February 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting March 13th
- Creative Writing 101
- Query Letter in 14 Days
- Essentials of Science Fiction & Fantasy
- The Art of Storytelling 102
- Essentials of Mystery Writing
- Grammar & Mechanics
- Advanced Poetry
Workshops Starting March 20th
- Creative Writing 101
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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
In an ideal world, you’d have many more hours to dedicate to writing.
In reality, you carve out what meager “free time” you can, sacrificing things like sleep, a social life, exercise, a clean house, and quality time with friends and family. When your laundry pile resembles a laundry mountain and you haven’t hit the gym in a month, it’s hard to justify spending extra time working on something that doesn’t pay the bills (yet!). Until you can add hours to the day, what’s the solution? Read more
He is seeking: Weber is looking for MG and YA stories with universal themes told in unique settings, which show developing and changing relationships between characters. Because of his science/math/computer science background, he is interested in realistic historical fiction using current technology and projecting technology into the future. He is also wants well-researched science fiction, with no fantasy elements where science forms the foundation of progressive societies in the future. Read more
How to Find the Right Agent for Your Book & Career — Dec. 10 Webinar by Agent Kate McKean (With Query Critique!)
From industry standard terms and commission rates, to communication guidelines and a general list of duties, this webinar by literary agent Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary) will de-mystify the role a literary agent can play in your writing career. You’ll finally understand how agents are paid and what services they actually provide. You’ll get answers to questions like: How fast should I expect an agent to respond to me? Will an agent help me edit my book or brainstorm ideas? Don’t agents just go to three-martini lunches all day and cash my checks? And can an agent really make a difference for my book?
The webinar is called “How to Find the Right Agent for Your Book (and Your Career),” and it all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. All attendees get a query critique from Kate. Don’t forget that at least 4 agents have signed clients after reading their work as part of a WD webinar or boot camp. Read more
1. Listen to your critique group. When I first began to write, I was fortunate to meet some wonderful writers who became fabulous friends. We met regularly to work on our manuscripts. We worked to give constructive feedback to one another and because we listened to each other, our writing got better. We listened when the group told us the funny parts weren’t really all that funny. We listened when the group thought our chapters were too long. We listened when the group couldn’t relate to our characters. Listening to the group’s honest feedback made us dig deeper into our stories, making them stronger and better. Read more
“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Sara Polsky, author of THIS IS HOW I FIND HER, and agented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. 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.
GIVEAWAY: Sara 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: momiji5 won.) Read more
I hope everyone had a fun and successful November of poeming. I know I did. Now, it’s time to get back to our Wednesday poetic gatherings (until April’s poem-a-day challenge). For this … Read more
2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, toss what doesn’t work, and start again. Professionals throw away chunks of novels and stories all the time and start again. Not every story will work, not every plot will come together or every character come to life. None of the mistakes I made were a waste of time or effort, because each one of them taught me something that made the next story better. The same is true of query letters. If the one you’ve written doesn’t get you requests, start over.
GIVEAWAY: Jaime 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: burrowswrite won.) Read more
Here’s part two of the five-part series in which poets share their five favorite poetry collections–with reasons for their selections included. Hopefully, it’ll help shine light on collections that absolutely need to … Read more
Today, the Writer’s Digest online shop is doing it’s an annual big sale that involves books, OnDemand webinars, and more discounted at 50% off their normal prices. It’s kind of a big … Read more
Chelsea Lindman of Greenberger Associates is seeking: Her primary interests include playful literary fiction, upmarket crime fiction, and forward thinking or boundary-pushing nonfiction. Chelsea also represents a select list of children’s book authors whose stories have an emphasis on voice-driven narratives. Most importantly, Chelsea is interested in working with clients that are looking to build a lasting relationship. Read more
Here we are: The final day, the final prompt. Ack! What’ll we do tomorrow? Well, okay, we’ll probably rest tomorrow. But if you’re full of energy, you can start working on your … Read more
Look: I know what today is: It’s “Black Friday,” and there are all kinds of sales all over–people getting into fist fights over the most popular toys and deeply discounted hotdog rollers … Read more
For those of you living in the States, Happy Thanksgiving! For those of you living outside the States, Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for everyone who’s been poeming along this month, whether … Read more
We’re getting down to the final days of this challenge, but don’t use that as an excuse to ease up on the gas pedal. Rather, put the pedal to the metal and … Read more
Beginning this week, I plan on have a five-part series in which poets share their five favorite poetry collections–with reasons for their selections included. Hopefully, it’ll help shine light on collections that … Read more
Today is the final “Two for Tuesday” prompt of November. Let’s make the most of it. Here are the prompts: Take the phrase “Free (blank),” replace the blank with a word or … Read more
I have a confession to make: I’m in Ohio right now with limited access to the Internet. As such, I’m not able to share each day’s prompt on social media sites like … Read more
She is seeking: Clelia is very interested in the emerging New Adult genre. Having faced an early life career crisis, she really relates to characters who are confronted with the challenges of entering adulthood. She is also interested in young adult and middle grade books. She is seeking to represent writers whose protagonists have strong voices and whose plots are original. Clelia never wants to let go of her favorite characters, so she particularly loves trilogies and series that can be adapted to the screen.
Clelia also has a special spot in her heart for picture books. She especially loves ones that are funny or quirky, ones that feature minority and multicultural characters, and ones parents won’t mind reading over and over again to their children. Read more
Agent One-on-One Boot Camp: How to Write and Sell New Adult Fiction — Starts Dec. 4, and Has Agents Critiquing Your Work
New Adult fiction (novels featuring protagonists ages 18-25) has swiftly become the hottest thing in both self-publishing and traditional publishing. New authors are making astonishing strides in this category and making great deals with the big traditional houses. Recent success stories include Molly McAdams, whose new adult book Taking Chances has sold more than 200,000 copies so far. And then there’s Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster, a new adult novel that caught the attention of Warner Brothers and had its film rights optioned. Other bestselling NA novelists include Coleen Hoover, Cora Carmack and Tamara Webber.
The agents at Foreword Literary will help you understand New Adult fully from all aspects of the business. Whether you need to know the rules of the category, how to pitch it to agents, or how authors are hitting the bestselling lists with modern marketing techniques, Foreword has the answers for you. It’s all part of a brand new Agent One-on-One Boot Camp: “How to Write and Sell New Adult Fiction” that starts on Dec. 4, 2013. All attendees get their work critiqued (see below for details). There are a limited number of seats available. Read more
I hope everyone’s having a good experience with this year’s challenge. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many of the poems I’ve written–and excited by many of the poems I’ve read by others … Read more
Should Sex Be in Your Novel? If you write romance or erotica, then, of course, the answer is yes. For children books, it’s a definite no and questionable in Y.A. and religious books. But what about the other genres like historical fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and even memoir? The fact is that no truer words were spoken than “sex sells.” A look at the longest running best sellers is proof. Fifty Shades of Gray didn’t make the list for the terrific writing, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, while a great thriller, the readers talked about the violent rape and victim’s revenge that sent them in droves to buy the book. Read more
We’ve only got a week of November left. Let’s roll up our sleeves and make the most of it. For today’s prompt, write an “I shouldn’t be here” poem. You can decide … Read more
For today’s prompt, write a poem using at least three of the following six words: ideogram remora casket eclipse selfie wretch Use the words in the title of your poem, in the … Read more
Like all writers, my methods for building characters are a mix of mishmash and melting pot, drawn from both personal experience and academic study. Below is a short list of the ideas I’d like to cover.
1. A Character Who Refuses to Die
2. Know Your Archetype
3. The Great Man/Woman Theory
4. What MUST the Character Do (and What Does the Character Think He/She Must Do?
GIVEAWAY: Richard 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: Clae won.) Read more