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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


2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Robert Lee Brewer

Wow! Is it really time for another poem-a-day challenge? Feels like we just finished up April. Well, all I’ve got to say is…bring it on! Let’s poem! For today’s prompt, write a … Read more

How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction — Nov. 10 Boot Camp (w/Critiques) Taught by Fuse Literary

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There has never been a better time to be a Sci-Fi / Fantasy author. With television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and Outlander each in turn becoming massive pop culture phenomena, and Marvel’s superhero films dominating the box office, SF/F has gone mainstream like never before. The SF/F literary marketplace has also become more open to a variety of stories and points of view.

The SF/F agents of Fuse Literary (formerly Foreword Literary) will help you perfect your new Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Horror masterpiece in this online boot camp titled “How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction.” It starts on Nov. 10, and all registrants will get individualized agent critiques as well as have the chance to ask the agent instructors any questions they wish. Read more

You’re Not Alone: NaNoWriMo Experts Share Their Stories & Experiences

We are only hours away from the month of November, which means many writers will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Whether you’re a veteran or a rookie at NaNoWriMo, tackling … Read more

How I Got My Literary Agent: Susan Blumberg-Kason

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Susan Blumberg-Kason, author of the memoir GOOD CHINESE WIFE. 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.

Susan’s agent is Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. Read more

Cats, Wives and Videotape: Survey Reveals What Really Distracts NaNoWriMo Participants

"Gray tabby Lucy" by Andrei P on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreipapaz/)

BY WILL LITTLE The starting gun is set to go off for the race to 50,000 words. At an average of 1,667 words a day, NaNoWriMo participants don’t have time to waste if … Read more

How to Choose the Right Age Category for Your KidLit Work-in-Progress

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1. Don’t forget your overarching concept. My MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, is about a young girl who becomes a folk artist; with her grandfather’s help, they turn their home into a folk art environment. My initial idea was to write a picture book—the illustrations, I imagined, would grow increasingly wilder as the property became covered in sculptures and whirligigs. Consistently, though, early editorial response was that the concept of folk art was just too advanced for the picture book readership—teaching me not to get so caught up in ideas external to the text that I lose sight of the main concept that the book is built around.

GIVEAWAY: Holly is excited to give away a free copy of either one of her two most recent novels 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

Successful Queries: Agent Kate Testerman and “Steering Toward Normal”

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This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked.

The 70th installment in this series is with agent Kate Testerman (KT Literary) for Rebecca Petruck’s middle grade novel, STEERING TOWARD NOVEL (Abrams/Amulet, May 13, 2014). The book was chosen as a American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce New Voices selection as well as a Spring 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List selection. It was among Vanity Fair’s Hollywood’s “10 Books We’d Like to See Made Into Films.” Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 286

Robert Lee Brewer

This will be our final Wednesday Poetry Prompt until December. Beginning on Saturday, the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge will provide a prompt and poem each day of the month. Click here … Read more

4 Ways to Write a Killer Plot Twist

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When I started reading Gone Girl, I’ll admit I had high expectations. “It’s incredible,” one friend told me after recommending it and praising it profusely. “You just won’t even believe what happens … Read more

What Halloween Can Teach Us About Character Development

This is the first year my 3-year-old has really gotten Halloween, so we’ve spent October seeking out any excuse for him to wear his costume and spend the day yelling “Boo!” As … Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Monika Woods of InkWell Management

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Monika is seeking: Her interests include literary and commercial fiction, memoir, and compelling non-fiction in food, popular culture, science, and current affairs. Some of her dream projects include historical fiction about feminists, the Roma, and Maxim Lieber, darkly suspenseful stories (both true and made-up) with unreliable narrators, anything about Poland and its history, nonfiction that is creatively critical, and above all, novels written in a singular voice. Read more

Use Word Choice to Set the Mood

No matter what the genre, a good writer needs to set the mood for readers. Whether it’s a creaky old house or the tense moments leading up to a final confrontation, atmosphere … Read more

Make Your Children’s Book Shine and Stand Out Above the Rest — Oct. 30 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Danielle Smith

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You’re sending your children’s book manuscript off for its very first round of submissions, but you hesitate. Everyone questions their work and often wonder if it’s “finished.” After dozens and possibly hundreds of revisions when do you say enough is enough? When your hard work is ready to put into the hands of an agent, editor, or reader you want it to shine from the first to the last line. So how do you best accomplish this?

In this new live webinar called “Make Your Children’s Book Shine and Stand Out Above the Rest,” instructor and literary agent Danielle Smith (Red Fox Literary) will show you how to put the finishing touches on a manuscript and enable you to feel confident when sending it out to agents & editors. In addition to sharing her own tips and tricks, Danielle will examine pages from recently published picture and chapter books to show you examples of those spots that can often make or break your manuscript in the eyes of readers. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. All attendees get a critique. Read more

How I Got My Literary Agent (Through a Tweet): Jaimie M. Engle

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A tweet by any other name. In January, my best friend mentioned that agents were tweeting about their wish lists. I checked it out and came across an agent who seemed like she could be a match for my Norse-Viking upper MG. I subbed my manuscript, Dreadlands, in February 2013 and received a full request in a few days. I spent the next couple weeks reading every blog interview I could find featuring this agent. I read her agency’s website, cross-referenced her clients with books, and anything else to gather intel on my “future agent.” In early March, I received an email from her asking if I was available to talk by phone later that day. Of course, I was. I waited until finally … she called. Read more

They’re So Good, It’s Scary: 13 Quotes From Horror, Thriller and Suspense Writers

“When I write, I try to think back to what I was afraid of or what was scary to me, and try to put those feelings into books.” Read more

The Art and Craft of Wasting Time in 20 Quotes

CC license Flickr user Earls37a

Writers are notorious procrastinators, and the trend is not limited to hobbyists or young, aspiring authors. We talk a lot about procrastination indirectly—setting personal deadlines, how to schedule writing time around life … Read more

10 Writing Techniques from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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October conjures up images of crackling fires, shivering leaves, the grinning teeth of a jack-o-lantern … and, if you’re a fan of classic horror, that iconic, fanged master of the night, Count … Read more

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

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

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