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Why Your Story is Getting Rejected

Agents looking for new writers, rules on using double negatives, tips on ebook promos and more.
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March 8, 2016

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Editor's Letter
BrianKlems Brian A. Klems
Online Editor
Time's running out to sign up for our How to Find and Keep a Literary Agent - Agent One-on-One Boot Camp (With Critiques). These boot camps are an excellent way to get direct agent feedback on your work while also being able to ask questions. Here are key dates for all boot camp attendees to know:
  • Monday, March 21, 2016 - Access to Tutorial
  • March 22 and 23 - Blackboard Discussion 11 am to 1 pm (PT)
  • Thursday, March 24 - Materials due to agents
  • April 14 - All critiqued materials due back to attendees
  • Sign up now!
Also, our popular 12 Weeks to a First Draft online course is back and starts this Thursday. During this class you'll learn the 12 steps it takes to complete a first draft (as well as execute those steps). So, if you take the class, in less than three months you'll have a completed draft of your book. Sign up now.

Finally, I'll be speaking at the upcoming Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop on March 31, the Raleigh WRITE NOW! Conference on April 30, and the Colorado Writing Workshop on July 30. Plus, we're putting together an amazing lineup for the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Conference in NYC this year (early bird pricing ends April 1). Conferences are a great way to meet agents and editors and invest in your career. I highly recommend attending one.   

Take care of yourself and your writing,
Brian A. Klems
Senior Online Editor, Writer's Digest
Author, Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters
Twitter: @BrianKlems

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The How-To Guide For Writers
It's never too late to release your inner book - put those memories, images, and ideas to paper. BookBaby's free How-To Guide for Writers outlines the best practices for putting together your story, your book.

Learn More.

Why Your Story is Getting Rejected
While all levels of a story must be effective for publication, stilted language can stop an editor in her tracks before your plot even begins. To refine your own language, remember the following tips.
Read more ...

Pikes Peak Writer's Conference
Register for The Pikes Peak Writers Conference April 15-17, 2016. Experience Workshops, Networking and Query Your Manuscript to Acquiring Editors and Agents.
Register Here

REMFA Faculty Mentor Lou Berney-Author of the "Shake" Bouchon crime novels & 2-time Edgar Award Nominee
When it comes to writing, you can do something better than anyone else can. Figure out what that is, and do that.

The Red Earth MFA is a low-residency Genre-Friendly Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing graduate studies program. Students will complete 12 hours of course work each fall and spring semester for two years for a total of 48 hours.


The Best Tips on Writing for Kids and Teens
What are the most common problems in picture book submissions? What are the most important differences between middle-grade and young adult stories? What makes for standout writing for young readers? Top literary agents who represent writing for kids and teens delve deeply into their best craft tips and industry insights to answer all of these questions and more in the hot-off-the-press March/April 2016 Writer's Digest. Here's a sneak peek.
Read more ...


Unlock the potential of your manuscript! Helga Schier, PhD, published author and professional editor offers effective, personalized, constructive and comprehensive editorial services. Contact:,, 310.828.8421


Spalding University offers a Top Ten low-residency MFA program. Tracks in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and YA, dramatic writing. Flexible scheduling, cross-genre study, travel abroad. It's time to write.

FREE publishing leads/tips! Our expert strategies delivered by e-mail once per week. BONUS: Claim your instant report today! Confidential. No spam. Writer's Relief (est. 1994) manages submissions to agents and lit mags. (866) 405-3003

Julia Drake
10 Tips for a Successful Book Launch
Events are complex beasts and the devil is in the details, so here are some key pointers to give you the best possible chance for a full house:

Here are the 10 tips.

Baihley Grandison
Is it Bad to Use Double Negatives in Your Writing?
Double negatives get a bad rap in the writing world-as generally, they should. We've all been taught to avoid phrases like "She didn't like no one," or "He never said nothing," because they are unwieldy and confusing and in fact mean the opposite ("She likes everyone," "He said something") of what they appear to.

Recently, a writer friend gleefully pointed out that I use double negatives all the time.

Read more about using double negatives here.

Florence Osmund
Free E-book Promotions-Are They Right for You?
If you're a self-published author, you know it's an arduous task to get your books noticed, and as the self-publishing industry continues to expand, there is a growing difficulty for authors to stand out. Kindle claims to have close to 4 million e-books in its store, and I've heard recent estimates that 40-45% of them were written by indie authors. That means we authors need to work hard and smart when it comes to selling our books. One way to get your books noticed is to offer them for free for a short period of time. I've heard arguments from both sides when it comes to authors who offer free e-book promotions.

Read more.

Kate McKean
Agent Kate McKean is Open Again for Queries - Learn What She Seeks
The fabulous literary agent Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary has opened herself up to queries once again as of Feb. 26, 2016. (It's impossible to say whether this opening will 3 months or 6 months or however long, so check out her info below soon, and query her soon if she is a good fit for your work.)

Read more.

Jennifer De Chiara
Querying 101: Putting Your Best Book Forward
Literary agent Jennifer De Chiara will guide you, step by step, in writing the perfect pitch for your book. She'll offer do's and don'ts from her 16+ years of agenting and share queries that got her attention and those that didn't. De Chiara will also give tips on how to find the right agents to query - if you've written a dynamite query, it's still worthless if you're not sending it to the right agents. (Comes with a query critique!)

Read more.

wd-logoYour Weekly Writing Prompt
Olympic Trip: You have been chosen to help carry the Olympic Torch for the 2016 Summer Olympics. It's finally your turn to carry the Torch and you are so nervous you might throw up. You take the Torch from its previous carrier and start running. As cameras flash and the world watches, you trip and go sprawling. Write this scene.
Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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