One (little) Complaint

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Writing is hard. Some people get that. Other people don’t… and then proceed to tell you about the children’s book they are going to write someday. But that’s not what my complaint today is about. Writing is hard, but publishing is hard too. I’m not sure if I should even bring this up, but lately I feel like a lot of people in the non-book world are wondering what’s taking me so long to get a book published. Continue reading

Query Letter Construction

I’ve written a little bit about querying and how I got my agent (still in a state of disbelief). When I was developing my query (both times) I really appreciated how many writers provided their own query letters and how many agents did public query critiques. When I was still in college, I devoured Query Shark. Later, the successful queries on Writer’s Digest became one of my must-read features. And Jackie Lea Sommers’s (author of Truest) blog post about writing her query is something I’ve returned to time and time again. I also was lucky enough to read hundreds of queries while interning at a literary agency and had many teachers advise me through my MFA program.

There are lots of Internet resources to learn more about writing a query and many different opinions on how to structure the letter. But in case anyone is curious, here’s what worked for me!  Continue reading

The really really really long story of how I got my agent

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Yay for friends giving me congratulations pie and macarons and cards and getting to celebrate getting an agent with my family!!!

Last week, I made the exciting announcement (with an incredibly cheesy Jane Eyre pun!) that I signed with a literary agent. In case anyone is curious, here is a longer version of what happened and what this means.

Most publishers won’t look at un-agented work these days. Authors need an agent to represent them, kind of like a trusted middle-man to vouch for your book. This doesn’t mean I have a book deal or that my book is going to be published, but I am one step closer now that I have the wonderful Samantha Wekstein at Writers House representing me.

People say all the time that you don’t need to live in New York City or have friends who work in publishing to get an agent. This is true! But both played a pivotal role in how I got my agent. Continue reading

Big News

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Reader, I married him … err I mean signed a contract with her (failed Jane Eyre Reference). Anyways, I’m so excited to announce this today. Will definitely give more details in a longer post next week, but I couldn’t keep it in any longer! I have an agent!

Most Popular Posts of 2016

I’m closing out my fifth year blogging, and I can barely believe it. My life, my blog, and blogging in general have changed so much since I started in January 2012. But what hasn’t changed is that I really like this space that exists on the blog. That’s why I keep doing this I guess. My most popular post written this year (by leaps and bounds) is somewhat bittersweet. It is the post I wrote just after my grandmother died: My Nana, Jo Barton. It feels fitting that this was so popular, and Nana would have loved it. It also lead to so many friends and acquaintances of her to reach out to me – which really meant the world.

Here are some of my other most popular posts from 2016: Continue reading

Writing & Being Sick

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On Tuesday, I had my best writing day in months. Not only was I moving through lots of edits/critiques from my critique partner, but I was back in love with my story and in love with the process of actually writing. Amazing! I parceled out a plan to finish the draft within the week or so. Then Wednesday hit with a high fever and a wicked sore throat. Lately, I’m worried this blog has become a bit of a wambulance. But, I guess this is a good lesson in patience and that I’m not (and never will be) totally in control.

I’ve been sick this year more than any other. My last two cold/flu guys have come during big writing weeks for me. During one, in thesis semester, I pushed through so I wouldn’t have to give money to this guy. I ended up writing everyone’s favorite scene (and one of the only ones I didn’t have to edit) in a fever haze. Right now, I’m feeling a little too fuzzy to get much writing done. Instead, I’m reading through a friend’s WIP and catching up on other reading. Also drinking plenty of fluids, Mom!

Hope you all are having more productive and more healthful weeks than yours truly!

Sensitivity, Writing, & Grief

I have always, always been a sensitive person. Sometimes this serves me well, like in my writing. Sometimes it doesn’t, like in the fifth grade. Despite (or perhaps because of) this sensitivity, I tend to spend a lot of time in my head. It’s less overwhelming than living in the world of my feelings. This means that when things aren’t going well, like in the last month or so, I spend a lot of time trying to understand why. This is a completely futile exercise, but one I have a hard time stopping. Especially late at night. Continue reading