Great First Lines with Agent John M. Cusick, Vice President of Folio Literary Management

We speak with agent John M. Cusick of Folio Literary Management about great first lines, what they can do for your work–and how they can make a good first impression that will stick with your reader, whether in a bookstore or in the slush pile. How do you know if you’ve done enough research–or if you’ve done so much, you’ll creep out the agents? Is it ever okay to have a simple first line? How do you start near the heart of your work–and how do you know where it is?

We discuss all of these topics and more–you’ll also learn what John would do with venture capital (it’s an answer we’ve never seen before!) and what writers are afraid of, but should not be.

John’s class is available (with our full library of classes) at

You can find him online at, or at

Our podcast is FREE and available in iTunes (search “Manuscript Academy”) and on SoundCloud (easier for streaming).