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Preparing for Unknowns in Your Agent Search

If you’re on the cusp of trying to get a literary agent, or you’re trying to decide if you need one at all, or you’re right in the thick of your queries, or you have an agent but aren’t making forward progress together, enter our latest “Get an Agent” issue, the October 2016 Writer’s Digest. We...

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7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Amy Gustine

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Amy Gustine, author of YOU SHOULD PITY US INSTEAD) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their...

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How to Craft Query Letters & Other Submission Materials That Get Noticed — Agent One-on-One Boot Camp Starts September 26, 2016

When your submission materials – a query letter, synopsis, manuscript, or book proposal – arrive in an agent’s inbox, they land among hundreds of others. At that point, one of two things will happen. Either the agent (or the agent’s assistant) will like the submission and request more materials, or they will reply with...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 364

For today’s prompt, write a “let the good times roll” poem. I’ll allow each poet to put the emPHAsis where they wish in that phrase. Focus on the “good times” or play around with the concept of “rolling.” However you roll, I’m cool with it. ***** Re-create Your Poetry! Revision doesn’t have to be...

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Don’t Write What You Know Until You Know Something.

Not long after college, I had the good fortune to have lunch with Howard Fast (Spartacus, Citizen Tom Paine). A mutual friend had arranged the lunch, knowing that I wanted to be a writer.  The great master listened politely as I told him I was writing a play about the Stasi infiltration of a group of...

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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Haiku Sonnet

I’m hoping to announce the winners of the byr a thoddaid challenge next week, but in the meantime, let’s get started on the next challenge: writing the haiku sonnet! Find the rules for writing haiku sonnets here. It’s basically four haiku and a couplet comprised of 7-syllable lines. So start writing them and sharing...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Sarah Bush of Trident Media

She is seeking: She is solely looking for women's fiction -- both commercial and upmarket. She seeks stories that are character driven, that make you think and feel. Sarah wants to take her experience and drive and match that with “stories that use a fresh voice to explore different aspects of the female experience:...

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The Lure of Domestic Noir

Domestic noir is a growing genre. Given successes such as Paula Hawkin’s GIRL ON A TRAIN and Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, it appears that regular domestic situations are a fertile breeding ground for suspense thrillers. Everyday dramas play out around the kitchen tables and the bedrooms of family homes. In fact, generally speaking, the more...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 363

For today’s prompt, write a flight poem. So that could be a poem about flying, like riding on an airplane, hot air balloon, zeppelin, helicopter, umbrella, hippogriff, etc. Or there’s the whole “fight or flight” scenario. Or there’s the whole metaphor of “flying” through stuff. Fly through this poem however you see fit. *****...

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5 Ways to Be a More Mindful Writer

Great writing flows most easily from a place of inner clarity and calm. But with all the stimulation and stress in our overscheduled lives, it’s hard to slow down long enough to think clearly, much less creatively. Mindfulness can help. Column by Deborah Sosin, MSW, MFA, author of CHARLOTTE AND THE QUIET PLACE (Sept....

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Publish Your Poetry With the 2017 Poet’s Market!

This is one of my favorite posts to do each year: to announce the updated edition of another Poet’s Market! Poet’s Market 2017 is the 30th edition in the annual series, and the 8th edition under my watch. As with all previous editions of Poet’s Market, my goal was pretty simple: Make this the...

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9 Literary Agents Seeking Horror NOW

Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint which agents are open to submissions at any given time. So with that in mind, I’m creating some new vertical lists of agents seeking queries right now, as of summer 2016. This list is for horror novels. All the agents listed below personally confirmed to me as of August 2016...

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Dizain: Poetic Form

As you may have noticed, I’m making an attempt to start covering even more poetic forms than I’ve done up to this point on the blog. Instead of a new form every month or two, we’re going to start checking out a new form every week or two. Dizain Poems The dizain gets us...

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3 Questions to Ask When Revising

When I reached the end of my first draft of ASSASSIN’S HEART, the story was in place, but I knew I had to bring out and uncover other elements, like themes, setting, and especially character arcs. Column by Sarah Ahiers, author of ASSASSIN’S HEART (Feb. 2, 2016, HarperTeen). Sarah has an MFA in Writing for Children...

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Secrets of the Self-Employed: Tips for Freelance Writers

Here’s a guest post from Dustin Grinnell, who shares tips from a veteran contractor that apply to freelance writers as well. If you have a great idea and would like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules....

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Agent Additions and Cancellations to WDC16 in New York

If you are reading this, you are likely an attendee at the 2016 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, which is happening this weekend August 12-14. We have about 60-65 literary agents attending our Saturday Pitch Slam event, and there have been many additions as well as some cancellations since the print programs were...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 362

For today’s prompt, write a poem that captures a moment from a movie or book. You can include a hint in the title of the poem, let other readers know outright, or leave the poem as a standalone moment that some people will “get”–and that others just won’t. ***** Re-create Your Poetry! Revision doesn’t...