Querying Is Not A Science

I never really liked science in school, but I still did well in it because it follows rules. If you use the right ingredients and follow the steps exactly, you get the expected outcome. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a set formula for landing an agent? Actually, strike that. There is a formula:…

Read more »

If You Have to Explain It, Something’s Not Working

The other day, Writer’s Digest tweeted the following: “If it needs explanation, it’s not working. #writetip” It’s such a simple statement, and so true. If your query or sample pages bring up the kind of questions that confuse readers instead of intriguing them, something’s not right. I’d also reverse it and say that if someone…

Read more »

How to Find Books Agents Represent

Last week’s post about middle grade books agents represent was astronomically more popular than I anticipated. I’m so glad many of you found it helpful, and in light of that, I’m adding a permanent page to my blog listing agents with middle grade and young adult books they represent. I’ll give a few more details…

Read more »

A Glimpse at My Agent Spreadsheet: Middle Grade Books I’ve Read

Note: This post was so popular I have since added a post on How to Find Books Agents Represent and a page listing MG/YA Agents and the Books They Represent. I was surprised when I started researching agents that it was so hard to find a list of their clients. As someone getting ready to…

Read more »

Make Your Pitches Specific and Other WriteOnCon Takeaways

Another WriteOnCon is over, and once again I feel energized and ready to get back out there with my manuscript. It’s amazing to me how different the conference is from one year to the next. The organizers do a great job coming up with new topics and presenters. In case you missed it, here is…

Read more »

How to Stalk WriteOnCon Ninja Agents

Please see my 2017 post, which is updated for the new forum platform. Note: I’ve postponed the MMGM I had planned for today due to being lost in the WriteOnCon forums. What’s that, you may ask? Read on. If you write for kids, teens or new adults, you should attend WriteOnCon tomorrow and Wednesday. It’s…

Read more »

What I’ve Learned in Two Years of Querying

I really hoped I wouldn’t have to write this post, but here we are. It’s officially been two years since I sent my first round of queries. During that time, I’ve queried two manuscripts, one of which underwent a major revision before restarting the querying process. I posted last year on what I’d learned in…

Read more »

When Is It Time to Query?

I’ve written posts on when it’s time to revise and when it’s time to wait, but I started this blog after I’d started querying DUET, so I didn’t have a reason to write about when it’s time to query. Until now. Because even though I still have a few DUET submissions out there, it’s time…

Read more »

How Much Honesty Can You Take?

Yesterday agent Mandy Hubbard tweeted: Sometimes, wish I could tell an author: You have talent. But this feels like the book before the 1 you get published. #NobodyWantstoHearThat Well, of course you don’t want to hear that, but maybe you should. Now, if I were just dipping my toes in the querying waters for the…

Read more »

The Stages of Waiting

I sent my work-in-progress, THE DEXELON TWINCIDENT, out to my first round of readers two weeks ago. I received comments from one of the readers on Friday, and I’ve been anxiously waiting for feedback from the other (don’t rush, if you’re reading this!). It’s made me muse on the different kinds of waiting we have…

Read more »

Yes, No, Wait

I’ve often had discussions with my friends about how when you pray for something, God has three possible answers–yes, no, or wait. If it’s “yes,” obviously I celebrate! And if it’s “no,” at least I can figure out how to move on. But that “wait” answer … I hate that one, especially since I can’t…

Read more »

Should You Re-Query Agents with Your Revised Manuscript?

If you came to this post hoping for an absolute answer to this question, you’ll be disappointed. I’ve been on a querying blitz this past week, sending the YA version of DUET out into the world. Because I already queried a number of agents with the MG version, this question of re-querying has come up…

Read more »