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7 Writing Rules You Can Ignore

When I say you can ignore these rules, I don’t mean that you should. These “truisms” floating around about writing are useful to think about, especially when you’re starting out, and they can point you to weaknesses in your work. In the end, though, you have to trust your own process. Here are seven...

Robert Lee Brewer

4 Poetry Chapbook Strategies

Since many poets are getting together their November chapbooks this month, here are some poetry chapbook strategies. These are different than the 5 Tips for Organizing Poetry Chapbook Manuscripts, which is also worth a quick read. Here are four poetry chapbook strategies: Include Only Your Most Vital Poems. Ten pages of great poetry is...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Sarah Maine

7. Patience. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned so far is patience. Patience with myself when nothing seems to go well, patience waiting for feedback from busy friends or professionals (and patience with their comments when they arrive…), patience as publishers consider their response, and patience until that great day when it...

Robert Lee Brewer

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 374

Wow! After a month of writing a poem each and every day, it felt so weird going a whole week between prompts. For today’s prompt, write a pop poem. This poem could be about popcorn, pop-up books, pop-out decorations, pop quizzes, pop culture, Pop-Tarts, or any number of pop-related topics. Just wait long enough,...

Ha Ha Ha Thump, by Amorak Huey

Amorak Huey: Poet Interview

Please join me in welcoming Amorak Huey to the Poetic Asides blog! Amorak Huey, a former newspaper editor and reporter, is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbooks The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy...

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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Landay

A new month means a new WD Poetic Form Challenge–this time for the landay! Find the rules for writing landays here. It’s an interesting form that can be as concise as a couplet or expand for several stanzas. So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Maximilian Ximenez of L. Perkins Agency

Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is acquiring science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For nonfiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields...

Robert Lee Brewer

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Haiku Sonnet Winner

Here are the results of the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the haiku sonnet. As usual, many poems made the original cut before I was able to get it down to a Top 10 list and eventual winner. Read all the haiku sonnets here. Here is the winner: Waterfall, by William Preston White...

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Answers to Your Novel Writing Questions

I’ve interviewed enough authors over the years to know this: Even the most successful among them can remember with vivid clarity the tentative tingling of first sitting down to write a novel and feeling as if they had no idea what they were doing. In fact, some of them still experience that odd mingling...

Robert Lee Brewer

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Okay, here are the next steps for this challenge. Before you dive into them, click here to read the original guidelines for the challenge. Step One: Write the Poems We accomplished this step during the month of November. We have 30 prompts to prove it. Step Two: Revise the Poems This step is optional,...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Rachel Dunne

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Rachel Dunne, author of IN THE SHADOW OF THE GODS) 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...

Robert Lee Brewer

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

Today’s our last chance to poem for November 2016. Tomorrow, I’ll post next steps for this challenge, which involves going through poems written throughout the month. But today… Write a last chance poem. The poem could be about having a final chance at something, whether it’s writing a poem, saying goodbye, or singing a...

Robert Lee Brewer

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

Only 2 days left! So it’s appropriate… For today’s prompt, we’re once again doing two-for-Tuesday prompt. So pick one, combine both prompts into one poem, or write two (or more) different poems. Here are the prompts: Write a love poem. A poem about love, people who are in love, attempting to woo, or some...

Robert Lee Brewer

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

Somehow, we’re down to the final three days of this year’s November challenge. Crazy! For today’s prompt, take the phrase “I Want (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem. Possible titles include: “I Want Money,” “I Want a...

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29th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Historical Fiction

The contest below is for historical fiction writers. If you came here looking for the memoir writing contest that is happening at the same time, find it here. ————————————– Welcome to the 29th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the...

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5 Ways to Combat Author Anxiety

It turns out Author Anxiety is a Thing. It’s not just me. I discovered this on the eve of publication of my debut novel, DECEPTION ISLAND, when I was silly enough to Google my shiny new title. Up popped a Netgalley reviewer live-tweeting as she read it. Only she was hating it—pulling it apart...

Robert Lee Brewer

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

For today’s prompt, write a falling apart poem. The poem could be about a crumbling house, tree losing its leaves, or a car that’s breaking down. Of course, people break down and fall apart all the time–in both large and small ways. ***** Order the New Poet’s Market! The 2017 Poet’s Market, edited by...

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28th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Memoir

Welcome to the 28th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. If you’re writing a...

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Agents Renew Call For Diverse Books and #OwnVoices Submissions

As November 2016 has progressed, some literary agents and editors on Twitter have put out direct calls (or renewed previous calls) for diverse book submissions using hashtags such as #diversebooks and #ownvoices. I’ve corralled plenty of these calls below. If you’re writing a diverse book, check out the list below. Good luck querying! Some...

Robert Lee Brewer

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For today’s prompt, write a visitor poem. The poem could be about being a visitor to somewhere new. Or the poem could be about hosting a visitor. Write about an expected visitor or someone who shows up by surprise. ***** Order the New Poet’s Market! The 2017 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer,...

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Successful Queries: Agent Sarah Yake and “She Came From Beyond!”

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 77th installment in this series is with agent Sarah...