Skip to main content

Next Stop: Rutland, VT—League of Vermont Writers 2008 Event

Off to Rutland, VT, in a few days for the spring session of the League of Vermont Writers. It's not exactly a conference, per say, as I am one of the only speakers. I'll be doing a lot of speaking on queries, pitching and agents so attendees can soak up info in preparation of a mini agent pitch slam that the league is hosting in July. (If you live in/near Vermont, consider going.)

Off to Rutland, VT, in a few days for the 2008 spring session of the League of Vermont Writers. It's not exactly a conference, per say, as I am one of the only speakers. I'll be doing a lot of speaking on queries, pitching and agents so attendees can soak up info in preparation of a mini agent pitch slam that the league is hosting in July. (If you live in/near Vermont, consider going.)

Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:


I'm critiquing work and meeting with writers up there to talk. I'm looking at fiction, mostly—synopses and manuscripts. Here are some thoughts after reading samples for a while:

  • Always include a header on your work. That's the thing up top (not part of the regular text) that says NAME / PAGE NUMBER.
  • Synopses have a very specific format. I've blogged about this before, so I won't go into everything, but remember that characters are CAPITALIZED when introduced. Also, the more names you have in the synopsis (and pitch, for that matter), the more confusing it is for us.
  • Avoid super-general sentences, such as "She overcomes her fear to achieve self-confidence and happiness."
  • Avoid scenes where characters converse and summarize a scene that just happened. We were there. We remember. Perhaps worse: Try not to skip a potentially awesome scene, only to tell all about it through dialogue as someone tells another character what happened at this awesome scene we missed. This is telling, not showing.
  • In queries, avoid telling the agent how the story should make readers feel, such as "this will make readers smile" or "my story will hopefully brighten your day."


Michael J. Seidlinger: On Asking Questions in Horror

Michael J. Seidlinger: On Asking Questions in Horror

Author Michael J. Seidlinger discusses the writing process of his new literary horror novel, Anybody Home?

10 Tips for Building a Realistic and Vibrant Fictional World

10 Tips for Building a Realistic and Vibrant Fictional World

World-building of any kind can seem like a daunting task. Here, author Nalini Singh shares 10 tips for building a realistic and vibrant fictional world.

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace discusses combining her favorite genres into her new YA fantasy novel, Belladonna.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our September/October Cover Reveal, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our September/October 2022 cover, a competition deadline reminder, and more!

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Author John Cameron discusses how nonfiction history and historical fiction are more similar than they are different.

Bob Eckstein | Publishing Survival Tips

Top 10+ Survival Tips for Publishing

Poignant advice from some of the funniest people in publishing.

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

New York Times bestselling author Zac Bissonnette discusses the process of writing his new cozy mystery, A Killing in Costumes.

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

Every writer’s publishing story is different. Here, author Sharon M. Peterson shares her journey from writing to publishing.

Jeff Adams | Writer's Digest Indie Author Spotlight

Jeff Adams: Publishing Advice for Indie Authors

In this Indie Author Profile, romance novelist Jeff Adams shares his path to independent publishing and his advice for others considering that path.