In the Blogosphere: 3/8 – 3/12

“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week.  Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.

I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.

QUERY FAIL

I’ve heard of being a query spammer (addressing an e-query to every agent in the country), but this is ridiculous.  Notorious query spammer Oscar Whitfield ruins it for all of us—but his 7,000 rejections should make one feel better about one’s fraction of that many rejections.

Agent Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency tallies her queries, and guess what: over half of the queries she receives do not follow the submission guidelines close enough to be considered.

Tsk, tsk, tsk . . . I’m not sure what’s worse, Oscar Whitfield’s query bombs or some of the things Lowenstein Associates, Inc.’s Kathleen Ortiz says authors are guilty of when it comes to their query etiquette—or their lack thereof.

RESOURCES

Listy listy.  The good people over at Guardian.co.uk have compiled lists of writing tips from several writers—including the likes of the inimitable Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood—in the spirit of Elmore Leonard‘s 10 Rules for Writing Fiction .

Although she said Janet Reid wrote it, middle-grade and young adult sci-fi writer Blee Bonn put my guest blog about the FinePrint Literary agent’s query tips at the top of her “Awesome Advice (for Writers)” post.  Yay!

In this Writer’s Digest oldie-but-goodie post, find out what agents hate (as relayed by Guide to Literary Agents editor Chuck Sambuchino).

On his Web site, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers Michael Hyatt discusses the importance of defending your “brand” in the digital age.

UP FOR DISCUSSION

In case you missed my announcement earlier in the week, I did a little guest blogging about leetspeak (“text message lingo”) and the ramifications of its increased acceptance in young adult lit over at Australian author Steph Bowe‘s blog this week.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

DOWN TIME

Are you a workaholic?  Over at zenhabits, guest blogger Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist talks about the importance of resting.

Need something to distract you?  Check out Letterblox over at OMGPOP.

CONTESTS

Over at Inky Fresh Press, Kate announces a call for submissions as well as a contest at Narrative, an online publisher and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the literary arts in the digital age.

As well, Writer’s Digest is hosting their 79th annual writing contest with a chance to win $3,000 and a trip to New York City.

SHEDDING SOME LIGHT

Been getting lots of rejections without much feeback?  Here, D4EO literary agent Mandy Hubbard offers some reasons she passes on fulls.

If you’re looking for some “inside” information, the people over at BubbleCow divulge 7 secrets publisher don’t want writers to know.

Have you ever wondered how book covers come to be?  On Orbit, Laura Panepinto posted a YouTube video on that very subject.

Think you’re a diva?  Not sure?  The Waxman Literary Agency offers three questions to ask yourself in order to find out.

Or . . . ask yourself if you're Aretha Franklin. No? Okay, you're probably not then.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME SLIGHTLY SICK

I know Wicked was The Wizard of Oz seen in a new way—and I love it (well, the musical).  However, if they remake it á là Tim Burton, as per this Los Angeles Times article, I may actually vomit.

First The Hills‘s Lauren Conrad and now Hilary Duff?  *tear*

RANDOM

Apparently, certain words and phrases—like “seek” and “flee”—are too sophisticated for people to use outside of print.  Well, that’s what Robert Feder says the higher-ups at WGN believe, anyway.

I loves me some Coco.  And, according to USA Today, O’Brien has changed the life of the one, random Twitter follower he’s chosen.

I loves me some Cleveland Cavaliers, as well.  And, according to Cleveland.com, Eastlake, Ohio, resident Jerry Tomko and a radio essay contest are responsible for the team’s name.  (I’m so proud, having grown up five minutes from Eastlake!)

I’m so excited!  Jodi Meadows and I are going to YA author Maggie Stiefvater‘s book signing in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.  Will you be there?

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10 comments so far

  1. Bridgid Gallagher on

    Thanks for the mention, Ricki! Be sure to check out WOW!’s most recent issue, on everything YA. Plus, (shameless plug) my article on connecting with teens through social media.

    • Ricki Schultz on

      No prob, Bridgid! It’s so funny – I have been pitching an article similar to your social networking article for the past few months. I was both happy and horrified to see it! Great job, BTW – very informative and well-written to boot. If I ever sell mine, perhaps I will use you as a reference!

      • Bridgid Gallagher on

        Too funny! I would love to be a reference, and would be happy to point you towards some super-useful resources. :)

  2. BleeBonn on

    Holy Cow! Sorry for not giving credit where credit was due! Ahhhhh! I just saw Janet Reid and went from there. I am fixing the error right now!

    It is an awesome, awesome write up you did!

    Thanks for mentioning the blog.

    • Ricki Schultz on

      Oh my gosh – no worries at all! I just felt so proud that it made the top of the list – and what a helpful list it was! Obviously, with the awesomeness that is Janet Reid, even I couldn’t go wrong -hee!

      Thanks for the shout-out, Bree, and I look forward to more posts!

  3. BleeBonn on

    Yes, well it definitely deserves to be at the top and isn’t at the top by accident. :)

    It’s my favorite write up about query letters!

    • Ricki Schultz on

      OK – now I’m embarrassed – as I *just* realized I called you BREE and not BLEE! *facepalm*

  4. BleeBonn on

    Please don’t be embarrassed! I knew what you meant. :)

  5. Zoe on

    Just happened across your blog and wanted to say “nice job!” It’s a great resource. Thanks!

    • Ricki Schultz on

      Thanks for the comment – glad you found it useful, and I hope you’ll come back!


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