Wednesday, April 29, 2009

National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) Kicks off May 1st...

NaPiBoWriWee (National Picture Book Writing Week) is author Paula Yoo's answer to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Paula is challenging writers to create 7 Picture Books in 7 Days.

Here's the scoop from Paula:

  • From those who participate in the first annual NaPiBoWriWee Paula will select a winner at random on the 7th day--that winner will receive an autographed copy of her latest picture book, Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story.
  • The basic rules? Just write 7 complete and separate picture books in one week. Each picture book must have a clear beginning, middle, and end. There is no required minimum word count because picture book lengths can vary from 50 words to 2000 words, depending on the genre.
  • During NaPiBoWriWee Paula's blog will feature picture book writing tips and encouragement and updates on my her progress, plus links to Three Silly Chicks who will also be providing similar helpful blog tips.

Click here for complete NaPiBoWriWee rules.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SCBWI Summer Annual Conference Info Now Up on

Registration doesn't open until May 5, but you can get a peek at the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference faculty, schedule and info now on (click on "Summer Conference.") The event will take place August 7-10 at the Hyatt Recency Century Plaza.

Keynote speakers for the L.A. event include Ingrid Law, Betty Birney, Karen Cushman, Sherman Alexie, Ellen Hopkins, Holly Black, Dan Yaccarino, David Wiesner and Kathleen Duey. Plus there's a host of authors, illustrators, agents and editors (including yours truly) on the faculty.


Between now and the August event look for exclusive interviews with keynote speakers, Golden Kite winners, and conference faculty, along with other fun and informative conference posts, here and on all the SCBWI TEAM BLOGgers blogs. TEAM BLOG includes Jaime Temairik, Jolie Stekly, Lee Wind, Paula Yoo, Suzanne Young and me. (See the SCBWI TEAM BLOG roll at right.) Whenever a TEAM member offers a conference post, I'll give you a link.

And don't forget--during conference time SCBWI TEAM BLOG will live blog the event. If you're not attending, you can follow our play by play. If you'll be there, you can read about all the sessions you don't attend. And much more.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bloggers of the Week:
Kelly Parra & Tina Ferraro--YA Fresh

YA Fresh, co-hosted by authors Kelly Parra and Tina Ferraro, is booming right now, Tina says. "Kelly and I are blown away by all the hits we're getting, the new readers, and the interview and review requests. And we are very grateful for the nods we are getting from colleagues such as you (and Meg Cabot, to name two) who have directed readers our way."

It's with good reason that YA Fresh gets so much attention. Kelly and Tina's blog is not just about promoting their own books--they make work of regularly talking up books by other authors; they offer a terrific links lists; and their material is of interest to a range of YA fans, readers and writers alike.

Kelly Parra debuted into young adult fiction with her Latina novel Graffiti Girl, which garnered attention as a double nominee for the Romance Writers of America RITA award, a Latinidad YA top pick, as well as chosen for the California High School Reading Collection and National Book Foundation "BookUpNYC" program. Her latest novel Invisible Touch has hailed fresh praise from bestselling author Lauria Faria Stolarz, and given the Gold Award of Excellence from TeensReadToo. Click here to visit her website.

Tina Ferraro is the author of three YA novels, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, How to Hook a Hottie (a finalist for the RWA RITA for Best YA Novel of 2008), and The ABC's of Kissing Boys. All three of her books have been optioned for film rights. Her fourth book, When Bad Flings Happen to Good Girls, releases summer of 2010. Click here to visit her website.

When did you start blogging on YA Fresh?

TINA: Kelly started YA Fresh on her own in 2006, when she was working on her first YA novel, Graffiti Girl. She asked me, her critique partner of three years, to join in January of the next year.

Why did you choose to do a partner blog rather than one on your own?

KELLY: I felt Tina could add something fresh and different to the blog, as far content and voice. Plus, we knew we worked really well together, and would have fun...

What do you hope to accomplish with YA Fresh?

We hope to bring entertaining reading content to Young Adult readers (of all ages), and to promote the YA genre in general.

What kind of posts will reader find on your blog?

We aim for fresh, fun and friendly. We do interview, reviews, giveaways, and blogs of pop culture teen interests.

Do you have regular features?

Yes, we have What's Fresh interviews, Caption It! contests, and have just started a random book giveaway to blog visitors.

What's your advice to other authors entering the blogosphere?

Our advice would be to keep it high concept and positive. To invite readers to participate in blog topics. And to keep up fresh content.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two New Agents Added to Barry Goldblatt Literary...

Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary was recently joined by two new agents, Beth Fleisher and Joe Monti.

The agency's relaunched website includes bios for
the staff, submission guidelines, and info on their authors (who include, among many others, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cecil Castelluci, Cassandra Clare, Carolyn Crimi, Julia Durango, Shannon Hale, Jo Knowles, Lauren Myracle and Tim Wynne-Jones).

A bit from Beth Fleisher's bio:

"I'm particularly interested in finding new voices in middle grade and young adult fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, historicals and action adventure as well as select children's and adult non-fiction. I welcome both prose and graphic novel formats."
A bit from Joe Monti's bio:
"As an agent I'll be focusing on children's and young adult, or teen literature, as well as some adult genre fiction. I'm also interested in working with folks who are writer-artists of graphic works, from graphic novels to picture books. Specifically I love work that breaks new ground, a work that is subversive or enlightening by utilizing a different approach."

Here's the CWIM listing for Barry Goldblatt Literary, updated yesterday by Barry.

BARRY GOLDBLATT LITERARY LLC 320 Seventh Ave., #266, Brooklyn NY 11215. (718)832-8787. Fax: (718)832-5558. Website: Estab. 2000. Member of AAR, SCBWI. Staff includes: Barry Goldblatt, Beth Fleisher and Joe Monti. Represents 95% juvenile and young adult books. Considers picture books, graphic novels, fiction, nonfiction, middle grade and young adult.

How to Contact
"Please see our website for specific submission guidelines and information on agents' particular tastes." Obtains clients through referrals, queries, and conferences.

Recent Sales
The Infernal Devices trilogy, by Cassandra Clare; Clappy as a Ham, by Michael Ian Black; Pearl, by Jo Knowles

Terms receives 15% commission on domestic sales; 20% on foreign and dramatic sales. Offers written contract. 60 days notice must be given to terminate contract.

Tips "We're a group of hands-on agents, with wide ranging interests. Get us hooked with a great query letter, then convince us with an unforgettable manuscript."

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Agent Q&A:
Mark McVeigh, The McVeigh Agency...

With years of editorial experience under his belt—most recently as Editorial Director for S&S imprint Aladdin Books, with prior stints at Dutton, Scholastic, Random House and HarperCollins—Mark McVeigh established The McVeigh Agency early in 2009.

"I am a very hands-on, old-school agent who likes to edit manuscripts as much as I like to negotiate deals." he says. "My favorite agents were always what I called 'honest sharks,' out to get the best deal for their client, always looking ahead, but always conduced business in such a way that everyone came away as happy as possible. In short—they had integrity and determination to represent their clients to the best of their abilities, and that’s what I aspire to."

After working in editorial for so many years, what made you put on the agent hat ?

To be honest, I've always been a strong advocate for the creative people behind the books, and agenting seemed like a new and exciting way to get even more involved with them.

You said: “If a person has a unique idea, concept, or vision and a voice, I'll do all I can to help them shape it into a manuscript that can work in today’s market.” Sounds like you plan to have a very hand-on agenting style. What will you do for your clients?

I'll always be an editor. And every editor knows the agents who spend the time to read and critique a writer's draft—working with them to make sure they're putting out their best work—before sending it out. So I anticipate working closely with authors who like feedback so that when the manuscript finally makes its way to an editor, it has been polished to a high sheen.

What type of material are you looking to represent?

I'm doing everything from adult fiction, nonfiction and art books to every kind of children's book known to humankind—and beyond! Click here for more information.

Are you open to unsolicited submissions? If so, how do you want material submitted?

E-mail queries to are best.

Are you planning to attend any upcoming conferences or events at which writers could meet you?

I'll be making the rounds of SCBWIs--the best thing to do is check the various regional listings.

My website
is up as of April 2009: and I hope all of your readers will visit regularly to see what my wonderful people are up to.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Edward & Bella: An Abusive Relationship?

Blogger of the Week/Guest Blogger:
Sara Raasch...

This week Sara Raasch, who blogs at SeeSaraWrite offers a guest post delving into the underbelly of the relationship between Stephenie Meyer's Twilight characters Bella and Edward.

A lot of conversation has rolled around the book/movie phenomenon Twilight. But there is one topic that has not yet been breached (at least, not that I have read), and it's a subject I'm personally familiar with, so the insane glorification of it lately has left me fearing an epidemic. Hopefully you have recognized it too; it's one of those silent-but-deadly things that
far too many girls (because, let's face it, guys aren't as widely affected by this) are unaware of. What am I talking about? Here I go:

Abusive relationships.

Everyone knows they're "bad." Everyone knows they don't want to be in one. But what I'm seeing lately is a slow and completely unintentional brainwashing of young, impressionable girls into thinking abusive relationships are okay. Magical, even. Quite frankly, I am sick of this. This is both a PSA and a plea, a desperate beg, to writers everywhere to stop writing characters like this.

Characters like Edward Cullen. Remove the actual story and look at the facts of what Edward does: he keeps Bella from her family; he won't be with her unless she changes very materialistic things about herself (the car she drives, her stance on wearing engagement rings/getting married); he breaks into her house and hides in her room while she sleeps; he does all this under the banner of "I know what's best for you. You don't." While Meyer (probably) wrote these things to be charming in a young-love way, they ARE NOT charming. Hearing them for what they are (alienation, ultimatums of the petty and controlling sort, stalking, manipulation) automatically evoke the response of "No. These things are wrong." But in the context Meyer put
them, they're disguised as all right.

Maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion. But hearing my 16-year-old sister say that these things are CUTE is disgusting and terrifying, and I'm very angry with Stephenie Meyer for telling her legion of tween-age fans that these things are all right. Thousands of girls get into abusive
relationships without seeing it, and don't realize until afterward how they could've avoided it. But now, with Edward Cullen as the prime love example, will girls be LOOKING for men like him? I can't stomach that.

The most disturbing part of all this is the response girls have to being told Edward Cullen is a horrible example of a boyfriend. I went to the Breaking Dawn release party last August, wearing a "Team Jacob" shirt. Edward fans, whom I didn't know, would come up to me and make snide remarks about "that stupid dog." When I asked what Jacob did wrong and pointed out what Edward did wrong, they got red-faced angry and stomp away. People at this release party throughout the night continued to get angry because of my Team Jacob shirt. At first it was funny; now, though, it's a little worrisome.

Again looking at the facts, Jacob was what should have been the "perfect" boyfriend. He accepted Bella for what/who she was; he helped her become a stronger person; he supported her and comforted her, never pushing her into any decisions about herself; her friends and family approved of him. And yet, despite his good qualities, the Edward fans HATE Jacob. HATE him.
And none of them has ever given me a straight answer as to why. They can only say that Edward is better, Edward is better, Edward is better. Which, if you ask someone who is in an abusive relationship why they stay in it, they are so blinded by it that all they know is that he is the one. He is the one. He is the one.

I take advice from a lot of what I read and know that if I had read these books before my own relationship, it would've been a lot harder to let go and get out. Books like these give girls a battle cry:

"Edward did it, so it's all right."

"Maybe my boyfriend really does know what's best. Maybe there's some secret,
magical reason he's doing this to me too."

THERE IS NOT a good reason. There never will be. And girls need to STOP being told this is all right behavior.

I know if any hardcore Edward fans read this, I'd probably get some nasty hate mail. And maybe it's just my rather cynical view of the male species that makes me pick out every bad detail about Edward, but I honestly do like Jacob. He was the one thing Meyer did right. And he, not Edward, should be who all the tween-fans swoon over and hope for.

Sara Raasch started blogging in December 2008 and just celebrated her 100th blog post on Monday. "My mission behind blogging was to connect with other writers and authors to delve even deeper into the world of writing. I'm a writer of YA fiction and am actively seeking an agent. Through having a blog, I've found a network of support and encouragement that I can't imagine facing the publishing world without!"

Sara served as a staff member of Passages, Ashland University's literary magazine; placed second in the Dayton Daily News Short Story Contest in 2008; and her poem "Who Do You Want To Be?" was published in *Credo* magazine in February. Click here to visit her blog, SeeSaraWrite.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two Writer's Digest Books Featured on All Things Considered...

We were very excited to learn that two of our books were featured on NPR yesterday in the latest installment in an All Things Considered series called Three Books. During the segment, titled Get That Book Deal: Three Books Tell You How, author Sarah Pekkanen discussed the three titles about writing that helped her the most.

Pekkanen, whose debut novel The Opposite of Me will be published next year by S&S imprint Atria, said Stephen King's On Writing inspired her; Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel (a WD book) taught her the importance of conflict; and James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure (also a WD book) kept her organized.

A related NPR piece yesterday discussed publishers gambling with big advances on what they hope to be blockbusters. (If you click through to these stories on the NPR site, you can both read them and listen to them.)

What are you favorite books on writing? Leave a comment let me and my readers know what you've found helpful or inspiring.

  • To follow author James Scott Bell on Twitter, click here.
  • For expert help crafting your fiction check out our array of courses by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Defense of Twitter and Its #Failings...

I have an agent friend (who shall remain nameless) who has a problem with Twitter. (Last week we got in our latest debate about it in a series of email messages of 140 character or less.) "I think there's a direct line between things like Twitter, people's attention spans getting shorter, fewer people reading books, and publishers having problems/wanting to publish fewer books," he told me.

I say he might as well be reviewing a movie he's never seen. Personally, I find being involved in Twitter exciting, often invigorating and sometimes even inspiring. People are having conversations and creating community, not just posting things like, "just took a sip of Darjeeling tea" as my agent friend seems to think. Look at the impact the Twitter community has made with #amazonfail, creating an uproar and an awareness of the alleged Amazon glitch deranking LGBTQ and erotica books.

More from my agent friend: "I get how Twitter can help people connect with their fans, but do they really need by-the-minute updates? I think it can really be argued that it's bad for writing and, in a larger sense, bad for books and for what we do. I think the reasons why it's bad are pretty obvious--not taking the time to write thoughtfully and clearly. Everything being quick, on the go, abbreviated, etc. News not being fully covered; everyone wanting a quick, easily digestible answer. It's terrible. It's the dumbing down of our world...little by little."

First, I suggest he read the Jennifer Blanchard's post on Copyblogger about how Twitter Makes You a Better Writer. Quick and short is not necessarily not thoughtful. It's often challenging to make a point/answer a question/share an opinion or philosophy in fewer that 140 characters--it can take a lot of thought (and self-editing). And I think, in general, people are as informed as they choose to be. They can see a newspaper headline and choose to read the whole story. They can hear a soundbite and choose to stay tuned for the full report. And they can read a tweet and choose to follow a link and read more. Twitter is a great portal into myriad news sources and allows a user to quickly see what interests her and delve into that material.

#amazonfail is not the first hashmarked discussion of its kind. Publishing-related Twitterverse #fails include #queryfail and #agentfail. (And if I had a dollar for every time I saw that adorable fail whale...) Whether this trend is negative or productive is up for debate. But I think it's terrific that Twitter exists as a forum for these conversations and a place where the writing and publishing community can chatter about what's on their minds 24/7 whether it's just for fun or creates a furor.

Monday, April 13, 2009

BookExpo America/Writer's Digest Books Writers Conference...

Contrary to what some of you who were fooled by the Publishers Weekly April Fool's Day piece might think (you know who you are), BookExpo America is being held as planned at the Javits Center in New York May 28-31.

The coolest BEA event is happening before the show gets started, however. It's the BookExpo America/Writer's Digest Books Writer's Conference which takes place Wednesday May 27 (which is also my brother's birthday. Jim, if I forget to call you this is my excuse.)

What so cool about it? Speakers include Karin Slaughter, Donald Maass, Christina Katz, and a host of WD authors and editors (myself included). Plus there will be 66 (!) agents on hand for an exciting afternoon Pitch Slam (also known as Chuck Sambuchino's Lawn and Garden Scotch Fest. We won't actually be serving Scotch but it's an idea I am in favor of).

Agent Janet Reid said on Twitter: "I found one of my biggest juiciest projects at this conference last year. Damn straight I'll be back in 09!" So if you have a big juicy project our event might be a good place for you. There will be plenty of agents who handle children's material on hand including Michelle Andelman, Michael Bourret, Andrea Brown, Debbie Carter, Vivian Chum, Rachel Downes, Jennie Dunham, Stephany Evans, Mollie Glick, Jenny Rappaport, Jessica Regel, Elana Roth, Michael Stearns (who said in this space "the only things that should be pitched are baseballs"), Gretchen Stelter, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, Jennifer Weltz, Tina Wexler, and Christine Witthohn.

If you can't make it you'll have the opportunity to vicariously enjoy the event through blogs and Twitter. (More details on that closer to the conference).

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Seen at My Local Bookseller: Lisa McMann & Cassandra Clare...

Last Friday night I caught one of the last few stops of the Lisa McMann and Cassandra Clare author tour when the pair appeared at Joseph-Beth Booksellers here in the Nati. (I'm a little tardy on my reporting--tough fitting in blogging this week. This little 'ol book we do, Writer's Market, has been taking up a lot of my time.)

I loved this bookstore event for a number of reasons. First, I'm a fan of Lisa McMann and I was happy to meet her in person and get an autographed copy of Fade which I just finished last night. Second, Cassandra Clare's urban fantasy trilogy sounds really cool and totally up my alley and now I'm going to read her books. Third, I'm happy to see that publishers are still setting up multiple-city, all-over-the-country authors tours. Also, this was the first author event I've been to since I signed on to Twitter and I really enjoyed tweeting throughout, posting pictures and allowing others to experience it with me. (So fun!)

The coolest thing about this event, however, was the audience. Teens. Lot of them.

Besides the packed rows of chairs, fans of the authors stood on benches behind shelves. By my count there were 100 or so people there for the signing.

It wasn't just fantastic that teens turned out to see authors on a Friday night. It was fantastic that they turned out with such enthusiasm. There were thoughtful questions. There was a squeal or two. There was singing! And they got stacks of books signed (like not just one of Cassie's books--all of them).

These girls are fans. They love their characters. They want more books about them. They are invested. It made me so happy.

And below are the happy (and no doubt warn-out from signing signing signing all that stock) authors, Lisa (second from left) and Cassie (in the middle) along with a few of the fab J-B staff members.

Follow Lisa on Twitter:
Follow Cassandra on Twitter:

Friday, April 03, 2009

Blogger of the Week:
Tricia Stohr-Hunt, The Miss Rumphius Effect...

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, a professor in the education department at the University of Richmond, started blogging in late 2006 "because I wanted to require blogging in my spring semester class," she says. "How could I possibly ask my students to do something I wasn't doing myself? So, I jumped in. I wasn't sure what I was doing or where I was going, but before I knew it I'd been embraced by the amazing community that is the kidlitosphere."

Tricia's blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect, discusses "poetry, children's literature and issues related to teaching children and their future teachers." Below she discusses blogging, offers advice, and talks about the wonderful National Poetry Month series going on now on The Miss Rumphius Effect.

When you began blogging, what did you hope to accomplish?

My original goal for the blog is still pretty much the same. Here's what I wrote in my very first post in describing my blog's name. As for the title, I selected it because I am living my life in the shadow of Miss Rumphius and trying to live by these words:

"When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea."

That is all very well, little Alice," said her grandfather, "but there is a third thing you must do."

"What is that?" asked Alice.

"You must do something to make the world more beautiful," said her grandfather.

"All right," said Alice. But she did not know what that could be.

Miss Rumphius planted lupines, but I want to do so much more. What could that be? Like young Alice, I still do not know. When I find the answer, I'll let you know.

I also blog because I need to write. Given the technical, academic and oftentimes very boring stuff I must write for work, I need an outlet for all the other stuff kicking around in my brain.

What makes your blog unique? What types of posts will readers find there?

I wish I could put my finger on what makes my blog different. There are so many great blogs that do much of what I do and do it more eloquently and more often. Perhaps what makes it unique is that it does a little of this and a little of that. Folks interested in writing will find poetry prompts. Teachers, librarians and homeschoolers will find thematic book lists for connecting the curriculum using children's literature. There are also book reviews, though I focus heavily on nonfiction and poetry.

Do you offer any regular features?

I begin each week with a series called the Monday Poetry Stretch. I describe a poetic form or suggest a topic for folks to write about. Sometimes I provide links to additional information or include sample poems. Folks go off and write their poems and then let me know about them. Some writers leave their poems in the comments, while others post the poems on their blogs. Near the end of the week I post the results. A recent example, and one of my favorite stretches to date, was to write a personal ad poem. Click here to read the results.

I started doing these stretches during the summer of 2007 and folks really seem to like them. Every so often a published author/poet (or two or three) will stop by and participate. Some folks write for adults, others for kids. I write whatever moves me, though it's usually for kids and almost always related to science.

How are you
celebrating National Poetry month on The Miss Rumphius Effect?

Last year for National Poetry Month I wrote a series called Poetry in the Classroom. Every day I posted a review of a book or set of related books of poetry. In addition to the reviews I offered suggestions for using the books in the classroom and provided links to additional resources. I loved doing it, but wanted to do something different this year.

My 2009 series is called Poetry Makers. In choosing a project I decided that I wanted to learn more about children's poets and what motivates them. In February I wrote to 38 poets with the hope that 30 would agree to a brief interview so that I could feature one each day. To my sheer delight, 36 said yes! I put the same set of questions to each writer, and even though the questions are a bit prosaic, their answers are not. I have been moved and inspired by their views on writing, their muses, and of course, their poetry. I know readers of the posts will feel the same way.

What's your advice for new bloggers?

The best advice I can give is to write about a topic that for which you have a passion. That choice alone will give your blog staying power. Once you know what you want to write about, stay true to your own voice. A strong voice and sense of who I'm reading keeps me going back to certain blogs.

I'm also a big believer in developing community. Blogging is about sharing your thoughts and ideas and seeing how they are received by others. To develop a readership you need to comment on other blogs. Once you start making your presence known on other blogs, folks will find their way to yours.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's International Children's Books Day!...

After a day of foolin' around, we get a day to celebrate the children's book.

Since the late '60s, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has celebrated International Children's Book Day on (or around) April 2nd, the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth, "to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books."

From IBBY's website:

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children's books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

This year's sponsoring country is Egypt and the poster is by Hani D. El-Masri. Click here for additional versions of the beautifully executed poster.

Hope you can read a book to a kid today to celebrate! I read this one to my son's preschool class. (They loved it.)

April Fool's Day Is Over...

And just so there's no confusion with my April 1st post below...of course, I was joking. Don't do any of those things. Do the opposite.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ten Tips for Effective Queries...

Here at Writer's Digest Books we get a lot of questions from writers on how to craft query letters. And with good reason. The query letter is often the most important piece of the publishing puzzle--in many cases, it determines whether an editor or agent will read your manuscript. A good query letter makes a good first impression; a bad query letter earns a swift rejection. So here are a few query do's and dont's. Following these tips may help you get noticed among the stacks of queries piled up in editors' and agents' in boxes:

  1. DO opt for brightly colored paper and fun fonts. Your letter will stand out and you'll make the editor or agent who receives your work smile--and a happy editor or agent is more likely to request your manuscript. I little festive confetti in the envelope is also a nice touch.
  2. DO let editors and agents know that you've read your work to your kids or your grandchildren. This means a lot to them and proves you've got a story kids will love.
  3. DO compare your work to best-selling authors. You'll really suck in that editor or agent if you tell them, "My work is just like Dr. Seuss." OR "I'm certain I'm the next Stephenie Meyer."
  4. DO send your letter certified mail. Staff at publishers and agencies will know you're serious about getting published if you spend the extra money for this service and they have to sign for your envelope. And they'll certainly read your query right away.
  5. DON'T finish your novel before you start querying. Editors and agents would rather help you work through the writing process after they've seen a few sample chapters.
  6. DO boast. You know you've got a great book project. Tell then you're sure it will be a best-seller and likely win the Newbery. And mention your intention to appear on Oprah.
  7. DO go into a lot of detail about your manuscript. Your query should let the editor or agent know the plot of your story from beginning to end and give them details about every character in your story.
  8. DO let them know that you've hired an illustrator if you're a picture book writer. Editors and agents will be relieved they don't have to worry about who will illustrate your book after you've signed your contract.
  9. DO query about all your manuscripts at one time. Since you've got the editor's or agent's attention, why not give them a chance to hear about everything you have to offer?
  10. DON'T bother to mention that you've queried multiple editors or agents. That's really nobody else's business.
Keep these do's and don'ts in mind and you'll be published in no time!

And before you get back to writing, check out the newest Market Book we've added to our list.