Six New Agents Seeking New Writers

Click on any name below to see the full mini-profile on the GLA Blog (with submission instructions). Good luck querying!

1. DongWon Song of Howard Morhaim Literary

He is seeking science fiction and fantasy¾especially epic fantasy or high fantasy for both adults and teens. He is also interested in nonfiction¾especially food writing, science, and pop culture.

2. Laura Mamelok of Susanna Lea Associates

Laura is primarily interested in literary fiction, high-end commercial fiction, women’s fiction, literary crime/thrillers, and young-adult fiction with crossover appeal. On the nonfiction side, she is looking for narrative nonfiction, current affairs/journalism, memoir, and humor. She’s drawn to international stories and settings, in both fiction and nonfiction. Above all, she is on the lookout for fresh voices, strong storytelling, and original ideas.

3. Amanda Panitch of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin

She is seeking young adult and middle grade only. In particular, she’d love to find a high fantasy set in a non-Western inspired setting. Other concepts she’d love to see in her inbox include a dark psychological thriller, a quirky mystery, a gorgeous literary contemporary, historical fiction set in a place or time not often explored in fiction, or anything featuring food as a main element. She is also drawn to generational spaceships, unreliable narrators, magical realism, the pre-Columbian Americas, the Amazon, close sibling relationships, and slow-burning romances.

4. Kirsten Carleton of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Kirsten is seeking up-market young adult, speculative, and literary fiction with strong characters and storytelling. She’s particularly interested in novels that bend and blur genres, literary takes on high concept world-building, diverse characters in stories that are not just about diversity, antiheroes she find herself rooting for, characters with drive and passion, girls and women in STEM fields, settings outside the US/Europe, well-researched historical settings, YA noir/thriller/mystery, stories that introduce her to a new subculture and make her feel like a native. She is not interested in horror, romance, erotica, poetry, or picture books.

5. Lane Heymont of The Seymour Agency

He is seeking science fiction and fantasy (exceptional world-building is a must), and nonfiction (the inspiring, intriguing, mysterious, and scientific).

6. Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates

Caitie is seeking Commercial and up-market fiction with great characters and superb writing, especially historical fiction, mysteries/thrillers of all kinds, magical realism, and book-club fiction. “In historical fiction, I would love to see unusual perspectives and stories told in a unique way. I am eager for police procedurals, cozy mysteries, psychological thrillers, and amateur sleuths¾especially those with series potential. I love book-club/women’s fiction that shows characters that have made the hard or unpredictable choice or are funny yet poignant stories. Please send me books of all these genres that have diversity! I am looking for young-adult and new-adult projects¾particularly romance, historical fiction, mysteries, and thrillers, and contemporary books with diverse characters. In nonfiction, I am looking for memoirs that make people look at the world differently, narrative nonfiction that’s impossible to put down, books on pop culture, theater, current events, women’s issues, and humor. I am not looking for science fiction, fantasy, westerns, military fiction, self-help, science, middle grade, or picture books.”

7. Sheri Bestor of Willow Words Literary Agency

New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Sheri M. Bestor of Willow Words Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. She is seeking: Children’s fiction and nonfiction—picture books, early readers, middle grade, and young adult.

Coffee Break for Writers—We’re Back With a New Look

We’ve been in hiatus for a little while, but we’re back now, and we have a new look as well! Since we’re back, we’ll be adding more new articles with advice to help you increase your freelance writing income and improve your writing. We’ll add these articles as they become available, and, of course, you’ll receive another email newsletter each time a new article is added.

Don’t forget about our free online brain teasers and writing exercises. The brain teasers will help keep your mind sharp, and the writing exercises are great for overcoming writer’s block! Another new resource that we’ll be adding soon is apps for writers. If you happen to know of a great app that’s beneficial to writers, let us know about it.

We’re Paying More for Your Articles
Finally, the biggest news that we think you’ll really love is our recent increase in pay for articles. We now offer $50 for articles. If you’re interested in submitting an article to us, be sure you read our Writers’ Guidelines first. These have been updated and include an explanation of articles we’re currently looking to buy.

That will do it for now. As soon as we’ve published new content and add the Apps for Writers section, we’ll send you another email.

Link to writing guidelines.

Best wishes,
Misti Sandefur, Editor/Founder
Coffee Break for Writers editor@coffeebreakforwriters.com

Blogging Resources for Writers

How to Make an Author Event Eventful

by Richard Ridley, an award-winning author

The best way to make a signing successful is to make it an event. Here are five tips to make your next appearance eventful:

  1. Use a wrangler. Bring a friend or family member along who can wrangle passersby and get them excited about meeting an author. Find someone who is outgoing and energetic. Compensate the person in some way, and show your gratitude at the end of the event. Make sure your wrangler knows the one-sentence pitch for your book.
  2. Bring a bowl of hard candy to place on your table. It’s an icebreaker and a cheap gesture of goodwill to all the strangers you’re meeting. It’s also a way to get them to smile, which will be needed for the next item on our list.
  3. Hire a photographer. Whether it’s a friend with a smartphone or a professional photographer with a DSLR camera, have someone there snapping photos. Let everyone know you’ll be posting the photos to your social media sites, and invite them to follow and/or friend you.
  4. Come bearing gifts. Reward those who visited your table with an opportunity to win a free gift in a drawing later in the day. It can be a gift card, an e-reader, or a free copy of your next book. They don’t have to be present to win, but they do have to provide their contact information to receive the free gift.
  5. Bring signs. Don’t just set up a table. Place professional-grade signs throughout the venue to let everyone know there’s an author on the premises. Work out the particulars with the management to make sure you’re not violating any rules.

One last piece of advice: after an event/signing, make sure you leave the employees and management happy. Write thank you notes to them. Maybe even bring them donuts the next morning to make them feel appreciated, because you may want to come back someday, or you may want a reference from the venue for your next event.

Ten Mistakes Authors Make That Can Cost Them a Fortune (and How to Avoid Them)

by Penny Sansevieri

When it comes to writing books and book promotion, I know that it seems as if there is a confusing array of choices. And while I can’t address each of these in detail, a number of areas are keenly tied to a book’s success (or lack thereof). Here are ten for you to consider:

1. Not Understanding the Importance of a Book Cover

I always find it interesting that authors will sometimes spend years writing their books and then leave the cover design to someone who either isn’t a designer – or worse, they design their own book cover. Consider these facts for a minute: shoppers in a bookstore (online or brick and mortar) spend an average of three seconds looking at the front cover of a book and seven seconds looking at the back before deciding whether to buy it. Further, a survey of booksellers showed that seventy-five percent of them found the book cover to be the most important element of the book. Also, sales teams for publishers or book distributors often only take the book cover with them when they shop titles into stores.

2. Sometimes You Get What You Pay For
Read more…

Ann Rule’s Nine Tips for Studying Courtroom Trials

In honor of the passing of crime-writing legend Ann Rule, Wrtier’s Digest re-shared this piece, written by former WD managing editor Zachary Petit, that’s full of tips and advice delivered by Rule.

If you want to be a true crime writer, Rule said the best thing you can be is immensely curious. And, you should go to trials—something anyone can do. From a life spent in courtrooms, here are Rule’s tips and etiquette for doing just that.

  • You can usually get a press pass, but there’s often a deluge of writers trying to obtain one. Rule calls the prosecutor’s assistant.
  • Study the witnesses, watch the jury, and soak up the entire experience.
  • Try to obtain the court documents from the court reporter or the prosecutor, or purchase them.
  • Observe the other reporters in the room, and analyze what they’re doing.
  • If you’re sitting out in the hall with potential witnesses, don’t ask them about anything. You can comment on the weather or the courtroom benches being hard, but “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth pretty shut.”
  • Don’t take newspapers into the courtroom.
  • Know what you’re getting yourself into. “You don’t want to start a nonfiction unless you’re really in love with it, and usually you want a go-ahead from an editor.”
  • Absorb detail. “When I’m writing a true-crime book I want the reader to walk along with me.”
  • Rule describes the temperature, how the air feels—“I think it’s very important to set the scene.” As far as the writing, you can novelize, but keep all of your facts straight.
  • Don’t use the real name of a rape or sexual crime victim in your writing. (Though Rule has written about a few who have asked to have their names included.) As Rule said of her subjects at large, “I always care about my people. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”

Read the entire article…