You’ve Got the First Word and the Last Word: How to Make the Beginning and the End of Your Book Count

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There is power in an opening line (or an opening scene). It is the parting of a curtain, that first glimpse of the world that lies within a book. It can inform, deceive, entice, and so much more. But we shouldn’t dismiss the ending, either. That’s the drop of the curtain, and it doesn’t necessarily offer closure. Sure, it can reaffirm what we’ve read. Or offer a satisfying finality to the story. But it can also reinvent and send us careening back to the beginning. A group of editors and agents discusses literary beginnings and endings and how they work with authors to make the most of these key parts of a story.

Panelists: Stacey Barney, Executive Editor, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; Nicole Counts, Associate Editor, One World; Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Agent, Union Literary; Vivian Lee, Editor, Little A; Tiffany Liao, Editor, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Moderator: Matthew Daddona, Editor, Dey Street