In the Blogosphere: 7/26-8/6

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

I’m admittedly behind with my Blogosphere posts—I have about 50 links saved, dating all the way back to May/June-ish (oh noes!)—but they are all still worth a look.  I’ll catch up eventually, right?

THE STRAIGHT DOPE ON CONFERENCES

There have been a ton of conferences this summer, but more are just around the corner.

Not sure what to bring to a writers’ conference?  Over on her blog, See Heather Write, writer/editor and aspiring YA novelist Heather Trese gives the basics on what to pack and what to leave home—via this vlog.

Have you never been to one of these events?  Check out this post at The Bluestocking Blog, which details one writer’s lessons learned from her very first conference.

This is an oldie-but-very-goodie post from guest blogger Leah Odze Epstein over at Adventures in Children’s Publishing.  Epstein took great notes at SCBWI Metro New York and was nice enough to share them in a conference round-up.

By the way—WriteOnCon, the FREE online kids’ lit conference, is next week.  Click here to register!

THE NEXT STEPS

So, I’m good on querying and getting and agent and everything—but what happens after that?

Sixteen-year-old Australian YA author Steph Bowe demystifies what happens after you get a book deal in this post on her blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year.

And, here, the ever-fabulous Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary explains what is in a publishing contract.

EDITING & CRITIQUING

My SW(IRL) group began critiquing this summer, and some of our members were a bit resistant to it.  I do hope they’ll check out these links!

Here, Jodi Cleghorn of Write for Your Life talks critique etiquette.

In her guest post at Genreality, debut YA dystopian author Jamie Harrington gives a feedback pep talk during which she explains what getting feedback means, why it’s important, and how we need to get over ourselves and get some!

Over at her fantastic blog, author Jody Hedlund offers suggestions of what to do with positive and negative feedback.

And at YA Highway, Amanda Hannah gives us a checklist of what we need in order to get cracking on those revisions.

HILARITY ENSUES

I believe this oldie-but-goodie post was the first I had ever seen of the now-infamous Tahereh (T.H. Mafi), over at Got YA—in which she tells us what the QueryShark herself, Janet Reid, is really thinking.

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In the Blogosphere: 4/5-4/23

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

SOME HOW-TOs

Over at her blog, Kidlit.com, Andrea Brown literary agent Mary Kole discusses how to layer points of view.

On the Guide to Literary Agents blog, guest blogger and kids’ author Laura Manivong tells us how to target submissions to specific agents.

ONLINE PRESENCE

QueryTracker’s own YA author extraordinaire Elana Johnson did a great little series on blogging.  Here are but a few of the several awesomesauce posts she dedicates to this topic:

  • Here, Johnson talks about why one should blog and touches on what one should blog about
  • Here, she explains what to do once you have a blog
  • Here, she suggests where to spend your blogging time in order to gain some blog traffic

Like I said, she gives all sorts of helpful tips, but I’ll let you poke around in her blog on your own and decide what you need the most help with.

TWITTER

Looking to get the best writerly experience you can out of TwitterWrite Anything’s Annie Evett lists several hashtags for writers here.

Once you’ve found your way around the Twitterverse—Twittersphere?—and you’ve discovered your favorite hashtags, check out Tweetchat.  By entering the hashtag of your choice, you can more quickly and easily follow the conversation during Twitter chats.

CLICHÉS

We all trying to avoid clichés in our writing—right?  Over at YA Highway, contributor Emilia Plater presents the five protagonists you meet in young adult literature.

For a little bit of a different take on a similar subject, on her blog, up-and-coming YA author Steph Bowe exposes the problems with many conventions often used in YA lit by supposing what things would be like if real life were like a teen novel.

And, the good folks over at And Now for Something Completely Unnecessary make a confession about using “confessions” in titles . . .

...they're cliché.

Have a nice weekend, everybody.

In the Blogosphere: 3/8 – 3/12

“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week.  Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.

I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.

QUERY FAIL

I’ve heard of being a query spammer (addressing an e-query to every agent in the country), but this is ridiculous.  Notorious query spammer Oscar Whitfield ruins it for all of us—but his 7,000 rejections should make one feel better about one’s fraction of that many rejections.

Agent Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency tallies her queries, and guess what: over half of the queries she receives do not follow the submission guidelines close enough to be considered.

Tsk, tsk, tsk . . . I’m not sure what’s worse, Oscar Whitfield’s query bombs or some of the things Lowenstein Associates, Inc.’s Kathleen Ortiz says authors are guilty of when it comes to their query etiquette—or their lack thereof.

RESOURCES

Listy listy.  The good people over at Guardian.co.uk have compiled lists of writing tips from several writers—including the likes of the inimitable Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood—in the spirit of Elmore Leonard‘s 10 Rules for Writing Fiction .

Although she said Janet Reid wrote it, middle-grade and young adult sci-fi writer Blee Bonn put my guest blog about the FinePrint Literary agent’s query tips at the top of her “Awesome Advice (for Writers)” post.  Yay!

In this Writer’s Digest oldie-but-goodie post, find out what agents hate (as relayed by Guide to Literary Agents editor Chuck Sambuchino).

On his Web site, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers Michael Hyatt discusses the importance of defending your “brand” in the digital age.

UP FOR DISCUSSION

In case you missed my announcement earlier in the week, I did a little guest blogging about leetspeak (“text message lingo”) and the ramifications of its increased acceptance in young adult lit over at Australian author Steph Bowe‘s blog this week.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

DOWN TIME

Are you a workaholic?  Over at zenhabits, guest blogger Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist talks about the importance of resting.

Need something to distract you?  Check out Letterblox over at OMGPOP.

CONTESTS

Over at Inky Fresh Press, Kate announces a call for submissions as well as a contest at Narrative, an online publisher and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the literary arts in the digital age.

As well, Writer’s Digest is hosting their 79th annual writing contest with a chance to win $3,000 and a trip to New York City.

SHEDDING SOME LIGHT

Been getting lots of rejections without much feeback?  Here, D4EO literary agent Mandy Hubbard offers some reasons she passes on fulls.

If you’re looking for some “inside” information, the people over at BubbleCow divulge 7 secrets publisher don’t want writers to know.

Have you ever wondered how book covers come to be?  On Orbit, Laura Panepinto posted a YouTube video on that very subject.

Think you’re a diva?  Not sure?  The Waxman Literary Agency offers three questions to ask yourself in order to find out.

Or . . . ask yourself if you're Aretha Franklin. No? Okay, you're probably not then.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME SLIGHTLY SICK

I know Wicked was The Wizard of Oz seen in a new way—and I love it (well, the musical).  However, if they remake it á là Tim Burton, as per this Los Angeles Times article, I may actually vomit.

First The Hills‘s Lauren Conrad and now Hilary Duff?  *tear*

RANDOM

Apparently, certain words and phrases—like “seek” and “flee”—are too sophisticated for people to use outside of print.  Well, that’s what Robert Feder says the higher-ups at WGN believe, anyway.

I loves me some Coco.  And, according to USA Today, O’Brien has changed the life of the one, random Twitter follower he’s chosen.

I loves me some Cleveland Cavaliers, as well.  And, according to Cleveland.com, Eastlake, Ohio, resident Jerry Tomko and a radio essay contest are responsible for the team’s name.  (I’m so proud, having grown up five minutes from Eastlake!)

I’m so excited!  Jodi Meadows and I are going to YA author Maggie Stiefvater‘s book signing in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.  Will you be there?

Writing News: My Guest Post for YA Author Steph Bowe is Up

As I announced a few weeks ago, I was chosen to guest blog for 16-year-old young adult author Steph Bowe’s blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year.

All this month, the young Aussie is featuring a series of guest posts on young adult lit—trends, subgenres, popular books, writing/publishing tips.

My post, “To Leet or Not to Leet” is on leet speak (or “text message lingo”) and its place in young adult literature.  It’s a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’d love to hear your thoughts—so feel free to comment!

Click here to check out my post.

As someone who sent three query letters - two of which resulted in offers of representation - Bowe is one YA author from whom we can all learn a lot.

Bowe’s debut novel (working title: These Bones) will be published this September in Australia and New Zealand (Text Publishing) and the summer of 2011 in the U.S. (Egmont USA).

In the Blogosphere: 3/1-3/5

“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week.  Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.

I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.

LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH OTHERS

This week has been a positive one, in terms of getting some nibbles and bites on my manuscript.  I’m trying very hard to curb my excitement, however, as I know the road to publication is actually more like a jacked-up staircase.

In the interest of keeping positive, let’s live vicariously through three up-and-coming young adult authors:

  • Jodi Meadows.  Although this happened a few weeks ago, I only found out this week: my new pal, who has been up and down her jacked-up staircase for the past 7 years, signed with Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency (whom Jodi refers to as “agent of awesome”).
  • Sarah Wylie.  If this post doesn’t warm your heart, you’re dead inside.  Wylie, repped by FinePrint Literary‘s Suzie Townsend, announced her debut novel, All These Lives, was just sold at auction and will be out in 2012.
  • Steph Bowe.  This 16-year-old Aussie is repped by Curtis Brown Ltd.’s Ginger Clark, and her debut novel (working title: These Bones) will be published this September in Australia and New Zealand (Text Publishing) and the summer of 2011 in the U.S. (Egmont USA).  She’s also a part of The YA 5, a blog dedicated to changing the way young adult literature is discussed.

**Just a reminder: My guest blog on “leetspeak/text message lingo” in YA will appear on Bowe’s blog Monday, so don’t forget to check it out!

NIT PICKING

Thursday was National Grammar Day, and in the spirit of nitpicking, Curtis Brown Ltd.’s Nathan Bransford blogged about your spelling/grammar pet peeves.

Nerdfighter master and New York Times bestseller John Green adds to the grammar hilarity with this pic.

As well, one of my new favorites, YA author extraordinaire Maureen Johnson critiqued a query letter on the blog of superagent Daphne Unfeasible (her agent Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary‘s alter ego).

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

At coffee with Jodi the other day, I brought up the subject of author advances.  Being that I didn’t know much about what to expect—I thought the average book deal was wayyyyy less than it actually is—Jodi put me in touch with this post by fantasy author Jim C. Hines.  I learned a lot!

Are you one of those Facebookers who changes your status every time something upsets you?  You might want to think twice about that after reading this post by Andrea Brown Literary Agency‘s Mary Kole over at Kidlit.com.

Excercise some.

Sometimes, dying dramatically or mysteriously is part of the job description when you sign up to be a writer.  The folks over at Schmoop.com take a peek at the fascinating deaths of nine famous writers.

STUFF THAT’S PROBABLY GOOD FOR YOU

Not that I can do this, but I can appreciate the idea behind it.  Author and webmaster of A Life Less Anxious: Freedom from Panic Attacks and Social Anxiety Without Drugs or Therapy Steve Pavilanis gives some tips on how to function without caffeine.

But - but - I need it!

Writing News: I’m Guest Blogging for YA Up-and-Comer Steph Bowe

This post is two-fold.

This fortune teller, however, has more folds than that.

First of all, I’m excited to announce I’ll be guest blogging for 16-year-old young adult author Steph Bowe‘s blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year.

Throughout March, the young Aussie will be featuring a series of guest posts on young adult lit—trends, subgenres, popular books, writing/publishing tips—and I am privileged enough to have been chosen as a contributor.

As someone who sent three query letters - two of which resulted in offers of representation - Bowe is one YA author from whom we can all learn a lot.

Bowe’s debut novel (working title: These Bones) will be published this September in Australia and New Zealand (Text Publishing) and the summer of 2011 in the U.S. (Egmont USA).

Click here to check out her blog—and don’t forget to stop back there March 8, when my piece on leet speak/text message lingo will run.  (Don’t worry; I’ll remind you.)

PLUG/PLEA

Second of all, Bowe hosts a number of contests on her blog—including one I want to win so bad I can taste the ink on the page (it’s for an advanced reading copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which just so happens to have been written by two of my favorite young-adult writers, New York Times bestselling authors John Green and David Levithan).

This contest closes Feb. 28, but Bowe has a slew of other giveaways . . . so, be a dear and go for one of those – because I really really really want to win this one!

Molly: "Pleeeeeease pick my mommie, Steph!"