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A query is a writer’s first communication with a potential agent (or sometimes editor) and the sometimes the only piece of writing on which the agent judges your work. Of course, this is a huge source of stress for any writer, no matter how gifted or well-connected, so we are here to de-mystify the process so that it’s as easy as it can possibly be. This workshop will focus on what a query is, why you write one, what good ones look like (and some bad ones). The four seasoned agents on the panel will look at queries sent in ahead of time by this workshop’s participants and edit them in real time during the workshop, as well as sharing some that have worked (or not) worked for them.

The panel of agents will review four sample query letters previously submitted that show the various points they’d like to discuss. Query submissions for the event is now closed.

Panelists (all VCFA WCYA grads) include:
Victoria Wells Arms, HG Literary
Linda Camacho, Gallt & Zacker
Kelly Dyksterhouse, Tobias Literary
Jacqui Lipton, Tobias Literary

Moderator: Victoria Wells Arms is a literary agent at Hannigan Getzler Literary Agency where she specializes in children’s and YA books, and select adult fiction and food books. Before becoming an agent, she spent twenty years as an editor and was the founding editorial director at Bloomsbury USA’s Children’s Division, where she worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Victoria lives with her three children, two birds, and one dog in New York City and Ithaca, NY.

Linda Camacho is an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. She started out on the other side of publishing and held various positions at Simon & Schuster, Writers House, and Penguin Random House. She has an MFA in children’s writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and represents writers and illustrators across both the children’s and adult categories. To get a better sense of the projects she gravitates toward, be sure to check out LindaCamacho.comPhoto by Zacker Images.

Kelly Dyksterhouse holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults for Vermont College of Fine Arts and got her start in agenting by working as an editorial reader and then assistant at leading literary agencies. She joined The Tobias Literary Agency with the merger of Raven Quill Literary Agency in 2022 and is excited to help to grow TLA’s Children Department.Kelly represents picture books, middle grade and young adult, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as graphic novels and illustrators. You can learn more about Kelly at KellyDyksterhouse.com.

Jacqui Lipton, M.F.A., Ph.D. is a literary agent, attorney and law professor who specializes in the business side of the publishing industry and represents clients from picture book through adult with a particular love for nonfiction. She founded Raven Quill Literary Agency which merged in 2022 with The Tobias Literary Agency, where she is a senior agent and head of the Adult Department (fiction and nonfiction). She also writes nonfiction and academic texts. Her most recent books are Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (University of California Press, 2020) and Our Data, Ourselves: A Personal Guide to Consumer Privacy (University of California Press, 2022). You can find more about Jacqui at her website: jdlipton.com.


April 4, 2023
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT
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