Here’s another good one from over at Writer Unboxed: Louie Cronin, Cronin the Barbarian of Car Talk fame, explains why she became an expert in rejecting submissions—and what her experience means for writers. If you are a Car Talk fan, you’ll get an extra kick out of this! Have you ever thought of rejection this way?
Category Archives: Finding agents
Good practical (and empathetic) advice on pitching from agent Carly Watters! I’ve had good luck recently from listing about eight plot points to keep me on track. No one seems to mind if I use a page of notes. What about you? What techniques do you use to make your pitch sessions work?
After attending conferences around North America for the past 6 years I’ve seen an array of pitching techniques. Some good. Some…not so good. I get it. It’s not easy to pitch your book (your creative project that’s been on your mind for months if not years) to someone sittingin front of you, especially when the stakes are so high for you personally.
Agents can sense thedetermination and fear in the room during pitch sessions. It’s honestly palpable and we can feel your energy.
I find pitch sessions draining and galvanizingat thesame time. Having a new project pitched to me every 7-10 minutes is a lot to wrap my head around and sometimes they bleed into one another. And depending on how conference organizers set things up I could be sitting there for up to 2 hours at a time.
When you sit down:
Relax. Then tell me why you’re sitting…
View original post 451 more words
Do you write women’s fiction? Check out this contest!
Reblogged on WordPress.com
Source: ‘Dear Lucky Agent’ Contest
Something here for every aspiring writer! Strauss is one of the best resources around! Info on contracts, social media, marketing, promotion—check it out!
An earlier version of my post incorrectly stated that Chuck Sambuchino was in charge of this one-day workshop in Indianapolis on Oct. 24. In fact, he was subbing for another volunteer. The workshop was actually coordinated by Jessica Bell, of Writing Day Workshops. I thought folks might appreciate learning about this organization, if they aren’t already familiar with it. It hosts a range of workshops at different locations around the country, and will definitely be on my list of possible conference options.
The Workshop featured presentations by Brian Klems, online editor for WritersDigest.com. The basic fee covered four all-group presentations by Klems and a “first-page” critique by four agents of randomly selected submissions. Participants could pay extra for ten-minute pitch sessions with up to six agents and for a personal query-letter critique by Chuck Sambuchino, author of a number of books and blogs on writing as well as humor books.
Klems’s presentations covered a huge amount of nuts-and-bolts information most valuable to writers who had not attended many conferences or mined the web for information on the business of writing. The pitch sessions were well-coordinated; all three of the agents I queried were generous listeners. The published schedule did not build in meals or receptions for the social networking that many writers find rewarding.
So what made this conference so productive? Two things: Sambuchino’s critique of my query and the “first-page” session, at which some 20 or so of the first pages submitted were thrown down and stomped upon.
First: Query-Letter Critique
I didn’t receive Sambuchino’s comments until the Thursday night before the conference, and Friday was hectic, so it was evening before I could settle into my motel room to digest the veritable armada of comments he had supplied. Everyone reading this can probably empathize with my stomach-twisting lurch when I realized that the back-of-the-book blurb I had workshopped over and over with multiple audiences was No Good. Basic questions—what is Michael’s wound, his need? What is at stake? How does this event lead to this one?—still loomed. Sambuchino wanted A LOT more information than any back-of-the-book was going to accommodate.
The feeling of utter inadequacy that settled over me produced a complete rewrite. Was that the right strategy? All I know is that when I sat across from agents and talked from the notes they were glad to let me use, not one broke in with a confused frown to tell me I wasn’t making any sense. (Believe me, this has happened.) There’s no experiment that could tell me whether my response to Sambuchino’s comments made the difference. But I do know that when I revise my query letter, the pitch itself will look a lot more like the one I wrote Friday night than the one I have now.
Lesson learned? First let me talk about
First Page Armageddon
(Can anybody tell me why some WordPress sites have reblog buttons and others don’t? Is thiis a choice the blogger makes? I HATE seeing good posts I can’t share in their entirety.)
In any case, this could so be me! I’m just now trying to decide whether to self-publish my way-outside-the-conventional-genres novel or to go on submitting to agents. I haven’t gone the small press route because I found myself thinking that if I have to do all the marketing, why share the net? But this post makes me realize that I’m probably thinking too short-term. Having a new novel picked up by a press (I published five with big presses before going back to school) would be a gateway to new contacts and new opportunities.
Story’s thoughts on feedback also resonated. Having gone the beta-reader route as well as working with my writing group, I’ve decided not to tear up my work unless it’s for someone who has made a commitment to the book, for the very reasons Story states: six reviews, six different ideas as to what just has to be done. In my excellent writing group, I listen for consensus and a good argument that the advice is well-grounded. I often receive the kind of feedback Story praises, the kind that strikes me instinctively as valuable, sometimes pinpointing a problem I knew at heart needed attention but which I hadn’t quite identified.
Check out the post for her seven inspirational messages. They were a call to action for me, and might be for you.