Skip to main content
Publish date:

10 Writing and Publishing Questions Answered by Literary Agent Barbara Poelle

Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this post, we've collected 10 of her FYSA columns.

Editor's note: Funny You Should Ask is a rare column that just happens to appear in each issue of Writer's Digest magazine. It's humorous, for sure, but it's also loaded with great writing and publishing advice from an actual literary agent. In this post, we've collected 10 columns written by literary agent Barbara Poelle. 

Click the links below to read the answers to each question. Enjoy!

Funny You Should Ask

10 Writing and Publishing Questions Answered

  1. What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction? Also answers the question of how a writer can get a publisher to spend real money on promoting a book.
  2. Why Did My Literary Agent Stop Submitting My Manuscript? Poelle provides five possibilities.
  3. How Can I Support My More Successful Writing Friend Despite Being Jealous? Find out if it's even possible.
  4. How Do You Become a Literary Agent? A literary agent shares how becoming a literary agent happens.
  5. How Fast-Paced Should a Thriller Novel Be? Maybe not as fast as you might assume.
  6. What Is New Adult Fiction? Hint: It's not about how recent it was published but who the target audience is.
  7. Oops! I Sent the Wrong Attachment. What Now? We've all been there, but what do (or can) we do?
  8. Why Don't Literary Agents Invest in Long-Term Talent Instead of Manuscripts They Love? And how do they know the difference?
  9. What Are the Best Times to Query a Literary Agent? Learn the best times to query an agent from an agent.
  10. How Strict Are Word Counts for Contests and Book Submissions? Are they hard-and-fast rules or more like general guidelines?

Ask Funny You Should Ask! Submit your questions on the writing life, publishing, or anything in between to wdsubmissions@aimmedia.com with “Funny You Should Ask” in the subject line. Select questions (which may be edited for space or clarity) will be answered in future columns, and may appear on WritersDigest.com and in other WD publications.

*****

21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis

Outlines for novels can seem daunting. The synopsis, even more so. A synopsis is something you’re going to need because it’s vital to selling your novel if you’re going to query agents or publishers. And the outline is going to save you time while you’re writing your novel. Starting with your premise, expanding your outline, and then writing your synopsis is the perfect way to understand exactly what your story is about and how to get it done.

Click to continue.

Sports Afield: Market Spotlight

Sports Afield: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Sports Afield, a bimonthly hunting adventure magazine.

Apart vs. A Part (Grammar Rules)

Apart vs. A Part (Grammar Rules)

This post looks at the differences between apart and a part with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a next poem.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 4 WDU Courses, Upcoming Webinars, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce 4 new courses, an upcoming webinar on creating an author website, and more!

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a slow down poem.

From Script

TV Reboots, Utilizing Music to Create a Mood, and How to Grab Your Readers in Your First 10 Pages (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, interviews with "Yellowjackets" creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, showrunner Tracey Wigfield and EP Franco Bario of the "Saved by the Bell" reboot, highlights from WGFestival 2021, and so much more!

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a remix poem.

15 Promotional Ideas for Nonfiction Authors

15 Promotional Ideas for Nonfiction Authors

For the introverted writer, the process of promoting your book may seem to be a daunting, even frightening undertaking. Here, nonfiction author Rick Lauber lays out 15 promotional ideas for authors to get their books into as many hands as possible.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a Well Blank poem.