First Pages Critique


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The First Pages Critique has become one of the conference’s best-loved sessions. Agents and editors are swamped with submissions. How can your writing get their attention? Send your first page to JRW and hear how some of the world’s most critical readers react to your writing. Join in on the fun, submit your first page, and see if you’re chosen!

The online panel will include three or four speakers (agents, editors, or both) and a moderator. If chosen, your first page will be read aloud anonymously, and the panel will give on the spot feedback. Does your action start too early? Can the reader tell what genre or time period they’re in on page one? If you’re brave, you might be able to find out in real life (okay, virtually in real life).

In 2020, First Pages will be online with the rest of our conference, and we’re asking you to submit your first page digitally.

Send the first page of your manuscript as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .pdf to  [email protected]

Your submission must be postmarked by midnight Friday, September 11, 2020, ET.

Submission Guidelines

  • Include your name in the body of the email but not in your document. Keep it simple, a message like “See attached page. <your name>” is fine.
  • There is no fee.
  • One submission per attendee.
  • Authors must remain anonymous, so please do not include identifying information on your actual page.
  • Submissions will be pre-selected to ensure variety. Authors will not be notified if their work will be read during the conference program.
  • Please use Arial or Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, black ink, double spaced, 25 lines/page maximum. All margins should be at least one inch.
  • Each submission should indicate the genre of the work in the upper right-hand corner of the page and the title centered. Do not include the author’s name.
  • Do NOT send more than the first page.
  • Do NOT include anything in your email that needs prompt attention, such as conference or membership questions. If you have questions, complete a Contact Us form and we’ll get back to you promptly.