Archive for the ‘Lisa Katzenberger’ Tag
“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.
Over at his blog, The Book Deal, editor extraordinaire Alan Rinzler shares some tips on hooking agents and editors. He also gives examples of good hooks. This blog is chock-full of all kinds of writing tips and just brimming with awesomeness, so check it out.
Over at WOW! Women on Writing, fellow Writer’s Digest contributor Kerrie Flanagan gives tips on how to pitch an agent.
The Oatmeal has become one of my favorite sites, with its hilarious lists on various subjects. I mostly love it for its grammar and spelling tips—although, I’m a little biased, as its style is reminiscent of the approach I used when I taught grammar. This post on spelling had me laughing out loud (ROTFL). This is my favorite:
I wrote two posts this week, mentioning poetry and screenwriting. If these areas are foreign to you, the folks over at Writer’s Relief can shed some light on them. Learn some poetry lingo here, and get some screenwriting resources here.
At Editorial Anonymous, learn a thing or two about deciphering those rejection letters with this tongue-in-cheek post.
As I discussed earlier this week, when I came to the end of last week’s fight to finish my manuscript, I realized my original title no longer worked. Desperate to be done with the thing and eager to apply the icing on my literary cupcake (what??), I, naturally, turned to the Internet for assistance with titles. I found some help at Writing-World.com, Writer’s Digest, and eHow.
Blogger sisters Lisa and Laura Roecker give some of Nancy Coffey Literary agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe‘s tips on synopses.
WordServe Literary‘s Rachelle Gardner offers some advice on perfecting that elevator pitch.
As well, FinePrint Literary‘s Janet Reid details what a writer needs to have ready when looking for an agent for fiction, memoir, and nonfiction with this straightforward list on her blog.
Last but not least, The Last Will of Moira Leahy author Therese Walsh of Writer Unboxed asks her agent, Elisabeth Weed of Weed Literary, about voice—something not easily defined, yet something every agent seeks.
UP FOR DISCUSSION
Over at Fiction City, my writer buddy, Lisa Katzenberger, asks: How Soon Do You Start Critiques?
Here, Robert McCrum of The Observer talks plagiarism and lists some famous examples of authors’ works which have been accused of it.
In this guest post on Rachelle Gardner‘s Rants & Ramblings, editor Chuck Sambuchino asks, “Would you pay more for an agent?” And many weigh in…
CONCERNING A WRITER’S NEUROSES
I shall keep these three posts close by during this query (and, hopefully, submission) process:
- On her blog, (W)ords and (W)ardances, Jodi Meadows reminds us there’s no shame in being a writer
- At Kierstin Writes, YA author Kierstin White (try to say that three times fast!) gives us a wake-up call about life after snagging an agent
- At MFA Confidential, Kate Monahan discusses taking time away from your work—and how it can benefit your objectivity of it as well as your mental health regarding it.
Like to read? Like to blog? Here, Thomas Nelson Publishers‘ Michael Hyatt tells how to get your hands on free books and get your name out there by reviewing them.
Don’t forget to enter my contest here on the blog. Click here for details on my easy-peasy contest, and see how you can win a brand-new 2010 Guide to Literary Agents!
I spent the weekend in beautiful Myrtle Beach at the South Carolina Writers Workshop.
Being around writer folk for the first time since June made it pretty darn difficult to return to writing all by my lonesome today. However, I’m dealing with it by mad networking, blogging, querying—oh yeah—and editing.
Here are some highlights/surprises of the weekend:
LITERARY AGENT JANET REID
First of all, Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary Management is awesome. Actually, I figured she would be, considering her blogs on agenting and query letters, but I was pleasantly surprised by her as an instructor.
Miss Query Shark herself really cares about writers. See this blog post if you don’t believe me. This hit me the most during her session “To Whom It May Concern: Effective Query Letters.”
Where most other agents say to narrow your querying pool to a select few, Janet says to query widely because it’s in the best interest of the writer to do so.
“What does it hurt you to query?” she asks. “If it’s not right, you’ll just get a rejection.”
She also stresses not to beg in your query (e.g., “I know your time is exquisitely valuable…”).
“We’re all busy,” she says. “Some of you have jobs and husbands and children to take care of. Your time is exquisitely valuable. We’re just sitting around reading.”
She even empowers writers—albeit realistically.
“Don’t demean yourself. Remember: Agents and publishing cannot exist without writers—though, no one’s going to treat you like that.”
Another helpful hint? To increase marketability, she says you might consider changing the sex of your main character, as this can make it stand out against other books like it.
Most importantly, however, she stressed that a query letter is the foundation upon which your publishing career rests.
“You can query too soon; you cannot query too late.”
For more of Janet’s query tips, see my guest post on Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents blog.
- Despite their busy schedules, they are approachable and willing to answer any questions at writers’ conferences.
- They know how to party. No elaboration necessary.
- If you’re slightly dressed up, people might think you are one. (Even though I look nothing like the fabulous Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary, I still enjoyed being mistaken for her.)
- They are curious creatures. They vary in submission guidelines as well as personal preferences, but check out their Web sites, blogs, and interviews to gain insight.
- Here’s a great blog post, regarding agent preferences, by my new friend and fellow conference-goer Lisa Katzenberger.
- It behooves writers to be somewhat ADD. As far as I can tell, the more active your mind is, the more ideas you’ll have for books and articles. I gotsta get me some of that!
- According to one faculty member, stealing ideas is okay, as long as you make them your own.
- Pitching is scary, but just get over it and do it…because the agent might just request pages.
- New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry is a down-to-earth guy. It took him 12 years and eight finished manuscripts before he ever sold anything. Keep at it, he says.
- Your first novel may not be publishable. And that’s OK. Put it away and start the second.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend such a success. I had a great time and am rejuvenated to continue my work.
Bring on the next conference!