A Top Literary Agent Shares 3 Elements Your Novel Opening Must Have to Seize His Interest (and Possible Representation)

You’re finally ready to start pitching literary agents for your unpublished novel. Those first few pages have to sing if you’re going to hook the agent. How do you know if you’re ready?


Founding Partner of and Literary Agent with Folio Literary Management Jeff Kleinman recently shared three key elements he looks for in the opening pages of queried novels. He did so at the 2020 Vermont College of Fine Arts Novel Retreat. After revealing his secrets to the participants, he proceeded to review each writer’s submitted opening pages. Rarely did he get past the first two paragraphs before moving on, citing at least one of those three missing elements while he did so. The feedback was brutal, but invaluable.

You can learn those three key novel-opeing elements in the first issue of The Art-Committed Life newsletter. One of Jeff’s other pieces of advice was that publishers are more interested in author newsletters than blogs, so my apologies for sending you to my new newsletter for the juicy details. Consider subscribing to The Art-Committed Life for future craft and creativity tips!

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