Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

This excellent blog is dedicated to sharing the latest and greatest instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


Becoming a Novelist: Five Principles to Success

The story of how I broke into publishing is not one most aspiring writers immediately find helpful. One bitter individual informed me that my experience only proves the insularity of the industry, that you are nobody without an “in.” On the surface, he’s right; my “in” opened that final elusive door to publication. Less...

How to Write a Great Query & First Chapter: Agent 1-on-1 Boot Camp with The Seymour Agency starts June 15, 2016 with Personalized Critiques

So you want to get published? First, congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’re dedicated to honing your submission and you’re approaching this industry from a business perspective. This is excellent news—but writing a great book is just the beginning. Selling your book is a multi-layered process that will introduce you to key players in...

What I Learned from Attending Writers’ Conferences

Before teaming up with a new publisher to release both my poetry compilation ATL Fire and California travel memoir Golden State Misadventures over one quarter of a year in 2015, I frequented writers’ conferences and grew from those experiences. Column by Han Vance, author of memoir GOLDEN STATE MISADVENTURES (August 2015, Silver Stone Press). His...

How Writing Taught Me the Need for Patience

Patience. Some regard it a virtue, and if there’s any one thing I’ve learned since embarking upon my journey into the publishing world, it’s that you need it in spades. Many are of the impression the most difficult part of being a writer is the actual writing. And yes, crafting a good novel can...

Fact vs Fiction: Keeping a Military Thriller Thrilling

As Navy veterans turned thriller writers, one thing we are often asked is how much of our military experience finds its way into our work. The answer is plenty, but how and what to include can be the difference between a high-octane thriller that’s packed with realism and a tedious study of military life....

How Missing My Deadline Brought life to My Novel

I had a conference call with my publisher about a week before my husband’s emergency brain surgery. I remember pacing outside, in the December cold, with the phone pressed against my ear and trying to carry on a normal conversation while also sneaking glances through the living room windows to make sure my husband...

6 Things Teaching Taught Me About My Own Writing

If you do something long enough people around you assume you must know what you’re doing. Next thing you know you end up as the instructor. I’m fairly sure this is how I started teaching. I’ve found that teaching writing to others has taught me a lot about my own writing.  Regardless if you...

New Literary Agent Alert: Louise Buckley of Zeno Literary Agency

She is seeking: In fiction, Louise is looking for compelling protagonists, protagonists that know what they want. She is also looking for novels that ask important questions in a bold and imaginative way. She loves reading all genres, from action-packed thrillers and cozy crime novels, to high-concept science fiction or emotionally powerful young adult....

4 Tips For Creating Bad Boys & Villains Readers Will Love to Hate

As a romantic suspense author, I enjoy creating characters (both heroes and villains) that readers love to hate. Creating characters that verge on being anti-heroes is especially satisfying. Why? It makes for interesting reading and the experience become emotional for the reader when they can’t decide whether to root for a character or wish...

How I Got My Literary Agent: Kris Dinnison

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Kris Dinnison, author of YOU AND ME AND HIM. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are...

One Day a Week, One Scene at a Time

I’ve read that ideally a writer should write each day during a designated period lasting a few hours, if at all possible. And that sounds about right as ideals go, and I don’t doubt that such a regular daily routine hones one’s writing skills and keeps the creative juices flowing. However, the constraints of...

Short Novels Sell

After spending years revising my book, MARRIED SEX,  I was convinced that its 37,000 words had split the stylistic difference between James Patterson and James Salter—that this was as novel tight as a screenplay. No adverbs. Few adjectives. Only active verbs.  What Orwell called “prose like a windowpane.” Column by Jesse Kornbluth, debut author of MARRIED...

New Literary Agent Alert: Gill McLay of Bath Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Gill McLay of Bath Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.     About Gill: Gill graduated with a Publishing and Marketing degree from Oxford Brookes University in 1996....

 Creating Picture Books As an Author/Illustrator

I have always loved the relationship between story and pictures. As a child, I would spend hours poring over picture books. In my teens I discovered the amazing world of graphic novels. At university I studied and learned the techniques of film and animation. This love of story led me to an established career...

Where Our Magic Lives: An Introduction to Magical Realism

So what is magical realism? Right after “What made you tell a story about mermaids and winged tightrope walkers?” this is probably the book question I get asked most. And understandably so. Category classifications are hard enough, and magical realism defies labeling. It’s both a genre and not one. It’s as much a worldview as...

7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Adam Blockton

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Adam Blockton, co-author of TIME SAILORS OF PIZZOLUNGO) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing...