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Saturday, April 6 • 10:30am - 11:45am
5C: Literary Idol: Nonfiction Focus
Limited Capacity filling up

Important: Please read this description carefully before signing up, and bring all necessary materials to the session if you wish to have your work read aloud.

In this freewheeling session, a trained actor will perform the first page of YOUR unpublished manuscript -- in this case, a work of non-fiction, including memoir and personal essay -- for the audience and a panel of three judges. The judges are agents and editors with years of experience reading unsolicited submissions. When one of the judges hears a line that would make her stop reading, she will raise her hand. The actor will keep reading until a second judge raises his hand. The judges will then discuss WHY they would stop reading, and offer concrete (if subjective) suggestions to the anonymous author. If no agent raises his/her hand, the judges will discuss what made the excerpt work so well. All excerpts will be evaluated anonymously, though, at the end of the session, a winner will be chosen from the group of excerpts that did not elicit any raised hands, and that winner will receive a free Grub Street membership. Please bring THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript, double-spaced, to the session, TITLED, with its GENRE marked clearly at the top. You will leave it in a box at the front of the room, and the manuscript will be chosen randomly by the reader. (Unfortunately, given the volume of submissions, we can not guarantee that yours will be read aloud).

This is a fun event that aims to be respectful of your work and illuminate the process an agent/editor goes through when she receives a new piece of fiction. The point is not to get through as many writers as possible, but to thoughtfully evaluate the work at hand and offer concrete suggestions from which all could benefit. Please be aware that some lines may cause laughter or scorn; in other words, this session is not for the thin-skinned!

Presenters
avatar for Ashley Lopez

Ashley Lopez

Literary Agent, Waxman Literary Agency
Ashley Lopez joined the Waxman Literary Agency in 2015. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is a founder and the Managing Editor of Pigeon Pages Literary Journal. Ashley is looking for literary and young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and... Read More →
avatar for Steve Macone

Steve Macone

Nonfiction Writer
Steve Macone is a former headline contributor at The Onion. His essays, humor writing, and reporting have also appeared in the American Scholar, New York Times, Atlantic, New Yorker, Boston Globe Magazine, Morning News, VICE and Salon. His work has been featured on NPR, Longreads... Read More →
avatar for Rakesh Satyal

Rakesh Satyal

Editor, Atria Books
Rakesh Satyal is a Senior Editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. He began his career at Random House (at what was then known as the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group), then spent five years at HarperCollins. He has acquired and edited numerous New York Times bestsellers... Read More →
avatar for Janet Silver

Janet Silver

Literary Agent, Aevitas
Janet Silver represents a roster of acclaimed writers. Her clients include Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir, Wild, has sold more than 4 million copies; Anthony Marra, author of the New York Times bestselling novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomena; Monique Truong, winner of the Asian... Read More →
avatar for Mitchell Waters

Mitchell Waters

Literary Agent, Curtis Brown
Mitchell Waters started working at Curtis Brown in 1995. He represents a wide and diverse array of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction, including mystery, history, biography, memoir, and young adult.Some recent or representative titles: Bachelor Girl by Kim van Alkemade... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Newbury Room - 4th Floor

Attendees (45)