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Mistake 5: Paying an Agent to Read Your Work

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: There are numerous agents who charge reading fees to look at manuscripts and give feedback. And it is understandable why writers would be tempted to go along with this; it is, after all, so hard to get professional feedback. Even writer’s groups don’t necessarily generate professional-level feedback. These agents say they charge these fees to cover their overhead costs. Since their slush pile is so large, they figure they can kill two birds with one reading by charging a fee. There are several problems with this reading fee, though. One is that fee-charging agents cannot be members of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (www.aar-online.org), a nonprofit organization of independent literary agents. The second is that a legitimate agent should be making her money by selling books, not by reading unsold manuscripts and critiquing them.

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The solution: Don’t do it. When you feel you’ve revised your manuscript as much as possible, and it’s as close to perfect as you can get it, consult a directory like Guide to Literary Agents, do some research to identify appropriate agents, and start submitting.

How to Write Through Grief and Find Creativity

How to Write Through Grief and Find Creativity

When author Diana Giovinazzo found herself caught in the storm of grief, doing what she loved felt insurmountable. Here, she shares how she worked through her grief to find her creativity again.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our Brand-New Digital Guide, 6 WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce our new “Get Published in 2022” digital guide, six new WDU courses, and more!

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

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How to Write from a Place of Truth and Desire and Bending the Rules in Screenwriting (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with screenwriter Steven Knight (Spencer), Mike Mills (C'mon C'mon), and David Mitchell (Matrix Resurrection). Plus, how to utilize your vulnerability in your writing and different perspectives on screenwriting structure.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is forgetting to read.

Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page

Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page

Sharing even a fraction of our feelings with our characters will help our stories feel more authentic. Here, Kris Spisak explains how to tap into our memories to tell emotional truths on the page.

Poetic Forms

Trinet: Poetic Forms

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Tammye Huf: On Real Love That Sparked Inspiration

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Announcing the Second Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

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