Tag Archives: Midwest Writers Workshop

Literary Citizenship – Pay It Forward

What is literary citizenship? How do you promote it, and are you a good literary citizen? Some of my shower thoughts (best time for thinking, right?) kept tumbling around and then mixed with Cathy Day’s talk about literary citizenship at the 2012 Midwest Writers Workshop. Cathy, author of The Circus in Winter and Comeback Season, said that being a good literary citizen is being part of, and promoting, a literary community: reading, writing, and all that goes with it.  She suggested a few things we could do to build that community, and, as writers, build relationships that will benefit our own careers in the process: Talk about books with LIVE people (in person, as opposed to not-dead). Write notes to authors when we enjoy their books. Be interested in others.  She quoted Dale Carnegie: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in them, than in two … Continue reading

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Query Letter Tips – Advice from Writer’s Digest’s Chuck Sambuchino

I’ve been subscribing to Chuck Sambuchino’s “Guide to Literary Agents” blog for Writer’s Digest for a while now, especially saving the posts that spotlight agents looking for middle grade fiction.  But it wasn’t until I met him at the Midwest Writers Workshop last weekend that I learned how to get my query letter right. Chuck gave the first evening session at Midwest Writers, on perfecting your in-person agent pitch, but what you say in your pitch is basically the same as what you put at the beginning of your query.  And then I had an actual query critique with him. I was surprised that he wanted us to use more lines and tell more about the story than other query tips have suggested.  Each agent’s preference varies, but in Chuck’s experience, a query letter opening should include at least six elements: Introduce the main character Something unique about the main … Continue reading

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