Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Professional Series: First Pages: Before and After

Date(s) - 01/14/2020
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Anthroposophical Society
138 West 15th St. - New York, New York

You’ve probably been to a standard first pages session, where editors and agents offer candid, on-the-spot feedback on the first pages of MG and YA novels that have written and pre-submitted by conference attendee. In this session, we’ll dig even deeper! Molly will share first pages of published books that she’s worked on as an agent and/or editor as they were submitted to her in manuscript form, and then when the first pages ultimately looked like when they were eventually published as finished books. We’ll talk about what changes were made along the way, and why, so that you can walk away with new ways of thinking about your books & their beginnings.

Molly O’Neill is a literary agent with Root Literary. For the past sixteen years, she has held various roles inside the publishing industry: previously, she was an Agent at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency; an Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she acquired Veronica Roth’s juggernaut Divergent series, among many other fantastic projects; the Head of Editorial at Storybird, a publishing/tech start-up; and a member the School & Library Marketing departments at both HarperCollins and Clarion Books. She loves the creative process and early-stage project development, is invigorated by business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking, and is fascinated by the intersections of art, commerce, creativity, and innovation. Molly is especially passionate about the people behind books, and takes pride in discovering and evangelizing talented authors and illustrators, expanding the global reach of their work, and finding new ways to build connections and community among creators, readers, stories, and their champions. Learn more at