Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

WEBINAR SERIES: Query Grind 2022

Date(s) - 01/27/2022 - 05/19/2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Query Grind 2022

3-Webinar Series for MG & YA authors

January 27–March 21–May 19, 2022


Join us for one, or all three!

Plus a BONUS editor webinar & submission opportunity

February 24, 2022


Do you have a middle grade or young adult manuscript ready to query? Join us for Query Grind 2022 as three industry professionals take a look at how to strategically query and start working with an agent. Plus a bonus editor webinar on selecting the right comp titles.

A limited number of Query Package critiques are available. See the registration below for more information.

(Presentations will be recorded and the recording link provided to all participants registered prior to the event. See each webinar for registration cutoffs.)



The Equity and Inclusion Team of Eastern PA SCBWI is committed to amplifying marginalized voices. We are offering two full scholarships for our Query Grind series, which includes three agent webinars, one bonus editor webinar (with submission opportunity), and the complete 3-query package critique bundle (a total value of $285) to be awarded to authors who self-identify as a member of a community that is underrepresented in the field of children’s literature. The submissions themselves do not need to reflect experiences within a marginalized community. Our goal, and mission, is to uplift and support the voices of the creators. 


To apply, please email the following with “Query Grind Scholarship” in the subject line to

  • – A brief letter of introduction, explaining why you are applying for the scholarship and a little bit about your creative journey
  • – A 5-page sample from your manuscript


Deadline extended to allow time for more applicants to apply: Sunday, December 12, 2021

Scholarship applicants will be informed of the decision on or before December 20.

In the event that equally qualified applicants apply, priority may be given to Eastern PA SCBWI members. Please note that if no applicants meet the requirements, Eastern PA SCBWI reserves the right not to award the scholarships for this event.

If you have any questions, please email us at



As part of this series, Literary Agent Saba Sulaiman, in collaboration with Eastern PA SCBWI, will be offering four 15-minute Zoom career consultation opportunities with Saba at no charge to writers who belong to marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented in publishing as well.

To apply, please fill out this form:

Deadline to apply is April 15, 2022.

The four recipients will be chosen at random from the pool of applicants. Recipients will be notified by May 1, 2022.


January 27: Things To Know About Literary Agents with Literary Agent Linda Camacho, Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
You’ve written and polished that manuscript, so now what? This webinar will go over next steps in your journey to publication, from how to land one, yes, but most of all, how to actually work with an agent. An agent’s role in your writing career is a big one, but what do they do and not do, exactly?
Linda will be offering a limited number of query-package critiques for this event. See ticket information below to register for this opportunity.
*Registration for the live webinar link closes 5am the morning of the event.

Get to know your instructor:

Linda Camacho graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon and Schuster, Writers House, and Prospect Agency. She’s done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations, and received her MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Now at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, Linda is looking for MG, YA, and adult fiction across all genres (especially upmarket, women’s fiction/romance, and literary horror).


February 24: No Stress Comp Titles – Choosing the Right Comparison Titles for Your Book with Editor Rachel Diebel, Feiwel & Friends
For querying writers, choosing comparison titles can be a daunting task – finding the right titles that both show your project’s place in the market and also demonstrate its uniqueness can feel impossible! As much as we love to hate them, getting the right comp titles is an essential part of positioning your work, from the query letter all the way to publication. This webinar will explore the basic rules for selecting appropriate and effective comp titles and how to use them to position your book in a query letter, as well as giving a “behind the scenes” look into how comparison titles are used on the editorial side of the business.
As a bonus, critique participants only will have an opportunity to submit to Rachel after the third round of critiques are returned in July. To participate in this opportunity, register for a Query Package critique package below.
*Registration for the live webinar link closes 5am the morning of the event.

Get to know your instructor:

Rachel Diebel is an assistant editor at Feiwel & Friends, where she works on celebrity picture books like Natalie Portman’s Fables and Cleo Wade’s What the Road Said for her boss and acquires voicey, heartfelt middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels for herself. She holds a Masters in Publishing from Pace University. Rachel is originally from the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Brooklyn.




March 21: Voice: Level Up! Exploring Commercial vs. Literary Voice with Literary Agent Leslie Zampetti, Dunham Literary

What do agents and editors mean by voice? How do commercial and literary voice differ? How can you develop or improve your authorial voice?

Come explore the multiple levels of voice in this webinar with agent Leslie Zampetti as she shows you how to enhance and optimize your authorial voice. This presentation includes mentor texts, exercises, and tips on distinguishing between various voices and developing your own distinct voice.

Leslie will be offering a limited number of query-package critiques for this event. See ticket information below to register for this opportunity.


*Registration for the live webinar link closes 5am the morning of the event.

Get to know your instructor:

After much experience as a librarian and writer, Leslie Zampetti became a literary agent. Her clients include Ann Clare LeZotte (SHOW ME A SIGN, SET ME FREE [Fall 2021]) and Lisa Rose (THE SINGER AND THE SCIENTIST). Leslie represents picture books through young adult, but middle grade is her sweet spot. At the moment, Leslie is seeking more humor (dry or sweet, not gross), mysteries for all ages, and friendship/sibling/found family stories. Inclusivity and stories by marginalized creators are a priority for her.  @leslie_zampetti

May 19: Tackling (and Surviving!) the Query Trenches with Literary Agent Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary Services


Seeking representation is a daunting process with all sorts of unspoken rules that can sometimes feel arbitrary and frustrating. This presentation will address how best to strategize querying literary agents: the dos, the don’ts, and the don’t worry abouts of composing and sending query letters, along with some suggestions for how to cope with the uncertainty of this phase of your writing career.

Saba will be offering a limited number of query-package critiques for this event. See ticket information below to register for this opportunity.
 *Series registration closes 5am on Thursday, May 19.

Get to know your instructor:

Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. Being an immigrant who is constantly negotiating her own identity and sense of belonging in a place she now calls “home,” she is committed to championing books by writers from marginalized communities with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues in both fiction and non-fiction with veracity and heart.


Query Package critiques: For MG & YA manuscripts only (at an additional cost; submission deadlines detailed below)

Have your Query Package critiqued by all 3 of our faculty–Linda Camacho, Leslie Zampetti and Saba Sulaiman–with time to revise in between submissions. As a bonus, critique participants only will have an opportunity to submit to editor Rachel Diebel after the third round of critiques are returned in July.

Format your work in 12 point font, with one-inch margins. Send…

  • 1-page query letter, single spaced
  • 1-page synopsis, single spaced
  • First 20 pages of a manuscript, double spaced

Include all 3 items–query letter, synopsis & manuscript pages–in the same document; please don’t send more than 1 document.

⇒Please include your name on every page of your work as a header or a footer, as well as identifying information on page one: first & last name, email address, title, genre.

⇒Please SAVE YOUR FILE as Webinar Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT as a PDF or DOC or DOCx.

    Example: Camacho_Strocchia_INVASION OF THE PURPLE CARROTS

⇒Then send your file to Kristen at The subject should read: Webinar Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT (same as saved file name).

Deadlines for Query Package submissions for each webinar as follows:

  • Query Grind part 1 [Thursday, January 27, 2022] submissions due by Monday, January 17. [Returned by @Wednesday, February 23]
  • Query Grind part 2 [Monday, March 21, 2022] submissions due by Monday, March 21. [Returned by @ Wednesday, April 27]
  • Query Grind part 3 [Thursday, May 19, 2022] submissions due by Wednesday, May 25. [Returned by @Friday, July 1]

*Series registration closes 5am on Thursday, May 19. See each webinar above for other registration cutoffs.