What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from Guide to Literary Agents)

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: Guide to Literary Agents, Most Recent at Top
Results 1 - 25 of 2,384
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
Information about agents and what they are looking for.
Statistics for Guide to Literary Agents

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 22
1. Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 289

Quick note: If you’re searching for a gift for a writer friend or family member, consider giving the gift of a subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine. Click here for details.

For today’s prompt, write a high poem. Now, I know the word “high” is a loaded one–so take it where you may. There are high temperatures, high heights, and other meanings related to high. You can even transform high into the greeting “hi,” which then leads down a whole new rabbit hole.

*****

ignite_your_creativityIgnite Your Creativity!

Jump start your creativity with four books, two tutorials, and a digital download–all discounted by 82%!

The whole collection runs $134.93 separately and is currently offered at only $24.49. Great gift–for yourself and/or others!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a High Poem:

“high wire”

balancing is the same at 3 inches
as it is at 3 feet or 3 stories. the trick

is thinking 3 stories is 3 inches.
when i let myself, i’m still scared

of the dark. a corner conceals
a burglar or poltergeist. nothing’s

different, but i let my mind wander.
falling from 3 stories is much

different than falling from 3 inches,
but balancing is the same.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He is not a fan of heights or the dark, though both are fine for other folks. That said, he does like to write late at night and on airplanes–maybe to channel the anxiety?

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodies here:

Add a Comment
2. A Nosy Elf on the Shelf

You are an Elf on the Shelf and you’ve been picked up by a famous celebrity to roam around his or her house at Christmas time. But what the celebrity doesn’t know is that you’ve been hired by The National Enquirer gossip magazine to find dirt on that celeb. You are a week in and you report back to the editor at the magazine about what you’ve learned.

writing-promptsWant more creative writing prompts?

Pick up a copy of A Year of Writing Prompts: 365 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block. There’s a prompt for every day of the year and you can start on any day.

Order now from our shop.

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment
3. Slush Pile Showdown: How to Make Your Submission Stand Out — Dec. 18 Webinar (with Query Critique) by Agent Instructors

For this live webinar, “Slush Pile Showdown: How to Make Your Submission Stand Out,” literary agents Barbara Poelle and Holly Root are pulling back the curtain and showing you exactly what goes on when an agent reads your query. In their simulated slush pile, they will critique submitted queries live and give insights into which ones stand out and why, how queries could be improved, and common pitfalls to avoid. You’ll get a peek into what it’s like to be an agent sitting down, hoping to strike gold in the slush pile, and learn how to make your submission stand out. Your query is your first introduction to the world, so join us for a fun, kind-spirited but honest look at how to get noticed, get requested, and get signed!

It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. All registrants are guaranteed a query critique, whether you choose to have it evaluated live or after the event. Learn more about the webinar here. (Note that agent Barbara Poelle has signed several writers after meeting them through WD webinars.)
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 12.18.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 12.17.59 PM T4769

ABOUT THE CRITIQUE

All registrants are invited to submit a one-page query letter, plus the first page of the manuscript (300 words or less) for critique. If you would like your materials to be critiqued LIVE during the webinar, they must be received before 5pm EST Tuesday, December 16th. All submitted materials are guaranteed a written critique by Root and Poelle, and we’ll cover as many query + page submissions as possible in live critique during the webinar.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

— How to craft a query that will get attention
— Why querying isn’t a useless evil exercise in torture
— Common missteps and how to avoid them
— What agents are looking for when they read
— Which “rules” really matter and which ones are matters of opinion
— What it’s like to be an agent reading through submissions
— If your query is ready for prime time
— What to do if your query isn’t ready. Sign up for the webinar here.

INSTRUCTORS

Holly Root is a literary agent at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency who represents adult fiction, select nonfiction, and novels for children and teens; she is not seeking picture book clients or screenwriting clients. She heads up a Los Angeles office for the New York City-based Waxman Leavell Agency. Visit her online at www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/hroot, www.waxmanleavell.com, and www.twitter.com/hroot.

Barbara Poelle is Vice President at Irene Goodman Literary Agency representing fiction for teens and adults. Her roster trends toward thriller and suspenseful women’s fiction as well as mystery, young adult and horror. Barbara also writes a monthly Q&A column for Writer’s Digest magazine and has previously signed three clients from attendees of her Writer’s Digest webinars. Visit www.irenegoodman.com to learn more.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

— Anyone interested in how the query process works
— Writers who want a professional opinion on their query’s strengths and weaknesses
— Writers whose queries aren’t getting the responses they want
— Writers wondering if their query is ready to go
— Writers who want a professional critique by a literary agent
— Anyone with questions about writing queries or the process of querying literary agents

HOW DOES THE CRITIQUE WORK?

All registrants are invited to submit a one-page query letter, plus the first page of the manuscript (300 words or less) for critique. If you would like your materials to be critiqued LIVE during the webinar, they must be received before 5pm EST Tuesday, December 16th. All submitted materials are guaranteed a written critique by Root and Poelle, and we’ll cover as many query + page submissions as possible in live critique during the webinar. Instructions on how to submit your work are sent after you have purchased the webinar and officially register in Go-to-Webinar. When you have registered in GTW, you will receive a confirmation email from gotowebinar@citrixonline.com, which contains the information you need to access the live webinar AND the Critique Submission Instructions.

Sign up for the Dec. 18 webinar here!

Add a Comment
4. Slush Pile Showdown: How to Make Your Submission Stand Out — Dec. 18 Webinar (with Query Critique) by Agent Instructors

For this live webinar, “Slush Pile Showdown: How to Make Your Submission Stand Out,” literary agents Barbara Poelle and Holly Root are pulling back the curtain and showing you exactly what goes on when an agent reads your query. In their simulated slush pile, they will critique submitted queries live and give insights into which ones stand out and why, how queries could be improved, and common pitfalls to avoid. You’ll get a peek into what it’s like to be an agent sitting down, hoping to strike gold in the slush pile, and learn how to make your submission stand out. Your query is your first introduction to the world, so join us for a fun, kind-spirited but honest look at how to get noticed, get requested, and get signed!

It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. All registrants are guaranteed a query critique, whether you choose to have it evaluated live or after the event. Learn more about the webinar here. (Note that agent Barbara Poelle has signed several writers after meeting them through WD webinars.)
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 12.18.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 12.17.59 PM T4769

ABOUT THE CRITIQUE

All registrants are invited to submit a one-page query letter, plus the first page of the manuscript (300 words or less) for critique. If you would like your materials to be critiqued LIVE during the webinar, they must be received before 5pm EST Tuesday, December 16th. All submitted materials are guaranteed a written critique by Root and Poelle, and we’ll cover as many query + page submissions as possible in live critique during the webinar.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

— How to craft a query that will get attention
— Why querying isn’t a useless evil exercise in torture
— Common missteps and how to avoid them
— What agents are looking for when they read
— Which “rules” really matter and which ones are matters of opinion
— What it’s like to be an agent reading through submissions
— If your query is ready for prime time
— What to do if your query isn’t ready. Sign up for the webinar here.

INSTRUCTORS

Holly Root is a literary agent at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency who represents adult fiction, select nonfiction, and novels for children and teens; she is not seeking picture book clients or screenwriting clients. She heads up a Los Angeles office for the New York City-based Waxman Leavell Agency. Visit her online at www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/hroot, www.waxmanleavell.com, and www.twitter.com/hroot.

Barbara Poelle is Vice President at Irene Goodman Literary Agency representing fiction for teens and adults. Her roster trends toward thriller and suspenseful women’s fiction as well as mystery, young adult and horror. Barbara also writes a monthly Q&A column for Writer’s Digest magazine and has previously signed three clients from attendees of her Writer’s Digest webinars. Visit www.irenegoodman.com to learn more.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

— Anyone interested in how the query process works
— Writers who want a professional opinion on their query’s strengths and weaknesses
— Writers whose queries aren’t getting the responses they want
— Writers wondering if their query is ready to go
— Writers who want a professional critique by a literary agent
— Anyone with questions about writing queries or the process of querying literary agents

HOW DOES THE CRITIQUE WORK?

All registrants are invited to submit a one-page query letter, plus the first page of the manuscript (300 words or less) for critique. If you would like your materials to be critiqued LIVE during the webinar, they must be received before 5pm EST Tuesday, December 16th. All submitted materials are guaranteed a written critique by Root and Poelle, and we’ll cover as many query + page submissions as possible in live critique during the webinar. Instructions on how to submit your work are sent after you have purchased the webinar and officially register in Go-to-Webinar. When you have registered in GTW, you will receive a confirmation email from gotowebinar@citrixonline.com, which contains the information you need to access the live webinar AND the Critique Submission Instructions.

Sign up for the Dec. 18 webinar here!

Add a Comment
5. Find More Readers and Success With Your Poetry

Writing poetry for the sake of writing poetry is a worthwhile pursuit, but poets who wish to build an audience for their poetry will benefit from Find More Readers and Success With Your Poetry, an hour-long live webinar on finding more readers and success with their poetry. This session will share lessons learned first hand by author Robert Lee Brewer and incorporate advice passed on by other poets.

find_more_readers_webinarThis live webinar is taught by Robert Lee Brewer, an editor with the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, Brewer is editor of Poet’s Market, blogs at Poetic Asides, and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

By the end of this webinar, poets will know how to start finding more readers and finding more success with their poetry.

The live webinar starts at 1:00 p.m. EST on Monday, December 15, 2014.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to get poems published
  • Why blogs can benefit poets
  • How to use social media with a purpose
  • 5 tips for reading poems in public
  • Why to build and how to use contact lists
  • The power of poetry organizations
  • And more

Click here to register.

INSTRUCTOR

Robert Lee Brewer is an editor with the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, Brewer is editor of Poet’s Market, blogs at Poetic Asides, and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

Add a Comment
6. Novel Writing: 10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Characters

By Brenda Janowitz

The most important part of your novel is the part that will never been seen by the reader.  It’s the part that’s just for you.  It’s the part that only you know.  Well, you and your character, that is.

It’s the character study.  You simply cannot write a good novel without knowing your characters inside and out.


Brenda-Janowitz-bookBrenda-JanowitzThis guest post is by Brenda Janowitz, author of Scot on the Rocks, Jack with a Twist and THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB. Her work has also appeared in the New York Post, Publisher’s Weekly, Long Island Woman Magazine, Mom.me, Hello Giggles, and xoJane. You can find her at brendajanowitz.com and on Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.


There’s so many ways to do a character study.  It can be a letter your character writes to a friend, it can be a confession your character makes to her shrink, or it can even be a list of things you want to know about her.

Sometimes, when I’m away from my computer, I imagine my character walking around with me.  Long line at the drug store?  Hmm, how would my character react to that?  Friend late for lunch—would my character wait, or just walk out in a huff?  Car cut you off in traffic?  Would my character yell out loud, or take in it stride?

[Get your creative juices flowing by trying this 12-Day plan of simple writing exercises.]

Some writers like to tackle character studies before writing even a word of the book.  But for me, I like to dive into a book and just start free writing, figuring things out as I go.  Then, when the dreaded writer’s block inevitably sets in, that’s when I’m able to take a step back and think about what I’m writing.  There’s no need to step away from your computer—in fact, I find that when I’m blocked, walking away from the keyboard is the worst thing I can do.  It reinforces the idea that I’m blocked.  And writing begets writing, so don’t stop.

Novelist Gillian Flynn wrote the most quoted part of her blockbuster, GONE GIRL, as a character study.  (http://www.vulture.com/2014/10/gone-girls-gillian-flynn-on-cool-girls.html)  The “cool girl” speech was something she wrote when she was blocked, and it made its way into the finished product.

But your character studies don’t have to make their way into your WIP.  In fact, some people think they shouldn’t.  In my current WIP, my character studies became part of the first draft.  I felt it was important to give the reader the back stories on my enormous cast of characters, to fully flesh out all of the players.  My wonderful editor, Brenda Copeland, recently sent this great Stephen King quote to me:

“The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.” —Stephen King

I love that quote!  So, we cut the backstories.  Each and every one of them.  And it hurt.  Man, did it hurt!  But, you know what?  Their backstories didn’t change.  They just made their way into the narrative in a more organic way.  Because of those character studies, I know my characters inside and out, and I think that when an author really knows her characters, truly knows them at their core, that comes out in the writing.

[Writing a Hero's Adventure story? Here's a simple template you can apply to your own work-in-progress.]

With that in mind, here are the top 10 questions you need to be able to answer about each of your characters:

1. How old is she?  (And how old is she mentally?  Is she a 40 year old in the body of a sixteen year old, or vice versa?)
2. Did she have a happy childhood?  Why/why not?
3. Past/ present relationships?  How did they affect her?
4. What does she care about?
5. What is she obsessed with?
6. Biggest fear?
7. What is the best thing that ever happened to her?  The worst?
8. Most embarrasing thing that ever happened to her?
9. Biggest secret?
10. What is the one word you would use to define her?

What are some of your own questions that you ask yourself when it comes to character?  What do you think every author needs to know about her characters?

90 Days to Your Novel90 Days to Your Novel is an inspiring writing
 manual that will be your push, your deadline, and your 
spark to finally, in three short months, complete that first draft of your novel. Order it now in our shop for a discount.

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

brian-klems-2013


Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog (The Writer’s Dig), the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

Add a Comment
7. How to Pay it Forward Within the Literary Community

There’s something about the holiday season that puts people in a generous mood. From random anonymous acts of kindness to time-honored remembrances, it truly is the giving season. Heck, even the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes during the holidays. So what can writers do to pay it forward within the literary community? Here are a few ideas:

  • Gift your readers. Above all these people are the people that should all be on your “nice” list! There are plenty of ways you can make your readers feel more connected to you and your books. Run contests, offer giveaways, reveal new cover art and excerpts. Show them you appreciate their loyalty during this time of year and you’ll enjoy the benefits during every season.
  • Give back to fledgling authors. Share freely of the secrets of your success. Host workshops so other writers can benefit from your expertise. Perhaps you’d like to make this gift more personal; focus all your efforts on one or two struggling writers and act as a mentor. Be realistic but encouraging. Your feedback and valued opinions will be appreciated. Volunteer to assist at a writer’s conference or at your local writing group.
  • Support your local libraries and bookstores. Think where we would be as a society without them! Offer to do writing workshops at your local library or contact the Friends of the Library and let them know you’re available for book and author events. Likewise for the bookstores in your locale. Show your support by frequenting events there, buying books, and mentioning signed copies of your titles are available there to readers along with a link on your website.
  • Help your author brethren. Every author can use a boost by commenting on their blogs, sharing their posts, retweeting their messages, and signal boosting their new releases. Spread the word about their work to your own readers. You can even consider doing a book review as a gift!
  • Use your books to support your favorite charities or the community. One of our publishing partners, Publerati (publerati.com), donates percentages of its proceeds to Worldreader Organization. One of our authors, Aaron Zerah, (www.atozspirit.com) has provided free books to Worldreader and also offers free children’s books on his website.
  • Last but not least: Give away your book in the local community. Here’s just a quick list where you can donate your book:  Women’s shelters, VA hospitals, homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, retirement homes, prisons, church libraries, rehab centers, doctor’s offices, community centers and senior centers.

In the spirit of giving, Blue Ash Publishing is offering a free guide for authors who need a boost in promoting their books. Spreading The Word, written by Sage Cohen, offers effective and sustainable promotion ideas including:

  • Establishing and nurturing a vibrant social network for communicating and collaborating with people in your field
  • Reaching out regularly to the audiences who will benefit from what you are offering
  • Creating a daily rhythm for moving toward big-picture goals

This free Blue Ash Publishing guide is available for download by clicking HERE.

  blueashThinking about self-publishing? Blue Ash Publishing (a division of Writer’s Digest)
can provide all the tools and know-how you need to properly write, publish and
sell your book. Whether it’s digital publishing or print, Blue Ash has you
covered—and it’s completely customizable.
Click here for more details.

 

Add a Comment
8. Move Over, Rudolph

You are one of Santa’s reindeer (other than Rudolph) and you are jealous of all the attention that that red-nosed reindeer is getting. You’ve been offered another job and have decided to go in to Santa’s workshop office and negotiate a better deal. Does Santa match your demands or do you decide to take the new gig (and what is it)? Write this scene.

writing-promptsWant more creative writing prompts?

Pick up a copy of A Year of Writing Prompts: 365 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block. There’s a prompt for every day of the year and you can start on any day.

Order now from our shop.

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment
9. Best 3 Writing Gigs on Retainer

Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

top 3 charts list pop poll result and award winners chart rankinSteady paychecks month after month …

Easy writing assignments because you know the audience …

Happy clients who value you and your writing …

These are just a few of the benefits of writing on retainer. Last week, I shared seven reasons why you should consider these arrangements —and why, as a marketer who hires lots of writers, I’m a big fan. (If you missed it, you can access the post here.)

And today I’m going to share with you the best retainer deals for writers. They may not be the ones that first come to mind …

In fact, in my experience, these three deals are the ones most often overlooked by writers. (Which means great opportunity for you!)

1. Social Media

Social media is a top pick for two reasons …

For starters, most businesses have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to social media. They know they need to have a presence. But they don’t understand why.

But more importantly, it gives you an inside edge on other writing assignments that are necessary for an effective social media marketing strategy. Which means along with having a steady gig, you’ll be able to develop a list of other assignments you can pitch your clients — from landing pages and email campaigns, to online content and Pay-Per-Click ads, all of which come with additional writing fees.

Typically the writer’s role includes:

  • Managing the various social media communities.
  • Writing messages/updates.
  • Writing advertisements to build follower numbers and increase engagements.
  • Leading discussions.
  • Turning engagements into content (which is often priced in addition to the retainer deal).

Fees:

  • Upwards of $2,000 a month, depending on how much you do.
  • New content is often priced separately.

How to land:

  • Get involved in their social networks.
  • Identify how they’re using them (customer service, sales, etc.).
  • Research and join similar groups to see what their competition is doing.
  • Present the client with solutions for achieving their goals and taking advantage of missed opportunities.

(Learn more about doing social media on retainer here.)

2. E-newsletters

E-newsletters provide a valuable marketing channel for many businesses …

They provide an inexpensive way to develop a relationship with prospects, and they allow a company (or service provider) to position itself as an expert in the industry.

But here’s the catch …

Once a business starts sending out an e-newsletter, their prospects and customers expect it to show up on a regular basis.

Which is great for you. Because it means they’re going to need good e-newsletter content written on a consistent, ongoing schedule.

Typically the writer’s role includes:

  • Researching the industry.
  • Developing an Editorial Calendar.
  • Writing the e-newsletter content.
  • Developing a single voice for the company.
  • Managing the list and disseminating the e-newsletter.

Fees:

  • $900 to $2,000 per issue (length is typically 1,200 to 1,500 words).
  • Plus thousands to set-up an e-newsletter from scratch.

How to land:

  • Focus on a particular niche.
  • Review newsletters in the industry.
  • Put together a few sample issues.
  • Prepare two Project Proposal templates:
    • taking over an existing e-newsletter,
    • and starting a new e-newsletter.

(Learn more about writing e-newsletters on retainer here.)

3. Online Content

Companies spent more than $118.4 billion on content marketing in 2013 — yet many writers don’t think of online content as a retainer deal. They approach the projects piece-by-piece.

Which always surprises me … Because companies need content on an ongoing basis!

Google now insists that a website have quality content (and a constant stream of it) or its search engine rankings will suffer. And, if a business can’t be found on Google … well, they may as well close up shop.

Content marketing is essentially “selling without selling.” Instead, businesses educate their readers with stories, metaphors, and simple advice in the form of new articles, blog posts, emails, and so on.

Ultimately, these pieces of content are moving the reader toward the sale …

But in the meantime, content gives the company the opportunity to build a relationship with the reader, and demonstrate their expertise, so that when the opportunity to buy does appear, the reader is open to it and ready to take action.

Typically the writer’s role includes:

  • Researching the industry.
  • Writing blog posts in the voice of company executives or experts.
  • Conducting interviews for case studies, press releases, or articles.
  • Developing different pieces that will move the prospect through the sales funnel (emails, video scripts, slide shows, etc.).

Fees:

  • $100 to $500 per piece.
  • Fees depend on length and complexity of topic.

How to land:

  • Read content on websites of interest.
  • Determine who their audience is and what they’re trying to ultimately sell.
  • Put together a list of relevant topics.
  • When pitching, keep in mind the intention of the company.

(Learn more about writing online content on retainer here.)

Remember, retainer deals can be put in place whenever there is an ongoing need for a particular type of content or copy.

rebecca_matter-150And while this list really only scratches the surface, hopefully it helps you spot other opportunities to build a steady ongoing income stream as a professional writer.

Next week, I’ll show you how to structure and set up these deals …

So decide which ones you’d like to pursue, and then join me for some best practices you should follow to ensure you land and execute them with ease!

To your success,
Rebecca Matter

 

Add a Comment
10. Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 288

For today’s prompt, write a false poem. Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” That’s good advice, but these poems should descend with falsifying the intent. False documents, false names, false teeth, the balance of true or false, and so on. A revision to Dickinson, “Tell all the truth but not this week.”

*****

ignite_your_creativityIgnite Your Creativity!

Jump start your creativity with four books, two tutorials, and a digital download–all discounted by 82%!

The whole collection runs $134.93 separately and is currently offered at only $24.49. Great gift–for yourself and/or others!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a False poem:

“false face”

-with a nod to PLD

we wear the face that grins and tries
to hide our thoughts & empty lies
because someday we hope we’ll see
the end to our humility
as one more unarmed person dies

& served up fast before our eyes
as all around we hear the cries
of i can’t breathe on city streets
we wear the face

wanting to figure our replies
but all we seem to find are sighs
when we dream all humans are free
god knows that’s what we want to see
hiding behind our alibis
we wear the face

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He hails from Dayton, birthplace of Paul Laurence Dunbar who wrote “We Wear the Mask,” which inspired today’s poem (among other things). He believes that if there was ever time for poetry, now is it.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodies here:

Add a Comment
11. Ongoing Paid Writing Assignments

Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

Woman Working On Her LaptopImagine having a paid writing assignment you can count on …

Every month … or even every week!

It’s possible, if you write on retainer — which basically means a company hires you (and usually pays you a monthly flat fee in advance) to ensure you’ll write for them on a regular basis.

As a marketer who hires and trains dozens of freelance writers every year, I’m a big fan of working with writers on retainer.

To me, they’re the true win-win.

As a writer, you get peace of mind knowing you have steady work (and a steady paycheck) month-after-month.

And as a marketer, I save a ton of time on every project, and typically get better results.

Now, while all freelance writers can benefit from “retainer deals,” this series will also be of special interest to you if you’ve yet to make the leap to a freelance writing career …

Retainer deals eliminate any financial risk by ensuring you have a consistent monthly income the very second you say goodbye to your 9-to-5 job.

So each week this month, I’m going to walk you through the best assignments to turn into retainer deals, including what the projects entail, how much you can expect to make, and show you how to land them.

But first, let’s take a step back and look at all the major benefits retainer deals bring to you and your business …

  1. They make it easier to forecast your income

You’ll know in advance exactly how much money your retainer deals are bringing in, which means you’ll be able to accurately predict how much money you’ll make each month.

  1. They give you peace of mind

The certainty of knowing you have income coming in each month will put you at ease, knowing you’ll always have enough money to cover your bills.

  1. The value of your time will go up

After a while, you’ll know your client’s products and services inside and out, as well as what they expect from you each month. And that means you’ll be able to turn around assignments much faster — ultimately making your “per-hour” rate go up, up, up.

  1. Better results for your client

Because you’ll know who their target audience is and what your client’s goals are, you’ll consistently hit the right marks and produce better results for your client.

  1. You’ll be able to focus on things that make you money

A predictable monthly income and workload means you’ll be able to reduce the time you spend finding new clients.

  1. You’ll get more referrals from your clients

The long-term relationships you’ll form with your clients will make it more likely they’ll write you a testimonial (or two) and recommend you to their friends and business associates.

  1. You’ll be more valuable to your client

Your client will look at you as an integral part of their business and marketing strategy.

So what do you think?

Are you interested in writing on retainer?

If so, you’ll want to join me next week …

I’ll introduce you to three of the best retainer writing opportunities you should consider.

You’ll be surprised when you see my list — they’re not the ones most writers think about …

Which surprises me, since they’re the ones that pay the most money.

That’s why I’m also going to explain in detail what the assignments entail, how much you can expect to make, and how to land them.

By the time you start the New Year, you’ll have a head start on making a really good living as a writer in 2015.

Now if you don’t want to wait, I have a little gift for you…

rebecca_matter-150Earlier this year I did a webinar on the best retainer deals – and how to land them – on Wealthy Web Writer. The webinar was exclusive for members only, but I’ve asked the Managing Editor to unlock it for you. You can access it here until the end of the month.

That way you can get moving now if you’re feeling motivated!

And as usual, if you have any questions for me, feel free to connect with me on Facebook, or post comments below the webinar on the Wealthy Web Writer website.

To your success,
Rebecca

 

Add a Comment
12. Comment on Executively Branch Out by rle

Holy crap Batman! Let me try this again, this time in it’s entirety.

Add a Comment
13. Comment on Executively Branch Out by rle

Geez, I’m not used to posting this near the beginning of a prompt. I had a little extra time today and came up with this. I hope it isn’t a travesty.

—————————————–

It was finally over. Twenty-eight months of grueling work, criss-crossing the country, keeping an impossible schedule, stumping in big cities and small towns all across our great nation, had all led to this day. Inauguration Day. Now there would be no more campaigning , no more debates, no more talk show appearances, no more hugging old ladies and kissing babies, and no more ticker tape parades. It was finally over. I was President of the United States. Holy frick! Now I guess it was time to start the real work.

I sat alone in the Oval Office and tried to wrap my mind around this whole thing. After a brief meeting with some of my top advisers, I now sat in complete solitude. I hadn’t enjoyed more than a handful of these quiet moments since this whirlwind began, and it was refreshing to be able to have a few minutes to myself.

Add a Comment
14. Comment on Executively Branch Out by Reaper

Wonderful Jay. Nice character study and a very uplifting story. Loved the MC wondering if presidents are supposed to say stuff like that. I would say this is outside of your style but having read your work and your comments I know that you have pretty much all styles. I will say that I never expected to see a literary story from you, but I can’t say I am surprised to see one either.

Add a Comment
15. Comment on Baby Blues by lionetravail

This is awesome, Jay! I really want to know more with this story! This is very engrossing, and easy to see happening in the mind’s eye, like it would be on a screen. It’s a great teaser for a much longer story or movie if you know where this story would go. It’s precious, and precocious, and just begs for a much longer exploration of it.

Add a Comment
16. Comment on Baby Blues by lionetravail

This was brisk, entertaining, and appealing on a lot of levels, Manwe. Sorry to be just catching up now, but it’s been an overwhelming last 2 weeks… and not easing up all that much.

Nice work with this… it’d be interesting to see where this goes if you choose to extend it: lots left unanswered that could be worth exploring.

Add a Comment
17. Comment on Executively Branch Out by Reaper

Awesome take. I loved the humor and mirth of the story overall. That one little barb in there, the satire and comment that you brought out, that just made it even better though. Wonderfully done.

Add a Comment
18. Comment on 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30 by PKP

Exquisite – and moved to inevitable tears ….

Add a Comment
19. How to Effectively Price Writing Projects and Negotiate the Best Fees

Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

Win Win Puzzle ConceptThis month we’ve tackled two important steps to making a living as a writer:

  1. How to find the best-paying assignments.
  2. How to land the clients who have them.

And now, to wrap things up with a neat little bow, I want to close out this series by making sure you feel comfortable with the most uncomfortable subject for writers …

Pricing!

Specifically, how to get paid as much as possible, and get paid what you’re worth, but without overpricing yourself out of the running.

Today’s topic is a biggie, and while I’m going to give you some practical advice you can follow whenever you sit down to price a project, know this …

You’ll become more confident with pricing and negotiating the more you do it.

There’s no single “right answer” that works for everyone … because like writers, every project, every company, and every product or service is different.

Now don’t get me wrong, some paths come with pretty standard ranges clients expect to pay, where there’s only a tiny difference between the high end and low end of the scale. Things like case studies, press releases, non-selling video scripts, etc. …

But even then, you can add more services to the projects to increase their value — things like designing the case study, optimizing the press release and disseminating it to your press contacts, or preparing the slide deck for a video presentation.

But, if you’re doing anything where there’s a sale involved —where your copy directly increases the bottom line — there’s potentially going to be a wider range of “acceptable” fees.

(Note: If you don’t know the pay ranges for the services you plan to offer, don’t worry … I’ll give you some resources in a minute.)

Now, here are a few things you should consider before setting your fees:

  1. Are you pricing by the hour or the project?

Of course you need to decide what’s best for you, but my recommendation is to always price by the project …

As you gain more experience, you’ll begin to work faster and more efficiently. You’ll gain speed, and you’ll have solid processes in place to help you handle projects more competently.

For example, the first time you write a landing page, it may take you five hours. As you write more of them, each one should take you less time. If you charge by the hour, you’ll end up making less money each time! But if you charge by the project, you’ll be maximizing your earning potential the more experienced you get.

Bottom line is, you should be rewarded for the expertise you gain, and charging by the hour doesn’t work to your benefit.

  1. Are you trying to build up your portfolio or do you have a lot of experience?

When you’re just starting out, it may make sense to charge less. You’ll be able to build up your portfolio quickly. And, you’ll collect testimonials and promotion results to show new prospects.

On the other hand, if you’re a skilled copywriter with more work than you can handle, you should be working your way up the pay scale.

  1. Are you writing for small businesses or big-name clients?

You’ll want to consider the size of the business when quoting fees.

There’s a big difference between writing for a cabinetmaker in Austin and writing for the headquarters of KraftMaid® cabinetry. Not only will their marketing budgets be very different, the revenue they’re expecting from their marketing efforts will vary greatly, too.

Which leads me to the next consideration …

  1. What is the project value to your client?

Will the client potentially make $10,000 or $10 million from the promotion? Obviously, there’s a big difference, and the more your client stands to make, the more you’ll be able to charge.

  1. Is the project scope complex or on the simpler side?

If you’re writing a sales page for a brand-new investment advisory service, your copy will inevitably be more complex than if you’re writing a product description for a new book by a renowned financial expert. You should expect to charge a higher fee for a more complicated project.

  1. What is your time investment and long-term income goal?

While I never recommend you charge by the hour, you still need and want to “take home” a rate you’re comfortable with. For every project, you should estimate how much of your time it will take to complete, and make sure the rate you quote provides you with a reasonable return for your time invested.

Remember, as you get more efficient and can do the work faster, the value of each hour goes up! Don’t charge clients less simply because it takes you less time.

And, if a client balks at your fee, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Resell the value. Show them what they’ll get in return for the expense.
  2. Revise the proposal taking away some of the services.
  3. Walk away. It’s going to happen! You’re going to pitch clients who simply can’t afford your fees, or don’t value enough the service you provide. But understanding the value of your time is an important lesson in building a successful writing business. And you may be better off in the long run spending that same time finding a new potential client.

Just remember, as a professional writer, you offer your clients an incredibly valuable service …

They NEED you, and should pay you well for your time and words.

But it’s important that you understand your own value too. If the thought of charging high fees for your services bothers you … well, you’re going to need to get over it.

I say that with love!

Because it’s true, you CAN make a living as a writer. But the only way to do it is to get paid what you’re worth.

To your success,

Rebecca Matter

P.S. I almost forgot the pricing ranges …

Since there are so many ways to make a living as a writer, it would be impossible for me to list all of the fee ranges in this blog post, but at AWAI, we typically include them in every promotion about a writing opportunity, and go over pricing in more detail within the program itself.

So, a good place to start is with the AWAI catalog and inside any programs you’re taking.

You can also check out a webinar I did for Writer’s Digest, Get Paid to Write: How to Land Paying Gigs Writing Copy and Content, where I go over a few of the best writing opportunities, including how to price and land them.

And then finally, we published Pricing Guides for two of the larger niches for writers that detail the various projects and their respective fees:

How to Price and Land the Top 7 Web Copy Projects

rebecca_matter-150How to Price, Quote, and Win B2B Writing Projects

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, by all means let me know! You can post a comment here, or connect with me on Facebook at any time.

To your success,
Rebecca Matter

Add a Comment
20. 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Nina Darnton

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Nina Darnton, author of THE PERFECT MOTHER) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning.

(Never open your novel with a dream — here’s why.)

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.40.10 AM         Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.39.57 AM

Nina Darnton is a former psychologist and staff writer for Newsweek and
a former frequent contributor for the New York Times. Her suspense/thriller
novel, THE PERFECT MOTHER, publishes today, Nov. 25, 2014 from
Plume. The book, which is about a mother who learns her daughter has
been arrested for murder while studying abroad, has been praised by
thriller authors Robin Cook & Clive Cussler. Connect with
Nina on Facebook or Twitter.

 

1. Don’t wait for inspiration. Write a specific number of words a day—no matter what. Sometimes that means sitting with nothing to say for an hour or more. Sometimes it means writing your designated number of words and discarding them the next day. But it is a discipline that ultimately helps you get the book done. My husband, who published 7 books (two of which were best sellers), taught me this. He was a journalist and he thought in column lengths. He determined to write 1000 words a day, (which is a lot. I do more like 500). If he was in the middle of a paragraph when he reached his goal, he stopped. He wanted to be excited about starting again the next day. It worked for me too.

2. On the other hand, unlike my husband, there are times when I know I’m on a roll, and if that happens, I make use of it. On those rare days, I won’t stop writing until the well feels dry.

3. Carry a pad around (or use your IPhone or IPad) and jot down notes when you think of something. It’s like cute stories about your kids. You think you’ll never forget an adorable sentence they’ve uttered or an observation they’ve made, but you do. Keep a record.

4. You don’t always have to know everything before you begin. I heard an interview with Lee Childs in which he said he works completely intuitively. He doesn’t write an outline, for example. He says he doesn’t even really know the story until he begins writing. Others need a detailed outline, sometimes chapter-by-chapter.  I am somewhere in the middle. I like to know where the story begins and approximately where it ends. I know some of the characters. But in my recent book, “The Perfect Mother,” for example, my favorite character, a Spanish detective named Roberto wasn’t part of the plan. He just kind of appeared when my main character Jennifer needed a friend and took over. I don’t really know where he came from, but I was grateful he appeared. So you have to give your creative instinct room to work, even as you plan and structure the plot.

(How should you discuss a book’s series potential in a query letter?)

5. Take your inspiration where you find it. By that I mean, if you read something in the newspaper and it sets your mind wondering and inventing ramifications of that story, don’t be afraid to use it (another trick I used for my latest novel). If someone tells you a story or you observe something interesting, use it if you want to. Don’t be afraid that it’s already been done. Inspiration can come from anywhere. There are only a few stories in the world. It’s how you develop them creatively that takes stark facts and events to a narrative that resonates.

6. Write whatever you want to, even if you are worried that someone you know will be upset by it. I once sat next to E.L. Doctorow at a dinner many years ago and I asked him what to do if you had an idea for a book but were afraid executing it would hurt someone you cared about. His advice? Always write the book, but know that you don’t always have to publish it. I think that’s good advice.

7. In today’s book market, I think it is very important to know that your book may be wonderful and it still may not sell. This means that you should not write a book unless you really like the process of writing. Once it’s published, you do, of course, what you can to promote it. But you can’t count on commercial success. You may get poor reviews and feel hurt and humiliated. (I try to remember that a review is only the opinion of the person writing it and not sacrosanct). So the only reliable reward is the pleasure you get from the creative process itself.

 

Are you a subscriber to Writer’s Digest magazine
yet? If not, get a discounted one-year sub here.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
21. 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

For today’s prompt, you have two options:

  1. Write a love poem.
  2. Write an anti-love poem.

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Get your poetry published!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the premiere book on publishing your poetry: the 2015 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer.

This essential resource includes hundreds of listings for book publishers, magazines, journals, contests, grants, and so much more. Plus, there are articles on the craft of poetry, business of poetry, and promotion of poetry. Beyond that, there’s an hour-long webinar, a subscription to the poetry slice of WritersMarket.com, original poems, poet interviews, resources galore, and more-more-more!!!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Love and/or Anti-Love poem:

“poem”

every word & image has a target
audience & every line break

is meant to entice & move you
to reach out for the next phrase

how i love you & ache for your
return that moment when you

lift me up & read yourself
into me what i beg you to do

when you find yourself
completely alone with me

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He began with love poems–so he always brings them along for every challenge.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodies here:

Add a Comment
22. Comment on 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30 by PKP

Exquisite – and moved to inevitable tears

Add a Comment
23. Comment on 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30 by PKP

Terrific – inevitable and a bit sad – but terrific still

Add a Comment
24. Comment on 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30 by PKP

… and I return the embrace

Add a Comment
25. 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

Here we are: The final day of the challenge. Well, the first draft part of it anyway. While veterans know what to do and the guidelines give a clue, I’ll post tomorrow on next steps for completing this challenge.

For today’s prompt, write an inevitable poem. The poem that always had to be, or a poem about something that was inevitable. Maybe two people getting together was inevitable, or maybe two people splitting up was inevitable. But there are so many things that seem inevitable with hindsight.

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Get your poetry published!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the premiere book on publishing your poetry: the 2015 Poet’s Market, edited by the always lovable and encouraging Robert Lee Brewer.

This essential resource includes hundreds of listings for book publishers, magazines, journals, contests, grants, and so much more. Plus, there are articles on the craft of poetry, business of poetry, and promotion of poetry. Beyond that, there’s an hour-long webinar, a subscription to the poetry slice of WritersMarket.com, orginal poems, poet interviews, resources galore, and more-more-more!!!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at an Inevitable poem:

“Death, of course”

waits patiently on the doorstep
or in the closet or bathroom
to collect what is his and he
doesn’t throw a fit because
he knows what will be will be
and he will be ready for harvest.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

This is his seventh year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. He can’t wait to see what everyone creates this month–not only on a day-by-day basis, but when the chapbooks start arriving in December and January. Fun, fun, fun.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodies here:

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts