Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 29, 2012

Amazing First Lines Webinar

Just found out about this Webinar given by Agent at Scott Treimel NY and Author (Girl Parts) John Cusick. Many of you already know John, but for those who don’t, John is extremely knowledgable and a great teacher. I discovered this after sitting in on a few of John’s workshops I organized while Regional Advisor for the New Jersey SCBWI. Now everyone can benefit from John’s expertise, no matter where you live and from the comfort of your own home. The price is right, too. It’s only $49. Thought you’d want to know, but it’s being held this Saturday, so not much time to decide.

A strong opening to your story is the difference between an enganged reader, and a reader who will move on to something else.

Those first few lines are crucial. They need to be razor-sharp, grounded in your story and your style, to ensure the reader is hooked. John Cusick, a literary agent and YA author, will show you how to grab your reader in a vise grip.

In LitReactor’s very first webinar, Cusick will use examples from young adult fiction, literature, pop culture, film, and television, to explore the craft of startling, intriguing, and unforgettable opening lines. He’ll teach you how to capture and hold a reader’s— or agent’s or editor’s—attention, interest, and excitement from word one.

The webinar will start on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST, and last for 90 minutes. Cusick will deliver a lecture and then take questions from students.

Students will also submit their own first lines, with the option of having them critiqued during the class. If you don’t want your first lines critiqued during the class, or there’s not enough time to get to yours, you’ll still get a personalized, detailed critique from Cusick within 60 days.

What This Class Covers

1) Why are first lines important?
• Establishing a relationship with your reader.
• Giving the reader a rule book for your world.
• Encapsulating the whole of your story in a single sentence or paragraph.

2) What a first line can do. How to:
• Grab attention with shock, intrigue, and the rule of “always…except!”
•Involve the reader with your world, your characters, your point of view.
• Leave the reader begging for more by employing the techniques of mystery, suspense, and humor.

3) Overheard in the Coffee Shop:
• How everyday conversations can teach us to write startling and intriguing first lines.

Goals Of This Class
• Learn how to write opening lines that grab your reader and don’t let go
• Learn to tell the difference between what works and what doesn’t
• Find useful examples of effective openings, not just in books, but in other mediums
• Build yourself a foundation on which to tell the rest of your story


Talk tomorrow,



  1. Oh, John is SO totally worth $49—no question! I was able to attend most of one of his workshops at the conference.Great stuff! As you know, I have no $ to spare, but if I did!….


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