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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


What All Agents Want in a Great Young Adult Novel — June 13 Webinar With Critique by Agent Carlie Webber

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Many writers today are trying their hand nowadays at writing young adult. It’s a popular genre with readers, and that means it’s a very popular genre with aspiring writers. Submissions are plentiful in YA, and teens have a lot of options each year in terms of what to read. So what can you do to ensure that your novel is the one they’ll all be dying to have? And does your book stand a chance at getting you an agent if it doesn’t have wizards, vampires, or a dystopian setting?

Literary agent Carlie Webber will answer these questions and also show how setting, pacing, and tension all work with the voice to create a memorable novel. She’ll also talk about the elements that separate middle grade novels from YA, and YA from adult. It’s all part of “What All Agents Want in a Great Young Adult Novel,” a brand new webinar at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 13, 2013. It lasts 90 minutes. (Don’t forget that at least three agents have signed writers after critiquing their work at a WD webinar!) Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 223

Have fun getting wordy in June!

For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “Entertain (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible … Read more

Debut Author Interview: C.L. Clickard, Author of the Picture Book VICTRICIA MALICIA

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It’s time for another awesome debut author interview — illuminating the pathway of a first-time author who got their book published. Blog interviews like these are designed to show what writers did correct and how their books came to life. Today we meet picture book author C.L. Clickard and her book VICTRICIA MALICIA: BOOK LOVING BUCCANEER (2012, Flashlight Press). Publishers Weekly said of the book, “Rollicking, sea-chantey verse and slapstick humor make this a promising readaloud.” Read more

June 14 Deadline: WD’s Annual Competition Has a $3,000 Grand Prize With a Paid NYC Trip to Meet Agents

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June 14, 2013 is coming up fast — and that date marks the official deadline to enter WD’s 82nd Annual Writing Competition. Your motivation to enter is simple: The grand-prize winner not only gets a nice $3,000 first prize, they also get a trip to New York City to meet with agents and editors. It’s a dream opportunity and an amazing contest with a long and storied past. There are plenty of prizes for other winners, too. But June 14 approaches quickly. Learn more about the categories and prizes below — then enter! Read more

How Do You Find the Time to Write? 6 Tips For Moms (and Everyone Else, Too)

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People ask me – you’ve got a child, a job, a commute, a house to run. How do you fit it all in? Well, to start with, all that stuff about scheduling my day, setting aside proper writing time, settling myself into a solid routine? Forget it.

That’s all shiny and fine if you’ve the time and the space. If you’ve got the job, and the family and the multipack of other fun responsibilities, you know it doesn’t work like that. However good your intentions, it’ll get messed up within three days of that nice chart thing that you’ve pinned to your fridge. That’s just how life works. So:

1. Master the art of snap-writing… Read more

Should I Self-Publish? – Part One

The big dream since childhood—shared by so many fellow writers of all ages—was to walk into a bookstore (perhaps a bookstore that I owned—bonus dream!) and find a novel with my name … Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Sarah E. Younger of Nancy Yost Literary

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Sarah is seeking: She is interested in representing all varieties of romance / women’s fiction: contemporary, historical, Western, sports, regency, inspirational, urban fantasy, paranormal, young adult and any combination thereof. Out of all of those, she’s really love to see a contemporary military romance, a great/quirky historical, or a really awesome inspirational romance. She also enjoys stories with a strong supporting cast of animal characters: horses, dogs, cats. Read more

Literary Agent Interview: Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary, Inc.

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Bridget is seeking: Bridget is looking for middle grade and young adult novels in a range of genres, including fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, romance, and contemporary. However, she’s also keeping an eye out for any book that bends the rules of genre or any books with underrepresented or minority characters. When it comes to adult fiction, Bridget especially wants fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, and literary women’s fiction, as well as informational, literary nonfiction, especially science or history written by experts for a general audience. Read more

Revise Like You Mean It

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There is a fairly common misconception about what >b>revision means. That is, if you are a talented writer, you will write an inspired first draft, which you can perfect by making sentences better, fleshing out characters, checking facts, catching continuity problems, and the like. But real revision – in fiction at least – is a rigorous imposition of the imagination on a piece of writing that is certain to be incomplete, or that is fatally unsure of itself, or has a surety that will be revealed as false if you look closely.

True, there are some brilliant works that have come to the writer as a whole. This is a mystery to writers (and scientists, when it happens to them), and we’re all lucky if it happens once in a lifetime. Best not to count on it. Best to come to an understanding of what revision really entails. Read more

Debut Author Interview: Melanie Crowder, Author of the Middle Grade Novel, PARCHED

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It’s time to meet another debut author whose first book came to life recently. Debut author interviews are great to read because their paths to success are a roadmap for others who want to follow in their footsteps. Today’s interview is with Melanie Crowder, author of the debut 2013 middle grade novel, PARCHED. Melanie Crowder is a ceramist, painter, and sculptor who received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She lives in the foothills of the Rockies. Read more

Write Opening Lines and Chapters That Hook Readers — June 6, 2013 Webinar With Agent Victoria Marini

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In order for someone to keep reading your manuscript, it has to start strong. Gone are the days when a book could “get good on page 44.” Now it’s imperative for writers to hook agents & editors with their chapter 1, page 1 — and even paragraph 1. But this is a tricky endeavor. Which beginnings are overused? Should you start with action? How much description is too much?

These types of questions are why we’ve corralled awesome agent Victoria Marini (Gelfman Schneider Literary) to teach the all-new webinar, “First Impressions: Write Opening Lines, Paragraphs, and Chapters That Keep an Agent’s Interest.” It all goes down at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, June 6, 2013, and lasts 75 minutes. Read more

Live Near Austin, TX? Come to the Agents & Editors Conference (June 21-23, 2013)

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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

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 222

Have fun getting wordy in June!

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

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Jon Steele

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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: Amy Sue Nathan

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“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

New Literary Agent Alert: Berta Treitl of Grosvenor Literary Agency

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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

30 June Writing Assignments

Have fun getting wordy in June!

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

“How I Write a Picture Book” — Author Steve Light Explains His Process

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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

Author Interview: Steve Duno, Author of LAST DOG ON THE HILL

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This dog author interview is with veteran pet behaviorist and author Steve Duno, who has to date authored 19 books and scores of magazine and web articles. He has covered a wide variety of subject matter on both dogs and cats, including basic training, aggression, environmental enrichment, behavior modification, breed profiling, trick training, and pet health care. His list of recent books include The Amazing Dog Trick Kit Book (Chronicle, 2007), Last Dog On The Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou (St. Martin’s, 2010), and Be the Dog: Secrets of the Natural Dog Owner. Read more

Last call! Writing Challenge: Write the Opening Sentence to a Story Based on This Photo

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

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Pamela Sherwood

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1. Know when to let go. We’ve all heard about the hazards of sending your manuscript out too soon, before it’s properly polished, edited, etc. It’s also possible to let your fears paralyze you into not sending it out at all. When you start fiddling with your work just to fiddle with it, dithering over the placement of punctuation marks or what not, it’s time to move on to the next stage, find that agent or publisher you want to query, and hit that “SEND” button!

GIVEAWAY: Pamela 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: KathyTrueman won.) Read more

5 Easy Ways to Publicize and Promote Your Book

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1. Email: Long Live the 20th Century! Nothing did more for my book than an email sent on the day of my book launch, which was October 2nd. On my publication day, I emailed every contact I had in my personal account, names and email addresses I’ve held onto over the last decade. In six hours, my book, for all of one hour, cracked Amazon’s Top 100 in Fiction, clocking in at #81. No, it isn’t a bestseller, but that was pretty exciting for a debut short story collection on a small press. I’m positive that the overwhelming support from all the people whose paths I’ve crossed in the last decade lead to this initial sales success. Even if many of us bemoan being overburdened with email, it’s still the most efficient and direct way to let people know about your book. I only sent one email (I don’t spam people) but it was more than enough to give my book a boost. Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 221

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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

David Carnoy: Read an Interview With the Author of KNIFE MUSIC and THE BIG EXIT

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What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

I was a little bit surprised by how publishers are dealing with e-book pricing. As an “unknown” author, it’s very difficult to sell e-books for over $9.99 (it’s hard even at $9.99). I know a lot about the e-book industry because I cover it as part of my day job. So I’ve been very vocal about offering affordable pricing for the digital versions of my books and to his credit, Peter Mayer, the founder of Overlook and former head of Penguin for many years, has listened to me… Read more

What’s Your Excuse for Not Writing?

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

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