Live Events with Agents & Editors

Join us for fun, educational evenings with our faculty. Ask questions, submit your page or query for a chance at live feedback, and meet fellow writers in a creative, supportive, introvert-friendly environment–all without leaving home.

Current MSWLMA monthly members (those with memberships at $49 and above) can now login and view all of our events in The Manuscript Academy Live Events section of the classroom.

For page and query panels, pages and queries will be chosen at random, and we will get through as many as we can in the allotted time.

Can’t make it live? That’s okay! You can still send your work and watch the replay.

“Only someone, or two, deeply familiar with the long, lonely, and at times, frustrating process of honing a manuscript and searching for an agent would know how best to facilitate the process. Julie and Jessica have worked wonders with Manuscript Wish List® to bring together a supportive community of writers, agents, and editors.

Thank you all!”


Coming Soon

December 3, 2019, 8:30pm EDT

Join us for a query panel with agent Kiana Nguyen at Donald Maass Literary Agency. Submit your query, short pitch, or both for a chance at live feedback from Kiana and our panel–plus, of course, a publishing Q&A.

This event is designed to be supportive, uplifting, encouraging–and 100% introvert-friendly. (Wear pajamas! We’ll never know.)

A replay will be available 15 minutes after the end of the event, and we’ll send the link to submit your work one week before the event begins. This will work both live and recorded on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Kiana is an agent at Donald Maass Literary, currently building her client list. Having gotten into the industry unconventionally, Kiana is scrappy and hungry for queer and POC writers and stories. She loves YA across genres, but particularly contemporary and thrillers. She also loves a nice, bloody Adult thriller that keeps you up at night or a good cozy or steamy romance!

January 27, 2020, 8:30pm EDT

So you’ve decided to try to get your book traditionally published. You’ve done the research. You have a great draft, a great synopsis, and you’re ready to start shopping your manuscript. You have extensive notes on complex worldbuilding, character backstories, maps you’ve sketched out, notebooks full of additional content.

How do you decide what makes it onto the page? How do you set up your story, giving just enough information about the world you’ve created without bogging down your reader with information dumps? How do you balance relaying background information to situate your reader with moving your story along?

The first three chapters are often the chapters that an author edits and revises the most, and for good reason. Often you only have the first three chapters to grab your reader before they start to glaze over—or worse, move on. We’ll take a look at introducing setting without overwhelming your readers, introducing characters that your readers will invest in right off the bat, and starting your plot at the right moment in the story in both standalone novels and series.

You can tune in live, or submit your question ahead and watch the replay at your convenience. 

Hannah VanVels is an editor at Blink, acquiring young adult fiction and nonfiction (though this class is open and relevant to all genres and age groups). Hannah completed her BA at the University of Michigan and her MA at the University of Chicago. She lives in Michigan with her partner, two German Shepherds, and two cats. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @hannahvanvels.

Past Events (Replay Tickets Available!)

View our interviews + live panels (query, first page, and first paragraph) with agents and editors.

The first 30 minutes is instructional interview; the next hour is advice on writing with each page as a lens for universal lessons. Replay panel tickets are $9.99.

Literary agents are always on a treasure hunt. But few writers know what it takes to make agents yell at first glance: “Eureka, I’ve struck gold!” And a first glance is all that most writers will get before the agent moves on without ever reading further.

We’ll discuss the mystery of getting an agent to want YOU, to read YOU, and to say YES to YOU. Send your query for the panel portion of the evening, ask about your situation, and get answers to your burning query questions.

Katharine Sands is an agent at The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, and her recorded, edited class, From Pitch To Page (optional add-on purchase–the Q&A stands alone), is one of the most popular in our library of classes.

To see our full library of classes, click here:

Join us (and a special faculty guest Fiona Kenshole from Transatlantic Literary Agency!) for a live podcast recording and–yes, you guessed it!–a first pages panel.

We’ll first record content for our podcast (get your behind-the-scenes look as we ever so glamorously hold for NYC sirens) and then watch Fiona react to YOUR pages live. (Please note: We’ll get to as many as we can, but can’t guarantee that we will get to all pages submitted.)

We can’t wait! Grab a drink (in a spillproof container, please–we don’t want you to ruin your laptop), your earbuds, and the device of your choice to tune in.

You’ll be able to access the replay, so no worries if you can’t make it live.

Join us for a LIVE first pages panel and Q&A with agent Danielle Chiotti of  Upstart Crow Literary. She’ll review YOUR pages live, add suggestions that apply to all writers, and answers your questions.

If you haven’t been to one of these events before, this is much more than a feedback panel–it’s a community-building event where we learn with and from each other. Text chat will be available on the side so you can connect with your new writing community. (But this is introvert-friendly–we won’t be able to see you.)

We’ll get through as many pages and questions as we can in the time allotted.

Hope to see you there!

We are so pleased to bring you the next live event in our series–a first pages panel featuring YOUR first pages (drawn at random–we’ll get through as many as we can while still giving thoughtful, kind feedback) and Melissa Warten, editor at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Macmillan).

Join us Monday, July 29, 8:30pm EDT, for this opportunity to bring NYC editorial feedback into your living room (or anywhere with a screen and an internet connection).

This event is included with membership, or $9.99 a la carte.

Events With Classes Included

Each of these events comes with a recorded, edited class to view before watching the live-recorded Q&A. All classes are shot in the offices or homes of our faculty, and include both smart information and cat cameos, designed to get you the information (and humor) you need to absorb the information, and quickly. Most classes are 30-45 minutes, shot in HD, and will display beautifully full screen.

When we talk about structure, we’re talking about the narrative framework of your story. The bones of the house. The foundation upon which those bones rest. Without these, you have no house. You wouldn’t try to put a roof or hang drywall on, well, nothing, right? If you’re missing a support beam, the house becomes lopsided and ultimately collapses. Well, it’s the same with story.

Though genre does usually determine conventions, or, some of the building blocks with which a story is built, no matter your story, there is a core structural framework.

In this class, we’ll learn the rules and how to break them, the math behind the mystery, the formulae that support unique stories.

With Hannah’s background in film, you’ll learn how these two mediums together show the hidden workings of stories, whether you notice them or not–and how to make them work so YOUR book maintains tension, momentum, and keeps an agent reading.

This ticket includes a filmed, edited class (39:22) and the Q&A replay.

Join us for a LIVE Q&A with Dawn Michelle Hardy, literary agent and literary lobbyist, to discuss her class, Platform, Publicity & Publishing in Your Pajamas.

This Q&A comes with Dawn’s filmed, edited class (33:17), which is packed with information about building your audience, finding your fans, and creating that platform that means so much to publishers.

With humor, actionable tips, and a lot of heart, this combination will make you feel confident about building the business side of your publishing career–no matter your budget.

Your ticket includes a recorded, edited class (33:17) and live-recorded Q&A.

Free Replay Events

It’s time for #MSWL Manuscript Academy’s FREE Write-In Workshop!

Follow creative writing prompts, polish your work together, and meet your new writing BFFs–all from home. You’ll be able to see us live on video, but we’ll only be able to see you in text chat (aka pajamas welcome, and this is 100% introvert-friendly).

At our last write-in, writers shared their work, met new critique partners, and left feeling great about the industry.

We hope you’ll join us for a fun, uplifting evening with your new favorite community.

Join us for the very first Manuscript Academy Write-In! This FREE workshop will help you expand your characters, all while hanging out with your new publishing BFFs.

This will be like publishing TV in that you’ll be able to see and hear us, but we won’t be able to see you. You’ll have text chat on the side to ask us questions and (if you want to! Totally optional!) share your work.

No worries if you need to arrive late or watch this as a replay. Jump in at any time!

Hear About New Live Events

Replays are wonderful, but there’s something extra exciting about being there live.

Want an email when we announce new live events? Click below.