Friday Favorite: Literary Agent Databases

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So how the heck do you find an agent anyway? It can be daunting to figure out, among all the hundreds (thousands?) of agents out there, who would be a good fit for your book. One way to do this is to look at books you’ve enjoyed, and see if the agent is listed in the acknowledgments in the back of the book. But for many, that might not be the best way to get to know who’s acquiring what types of manuscripts now. Similarly, print books go out of date so quickly, they are useful only in the broadest …

Friday Favorites: Noah Lukeman

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Since we’ve been talking about pitching and beginnings this week, I want to point out a few books by the inestimable Noah Lukeman. He’s a literary agent, and his books are the next best thing to sitting in a room with an agent giving you the scoop. First, How to Write a Great Query Letter. Just what it says. And it’s free! Another freebie: How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent. For those struggling with the opening of their novel: The First Five Pages will help you figure out exactly what to do to start your story off right. …

Finding Your Perfect Pitch

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“Wow, I think that’s the best, most concise pitch I’ve ever heard,” one of the faculty said to me at the recent Big Sur on Cape Cod Writer’s Workshop. I was pleased because I’d worked hard on it. A little less pleased when I realized it probably would no longer work for the story given the revisions I have in mind after the workshop! But that’s okay. Your “elevator pitch” or “logline” – basically, a one-sentence summary of your project – is not just important when you’re talking with editors and agents. It’s also an incredibly useful tool to help …

Friday Favorite: Writer’s Conferences Roundup

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I’d like to conclude our theme of Writer’s Conferences by providing some places to hunt for the conference of your dreams. Of course, if you write for a specific genre, you will want to attend one specific to that genre, such as: Yes, it’s a bewildering array or possibilities. That’s why it pays to do your research, to plan ahead, and to get organized so you get the most out of any conference you choose. What conferences are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Friday Favorite: Writing Down the Bones

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Each Friday, I’ll be writing about one of my favorite resources for writing or creativity. If you have any to share, feel free to email me at jana(dot)vanderveer(at)gmail(dot)com or leave a comment. Today’s pick is Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg, an inspirational classic. My copy is bound together with her next book, Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life. The chapters of both books are short, and talk about the simple things: going deep, attending to detail, being honest. Sometimes there are stories of her life related to her practice of Zen Buddhism, and she …