July/August 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting July 24th
- Writing Personal Essays
- Fundamentals of Nonfiction
- Creative Writing 101
- Essentials of Business Writing
- Fitting Writing Into Your Life
- Writing Online Content
Workshops Starting July 31st
- Writing Personal Essays
Is Your Manuscript Ready for Publication?
Is Your Manuscript Ready for Publication?
After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You’ll not only learn what’s working in your writing, but what’s not, and—most important—how to fix it.
2nd Draft provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.
Memoir Writing & Memoir Examples
Memoir writing takes guts. It’s revealing and personal – sometimes even painful to put on the page. Here you’ll find guidelines and memoir examples to ensure your story is something others will want to read. Learn how to craft it and how to get it sold. For more resources, click How to Write a Memoir.
Nothing is more exciting than the promise of a story in your head, but in order to get it on the page you need to figure out exactly what you need to do to make it work. Here are 4 steps to help you build the framework of your story.
by N.M. Kelby
A huge thank you to all 150 or so people who entered in my first “Dear Lucky Agent” contest. Agent Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency looked through all … Read more
“Agent Advice” (this installment featuring agent Laney Katz Becker of Markson Thoma Literary Agency) is a series of quick interviews with literary agents and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their … Read more
Note from Chuck: It’s Feb. 1, 2010, which means this contestis now closed. Thank you for entering. Winners should be announced within 7 days or so.Meanwhile, our next contest should startwithin a … Read more
This is a new recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Alexis Grant.
Alexis Grant is a journalist writing her first book, a travel memoir about backpacking solo through Africa. Read more
When the “Eureka!” moment happened I was supposed to be concentrating on a lot of other things: getting an American agent interested in my screenplays; working as a full-time film critic and doing freelance on the side to help pay the rent; being a good partner to Clare and a dad to our 14-month-old daughter Ava. But once I saw an egregious little tween comedy called Material Girls and then discovered it was at that very moment the user-voted “worst movie ever” on the Internet Movie Database, the question wouldn’t let me be: What really was the worst movie ever made?
Michael Adams is a magazine contributor to publications such as Empire and Rolling Stone. And, for a brief shining moment, he was co-host of The Movie Show. Read more
In this excerpt from 179 Ways to Save a Novel, author Peter Selgin discusses ways to defeat the writer’s sworn enemy: the cliche. Read more
“Is my life fascinating enough?” That’s the question raised today in a special guest column by journalist and memoir writer Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks. (This column is Part 2 of 2. See Part 1 here.) If you’re interested in writing life stories and memoir, check out Ethan’s Boston-based, eight-week intensive memoir class (next class begins Jan 26, 2010). Read more
“Is my life fascinating enough?” That’s the question raised today in a special guest column by journalist and memoir writer Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks. (This column is Part 1 of 2. See Part II here.) If you’re interested in writing life stories and memoir, check out Ethan’s Boston-based, eight-week intensive memoir class (next class begins Jan 26, 2010). Read more
This is a new recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Jody M. Roy.
Jody M. Roy, Ph.D., serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere. One of her books include Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: The Frank Meeink Story. Read more
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 21st installment in this series is with agent Mollie Glick (Foundry Literary + Media) and her author, Doreen Orion, for her book, Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own. Read more
This is a new recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Sunil Robert.
Sunil Robert is the author of I Will Survive: Comeback Stories of a Corporate Warrior. Read more
Concerned that friends and family will be upset by what you write about them (even if it’s in the context of your life)? These tips gleaned from top essayists may keep you from ending up in a sticky situation with your writing.
by Kim Schworm Acosta
How do you follow up a smash hit like The Time Traveler’s Wife? For artist and author Audrey Niffenegger, it all comes down to embracing the freedom to create—on your own terms.
by Jessica Strawser
Creating characters’ backstories before you start writing is crucial because you’ll want to determine each one’s past experiences and the repercussions these experiences will have on your story before you begin. Here’s a close look at the different ways you can introduce backstory.
by Rachel Ballon
Memoir author Matt Rothschild says there are issues you need to consider before telling your story.
By Matt Rothschild Read more
Here are 10 simple steps that will take your visibility from zero to standout in a short time, while also giving you ample opportunities to flex your expertise, carve out your niche topic and connect with your audience.
by Christina Katz
Most everyone knows how difficult it can be to sell a memoir when you’re not famous (or infamous). I often advise writers that if you don’t have a celebrity-like fan base, or … Read more
We’ve all been there: basking in the glow of a finished manuscript, only to read it over and realize something is wrong with the plot. Finding ourselves unable to identify the problem only makes matters worse. But take heart! Here are some common plot gaffes and sensible ways to revise without starting over.
by Laura Whitcomb
Isabel Allende found a release for her grief in the form of a memoir written to her departed daughter.
by Jordan E. Rosenfeld Read more