November/December 2013 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting December 12th
- Essentials of Science Fiction and Fantasy
- Advanced Memoir & Nonfiction
- Writing Personal Essays 101
- Fundamentals of Nonfiction
- Essentials of Technical Writing
- Writing the Young Adult Novel
- Advanced Novel Writing
- Marketing Your Magazine Articles
- Children's Picture Book Writing
- Freelance Writing
- Essentials of Romance Writing
- Creating Memorable Characters
- Essentials of Mystery Writing
- Essentials of Science Fiction and Fantasy
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Writing Editor Blogs
Guide to Literary Agents Blog
by Chuck Sambuchino
GLA Editor Chuck Sambuchino keeps track of all news related to literary agents and writing conferences on his blog. Common features include agent interviews, new agency listings, agency profiles, upcoming conferences of interest, contests and other publishing opportunities, valuable writing resources, submission tips and information, and a blogroll of other agent blogs. Read Chuck’s Blog
There Are No Rules
by the editors of Writer’s Digest
Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success. Read There Are No Rules
Questions & Quandaries
by Brian Klems
Don’t know the difference between “who” and “whom”? Facing an ethical dilemma about accepting gifts from subjects? Let the informative (and humorous) columnist Brian A. Klems answer some of your most pressing grammatical, ethical, business and writing-related questions. Check out his advice and don’t hesitate to ask a question—your writing career will thank you. Read Brian’s Blog
by Robert Brewer
Published poet Robert Lee Brewer blogs on issues affecting poets from the poet’s perspective. As the editor of Writer’s Market, Brewer also shares insights on the publishing industry, especially as it relates to poetry and the poetry markets. He also explains poetic forms, interviews other published poets, and provides the occasional poetry prompt. Read Robert’s Blog
YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market — Dec. 5 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Kathleen Ortiz
It’s no secret that the YA is a competitive market and saturated with several of the same genres. You have this great idea that no one else has thought of and then POOF: you see a listing for a similar project sold. Should you keep writing? Should you even bother to query it? Is it really even considered a YA book? What’s this ‘crossover’ thing people keep talking about?
Literary agent Kathleen Ortiz shares her ideas on what agents are looking for in the YA market and explains how to determine if you should keep writing (hint: writing is never something to stop). This live webinar will explain the differences between MG, YA, new adult and crossover, and how to determine which one your book is considered. Examples of each will be shared. Then she’ll review how to take your idea and create a pitch that is so incredibly compelling, an agent won’t be able to help but to read the pages. This new webinar — “YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market” – takes place at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. Don’t forget that at least 4 agents have signed clients after seeing their work as part of a WD boot camp or webinar. Read more
I hope everyone had a fun and successful November of poeming. I know I did. Now, it’s time to get back to our Wednesday poetic gatherings (until April’s poem-a-day challenge). For this … Read more
2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, toss what doesn’t work, and start again. Professionals throw away chunks of novels and stories all the time and start again. Not every story will work, not every plot will come together or every character come to life. None of the mistakes I made were a waste of time or effort, because each one of them taught me something that made the next story better. The same is true of query letters. If the one you’ve written doesn’t get you requests, start over.
GIVEAWAY: Jamie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. Read more
Here’s part two of the five-part series in which poets share their five favorite poetry collections–with reasons for their selections included. Hopefully, it’ll help shine light on collections that absolutely need to … Read more
Today, the Writer’s Digest online shop is doing it’s an annual big sale that involves books, OnDemand webinars, and more discounted at 50% off their normal prices. It’s kind of a big … Read more
Chelsea Lindman of Greenberger Associates is seeking: Her primary interests include playful literary fiction, upmarket crime fiction, and forward thinking or boundary-pushing nonfiction. Chelsea also represents a select list of children’s book authors whose stories have an emphasis on voice-driven narratives. Most importantly, Chelsea is interested in working with clients that are looking to build a lasting relationship. Read more
Here we are: The final day, the final prompt. Ack! What’ll we do tomorrow? Well, okay, we’ll probably rest tomorrow. But if you’re full of energy, you can start working on your … Read more
Look: I know what today is: It’s “Black Friday,” and there are all kinds of sales all over–people getting into fist fights over the most popular toys and deeply discounted hotdog rollers … Read more
For those of you living in the States, Happy Thanksgiving! For those of you living outside the States, Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for everyone who’s been poeming along this month, whether … Read more
We’re getting down to the final days of this challenge, but don’t use that as an excuse to ease up on the gas pedal. Rather, put the pedal to the metal and … Read more
Beginning this week, I plan on have a five-part series in which poets share their five favorite poetry collections–with reasons for their selections included. Hopefully, it’ll help shine light on collections that … Read more
Today is the final “Two for Tuesday” prompt of November. Let’s make the most of it. Here are the prompts: Take the phrase “Free (blank),” replace the blank with a word or … Read more
I have a confession to make: I’m in Ohio right now with limited access to the Internet. As such, I’m not able to share each day’s prompt on social media sites like … Read more
She is seeking: Clelia is very interested in the emerging New Adult genre. Having faced an early life career crisis, she really relates to characters who are confronted with the challenges of entering adulthood. She is also interested in young adult and middle grade books. She is seeking to represent writers whose protagonists have strong voices and whose plots are original. Clelia never wants to let go of her favorite characters, so she particularly loves trilogies and series that can be adapted to the screen.
Clelia also has a special spot in her heart for picture books. She especially loves ones that are funny or quirky, ones that feature minority and multicultural characters, and ones parents won’t mind reading over and over again to their children. Read more
Agent One-on-One Boot Camp: How to Write and Sell New Adult Fiction — Starts Dec. 4, and Has Agents Critiquing Your Work
New Adult fiction (novels featuring protagonists ages 18-25) has swiftly become the hottest thing in both self-publishing and traditional publishing. New authors are making astonishing strides in this category and making great deals with the big traditional houses. Recent success stories include Molly McAdams, whose new adult book Taking Chances has sold more than 200,000 copies so far. And then there’s Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster, a new adult novel that caught the attention of Warner Brothers and had its film rights optioned. Other bestselling NA novelists include Coleen Hoover, Cora Carmack and Tamara Webber.
The agents at Foreword Literary will help you understand New Adult fully from all aspects of the business. Whether you need to know the rules of the category, how to pitch it to agents, or how authors are hitting the bestselling lists with modern marketing techniques, Foreword has the answers for you. It’s all part of a brand new Agent One-on-One Boot Camp: “How to Write and Sell New Adult Fiction” that starts on Dec. 4, 2013. All attendees get their work critiqued (see below for details). There are a limited number of seats available. Read more
I hope everyone’s having a good experience with this year’s challenge. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many of the poems I’ve written–and excited by many of the poems I’ve read by others … Read more
Should Sex Be in Your Novel? If you write romance or erotica, then, of course, the answer is yes. For children books, it’s a definite no and questionable in Y.A. and religious books. But what about the other genres like historical fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and even memoir? The fact is that no truer words were spoken than “sex sells.” A look at the longest running best sellers is proof. Fifty Shades of Gray didn’t make the list for the terrific writing, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, while a great thriller, the readers talked about the violent rape and victim’s revenge that sent them in droves to buy the book. Read more
We’ve only got a week of November left. Let’s roll up our sleeves and make the most of it. For today’s prompt, write an “I shouldn’t be here” poem. You can decide … Read more
For today’s prompt, write a poem using at least three of the following six words: ideogram remora casket eclipse selfie wretch Use the words in the title of your poem, in the … Read more
Like all writers, my methods for building characters are a mix of mishmash and melting pot, drawn from both personal experience and academic study. Below is a short list of the ideas I’d like to cover.
1. A Character Who Refuses to Die
2. Know Your Archetype
3. The Great Man/Woman Theory
4. What MUST the Character Do (and What Does the Character Think He/She Must Do?
GIVEAWAY: Richard is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. Read more
Today marks three weeks! That’s pretty special, if you ask me. So let’s take our poeming to another level today (whatever that means). Also, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned on here … Read more
I write like a girl. More precisely, I write as a girl. My novel, Styx & Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery, features a main character/narrator who is a woman. A young woman. And a smart, resourceful, pretty young woman at that.
Ellie Stone is a self-described “modern girl” in 1960′s New York. In the days before feminism, she plays like a man, but make no mistake: she’s all woman. A Barnard graduate from a cultured family, she’s determined to have a career that doesn’t involve fetching coffee for a boss who pats her rear end when she’s done a good job. Or even when she hasn’t… Read more
After today’s poem is done, we’ll all be 67% of the way through this challenge. That’s right! We’re nearing the finish line on this poeming intensive. If you’ve been gliding through the … Read more
This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked.
The 65th installment in this series is with agent Adriann Ranta (Wolf Literary) for Mindy McGinnis’s young adult novel, NOT A DROP TO DRINK (Sept. 2013, Katharine Tegen Books), a post-apocalyptic survival tale set in a world where freshwater is almost non-existent. Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian.
GIVEAWAY: Mindy is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. Read more