November/December 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting November 1st
- Blogging 101
- Social Media 101
- Writing Children's Picture Books
- Conflict & Suspense Writing
- Write Great Dialogue
- Revision and Editing
- Science Fiction and Fantasy
- Form and Composition
- Turning Personal Stories in to Memoir
- The Art of Storytelling 102: Showing vs. Telling
Workshops Starting November 6th
- Blogging 101
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
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
Do you happen to live anywhere near Lexington, KY or Clarksville, TN? If so, there are some great (and affordable) writing events coming up in June 2013 that feature literary agents in attendance taking pitches. I have the honor of teaching at both events and look forward to meeting writers at both. The first conference is the Clarksville Writers Conference, June 6-7, 2013. The second conference is the Carnegie Center’s “Books in Progress” Conference, June 7-8, 2013. Read more
Emma is seeking: “I am on the lookout for literary and commercial fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, historical fiction, narrative nonfiction, pop culture, memoir, food writing, and YA and MG fiction and nonfiction. I’m open to mostly any project with strong writing, an original premise, and a story that immediately grabs me – and I still think about weeks after I’ve finished reading it. I’m especially drawn to stories that make me cry, laugh, or transport me to a world that’s new to me. So long as the writing is strong, I don’t shy away from dark or quiet stories. I don’t tend to like category or genre fiction.” Read more
2. “The Stalking Test” — Staring at a boy or girl from a distance is fine, every once in a while. Especially if the staring shows something he/she is doing that helps the reader get to know him vs. telling how attractive he/she is. A few mentions of observation/appearance are plenty. If your main character or main love interest spends an unhealthy amount of time observing another person without that person knowing, it’s probably gone a bit overboard.
GIVEAWAY: Kasie 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: Rosi won.) Read more
Consider James Lee Burke. Sure, his novels are everywhere these days. Bookstores. Airports. Bestseller lists. But here’s how they got there. As Lindsey O’Connor detailed in our profile of the author, Burke published … Read more
This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked.
The 61st installment in this series is with agent Sara Megibow (Nelson Literary Agency) for author Mike Martinez’s Fantasy/Steampunk novel THE DAEDALUS INCIDENT (May 7, 2013; Nightshade Books). Read more
Please welcome Karen Rigby to the Poetic Asides blog! Rigby is the author of Chinoiserie (Ahsahta Press, 2012), winner of the 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, and of the chapbooks Savage Machinery and … Read more
1. Know Your Process. Before I even got my agent or my books found a publisher, I had a writing schedule, and set deadlines for each stage of the process. At the time, it felt a little ridiculous, but I’m glad I did this now. I know exactly how fast I can write a first draft, or how long it takes me to do a deep edit. So when my editor asks me to complete a task by a certain time, I know what it’ll take to get me there.
GIVEAWAY: F.T. 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: Linda Hatton won.) Read more
Agent John Cusick Teaches How to Create Great Characters — New May 16 Webinar (With Query Critique!)
Every novel is driven by character. We fall in love with heroines, cheer for heroes, and loathe our villains. Characters draw us in, and through them we experience our favorite stories. Without a compelling cast, even the most engrossing tale can fall flat. What makes some protagonists iconic, while others go up in smoke? How can we create rich motivations without burdensome back-story, or nuanced supporting characters without stealing focus from our protagonists? How can we populate our novels with an unforgettable ensemble our readers will love? The answer involves giving your characters a great blend of relationships, history and motivations.
That’s why we’re excited to have a new webinar taught by literary agent and author John M. Cusick (Greenhouse Literary) called “FULL CAST: How to Enrich and Expand Every Character in Your Novel from the Leading Man to the Background Extras.” The event happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, June 16, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more
For today’s poetry prompt, write an “on the run” (or “on the loose”) poem. Could be a person on the run, or an animal, or even an idea. Here’s my attempt: “stopping … Read more
Perhaps because I’m in the process of revising a novel manuscript myself, the advice in the May/June 2013 Writer’s Digest Guide to Pain-Free Revision really resonated with me as I pieced it … Read more