So, high school is hard enough. And then a friend attempts suicide. Heavy metal is to blame. The local pastor is burning records, and MTV’s Kurt Loder is on the scene.
Holloway Literary author Jeff Chon’s latest short story, P.A.L.A.D.I.N is featured in the North American Review. Let’s get some context. Continue reading “Jeff Chon Gets Nostalgic for the 80’s, and Records Are Evil”
by Catherine Matthews
It happens every day at every literary agency. A promising proposal comes in, agents start to read, and after a chapter or two there’s a huge problem staring them in the face. That problem has a name—the name of a main character who seems to have no problems of his or her own. It’s understandable. You’ve plotted and planned and written and revised. You’ve spent hundreds of pages with this character and thousands of hours thinking about them. By this point, they’re the coolest people you know (it’s okay, this secret will stay between you and us) and the thought of diminishing them in any way is genuinely upsetting. Why shouldn’t they be the smartest, the funniest, the sexiest, the most “together”—they’re the main character! Continue reading “Five Questions to Ask When Your Characters Are Too Good To Be True”
by Catherine Matthews
As a writer, it is inevitable that you will reach the point where all you want to do is throw in the towel and walk away from your writing. You’ve written night after night and query after query, only to have your efforts met with kind but firm ‘no, thank you’ replies. Reading your own work no longer gives you pleasure; suddenly all you can see are problems. Problems that make you start wondering why you love this, if you love this, and are you really any good at it? Then comes the big question: Is any of this really worth it? Continue reading “Stuck In A Rut? Five Tips For Writing Your Way Out”
As the submissions coordinator for a literary agency, I’ve noticed the majority of authors make at least one mistake in their query letter, most trying to find a clever way to capture the agents’ attention. However, standing out from the crowd is not always a good thing, especially when we provide clear guidelines. A clear query letter gives the impression that you can follow directions and will be easier to work with. Although an author may think their query might get lost in a sea of emails with the same format, the truth is proper submissions are the ones that truly stand out.
Here are a few of most common mistakes I see when sorting through query letters. Continue reading “Four Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents”