October 27, 2009
Mary Kole, Associate Editor at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, has a fantastic post on Overthinking the Query. Mary explains that the query is to tell her about your idea and make her care. This isn't the time for fancy marketing or gimmicks. In another post, she outlines the bare bones of the query. If the query seems too complicated - it is. Check out Mary's blog for her query contest. She'll post the best query and what makes it work. Deadline is October 31st. Care to query?
October 22, 2009
This November is the tenth anniversary of National Novel Writing Month. Affectionately called "NaNoWriMo", writers in every genre hope to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Have a great idea, but can't seem to find the time? A few scribbled notes stuck in your desk drawer? This is your inspiration!
"Thirty days and nights of literary abandon " is the quote on the official NaNoWriMo website. Join your peers as you write furiously into the night. Need just a tad more inspiration? Ann Gonzalez wrote her debut novel, Running for My Life, during Nanowrimo 2007.
Ready, set, go!
October 16, 2009
Highlights Magazine for Children just released its list of current needs. This magazine is a great publishing credit for writers. Highlights has a current circulation of over 2 million , which places it as the largest paid subcription, general interest magazine for children. That means a lot of folks will read your article! Interested in writing a non-fiction piece for Highlights? Be prepared for lots of homework. The editors demand high-quality pieces, and this requires expert reviews of your article, quotes, a thorough bibliography (not internet sources). And you may likely be asked for revisions. I had one article acquired by Highlights, and another currently under revision. It's not an easy process, but the result? A better article with a tight focus and an interesting twist for kids. Highlights pays well, upon acquistion of the manuscript. A bonus -other publications may have permission from Highlights to use the article, and the author receives additional royalties. Check out the Highlights list of current needs and good luck!
October 7, 2009
Ah, the query letter. How tempted we are to jam the entire book into a query letter. How can we possibly resist? YOU MUST RESIST! The query letter is meant to give the editor/agent a brief overview of your book and what makes it different than the hundreds of others they have seen with the same plot. Consider it your one-minute elevator pitch. If you are telling too much in the query, you have not practiced your pitch. Impress the editor/agent with your brevity and ability to write succinctly. If you query letter just won't stop telling, they will assume that your manuscript just won't stop telling either. Check out this article from Query Shark for a great example.