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Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

I frequently receive questions from writers about getting their books published. One very common question involves whether writers should find an editor or agent first. It would be great if the answer was always the same, but it really does depend on the situation.

(20 Literary Agents Actively Seeking Writers and Their Writing.)

Writers who want to get published by one of the big publishers (or their many, many imprints) need to secure a literary agent first in nearly every case. Every so often, an imprint will loosen their submission guidelines a bit to allow open submissions from writers, but that's a rarity.

Writers who wish to get published by regional or university presses will frequently submit directly to the publisher without the assistance of a literary agent. The margins usually aren't there to make submissions to smaller presses worth an agent's time, since they typically receive 15% commission on the sale.

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

What About Collections of Poetry and Short Fiction?

Poets and writers of short fiction often ask about getting their collections of stories and poems published. Often, they want to jump straight to landing a literary agent and a book deal, but these forms of writing tend to follow a different path that focuses on publishing individual poems and stories in print and online publications first.

(How Do I Get My Poetry Published?)

After getting several stories and poems published in publications, writers will collect their work and submit directly to publishers and/or writing contests for unpublished book-length collections. If a writer wins an award or gets anthologized, an agent may reach out to the writer directly.

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the art of storytelling 101 story mapping and pacing

Discover how the seven core competencies of storytelling—concept, character, voice, plot, theme, scene construction, and style—combine to create compelling narrative.

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NaNoWriMo: Making the Most of Community

NaNoWriMo: Making the Most of Community

Books, much like children, sometimes take a village. Let managing editor and fellow WriMo participant Moriah Richard give you tips for engaging with your online and in-person NaNoWriMo community.

From Script

Film and TV Show Reviews and Writing What You Know (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, Script contributor Tom Stempel reviews the latest in film and television show releases, an exclusive interview with Lamb screenwriter Sjón, and much more!

Why We Should Read Middle Grade Fiction as Adults

Why We Should Read Middle Grade Fiction as Adults

Young Adult fiction has surpassed its own demographic by being acceptable to read at any age. Why have we left middle grade fiction out of that equation? Here’s why we should be reading middle grade fiction as adults and as writers.

What Are the 6 Different Types of Editing?

What Are the 6 Different Types of Editing?

When you reach the editing phase of your manuscript, it's important to know what kind of editing you're looking for in particular. Author Tiffany Yates breaks down the 6 different types of editing.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Imayo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the imayo.

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Congratulations to Elaine Howley, first place winner in the Print or Online Article category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning article, "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Congratulations to Olga El, first place winner in the Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning TV Pilot script, "Jaguar Woman."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Congratulations to Nicole Adabunu, first place winner in the Non-Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning poem, "won't you celebrate with me."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Congratulations to MF Slattery, first place winner in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's the winning poem, "She Lives in Underbridge World"