Saturday, March 30, 2013

This Week's New Literary Agents to Query

Reminder: New literary agents are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. 

1. William Callahan of Waxman Leavell Literary

This is not technically a New Agent Alert because William is actually an established rep in the business. That said, this post will resemble such an agent spotlight because William wants writers alerted that he is actively building his client list right now. Such a call-out from an established agent happens rarely, so learn more about William and see if he is a good fit for your book. He is seeking: "For nonfiction, I am currently most interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir, comedy and pop culture, and American history. For fiction, I represent crime and commercial thrillers, and literary fiction."

2. Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary

She is seeking: "Kaylee is actively seeking to build her client list in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, and young adult; bonus points if there are elements of steampunk, coming-of-age, urban fantasy, espionage, social commentary, or counter culture. Kaylee is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She is happy to work with new and emerging writers."

Click on the names of either agent to see a complete mini-profile.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

List Of Blogs For Writers

Hay, Everyone!

Happy Easter! I've been busy. Here is a list of writing blogs for you to check out. I found them on a website.

7 Reasons Agents Stop Reading Your First Chapter

(This info was sent to me by email. Read the full article at Writer Digest. Just click at the bottom.)

This guest newsletter is by Livia Blackburne, who attended the Writer Idol Event at Boston Book Fest.

Previously, I attended the Writer Idol Event at Boston Book Fest. It was not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to brave public ridicule, it was a great way to get helpful feedback.

This is how it worked: An actress picked manuscripts at random and read the first 250 words out loud for the panel and the audience. If at any point a panelist felt he would stop reading, he raised his hand. The actress read until two or more panelists raised their hands, at which point the panel discussed the reasons they stopped, or in cases where the actress read to the end, they discussed what worked. Helene Atwan (Director of Beacon Press) and agents Esmond Harmsworth, Eve Bridburg, and Janet Silver (all from Zachary Shuster Harmsworth) served on the panel.

These panelists were tough! I'd say less than 25% made it to the end of the passage. Here are some of the common reasons panelists stopped reading.

1. Generic beginnings: Stories that opened with the date or the weather didn't really inspire interest. According to Harmsworth, you are only allowed to start with the weather if you're writing a book about meteorologists. Otherwise, pick something more creative.

2. Slow beginnings: Some manuscripts started with too much pedestrian detail (characters washing dishes, etc) or unnecessary background information.

3. Trying too hard: Sometimes it seemed like a writer was using big words or flowery prose in an attempt to sound more sophisticated. In several cases, the writer used big words incorrectly. Awkward or forced imagery was also a turnoff. At one point, the panelists raised their hands when a character's eyes were described as "little lubricated balls moving back and forth."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Literary Agents

Hello, readers!

I got this info in the mail today. check it out.

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60 Agents to Pitch at Our WD Conference (April 5-7)

In less than a month, I'll be in New York for the annual Writer's Digest Conference. Will you join me?

I'm in charge of the gigantic Pitch Slam at the event, and I've got some good news for those coming to the conference: We maxed out our space! Right now we even have a few more agents and editors coming than we have room for. It promises to be a great opportunity for those with a book to sell. (See our list of all attending agents here.)

No matter what you're writing, we have people for you to pitch. Following our NYC pitch slam event last year, we heard from at least three agents who signed writers from our conference. That's the best proof I can give you that the event works.

Check out information on the conference here. It happens from April 5-7, 2013 in New York City, with sessions, pitching, and much more.

Two New Literary Agents to Query

Reminder: New literary agents are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. 

1. Jen Karsbaek of Foreword Literary

She is seeking : "Jen is aggressively looking to build her list with women's fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, historical fiction, and literary fiction. She looks for books with particularly well-developed characters and strong authorial voice. In historical in particular she is interested in books that bring the setting to life and maintain balance between historical accuracy and strong plot choices. She is also interested in mystery, fantasy, and occasionally romance approaches to any of the genres listed above."

2. Kezia Toth at Union Literary

She is seeking: She is especially interested in narrative nonfiction, "big idea" books, American cultural history, and pop culture. Kezia is also passionate about all sorts of fiction, including young adult and middle grade novels.Click on the names of either agent to see a complete mini-profile.

Let Literary Agent Roseanne Wells Critique Your First 500 Words

A lot of WD's webinars are focused on a particular element or genre. Sometimes they're on writing something specific like a picture book, while other times they're intensives on query letters or synopses. But this week it's time to get back to basics. It's time to talk about the crucial and essential story elements of character, plot and setting. To accomplish this, we have literary agent and instructor extraordinaire Roseanne Wells (Jennifer De Chiara Literary) teaching the all-new webinar, "The Three Essential Building Blocks of Your Novel: Who, What, and Where," on Thursday, March 14, 2013. The webinar starts at 1 p.m., EST and lasts 90 minutes. And there's more: Each registrant gets the first 500 pages of their novel critiqued by Roseanne!


All registrants are invited to submit the first 500 words of their novel. All submissions are guaranteed a written critique by literary agent Roseanne Wells. Roseanne reserves the right to request more writing from attendees by e-mail following the event, if she deems the writing excellent. Sign up for the webinar here.


In this new live webinar, literary agent Roseanne Wells will go back to the essentials of character, plot, and setting to show how they all fit together. She will discuss how you determine who your main character really is, what to ask yourself about setting, and how to make something happen!


    How character, plot, and setting all work together in a novel
    How to tell who your main character is, and why it's their story
    How other characters can strengthen and support your main character
    Tips to construct a scene that moves the narrative
    The five questions to ask in creating your characters' setting. Sign up for the webinar here.


Roseanne Wells joined JDLA as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales and editorial assistant. Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer's advocate, editor, and partner.

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Turnaround time is 3 weeks

Edits and Critiques will continue to be offered separately if a writer just wants one or the other.

Edits: $48.00 flat fee
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Critique: $58.00 flat fee
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Query Letter: $28.00 flat fee

Turnaround time 2 weeks

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I only provide Critique service for fiction novels. Why fiction only? Because fiction is my strong point.

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Writing Lessons: Top Young Adult & Teen Novel To Read

Hello, Everyone.

If you are aspiring to write a teen / young adult novel, my best advise is to read such books by published authors. When reading their work don't mirror their work. Pay attention to the mechanics, such as style, the level of description, story structure and plot formation, dialog flow, the first chapter, formation of plot twists, sub plots, character development, the antagonist, the big conflict, etc. These things drive the story and hook the readers' interest.

Hear are some suggested readings the are currently on Barnes & Nobles best sellers list. try them out. take the time to read them and take notes as you read.

Howl's Moving Castle, Castle In The Air, and House Of Many Ways are a three book series about a eccentric wizard name Howl and his young wife Sophie. These books waste no time with long boring descriptions. These's plenty a excitement, comedy, and chaos. The plot in each story is introduced in chapter 1 (this is most do for writers.) CLICK ON THE IMAGES

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Series #1)

  • Castle in the Air (Howl's Castle Series #2)
    • House of Many Ways (Howl's Castle Series #3)

If you are writing a book about a relationship between boy / girl and an animal or fanciful creature, Life of Pi is a good book to read. CLICK ON THE IMAGE

  • Life of Pi (Movie Tie-In)

The Twilight Sage books are excellent if you are writing a novel where the protagonist is the narrator. They are a good examples for showing character growth, weakness, and transformation. CLICK ON THE IMAGE


The books suggested are good reads for the educational aspects of writing, not just for entertainment. However, because they are well written, they will entertain you too. So be careful not to get caught up and forget you are studying.

Best Writing!