Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

This excellent blog is dedicated to sharing the latest and greatest instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


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New Literary Agent Alert: Shana Kelly of Einstein Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Shana Kelly of Einstein Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.     About Shana: Shana started her publishing career in the literary department of the William Morris Agency, where she worked for ten...

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6 Tips for Reading Like a Writer

I’m willing to offer this generalization: whatever level we’ve attained in our development as readers, we always lag behind that standard as writers. I’ve never met a good writer who wasn’t also a great reader. The more broadly and deeply we read, the more we recognize excellent writing in its endless guises and the more examples...

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38 Query Letter Tips from Literary Agents

(This is Part 2 of a three-part series to kickstart your awesome 2017. Part 1 is a roundup of what to do before you submit, and Part 3 is a list of literary agent pet peeves.) Your first contact with a literary agent is crucial, and the margin for error is slim. Is your...

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Collaborating with your Subconscious

Do you want readers to love your protagonist? Or to be inspired by her? A powerful tool for achieving the strong visceral responses you want is outside your conscious mind, but it’s not out of reach. Everything you write, especially a first draft, is a collaboration with another writer: your subconscious. You can micromanage...

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The Strategic Use of Short Fiction

The new world of self-publishing options calls to mind the golden age of the pulp magazines. During that era, roughly 1920–1950, writers could earn decent money pounding out stories and novellas for a penny a word. Later, the 1950s boom in mass-market paperbacks provided another source of lettuce for the enterprising author. Production and...

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30th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Middle Grade Fiction

UPDATE: Caitie has chosen the 3 winners (no order): Meredith Glickman Sarah Pripas Marie Hoy Welcome to the 30th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Rick Pascocello of Glass Literary

Rick is interested in working with nonfiction authors who bring a unique perspective to memoir, biography, business, history, narrative nonfiction, sports, popular culture, social commentary and other thought-provoking ideas, as well as mainstream and literary fiction writers whose voices ring true on every page.

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18 Ideas for a Successful Book Launch

Whether you publish traditionally or independently, you will want to do as much as possible to help launch your book. Here are 18 things I found helpful in the launch of my debut picture book, A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books): 1-2 Years Out About the time you...

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7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by S.B. Divya

You reap what you sow, and while it's true that we're all competing for market share, there are plenty of readers out there. Give supportive critiques to others. Cheer their successes and commiserate over their rejections. Support projects like anthologies or new magazines by contributing to and promoting their efforts.

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Ditch Microsoft Word for Scrivener. Now.

How many times have you wanted to throw your laptop across the room when Microsoft Word started moving slower than a three-toed sloth with a bad case of vertigo? If you’re like me and your manuscript is over 100,000 words, it probably happens on a fairly regular basis. I’ve had it simply give up...

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7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Jenn Bishop

4. Make time for writing, because promotion can and will take over. My debut book came out in late June and I feel like I’m still recovering from the launch and subsequent promotional activities. It’s a real shift to go from primarily focused on the creation of a thing and then putting that thing...

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5 Easy Steps to Writing a Bestseller

1. Write a good book. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it can be difficult to accomplish. A good book is unique, with compelling characters, voice, and plot. It’s not easy to come up with something original when you’re writing within the confines of a genre like romance, where the tropes are set in stone...

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7 Writing Rules You Can Ignore

When I say you can ignore these rules, I don’t mean that you should. These “truisms” floating around about writing are useful to think about, especially when you’re starting out, and they can point you to weaknesses in your work. In the end, though, you have to trust your own process. Here are seven...

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

7. Patience. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned so far is patience. Patience with myself when nothing seems to go well, patience waiting for feedback from busy friends or professionals (and patience with their comments when they arrive…), patience as publishers consider their response, and patience until that great day when it...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Maximilian Ximenez of L. Perkins Agency

Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is acquiring science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For nonfiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields...