From Premise To Pitch: Get Submission Ready With Two Seasoned Agents 2020

October 22 - 25, 2020

Join Us To:

Work with two agents in hands-on sessions that will help you prepare your pitch, synopsis, and bio for the submission process. Through one-to-one manuscript critiques of ten page samples and synopses, identify weaknesses in your manuscript that must be addressed before you submit. Ensure that the premise of your story will make agents and editors excited to read your manuscript. Please note that Gina and Jennie require two sets of submission materials: one for acceptance by March 15, and one for critique for the workshop by April 1.

What You’ll Learn:

Are you ready to start querying? During this workshop you will:

  • Learn how to talk about your middle grade or young adult manuscript: how to pitch it, how to describe it, and the difference between the two.
  • Find out how to ensure that the premise of your story will make agents and editors excited to read your manuscript.
  • Have hands-on craft and marketing sessions to help you prepare your pitch, synopsis, and bio: pull all of the elements together to make your manuscript ready to submit.
  • Develop skills to create a query letter that will rise above the slush.
  • Complete exercises to help you identify weaknesses in your manuscript that must be addressed before you start submitting.
  • Meet individually with an agent for a critique of your first 10 pages.

Please note: This workshop requires materials for acceptance. After registering for the course, you will be sent to a submission portal to upload the first five pages and synopsis of your work-in-progress,  and there you’ll let us know whether this project has been submitted to agents or editors (or represented by any other agents.) Participants will be notified of acceptance no later than March 15, 2020.

On or before April 1, 2020, accepted participants are asked to deliver the first ten pages of their completed novel (should any revisions have taken place), synopsis, pitch, and bio. It’s important for participants to have finished projects, nearly ready to submit, to use in hands-on sessions at the workshop.

Attend If:

  • You are a middle grade or young adult novelist. This workshop is only for novelists–no picture books please.
  • You have a completed middle grade or young adult manuscript. You’ll get the most benefit from the workshop when you select one manuscript to focus on.
  • You are actively querying your novel. You’ll get feedback on best practice for querying agents in the market.
  • You are querying and receiving passes from agents or editors. This program is craft and business focused. Learn craft techniques to improve your writing, and business strategies to get your work in front of agents and editors.

Still not sure if this is the right course for you? Watch a video where Program Director Alison Green Myers talks about our 2020 courses for novelists that will help you get your finished draft ready to submit.


Our workshops typically include faculty presentations, hands-on exercises, specialty topic sessions, some level of feedback, and retreat time for working on your own projects. Although we don’t have a finished agenda for this course yet, see a sample agenda here to get an idea of what to expect.


Website for Dunham Literary, Inc.
Jennie Dunham interview at Writing & Illustrating
Gina Maccoby at Publishers’ Marketplace


“The staff at Highlights is what consistently continues to impress me. They go above and beyond in everything they do. When I’m there, I don’t have to worry about anything but learning, nurturing my creativity, and writing.”

“The faculty/conferee ratio and the availability of the faculty are two of the best and unique features of these small workshops.”


Jennie Dunham

Jennie Dunham has been a literary agent in New York, New York for 8 years before she founded Dunham Literary,…
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Gina Maccoby

Gina Maccoby is a New York literary agent representing authors of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction for adults and…
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K.L. Going

K.L. Going is the award winning author of numerous books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the…
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Meghan McCullough

Special Guest Meghan McCullough is an Assistant Editor at Levine Querido. Previously, she was an Editorial Assistant at Arthur A.…
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All-Inclusive Event Cost: $999.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport. Airport pick-up at Newark Airport is also available for $75 round-trip.

We offer payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

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workshop information

Begins Thursday,October 22, with dinner, and ends on Sunday, October 25, with lunch.