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There Are No Rules Blog 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.


What's the Most Helpful Writing Advice You've Read This Year?

This week marks the 2nd anniversary of There Are No Rules! To celebrate, I’m giving away a Writer’s Digest VIP package and the option to attend the September Editors’ Intensive for a … Read more

Try the "Cut Up" Technique to Free Your Writing

The following advice was shared by Thomas E. Kennedy as part of Glimmer Train’s recent bulletin (click here for full bulletin). Working in Paris in the late 1950s, Brion Gysin and William … Read more

Perfectionism vs. Progress: When Is Good Good Enough?

How good does your manuscript have to be before you submit it to an agent or editor? How good does your website need to be before you launch it? How good does … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 3/26/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on … Read more

How I Got My Agent: Marianne Elliott

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

Marianne Elliott is the author of the blog Zen and the Art of Peacekeeping. (She has written a memoir of the same name.) Read more

New Agent Alert: Marissa Walsh of Shelf Life Literary

Note from Chuck (4-28-2010): Soon after posting this new agent alert, Marissa contacted me and said she is joining the crew at FinePrint Literary Management. All her bio info remains the same.

Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because they’re likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and postage.

She is seeking: pop culture, humor, narrative nonfiction, memoir, or children’s books. Concerning picture books, she is looking for younger books with very little text (800 words or fewer). Concerning middle grade and YA, no paranormal please. She prefers contemporary stories. Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 3/19/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on … Read more

Hiring a Freelance Editor: Know How to Do It Right

My regular column over at Writer Unboxed is now posted:Should You Hire a Professional Editor? The comments/discussion offers excellent & valuable information on choosing a professional editor, and deciding if you even … Read more

Story Openings: What Constitutes Significant/Meaningful Action?

My post on The Biggest Bad Advice on Story Openings has generated a lively and sometimes controversial discussion about the facets and subtleties of an action scene opening. I still think my … Read more

Conflict: Ratchet It Up By Moving Closer to Home

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is the final installment of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. If you’ve enjoyed this series, then you should … Read more

Stretching the Tension: Keep Threats Alive

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is part of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. Check out Jim’s book, Motherless. We’ve already seen that the … Read more

Showing & Telling in Scenes & Dialogue

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is part of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. Check out Jim’s book, Motherless. The rule “show, don’t tell” … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 3/12/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on … Read more

No Description Dumps! Crafting a Story With Details & Immersion

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is part of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. Check out Jim’s book, Motherless.Rowling’s boxes of notes for the … Read more

The Biggest Bad Advice About Story Openings

Following up on yesterday’s post (No. 1 Challenge of Memoirs), I’d now like to address the biggest dilemma and balancing act for all storytellers: starting with an action-oriented scene. It’s probably the … Read more

A Story of a Second Chance: How One Writer Fought to Have His Memoir Reissued

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Bertelsmann didn’t want to return my rights, even though my book, Heartbreaker, had lain dormant for over twenty years. Doubleday, the original publisher, had been swallowed by this German conglomerate, and of course they wanted to hang on to any book in their catalogue, even if it hadn’t sold a copy in years. But Oh, no no, they said, this book isn’t dormant; anyone who wants it can order it through print-on-demand. I finally had to enlist the help of a lawyer and then The Author’s Guild counsel, Kay Murray.

This guest column by John Meyer, author of Heartbreaker. Read more

Your No. 1 Challenge If You're Writing Memoir

Last week I taught an online class about story openings for novel & memoir. Everyone was invited to submit their first pages for a rather public critique. Beforehand, I tweeted some of … Read more

AuthorSolutions Is Not Evil: 3 Things I Learned

Yesterday I visited the home office of AuthorSolutions in Bloomington, Ind.—a fairly quick drive from Writer’s Digest home offices in Cincinnati. For those who don’t know, AuthorSolutions dominates the publishing service market … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 3/5/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on … Read more

Successful Queries: Agent Sharlene Martin and “You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again”

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This new series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letters that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting the actual query letter, we will also get to hear thoughts from the agent as to why the letter worked.

The 28th installment in this series is with agent Sharlene Martin (Martin Literary Management) and her author, Suzanne Hansen, for the book, You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again: The True Adventures of a Hollywood Nanny. Read more

A Sanctuary of Self-Acceptance

Today’s guest post is by the always remarkable Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter, or dig around for more of her excellent tales. When I met author Neil White at the 2009 … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 2/26/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers – New Follows

Earlier this month, I asked for your suggestions on new people to follow on Twitter for great writing advice. I received more than 50 recommendations—thank you so much! I’ve chosen four to … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 2/19/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on … Read more

Social Media Is Not a Waste of Time

Today I have a guest post over at Writer Unboxed that debunks the myth that fiction writers don’t need to worry about developing a platform. I was inspired to offer this advice … Read more

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