Project GET MY MOM TO BLOG

My mother has started making hats out of old sweaters. When I suggested she start a blog about her repurposed creations, my mom responded by scrunching up her nose like I just gave her tickets to an Eminem concert. “Why would I do that?” she said. I tried to tell her about all the amazing wool […]

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Vulnerability: lessons from writing on living (with help from Brene Brown)

I wrote a memoir manuscript once. It wasn’t very good. I could tell when one of the teen readers I work-shopped it with scrunched up her nose and said she just didn’t connect with the voice. Years later I finally understand what it was lacking. It’s the same thing that makes ‘evil-doing’ characters into ones that […]

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Seth Godin’s Purple Cows for Queries

I finally figured out why writing query letters sucks (and I mean aside from the repeated stick-in-my-chest rejections): boredom. I have sent out twenty slightly-modified versions of the same query letter as of last week and frankly I’m tired of it. In fact, I think I may have a brown on my hands. According to […]

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Literary agent webinars: dream makers or advantage takers?

I received several notices about webinars offering ‘exclusive’ access to literary agents in my email this week. I’m not sure whether to be excited—or irritated. When I was fourteen my mother made me an appointment to see a modeling agent. The agent’s name was Dyan and after taking my photo and measurements she apparently decided that […]

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Literary Rejection: ‘Own it’, says Miss Snark

I was recently rejected by a literary agency. It went something like this: “The pages you sent are well-written and enjoyable, but unfortunately, J did not connect to the story as much as she was hoping to, and so she will not be offering representation” Of course, this happens a lot these days but this […]

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The Joy of the Nightmare of Querying

Vanilla Ice said it best. “Love it or leave it you better gain weight, You better hit bull’s eye the kid don’t play.” Okay, that actually makes a lot less sense than I remember rapping as a teenager, but the key here is that there are some things that I really hate doing and writing query […]

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The Succesful Query Letter: doing the opposite of everything I have been ever been told

Because sending emails with missing attachments, pocket updating my Facebook status with such as gems as ‘Jackie is  slkdjfsldf’ and broken links on my LinkedIn account weren’t enough I have recently been introduced to a whole new arena of potentially damaging electronic embarrassment: the query letter. Misspelling agency names, classifying my work in the wrong […]

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Never say aliens told you to write it and other query advice from Chuck Sambuchino

I used to think that, querying was like that time I went to a wedding in mom’s Fluevogs and got a matching set of oozy, cheese-grader blisters on my heels ten minutes into the ceremony: painful, but endurable (with enough complimentary champagne). I was wrong. Apparently, a more appropriate metaphor would be if I had followed […]

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Things that inspire me to write: the New Adult genre

  Every cloud has a silver lining—or, in this case–a set of bare, chiseled abs. Entrenched in the dreaded manuscript-flog-phase I have spent the last few weeks researching agencies, compiling query letters and then receiving rejections from said query letters. And though it can be a little disheartening to read an inbox full of “Its […]

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My loserly Christmas: on getting dumped by a literary agent

The only thing worse than getting dumped by your boyfriend right before the holiday is getting dumped by your literary agent. I know, I have experienced both. My three-year long long relationship with a certain BC-based agency was terminated earlier this month after the agent representing me decided to retire. At least that was the […]

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