Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 30, 2013

First Five Pages Online Workshop


The people over at Adventures in YA Publishing have a monthly 1st Five Pages Workshop. If you have finished writing a YA novel, you might want to read about this opportunity.

Our monthly 1st Five Pages Workshops begin the first Saturday of every month. We accept the first five middle grade or young adult manuscripts received by email starting at Noon EST.

Lisa Gail Green and/or I (Martina) will work alongside a guest mentor to tell each participant what we see in those first five pages with respect to voice, plot, characters, setting, pacing and writing in general. Depending on the mentor’s schedule, they may comment only on the initial entries, on the initial entry and one revision, or on all subsequent revisions.

Participants also get feedback and comments from peers, and have the opportunity to post two revisions so they can up with the strongest possible beginning.

Here’s our upcoming mentor schedule:

August 2013: Sherry Ficklin

September 2013: Leila Rasheed

October 2013: Maureen Lipinski

November 2013: Stephanie Kuehn

December 2013: K.A. Barson

The rules are simple. We ask that you follow all of them, every week for the duration of the workshop. Properly formatting your entry is critical.

Entries that do not meet all of the criteria below will be disqualified, because we simply don’t have time to reformat them for you. Read all the rules and be prepared to follow them each week, otherwise it isn’t fair to take up space in the workshop. We always have more entries than we can accept in any given month.

1. Manuscripts must be middle grade or young adult.

2. Manuscripts do not need to be completed, but must be your own, original work.

3. Send us the first five pages, with each page approximately 250 words, max 1250 words.

4. Do NOT send any synopsis or summary information.

5. Make sure your entry is properly formatted, in RTF format, and sent IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, single spaced, with a blank line between all paragraphs expect the header information. No attachments.
Before sending it to us, we suggest that you email your entry to yourself so you can see how it will come out.
Your entry MUST look like this:

Name: Your name

Genre: Young Adult XXX or Middle Grade XXX

Title: Your title

The body of the text, max 1250 words, must be SINGLE SPACED. There MUST be an EMPTY LINE BETWEEN paragraphs. (Hit the ‘Enter’ button twice.)

If your manuscript is formatted in standard manuscript format, double-spaced with indents at the beginning of each paragraph and no extra space before or after paragraphs, then this will not come through correctly for reading on the web. The easiest way to get the formatting the way that we need it is to copy your snippet, put it into a clean MS Word document, select all the text, change the paragraph spacing to single space, then do a search and replace for ^p and replace it with ^p^p. This will take each paragraph break and turn it into two paragraph breaks. Or, of course, you can go through and hit the enter button again a second time after each individual paragraph.

Create a new email through an email provider other than GMAIL and click on the format text tab at the top of the message. Gmail seems to insert AN EXTRA line for every blank line. It may even insert a blank line between the header information, which should have NO blank lines between paragraphs. To get around the gmail problem, the easiest thing to do is use another email provider if you already have one, or to create a free hotmail account.

In your blank email message, set the message format to “Rich Text,” then paste in the text of your entry.

7. Be prepared to receive honest, constructive feedback EVERY week and to participate through the entire workshop. Not all feedback will be positive. The purpose of the workshop is to help you improve your manuscript, not to tell you that it is wonderful.

8. Provide honest, constructive, and thoughtful feedback to EACH of your fellow workshop participants in a kind and courteous manner by Thursday night EVERY week.

9. Send the revised version of the manuscript back to us–following all the above rules–by 6:00 PM on Sunday nights, properly formatted, every week until the end of the workshop.

That’s it. If it sounds like a pain, remember that you will have to understand email formatting to be able to submit to agents when your entry is ready to query.

We start accepting new workshop entries at noon (Eastern Time) on the first Saturday of the every month. Send entries to AdventuresInYAPub [at] icloud dot com.

Accepted entries will be posted at noon on the first Monday of the month, at which time the workshop will officially begin.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks so much for the shout out, Kathy!


    • Jan,

      Love what you are doing. Happy to share.



  2. Oh, my gosh, Kathy! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Big hugs!!!!!


    • Martina,

      I think I will take advantage of this, too.



  3. Thanks for spreading the word!! I hope we can help more people!!


    • lisa,

      My pleasure. Feel free to contact me if you would like me to spread the word on future thing you want people to know. You have a great site.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: