November/December 2013 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
Get professional feedback from 2nd Draft Critique Services.
After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You'll not only learn what's working in your writing, but what's not, and—most important—how to fix it.
2nd Draft provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.
Submit Your Manuscript
Editing Services are also available.
Author Archives: Chuck Sambuchino
2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, toss what doesn’t work, and start again. Professionals throw away chunks of novels and stories all the time and start again. Not every story will work, not every plot will come together or every character come to life. None of the mistakes I made were a waste of time or effort, because each one of them taught me something that made the next story better. The same is true of query letters. If the one you’ve written doesn’t get you requests, start over.
GIVEAWAY: Jamie 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. Read more
YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market — Dec. 5 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Kathleen Ortiz
It’s no secret that the YA is a competitive market and saturated with several of the same genres. You have this great idea that no one else has thought of and then POOF: you see a listing for a similar project sold. Should you keep writing? Should you even bother to query it? Is it really even considered a YA book? What’s this ‘crossover’ thing people keep talking about?
Literary agent Kathleen Ortiz shares her ideas on what agents are looking for in the YA market and explains how to determine if you should keep writing (hint: writing is never something to stop). This live webinar will explain the differences between MG, YA, new adult and crossover, and how to determine which one your book is considered. Examples of each will be shared. Then she’ll review how to take your idea and create a pitch that is so incredibly compelling, an agent won’t be able to help but to read the pages. This new webinar — “YA Trends: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market” – takes place at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, and lasts 90 minutes. Don’t forget that at least 4 agents have signed clients after seeing their work as part of a WD boot camp or webinar. Read more
About Chelsea: Chelsea Lindman is a literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She was previously with the agency as the Director of Foreign Rights for The Nicholas Ellison Agency, a division within Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, where she worked with international publishers to nurture and develop audiences abroad for the agency’s bestselling authors such as Nelson DeMille, Sarah Dunn, Jeff Lindsay, Christopher Moore, and Alan Weisman, as well as several debut authors. Chelsea began her publishing career as an editor at Europa Editions, and is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara. Find her on Twitter. Read more
Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Clelia Gore of Martin Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his … Read more
Agent One-on-One Boot Camp: How to Write and Sell New Adult Fiction — Starts Dec. 4, and Has Agents Critiquing Your Work
New Adult fiction (novels featuring protagonists ages 18-25) has swiftly become the hottest thing in both self-publishing and traditional publishing. New authors are making astonishing strides in this category and making great … Read more
Should Sex Be in Your Novel? If you write romance or erotica, then, of course, the answer is yes. For children books, it’s a definite no and questionable in Y.A. and religious … Read more
Like all writers, my methods for building characters are a mix of mishmash and melting pot, drawn from both personal experience and academic study. Below is a short list of the ideas … Read more
I write like a girl. More precisely, I write as a girl. My novel, Styx & Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery, features a main character/narrator who is a woman. A young woman. … Read more
This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also … Read more
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Elene Sallinger, author of AWAKENING) at any stage of their career can talk … Read more
Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Rachael Dillon Fried of Greenburger Associates) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his … Read more
“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Josh Levine. These columns are great ways for you to learn how … Read more
Summer, 2008 at the Highlights Children’s Writers Conference in Chautauqua, NY, I was at a low point. I’d been writing and pursuing publication for ten+ years and had little to show for … Read more
My friends who know me, I mean really know me, keep asking where I got the idea to start writing picture books. “Where did you get the idea for a monster needing … Read more
Write a Page Turner: An Agent’s Secrets to Creating Stories that Readers Can’t Put Down — One-on-One Nov. 15 Boot Camp (With 2,000-Word Critque)
As I write this, there are only 27 seats left (out of 60 total) for the forthcoming Agent One-on-One Boot Camp that starts this Friday, November 15, 2013. So I’ll get right … Read more
Hope is a powerful word. It’s also a dangerous one. When it comes to the aspiring writer community a premium is put on positivity, the old pat on the back with kind … Read more
Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Shannon Hassan of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building … Read more
Create Characters Agents & Editors Love For Middle Grade and YA Novels: Nov. 14 Webinar by Cheryl Klein (of Harry Potter Editing Fame)
Readers may buy novels for their storylines—the facts that they can learn from the flap copy or an Internet blurb. But readers love books for their characters, because compelling characters bring feeling … Read more
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Helen Wicker, author of THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI) at any stage of … Read more
I know it was 6 weeks ago, but I still wanted to post some great photos of our latest Writer’s Digest Conference – this one in Los Angeles in late September 2013. … Read more
William Faulkner said, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” When I first heard that from my mentor, the late Andre Dubus Jr., I knew what he meant. Don’t show off! … Read more
This is a spotlight on literary agent Emily Keyes, who recently moved to the new agency of Foreword Literary. (She was previously with L. Perkins Associates.) Read below to learn more about … Read more
Pitch Clinic With Agent Critiques: How to Shape an Excellent Pitch to Hook Editors & Agents — Nov. 12 Agent One-on-One Boot Camp
If your query isn’t getting many requests from agents and editors for more, chances are your pitch is to blame. The query pitch — where you explain what your book is about … Read more
“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring M.V. Freeman, author of INCANDESCENT. These columns are great ways for you … Read more