ONLY DAYS AWAY FROM MELISSA EDWARDS'S WEBINAR ON WRITING YOUR BEST QUERY... We've ADDED 5 LIVE CRITIQUES
We are days away from literary agent, Melissa Edwards from Stonesong Literary joining us at Kidlitcollege for a great webinar on Agent Advice for Best Queries.
We have a new twist for this event, and it's a good one! Melissa will be doing FIVE LIVE QUERY CRITIQUES during this event. When you register, you will be given the option to be included in the live critiques, but it’s limited to five, so hop on this opportunity! You will be able to ask questions live and hear Melissa's top concerns, invaluable advice for better submissions.
So here's our next Giftaway: Register now for Melissa's #AgentDirect Critique for a chance to have a FREE live query critique during our webinar event. You’ll save $25!
I asked Melissa a few teaser questions about what she might be talking about during Saturday’s webinar.
KLC: Melissa, I have to say that your law background provides a lot of extra expertise alongside your agency skills. Your contract negotiation skills must be top notch! Fluency in legalese is a definite bonus to your clients. But to get that expertise, clients have to get over the first hurdle: the dreaded query.
What are some of the most common pitfalls you see in queries?
Melissa: I think the most common pitfall I see in a query is the writer not quite understanding the difference between a pitch and a summary. A pitch doesn’t give away the farm. It’s a tempting taste of your story, without indulging in the full meal. The query isn’t supposed to tell your whole story, it’s supposed to entice the agent or editor to want to know the whole story. I will discuss the elements of a pitch on Saturday!
I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a “perfect query” but I’ve seen some really successful queries. Those are the queries that give me the information I want to know—like genre, age group, pitch, author bio— without having to search. Then I can start on the sample pages with all of my questions answered. Successful queries follow this same recipe; even if they look a little different, they contain the same key ingredients.
KLC: What are you currently looking for, Melissa?
Melissa: I represent children’s fiction and adult commercial fiction, as well as select pop-culture nonfiction. I'm looking for children’s literature with heart, especially in middle grade. I enjoy children’s books that kids will self-select and return to time after time. For young adults, I'm interested in fun, commercial fiction in all genres, particularly romance, thriller, and fantasy.
KLC: What are some Authors /Books you represent?
Melissa: I work with Doug the Pug and his people (St. Martin’s Press and HarperDesign), and represent Such a Good Girl by Amanda Morgan (Simon Pulse), Where I Live by Brenda Rufener (HarperTeen), Pugling Rivalry by Flora Ahn (Scholastic), Cross by Julie Aitcheson (Harmony Ink), Lessons in Gravity by Megan Westfield (Entangled), Brigit Kelly Young (Roaring Brook), and Phoebe Stone (Scholastic), among others.
If you are not already registered for this event, jump online and register now. PLUS—EVEN MORE SAVINGS: Use code MELISSA at checkout to take $4 off your registration, today only!
Celebrating my day with discounts offers for you! Today only. For the next 24-hours, I am taking $50 off my Pacing Picture Books workshop for February and March. Yes. You can learn more about the nuances of pacing than you ever imagined and be provided with concrete examples to show you just how you might incorporate this material into your own projects.
You will also discuss, each week, how to position your picture book for today's market. How to get on the page of your own writing and do more with characterization, tone, voice, plot, to drive your project forward. We will explore the many tools of pacing, the ten Ps you will want to consider as you "unwrite" your picture book strong, and so much more.
Each week, we review your work and you receive quality feedback on your work (a $625 value). You will be entered into two courses at once: a writing workout, a whole series of push activities you can use to hone your manuscript, and extensive material on pacing based on my MFA critical thesis study.
ONE REGISTERED PARTICIPANT in Feb and MARCH will be selected to receive a full refund for their registration fee. Love it! You only have to register for this event, share our Pacing badge, and post a comment below to qualify!
So... let's celebrate good writing and help you achieve your dreams.
A great example of a book that is coming out is Ann Whitford Paul's IF ANIMALS SAID I LOVE YOU,
What I love, love about this books is the beautiful language. It bathes the reader in lovely warm sounds and images and just gifts them a gentle literary hug. Check it out:
The marriage of art to text here is fabulous. Such great movement in art and words. That's pacing. Action is story and when we learn to write to mind, heart, and ear, we will do incredible things for our own projects. There's a huge difference in receiving a story that reads well to receiving a story that reads down to the deep bones of our emotional core and sings into our ears and the spirit of all it means to celebrate life's gifts. This book does that and more. Ann's such a gifted writer and I this is all her spirit here. It's beautiful.
Writing that is on-the-page and in-the-moment and infuses that infectious energy that touches the heart of those who read it. What more can we ask for?
So... Let's get to work on the pacing of your projects. Here's my little registration link and my little gift CODE just for you: TAKE50 or BIRTHDAY. We start February's 5-week workshop o Feb. 16th, and we start March's workshop on March 30th. Register now >
But, ReALLY, WHY SHOULD OUR GIFTING END THERE? Let's TAKE $4OFF oUR NEXT WEBINAR EVENT:
We were so lucky this morning to give our literary voices a workout with editor, Eve Adler. It's so fun to not only learn more about an editor's expertise, but to be able to do a writing workshop live is invaluable. Eve stuck around a few minutes over time (and we thank her a great deal for that) to do a series of exercises with us today. We learned that VOICE can be a little elusive and it's a tough thing for an editor to edit for. It's so authentic to the writer.
I often talk about PERSONALITY in my pacing workshops for this reason. It's really important for writers to set the tone, mood and think about the personality of their book and its character right from the start of a project. It can make all the difference. Once you do this, you need to push yourself even further.
Eve reminded us today that we need to travel back in time to our high school and collegiate English classes to consider the importance of Diction, Details, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone. I love it when a piece of writing cradles us in a clause and furthers the theme of their story. I love it when details alert us to things that should not be missed in our story. When we slow these moments or highlight it using repetition, even the small repetition of a word, it can alert a reader to its importance. I often refer to this as 'writing with a fist.'
I also love a story that really uses visual imagery to do more within a scene. We can really infuse interest in our reader by having our words mock the action of a story, so Syntax, the length of sentences, the breathlessness, the pause, the use of polysyndeton, matches Scene. This can be a powerful tool as well.
We are so blessed with such a powerful toolbox as writers and who we utilize our options to serve our story really helps us make our manuscript—and writing VOICE—stand out.
What was most interesting was that Eve mentioned that VOICE is what makes all the difference for her in acquiring a piece of writing. It matters how much sh is personally engaged in the writing. It must express content and mood/attitude of story, and really pulls readers in from the beginning and bridges to that emotional connection that keeps a reader reading. I think Eve says best what is true for editors and agents alike: "If I don't get a strong sense of VOICE from page one, I'm ultimately not going to read more."
Is this tough to hear? How true is it of our own bookstore choices? How long do we give a book before we decide to invest time with it? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please share here and let's explore VOICE even more! VOICE matters.
NEXT UP? Join us for Melissa Edwards Webinar on Writing Your Best Query! And, perhaps, register for one of Melissa's #AGENTDIRECT critiques, which includes both your query and your manuscript (full PB, up to ten pages of your MG)! Let's keep our learning on here at KidLit College!
COzy in on one of our webinar events and warm your tootsies with great advice without leaving home...
JOIN US FOR "VOICE: How TO BRING A UNIQUE, FRESH VOICE TO YOUR WRITING" with EVE ADLER
Tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM EST, we will be live for our VOICE webinar with Eve Adler, Senior Editor at Penguin and I hope you will join us. Register here.
Some of the biggest decisions a writer can make about their manuscript involve voice, tone, mood, and when can do so much more when we cradle readers in a clause or pause and punch up our narrative with an infused, stand out personality. Understanding voice becomes that thing that will help your writing stand out in a crowded marketplace. Agents and editors alike are looking for fresh concepts and unique characters.
Jump online with us tomorrow and see what voice can do for your writing. Hope to see you there!
NeXT up will be the best QUERy advice from agent, MELISSA EDWARDS.
The best queries get that editor and agent to crave reading your manuscript and want to pick it up. So what are the best practices that will help you style yours for success? Should it be short of do I add that extra information that just might make all the difference? And jut how much information is too much? We will explore this and more next weekend. Will you be joining us? Register here.
What's event better? Melissa will be doing Manuscript-N-Query Critiques. You can register for one here: Melissa Critique
Emily Feinberg will be walking us through her Picture Book editing process
What do editors do once they take on your book project? What will they explore and comment on? What is more important to making each book project sing? We will be learning this and more during our online event on March 4th. REGISTER NOW
Like all of these, then we have a deal for you. We've created a Grand Slam Jam, which will take $10 off these events and register you for all three! Yes. That's quite the deal. Register for all three in one swift move, right here: GRAND SLAM JAM