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Richard Kirshenbaum used his experience working in advertising to tell the story of two rival beauty industry icons in his novel Rouge (St. Martin’s, June 2019). Here, he reveals how he also channeled inspiration from the places he’s traveled to tell the story.

F. Scott Fitzgerald vehemently declared “I want to go places … and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.” Those musings of Fitzgerald’s have come to embody Jazz age youth, insouciance, and abandon. Would his work have been as sultry, stylish, and layered without his overly stamped passport? Would he have hit the literary mother lode if he only vacationed in … Tampa? I think not.

When one foolishly makes a halfhearted attempt at the great American novel, one must either buck or embrace hubris. Clearly, old F. Scott was on to something with his touristic passion.

“Well,” I thought, “my given name may not be as lyrical as his … but I still want to go places, too!”

Through my work in the advertising business, I have had the unique opportunity to travel and work everywhere from Stockholm to Sicily. I often revel in my own well-stamped passport (which somehow always seems to be on the verge of expiring despite the daunting end date).

A few years back I was happily ensconced on a Jamaican holiday—my family and I rented the famous Ian Fleming Villa at the mystical GoldenEye Resort. Word has it that Fleming, who owned the property, wrote every James Bond novel behind the Caribbean shutters in the heat of the afternoon, hence the iconic and world-famous name.

Once we checked into the hallowed villa and unpacked, I lurked about for signs of old Ian. And then suddenly, there it was.

Atop the simple, polished wooden desk rested Fleming’s original manual typewriter. I approached it, breathless, and then did what I knew I had to do. I pulled out the attending chair and sat at Fleming’s desk, lovingly caressing the keyboard. Suddenly, I caught sight of a laminated article he had written which was placed in an amusing way on the desk.

“How to write a bestseller“ it read. Swiftly, I was reeling at the thought. I read it over and over and decided then and there that I, too, would one day hopefully write something worthy and in such glamorous environs. After all, if Ian could do it, why couldn’t I? And from that moment, walking the powdery beach cove below and feasting on savory jerk chicken, I thought about what I could not only hope to write, but also say. And who couldn’t be inspired in such a marvelous environment among Ian’s own things?

Just last week I had the serendipity to have been invited to a dinner and wine tasting of the famed Tuscan estate Il Palagio owned by the stunning and erudite Trudie Styler and her husband, Sting. “Sting wrote ‘Every Breath You Take’ at GoldenEye,” she nodded over the swirling and lush yet subtle Brunello. “Of course, he did,” I thought. “Who wouldn’t? Especially if you’re Sting!”

Which all led to what would inspire me on my travels. And it came to me in a flash at Ian’s desk.

“Write what you know,” people in-the-know advise. Being an adman by trade and having run cosmetic accounts from Avon to Revlon, it occurred to me that this would be the right vein to tap. Why hadn’t anyone done a novel about the cosmetics industry? I could never write a spy novel … but cosmetics? Surely, after all the lipstick campaigns I conceived, I thought, I could do that! Macho, no! Original, yes!

I am, after all, the first generation of men to have worked for the first generation of female entrepreneurs. Since there seemed to be a dearth of novels on this subject, I decided to tackle a book dedicated to the brave and bold women who created the first female multi-billion dollar cosmetics category. And thus my debut novel Rouge is a loving homage to many of the fabulous female executives I knew and worked for and the groundbreaking products they created and marketed.

With that idea and a rum drink in hand, and sitting beside Ian’s manual keyboard, I wrote the prologue to Rouge in less than 30 minutes, pouring like the golden rum. What better way to open a novel, I thought, than with the society funeral of a cosmetics icon, the richest woman in the world … a nice, cinematic way to set up the rivalries and inventory her life and set the proverbial stage.

Three years later, after a proud book deal and with the galley in hand, it came time to craft the acknowledgments for the impending hardcover. I didn’t only want to thank people. I also wanted to thank my places. The places where I saw people and where my mind grew. And GoldenEye tops the list, of course, for creative flow. Perhaps Sting was inspired in the same way, although possibly more with yoga than with rum. Now, as I see the final hardcover, I look at my list in the back pages and I am bowled over at the places I have been and the people I have met along the way. Not to mention the most wonderful meals happily endured and digested. GoldenEye; Ireland’s Ashford Castle; the Quisisana in Capri; the very vegan Candle 79 on the Upper East Side; and the Irish bar, the aptly named The Thirsty Scholar on the Lower East. Somehow I think F. Scott would have approved of the diverse itinerary and the victuals.

Perhaps I could not have written the great American attempt without his advice. The shutters that yield to the Caribbean Sea, the Victorian opulence of Ashford Castle with framed political caricatures of Gladstone and D’Israeli, the ancient lure of Tiberius and Graham Greene, Munthe and Neruda in Capri all provide a siren song, an inspiration and a way forward.

So F. Scott, I want to go places and see people too and write about it. Maybe certain nuggets will surface and then appear somewhere in some future tome and some won’t, but I will travel, explore, and gain from it like you and your honey did. And I will continue … to write home.

The post Location, Location, Location: Discovering the Perfect Place for Writing Your Novel by Richard Kirshenbaum appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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Literary agents are gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Find science fiction literary agents open to submissions in this post. List will be updated regularly.

Literary agents are important decision makers in the publishing process for authors who wish to be published by many of the big publishers. However, all literary agents do not represent all genres. In fact, an agent who claims to do this should be approached with caution. Just as authors tend to specialize in one or two genres, agents find niches and specialize in a handful of genres.

(Learn the correct word count for novels and children’s books here.)

In this post, I’ve collected recently shared agent spotlights with literary agents who are accepting science fiction (or SF) submissions. This list will be updated regularly with new agents added to the top.

Peter Rubie of FinePrint Literary Management

Peter Rubie

Peter Rubie is currently the CEO of FinePrint Literary management, a NYC-based literary agency. He grew up in England and was a Fleet Street journalist, before becoming one of the youngest news editors for BBC Radio News. He came to the U.S. in 1981, and worked as a freelance editor and writer for agents and major publishers before becoming the adult fiction editor at Walker & Co., for 6 years. He left that job to become a literary agent.

He has also been an adjunct professor in the New York University publishing faculty, where for 10 years he taught the only university-level course in the country on how to become a literary agent. For several years, he was also the director of the book publishing section of NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute. Peter thinks of himself as “an editor in recovery” who picks and chooses various ed boards for his clients’ projects. He often works extensively on the editorial content and presentation of a project before submitting it.

Click here to learn more.

Kat Enright of the Seymour Agency

Kat Enright

Kat Enright (she/they) is an Associate Agent at the Seymour Agency, and they represent both fiction and nonfiction. Prior to joining the Seymour Agency, they worked in a variety of departments in publishing, including Sales and Editorial, and they have a keen understanding of the many stages that a book must go through in order to reach bookshelves.

As someone who lives on the corner of many intersections, they are most especially interested in elevating voices of marginalized authors.

Click here to learn more.

Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary, working across multiple categories, and has worked with New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors. When he isn’t busy working on other people’s books, sometimes he writes his own. His latest novel, The Girl and the Grove, was published by Flux in 2018, and his next novel, Don’t Read the Comments, will be published by Inkyard Press in January 2020.

He currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife, son, and overly affectionate corgi.

Click here to learn more.

Maureen Moretti of P.S. Literary

Maureen Moretti

Maureen Moretti began her publishing career as an intern with several prestigious literary agencies before joining P.S. Literary as an associate agent.

She holds a B.A. from Saint Mary’s College of California and attended the Columbia Publishing Course.

Maureen is actively acquiring both nonfiction and fiction.

Click here to learn more.

Write better. Get published. Build your network.
Writer’s Digest Annual Conference | August 22-25 | New York City Anne Tibbets of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Anne Tibbets

Anne Tibbets began her career as a screenwriter, author, and literary agency intern at D4EO, becoming a full-time agent in 2018 at Red Sofa Literary.

Anne joined D4EO Literary in 2019 and is best found on Twitter @AnneTibbets and her blog at http://writeforcoffee.blogspot.com.

Anne represents adult and young adult science fiction and fantasy, thrillers, horror, historical, and mystery.

Click here to learn more.

Devin Ross of New Leaf Literary & Media

Devin Ross

Devin earned her B.A. in English from Lawrence University and her Publishing Certificate at the Denver Publishing Institute.

She began her publishing carreer as an author’s assistant, helping authors grow their platforms and meet their deadlines.

Her next career move landed her in the Subsidiary Rights department at Crown Publishing Group before she found her home at New Leaf Literary & Media.

Click here to learn more.

Experience the Pitch Slam at WDC19—a rare opportunity to pitch your book directly to professional agents and editors actively looking for new voices! Advocate for your book in a high-energy environment, and you might just become another Pitch Slam success story.

The post Science Fiction Literary Agents Open to Submissions by Robert Lee Brewer appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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Here are 11 Aldous Huxley quotes for writers and about writing from the author of Brave New World, Point Counterpoint, and The Doors of Perception. In these quotes, Huxley covers the role of books, aspects of genius, and more.

Aldous Huxley

He authored nearly 50 books, including Point Counterpoint and The Doors of Perception, but Aldous Huxley is best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World. Thirty years after the publication of Brave New World, Huxley’s final novel Island acted as a utopian counterpoint to his earlier dystopian novel.

(Click here for 7 tips on writing dystopian fiction.)

He grew up in England but spent his later life living in Los Angeles. His influence can be found in music and film. For instance, The Beatles’ “Dr. Robert” song is said to be based off a character of the same name from Island, and The Doors took their band name from Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, itself a reference to a William Blake quote. Russian composer Igor Stravinsky dedicated his last orchestral composition, Variations, to Huxley.

As such a prolific author, Huxley has quite a catalog of memorable quotes. Here are 11 Aldous Huxley quotes for writers and about writing.

11 Aldous Huxley quotes for writers and about writing

“The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.”

“A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.”

“It’s with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.”

*****

Write Better Novels!

Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this Advanced Novel Writing workshop meant for novelists who are looking for book editing and specific feedback on their work. When you take this online workshop, you won’t have weekly reading assignments or lectures. Instead, you’ll get to focus solely on completing your novel.

While it is possible to write a novel in a month, in this workshop you’ll spend 15 weeks writing yours—all the while gaining valuable feedback and getting the encouragement you need in order to finish writing your novel. You’ll also learn specific tips for outlining and how not to write a novel. One thing is for certain though—by the end of this online workshop, you will have the tools and know-how to write a great novel.

Click to continue.

*****

“The proper study of mankind is books.”

“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”

“We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.”

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”

“Every man’s memory is his private literature.”

“An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.”

“We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.”

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”

The post 11 Aldous Huxley Quotes for Writers and About Writing by Robert Lee Brewer appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the virelai, a French form with nine-line stanzas and alternating rhymes.

Virelai Poems

The virelai is a French poetic form with alternating rhymes and line lengths. Here are basic guidelines:

  • nine lines per stanza
  • lines one, two, four, five, seven, and eight have five syllables
  • lines three, six, and nine have two syllables
  • the five-syllable lines rhyme with each other and the two-syllable lines rhyme with each other to make the following rhyme patter: aabaabaab
  • the end rhyme for the short lines continues on in the following stanza
  • the final stanza’s short-line end rhyme should be the same as the long-line end rhyme in the opening stanza (to complete the end-rhyme circle)

Note on stanzas: This form can contain as few as two stanzas to infinity (if you could write that many). My example below has three stanzas, but this can change.

*****

Build an Audience for Your Poetry!

While your focus as a poet will always be on refining your craft, why not cultivate a following along the way? With the multitude of social networking opportunities available today, it’s never been easier to connect with other poetry enthusiasts. Within minutes, you can set up a blog and share your poems and insights with like-minded readers.

Discover how to expand your readership and apply it to your poetry sharing goals today!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a virelai:

talk the talk, by Robert Lee Brewer

talkers like to talk
& walkers will walk
without
weighing who to block
or watching the clock
about
when to tick or tock
or pick up a rock
& shout

there’s never a doubt
about the right route
to take
whether north or south
or straight from her mouth
to make
a smile into pout
or a with without
real fake

& see what’s at stake
in a william blake
or mock
poem to forsake
near the shallow lake
we talk
about what we fake
when we’d rather take
a walk

The post Virelai: Poetic Forms by Robert Lee Brewer appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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Literary agents are gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Find picture book literary agents open to submissions in this post. List will be updated regularly.

Literary agents are important decision makers in the publishing process for authors who wish to be published by many of the big publishers. However, all literary agents do not represent all genres. In fact, an agent who claims to do this should be approached with caution. Just as authors tend to specialize in one or two genres, agents find niches and specialize in a handful of genres.

(Learn the correct word count for novels and children’s books here.)

In this post, I’ve collected recently shared agent spotlights with literary agents who are accepting picture book (or PB) submissions. This list will be updated regularly with new agents added to the top.

Bibi Lewis of the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Bibi Lewis

Bibi Lewis joined the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency in 2014 as an associate agent and subsidiary rights manager.

In addition to her duties as an agent she sells foreign and audio rights for agency clients.

As a native New Yorker, she is a fierce patron of the NYPL.

Click here to learn more.

Joseph Perry of Perry Literary, Inc.

Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is a new agent at Perry Literary, Inc. Before founding Perry Literary, Joseph began his book publishing career when he attended the New York University Summer Publishing Institute in 2010. After interning at FinePrint Literary Management, Joseph enrolled at St. John’s University School of Law to learn about the legal aspects of publishing and graduated with a juris doctor in 2015.

During law school, Joseph interned in the legal departments at Hachette Book Group; Rodale, Inc.; and William Morris Endeavor, as well as the subsidiary rights department at Columbia University Press. Joseph also holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from St. Bonaventure University.

Click here to learn more.

Melissa Richeson of the Apokedak Literary

Melissa Richeson

Melissa Richeson recently moved into the role of associate agent at Apokedak Literary Agency, where she is building her list of children’s book authors. Melissa joined ALA in the spring of 2018 as an intern, which allowed her to learn the nuances of children’s book publishing firsthand before being promoted into her current role. With a unique background in both marketing and elementary literature education, she’s able to serve clients well while also keeping readers in mind.

Melissa has also been working as a writer for years, in both the content and creative realms. She had a children’s fiction serial run in an online magazine for over a year, is a current staff columnist, and is a represented young adult and picture book author.

Click here to learn more.

Write better. Get published. Build your network.
Writer’s Digest Annual Conference | August 22-25 | New York City Alexandra Levick of Writers House

Alexandra Levick

Alexandra Levick has worked with a wide range of established New York Times bestsellers, national award winners, and debut clients. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a degree in English focused on Creative Writing, Alexandra attended New York University where she received her Masters of Science in Publishing with a specialization in Content Development.

Prior to Writers House, she spent time at Sterling Lord Literistic, in publicity at Bloomsbury, and as a bookseller for Barnes and Noble. Today, she is building a broad list and works on everything from picture books to speculative adult fiction.

Click here to learn more.

Experience the Pitch Slam at WDC19—a rare opportunity to pitch your book directly to professional agents and editors actively looking for new voices! Advocate for your book in a high-energy environment, and you might just become another Pitch Slam success story.

The post Picture Book Literary Agents Open to Submissions by Robert Lee Brewer appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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After writing romance novels that sold over half a million copies, Anna Schmidt wanted to break away from genre fiction to write literary fiction. Here’s what she learned from making the switch.

The level of success I’ve had as an author is something I never could have imagined at the start of my career: I sold over 500,000 copies of my romance works to a loyal fanbase. My work has received top reviews and has been a finalist four times for the coveted RITA award presented by the Romance Writers of America. There have been other awards as well, but nothing I treasure more than the letters and e-mails I’ve received over the years from readers who have been touched by my stories.

And yet, there came a time when I felt stuck. I knew I had bigger stories to tell, some of which had been simmering for years, and all of which were more complex than the genre fiction work I had been doing for my then-publisher. But how could I get these stories out into the light of day? How could I pivot, and how difficult would that process be?

The answer: very difficult.

Sometimes I found that there were alternative niches in the system that I could burrow into. For instance, I was fortunate to find an editor in the “inspirational” market who gave me the freedom to test the waters. My WWII series—The Peacemaker Trilogy—and a more contemporary series about Florida Mennonites—The Women of Pinecraft—were both published by Barbour. Both series required in-depth research and intricacies that aren’t usually expected in the world of genre fiction. Having proven myself, I believed I could go to other genre publishers, show them this growth, and they would give me my shot.

It didn’t happen. Publishing is a business. Publishing novels for the legion of romance readers out there is BIG business. It was not a matter of whether or not I could tell a larger story; it was a matter of what might sell. Having worked in the corporate world for several years, I understood that. I didn’t have to like it, but I knew you can’t mess with success. And my success was in the genre market. The bottom line is that publishers want what has been proven to sell, and they aren’t in the business of gambling.

Within the same stretch of time, something far more impactful happened: I suffered the death of my husband—the love of my life. This loss made moving away from romance fiction feel vital. I quickly became impatient with my heroines and their naive views on love and romance. Sometimes I would be writing a scene in dialogue with my heroine, and I would think, Love is so much more (and so much more work) than romance! I wanted her to understand what the long-haul meant. How much beauty and pain is contained in living the whole love story, not just the first part. I wanted to write about what ‘happily-ever-after’ truly means and what it takes to get there.

I was stranded in limbo with characters and plots swimming around in my head. But I was determined to move forward. I had a story that I wanted—needed—to tell and decided to follow the advice I often offer new writers attending my workshops: The only reason to write is because you can’t NOT write. If you find yourself in a similar position, hitting walls while trying to reimagine yourself as a writer and storyteller, here are some tips that may help you navigate the journey:

Publishers love a good story as much as anyone, BUT they are beholden to shareholders and employees who rely on them to keep an eye on that bottom line. You know yourself as a writer. You know your capabilities, and perhaps most importantly, only you know what you really thirst to write and can write. So first, ask yourself why anyone—publisher, editor, reader—should care about this story. What is unique about it? What else out there is like it? (You need the answer to both questions before pitching the idea to an editor.) You are asking them to make a substantial investment in your idea—in you. It takes more than just writing a good book to persuade them to make that transition with you.

Be prepared to write the entire book without any promises. A pitch or proposal isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to warm the right people up to what they see as a whole new writing venture for you. You’ll need to show not tell that you have what it takes to write this story—to deliver the goods of memorable characters engaged in a page-turning plot. Returning to the mentality of singing for supper can be hard for some writers, so consider whether or not you’re willing to revert to this way of life (and all of its uncertainties) before you take the leap.

You may have to start over entirely. As mentioned in the point above, if you’ve been in your pigeonhole for the better part of your career, people may have a tough time digesting the switch— publishers and readers alike. This can spell “reincarnation” or it could be a major hassle depending on your mindset. My name carries some weight with readers of romance fiction, but would those readers follow me to something new? Something different? Even my work in the inspirational market—stories that were closer to the ‘big book’ novel I wanted to write—didn’t have the crossover of readers one would hope for, and didn’t give me any legs during publication attempts.

Open your mind to self-publishing. If you have been traditionally published for years, self-publishing can seem like an unappetizing option. Some even still think of it as a step down. But in this day and age, the gap between traditional and self-published books is closing. Just don’t forget: in self-publishing the key word is self. You do everything or else you hire people to do things like editing, marketing, uploading, cover design, etc. This can be a hassle depending on how web literate you are and how deep (or shallow) your rolodex of editors is.

Self-publishing took me several months—and failed attempts—to conquer the learning curve. But here I am, published and happy. My novel—the one I wanted to write—The Winterkeeper released this April. Just as I published The Winterkeeper, I was finishing revisions on the final story of my romance series, Harvey Girls and Cowboys, which have both been published since.

And that’s when I realized I don’t have to choose between traditional or self-publishing, between being a literary fiction author or writing genre fiction. If I have a story to tell, there are paths for telling it. In a few weeks, I’ll be at a conference, pitching the idea for my next big project to an editor at the house where my romance novels currently reside. She may love it or not. She may ask to see a proposal—or not. But now I have options. You see, the publisher is not the only one running a business here. So am I—and so are you.

The post When You Outgrow Your Genre: Tips From a Romance-Turned-Literary Novelist by Anna Schmidt appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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As we make final preparations for the 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, here’s a small taste of some of the writing tips you’ll enjoy from our speakers.

The 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference is right around the corner so we asked some of our speakers to share their favorite writing tips. Some of their advice come from their experience as writers or agents, and for others, it might be some favorite words of wisdom they received from someone else. Either way, what you read here is the very tip of the iceberg of what you’ll learn from them at the conference.

Never stop writing at the end of a scene or chapter. Stop midway through even though you know you know what comes next and could finish. It makes it that much easier to start again tomorrow and get into the flow of writing again. – Christine Conradt

Tosca Lee once told me to write the first draft like nobody will read it. That really takes the pressure off. Some of my favorite fighting advice also applies to writing. As my Brazilian coach said in his hard accent, “Nobody care you a tired! You keep a da fighting!” And, that’s true. Nobody cares how hard the writing process is. Nobody cares that your family has eaten Cheerios for dinner three nights in a row and that your house looks like it threw up because you are locked in a room writing for who knows how many hours a day. No. Body. Do it. Get it done. Don’t make excuses. Don’t wait for inspiration. “Keep a da fighting!” – Carla Hoch

Persist. Talent is no guarantee of success; persistence is. You can learn to be a better writer. You can write more drafts, take more classes, query more agents. If you persist at what you need to do to become a published author, you will succeed. – Jordan Rosenfeld

Never fall in love with your first draft. Too many people with great ideas end up settling on an early draft when they really need to keep revising their story. I remember revising the first chapter to one of my books more than 50 times. It was brutal, but essential. That opening chapter remains one of the most powerful I’ve ever written. – Steven James

Make time for your art because no one will. Even if you have to steal ten minutes a day, make sure you help grow your gift. – Lilliam Rivera

Elmore Leonard’s brilliant “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” I always rework that into “Skip the boring parts.” It’s so easy to implement, too: If you find yourself struggling, if writing a scene feels like lifting a heavy object over your head, ask yourself if you’re bored, if you’re writing it just because you think you have to. If the answer is yes, skip it. – Jeff Somers

It depends on what day you ask me! But in the thick of a draft or a revision, I think my favorite advice comes from Patricia Cornwell: To treat your writing like a relationship, not a job. – Jessica Strawser

Here are the three that guide my writing process: 1. Keep the reader reading. 2. Don’t get it right, get it written. 3. Writing is rewriting. – Paula Munier

“Anyone who keeps writing is not a failure.” Ray Bradbury said that. And I usually have that on a wall somewhere. I’m lucky in that I’ve always just kept at it, and over time, it all keeps adding up. The longer I work, the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. – Tobias Buckell

The best writing advice I ever read came from Ann Patchett. In her essay “The Getaway Car,” she talks about how what you envision your story being in your head will always be different once it touches the page. Being able to make peace with that simple truth has been crucial to my ability to sit down and write without judgment. – Ran Walker

Read as much as you write. – Barbara Poelle

It comes from the writer George Singleton: “Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk—away from any open flames—to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.” – Zac Petit

For first person essays or memoirs, my favorite rules are: Mine your obsessions. Lead the least secretive life you can. The first piece you write that your family hates means that you’ve found your voice. The first assignment I give my students is: write 3 pages on your most humiliating secrets. That has led to many clips, books, and even a few movies. – Susan Shapiro

 

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Writer’s Digest Annual Conference | New York City

The post Writing Tips From Writer’s Digest Conference Instructors by Amy Jones appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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People love haiku and remixes. So it was only a matter of time before someone created the Haiku Remix Game for poets and poetry lovers to play. Learn the rules and start poeming.

Recently, I posted about nonce forms (one-off forms that are more for the poet’s benefit than as a full blown traditional form used by multiple poets). Earlier this week, I accidentally stumbled upon a fun poetry game that I’m calling the Haiku Remix Game. Boom!

Haiku Remix Game: The Rules

The rules of the Haiku Remix Game are pretty simple:

  1. Pick a poem (any poem)
  2. Condense it into the 5/7/5 syllable structure of haiku
  3. That’s it! You win! Game over!
Here are a few examples:

Let us go then, when
women come and go talking—
Michelangelo!

source:The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T.S. Eliot

I celebrate and
sing and contradict myself—
my barbaric yawp!

source:Song of Myself,” by Walt Whitman

Because I could not,
Death stopped for me—feels shorter
than eternity

source:Because I could not stop for Death,” by Emily Dickinson

a possessed witch fixed
the suppers for worms and elves—
not ashamed to die

source:Her Kind,” by Anne Sexton

I have eaten plums
you were probably saving—
they were delicious

source:This Is Just to Say,” by William Carlos Williams

Part haiku, part erasure; I’ve found the Haiku Remix Game is super fun and addictive. Go ahead. Try it out. Then, try to stop, because you’ll find it’s too fun to quit.

*****

Note for haiku purists: I realize that 5-7-5 does not a haiku make. Real haiku are less concerned with 5-7-5 (or even 3 lines) and more interested in seasonal and cutting words. But this is just a game; it’s just for fun. Poeming is fun!

*****

Recreate Your Poetry!

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore—something that has to be done after the joy of the first draft. In fact, revision should be viewed as an enjoyable extension of the creation process—something that you want to experience after the joy of the first draft.

Learn the three rules of revision, seven revision filters, common excuses for avoiding revision (and how to overcome them), and more in this power-packed poetry revision tutorial.

Click to continue.

The post Haiku Remix Game: A Fun Poetry Game by Robert Lee Brewer appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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Literary agents are gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Find middle grade literary agents open to submissions in this post. List will be updated regularly.

Literary agents are important decision makers in the publishing process for authors who wish to be published by many of the big publishers. However, all literary agents do not represent all genres. In fact, an agent who claims to do this should be approached with caution. Just as authors tend to specialize in one or two genres, agents find niches and specialize in a handful of genres.

(Learn the correct word count for novels and children’s books here.)

In this post, I’ve collected recently shared agent spotlights with literary agents who are accepting middle grade (or MG) submissions. This list will be updated regularly with new agents added to the top.

Bibi Lewis of the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Bibi Lewis

Bibi Lewis joined the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency in 2014 as an associate agent and subsidiary rights manager.

In addition to her duties as an agent she sells foreign and audio rights for agency clients.

As a native New Yorker, she is a fierce patron of the NYPL.

Click here to learn more.

Peter Rubie of FinePrint Literary Management

Peter Rubie

Peter Rubie is currently the CEO of FinePrint Literary management, a NYC-based literary agency. He grew up in England and was a Fleet Street journalist, before becoming one of the youngest news editors for BBC Radio News. He came to the U.S. in 1981, and worked as a freelance editor and writer for agents and major publishers before becoming the adult fiction editor at Walker & Co., for 6 years. He left that job to become a literary agent.

He has also been an adjunct professor in the New York University publishing faculty, where for 10 years he taught the only university-level course in the country on how to become a literary agent. For several years, he was also the director of the book publishing section of NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute. Peter thinks of himself as “an editor in recovery” who picks and chooses various ed boards for his clients’ projects. He often works extensively on the editorial content and presentation of a project before submitting it.

Click here to learn more.

Kat Enright of the Seymour Agency

Kat Enright

Kat Enright (she/they) is an Associate Agent at the Seymour Agency, and they represent both fiction and nonfiction. Prior to joining the Seymour Agency, they worked in a variety of departments in publishing, including Sales and Editorial, and they have a keen understanding of the many stages that a book must go through in order to reach bookshelves.

As someone who lives on the corner of many intersections, they are most especially interested in elevating voices of marginalized authors.

Click here to learn more.

Write better. Get published. Build your network.
Writer’s Digest Annual Conference | August 22-25 | New York City Jevon Bolden of Embolden Media Group

Jevon Bolden

Editor, writer, writing coach, and now literary agent, Jevon Bolden moved into her latest role as literary agent out of necessity to more effectively serve her existing network of authors and is now opening her transom to other authors needing the right representation and publishing home for their most treasured messages and stories. She operates under her own boutique publishing consulting firm, Embolden Media Group.

Starting her 15-year career in traditional book publishing as a copy editor, she moved quickly into senior editor and acquisitions roles with publishers for both adult Christian nonfiction and children’s nonfiction titles. The books Jevon has written as other people or edited as herself have appeared on national best-seller lists and have sold millions of copies around the world.

Click here to learn more.

Melissa Richeson of the Apokedak Literary

Melissa Richeson

Melissa Richeson recently moved into the role of associate agent at Apokedak Literary Agency, where she is building her list of children’s book authors. Melissa joined ALA in the spring of 2018 as an intern, which allowed her to learn the nuances of children’s book publishing firsthand before being promoted into her current role. With a unique background in both marketing and elementary literature education, she’s able to serve clients well while also keeping readers in mind.

Melissa has also been working as a writer for years, in both the content and creative realms. She had a children’s fiction serial run in an online magazine for over a year, is a current staff columnist, and is a represented young adult and picture book author.

Click here to learn more.

Marlo Berliner of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Marlo Berliner

Marlo Berliner is an award-winning young adult author, freelance editor, and bookseller. She joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in March 2018 as an editorial intern after having completed a previous internship with The Bent Agency. Now, she is actively building her list as an associate agent. She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, NJ-RWA, and YA-RWA.

Prior to her career in the publishing world, Marlo was an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company. She holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Click here to learn more.

Nicole Bezanson of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Nicole Bezanson

Nicole Bezanson is a junior agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency, having honed her skills for writing and editing through a wide variety of educational programs. She received her BA in Sociology with a double minor in Anthropology and Environmental Science from Saint Mary’s University in 2010, her paralegal diploma with honors in 2011, and between 2013 and present has completed courses and certificate programs in transcription, cultural competence, technical writing, management, and communications. She most recently finished her agency internship with Metamorphosis in November of 2018 and in addition to working as a literary agent and writing contemporary young adult fiction, Nicole is also a technical writer for a global manufacturer of CPAP masks, machines, and other products that manage sleep-disordered breathing.

When she isn’t busy updating her manuscript portfolio or responding to queries, she can usually be found reading, horseback riding, or pursuing her new hobby of learning to cook. She and her husband share their home in Eastern Canada with a collection of disabled cats and a lifetime’s worth of books.

Click here to learn more.

Alexandra Levick of Writers House

Alexandra Levick

Alexandra Levick has worked with a wide range of established New York Times bestsellers, national award winners, and debut clients. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a degree in English focused on Creative Writing, Alexandra attended New York University where she received her Masters of Science in Publishing with a specialization in Content Development.

Prior to Writers House, she spent time at Sterling Lord Literistic, in publicity at Bloomsbury, and as a bookseller for Barnes and Noble. Today, she is building a broad list and works on everything from picture books to speculative adult fiction.

Click here to learn more.

Experience the Pitch Slam at WDC19—a rare opportunity to pitch your book directly to professional agents and editors actively looking for new voices! Advocate for your book in a high-energy environment, and you might just become another Pitch Slam success story.

The post Middle Grade Literary Agents Open to Submissions by Robert Lee Brewer appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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WD editor-in-chief Ericka McIntyre offers a sneak peek of the upcoming October 2019 issue, featuring Alice Hoffman and WD’s annual agent roundup.

I’m thrilled to share with our readers our October 2019 cover. Its star, Alice Hoffman, is one of my all-time favorite novelists. Her interview was a true treat for me to write. And, we just announced her as one of the keynotes at our annual Novel Writing Conference!

This issue is packed with lots of other treats (and no tricks!) for readers, too. Inside, you’ll find our annual agent roundup—we’ve tracked down a fresh group of agents who are looking for your work. You’ll also find great advice from our contributors on landing the best agent for you, creating and pitching anthologies, and the lowdown on film and audio rights to your book.

You’ll notice a new column as well, “100 Years of Writer’s Digest.” In 2020, WD marks its centennial. And we’re planning a year-long party to celebrate! I just couldn’t wait until next year to get it started, though. So we’re kicking it off in this issue, by going back into the wealth of wisdom we have in the WD archives. This month’s features the advice Margaret Atwood gave our readers in her 2004 WD interview.

All this and the regular columns our readers look forward to in every issue—you won’t want to miss it! Make sure the October issue gets to your mailbox—subscribe!

The post Unveiling the WD October 2019 Cover by Ericka McIntyre appeared first on Writer's Digest.

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