• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

What’s New

How I Got My Book Deal (and a Literary Agent): Mary Weber

STORM-SIREN-COVER-NOVEL-WEBER

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Mary Weber, author of STORM SIREN. 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. 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.

GIVEAWAY: Mary 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. Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 276

Robert Lee Brewer

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my announcement of the 2015 Poet’s Market. (Click here.) For this week’s prompt, write a news poem. When I’m really in a creative … Read more

Research Before You Send a Query Letter

index~~element5

Now, there are really two different types of rejection letters. The first one I don’t have a big problem with. These are the letters for projects that might not be quite right for what I am looking for, or for stories that might not be ready for publishing yet. With stories like this, we can often take the time to provide a few suggestions for improvement, or to discuss why the story is not right for us. Yes, writing the letters takes time, but when I hit “send” I feel as if this author might be one step closer to publishing. Read more

2015 Poet’s Market: What It Is and How to Buy It

2015 Poet's Market

When I started writing poetry more than 20 years ago, I didn’t have ambitions of publication or poetic greatness, but I did have a target audience: originally, a girl to impress. Later … Read more

Todd Davis: Poet Interview

In the Kingdom of the Ditch, by Todd Davis

Please welcome Todd Davis to the Poetic Asides blog. He’s authored and edited 13 books, including the poetry collection In the Kingdom of the Ditch. Davis teaches creative writing, American literature, and … Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Soumeya Bendimerad of the Susan Golomb Literary Agency

soumeya-bendimerad-literary-agent

Soumeya is seeking: She is actively seeking to represent literary fiction, upmarket/book club fiction, and select young-adult and middle grade. She is drawn to intelligent literary fiction with a fresh voice, coming of age stories, novels with elements of travel or stories set in other countries, family sagas, experiments with form, and complex but sympathetic characters. In non-fiction, she is seeking topics in popular culture, music and art history, unconventional business, politics, narrative non-fiction, sociology, cooking, travel, and memoir. Read more

“Your First Ten Pages” Agent One-on-One Boot Camp Starts August 22. Get an Agent Critique of Your Novel Beginning

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 8.28.54 PM

As many writers know, agents and editors won’t give your work more than ten pages or so to make an impact. If you haven’t got them hooked by then, it’s a safe bet you won’t be asked for more material. Make sure you’ve got the kind of opening they’re looking for! In this invaluable weekend event, you’ll get to work with an agent online to review and refine the first ten pages of your novel. You’ll learn what keeps an agent reading, what are the most common mistakes that make them stop, and the steps you need to take to correct them. The best part is that you’ll be working directly with an agent, who will provide feedback specific to your work.

It’s all part of the recurring popular Agent One-on-One Boot Camp called “Your First 10 Pages.” Sign up by the end of the day, August 22, 2014. It’s taught by the agents at Talcott Notch Literary. Read more

5 Mistakes Writers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

the-sound-novel-cover-alderson

1. Thinking that your book will sell itself. I have five books published with Simon & Schuster and let me tell you: They do not walk off the shelves. I made the mistake of becoming complacent and thinking that because I had a huge publisher behind me that I didn’t need to do much PR work to promote myself. In the words of Julia Roberts: “Big mistake. Huge.”

I watched my friend and author Becky Wicks work like a demon to promote her indie book Before He Was Famous and within 12 hours of it going live on Amazon it had sold nearly 500 copies. She worked her BUTT off for months prior building an audience, interacting on Twitter and Facebook and building a fan base from scratch. She rocks. It’s totally inspired me to do the same. Read more

Conference Spotlight: The Minnesota Writing Workshop in St. Paul (Sept. 6, 2014)

Screen shot 2014-06-22 at 7.43.49 PM

If you live anywhere near the Minnesota area and are looking to get writing instruction as well as pitch agents & editors, then keep reading. Coming up fast on September 6, 2014 is my appearance at the Minnesota Writing Workshop. (This is my first time teaching in Minnesota, so I am pumped.) This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Sept. 6, 2014, at Subtext Books in St. Paul, MN. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and instruction designed to give you the best advice concerning how to get your writing & books published. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres and writers for all age groups are welcome. Read more

Successful Queries: Agent Katie Shea Boutillier and “THE ART OF FALLING”

the-art-of-falling-novel-cover

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

The 69th installment in this series is with agent Katie Shea Boutillier (Donald Maass Literary) for Kathryn Craft’s novel, THE ART OF FALLING (2014, Sourcebooks Landmark). Kirkus said of the book, “Craft’s debut novel lovingly traces the aesthetics of movement and gently explores the shattering pain of despair. A sensitive study of a woman choreographing her own recovery.”

GIVEAWAY: Kathryn 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. Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 275

Robert Lee Brewer

For this week’s prompt, write an upside down poem. Of course, the poem could be about something (or someone) being physically turned upside down, but it could also be a symbolic reversal … Read more

Laurie Kolp: Poet Interview

Upon the Blue Couch, by Laurie Kolp.

I would ask readers to welcome Laurie Kolp, but most of you already know her as a long-time part of the Poetic Asides community. She’s placed in a few of the WD … Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Stacy Testa of Writers House

agent-satcy-testa

Stacy is seeking: Stacy is looking for literary fiction and upmarket commercial women’s fiction, particularly character-driven stories with an international setting, historical bent, or focus on a unique subculture. She also represents realistic young adult (no dystopian or paranormal, please!). For non-fiction, she is particularly interested in young “millennial” voices with a great sense of humor and a strong platform, startling and unique memoirs, and voice-driven narratives about little-known historical moments. Read more

Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction — August 14 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Jennifer Laughran

U9476

Middle Grade books are generally defined as being books for children aged 8-12…. and at the moment, these books are hot-hot-hot. From the commercial successes of titles like DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and Rick Riordan’s LIGHTNING THIEF saga, to more “literary” award-winning fare, it seems most publishers are seeking the next great Middle Grade success story. But middle grade is also a tough category to write for. Much of what appears in the slush pile is cheesy or derivative, or just lacks “spark.” So what makes a great Middle Grade novel? What is selling? What are agents and editors looking for? And how can you make your book stand out and shine?

In this live webinar, “Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction,” instructor and literary agent Jennifer Laughran (of Andrea Brown Literary) will talk about what’s happening in the exciting Middle Grade market, as well as examine some recently published titles to see what they got right. She’ll also talk revision tips and tricks to help you take your work-in-progress to the next level. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Aug 14, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more

Reviewing Poetry Books: Why Does It Matter?

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Please welcome the incredible Jeannine Hall Gailey to the blog! She’s going to cover a topic that I don’t feel gets enough coverage: poetry book reviews. I’m enjoying the guest posts on … Read more

How I Got My Literary Agent: Kate Dyer-Seeley

scene-of-the-climb-novel-cover

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Kate Dyer-Seeley, author of the mystery SCENE OF THE CLIMB. 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: Kate 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. Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 274

Robert Lee Brewer

If you missed it, I released a list of 50 poetic forms on Monday. Find the usual suspects (like the sestina and haiku) sprinkled with the unusual suspects (like the paradelle and … Read more

Literary Agent Spotlight: Catherine Luttinger of Darhansoff & Verrill

ccf9eb7deedce2b976f9ed8a97352f29_CatherineLuttinger100x100

She is seeking: Catherine is primarily interested in science fiction and fantasy. To her, that includes anything that could even remotely be labeled as such. Viable submission material includes everything from classic space operas to the apocalypse; alternative universes, dystopias, and eco-thrillers—as well as the paranormal, horror, zombies, plagues, and time travel. She is also willing to look at historical fiction, mythology re-told, YA, thrillers and mysteries. You may also pitch her pop-science nonfiction. Read more

List of 50 Poetic Forms for Poets

Robert Lee Brewer

I’m in the middle of putting together my list of poetic forms to cover in the 2015 issues of Writer’s Digest magazine, and it prompted me to take a look at what … Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Lee Thompson

Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 11.06.00 PM

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Lee Thompson, author of A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS) 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 writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning.

GIVEAWAY: Lee 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. Read more

Agent Updates to the 2014 WD Conference

Screen shot 2014-08-01 at 5.27.23 PM

As promised, here are the last minute agent updates (both additions and cancellations) to the 2014 WD Conference, Aug. 1-3, 2014, in NYC.

CANCELLATIONS (3)
1. Jordy Albert (Albert Booker Literary) has cancelled.
2. Alex Slater (Trident Media) has cancelled.
3. Kathleen Zakhar (Harold Ober Associates) has cancelled.

Click through to the full page to see the additions. Read more

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Madrigal

Robert Lee Brewer

Earlier this week, I hinted it was coming, and here it is: the next WD Poetic Form Challenge. Of course, we’ll be writing the madrigal, specifically the English madrigal, for this challenge. … Read more

Writing the Urban Sketch

Ian Chandler

Earlier this month, Daniel Roessler shared a three-part series on nature and poetry. I’m hoping to continue sharing both guest posts on various topics on Thursdays (missed last week because of illness … Read more

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 273

Robert Lee Brewer

There are only a few constants in my life: One of them is that I know I’ll share a prompt and poem on Wednesdays. I hope everyone is ready to let loose … Read more

Madrigal: Poetic Form

Robert Lee Brewer

The madrigal originated as an Italian form, actually as a pastoral song. The Italian madrigal is written in lines of either seven or 11 syllables and is comprised of two or three … Read more

Page 1 of 5212345...102030...Last »