You only get one chance to make a first impression, they say. And that’s why the first page of your manuscript is so all-fired important – to an agent looking at your query, to an editor looking at your submission, and to a potential reader taking a peek inside your book online or in a store.

The wonderful Marcy Hatch at Mainewords invited me to join her in a new monthly feature on our blogs called First Impressions. Writers who would like to have feedback on the first page of their manuscript can send it to either Marcy or me. The first week of every month, we will select three submissions to feature on our blogs with a small excerpt (for example, the first 350 words) and provide feedback. In this way, we hope to “pay it forward” to other writers and provide a little of what we all crave most: feedback, encouragement, and a little bit of gratuitous publicity!

Marcy and I are hoping to start this new feature the first week in March, so please contact us to submit the first page of your darling – whether it be a manuscript you’ve labored on through countless drafts or a shiny new story you’ve just started. For those writers whose pages are not picked to be the three featured in March, Marcy and I can provide some feedback by email or roll those pages over to the following month – depending on the preference of the writer and how many total pages we get.

If you’re interested in getting our first impressions of your work, send me an email with the subject line “First Impressions” and paste the first page into your email. No attachments, please. Contact me at or Marcy through her blog.