The Roller Derby of Querying: How Author Elizabeth Holden Found Her Agent

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

View our in-depth video of what Liz did right in her query letter and first page here: www.youtube.com/@manuscriptacademy

Meet Elizabeth Holden, Physics professor, travel entrepreneur, and author of Mighty Millie Novak, a YA novel coming out from Flux Publishing in August. www.elizabeth-holden.com/

Liz is also the travel coordinator for our 2025 Manuscript Academy Retreat, which we’re calling Enchanted Summer. Early Bird ends May 24. www.leapinghound.com/enchanted2025.html

Transcript + video at manuscriptacademy.com/podcast-elizabeth-holden

Timestamps:
00:02:03 – Writing Journey (00:02:03) Elizabeth Holden shares her writing journey, including querying experiences and the ups and downs of her writing career.

00:09:50 – Book Offer and Celebrations (00:09:50) Elizabeth recounts the experience of receiving a book offer and the challenges she faced due to being sick at the time.

00:12:11 – Viral Twitter Experience (00:12:11) Elizabeth shares the story of her viral Twitter experience related to the representation of queer characters in her novel and the subsequent impact on her querying process.

00:16:09 – Managing Multiple Offers (00:16:09) Elizabeth discusses the process of managing multiple offers from literary agents and making a decision about representation.

Querying and First Page Feedback (00:21:46) Discussion and feedback on the query letter and the first page of the novel.

Character and Conflict Introduction (00:27:33) The introduction of the main character and the presentation of internal and external conflicts.

Advice on Writing Process (00:33:05) Flexibility in mindset and recognizing when to take lateral steps in the writing process.

Leaping Hound Travel (00:37:13) Starting a travel company during the pandemic, focusing on niche topics and small group tours in Europe and Mexico.

Lake Bled Writing Retreat 2025 (00:41:09) Announcement of a writing retreat and vacation in Lake Bled, Slovenia, with details about the location and activities.

Enchanted Summer (00:44:44) Discussion about the magical and inspiring environment of Lake Bled, Slovenia, and the benefits of stepping away to focus on writing.

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