November/December 2013 Issue
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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
He is seeking: “I’m looking for a select few, outstanding projects that grab me and won’t let me go until I place them with a publisher. For fiction, this means a memorable blend of characters, setting, and storyline—delivered with carefully crafted prose. For nonfiction, a unique way of addressing a real need with an authority readers will recognize. And for both, the individual’s desire to grow in the craft of writing and to undertake the required discipline to promote their work for others’ benefit.” Read more
Agent judge Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown has finished judging all the entries for the 12th free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest. The contest was for writers of adult and YA mysteries. Here are her three winners (in no order): A Boat Against the Current by Amy Makechnie, Fingers Crossed by Marie Langager, and Warwick Hall by Kristina Pérez. Read more
Earlier today, I happened upon these striking words from Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk’s 2006 Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is, ‘Why do … Read more
The curse of a vivid imagination is that you can almost always imagine something that would make the situation worse. This is why if there is a sudden lurch on a flight, you can count on me to grip my armrest, mentally picturing the wing suddenly falling off of the plane. Strange noise in the middle of the night? Zombie apocalypse. Hacking cough and sniffle? No doubt the beginning of Ebola. It makes my life anxious, but it’s great for writing fiction. Most fiction suffers from not enough conflict, not too much. With every book and every scene, ask yourself “what would make this worse?” One way to do this is to take common conflict resolution techniques and turn them upside down.
GIVEAWAY: Eileen 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: sefmac20 won.) Read more
For this week’s poetry prompt, I want you to take one of the following lines and make it the first line of your poem. All these lines are taken from my personal … Read more
Enjoy a little rock & roll music from time to time? Who doesn’t? Well I’m trying something fun and different today as a Monday pick-me-up to try and get your week going. It’s my own crazy variation of NAME THAT TUNE and I’m calling it WD’S TUNESDAY (possibly Volume 1, if people dig it). The rules and the gist are simple. Watch the video. I play 15 riffs on my guitar. You try to name as many of them as you can, and e-mail me your answers to literaryagent at fwmedia dot com (Contest Deadline: EOD, Oct 19, 2012). The person who names the most correct answers gets lots of cool prizes (see below). It’s a great excuse to call upon friends and relatives to help you ID the songs, as they are from different decades. It’s also a great excuse to blow off whatever dull work you’re doing and listen to music instead. And if you can’t name all 15 songs, feel free to enter anyway! If no one can name all 15, the closest number wins. You think you got what it takes? Need a little rock & roll music to liven up your day? Then listen in as I try to do these riffs justice on my guitar… Read more
Agent Gina Panettieri Teaches “How To Find The Right Agent To Sell Your Book” – New Webinar With Critique on Oct. 11, 2012
Who better to help you find the best agent than a great agent working in today’s marketplace? Here at WD, we publish the Guide to Literary Agents as a huge database of agents and what they want. But getting the book is just the first step. You need to investigate agents for possible submissions then research what they like and what they’re selling. The more you target your submissions, the better off you’ll be. And when you receive an offer of representation from an agent, how do you know if they’re the best fit for you in the long run? Luckily for us, we have an expert on the matter to teach a webinar. Agent Gina Panettieri (Talcott Notch) teaches “How To Find The Right Agent To Sell Your Book” on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. All attendees get a critique. Read more
This installment features Stacey Glick of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She joined DGLM in 1999 after working in film and television development for five years. Following a number of internships in the entertainment business, her first job after college was at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, where she looked for book projects to be adapted into feature films. Next, she worked as a story editor at Hearst Entertainment, where she scouted material for television movies. A former child actress, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and four little girls.
She is seeking: young adult, middle grade, and adult contemporary fiction of all kinds as well as fiction narrative nonfiction, parenting, cooking and food, biography, memoir, psychology, self-help & how-to, health/fitness, lifestyle, current events, and pop culture. Read more
RED DOG Book News Roundup: Book at Urban Outfitters, “Whine at 9″ Podcast Interview, and I’ll Be at Books by The Banks in Cincinnati on Oct. 20, 2012…
The big news concerning my own writing is that my new humor book, RED DOG / BLUE DOG: WHEN POOCHES GET POLITICAL, is in Urban Outfitters. Exciting! Because of the close of Borders, getting your book into any specialty markets — be that Urban Outfitters, Lowes, Michaels or anywhere else — is very important. I walked by an UO in Chicago and looked all over the book table for my book, only to be pleasantly surprised to see that the book was, in fact, at the front table next to a bunch of other political stuff. Read more
National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie’s birthday is Sunday, and his new title Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories was released this week. To celebrate the short-story writer (War Dances), poet (The Business of … Read more
There’s a monster hiding under my desk. He lurks there, waiting for the right moment to attack. He’s an ugly little bastard, too. I have a lot of names for him, but for the sake of not overusing profanity in this blog, I’ll call him by his real name, Self-Doubt. Most of you might think that after two decades in the business, after hitting list that I only dreamed about hitting, I’d have managed to kill the gremlin. But you’d be wrong. That sneaky little devil won’t die. He keeps popping back up.
GIVEAWAY: C.C. is excited to give away a free copy of BORN AT MIDNIGHT 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: lizcolebourn won.) Read more
For this week’s prompt, write a sudden poem. The poem could be about something that suddenly happens. Or it could be just whatever words suddenly spring from you. Or… I’ll let you … Read more
She is seeking: “Whether an agent chooses to work with an author—or doesn’t—often boils down to the personality match. All of us agents try to acquire for a range of different readers, but if something is of personal interest, we’re excited before we even turn the page. Therefore, here’s me in some alphabetically-organized keywords: airplanes, Americana, Bill Bryson, death, England, Gene Weingarten, Jezebel, Jim Henson, @LongReads, Mary Roach, Mervyn Peake, New York magazine, Pitcairn Island, pop culture, psychology, rock music, the Simpsons, Sloane Crosley, weird, William Langewiesche.” Read more
In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t … Read more
Literary Agent Jim McCarthy Explains the “10 Elements of Novels That Sell” on Oct. 4, 2012. The Webinar Comes With a Critique
A lot of people write novels, but few sell. Why? It all comes down to a mastery of language and voice. It means creating great, vivid characters that we remember. It’s about starting your book strong. It’s about mapping out a story structure that has highs and lows to take the reader on an emotional journey. Literary agent Jim McCarthy, a wise publishing pro, will be covering all these topics as he repeats his popular webinar, “10 Elements of a Saleable Novel Today,” on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. The webinar starts at 1 p.m. EST and lasts 90 minutes. Read more
2. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. As in many aspects of life, it helps to have friends working toward similar goals. I didn’t know anyone else who even wrote YA when I started out, but I quickly found supportive friends beginning their publication journeys, just like me. Almost every one of the people I met back then now either has an agent or a book deal. You can boost each other up the rungs of the ladder—you don’t need someone at the top to pull you up. Read more
NEWS: Literary agent Erin Harris has moved from the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency to Folio Literary Management, where she will focus on growing their literary fiction list, in addition to representing book club fiction, YA, and select narrative nonfiction titles.
HOW TO SUBMIT TO HER: Click through to read an in-depth Q&A about what the move means for her, her submissions, her response time to queries, the categories she seeks, and more. Read more
In only a few weeks, our staff will be venturing west for the Writer’s Digest Conference in Los Angeles, set for Oct. 19-21. On tap this year, writers can expect keynotes by … Read more
The 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market Is Out — And Here Are 6 Darn Good Reasons to Buy It (and Naturally I’m Giving Away Books!)
The 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is out and available in major bookstores! I’m super pumped about its release. It’s a great resource guide for writers of picture books and novels for kids (young adult, middle grade) as well as illustrators. The new 2013 edition is all updated and packed with info. Now in its 25th year, the newest edition still provides great market and submission/contact information for book publishers, international publishers, literary agents, contests, magazines, conferences and more. Click through to read 5 testimonials about the book from amazing bestselling authors like Jay Asher and Meg Cabot.
THE GIVEAWAY!!! Comment on this post and just say anything nice about any element of Writer’s Digest you enjoy — from a blog post to a class or a book or anything else. In two weeks, I will pick 2 winners randomly to win a copy of the book! It’s that easy. (UPDATE: kathyellendavis and PatriceWrites won.) Read more
First off, I’ve had a person or two ask about the April PAD Challenge results. Just want to let everyone know those are still coming, and I want to apologize for taking … Read more
Writer’s Digest Conference West in Los Angeles (Oct. 19-21, 2012) Has Sessions, Agents, Pitches and More
After the great success Writer’s Digest has had organizing its event in New York City, we are very excited to be expanding to the West Coast as of 2012. Writer’s Digest Conference West is a new event in Los Angeles set for October 19-21, 2012. All the good stuff you have come to expect from a WD conference will be here — sessions, agents, bootcamps, the Pitch Slam, and more. Read more
Have you ever wished you could get advice on your writing life, your pursuit of publication, and everything in between, from an expert source would tell it to you straight, with good … Read more
About Michelle: As a new literary agent at Mansion Street Literary Management, Michelle Witte brings with her a wealth of experience, not only with juvenile fiction, but with the publishing industry as a whole. Michelle began her career as a journalist, first reporting and then later copy editing for the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, Utah, the second largest paper in the state. From there, she transitioned with her editing skills to nonfiction publisher Gibbs Smith, where she oversaw creation, editing, and production of more than thirty titles, including children’s activity, humor, gift, cookbooks, and a smattering of other topics from blacksmithing to green living. Her entire bio is online at her personal website.
She is seeking: Michelle will be primarily representing young adult and middle grade works. She also reps children’s nonfiction. Read more