Thursday, May 21, 2015

Literary Agents & Writing Advice

Dear Readers,

Below is an email I found in my inbox when I was cleaning it out today. You might find it interesting.

Editor's Letter
imageplaceholderChuck Sambuchino
Editor, GLA and CWIM

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.
  • In Los Angeles, WD is putting on a conference of our own from Aug. 15-17. It will have sessions, instructions, and several agents in attendance meeting with writers.
  • In Cincinnati, I will personally be teaching 3 different (free!) Tuesday evening classes at the downtown library on July 15July 22, and July 29All details can be found here.
Until next time, good luck writing, agent hunting, and building your writer platform!

Chuck Sambuchino
Editor, 2014 Guide to Literary Agents  
Editor, 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 
Author, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack
Author, Create Your Writer Platform
Twitter: @chucksambuchino
Chuck on Facebook
2 Agents Seeking Your Query NOW

Click on any name below to see the full mini-profile on the GLA Blog (with submission instructions). Good luck querying!

1. Whitley Abell of Inklings Literary

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.

2. Alexander Slater of Trident Media Group

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.

To purchase the books, click here to be take to the Writer's Digest Shop, and scroll down until you find the 2014 product you're searching for.

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 tomorrowJuly 3Sally 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:

1. Should you sign with a new literary agent?
2. Do you need multiple agents if you write in multiple genres?
3. How to start your novel.
4. Why writers must make themselves easy to contact.
5. How to write a novel synopsis.
6. Query letter questions answered.
7. 11 frequently asked questions about book royalties and money.
8. Learn why "Keep moving forward" may be the best advice of all for writers.
9. Want to adapt your novel into a screenplay? Start here.
10. How NOT to start your story. Read advice from agents.
11. What are the BEST writers conferences to attend?
12. How do you make money writing articles for magazines?
13. 11 ways to support an author's new book release.
14. What to write in the BIO section of your query letter.
15. What does a literary agent want to see when they Google you?
16. Headed to a conference? Learn how to pitch an agent.
17. What does it mean when an agent says "This isn't right for me"?
18. Agents share their query letter pet peeves.
19. How do you use social media to sell more books?
20. When can you call yourself a writer?

Writing Class: Making Emotional Stories

Join Dara Marks for
The Power of the Transformational Arc: Making Stories More
Emotional, Meaningful and Marketable
Infuse your characters with richness, subtlety and surprise by
developing a more dynamic internal storyline!
Your Price: $69.99
Session Date: May 26, 2015
Starting Time: 1:00pm Pacific
Price: $69.99 - On Sale Now!
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!