OPENING LINES September 2022


This month Natalie Yates brings you the opportunity for feedback on your Opening Lines from Kristin Ostby of Greenhouse Literary Agency. 

OPENING LINES gives you a chance to get some professional feedback so you can fine-tune your submissions. Three entries will be chosen at random for feedback. If yours is selected, it will be published anonymously here in October with Kristin's response.

Kristin Ostby — an introduction

Earlier this year, Chelsea Eberly, the director of Greenhouse Literary Agency, shared her feedback on three lucky SCBWI members' Opening Lines. This month, Greenhouse's literary agent, Kristin Ostby is kind enough to share her expertise.

Kristin represents authors of middle grade and young adult fiction, as well as picture book author/illustrators. She is primarily seeking voicey, character-driven middle-grade as well as literary and contemporary young adult fiction. In particular, she is looking for stories with unabashedly intersectional overtones.

As the daughter of a librarian and a businessperson, it’s really no wonder Kristin wound up in the book business. Kristin moved from Michigan to New York to begin her life in publishing at Penguin Random House and rose to become a senior editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. In her sixteen years as a children’s book editor, Kristin had the joy and pleasure of editing several award winning and best-selling children’s authors and creators. Kristin loves guiding authors and illustrators toward their best work and advocating for them in the service of building successful, sustainable artistic careers.

Kristin lives in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her on Twitter at @kristinostby and discover more about her taste on her Publishers Marketplace page.

How to submit your Opening Lines 

Please email and write OPENING LINES ENTRY in the subject line. Your email needs to contain:

• your full name
• title

• elevator pitch

• first few opening lines – ie the first paragraph or up to the first 100 words only!

Make sure we receive your submission by 2nd October 2022 for your chance to get your lines seen by Kristin. 

We’ll publish the results on 30th October 2022

Remember, OPENING LINES isn’t a competition, so you are free to submit your story elsewhere.



You need to be an un-agented, current SCBWI member, and resident in either the UK or Europe.

To join SCBWI and take advantage of the many opportunities to raise your profile; market your work; meet fellow writers, artists and the gatekeepers to publication, while being supported in the development and pursuit of your craft, please visit

    * Photograph courtesy of Kristin Ostby


If you've received feedback from OPENING LINES, how did it help you? If it led to you finding an agent or a publisher, we'd love to hear your story.


Natalie Yates has been a SCBWI member since 2015. When she is not working as a teaching assistant for a local secondary school, she writes for the YA audience. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.  

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