• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

  • Guide to Literary Agents

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far

Published authors share their best tips and advice on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to be sell more books.

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Carolyn Marsden

Screen shot 2012-06-30 at 2.16.18 PM

1. Participate in other art forms. While writing is indeed an all-consuming, infinite endeavor, it can be helpful to engage in other art forms as well. Any kind of creative enterprise helps keep the flow of creativity vibrant and strong. Plus the guiding principles of all art are basically the same–theme, light and dark, repetition … For me, dance and painting/collage inform my writing and push it in new directions.

GIVEAWAY: Carolyn 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. (Update: Rendon won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Emily Hainsworth, Author of THROUGH TO YOU

10512887

2. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. As in many aspects of life, it helps to have friends working toward similar goals. I didn’t know anyone else who even wrote YA when I started out, but I quickly found supportive friends beginning their publication journeys, just like me. Almost every one of the people I met back then now either has an agent or a book deal. You can boost each other up the rungs of the ladder—you don’t need someone at the top to pull you up. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far: Kami Kinard

Screen Shot 2012-04-23 at 3.25.48 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from kids writer Kami Kinard.

GIVEAWAY: Kami 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. (Update: Ardent Muse won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Eric Griffith

Screen Shot 2012-04-27 at 12.59.41 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Eric Griffith, author of BETA TEST.

GIVEAWAY: Eric is excited to give away a free copy of his 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. (Update: Kimmyjewel won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far: Joanne Brothwell

Screen Shot 2012-04-23 at 4.21.34 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Joanne Brothwell.

GIVEAWAY: Joanne 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. (Update: Simeon won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Megan Bostic

Screen shot 2012-06-30 at 1.32.16 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from young adult writer Megan Bostic.

GIVEAWAY: Megan 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. (UPDATE: SJ Mitchell won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Mike Mullin

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 12.12.16 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Mike Mullin, author of the ASHFALL series.

GIVEAWAY: Mike is excited to give away a free copy of his 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. (UPDATE: LovesKangol won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Leah Bobet

Screen shot 2012-05-19 at 3.20.21 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Leah Bobet, author of ABOVE.

GIVEAWAY: Leah 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. (Update: Zephyrsaerie won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by K.M. Ruiz

Screen shot 2012-05-17 at 11.26.12 PM

1. Be Patient – The whole hurry up and wait aspect of the publishing industry is so very, very true. You will be waiting on agents, while on submission, through the editing process, right up until release day. Sometimes there will be little flurries of action (Cover! Blurbs! Reviews!), but for the most part, keep an eye on the book working its way toward reality and know that when it arrives, you might actually miss the lead up.

GIVEAWAY: K.M. 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. (Update: Lisa won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Suzanne Johnson

Screen Shot 2012-04-25 at 1.04.37 PM

1. Outline, outline, outline. I wrote ROYAL STREET front to back, beginning to end, with a lot of meandering in between. Said meandering bits got hacked through multiple revisions. Meandering wastes time. I learned quickly that if I’m going to hold down a full-time day job and expect to write multiple novels in a year, I have to be a plotter, not a pantser.

GIVEAWAY: Suzanne 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. (Update: annabelle2024 won. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Emmy Laybourne

Screen shot 2012-05-19 at 2.53.30 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Emmy Laybourne, author of MONUMENT 14.

GIVEAWAY: Emmy 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. (Update: Lina won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Steven Raichlen

Screen shot 2012-05-16 at 6.35.24 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Steve Raichlen.

GIVEAWAY: Steven is excited to give away a free copy of his 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. (Update: Carol won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Olivia Newport

Screen shot 2012-05-14 at 10.26.25 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Olivia Newport.

GIVEAWAY: Olivia 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. (Update: Kaylyn won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Melanie Gideon

Screen shot 2012-05-17 at 11.40.03 PM

1. Don’t Google yourself. It can only lead to heartbreak. If you simply must know what’s being said about you and your work in the blogosphere, get a friend or spouse or sibling to do periodic Google searches for you. But, and this is very important, insist they curate. Suggest they say things like “Gosh, I don’t see anything but five star reviews. Okay, maybe a few four stars sprinkled in.” Suggest they don’t say things like “Why does @gogirlcrunchy hate you so much?” Tip: don’t be in the same room when said loved one is doing Google searches. And if you are in the same room, do not, I repeat do not look at the expression on their face as they scan the results.

GIVEAWAY: Melanie 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. (Update: Heather won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Nina Benneton

Screen shot 2012-05-01 at 12.57.44 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from novelist Nina Benneton.

GIVEAWAY: Nina 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. (Update: Jami G. won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Katharine Quinn

Screen Shot 2012-04-27 at 1.36.19 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from historical fiction writer Kate Quinn, author of historical romance novels.

GIVEAWAY: Kate 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. (Update: Tammy Nischan won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Chuck Greaves

Screen shot 2012-04-15 at 12.08.42 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from mystery writer Chuck Greaves.

1. Nobody Knows Anything. It’s an article of faith in Hollywood that nobody knows anything. Which is to say that even the sharpest producers, the most talented directors, and the biggest A-list stars will invariably attach themselves, at some point in their careers, to a real stink-bomb. Or will, conversely, pass on what proves to be a nine-figure box office smash. What I didn’t realize was that the same holds true for publishing. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Kirk Russell

Screen Shot 2012-04-24 at 1.08.32 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from crime writer Kirk Russell.

One of Kirk Russell’s earlier crime novels, SHELL GAMES: A JOHN MARQUEZ CRIME NOVEL, has been selected by Amazon for promotion in its Kindle Daily Deal on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. For one day only, this ebook will be priced at just $1.99. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Miranda Kenneally

Picture 6

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Miranda Kenneally.

1. Writing is still hard. Just because I have an agent and a book deal doesn’t mean that all my writing is supposed to come out perfectly the first time. Writing is still very hard work, no matter who believes in your raw talent. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Samantha Vamos

Screen shot 2011-10-15 at 1.06.54 PM

1. If your manuscript doesn’t sell and you’ve done all the editing you believe you are capable of doing, set the manuscript aside and begin another. My first two books, Before You Were Here, Mi Amor (Viking, 2009, illustrated by Santiago Cohen) and The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred (Charlesbridge, 2011, illustrated by Rafael López) were each written years before they sold to their respective publishing houses.

GIVEAWAY: Samantha is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail with the comment or else we will not be able to contact you; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Colleen won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Heather McCorkle

Picture 2

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Heather McCorkle.

GIVEAWAY: Heather is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail in the comment somewhere or else we will not be able to contact you; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail; international winners will receive an e-book. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Dawn won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Ellen Airgood

Picture 2

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writerEllen Airgood.

1. Smile. A little before the release date, I wrote and asked my cousin Mary, a 26-year bookstore employee, if she had any advice for me about doing store events. “Make eye contact and smile,” she wrote back. I felt a sudden zoom of confidence. I knew I could do that. It was a skill I’d taught myself when I started waiting tables for a living. Her only other comment was, “Some of these authors, you’d think they were born under a rock.” So, note to self: avoid seeming as if born beneath rock. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Sarah Alderson

Screen shot 2011-09-19 at 12.07.37 AM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Sarah Alderson.

1. Trust your instincts. My brother taught me to trust my instincts. Actually my mother tried to drill this into me too when I was a kid, telling me a story about hitchhiking aged 18 in France, which ended with the lesson: Always listen to the voice in your head or you might get killed by a serial killer. But it’s not just relevant for hitchhiking, it’s also important for writing. Listening to your instincts (or some might call it intuition) is probably the best advice I can give. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Suzanne Hayes

Picture 1

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Suzanne Hayes.

Suzanne Hayes is a sociologist by profession. Her essays have been published in Full of Crow magazine’s On the Wing edition, as well as an upcoming publication in the May/June issue of Life Learning Magazine. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Liane Moriarty

Picture 2

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Liane Moriarty.

Liane Moriarty is the author of What Alice Forgot (June 2011, Amy Einhorn/Putnam), the story of a woman who loses 10 years of her memory. Publishers Weekly described it as “moving, well-paced and thoroughly pleasurable,” and Fox 2000 has optioned the film rights. Read more

Page 3 of 712345...Last »