March/April 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting April 17th
- Query in 14 Days
- Fundamentals of Nonfiction
- Essentials of Travel Writing
- Build Your Novel Scene by Scene
- Essentials of Business Writing
- Outlining Your Novel
- Revision and Editing
- How to Blog a Book
Workshops Starting April 24th
- Query in 14 Days
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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
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
The annual Agents & Editors Conference put on by the Writers League of Texas is perhaps the premiere literary conference in Texas. I got the chance to teach there in 2008 and was invited back this year (June 21-23, 2013) to be the keynote speaker. So if you’re interested in attending a conference that is 1) located in a great city, and 2) teeming with literary agents looking for writers, then this event is a great one for you. Read more
For this week’s prompt, write a child’s play poem. All of us were at one point children. Some of us may be lucky enough to still be children. Certainly, we all know … Read more
1. Know the last sentence before you write the first one. Everything I know about the writing craft, I learned from my twenty-four year career as a television news cameraman. I’d get dropped into some far flung corner of planet earth with a deadline looming over my head, and I’d look for two things straight away; a closing shot then an opening shot. Two shots that would frame and define the story I wanted to capture in the camera lens. Once I had those two shots, all I needed to do was fill in the middle bit. Of course filling in the “middle bit” in a manner that was true to the storytelling and worthy of the open and close was often a hard, and sometimes dangerous, slog.
GIVEAWAY: Jon 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: Moscoboy won.) Read more
“How I Got My Agent” (this installment featuring author Amy Sue Nathan) is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to get a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Author Amy Sue Nathan’s women fiction novel, THE GLASS WIVES, was released on May 7, 2013 from St. Martins. Read more
She is seeking: “Berta is selectively building her nonfiction list in these areas: science and technology; current events, law and politics, biography, business and marketing; and art, design, cooking, health, and lifestyle.
“In fiction, she’s interested in historical and high-quality mysteries. Berta focuses on projects that present a counterintuitive or fresh viewpoint and that feature unusual communities, travel and foreign locales, and female main characters.” Read more
Recently, I’ve been sharing writing assignments on the Writer’s Digest twitter account (@WritersDigest) using the hashtag #writerassignments. Since it’s been fairly popular so far, I thought it might be good form to … Read more
The sketchbook is filled with pictures and possibilities of what the story can be. I leave it up to my Editor and Art Director to pick out the things that they think our audience will respond to. Then I start figuring out what is going to happen inside this wonderful 32-page picture book I get to create. Some writing will take place at this point but only of plot points or beats I want to hit in the story. Sometimes a line or a phrasing will appear. Read more
To anyone not currently wandering the halls of Book Expo America in New York, loaded down with so many books you wish you’d brought a wheelbarrow (my favorite part of the event): … Read more
Over the past weekend, I took Friday off work and “unplugged” myself from nearly all my electronics (except my phone, which I barely used) until Monday night. So four days and four … Read more
One of the things I love most about working with writers is that so many of them are unflinchingly generous with their time, words and wisdom. So when I was recently approached … Read more
Please join me in welcoming Deborah Hauser to the Poetic Asides blog. Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide of Feminine Disorders (Finishing Line Press, … Read more
About Amy: Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency began her book publishing career with a brief stint at Harlequin before joining Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, where she worked for over eight years. During her time there edited a diverse list of non-fiction and fiction books, including recent New York Times bestsellers Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber and Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir.
She is seeking: new adult, romance, high quality commercial women’s fiction. Read more
It’s no secret that the query letter is a difficult monster to tame. Plenty of people say that writing a concise, compelling query is not much easier than writing the manuscript itself. Because a query is your all-important first contact with publishing professionals, and because literary agents read the most queries, we’ve secured agent Michelle Brower (Folio Literary) for our next webinar: “The Art of the Query: Winning an Agent From the Very First Page.” It happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, May 30, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. All attendees get their query critiqued by Michelle. She may even request more material if she loves your pitch. Read more
This past weekend, I got the exciting chance to speak in Edmonton, Canada at the Words in 3D Conference. The event — which had a turnout of more than 300 attendees (wow!) — was organized by the Get Publishing Communications Society, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and the Editors’ Association of Canada (Prairie Provinces Branch). The conference was wonderful and I got to meet a lot of great people. It was an unusual and unique chance to get so far north to teach (it got dark there at 10:20 p.m.), and I would recommend the event to any in Alberta or nearby in future years. Read more
2. Write when you’re hot. Practice pays off, but if the daily grind really isn’t your thing, then follow your instincts. Write when you’re ready to pour whole chapters/stories/volumes out onto the page. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has spent his career considering the behaviors and thought processes of creative folks: writers, scientists, comedians, mountain climbers, visual artists, musicians, chess players. The common link? An emphasis on entering an “ecstatic state” while engaged in their chosen art form. With that in mind, while you’re on a hot streak, and can feel yourself engrossed in a project, go with it, and keep on going.
GIVEAWAY: Ariel 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: j4london won.) Read more
Back to Basics After a Lesson Learned. After this lost opportunity, I knew that if I was serious about getting published I had to develop my craft and polish my style. I also learned that it wasn’t easy to catch an editor’s eye. I needed an agent. My goal – the next time any professional sees my writing, it needs to be my absolute best work. I embarked on a journey through four online critique groups, many SCBWI conferences and workshops, online Writers Digest tutorials, this amazing GLA Blog, a Mediabistro advanced novel writing class, many books on writing, and in-person critique sessions with writer friends I met at conferences. Read more
It’s been two months since our last poetic form challenge and the April PAD Challenge is over, so let’s get another one started. This time around, the challenge is to write senryu, … Read more
Linda is seeking: Accessible literary fiction, upscale commercial fiction, vibrant narrative nonfiction, some fantasy, and compelling memoirs. She also accepts middle-grade and YA fiction. Her nonfiction areas include alternative health and parenting books, cookbooks, select memoirs, and the right spiritual/self-actualization book. She does not accept: Bodice-rippers or anything with dead, maimed, or kidnapped children; thrillers; horror; romance or traditional science fiction.. Read more
Agent Katharine Sands Teaches “From Pitch to Page One: How to Get an Agent from the Get-Go” – New May 23 Webinar With Query Critique
Getting a literary agent is no easy feat. It requires crafting a query and pitch to get their attention — without making any “querial killer” mistakes that will get your submission rejected. Cutting through the slush is hard work. That’s why we’re lucky to have agent Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary) to teach “From Pitch to Page One: How to Get an Agent from the Get-Go,” a new webinar on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The webinar starts at 1 p.m., EST, and lasts 90 minutes. Katharine is one of the most in-demand agents at writers conferences nationwide because of her teaching skill. (She authored the book Making the Perfect Pitch.) Read more
Sorry for the late prompt today. Was finishing up some edits on Writer’s Market all morning. For this week’s prompt, write a late poem. I know, I know–how original! But seriously, write … Read more
2. Begin with character. Make her flawed and believable. Let her live and breathe and give her the freedom to surprise you and take the story in unexpected directions. If she’s not surprising you, you can bet she’ll seem flat to your readers. One exercise I always do when I’m getting to know a character is ask her to tell me her secrets. Sit down with a pen and paper and start with, “I never told anybody…” and go from there, writing in the voice of your character.
GIVEAWAY: Jennifer is excited to give away a free copy of her latest 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: Karen Gough won.) Read more