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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
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
For today’s poetry prompt, write an “on the run” (or “on the loose”) poem. Could be a person on the run, or an animal, or even an idea. Here’s my attempt: “stopping … Read more
Perhaps because I’m in the process of revising a novel manuscript myself, the advice in the May/June 2013 Writer’s Digest Guide to Pain-Free Revision really resonated with me as I pieced it … Read more
1. While you should certainly feel free to include characters of whatever age you choose, make sure there’s at least one teenager. While young adults often read books without teenaged characters (I was partial to Somerset Maugham stories and Solzhenitsyn, to cite a needlessly bizarre example) those generally aren’t considered part of the YA genre.
2. Make things more complex, not less. You may feel an impulse to simplify things in an attempt to make your story more accessible, but I would resist that. Read more
Agent John Cusick Teaches How to Create Great Characters — New May 16 Webinar (With Query Critique!)
Every novel is driven by character. We fall in love with heroines, cheer for heroes, and loathe our villains. Characters draw us in, and through them we experience our favorite stories. Without a compelling cast, even the most engrossing tale can fall flat. What makes some protagonists iconic, while others go up in smoke? How can we create rich motivations without burdensome back-story, or nuanced supporting characters without stealing focus from our protagonists? How can we populate our novels with an unforgettable ensemble our readers will love? The answer involves giving your characters a great blend of relationships, history and motivations.
That’s why we’re excited to have a new webinar taught by literary agent and author John M. Cusick (Greenhouse Literary) called “FULL CAST: How to Enrich and Expand Every Character in Your Novel from the Leading Man to the Background Extras.” The event happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, June 16, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more
Recently I was asked to talk to a group of ‘beginning writers’. Mind you, these people were adults; it’s not like they were in the first grade just learning how to spell … Read more
William is seeking: “In fiction, I’m looking for strong voices that have the authority to draw me into a different world—even if that just means a fresh perspective on the world we live in day to day. I like novels of many different styles—Larry McMurtry, Ann Patchett, Walker Percy, Evelyn Waugh, and Daniel Woodrell are some favorites—but I always appreciate authors who strive for that challenging balance between inspired, inventive prose and a gripping, detailed story. Being a native North Carolinian, I love southern fiction, and would be proud to help keep the tradition going strong. I also have a soft spot for story collections, although the market for them is very tough these days. In nonfiction, I’m interested in literary memoir, popular science, narrative history, and smart sportswriting. I am not interested in practical nonfiction (cookbooks, diet books, how-to), YA, or genre romance/thrillers/fantasy.” Read more
2. Give yourself permission to keep writing. I’ve heard writers say, “If I haven’t sold something within the next two years, I’ll know I should give up.” Or, “If I don’t make money from writing by January, I’ll know I should stop spending so much time trying, because it’s disruptive to other areas of my life.” But by giving the universe an ultimatum, you’re letting external circumstances decide the course of your creative pursuits. Instead, take charge of your own future. Give yourself permission to keep writing despite discouraging feedback or missed timeline targets. Believe you deserve to continue, no matter what happens.
GIVEAWAY: Holly is excited to give away a copy of King Solomon’s Wives: Hunted to a random commenter. (Comment within 2 weeks.) The book is digital — for Kindle, Nook, and Android, and through the Kindle app on iPhone, iPad, PC, and Mac. Read more
Do you happen to live anywhere near Lexington, KY or Clarksville, TN? If so, there are some great (and affordable) writing events coming up in June 2013 that feature literary agents in attendance taking pitches. I have the honor of teaching at both events and look forward to meeting writers at both. The first conference is the Clarksville Writers Conference, June 6-7, 2013. The second conference is the Carnegie Center’s “Books in Progress” Conference, June 7-8, 2013. Read more
Please join me in welcoming S. Thomas Summers to the Poetic Asides blog. Summers is a teacher of Writing and Literature at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, NJ and an adjunct … Read more
Based on interviews with authors over the years, conferences, editing dozens of issues of Writer’s Digest, and my own occasional literary forays and flails, here are some points of consensus and observations: … Read more
5. Don’t stick to that same old familiar novel you’ve been working on for years. Writing a novel is like dating. When I was dating, every time I broke up with a guy, I’d think, “Oh, no. I have to start all over.” We’re afraid if we break up—either a relationship or leaving a book behind to start another–nothing better will come along. For that reason, we cling to what isn’t working. Yes, you love the characters you created. They are so clever and the chemistry or suspense is so strong—but they aren’t real. You’ll find your true love but you must keep learning. That won’t happen in a book you’ve written and rewritten. At some time, you have to move on and find a new love. Read more
For this week’s prompt, write a chapter poem. This could be the first chapter of a book…or last chapter. It could be the chapter of an organization. Or a chapter of your … Read more
“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Tiffany Hawk, author of LOVE ME ANYWAY. 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.
GIVEAWAY: Tiffany 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
This installment features Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC. After graduating from Ithaca College with a BA in English and minors in writing and theater, she completed a six-month internship with Sourcebooks before joining Talcott Notch. She also Tweets.
She is seeking: In fiction, she accepts young adult and middle grade, women’s fiction, romance, paranormal, and mysteries. She also considers nonfiction, with a strong interest in the arts. Read more
It took awhile, but here’s the winner post for the most recent poetic form challenge: the rispetto. I enjoyed reading both versions, though I noticed most poets favored the 8×8 version, including … Read more
She is seeking: “Danielle is currently looking for picture books, early readers and chapter books with characters that embody the true essence of what it means to be a child. She’s not afraid to represent all that this encompasses whether it be vibrant joyous stories to darker and harder to tackle subjects such as bullying, loss and death. She would also love to find a great new MG novel and/or graphic novel author/illustrator with a flair for great humor that doesn’t involve devaluing others in order to be funny. More than anything she would love to represent authors who are passionate about getting children to love reading and are able to execute that in a way that both children and parents can love.” Read more
If you’re struggling with writer’s block, don’t get discouraged. This happens to every great writer at some point, and it’s easy to overcome it. I get stuck many times in the middle of a novel. I lose my muse and don’t feel like writing. I stare at the computer screen and no words come to mind. My head feels stuck, stuck, stuck. It can be frustrating. After twenty years of writing historical thrillers and supernatural horror novels, I’ve learned how to get past writer’s block. Here are seven powerful ways you can get back into the flow of writing… Read more
Learn the Keys to Finding an Agent: May 9 Webinar on Queries, Synopses, Pitching, Copyright and More
Getting a literary agent is a massive step to seeing your writing dreams come to life. An agent can get you a book deal from a major publisher. An agent can help sell your book overseas and to Hollywood. An agent can help guide your career. All that said, finding and signing with an agent is a tricky thing. You’ve got to write a manuscript, compose a query, put together a synopsis, research agents, craft a pitch, consider your platform, and more. It’s all a lot to take in. Where do you start? What’s the best path to take?
These types of questions are why we’ve put together the upcoming May 9 live webinar, “Everything You Need to Know About Getting an Agent: Queries, Synopses, Pitching, Copyright, and More.” It’s actually taught by me (Chuck Sambuchino) and lasts 90 minutes. The session is at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, May 9, 2013 — but you do not need to attend the actual live broadcast to get the recording & extras. And regarding said extras, all attendees will get 1) a downloadable PDF of the book FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT as well as 2) exclusive one-sheet that details the 7 parts of a query letter pitch. Read more
The following is a guest post from bestselling author Brenda Novak. In writing about the keys to penning a hit novel, Novak reveals a valuable point: It often boils down to nailing … Read more
Literary agent J.L. Stermer of N.S. Bienstock asked me to put out a call for some new queries for her. While J.L. represents a wide variety of subjects, she is specifically putting out this active call for queries in the genres of young adult novels as well as adult women’s fiction. (Read: This agent seeks new clients!) If you are have a completed, polished novel in either of those categories, J.L. wants to hear from you. Read more