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Guide to Literary Agents Blogroll
- 2nd Draft Critique Service
Before you send out your work, have it edited by an established pro!
- Agency Gatekeeper
A literary agent shares secrets.
- Agent in the Middle
Agent Lori Perkins blogs and tells all
- Ashley Grayson Agent Blog
From the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency
- Ask the Agent
Literary agent Andy Ross in Oakland runs an agency blog.
- Association of Authors' Representatives
- Barbara Doyen's Articles Page
Agent Barbara Doyen shares her knowledge.
- Barry Goldblatt Literary
A blog from the whole agency.
- BookEnds Agent Blog
Agents from Bookends Literary blog
- Brenda BowenAgent Brenda Bowen's "Bunny Eat Bunny" kids writing blog.
- Cameron McClureCameron, with the Donald Maass Lit Agency, runs her "Book Cannibal" blog.
- Caren Johnson Literary Agency
The official CJLA blog
- Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market Blog
This blog, run by Alice Pope, is a must-read for anyone writing in the juvenile market
- Chip MacGregor's Agent Blog
A Christian agent speaks
- Chuck's conference speaking schedule
See where Chuck will be presenting and when!
- Colleen Lindsay's Agent Blog
A new agent at FinePrint Literary blogs
- DHS Literary Blog
David Hale Smith's "Literary Show and Tell" blog.
- Diana Fox's Agent Blog
A literary agent talks publishing
- Dystel & Goderich Agent Blog
- Eddie Schneider
An agent from JABberwocky Literary blogs.
- Elaine English Literary Agency Blog
A blog from the whole agency.
- F+W Bookstore
Buy Guide to Literary Agents and a bunch of other great WD Books.
- FinePrint Literary Management Blog
A blog from the whole agency.
- Folio Literary Management's Blog
All the agents chime in on this new blog
- Fresh Books Blog
An agency blog.
- Full Circle Literary's Blog
Agents from Full Circle Literary in California blog
- Girl Meets Book
Agent Jamie Brenner of Artists & Artisans blogs.
- Greenhouse Literary Blog
Agent Sarah Davies shares her thoughts and wisdom
- Hartline Literary Blog
A blog from the whole agency.
- Janet Reid
Agent Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary gives her two cents on anything and everything
- Jennifer Jackson's Agent Blog
An agent with the Donald Maass Literary Agency blogs
- Jenny Bent's Blog
From the founder of The Bent Agency.
- Jill Corcoran
A kids agent at the Herman Agency blogs.
- Joshua Bilmes Agent Blog
JABberwocky Literary Agency
- Kathleen Ortiz Agent Blog
Kathleen with Lowenstein Associates
- Kelly Mortimer
Agent Kelly Mortimer's "Perils of Publishing" blog.
- Ken Atchity
The president of AEI, a script and literary management co., blogs.
- Kid Lit
A blog by kids agent Mary Kole of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
- Kimberly Cameron & Associates
A blog from the whole agency.
- Knight Agency Blog
Exactly what it sounds like
- Laurie McLean's Agent Blog
The "Agent Savant" blog
- Lit Soup (Jenny Rappaport's Agent Blog)
An agent at the L. Perkins Agency blogs
- Lucienne Diver's Agent Blog
A blog on "Authorial, Agently and Personal Ramblings."
- Lyons Literary Agent Blog
Agent Jonathan Lyons blogs
- MFA Confidential Blog
This new WD blog features Kate Monahan and all things about getting an MFA
- Michael Larsen's Blog
Agent Michael Larsen of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents blogs about publishing and nonfiction writing.
- Miss Snark
No longer active, but this blog by anonymous agent Miss Snark still has oodles of priceless info in its archives
- Nathan Bransford
A popular blog from an agent at Curtis Brown in San Francisco
- Nephele Tempest's Agent Blog
An agent with the Knight Agency blogs
- Poetic Asides
A poetry blog from the editor of Writer's Market
- Promptly (Prompts Blog)
WD's own blog of writing prompts, run by magazine staffer Zac Petit
- Pub Rants
Kristin Nelson's Agent Blog
- Publishers Marketplace
- Query Shark
Janet Reid's blog where she dissects query letters
- Questions and Quandaries Blog
WD staffer Brian A. Klems answers questions of all kinds
- Rachelle Gardner
A blog by an agent who specializes in Christian Writing
- Romantic Reads
Dorchester editor Leah Hultenschmidt blogs romance.
- Sara Crowe's Blog
An agent from Harvey Klinger blogs.
- Scott Eagan's Agent Blog
The great Greyhaus agent blogs away.
- Script Notes
A WD scriptwriting blog from Chad Gervich, TV producer
- Steve Laube's Agent Blog
A Christian agent and former editor talks the biz.
- Suzie Townsend
A new assistant agent at FinePrint Literary blogs.
- Terry Burns's Blog
An agent with Hartline Literary blogs.
- Terry Whalin's Blog
"The Writing Life," as told by a former editor and agent.
- The Buried Editor
A blog dedicated to juvenile writing (YA, middle grade, picture books) run by an editor at CBAY Books and Blooming Tree Press
- The Gail Ross Literary Agency
The agency blog.
- The Inside Pitch Screenwriting Blog
A Hollywood Executive Talks About Screenwriting
- The New Literary Agents
A few new literary agents share advice.
- The Rejecter (Anonymous Agent)
- The Shatzkin Files
- The Sound and the Furry
WD contributor Nancy Parish talks writing.
- There Are No Rules
Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest Books, talks about publishing trends and has interviews online
- Tracy Marchini
An agent from Curtis Brown, Ltd. blogs
- United States Copyright Office
- Upstart Crow Blog
A blog from the whole agency at Upstart Crow Literary.
- Waxman Literary Agency
A blog from the whole agency.
- Wendy Sherman Associates Blog
Multiple agents blog.
- Writer Beware
A site dedicated to protecting writers from scams of all kinds - including unscrupulous agents
- Writer Unboxed
Primarily devoted to genre fiction, this site features plenty of interviews with industry pros
- Writer's Digest magazine
This big hub has tons of online articles from past issues of WD. Check out the revamped new site!
- Writer's Digest University (Writers Online Workshops)
Online writing courses are taught by WD staffers and contributors
- Writer's Market
This pay site is our online database of listings (magazines, book publishers, agents, and everything else). It has more than 6,000 listings.
A huge writing website and resource writers should check out.
- Wylie Merrick Agency's Blog
- Zack Company Blog
Agent Andrew Zack blogs.
- 2nd Draft Critique Service
Website of the Week
1. Be specific, but don’t vomit information. Saying “my novel is about a mom going through some life challenges” is vague, and remember: Vague = boring. However, be careful not to stuff your letter with so many details of your plot that it’s confusing to decipher what’s going on. Reading your pitch letter out loud can often help you identify these flaws.
2. Avoid the “duh” trap.Don’t bog down your writing by overstating the obvious. For example, “I’m writing this letter to tell you about my fictional novel, which I’d like to send you, and it is called TITLE.” That’s an awkward sentence. Read more
If you have a completed manuscript, you may be tempted to think that’s enough. It’s not. You still need a proposal. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Publishers usually don’t look at nonfiction manuscripts. The proposal itself provides information publishers need in order to make a purchasing decision. Before they even want to read sample chapters, they will review elements such as the author’s platform, how the book fits into the marketplace, and what titles already exist on your topic.
Guest column by literary agent Rachelle Gardner of Wordserve Literary. Read more
1. Know your group, and tailor your critique sessions accordingly. It’s helpful to begin each reading with a quick introduction, in which the writer is given the opportunity to communicate her needs to the group.
2. Ask each member of the group to read her work aloud, rather than simply giving group members copy to read silently. Reading your work aloud helps you check for awkward phrasing, clumsy dialogue, or a plot point that doesn’t ring true. Read more
These days, with my debut middle grade out in the world, people seem to want to know if I’d always wanted to be a writer. And I did. Ever since I can remember, that’s all wanted to do (except for that year in the fourth grade when I wanted to be a child psychologist). But why? What was it about the written word that attracted me, that attracts some people and not others?
Guest column by Michele Corriel, whose lives in Montana, and is a regional advisor for SCBWI. Her debut middle grade novel, Fairview Felines: A Newspaper Mystery (Blooming Tree/Tire Swing Press) Read more
In the writer’s room, my bosses made quick work of my delusions of brilliance with a peremptory “Maybe that’s funny at Harvard.” Under their guidance, I learned the value of observing in silence, listening to those with more experience and most of all, re-writing.
Guest column by Susan Fales-Hill, who began her career writing for several award-winning TV programs, such as “The Cosby Show.” She has freelanced for national publications, and her memoir, Always Wear Joy, was released in 2003. Her first novel, One Flight Up (S&S, 2010), was praised by as “a dazzling narrative of New York’s social diorama with wit, irony and great humor” by Vogue. Read more
Two years ago I began transitioning from my career as a journalist by tapering off my work for The New York Times. I took my debut novel through several edits and began to explore the complicated road to publication. Social Media provided an opportunity to write for others and vastly expand my network of friends and colleagues.
Guest column by Laura Novak. Laura was a television news reporter before writing for The New York Times on business, health and the arts. She is working on the Clari Drake Mystery Series set in Berkeley. Read more
This guest column is by Ricki Schultz, freelance writer and coordinator of The Write-Brained Network.
At the 38th annual Society of Southwestern Authors’ Wrangling with Writing conference in Tuscon, the first morning session was a large “Ask Anything” panel of agents, editors, and an author. Read more
Many struggle with the decision to pursue an MFA. Here are some insider opinions from a guy who teaches in both a traditional and low-residency program.
1. LIFESTYLE Many mistakenly believe that writing is an indulgence. Writing is not an indulgence: You give up other indulgences to write. And the low-residency program trains you for the long run as you learn to balance writing with your career and family life.
Guest column by Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding (Sept. 2010, Graywolf), a story about a father and son hunting trip that goes awry. The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named “Best of the Northwest” for fall/winter 2010 by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Read more
Last month I found myself in a little cafe in Brussels with four artists, discussing an upcoming art exhibition at which I was going to do a reading. One of the artists asked me whether I agreed with the view that once a writer has committed creative ideas fresh from his brain to paper, he should leave them in this raw state. It was on the tip of my tongue to retort that my agent would have a heart attack if I did this! I didn’t say it, however, because I was pretty sure that the artists would be shocked at the suggestion that creative work be polished for the marketplace.
Guest column by Helen Grant, who was born in London. Her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden was shortlisted for both the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Carnegie Medal in the UK. She now lives in Brussels with her family and two cats. Delacorte Press will publish her second novel, The Glass Demon, in 2011. Read more
An anthology offers many authors’ perspectives and styles on the same theme. It is a book of anticipation and readers’ opportunities filled with a variety of choices, colors, meanings and emotions. In one book readers are offered several authors and their work.
Guest column by Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow, founding general manager of WYCC-TV/PBS. She is an author, public speaker, and award-winning educator and broadcaster. Her essays can be found in these upcoming anthologies: This I Believe: On Love(Wiley); Chicken Soup for the Soul Grieving and Recovery (Simon & Schuster); and Thin Threads Anthology – More Real Stories of Life Changing Moments (Kiwi). Read more
So how’s your relationship with your significant other going? The one with your heroine or hero, I mean. In a writer’s life, a main character is a very significant other. Now that my first published novel is about to be released, I realize how much I’ve learned about the writer-main character relationship.
Guest column by Judith Rock, whose historical fiction debut, The Rhetoric of Death (Sept. 2010), received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist.
1. Start at square one.
The world is full of people who know people who know an agent … but you can save yourself a lot of time and disappointment by ignoring them. Because the truth is, no one really knows anyone, and even if they did, it is probably not going to help your chances one bit.
2. Do your homework. Yes, I’m afraid so. Just as there are no shortcuts when it comes to finding an agent, there are no shortcuts when it comes to your manuscript and query letter.
Guest column by Anne Fortier, author of the New York Times bestseller Juliet, a novel about a young woman who discovers that she is descended from Shakespeare’s Juliet. Read more
Upon reflection, I can point to one practical activity that’s been absolutely critical to my work as a children’s author: I spend time in classrooms. Not as a visiting author, but as an observer. I sit in the back, out of the spotlight, and watch.
Guest column by James Preller, who has published a wide variety of books, including three in the past year. Each one included multiple scenes in a school setting: Bystander, set in a middle school; Justin Fisher Declares War!, fifth-grade classroom; and A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade, a picture book. Read more
Narrative nonfiction is a difficult and crowded market. Here are some thoughts about distinguishing your work from the pack.
1. Arcs: Like a strong novel, make sure the story and the main character have Narrative Arcs—that is each needs to go somewhere. Finding the arc is key or else the story is a jumble of disjointed vignettes that lead nowhere. Evolution of character and movement of the story make a true story as engaging to read as a novel.
2. Inverse Rule for Nonfiction: The less well known the subject/story, the more blow people out of the water amazing the story needs to be. Read more
When I wrote my first novel, The Journal of Mortifying Moments, I didn’t think about genre. I didn’t think about how my book would be marketed, where it would ultimately reside in the book store, or what color the cover would be. I just wanted to tell a story with heart and humor; a story that would be fun to read and fun to write.
Robyn Harding is the author of Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis, (Sept. 2010), a new novel Publishers Weekly called “hilarious.” Read more
Writers talk about the revision process, taking time to go back into their work to reconfigure, tweak or even burn and start again. But why can’t the brain just jump to the polished end in the first place? Why does there have to be a process?
Guest column by Laura Toffler-Corrie, author of The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz (middle grade, Aug. 2010, Roaring Book Press). Read more
I’ve been writing humor for over twenty years. During that time, I’ve received enough rejection slips to wallpaper most of the homes in Papua New Guinea. I’ve also gotten some pretty sweet calls along the way. Like the call I received four years ago. I was at home avoiding writing (aka folding laundry) when the phone rang. I saw the 212 area code on the caller I.D. and screamed, “Everyone be quiet. It’s my agent.”
Guest column by Donna Gephart, author of How to Survive Middle School, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Read more
1. Find A Unique Theme
After two positive experiences of contributing to anthologies about education, I was ready to work on my own. But what voice needed to be heard and hadn’t been heard before? A life-changing experience answered these questions when my son was deployed to war. The seldom-heard voices of mothers sending their sons and daughters to war needed to be heard. This Chorus would narrate their stories telling of the sacrifice our children make every day.
2. Set Goals For Your Anthology
My son made it home, defying death several times. I could breathe again. I wanted this to be a book where military mothers could all breathe a little easier, narrating our stories and sharing our burdens. Read more
One thing many people ask me is: How? How do I become a writer? Well, I’m here to answer that question once and for all. Keep in mind this applies equally well to deciding you’re going to write a short story or deciding you’re going to write a novel. Heck, it even applies to scholarly or work-related writing.
Guest column by Kiersten White, author of Paranormalcy (HarperTeen; Aug. 2010), which recently hit the NYT best seller list. Read more
A travel memoir is a travel writing genre all its own. It is not a guidebook, trip diary or marketing piece for the Sunday paper. Rather, it is a delicate mixture of recollection and reflection that reveals how a journey, or a series of journeys, transformed the writer.
Guest column by Susan Pohlman, author of the travel memoir Halfway to Each Other: How a Year In Italy Brought Our Family Home. Good Housekeeping called the book “a remarkable story.” Read more
It’s the old adage you hear in every writing class, workshop, critique group and probably on some things you’ve had edited, rejected or submitted in your lifetime. “Show, don’t tell,” says the editor or agent or well-meaning crit partner. “You know, this really is an issue of showing versus telling,” says the writing teacher. Well, we all know that showing is good and telling is bad. But do we really know what that means?
Guest column by agent Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary. Read more
1. Connect with other writers at local events—including conferences, workshops, classes, poetry slams, and open mike nights. Let them know you what you liked about their work, and invite them to join.
2. Encourage members of the group to spread the word, and invite them to bring along interested friends to the next meeting.
Molly Anderson-Childers is a writer, artist, creativity consultant, and photographer in Colorado. (In fact, this photo is of her hands!) Her work has appeared locally and nationally in print publication. Read more
The moment you tell people you’re a writer, they ask the inevitable question, “What have you written?” They have no idea the shame involved in answering this type of question though they are, in a sense, asking you to justify the hours you spend each day scribbling your ideas down on paper. And it’s not likely they’re asking you to describe the many unfinished projects you’re tinkering with on your computer. They want to know the titles of your books.
Guest column by Susan Henderson, two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of Up from the Blue (HarperCollins, Sept 21, 2010) Read more
1. Let agents who have your work know if other agents also now have it. If you have requests for partials or fulls of your manuscript within the first 2-3 weeks of submission, that is a great time to nudge the agents who have it: “Barbara, I just wanted to keep you in the loop that the partial/full for my novel Thunder Vampires has now been requested by three other additional agents. Looking forward to hearing from you.”
2. Be patient. If you are not getting quick responses on your submission, NO WORRIES!!! Simply mark your calendar for 8-12 weeks out from the date you e-mailed your submission. Read more