Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

Submissions that Sell

Your writing is amazing. You’ve edited your manuscript until the reflection alone will blind.


But without an equally shiny submission, those agents/editors will never know about you, and that you could have been their next great author.

This course will teach you what you need to know to make a professional submission that will impress.

Please note: This class will not include synopsis writing – that would be a class by itself.

What You Will Learn:

  • Finding and researching Editors/Agents
  • We will be writing queries and critiquing them in class – you will leave with a professional, polished query
  • Reviewing your complete submission, including formatting and what to include
  • Tracking your submissions and staying organized
  • Agent/Editor etiquette
  • Strategies for dealing with rejection

Who Should Take This Course:

  • Writers with completed manuscripts
  • Writers seeking publishing contracts
  • Self-published writers – a query is a solid foundation for wonderful back cover copy

Lesson Plan:

LESSON ONE: Prepare to Succeed

  • Making sure you’re ready for submission
  • Getting organized – creating submission folders and subfolders
  • How do you know your novel is ready?

LESSON TWO: Your Query – The Bedrock of Your Submission

  • The parts of a query and how to structure it
  • Hooks and Loglines
  • Comparing your book to others
  • What’s in a name? Using names in your query
  • How to boil your book down to one or two paragraphs
  • Your bio

LESSON THREE: What to include in your submission and who to send it to

  • Building blocks of a submission
  • Email etiquette
  • Where to find agents
  • How to ‘vet’ agents to be sure you’re not taken advantage of
  • Be clear about your goals – ranking agents

LESSON FOUR: Organizing your submissions

  • Send all at once, or in groups for beta testing?
  • Tools for organizing – based on your personality
  • How to track your submissions

LESSON FIVE: The follow up – and etiquette in general

  • Guidelines
  • Social Media contact
  • Do & don’t of follow up
  • Simultaneous and exclusive submissions

LESSON SIX: Rejection Strategies and how to power through

  • Cold, hard facts
  • I am not my book
  • What to do while you wait
  • Be clear about your goals – and your fallback position


Laura Drake Headshot

Laura Drake, 2014 RITA Winner for Best First Novel, doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. After a total of three novels, and 417 queries, in June of 2011, she scored an agent — Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill and Associates.

She now has twelve published novels. The first, The Sweet Spot, won the 2014 RWA RITA for Best First Book. When she isn’t writing, she speaks to writers groups and teaches online. She is a founder of Women’s Fiction Writers Association as well as the Award-Winning, Writers in the Storm Blog. Laura is a multi-Margie immersion grad. She credits Margie with taking her from ‘good’ to ‘sold’!

Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.




Writers in the Storm



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