Congratulations on finishing your novel! Savour the moment, then buckle up. There’s a whole new skill set to learn, resources to peruse and critique partners…
What lies beyond querying, should we be fortunate enough to have a literary agent offer us representation? In this interview, Halla Williams describes how she came to write the #Pitmad pitch which in March 2020 led to signing with her literary agent, and what signing and the early stages of working with her agent have been like, over the course of a year like few others.
If you’re querying, you’re most likely hoping to snag a literary agent. But what about the other option -Small Presses? If you consider signing with one, how will you know you’ve found the right one for this particular project, or for you as an author? And what is signing and working with a Small Press like? In these interviews, I talk to Nikky Lee, C.G. Volgars and Alexandra Beaumont about their experience of querying, identifying the right Indie Publisher, and the early stages of working with their publisher.
If you’re new to querying, there’s a general structure for query letters, but there are also specifics about which literary agents may have differing personal preferences. In this post, I draw on what I’ve learnt from giving feedback on an estimated thirty queries, and reading a similar number of successful ones, to provide structure and advice on specifics (with tips on how to identify literary agent preferences 😉.)
As a member of a querying writers group, I’ve watched writers wait 6 months to receive full manuscript rejections, or go months without receiving so much as a form rejection for queries. I’ve learned a lot about having realistic expectations and how to tackle the querying process. In this post, I interview some of those writers, with the aim of giving newly querying writers insights into what to expect on your journey, and advice. And to give those of you already on your querying journey a chance to reflect and possibly tweak your approach to querying.
I know of ten parties on twitter to pitch your novel to literary agents and three author mentoring programs, throughout the year. In this post you’ll find links to every pitch party website, a twitter mentoring event, and parties listed by calendar month.
With thousands of pitches set to pour through Twitter’s #Pitmad feed for literary agent and indie publisher perusal on Thursday, its time to tell you everything I know about crafting a quality pitch (illustrated with tweet pitch examples, though advice here also applies to query letter pitches). I’ll also give you advice on preparing for pitch party days, which can be chaotic, stressful and discouraging if you participate on your own.
If you thought writing and editing your novel was the hardest thing you’ve ever done -bad news- writing a query letter which clearly introduces your main character, conflict and stakes isn’t easy. Doing so concisely is harder still. Crafting a query which invites industry professionals to connect with your character and care about their conflict -which overall entices them- may seem impossible -at first. Great query crafting is an art (different to novel writing unfortunately) and requires honing a specific skill set. Luckily, there are many great resources listing the ingredients you need and more importantly -modelling what skillful inclusion of them can look like.