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Are Agents Just Looking for an Excuse to Reject Your Work?

Q: Doesn’t it seem like agents are just looking for excuses to reject work?
—Anonymous

A: Actually, the complete opposite is true. Agents don't want to reject your work, they want to accept it and sell it to any publisher willing to take a chance—after all, that's how they pay their rent. Agents may tell you that they reject work because the writer used poor grammar or didn't follow submission guidelines or shares a name with a grade-school bully whom the agent has never forgiven (all of which make it sound like they are out to get you), but the dirty truth is this: Agents are willing to look past all of that if you have a story that's worth selling. Grammar can be fixed; a bad story idea can't.

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Poetic Forms

Exquisite Corpse: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the exquisite corpse (or exquisite cadaver), a collaborative poem that would make a fun poetic game.

How Opening Ourselves to Other People Can Make Us Better Writers

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What Forensic Science’s Godmother Taught Me About Writing Mysteries

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Still Alive

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Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, reveal that a character who was thought deceased is actually still among the living.

Mark Anthony: On Destigmatizing Paranormal Communication

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Author Mark Anthony hopes to educate and normalize paranormal communication with his new spirituality book, The Afterlife Frequency.

Ways Animals Have Interacted With Writers Through the Centuries

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Margaret Verble: On Combining Facts and Imagination in Historical Fiction.

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Pulitzer Prize-finalist Margaret Verble discusses the process of writing her new historical fiction novel, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 586

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a scary poem.

Creating Space to Ponder Your Bliss and Relying on Your Inner Compass to Guide Your Writing

Creating Space to Ponder Your Bliss and Relying on Your Inner Compass to Guide Your Writing

What do you do in a world perpetually in fast forward? You create spaces for contemplation. Author Terry Helwig offers advice on creating spaces to ponder your bliss and how to find your inner compass.