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Showing posts from April, 2009

Now It Can Be Revealed - I Was Query 43!

The results are in for Nathan's Be An Agent for A Day Contest! Needless to say, I didn't win - but then my goal was never to be an agent, but to be a writer. Well, I am a writer; my goal is to be published.

In picking my five manuscript requests, I invariably went for well-written letters and stories that interested me. Obviously a real agent looks at letters quite differently. And thank goodness for that; I asked: "what about the whole 'can't cram every detail of the plot' into the letter rule - because, invariably, the minute you leave something out, the reader comes back with 'but you didn't explain this aspect, therefore the plot isn't viable, therefore I'm rejecting your manuscript.' Argh! How do you get around that?" and Nathan responded "Readers might do that, but an agent wouldn't. We just need the setup." So that's good to know.

As for Query 43 - yup, that was me! I received 303 comments and Nathan has kindly t…

My Fill in the Gaps Project

Moonrat has posted a list of 100 books to read by 2015 (Project Fill-in-the-Gaps). Since this fits in with my own ongoing book ban, wherein I try not to buy new books but get cracking on reading the ones I already own, I’m going to put up my own list.

Using similar criteria, my goal is to read the following 180 books, or at least 75% by 1 January 2015. Most of the books on the list are classics, or books that come up on 100 Best Books type of lists, which I’ve never read but pretend I have simply because I’ve read another book or two by the author. For instance, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevksy is usually on such lists, and I pretend to have read it only because I’ve read The Double, Notes from Underground, White Nights, etc. Other books on the list are those that I’ve owned without reading for years – mostly the ones I picked up for free during preparations for the McGill University Book Fair; this includes all the Rabbit books by John Updike.

While Moonrat doesn’t generally read whi…

Katherine Paterson Contest

I read Katherine Paterson's latest, Bread and Roses, Too, last week and loved it. I hope she writes a sequel made up entirely of letters between Rosa and Jake.
Now comes word of a new contest: The inaugural Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult (YA) and Children's Writing in Hunger Mountain, the arts journal of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Deadline is 30 June. Wish me luck!

Be An Agent for a Day Continues!

Now the UK press have picked up on Nathan Bransford's Challenge.

Today Nathan asked, if you were an agent how would you handle submissions? I thought I'd be the type to offer personalized comments, but after having done all 50 in one day, I've realised:
a) how much work that would actually involve; and
b) how hard it is to keep it simple if you're personalizing - it's so easy to start a flow of criticim and suggestions, and so very difficult to keep them reined.
I now have much greater sympathy for form rejections.

I also agree with Adam and Nixy's points, and can definitely see how they fit in with, say, Query 43.

In the end, I only "chose" 3 to request a partial from. There were two others - the ones I think came from already-published authors - that I could have chosen, but I'd already rejected them (since I was reading them in order from 1 to 50 and had many more to go) and couldn't retract my rejection. Without the set limit of 5, i.e. if I was…

Be An Agent For A Day

So you're a write and you want to see how the other half lives? Find out why those rejections keep piling up? Enter Nathan Bransford's contest here!

The Spymaster's Lady Needs You!

Jo Bourne's book, THE SPYMASTER'S LADY, is in the championship round for the 2nd Annual DA BWAHA (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors run by the bloggers at Dear Author and Smart Bitches Trashy Books)!

Vote for her here before the day is out!