Monday, 19 November 2018

Writer's Digest newsletters

With details of upcoming courses and a writing competition, here are the latest Writer's Digest newsletters:

Critique of your first 1,000 words included!

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Writing "The End" is just the beginning. You know you've got the discipline to get the words on the page, but before you put the book out in the world, you want to make sure it's the best book you can produce. When your book is ready for publication, do you know what publishing options you have? Once you know your options, how will you know which one is right for you?

Literary agent Carlisle Webber will take you through a live webinar in two sections: the art of editing fiction and the business of publishing. First, you'll learn some best practices for editing your work, from fixing the pacing to working with a critique partner. Second, you'll learn about the different ways you can publish your work and the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

What you'll learn
All registrants are invited to submit the first 1000 words of your novel. Please wait until after the live webinar date to submit your critique materials. This allows you to make changes to your first 1000 words based on the presentation and will ensure you receive the most helpful critique possible. All submitted pages are guaranteed a written critique by Literary Agent Carlisle Webber.

What you'll learn
The elements of a page-turning plot
How to make your characters unforgettable
Finding a critique group
Popular myths and facts about book publishing
The advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing

Who should attend
Writers who have just finished a novel
Writers who want feedback on their novel
Writers who know their novel needs polishing but aren't sure where to start
Writers who aren't sure of the differences in self publishing vs. traditional publishing

November 29, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST


Instructor: Carlisle Webber
Carlisle Webber is an agent with Fuse Literary specializing in fiction for children, teens, and young adults. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Professional Certificate in Editing from UC Berkeley.

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Register for the live boot camp!

Writer's Digest University


If you want to get a literary agent, you have to hook them quickly with your submission materials. And the two most important items during your initial agent inquiry are the all-important query letter and first pages of your story. This Writer’s Digest Boot Camp will teach how to do create an amazing agent submission.

Writing a strong query letter requires a great hook and clear premise. The first sentence should immediately catch the reader’s attention, while the ending should leave the reader wanting to dive into the pages of the manuscript. Your first pages should work similarly—you want the person reading to find it absolutely unputdownable. But this takes practice, patience, and an eye for detail. Which is why we’re here: to discuss what to do and not to do and to make your query and first pages as stand-out as possible.

Suzie Townsend and JL Stermer are currently building their lists at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. and understand what information will help prospective authors weigh all of their options before choosing an agent.

What You'll Learn:
  • Tips on writing the most effective query
  • How to write strong first pages
  • Tips on the actual querying process
  • Key querying resources; key revising resources
  • Tips on how to write a non-fiction book proposal

Here's How it Works:

On December 4, 2018, you will gain access to an all-new special 111-minute online tutorial via the course system: "How to Catch an Agent's Interest with Your Query and First Pages” presented by literary agents of New Leaf Literary.

After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. After viewing the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the course system and ask assigned agent critiquers questions related to revising materials. The agents will be available on the course system from 1-3 p.m. (EDT) on both Wednesday, December 5 and Thursday, December 6. No later than Friday, December 7, attendees will submit a query and the first five manuscript or proposal pages for critique. The submissions will receive feedback directly from the boot camp literary agents.

The agents will spend up to three weeks reviewing all assigned critiques and provide feedback to help attendees. (The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more; note that multiple agents have signed writers after reading their work as part of WD boot camps.)

Join the Boot Camp Today!

December 4 - 7, 2018


Agent: Suzie Townsend
Prior to joining New Leaf, Suzie Townsend graduated film school, earned her Masters of Education, taught high school English, and coached a swim team. In her spare time, she read everything she could, which prompted her move to publishing. As a literary agent, she represents all brands of children’s and adult fiction.

Agent: JL Stermer
is adding to her non-fiction list in both YA and adult categories with smart pop-culture, comedy/satire, fashion, health & wellness, self-help, and memoir. She’s also growing her fiction list (a bit more selectively) and is looking for adult and some YA coming-of-age, humor, dark and edgy stories, and new and original voices in commercial and upmarket.


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Writer's Digest

A Special Offer from our Trusted Partner

Join fellow novelists in submitting your partial or finished manuscripts to the Inkshares Mystery-Thriller or Horror Novel Contests, open now through December 14, 2018. There is no fee to enter the contest and you only need to upload a minimum of three chapters for review. Inkshares editors will review each entry and offer publishing and representation deals to at least three novelists per contest. Enter now for your chance to work with the team that brought you books like Kill Creek and A Gentleman's Murder. is an open platform and author community with the mission to surface and develop the most important stories and storytellers. Inkshares publishes books in North America and licenses out rights in foreign territories, television, and film. Inkshares books have garnered starred reviews in every publishing magazine, features in major publications including USA Today, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, awards from organizations including the American Library Association, and have reached the global top-five most-sold books.
Inkshares' novels have been licensed in foreign territories alongside top-of-market advances and are in development for television and film at top networks and studios. Last year, Tal Klein's The Punch Escrow was a Goodreads semifinalist for science fiction book of the year and is development for film at Lionsgate. This year, Juliet McDaniel's dramedy Mr. & Mrs. American Pie was a Booklist selection-of-the-month and is in development for television with Laura Dern.
Over the last two years, Inkshares has cemented its position as a marquee publisher in horror. J-F. Dubeau's A God in the Shed was a Barnes & Noble Best Horror Books of 2017 pick, runner-up for the American Library Association's Horror Book of 2017, anointed "one of the best horror novels in the past ten years" by Fangoria magazine, and is also in development for television with Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman. And just last year, Scott Thomas' Kill Creek was selected by the American Library Association as the horror book of the year, shortlisted for the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, termed "the horror debut of 2017" by Barnes & Noble, and is currently in development for television at Showtime.
This summer, we published Christopher Huang's A Gentleman's Murder, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, a feature in The Washington Post, and is currently in development for television. From Christie to Connelly, mysteries and thrillers command some of the largest names in fiction. Newer voices, like Flynn, Larsson, and Nesbo have breathed fresh life into the genre, their film adaptations grossing hundreds of millions of dollars. If these are the names you love, if you aspire to intrigue and thrill audiences with your words, then we hope you enter this contest.
Selections for the Mystery-Thriller and Horror Novel Contests will be made both by Inkshares editors as well as by the crowd on the basis of pre-orders. Although authors are welcome to enable the 'sell pre-orders' function in the contest to demonstrate reader interest in their stories, it is not necessary to win a publishing deal. Simply create your logline, 'About' page, and upload some chapters for review!

We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
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 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA
Sessions from SIX award-winning and best-selling experts

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Use Code MYSTERY20 to Save $20!

In April 2018 Writer’s Digest hosted an online conference designed exclusively for mystery and thriller writers. When you buy this package you’ll receive all of the sessions presented in the conference. You’ll get insights and advice from SIX award-winning and best-selling experts in the industry. Hone your craft and take your mystery and thriller novel to the next level!

Series sessions include:
  • Opening Salvo: Writing a First Chapter That Guarantees Readers (and Editors) Keep Reading
  • How to Differentiate Characters
  • How to Write Realistic Action Thrillers
  • Writing the Mystery Series
  • 6 Steps to Writing Unputdownable Suspense
  • Plotting a Thriller
If you, like most writers, have faced rejection, this kit will help you bounce back and maintain a high level of persistence!

Be sure to use code MYSTERY20 during checkout to receive $20 off the entire series through November 21!

Retail Price: $479.94
Regular Price: $89.99
With Coupon: $69.99

*Must use code MYSTERY20 during checkout for discount to apply. Coupon expires 11/21/18 at 11:59 PM MST.

We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
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F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA
Learn how to write strong, unique characters who intrigue, disturb, and delight

Writer's Digest Tutorials


In this 53-minute presentation, author Brian Andrews shows writers how to use tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter to craft 16 distinct character types that resonate true to real life, and build character profiles that help prevent "personality drift" and "a cast of clones" in your fiction. Read More...

Writer's Digest Tutorials Members enjoy full access to all tutorials featured in this newsletter, as well as every tutorial on the site. For only $199 you gain access to all Writer's Digest's writing tutorials for an entire year. That means you have access to all 350+ current tutorials and all the new tutorials created throughout the year. 

New Releases

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350+ WD Tutorials are immediately available for viewing with new tutorials added regularly.

Sue Johnson
Sue is an Instructional Designer for Writer's Digest. She lives with her Corgi/Dachshund (Dorgi), Dori, and three kitties. Follow her on Twitter @sueajohnsonco.

We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA
Plus, discover 10 things to avoid in your query.

Guide to Literary Agents 2019


3 Ways to Find Your Book's Unique Selling Proposition

Agents have to consider where your work fits in a crowded marketplace. By including that information in your query letter, you're making their job easier -- and what stands out about your manuscript even more evident. Here are three approaches to help you find your unique selling proposition.


"The same, but different,"" is what publishing is all about in today's challenging environment. Publishers are looking for something the same as [insert your favorite bestseller here]; saying your work is “just like a bestselling XYZ,” proves there is a market for that kind of book.

But your concept should also be fresh enough to set it apart from the bestseller and to distinguish itself in a marketplace full of similar stories. The same, but different.

Consider these examples of stories broken down in this way:
  • "Just like J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, only based on the War of the Roses." (George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones)
  • "Just like Jane Austen's Emma, only set in Beverly Hills." (Amy Heckerling's Clueless)
  • "Just like Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, only the slaves are the main characters." (Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone)
In marketing parlance, "the same, but different" statement is known as a unique selling proposition (USP). This term refers to the qualities that differentiate a product. A USP is the marketing angle to your theme. It's what you need to pitch the book to agents, publishers, booksellers and, ultimately, readers. There's no point in trying to sell a story that has no USP -- that is just "same old, same old," and cannot find its place in today's competitive market.


Another way to think of USPs is to borrow from the classic Hollywood high-concept formula: X meets Y. This works well when your story is a new twist on an old favorite or a mash-up of two genres, ideas or characters.

Successful examples include:
  • "Abraham Lincoln meets vampires."" (Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)
  • "The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games." (Shannon Stoker's The Registry)
  • "Prizzi's Honor meets True Lies." (Simon Kinberg's Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
Try coming up with an X meets Y formula for your story. Once you've got it, ask yourself how the respective themes of X and Y relate to your story—and perhaps create a new theme. Read More...

Story 1
Literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Devin Ross of New Leaf Literary and Media) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.   Read More...

Guide to Literary Agents 2018
Master the art of writing enthralling tales for young readers in the go-to resource for writers crafting stories for children ages two to eight.

Discover thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents.

Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions and offer advice on getting the details right.

Story 2
Learn how NOT to get a positive response from literary agents: Avoid these 10 paths to auto-rejection when you're writing your query letter.   Read More...

Story 3
In this episode of the Writer's Digest Podcast, Gabriela Pereira talks with author and cartoonist Tom Hart, and shares an inside look at writing and publishing in the graphic novel and comics world. In this interview, they discuss how writers and artists collaborate to create amazing stories, the importance of finding your cohort in the comics community, and how self-publishing in this form not only enhances your skills but also your credibility.   Read More...

Jess Zafarris
Jess Zafarris
Follow @jesszafarris
Jess Zafarris is an energetic multimedia journalist with more than 8 years of experience writing and editing, and the content director of Writer's Digest.

We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Writer's Digest

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