Writing

A Visit to Writer’s Digest

You know that first draft? The one you really, really want to share with someone. The one your critique group has been clamoring to read because you haven’t submitted anything in months? Think twice before letting others read it. If you want to know why, check out my guest post, Draft Dodging, at Writer’s Digest […]

Beyond the Book-Submissions and Tracking

So you’ve completed the book, written a brilliant query letter and researched a list of agents/editors who will love your book-baby. Now it’s time to get a submission packet together and dive into the query trenches. Submission Packet A submission packet for fiction consists of: Query letter—Refer to Beyond the Book: Queries Synopsis—A one or […]

Chicago or BUST!

The SCBWI Wild, Wild Mid-West Conference Calling all writers of children’s books. Plans are underway for this incredible, colossal, unforgettable event!!!!!! This year’s theme is The Roaring Twenties. It’s going to be the bees knees, baby!!!!! Mark your calendars and let’s get  going!!!! Chicago Marriott-Naperville, IL Program & Faculty:  40 faculty members!  8 different intensives —(three hour in-depth […]

Beyond the Book-Agents

Now we get to the fun part of querying—hunting for agents. And it’s something you can do before your book is complete. Searching for agents before you’re ready to query has its perks: Need a pick-me-up or a little break from writing or revisions? Spend a few minutes hunting for agents. WARNING: Sometimes you forget […]

Beyond the Book-Query Comps

In my previous article, I promised to post the evolution of the query that ultimately resulted in an offer from an agent. I’ve only posted the hook paragraphs because the hook is the most important part of the query, and it’s the only part of the query I revised. The word count stated is for the excerpt, […]

Beyond the Book-Queries

Query Letter. Two unassuming words that those of us who have fought in the query trenches regard with awe and dread. The query letter is the tool necessary to introduce your novel to an agent or editor. Nonfiction has different submission protocol. Click here for nonfiction basics. Back to fiction. Literary agents receive almost 200 unsolicited (meaning […]

Beyond the Book-Part One

We writers love the new year. It’s like a clean sheet of paper, ripe with possibilities. Resolutions, with their promises of finally making it over the rainbow, fill us with anticipation. For those of you who’ve resolved to get that book published, this post is a good place to start. Because getting that book published […]

Beating Your Dialogue Senseless

The older I get, the more I learn (that’s a positive spin on the older I get the less I know), especially when it comes to writing. At the risk of shocking you with my ignorance and shaming myself, I’m going to share something I recently learned about writing. Beats. I’d heard of these things called […]

The Importance of Reading Ernest

I tried reading Hemingway when I was in high school. It was a forgettable experience. But after I read The Paris Wife, the novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage, I became intrigued and somewhat obsessed with the Hemingway legacy. I have an endearing habit (I think it’s endearing; my family has other words for it) of […]

The Pen Is Mightier Than the PC

I enjoy writing longhand. Let me qualify that. I enjoy writing longhand if I have my favorite pen and the perfect notebook. Few things are worse than writing with a pen that doesn’t flow with my hand. And the quest for the perfect notebook results in a time consuming trip to the local Target or office supply store. I’m never […]