March/April 2014 Issue
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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
And now, for your Friday moment of writerly Zen, a curiosity found in the June 1922 issue of Writer’s Digest: “I have always adored detective stories; I have always thought they must … Read more
On this day in 1873, writer and politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton died. One thing he left behind: The first line from his novel Paul Clifford: “It was a dark and stormy night …” … Read more
It’s been 4 years since I featured an interview with literary agent Jessica Regel on this blog, so I thought now was as good a time as ever to touch base with her and ask what’s subjects and genres she’s seeking right this very minute. Seeing as how she is currently seeking new clients, she was happy to talk with us. Jessica is a literary agent at Jean V. Naggar Literary in New York City. Read what kinds of books she seeks on the full GLA page! Read more
Welcome to the 13th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a 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 is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing either a science fiction novel (adults or teens) or any kind of young adult novel, this 13th contest is for you! (The contest is live through January 31, 2013.) Read more
For this week, write a measured poem. I’ll let y’all decide what that means. Possibly the poem takes physical measurements or measures one person vs. another. Perhaps it is measured in syllables … Read more
1) You can’t do too much research. In the military, we often say time spent gathering intelligence is seldom wasted. The same concept applies in writing a novel. You never know what little detail will give a scene the ring of authenticity. In a college creative writing class, I wrote about how a scuba diver got cut underwater, and in the filtered light at depth, the blood appeared green. Though the professor didn’t think much of that particular story, he did concede he liked that detail. In fact, he said, “The author must have seen that.” And indeed, I had. Read more
I first met Bart years ago on MySpace–a fellow poet, a fellow buckeye–and immediately fell in love with his unique style of poeming. In fact, I chose him as my referral poet … Read more
She is seeking: Her first love is YA– from High Fantasy to Paranormal to to soft Sci-Fi to Contemporary– she loves all young adult. She also likes high concept, adventure themed, and funny MG, but a strong voice is MUST for her in MG. She’s willing to look at Picture Books, but is very selective.
For adult fiction, she prefers stories that are a romance at heart– Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Historical are all genres she’s been known to enjoy. Anything with theatrical or artistic or interesting historical elements will probably catch her eye, too. Read more
3. Your agent works for you. True. Your agent is your employee. She offers you a service—selling your writing to editors—in exchange for a fee. I highlight this because many writers, especially young writers, get this relationship backwards; they feel that the agent is the employer and they are the ones looking for a job. No, you’re hoping to hire someone. That said, notice that in the second paragraph of this post I wrote that my agent and I have been “working together ever since.” While it’s true that my agent works for me, it’s truer to say that we work together for both of us. We have the same goal—to launch my stories and novels into the world, to see them published with care and enthusiasm, and to help my books find their largest audiences possible. I trust her opinion—she knows the publishing world much better than I do—but she also trusts mine. She makes no decisions without me, and I make none—other than those related to the writing itself—without her. It’s a partnership. Read more
They say, “Good writing is rewriting.” It’s true that your first draft is just that: your first draft. After the words are down on paper, you must begin the important process of honing, revising, and rewriting your work to eliminate weak writing and make your prose come to life. Rewriting is a process of polishing your words and eliminating all needless elements that can slow a manuscript down. Most work gets rejected simply because the novel/memoir is not where it needs to be in terms of quality. The writer just needed more revision and guidance! It’s with this important fact in mind that we’ve enlisted talented literary agent Michelle Brower of super-agency Folio Literary to teach a new 90-minute webinar called “The Art of Revision: Perfecting Your Book For Submission” on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. Every attendee of the webinar gets a personalized critique of their work. Read more
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Trevor Shane.
1. Query in tiers. My most practical advice is to query in tiers. Everyone (myself included) will tell you to be careful to choose the right agent for your work. The problem is, when you’re trying to get your first book published, it’s really hard to turn down any agent who wants to represent you. The simplest solution is to query in tiers. Identify your top five dream agents. Send your initial queries to them and then wait (the waiting, as they say, is the hardest part). Only move on to tier two when you’ve exhausted tier one. Then rinse and repeat. Read more
The most common mistake writers make happens long before they ever set pen to paper. Author, instructor, and story expert Lisa Cron will unravel exactly what the brain is hungry for in her all new webinar, “Create an Engaging Premise in 4 Steps and Deliver the Story a Reader’s Brain Craves.” It happens at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 27, 2013. (Keep in mind you do not have to make the live event to get all elements of a webinar.)
Lisa will walk you through the four steps necessary to create a premise that delivers these much-craved-for elements. You’ll learn how to properly frame the “what if” that sparks every premise, how to zero in on exactly who your protagonist is, how to find an opening that instantly makes the clock start ticking, and how to unearth your protagonist’s internal struggle (which the plot will then put to the test). Stop writing blind. There’s no reason to spend months (or years) rooting around in your plot, hoping to find a story. Arm yourself with a little brain science, and a lot of story know-how. Go into your next novel more confident, in control, and inspired! Read more
This interview features Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency. She came to the agency from Children’s Book Marketing, where she worked for over 15 years, most recently as the Marketing Director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and previous to that as the Library Marketing Director at Penguin Young Readers.
She is seeking: Susan represents authors who write for children of all ages: babies to teenage. She is seeking young adult, middle grade books, and picture books nonfiction and fiction (especially literary fiction). Within the realm of kid’s stories, she likes fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, and mystery. Read more
Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the … Read more
Before we get into the prompt, I just want to share my big news: My debut full-length poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems, is going to be published by Press 53! Click … Read more
It’s said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as half full. But for those of … Read more
“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Cecy Robson, author of SEALED WITH A CURSE: A WEIRD GIRLS NOVEL. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. Read more
Margaret is seeking: adult fiction only. Specifically, she seeks romance, science fiction, thrillers, action/adventure, historical fiction, Western, fantasy (think Song of Fire and Ice or Dark Tower, NOT Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia). Please do not query with YA, MG, or children’s books. Also, Margaret does not seek steampunk, Christian/religious literature, chick lit, poetry, screenplays. Read more
Please welcome Erica Wright to the Poetic Asides blog. In addition to being a new resident of Atlanta, Erica is the author of Instructions for Killing the Jackal (Black Lawrence Press) and … Read more
2. Pay it forward. I was lucky. When I decided to try my hand (no pun intended. No, really) at writing, one member of my newly-formed critique group had done a favor for another writing friend, now hugely popular, famous, and very, very kind. My own friend passed along my first manuscript to her, and I am eternally grateful. Whenever possible, share all the goodness others have bestowed upon you.
GIVEAWAY: Kami 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: Elizabeth Garner won.) Read more
How to Get Your Memoir Published: Agent Regina Brooks Teaches a Webinar on Jan. 10, 2013 (With a Query Critique!)
Writing a memoir or your life story? Get it published in 2013! Instructor Regina Brooks is a literary agent as well as the author of You Should Really Write A Book: How To Write, Sell And Market Your Memoir. On Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, she is teaching a brand-new webinar called “How to Write, Market & Sell Your Memoir.” It’s an intensive all about memoir writing and publishing, and comes with an individualized query critique (from Regina) for every attendee. Read more
YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market — Dec. 5 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Kathleen Ortiz
It’s no secret that the YA is a competitive market and saturated with several of the same genres. You have this great idea that no one else has thought of and then POOF: you see a listing for a similar project sold. Should you keep writing? Should you even bother to query it? Is it really even considered a YA book? What’s this ‘crossover’ thing people keep talking about?
Literary agent Kathleen Ortiz shares her ideas on what agents are looking for in the YA market and explains how to determine if you should keep writing (hint: writing is never something to stop). This live webinar will explain the differences between MG, YA, new adult and crossover, and how to determine which one your book is considered. Examples of each will be shared. Then she’ll review how to take your idea and create a pitch that is so incredibly compelling, an agent won’t be able to help but to read the pages. This new webinar — “YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market” – takes place at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. Don’t forget that at least 4 agents have signed clients after seeing their work as part of a WD boot camp or webinar. Read more