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Forty years as a copywriter has taught Pat Fagan that copywriting is part trench work, part cliff diving, part Hemingway, a little Lewis and Clark, and all about telling the truth. During his career, he learned a lot from working with the industry’s most talented giants. Here are their best tips. Read more Read More | View Old Posts
Weekly Writing Prompt
You are at a magic show with your family, and your eight year old son is called up on stage as a part of the disappearing act. The magician performs the first part of the act successfully, but is unable to make your son reappear. Read more Write Your Scene
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Writing the Fiction Series
The purpose of Writing the Fiction Series is to cover all things that need to be taken into consideration when writing a series and provide a one-stop resource for the who, what, where, when and why of this monumental endeavor. This helpful guide gives you everything you need for creating your fiction series from dealing with story arcs and keeping things focused to characters, consistency, organization and more.
For today’s prompt, write a sinister poem. The narrator could be sinister, or something sinister could be happening to someone (or something) else. Here’s my attempt: “appearances” not everyone’s who they appear … Read more
She is seeking: Roz is interested in literary and commercial fiction, women’s fiction, literary sci-fi, and literary YA. She loves novels that make her feel like the author is tuned into a rising revolution — cultural, political, literary, or whatnot — that’s about to burst on the scene. She looks for a resonant, lively voice; rich, irresistible language; complex characters with compelling development arcs; and a mastery of dramatic structure. Roz is also interested in non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, design, business, cultural anthropology/social science, politics, psychology and memoir. Here, she looks for driven, narrative storytelling and sharp concepts that have the potential to transcend their primary audience. Read more
All published authors can tell you that their first draft looks nothing like the finished book they sign at bookstores. How do they edit their material to take their work to a professional level? What are agents/editors looking for today in terms of a polished manuscript? Is grammar all that important, or should the story speak for itself? How many revisions should a manuscript go through before it’s considered “ready”? What are some principles on cutting down your word count and streamlining your story?
In this popular, intensive webinar, “The Art of Revision: Perfecting Your Book For Submission,” literary agent Michelle Brower will answer these questions and more. The event happens at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 20, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. All attendees will get a personal critique from Michelle. You can submit either a one-page synopsis or the first two double-spaced pages of your novel. (Remember that several agents — including Barbara Poelle, Louise Fury and Kathleen Ortiz — have signed writers after critiquing their work through a WD webinar.) Read more
Anybody who reads this blog knows that I love interview debut authors and novelists. It’s a special treat to get to know debut author Jesse Klausmeier today, because 1) she is a debut picture book author/illustrator (and finding such a debut writer is not easy!), and 2) she used my very own guide, the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market to get published. How cool! So if you are writing picture books for kids or may in the future, listen to what Jesse had to say about her journey to publication.
Jesse Klausmeier is the author of the debut picture book, OPEN THIS LITTLE BOOK, illustrated by Suzy Lee, which was named an Amazon Top Pick for January 2013, and received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, as well as many other very positive reviews. Find her on Twitter. Read more
The following is a guest post from Jotham Burrello, publisher of Elephant Rock Books. * I arrived at Ragdale House on a sunny June morning in my rusty Saab. I’d packed my … Read more
Our Meeting at the New Jersey RWA. I’ve always loved hearing about how authors found their agents. This is my story. In late 2011, I went to a New Jersey RWA meeting where they were having a panel of agents and editors talking. The whole thing was fascinating, and I ended up being late to the group buffet lunch that they had going on after.
By the time I got downstairs, every table was full, except for one seat next the lovely Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J Greenburger Associates. So we spent lunch chatting about our toddlers, etc., and at the end of the day I asked if I could query her. No pitch, just if she wouldn’t mind if I emailed her a pitch. The next day she requested the full and followed me on Twitter. A few weeks went by, and she @-replied me on Twitter saying she was loving my manuscript and would get back to me ASAP. I called all my friends and asked what they thought ASAP meant in literary-agent speak. Ten seconds? Ten days? Ten weeks? Read more
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