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Pitch Wars Webinars: A Query Workshop with Agent Jim McCarthy

Monday, 3 July 2017  |  Posted by Leigh



Pitch Wars Webinars Presents…

A Query Workshop with Agent Jim McCarthy, Vice President of Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret Literary Agency

In this live webinar, Jim McCarthy invites you to peek behind the curtain and watch exactly what happens when an agent considers your query. Working from your pre-submitted queries,  participants will have the chance to read along with him as he decides whether to stop reading or carry on. You’ll see the exact moment in query letters that he perks up or passes. He promises to be all the way honest but also to share feedback that is not only proscriptive but kind. Along the way, you’ll garner helpful tips on what to avoid as you write your own query, how to stand out from the pack (in a good way), and what goes on in an agent’s mind as they consider your material.


The Details . . .

Date: Tuesday, July 25

Time: 8:30 pm ET

Cost: $25 $20 to attend the workshop

Instructions: Register using the form below and upload your receipt. Don’t forget to send your query letter to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com no later than 5 pm ET on Tuesday, July 18 with the subject line “Query letter for Jim McCarthy workshop.”

Please note: There is a 30 person limit for the webinar

About Jim McCarthy . . .

Jim 2017
| Website 

Jim McCarthy is Vice President and literary agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management in New York, NY. He has been with the agency for 18 years, initially starting as an intern way back in the ‘90s. He represents a wide range of fiction, adult and young adult, commercial and literary. He is also seeking narrative nonfiction, particularly memoir, history, and pop culture. His clients include New York Times bestsellers Richelle Mead, Victoria Laurie, Morgan Rhodes, Livia Blackburne, Robin Talley, among many more.



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(You don’t need a Paypal account to donate. Just go to the bottom and you can use a credit card.)

About Pitch Wars Webinars…

The Pitch Wars webinar series was developed to help writers at every stage of their careers. Mentors and industry experts will host webinars focused on pitching, publishing, developing craft, and more.

Pitch Wars is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors work with their mentees for two months before an agent round. Learn more.






  • Annmarie Worthington says:

    Just registered. Do I pay at the donate button?

  • Samantha says:

    Hi! I just registered and sent my query. Will we receive a confirmation response? Thanks!

  • jamiebethc says:

    If I can’t log on live, can I still register and watch a recording? I’ll be on a train at that time… not sure about wifi, etc. Thanks!

    • Leigh Mar says:

      Hi jamiebethc, yes, if you can’t make it live you could register, submit your query, and then watch the recording of the workshop later. It may be a little less interactive, but still valuable.

  • Sabina L. says:

    For the query workshop, is it ok if we leave out our last name in the query letter we submit since it will be broadcast?

  • Jordan Dunsmore says:

    Just paid. When do I get confirmation? I also put in the wrong Twitter handle… Its Jordanpdunsmore

  • Laura says:

    Hi. I just signed up, I think. I did not figure out how to pay so presumed it happened afterward – but it said the seminar is now full – though I received an email receipt. So – I need to pay; any idea how?
    Thank you.

  • Hi! I paid and signed up earlier today. I’ve received confirmation from PayPal for the payment. Will I also receive confirmation for registering for the workshop? I’m worried I goofed my email address.

    • Leigh Mar says:

      Hi Laura, Apologies for the delay, I’ve been out of town without internet! I see you in the registration list, did you receive an email earlier today?

  • I signed up and also received a “this seminar is now full” notice after making my payment. Please let me know if I am actually registered or if I will receive a refund. Thank you.

  • Gina says:

    I have never done a webinar before. Do I come to this same web address to watch it and interact?
    Second, I am on the PitchWars proboard getting feedback on my query so it is going to be drastically different than the one I submitted. Is there a way to submit my new version instead?

    • Leigh Mar says:

      Hi Gina, You should have received an email this morning with details to login to the webinar. Unfortunately, the deadline for queries was last week and they have already been provided to our host. If you can send me your latest, I’ll see if it’s possible to adjust. I would advise holding on further changes until after the webinar!

      • Gina Bates says:

        Thank you Leigh. I have sent my new query to the brendadrakecontests@gmail email. Thanks to the PitchWars proboard it is completely different and, I think, it is much improved. Thank you so much! I’ve already learned so much from being a part of PitchWars this year.

  • Gina Bates says:

    will the recorded webinar be posted here so we can go back and re-listen to it?

    • Leigh Mar says:

      Hi Gina, No, the recording will be sent directly to those who registered for the webinar. The recordings are sent within a week of the live webinar. Thanks!

  • katurner34 says:

    Hi! I wasn’t able to tune in live, but I registered and sent my query. How do we access the recording?


    • Leigh Mar says:

      Hello! The recording will be sent directly to those who registered for the webinar. You will receive within a week of the live webinar. Thanks!

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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