Accurate Writer's Guidelines

Q: I read Writer’s Digest and keep tabs when they run market listings and I also own a copy of Writer’s Market, but sometimes I go to the publisher’s or agency’s website and its guidelines are different. Which is more accurate?—Angel

A: Companies’ websites are likely to be more up-to-date than any listing in a magazine or a book. Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market (which are both produced by my parent company, F+W Publications)—or any other market listing available—compile lists to give you a n often-needed starting point for your research. But they defintely shouldn’t be your stopping point.

It’s hard to find an agent or publisher, and even harder to find one that fits your specific genre. An annual like Writer’s Market makes it easier for you by gathering all the publishers and agents into one reference tool, but time can date some of the entries. You should always do more investigating by visiting the companies’ websites. Publishing companies and literary agencies sometimes find that their needs change and, in turn, they change their guidelines.

Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.

Have a question for me? Feel free to post it in the comments section below or e-mail me at with “Q&Q” in the subject line. Come back each Tuesday as I try to give you more insight into the writing life.

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