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The DIY Book Tour: How to Organize a Tour Yourself

You’ve landed an agent and a publishing contract, and you’ve pumped your fist in the air like a champion. Your dream has come true. Now what? Rest on your laurels and let the publisher handle all of the promoting? Hardly. You are now the leader of a grassroots movement, and the cause...

Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

2015 April PAD Challenge: Screening Readers

Are you ready for the 2015 April PAD Challenge? I know I am! (Check out the guidelines here.) The prompts are ready. The guest judges are confirmed (check them out here). And we have a cover design for the Poem Your Heart Out, volume 2 anthology. There’s just one more thing… I enjoyed reading...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 303

Believe it or not, this is the final Wednesday Poetry Prompt until May. We’ll still have prompts on Wednesday, but beginning on April 1, we’ll be poeming every single day of the month with the 2015 April PAD Challenge. For today’s prompt, write a preparation poem. Of course, I’ve been thinking about getting prepared...

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How to Locate Your Weird (and Better Your Writing)

1. Embrace the First Truth: You’re a freak. No use denying it. I mean this very literally. After all, by definition, a freak is an “abnormal phenomenon.” So, if you believe that all humans are unique individuals, as I do, then there is technically no absolutely normal person and we are all, therefore, freaks....

What We Can Learn From Multi-Genre Authors

One of my favorite parts of my job as editor of Writer’s Digest is overseeing our WD Interview cover stories in every issue—deciding who to feature, making sure we’re hosting a conversation that covers ground our readers won’t find elsewhere, and quite often even conducting the interviews and crafting the profiles myself. I’ve always firmly...

lydia-blyfield-literary-agent

New Literary Agent Alert: Lydia Blyfield of Carol Mann Agency

Lydia is seeking: adult, young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as nonfiction projects. Lydia is looking for timely plots inspired by the headlines, effortless magical realism, unreliable narrators, and mysteries/psychological thrillers set in small communities (no CIA/FBI/MI5, please). She is always on the hunt for intriguing female voices and characters. In YA...

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Have an Agent Critique Your Entire Picture Book or the First 10 Pages of Your YA/MG Book: Agent One-on-One Boot Camp Starts April 20

The world of children’s books-young adult, middle grade and picture books-has seen more growth in the last ten years than any other category in the publishing industry. Countless articles and op-eds have analyzed the booming success of now-iconic series like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Fancy Nancy. But while critics are debating the...

La Spezia, Italy

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 302

April alert: Prompts are set for all 30 days, and I’m starting to pair up guest judges with prompts. Speaking of guest judges, a few more have been added since last week; check them out here. For this week’s prompt, we’re going to write an ekphrastic poem using one of the images below. Image...

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4 Writing Tips I Learned at Drama School

As an undergrad at NYU, I saw the writing classes I took as “core curriculum,” pure and simple. Sure, they were rigorous and fun, but they distracted from my real focus—the studio where I spent twenty-five hours a week learning how to act. It took several post-grad years for me to come to terms...

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6 Questions Writers Ask about Copyright and the Law

(Column by Chuck as well as WD co-editor Brian Klems. Please note that these guidelines below, while helpful, should not take the place of formal legal advice. We are editors, not attorneys.) Imagine you’re at a writers’ conference. You’re getting ready to pitch that great novel idea to a bunch of powerful agents. As...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 301

If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve started sharing the names and bios of the guest judges for the 2015 April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge. I’ll continue adding throughout the month. Click to continue. For this week’s prompt, write a poem inspired by a movie. Base your poem on a scene, a character, or even...

Afaa Michael Weaver (photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)

2015 April PAD Challenge: Guest Judges

Last year, we completed our first challenge with guest judges (check out last year’s guest judges), and it was fun for the judges, for me, and–most importantly–for the people showing up each day to grab a prompt and write a poem. Last year’s roster of guest judges was pretty fabulous, but I’m super excited...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Cara Mannion of Harold Ober Associates

Currently Looking For: Mainly YA and adult commercial fiction, including romance (and all its subgenres), historical fiction, women’s fiction, paranormal, science fiction, horror, mysteries and thrillers. Limited interest in nonfiction includes humor and biography. Cara particularly enjoys strong female protagonists, juicy love triangles, subversive conspiracy plots, and opening lines that make you want to...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 300

If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve posted the guidelines for the 2015 April PAD Challenge. It’s pretty crazy to think this will be our 8th year of poeming from April to May. And somehow, we’ve now reached 300 weekly Wednesday poetry prompts. What a bunch of milestones that are building up! In fact…...

Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

2015 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines

It’s time! Time for the 8th annual April PAD Challenge on the Poetic Asides blog, and I’m super excited about it. I’m happy to report that we’ll have the anthology and a new round of guest judges this year (more on both below). First things first, this challenge is devoted to the goal of...

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling: Poet Interview

Confession: I don’t really keep records on Poetic Asides, but I’m pretty sure Kristina Marie Darling has the record for most poet interviews in PA history. If this is your first time hearing her name, Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over 20 books, which include Vow, Petrarchan, and Scorched Altar, all available...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 299

I’ve been a bit careless today. You see, I took the day off (the kids got a snow day today), and I didn’t get my poem-prompt written this morning. However, I’ve still got a solid 30 minutes of writing time left, soooooo… For this week’s prompt, write a careless poem. That’s right, a careless...

Are You a Born Storyteller?

I had a dear friend who had a gift for telling stories about her day. She’d launch into one, and suddenly everyone around her would hush up and lean in, knowing that whatever followed would be pure entertainment. A story of encountering a deer on the highway would involve interludes from the deer’s point...

Robert Lee Brewer

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Paradelle

First poetic form challenge of 2015, and it’s a doozy! This time, we’ll be tackling the paradelle. Click here to check out how to write a paradelle. This crazy form created by Billy Collins started as a joke, but it’s target audience (poets!) are gluttons for punishment and a real poetic challenge. And, well,...

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Literary Agent Sound Off: Query Letter Basics

"Queries are business letters. Agenting is business. Publishing is business. I try to be nice and friendly and funny and all, but the bottom line is that I expect those with whom I work to be professional and take what they’re doing seriously." —Linda Epstein (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)

Robert Lee Brewer

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Gogyohka Winner

Thank you to everyone who submitted a gogyohka! I’ve been sitting on the winner and already have the erasure winner ready too (look for that next week). My initial short list included nearly 50 poems, so it was crazy competitive (like usual). But I did cut it down to one winner and 10 finalists....