How to Get (Traditionally) Published
There are two main avenues to being published, traditional publication and self publication. One is not better than the other, and both avenues have advantages and disadvantages depending on what might be most important to you as an author. For many reasons, I chose traditional publication. If you're curious about what that process looks like from start to finish, there is a great article by my publisher, Penguin Random House, that outlines it here.
How to Query Literary Agents
Querying is the process in which aspiring authors who want to be traditionally published send materials to literary agents who represent the kind of work you're writing. It can be an overwhelming process, but not to worry! I've created a video in partnership with WriteHive called The Art of Querying with lots of information and advice on how to get through it!
Working with a free-lance editor is not required to be traditionally published. But for those who are looking for more practiced eyes on their work, I highly recommend Crown Editorial. Its founder, Natalie Crown, is my critique partner and is affordable and thorough. Every few months, I sponsor giveaway critiques for writers in financial need.
Books About Writing Books
These are a few books about the actual art of writing that have really helped me up my game!
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein
Pub Rants – Created by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency, this blog serves up a timely and honest discussion about some of the most prevalent questions an aspiring writer wants/needs to know.
Query Shark – For those struggling with the dreaded query letter, this is a trove of knowledge. Created by Janet Reid (a.k.a. the Query Shark) of New Leaf Literary & Media, this blog literally tears apart query letters…to make them amazing!
Hosted by two literary agents, Erik Hane and Laura Zats of Headwater Literary Management, this podcast covers topical events in the publishing and literary community in a refreshingly honest way. Additionally, for $3 to $8, you can subscribe to their secret content episodes where they do live critiques of synopses, pitches, and query letters. They also take questions!
This podcast is perfect for a quick commute to work. In fifteen minutes or less, a panel of writers discuss different elements of the writing craft in a succinct and helpful way.
Hosted by authors Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho, this podcast talks about the real journeys of writers, particularly from marginalized backgrounds. So often we hear the overnight success stories; this podcast has really funny, honest discussions about what it takes to be traditionally published.
Hosted by author Sarah Enni, First Draft Pod interviews storytellers about how their art informs their lives, their unique perspectives on the creative process, and provides more transparency about the professional side of artistic endeavors.
Writing Mentorship Programs / Events / Classes
*Please visit each program and event's official website for the most up to date information.
The Muse Writing Center - Classes for All Writers
The Muse Writing Center is one of the top writing centers in the United States, located in Norfolk, Virginia. The Center offers in-person, virtual, and hybrid writing classes on any number of topics. There are classes for adults, teens, and youth.
Alpha - The Young Writers Workshop - Writers Aged 14-19
Alpha - The Young Writers Workshop is a twelve-day writing workshop for 14 to 19 year olds held in July each year at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus.
Writing with the Soul - Open to all age categories and genres
New York Times-bestselling author Adrienne Young takes aspiring authors on an inner journey to claim the writer within, discover your voice, & transform your work during her annual 4-week workshop.
Brandon Sanderson on Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy - Open to all writers
New York Times-bestselling author Brandon Sanderson posts lectures from his annual writing course on YouTube. Lectures cover topics including but not limited to plot, worldbuilding, and character arc. The lectures are available for free.
Created by literary agent Beth Phelan of Gallt & Zacker Literary in 2016, this twitter pitch contest is for writers from traditionally-marginalized backgrounds. Writers may tweet their manuscript’s pitch, and if a participating agent “Likes” the tweet, they can submit their manuscript and sometimes get special consideration they wouldn’t get through traditional querying (i.e., their query letter might get looked at a little faster).
*Note: I found my agent through #DVPit!
Author Mentor Match - Open to: Middle Grade & Young Adult
This mentorship program allows YA or MG writers to submit their works to a potential mentor. If they are selected, then then begin a mentorship to help them workshop and get their work ready for querying. There is no agent showcase at the end of AMM, but the big pro is that there’s no time limit on the mentorship; it’s an amazing way to make a writer friend and find a mentor.