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Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog
Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and published author who runs the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, one of the biggest blogs in publishing. His site has instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.
Pooja represents: Pooja is actively seeking to build her client list. She’s looking for compelling writing with an easy flow, a timely pacing, a unique perspective, and strong voices. She enjoys literary, commercial, historical, and upmarket women’s fiction; but is particularly drawn to stories with an international flavor, vibrant characters, multicultural themes, and lush settings. She has a soft spot for fantasy novels that are original and layered, with worlds as real and alive as the ones created by Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling. In YA, she’s eagerly looking for submissions across all genres. Pooja is also acquiring nonfiction adventure and travel memoirs, journalism and human interest stories, and self-help books addressing relationships and the human psychology from a fresh perspective. Read more
Literary Agent Mary Kole Shows You How to Write Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels That Will Sell — Oct. 25, 2012 Webinar With Critique
Our most in-demand webinar instructor of all time is literary agent Mary Kole (formerly of Andrea Brown Literary and now with Movable Type Management). Mary’s webinars on writing & selling books for kids have regularly drawn hundreds of attendees. Why? Simply put, the woman knows her stuff and she just plain loves kids books. She runs Kidlit.com, one of the biggest websites for writers of juvenile books. She’s the author of the new resource, Writing Irresistible Kidlit (fall 2012). And she always offers a personalized, helpful critique for every webinar attendee who signs up. That’s why we’re excited that Mary is back to teach “Crafting Young Adult & Middle Grade Novels That Sell” — an intensive webinar on Oct. 25, 2012. Read more
Here are the winners of Writer’s Digest’s TUNESDAY: VOLUME 1. Yes, I said winners with an S. That’s because the rules have changed, and there’s more ways to win. CHANGE IN RULES: The rules clearly state what prizes await the winner and how the winner is chosen. But I’m adding more winners. If you’re not the winner but your entry guessed 2/3 or more of the riffs correctly, you got entered into a drawing for a free WD book. So note this change in rules moving forward if you found yourself figuring out several riffs but then giving up. Read more
One of my biggest tips when teaching people how to pitch is to avoid generalities. Because a generality could mean anything, it fails to draw us in to the story because it’s not clear what you’re getting at. If you’re ever wondering about what constitutes a generality in a pitch, look no further than this example. Do not do what they’re doing. General = bad. Read more
1. Participate in other art forms. While writing is indeed an all-consuming, infinite endeavor, it can be helpful to engage in other art forms as well. Any kind of creative enterprise helps keep the flow of creativity vibrant and strong. Plus the guiding principles of all art are basically the same–theme, light and dark, repetition … For me, dance and painting/collage inform my writing and push it in new directions.
GIVEAWAY: Carolyn is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Rendon won.) Read more
Learn to Plot & Structure Your Story. New Webinar on Oct. 18, 2012 Shows Story Physics and Engineering.
What are the most important moments of your story? Do you have a low point? The climax mapped out? The inciting incident that gets the story moving? These are the questions being addressed by Story Engineering author Larry Brooks (a true master of plotting, in WD’s opinion) for his new webinar on Oct. 18, 2012. Larry is teaching “Story Physics: How to Hit the Most Important Moments In Your Story Out of the Park.” If you want to map out a good story, learn about plot & structure by taking this webinar. Read more
He is seeking: “I’m looking for a select few, outstanding projects that grab me and won’t let me go until I place them with a publisher. For fiction, this means a memorable blend of characters, setting, and storyline—delivered with carefully crafted prose. For nonfiction, a unique way of addressing a real need with an authority readers will recognize. And for both, the individual’s desire to grow in the craft of writing and to undertake the required discipline to promote their work for others’ benefit.” Read more
Agent judge Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown has finished judging all the entries for the 12th free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest. The contest was for writers of adult and YA mysteries. Here are her three winners (in no order): A Boat Against the Current by Amy Makechnie, Fingers Crossed by Marie Langager, and Warwick Hall by Kristina Pérez. Read more
The curse of a vivid imagination is that you can almost always imagine something that would make the situation worse. This is why if there is a sudden lurch on a flight, you can count on me to grip my armrest, mentally picturing the wing suddenly falling off of the plane. Strange noise in the middle of the night? Zombie apocalypse. Hacking cough and sniffle? No doubt the beginning of Ebola. It makes my life anxious, but it’s great for writing fiction. Most fiction suffers from not enough conflict, not too much. With every book and every scene, ask yourself “what would make this worse?” One way to do this is to take common conflict resolution techniques and turn them upside down.
GIVEAWAY: Eileen is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: sefmac20 won.) Read more
Enjoy a little rock & roll music from time to time? Who doesn’t? Well I’m trying something fun and different today as a Monday pick-me-up to try and get your week going. It’s my own crazy variation of NAME THAT TUNE and I’m calling it WD’S TUNESDAY (possibly Volume 1, if people dig it). The rules and the gist are simple. Watch the video. I play 15 riffs on my guitar. You try to name as many of them as you can, and e-mail me your answers to literaryagent at fwmedia dot com (Contest Deadline: EOD, Oct 19, 2012). The person who names the most correct answers gets lots of cool prizes (see below). It’s a great excuse to call upon friends and relatives to help you ID the songs, as they are from different decades. It’s also a great excuse to blow off whatever dull work you’re doing and listen to music instead. And if you can’t name all 15 songs, feel free to enter anyway! If no one can name all 15, the closest number wins. You think you got what it takes? Need a little rock & roll music to liven up your day? Then listen in as I try to do these riffs justice on my guitar… Read more
Agent Gina Panettieri Teaches “How To Find The Right Agent To Sell Your Book” – New Webinar With Critique on Oct. 11, 2012
Who better to help you find the best agent than a great agent working in today’s marketplace? Here at WD, we publish the Guide to Literary Agents as a huge database of agents and what they want. But getting the book is just the first step. You need to investigate agents for possible submissions then research what they like and what they’re selling. The more you target your submissions, the better off you’ll be. And when you receive an offer of representation from an agent, how do you know if they’re the best fit for you in the long run? Luckily for us, we have an expert on the matter to teach a webinar. Agent Gina Panettieri (Talcott Notch) teaches “How To Find The Right Agent To Sell Your Book” on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. All attendees get a critique. Read more
This installment features Stacey Glick of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She joined DGLM in 1999 after working in film and television development for five years. Following a number of internships in the entertainment business, her first job after college was at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, where she looked for book projects to be adapted into feature films. Next, she worked as a story editor at Hearst Entertainment, where she scouted material for television movies. A former child actress, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and four little girls.
She is seeking: young adult, middle grade, and adult contemporary fiction of all kinds as well as fiction narrative nonfiction, parenting, cooking and food, biography, memoir, psychology, self-help & how-to, health/fitness, lifestyle, current events, and pop culture. Read more
RED DOG Book News Roundup: Book at Urban Outfitters, “Whine at 9″ Podcast Interview, and I’ll Be at Books by The Banks in Cincinnati on Oct. 20, 2012…
The big news concerning my own writing is that my new humor book, RED DOG / BLUE DOG: WHEN POOCHES GET POLITICAL, is in Urban Outfitters. Exciting! Because of the close of Borders, getting your book into any specialty markets — be that Urban Outfitters, Lowes, Michaels or anywhere else — is very important. I walked by an UO in Chicago and looked all over the book table for my book, only to be pleasantly surprised to see that the book was, in fact, at the front table next to a bunch of other political stuff. Read more
There’s a monster hiding under my desk. He lurks there, waiting for the right moment to attack. He’s an ugly little bastard, too. I have a lot of names for him, but for the sake of not overusing profanity in this blog, I’ll call him by his real name, Self-Doubt. Most of you might think that after two decades in the business, after hitting list that I only dreamed about hitting, I’d have managed to kill the gremlin. But you’d be wrong. That sneaky little devil won’t die. He keeps popping back up.
GIVEAWAY: C.C. is excited to give away a free copy of BORN AT MIDNIGHT to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: lizcolebourn won.) Read more
Overlooked in discussions about bookselling is that print books are a unique medium. They can be converted into other forms and media, but they are irreplaceably valuable. Imagine the world without movies and CDs as it was at the beginning of the twentieth century. Then imagine it now without print books. A catastrophe for our personal, professional, and political future. Can you imagine taking an oath on an e-reader? Read more
She is seeking: “Whether an agent chooses to work with an author—or doesn’t—often boils down to the personality match. All of us agents try to acquire for a range of different readers, but if something is of personal interest, we’re excited before we even turn the page. Therefore, here’s me in some alphabetically-organized keywords: airplanes, Americana, Bill Bryson, death, England, Gene Weingarten, Jezebel, Jim Henson, @LongReads, Mary Roach, Mervyn Peake, New York magazine, Pitcairn Island, pop culture, psychology, rock music, the Simpsons, Sloane Crosley, weird, William Langewiesche.” Read more
Literary Agent Jim McCarthy Explains the “10 Elements of Novels That Sell” on Oct. 4, 2012. The Webinar Comes With a Critique
A lot of people write novels, but few sell. Why? It all comes down to a mastery of language and voice. It means creating great, vivid characters that we remember. It’s about starting your book strong. It’s about mapping out a story structure that has highs and lows to take the reader on an emotional journey. Literary agent Jim McCarthy, a wise publishing pro, will be covering all these topics as he repeats his popular webinar, “10 Elements of a Saleable Novel Today,” on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. The webinar starts at 1 p.m. EST and lasts 90 minutes. Read more
2. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. As in many aspects of life, it helps to have friends working toward similar goals. I didn’t know anyone else who even wrote YA when I started out, but I quickly found supportive friends beginning their publication journeys, just like me. Almost every one of the people I met back then now either has an agent or a book deal. You can boost each other up the rungs of the ladder—you don’t need someone at the top to pull you up. Read more
NEWS: Literary agent Erin Harris has moved from the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency to Folio Literary Management, where she will focus on growing their literary fiction list, in addition to representing book club fiction, YA, and select narrative nonfiction titles.
HOW TO SUBMIT TO HER: Click through to read an in-depth Q&A about what the move means for her, her submissions, her response time to queries, the categories she seeks, and more. Read more
The 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market Is Out — And Here Are 6 Darn Good Reasons to Buy It (and Naturally I’m Giving Away Books!)
The 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is out and available in major bookstores! I’m super pumped about its release. It’s a great resource guide for writers of picture books and novels for kids (young adult, middle grade) as well as illustrators. The new 2013 edition is all updated and packed with info. Now in its 25th year, the newest edition still provides great market and submission/contact information for book publishers, international publishers, literary agents, contests, magazines, conferences and more. Click through to read 5 testimonials about the book from amazing bestselling authors like Jay Asher and Meg Cabot.
THE GIVEAWAY!!! Comment on this post and just say anything nice about any element of Writer’s Digest you enjoy — from a blog post to a class or a book or anything else. In two weeks, I will pick 2 winners randomly to win a copy of the book! It’s that easy. (UPDATE: kathyellendavis and PatriceWrites won.) Read more
Writer’s Digest Conference West in Los Angeles (Oct. 19-21, 2012) Has Sessions, Agents, Pitches and More
After the great success Writer’s Digest has had organizing its event in New York City, we are very excited to be expanding to the West Coast as of 2012. Writer’s Digest Conference West is a new event in Los Angeles set for October 19-21, 2012. All the good stuff you have come to expect from a WD conference will be here — sessions, agents, bootcamps, the Pitch Slam, and more. Read more
About Michelle: As a new literary agent at Mansion Street Literary Management, Michelle Witte brings with her a wealth of experience, not only with juvenile fiction, but with the publishing industry as a whole. Michelle began her career as a journalist, first reporting and then later copy editing for the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, Utah, the second largest paper in the state. From there, she transitioned with her editing skills to nonfiction publisher Gibbs Smith, where she oversaw creation, editing, and production of more than thirty titles, including children’s activity, humor, gift, cookbooks, and a smattering of other topics from blacksmithing to green living. Her entire bio is online at her personal website.
She is seeking: Michelle will be primarily representing young adult and middle grade works. She also reps children’s nonfiction. Read more
“Agent Advice” (more than 170 interviews so far!) is a series of quick interviews with literary and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else.
This installment features Kate Garrick of DeFiore and Company Author Services, LLC. She joined the publishing world in 2000 after earning her M.A. in English & American Literature from NYU and has been with DeFiore and Company since 2002. She’s originally from Jacksonville, Florida, and is a graduate of Florida State University. Read more