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Writing Editor Blogs

Guide to Literary Agents Blog
by Chuck Sambuchino

GLA Editor Chuck Sambuchino keeps track of all news related to literary agents and writing conferences on his blog. Common features include agent interviews, new agency listings, agency profiles, upcoming conferences of interest, contests and other publishing opportunities, valuable writing resources, submission tips and information, and a blogroll of other agent blogs. Read Chuck’s Blog


There Are No Rules
by the editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success. Read There Are No Rules


Questions & Quandaries
by Brian Klems

Don’t know the difference between “who” and “whom”? Facing an ethical dilemma about accepting gifts from subjects? Let the informative (and humorous) columnist Brian A. Klems answer some of your most pressing grammatical, ethical, business and writing-related questions. Check out his advice and don’t hesitate to ask a question—your writing career will thank you. Read Brian’s Blog


Poetic Asides
by Robert Brewer

Published poet Robert Lee Brewer blogs on issues affecting poets from the poet’s perspective. As the editor of Writer’s Market, Brewer also shares insights on the publishing industry, especially as it relates to poetry and the poetry markets. He also explains poetic forms, interviews other published poets, and provides the occasional poetry prompt. Read Robert’s Blog


Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 285

Robert Lee Brewer

For today’s prompt, write a foundation poem. This could be a poem that reinforces a solid foundation of morals and high ideals. Or it could be about a foundation in the organizational … Read more

The 2015 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market Is Out — Here Are 8 Reasons to Buy It (and Naturally I’m Giving Away Books!)

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The 2015 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is out and available in major bookstores! What better way to celebrate its release than a giveaway contest? The CWIM a great resource guide for writers of picture books and novels for kids (young adult, middle grade) as well as illustrators. The new 2015 edition of the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is updated and packed with info. Now in its 27th year, the newest edition still provides great market and submission/contact information for book publishers, art reps, international publishers, literary agents, contests, magazines, conferences and more.

THE GIVEAWAY!!! Comment on this post and just say anything nice about any element of Writer’s Digest you enjoy — from a blog post to a class or a book or anything else. In two weeks, I will pick 3 winners randomly to win a copy of the book! It’s that easy. Read more

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Gogyohka

Robert Lee Brewer

You knew it was coming: another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the concise (but liberated) gogyohka this time around. Click here to read the guidelines … Read more

3 Ways to Increase Your Daily Word Count While Away From Your Computer

While I’ll be cheering on NaNoWriMo participants from the sidelines this year rather than joining the race, I am forever looking for ways to expand my own daily word count—not just in … Read more

“Plot Perfect” Agent One-on-One Boot Camp Starts Oct 24 — Let Agent Paula Munier Help Construct & Critique Your Plot

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Whether you’re writing a novel, short story, memoir, stage play, or screenplay, this boot camp will show you how to craft a great narrative scene-by-scene. It’s a hands-on event that provides personalized feedback on your story structure and plot.

The agents of Talcott Notch Literary Services share the secrets of creating a story structure that works – no matter what your genre – in this entertaining and informative online event. It’s all part of the 2014 “Plot Perfect” Agent One-on-One Boot Camp starting Oct. 24. In addition to the tutelage and instruction, every attendee gets a critique of their plot framework from the agent instructors. Seats for the event are limited, and WD boot camps frequently sell out, so consider signing up sooner rather than later.

Following are the details of what happens during the event… Read more

Gogyohka: Poetic Form

Robert Lee Brewer

If only a poetic form existed that could be both concise and free. Oh wait a second, there’s gogyohka! Gogyohka was a form developed by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally … Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Alec Shane of Writers House

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He is seeking: Alec is now aggressively building his own list. On the nonfiction side, Alec would love to see humor, biography, history (particularly military history), true crime, “guy” reads, and all things sports. “What I’m looking for in fiction: mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, and books geared toward young male readers (both YA and MG). What I’m not looking for: Romance (paranormal or otherwise), straight sci-fi, high fantasy, picture books, self-help, women’s fiction, food, travel memoir.” Read more

Writer’s Digest Retreat on the Water: Nov. 13-16, 2014 in Florida

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Escape with your writing for the weekend! The Writer’s Digest Retreat on the Water (Nov. 13-16 in Celebration, FL) is your chance to escape the demands of everyday life and immerse yourself in your craft for a few purposeful and peaceful days. Enrollment at this Retreat is limited—you’ll enjoy the close mentorship of the instructors and the attention to your individual manuscript that only an event this small and exclusive can provide.

At the retreat, your work will be read, discussed, revised and reexamined with the goal of prepping it for review (and consideration) by industry professionals. Whether your goal is to secure the attention of an agent or editor, or simply entice a reader looking for a great book, the Retreat will help to make sure that your initial pages and plot are as compelling and lovingly crafted as possible. You’ll also learn how to pitch your work and have an opportunity to practice with the group! The Retreat provides you with a relaxing environment in which to write for long periods of time without interruption or distraction. You’ll also participate in numerous sessions and critique groups where you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of your writing peers. Read more

How I Got My Literary Agent: Rebecca Brooks

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Rebecca Brooks, author of the erotic romance, ABOVE ALL. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Rebecca’s agent is Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger.

GIVEAWAY: Rebecca is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. Read more

WordWise Media Services Seeks a New Literary Agent on Staff

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In the past, I’ve personally had the opportunity to meet a nice agent based on the west coast named Steven Hutson of WordWise Media Services. You can see his agency website here. Recently, Steven came to me and asked me to put out an alert for him because he wants to make his agency bigger. Here is his exact announcement about how WordWise is seeking a new agent:

“West Coast literary agency seeks an associate agent in New York or Nashville. Or in the alternative, a specialist to handle mystery, children, romance, etc. This is a perfect opportunity for a well-connected retired (or downsized) editor, or agency administrator. We bring you leads and send you to writers’ conferences…” (More after the jump.) Read more

15 Oscar Wilde Quotes About Reading, Writing and Books

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Poet, playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde was born October 16, 1854 in Dublin. While his most famous works, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest, live on, Wilde … Read more

When Do You Officially Consider Yourself a Writer?

At the opening session of the recent Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, bestselling author Dani Shapiro, led off her keynote address with what seemed to be a very simple question: “How … Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 284

Robert Lee Brewer

Before we get into today’s prompt, two things: I need to get a hold of Alana Sherman and Cameron Steele for their bios in the Poem Your Heart Out anthology/prompt/workbook. If you … Read more

10 Tips for Fiction Writers from the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

The 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, now in its 34th year, is hot off the presses, and today I’m sharing ten pieces of advice from the contributors to this year’s edition. NSSWM features articles on fiction craft, getting published, and marketing and promotion, as well as more than 400 pages of listings for novel and short story writers, including literary agents, book publishers, magazines, and contests that are interested in your work. This year’s edition also features access to an exclusive webinar from best-selling author Cheryl St.John, on exploring emotional high points in fiction. Read more

Tips and Inspiration to Write a Book in a Month

One of the things I love about working at Writer’s Digest is the excitement each time a new issue hits newsstands. And it’s especially true with the November/December 2014 Writer’s Digest–because this … Read more

3 Tips For a Better First Revision

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The first revision is probably the most important factor in sculpting your novel. One of my favorite quotes to express this idea is by Shannon Hale who wrote: “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” The first revision is the building of those sand castles. There are numerous tips to a successful rewrite, but I’ve found three that I’ve put at the top of my list to make my novel better.

Conflict check: On my rewrite, I first do a conflict check. Kurt Vonnegut once wrote that every character in a scene should want something, even if it’s only a drink of water. On my first draft, I will usually focus on the main plot point of the scene. In doing so, I miss opportunities to add tension, great and small, to a chapter. On the rewrite, I ask myself: what does every character in that scene want, and what obstacles are standing in his or her way. Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Cassie Hanjian of Waxman Leavell Literary

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Cassie is seeking: page-turning New Adult novels, plot-driven commercial and upmarket women’s fiction, historical fiction, psychological suspense, cozy mysteries and contemporary romance. In nonfiction, she’s looking for projects in the categories of parenting, mind/body/spirit, inspirational memoir, narrative nonfiction focusing on food-related topics and a limited number of accessible cookbooks. Cassie does not accept submissions in the following categories: science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children’s, literary fiction, poetry, and screenplays. Read more

To Text or Not to Text: How Much Should Technology Show Up in Fiction?

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It’s obvious that technology in the last ten years or so has changed our daily lives to an extreme. Cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, texting…on and on the list goes, and it’s growing every day. The way we communicate has been utterly transformed. Face-to-face interactions have decreased, while gadget-to-gadget interactions have increased. What does all this mean for the writer? Especially regarding our characters, and the way they communicate with each other inside our stories?

First, I think writers have to learn to walk the tightrope of not letting technology interfere too greatly with characters or plot, while at the same time being realistic with it. For instance, it would be unthinkable not to have a single mention of a character using a cell phone in a contemporary story. But how much technology is too much? Two main points worth considering, when it comes to characters and technology… Read more

Literary Agent Spotlight: Tina Schwartz of The Purcell Agency

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Tina is seeking: Chapter books (all kinds except fantasy); Middle Grade (contemporary/realistic, sports, mystery, humor, multicultural, issue driven [no fantasy]); Young Adult (edgy, issues, contemporary/realistic, light romance, sports, mystery [no fantasy]). Tina is also seeking nonfiction Chapter books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult – all topics. She is not seeking: Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Paranormal or Picture Books submissions at this time. 
 Read more

Conference Spotlight: The 2014 Arizona Writing Conference (Nov. 21-22)

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If you read my blog, you know I am constantly traveling to be part of awesome writers’ conferences across the country. On that note, I am very exciting to be a part of the 2014 Arizona Writing Conferences — two full-day “How to Get Published” conference events in Arizona coordinated by the SSA (Society of Southwestern Authors). On Friday, Nov. 21, there is an all-day event in Phoenix; and on Saturday, Nov. 22, there is a separate all-day event in Tucson. (The one-day schedules are both the same.)

These writing events are a chance to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch an agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. There is even a “Writers’ Got Talent” event in the middle where registrants bring their first pages and get them read aloud. Faculty (literary agents) give their thoughts on what was working or not working with the writing. Read more

Writing New Adult Fiction Blog Tour

From Sylvia Day’s Bared to You to Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster, new adult fiction has arrived—and it’s hotter than ever. But there’s more to this category than its 18- to 26-year-old characters: … Read more

Tips on World Building for Writers — How to Make Your Imaginary World Real

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There isn’t a certified qualification or course on world-building (well, not in my neighborhood), but every story requires it. Whether your tale is set in a real place or an imagined one, you need to establish your characters’ world so that the reader can suspend disbelief and fully engage with their story.

Of course, the more differences to our own world you introduce, the more you need to focus on getting those details absolutely right – but you need to do it in such a way that they almost fade into the background so the reader is instead focusing on the characters and the story. You don’t need to explicitly create and explain all aspects of your world in the first couple of chapters. Without some story developing in these chapters your reader may not persevere further into the book. Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 283

Robert Lee Brewer

For this week’s prompt, write a natural poem. Some poems just come more naturally than others, and maybe you’re already furiously scribbling. However, here are a few ideas for everyone else: write … Read more

“No, Thank You” — On Rejection & Writing

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The most commonly acknowledged form of rejection for a writer is the rejection of one’s work by a publishing house. After spending months, if not years, shaping a story, you submit it hoping for acceptance and publication. Sadly, this is the exception, not the rule. The average writer is more likely to have a story rejected—often multiple times—rather than published immediately.

It’s important to note that this does not immediately translate to fault on the writer’s part. The acquisition process is subjective. A writer is at the mercy of the preferences of the editor and the publisher’s existing catalog. In other words, it may be that the story isn’t right for that publisher, not that the story isn’t worthy of publication. Hand-in-hand with this is the preference of the acquiring editor. As much as we all want to believe we are 100 percent objective, this isn’t so. Bias always exists and your story may not resonate with the editor leading them to reject it. Read more

“How to Pre-Plot & Complete a Novel or Memoir in a Month” — Oct. 9 Webinar (With E-Book Download) All About Writing a Successful Fast Draft

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Are you a writer who prefers to pre-plot? Or, do you simply like to jump in and begin writing without much pre-planning? Perhaps you’re just starting out and don’t know your plotting preference? Whatever kind of writer you are, you’re much more likely to finish a fast and amazing draft if you have a basic grasp of the dramatic action plot and the character emotional development plot of your stories before you begin writing. You’ll also find that if you do more pre-plotting upfront, you’ll have fewer rewrites later.

“Plot Whisperer” Martha Alderson works with writers from all over the world. She’ll share with you a simple, visual technique to help you pre-plot your story quickly in her new Oct. 9, 2014 webinar, “How to Pre-Plot & Complete a Novel or Memoir in a Month: The Benefits of Writing a Fast Draft from Beginning.” It all happens at 1 p.m. this Thursday.

You’ll also receive a template (and a free download of Martha’s plotting e-book) to help you organize your time in the actual writing phase. We guarantee you’ll finish a fast draft of your story in a month. Once you assemble the plot items on her checklist, you’ll be ready to begin your one-month writing challenge. Read more

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