Rejection sucks. Every time someone doesn't like your work, it’s normal for it to hurt. However, not all rejections were created equally. In the querying world, personalized rejection should be viewed as a triumph. I know it’s hard not to take a personal rejection…well, personally, but just know there are reasons why you should rejoice when you see that rejection in your mailbox.Read more
As a writer myself, I am a member of several writing groups online. I love being in writing groups. They’re a great place to focus your craft, get advice, and be around other people who want the same things you do. Writing groups are great to join, but every once in a while (as with any social media platform), you will run into hate. This time, one of the members was discouraging other authors. A new member, with light in their eyes, wanted advice on getting an agent. Instead of helping this new guy, one of the members decided to go on a rant about how querying is useless, and agents are lazy. They said that they got a personalized rejection (which personally I find fantastic) that said they were 90% of the way there, but because of some writing errors, the agent could not represent them. They posted, “in other words, they wanted to cash their representation checks without having to do any work.” I think this single sentence (and the subsequent conversation we had afterward) shows there is some misunderstanding when it comes to an agent's job. So, today, I wanted to clarify, what an agent does, what an editor does, what an editorial agent does, and what is is the difference.Read more
National Novel Writing Month (or Nanowrimo) is coming up! This means writers from around the country are going to be pulling their hair out and drowning in caffeine. Writing is hard. It’s a long process, and most of us don’t have a formal education to teach us how to do it. While Nanowrimo is all about “writing crap just to get it down" and editing later, I think it’s still important that writers have every tool in their arsenal to succeed, which is why I compiled a list of five books that have personally helped me grow and get my stuff out there.Read more
I work as a literary agent intern. I evaluate queries, manuscripts, and partials, as well as do other daily lit agent task (such as writing edit letters or pitches). It’s a lot of writing and a lot of reading, and a lot of money given to my local Starbucks. But what is a literary agent, and why are they important?
Literary agents are the middle man between the author and the publisher. Most big-name publishers won’t even look at your manuscript if you don’t have an agent. In a sense, we’re the gatekeepers. But we’re a lot more than that. Your literary agent is your first advocate. They’re there to campaign for you and your book, get the best deals and argue with editors when need be. A literary agent doesn’t just want to sell your book; they want to jump-start your career because your success is their success. So, how do you get one? Below is a list of seven things you need to get a literary agent.Read more
I know the writing and publishing journey can be fraught with anxiety. None of us feel like we know what we’re doing. I myself still struggle with impostor syndrome. So, how do we stop this fear of failure? We don’t. We can’t stop impending dread, but we can make sure we have the tools in our arsenal to succeed. To do that we can research and research, but we can also share what we know. So, behold, here is my list of resources for new authors (and take note to how I said new not aspiring. You wrote a book. You’re an author).Read more
I started knowing nothing, and if you have read my past blog post, you’ll know this led to me losing my poem to a vanity press. I don’t want anyone else to fall into the same traps I did. So, if you’re a writer and starting to garner an interest in publishing small projects, here is some advice and links to help.Read more
I read a lot of queries for my internship. I shift through the slush pile, and I read some really good queries…I also read some really bad ones.
Querying is a nerve-wracking, long experience. However, you still want to put your best foot forward. So, in the vein of What Not to Wear, here is How Not to Query.Read more
November 2017, I entered a writing competition. Within the month, I received a letter in the mail stating I was a finalist, and they wanted to publish my poem in their anthology.
I was ecstatic.
I ran into my parent’s room, grinning ear to ear, because I WAS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED! I immediately signed my poem away (even sent the letter using priority mail), only to find out they were a vanity press, and I would never see my poem in printRead more
Well, this isn’t the first time, but I was harassed online. Usually, it’s for random reasons, like the man who sent a message to my Harry Potter cosplay blog telling me to drink bleach. I asked him why I was so angry, but got little answers other than the typical “you should die” and other vulgar statements. However, this time, I’m not sure exactly what set my angry person off.
I am a part of a small writing group, and one of its members was venting about querying. I sent her a message explaining why it is necessary but left on an encouraging note. That woman didn’t respond, but boy did someone else.Read more
I read a lot of query letters for my internship. I read so many, one of my favorite past times is showing my roommates the outrageous amount of emails I have in my inbox. Now, I have never rejected a query based on a comparison (or comp) title. Are there great books with poor comp titles in their queries? Yes. But I do think comp titles are an important part of the query. Comp titles not only show what the vibe of your book is but where it fits into the market. An author with good, relevant comp titles, shows they know what they’re doing. So, in the vein of How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, here is what not to do.Read more
Art is a subjective business, and in the wise, paraphrased words of Beyoncé, you can do everything write (wink wink) and still fail.Read more