A New Resource for the Aspiring Crime Writer: The Manuscript Academy

Aspiring Crime Writer

I just discovered a wonderful resource for the aspiring crime writer: The Manuscript Academy. Home – The Manuscript Academy

What is The Manuscript Academy?

Enter literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer and conference organizer and media professional Julie Kingsley, and Manuscript Wish List®. Together they came up with this brainchild, an online resource to support aspiring writers.

What does The Manuscript Academy Do?

They offer classes on craft and the publishing business: Library of Classes – The Manuscript Academy

You can schedule consultations with agents, editors and TV/film experts to review your query, pages, proposals live: E-Consultations – The Manuscript Academy or written: Insightful, Specific Notes, Delivered Direct to You – The Manuscript Academy

There’s even a podcast! The subjects are too varied to summarize. Check it out: The Manuscript Academy Podcast – The Manuscript Academy

What does The Manuscript Academy Cost?

You can choose to become a member, which will give you priority in scheduling consultations and a break in the consultation fee, but you don’t have to. The podcasts are free. For more about membership, see: Join The Manuscript Academy – The Manuscript Academy.

As a crime writer, this is what I got out of MSA:

I scheduled consultations with three different agents with experience and interest in representing crime writers. Each gave me thoughtful responses to my query letter and pages, and I was impressed with how much effort they put into it. I made changes to both my query and opening pages based upon their comments.

I’d recommend that before you go to the expense and effort of scheduling a consultation, check out the agents first. If you’re writing dark thrillers, you don’t want an agent interested in cozy or vice versa.

All in all, I’m sure I will swing back around to MSA before I send out a zillion queries on the next book because as we all know, a flat hook could be enough to turn off an agent. MSA is a great resource for those of you getting ready to pitch.


Keenan Powell


Keenan Powell is the Agatha, Lefty, and Silver Falchion nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series, Deadly Solution, Hemlock Needle, Hell and High Water.

While still in high school, she was one of the illustrators of the original Dungeons and Dragons. Art seemed an impractical pursuit – not an heiress, wouldn’t marry well, hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found oil painting, studying the Irish language, or hanging out with her friends at mystery conventions.

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