing for current and potential clients.

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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