Free Writing Downloads
Website of the Week
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.
Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because they’re likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and postage.
She is seeking: Adult Fiction: Full-length fiction, 65,000 to 100,000 words. General market or Christian market. Genres: Women’s, Romance, Suspense/Thriller, Mystery, Romantic Suspense, Historical, Family Saga, Amish, Political Thrillers, Mainstream, Supernatural/Speculative, including End Times. Short contemporary and historical fiction, 40,000 to 65,000 words. Christian market. Genres: Romance, Historical, Romantic Suspense. Will accept queries for Barbour, Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Summerside Love Finds You, and Avon Inspire. Kids: Middle grade and YA books, and more. Read more
We only have to walk around the neighborhood, watch TV commercials, or open our e-mail inbox to see that animals continue to fascinate people. Writing about animals can be as fun as playing with them. Here are some things to keep in mind when telling animal stories.
1. Respect what animals mean to your audience. Often, we can love animals in a pure way, free of the complications human relationships pose. When we write about animals, we might want to take off our shoes because we’re on sacred ground.
GIVEAWAY: Patti is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail in the comment somewhere or else we will not be able to contact you; 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: Jodi won.) Read more
Conference Spotlight: The South Carolina Writers Workshop (Oct. 21-23, 2011) Has 11 Agents Taking Pitches
What’s better than being on the South Carolina beach in October? Being on the South Carolina beach in October pitching agents who seek new clients — that’s what. If this sounds appealing, I highly suggest you check out the 2011 South Carolina Writers Workshop, held Oct. 21-23 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Eleven agents will be there. I’ve presented at the workshop before and loved the event. Keep reading to learn more. Read more
Jeff Ryan is the author of Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America, (Portfolio, August 2011), the story of how Nintendo rose to fame in America, with plot twists and face-offs worthy of a video game.
GIVEAWAY: Jeff is excited to give away a free copy of his book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail in the comment somewhere or else we will not be able to contact you; 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: Billy won.) Read more
When historical fiction is done right, it’s like taking a magical vacation to a different time, another land. Whether it’s Victorian London, the Australian Outback, or the American West, quality historical fiction has the ability to bring a story to life in ways nonfiction never will. But no doubt about it, if you want to write good historical fiction, you’re going to have to research.
GIVEAWAY: Michael is excited to give away a free copy of his book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail in the comment somewhere or else we will not be able to contact you; 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: Airpig won. Read more
20 years ago this week, Nirvana’s Nevermind was released. The album changed me so much, and awakened me to music and emotion in such a way that I had to write something … Read more
I’ve got a release coming out in September called Wasteland. It’s written in first person, male point of view. You might be thinking, But you’re a chick, how can you write male point of view? I guess we’ll find out if you think I can write the male point of view effectively after my book releases, won’t we?
GIVEAWAY: Lynn is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail in the comment somewhere or else we will not be able to contact you; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail; Lynn has offered to send an ebook if the winner is international. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Dimea won.) Read more
Meet other writers and content creators at the StoryWorld Conference + Expo on Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 in the lovely city of San Francisco. Register by Friday, Sept. 16 to get … Read more
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writerEllen Airgood.
1. Smile. A little before the release date, I wrote and asked my cousin Mary, a 26-year bookstore employee, if she had any advice for me about doing store events. “Make eye contact and smile,” she wrote back. I felt a sudden zoom of confidence. I knew I could do that. It was a skill I’d taught myself when I started waiting tables for a living. Her only other comment was, “Some of these authors, you’d think they were born under a rock.” So, note to self: avoid seeming as if born beneath rock. Read more
The WD Premium Collection Bundle Kits are new this year and they’re very simple in nature. We bundle a ton of stuff relating to a topic—in this case, “Build an Author Platform” … Read more
Want to blog but need some help getting started? Your blog is your foremost tool for providing information to your audience and connecting with readers. After all, you’re reading a blog right now! So when we started wondering who could teach a dynamite webinar on Blogging, we chose social media leader Dan Blank. His new webinar, “How to Create an Engaging Blog and Build an Audience,” happens on Oct. 6, 2011. All attendees get his personal feedback on their blog as it stands now. Keep reading to learn more. Read more
Looking For an Agent? Let Me Teach You Everything You Need to Know (and Critique Your Query) on Oct. 20, 2011
NEW DATE!!! This event now has a new date: 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, OCTOBER 25
Sorry about the move. Anyone who signs up will be thanked for their patience by receiving a free gift: A copy of the on-demand webinar “Start Your Story Right: How to Hook Agents and Editors With Your First Pages and Chapter 1″ by literary agent Sara Megibow. It’s one of our most popular webinars and can help writers get their work started on the right foot. Read more
Social Media Guru Jane Friedman Teaches “How to Find Your Readers & Keep Them: The Basics of Audience Development” (New Webinar, Sept. 29, 2011)
Audience development is what people in business call it, but it boils down to one thing: building meaningful relationships with people who are interested in what you do. It’s a skill that’s more valuable than ever for you to understand and practice, as authors are increasingly called upon to market and promote themselves. This session will discuss both online and offline strategies for identifying and engaging readership, as well as tools such as websites and blogs, social media, e-mail newsletters, and content marketing. Read more
If you’re looking to make more money as a writer, I’ve always said that you should try your hand at writing freelance articles. Articles are published all around you — in magazines, newspapers and online — and thousands of markets are willing to pay for content. Writing articles helps writers gain credits, platform, paychecks and more. That’s why we’ve employed freelance expert Kelly James-Enger to teach a new webinar on Oct. 27, 2011 called “Make Money NOW Writing Freelance Articles: How to Pitch and Sell Articles to Freelance Markets.” There is a query critique, too. Read on to learn more. Read more
Agent Sara Megibow Shows How to Write & Sell Romance/Erotica (and Critiques Your Work!) — New Webinar, Oct. 13
Writing romance or erotica? Want to get some inside info on how to spice up your work and sell your book? Well, do we have a treat for you. Literary agent Sara Megibow (Nelson Literary), who runs some of our most popular webinars here at WD, is doing a new intensive webinar called “What’s Hot in Fiction’s Hottest Genre: How To Make Your Romance Hot Enough For An Agent” on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. She is also giving all attendees some personal attention with a critique. Keep reading to learn more. Read more
When and How to Self-Publish: Literary Agent and Digital Expert Meredith Barnes Explains on Nov. 17 (Includes a Critique!)
Thinking about self-publishing or e-publishing your work? These days, there are many ways you can get your work online for free on different e-publishing platforms (such as Amazon), but it’s a tricky road to maneuver. When should you self-publish? And when you’re ready, how do you make sure that your work is available to the most readers? Luckily for us, literary agent and digital conversion expert Meredith Barnes is teaching a comprehensive new webinar on “When and How to Self-Publish: What To Expect, When To Do It, and How to Do It Right” on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, and the session includes a critique. Read more
Amy Reed is the author of the edgy YA novels BEAUTIFUL (2009) and CLEAN (2011), both published by Simon Pulse.
Amy is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; 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
Jerry Jenkins, Co-Author of the “Left Behind” Series, is Teaching a New Webinar on Revision & Self-Editing (Aug. 25, 2011)
A few years ago, we had fiction heavyweights Stephen King and Jerry B. Jenkins interview one another for an article in the magazine. It was an amazing article. Both men have sold incredible amounts of books and understand what makes fiction work. That’s why it’s especially exciting that Jerry Jenkins is teaching a new webinar on Aug. 25, 2011 called “How to be a Ferocious Self-Editor,” where attendees can learn the fundamental writing principles that can make a manuscript shine. Read more
Agent Paula Balzer Explains How to Sell Your Memoir (and Offers a Critique to Writers) — New Webinar on Sept. 22, 2011
Lots of writers want to tell stories about their own lives, but memoirs are often unfocused and too long. What’s an aspiring memorist to do? Learn from an agent — that’s what. On Sept. 22, 2011, literary agent Paula Balzer is teaching a new webinar called “Write a Memoir That Sells: How to Use Voice, Structure and Platform to Draw Readers to Your Story.” The webinar includes a query critique as well as a critique of your first few pages.
All registrants are invited to submit a query (300 words or fewer) and the first three pages of their memoir in advance of the event. All submitted materials are guaranteed a critique. Read more
Welcome to the new GLA Blog! All the Writer’s Digest sites have recently moved over to WordPress, and GLA has finally taken the plunge and joined them.
The most important thing to note here is that the blog will be exactly the same as the old blog you visited during the past four years. I will still have the same posts, the same content, the same pictures of my fat and semi-worthless dog. As these next weeks continue, I may or may not make changes so the blog is easier to navigate and more appealing. We’ll see.
Lastly, you may see that the most recent two months of posts did not transfer over. No worries. Those are all saved and I will be pulling those over one by one in the coming days/weeks. All is well.
She is seeking: romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA and inspirational novels are welcome. Also science fiction/fantasy novel and action/adventure.
How to contact: nicole[at]theseymouragency.com. Send a one-page query pasted in the body of an e-mail. No attachments. Paste the first five pages of your manuscript into the bottom of your e-mail. “We make a conscious effort to reply to every query we receive. If you do not receive a request for additional materials within three weeks, you should assume that we are not interested in that particular project.” Read more
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Sarah Alderson.
1. Trust your instincts. My brother taught me to trust my instincts. Actually my mother tried to drill this into me too when I was a kid, telling me a story about hitchhiking aged 18 in France, which ended with the lesson: Always listen to the voice in your head or you might get killed by a serial killer. But it’s not just relevant for hitchhiking, it’s also important for writing. Listening to your instincts (or some might call it intuition) is probably the best advice I can give. Read more
I’m a huge fan of writers conferences, and attend a bunch as a presenter. Rarely do I get invited to an actual writing retreat, which is something similar yet different. A retreat is a longer event with classes and such, but there’s also plenty of time to write with some actual small assignments each day–and the whole thing is typically located in a beautiful setting. There typically isn’t pitching; it’s more about writing and relaxation. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy for a getaway to recharge your writing batteries, check out the Writers Conference at Ocean Park, which is held in Ocean Park, Maine, not far from Saco or Old Orchard Beach. (I know they call it a “conference,” but trust me, it’s a retreat.) Read more
The first thing you need to do is write. That sounds easy, but it’s not. Writing is hard. It’s isolating. Here are some time-honored tips that will always stand you in good stead:
1. Ass in Chair. I believe Nora Roberts said that, and it’s the best advice to writers that I have ever heard. If you want to be a writer, you have to sit down on a regular basis and face that blank screen. There is no other way. No excuses. Sit down and do it. Write something. Anything. Even if you throw it all out the next day, the point is that you exercised your craft. Writing is indeed a craft, one that gets better the more you do it. Read more
WD’s August Premium Kit is the ”The Rules of Self-Publishing” Collection. Tons of Stuff Packaged at a Deep Discount
The WD Premium Collection Bundle Kits are new this year and they’re very simple in nature. We bundle a ton of stuff relating to a topic—in this case, “The Rules of Self-Publishing” Collection: Lots of great stuff for writers who have self-published or are considering self-publishing—and we sell the bundle of awesome material at 75% off. Easy peasy. There are only 100 kits available (65 left as of right now), and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Read more