GOT A QUESTION FOR A LITERARY AGENT?ASK FOUR OF THEM AT THE WRITER'S DIGEST ANNUAL CONFERENCE!
My name is Chuck Sambuchino, and I edit the Guide to Literary Agents for WD. I also get the honor of moderating the popular "Ask the Agents" Friday panel at the Writer's Digest Annual Conference in New York City this July 31–August 2. The panel is one of our most popular sessions because it gives attendees an opportunity to ask four different literary agents questions about how to get published.
You can ask any question that's specific to your own journey. Maybe you want to hear some advice on how to resubmit your work to an agency. Maybe you want to learn more about query letter no-nos. Or maybe you just want general advice on what makes agents (and editors) stop reading after the first few pages. It doesn't matter—all craft and business-related writing topics are up for discussion!
Before the panel, I will be teaching "Pitch Perfect," a session on how to pitch your work to an agent. It's a simple starting point for people who don't know how to approach an agent. If you want in on this session, be sure to register for the Pitch Slam/Basic Conference option. Then, in the panel that follows, we can delve more into subjects such as how to classify your work, how to make your story stand out, and how to give your submission the best chance possible.
The panel is an excellent opportunity to get tough questions answered as you continue along your writing journey—so join me this summer at the event! I hope to see you there.
Happy summer, all! I hope you're doing the best thing to do during any hot days, which is, naturally, hitting the community pool. My toddler daughter is a water slide junkie, and demands constant fun while at the pool. She can be demanding that way...
The first pressing thing to share with you is that I have a book giveaway contest going on in conjunction with my most recent TWL guest column called "The One Big Reason Some Blogs Succeed, While Others Crash and Burn." The column takes a direct look at why a few blogs break out, and most do not. After you've read the post, comment on it for a chance to win a copy of my writing book, CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM.
And seeing as how some amazing summer writing events are coming up fast, I want to repeat a few conference/workshop items I mentioned last newsletter in case you missed them. These should especially be of interest for writers based in/around Minnesota, Indiana, New York, Cincinnati and Los Angeles:
In NYC, from Aug. 1-3, WD hosts its huge (huge!) annual writing conference , which features more than 50 literary agents meeting writers at its Pitch Slam. The event is big for a reason -- check it out!
In Minnesota, the Minnesota Writing Workshop (Sept. 6) is quickly approaching, and features the awesome agents from Red Sofa Literary taking pitches as well as plenty of workshops. I will be there teaching, as well.
Somewhere else I'll be teaching is Indianapolis (Nov. 1) -- talking all about book publishing options, submissions, marketing, agents, and much more. All Indiana event details here.
She is seeking: Whitley is primarily interested in Young Adult, Middle Grade, and select Upmarket Women's fiction. She likes characters who are relatable yet flawed, hooks that offer new points of view and exciting adventures, vibrant settings that become active characters in their own right, and a story that sticks with the reader long after turning the last page, be it contemporary or historical, realistic or supernatural, tragic or quirky. She loves mythology and literary re-imaginings, heartbreaking contemporary novels, historical suspense, and craving cute romantic comedies for YA through adult (ex: Sophie Kinsella, Lauren Morrill, Stephanie Perkins). She is not interested in vampires, werewolves, angels, zombies, dystopian societies, steampunk, or epic fantasy. Please no paranormal / fantasy for adults.
He is seeking: Alexander is interested in children's, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction, from new and established authors. As he says, "I'm looking for projects that will rise above the rest...characters you'll remember well past childhood...books that translate well to film because within them contain incredible stories, not because they're the latest trend." He particularly loves authors like Frank Portman, Jim Shepard, Jenny Han, and Rainbow Rowell.
Crazy Market Book Sale: Find GLA, CWIM and Others at 75% Off in Our Shop!
I have no idea how long this sale lasts, but as I write this newsletter, it's live -- so I suggest checking it out NOW.
WD is listing all of the 2014 market books at 75% off. That means for a mere $7.99 a piece, you can get the 2014 Writer's Market, the 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, or the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents -- or all of them, if you want.
If you were thinking about ordering a 2014 market book but hadn't pulled the trigger yet, now is the time.
Win Free Books: Giveaways Happening Now on the Blog
Like winning free novels? Several guest columns on the GLA Blog are currently running giveaway contests. All you have to do is comment on any or all of the posts for a chance to win a book. Here are the current contests:
1. (ends today, July 2)Natalia Sylvester , author of the literary fiction debut CHASING THE SUN, explains the story of how she came to find & sign with her agent, Brandi Bowles of Foundry Literary + Media. She also gives away a free book.
2. (ends tomorrow, July 3) Sally Koslow, author of the novel THE WIDOW WALTZ, shares her 7 best pieces of writing advice. My favorite tip: "Use exercise to jumpstart your creativity." She also gives away a free book.
3. Kristi Belcamino , author of the mystery BLESSED ARE THE DEAD, explains the story of how she came to find & sign with her agent, Stacey Glick of Dystel & Goderich. She also gives away a free book.
Simply click through to the guest columns, and after enjoying them, comment on one or all of the columns for your chance to win.
Evergreen Guest Content: 20 Helpful Columns for Writers
Between all the columns and guest columns and interviews and such I post each year, a lot can fall through the cracks. That said, let me point you to some helpful evergreen guest posts on the craft and business of writing that I've penned over the past year. These posts will teach you how to write a query, how to write a synopsis, how to start your novel strong, which writers' conferences to attend, and much more. Check them out:
Please note: If you purchase any webinar, you will get a recorded version of the webinar sent to you after the presentation day. So if you can't attend live, you will still get all the materials.
About the webinar:
Every writer has a wealth of creative potential, but it can be a daunting if not impossible task to gain access to those interior places where the true power of story is waiting to be unleashed. In this webinar Dara Marks teaches writers how to create a natural story structure that reflects the authentic nature of the human experience. Her innovative method for structuring story is designed to keep writers focused on the heart and soul of their work so that plot, character, and theme create a unified whole. The interrelationship of these key story elements forms the basis of the transformational arc of character. Marks explains, "The transformational arc is the deeper line of structure found inside the story. It is an organic template that writers can use to ensure that the intricacies of plot and character grow naturally out of your original thematic intention."
The transformational arc is, therefore, the interior line of structure. Whereas the plot guides the external conflict and action, the arc guides the inner, emotional development of the characters as they are forced to deal with the conflict of the plot. Using the arc makes the story more human and relatable and greatly expands a writer's ability to identify and stay focused on the deeper thematic, emotional and even spiritual dimensions of a story. It is the arc that truly makes a script more emotional, meaningful and, ultimately, this is what makes a script more marketable.
Marks' technique not only enhances our understanding of story structure, but it also pushes the craft of writing into the realm of transformative art.
What you'll learn:
How to get to the heart of what your story is really about
How to keep your writing focused and balanced between external and internal conflict
How to make emotional contact with your audience so they care about what you write
How to develop characters who are flawed yet deeply human and relatable
How to utilize theme at the essential ingredient for developing plot and character
How to generate powerful images that maximize every scene
BONUS: With purchase of this webinar, you will receive $79.99 off of a yearly subscription to theScreenwriting Tutorials website, which has specialized tutorials from experts that explore screenwriting topics covered nowhere else on the web!
I've been busy lately. I finally finished my novel. Now I'm working on the next step, querying agents. I had written a query letter. and sent it off to a few agents. So far I've gotten rejection. I took some time to write a new query letter. When comparing it to the first letter, the second is much better.
I have the book GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS. It is full of agents. This is a great book to have. Using it is so much easier than spending hours on line searching for agents.
I'll keep everyone updated on my efforts in getting a literary agent.
Now for business.
Following are some articles from SCRIPT MAGAZINE I got from their email newsletter. Check them out.
SCRIPT NOTES: Major Character Types – "Mentor" Characters are engines that drive ideas into a story. Each of the major character types plays a specific role in that process. Michael Tabb highlights THE MENTOR. Click to Continue
THE CRAFT: Professional Screenwriters on Blocking Writer's Block Stuart Perelmuter shares tips from professional writers, Eric Roth, Simon Kinberg and Stephen Susco, on how they beat writer's block. Click to Continue
COLUMN D: Respect the Subplot Subplots add depth and texture to your story. Drew Yanno explores the effective use of subplots in the movie 'Rear Window.' Click to Continue
Essentials of Having an Active Protagonist + Exclusive FREE Download Begin on this page by exploring the definition and essentials of having a strong protagonist, followed by a few examples. Then be sure you get your FREE download of 4 Crucial Questions for Your Protagonist to learn how to create an active protagonist to drive your story! Click to Continue
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: Screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe On 'The Age of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively & Harrison Ford Ashley Scott Meyers talks with screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe about his new film, 'The Age of Adaline,' starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford. Click to Continue
ScriptMag Archives: SUBMISSIONS INSANITY: 6 Reasons Loglines Go Bad ScriptMag looks back at older articles that still pack value for today's screenwriter. This week, let's revisit Lucy V. Hay's post with logline advice. Click to Continue
The Multi-Hyphenate Hammad Zaidi Meet Script's new podcast and YouTube co-host, writer and producer Hammad Zaidi. Hammad shares advice on writing, getting representation and distribution. Stay tuned for the launch of Development Hell and Back podcast! Click to Continue
SCREENPLAY STRUCTURE: The Spine of the Screenplay The first step of screenplay structure requires knowing the dramatic spine of your story. Susan Kouguell offers tips. Click to Continue
Elevate Your Antagonist with Tips in Our FREE Download Get your FREE download of 6 Tips for a Stand-Out Antagonist to learn how to create an compelling nemesis for your protagonist! Click to Continue
LEGALLY SPEAKING, IT DEPENDS: Short Film Report As this goes to press, Chris Schiller should be on set in the midst of producing his short film. You should always have a plan B, and a plan C, ready before you set out. Click to Continue
BEHIND THE LINES WITH DR: When Good Dialogue Goes Bad, Part 2 Just because a writer can write good dialogue doesn’t mean that, in the crux of the moment, they won't end up in handcuffs... Click to Continue