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Literary Agent Week July 1, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in guest host, literary agents, MediaMonday, Uncategorized, weekly topics, WritingWednesday.
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It’s literary agent week in #litchat. This week we’ll discuss the down and dirty of getting an agent. Here’s a sample of what we’ll discuss throughout the week:

  • When to know when an agent isn’t right for you.
  • What you can expect from an agent.
  • How much do agent’s likes and dislikes affect their choices of manuscripts?
  • How much does the market sway their choices of manuscripts?
  • What grabs them in a query letter?
  • Do the first five pages of a manuscript really matter that much?

#Litchat runs through Twitter at 4 p.m. E.T. on the dates noted. Follow the chat through our dedicated chat application at www.nurph.com/litchat.

Here’s the how the week will unfold:

Monday, July 1, 2013: Discuss the recent #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) feed from last week.

GalleyCat’s #MSWL curation of the feed in Storify is here.

A Tumbler with #MSWL feed is here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013: The Query Go Round

Today we’ll discuss everything about writing the perfect query, to making sure your manuscript is agent-ready, to finding the right agents to query, to record-keeping, to success.

How to Write a Query Letter
AgentQuery.com

The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter
Brian A. Klem, Writer’s Digest

Anatomy of a Query Letter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Writer’s Relief Staff, The Huffington Post

Successful Query Letters for Literary Agents
Jason Boog, GalleyCat

9 Frequently Asked Questions About Writing A Query Letter
and
10 More Questions Answered
Chuck Sambuchino, Writer Unboxed

Query Shark [ed: The best damn query letter blog on the web]
and
Janet Reid, Literary Agent

Friday, July 5, 2013: Agent on Record

Lucy Carson, literary agent with The Friedrich Agency, will take your questions between 4-5 p.m. E.T. Read more about Carson from this interview in Writer’s Digest.

Follow Lucy Carson on Twitter: @LucyACarson.

Guest Host: Rebecca Lawton May 30, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in commercial fiction, guest host, Uncategorized.
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Rebecca Lawton - Melinda Kelley

Rebecca Lawton connects the powerful forces of human understanding and environmental action in her debut novel, Junction, Utah. Protagonist Madeline, “Mad,” Kruse is more at home on a river raft than a conventional home. Her father was shot down and went missing during the Vietnam War and her mother’s a peace and environmental activist. She gets by as a river guide—think raft pilot—for rich people wanting whitewater rafting thrills.

Rebecca Lawton and literary agent Sally van Haitsma visit #litchat on Friday, May 31 to discuss publishing Junction, Utah. Follow #litchat in Twitter to follow the chat.

When Mad and her river guide friends discover an energy company threatening the pristine wilderness they love, Mad reluctantly draws on her mother’s activism experience to fight Big Oil. Mad expects to go head-to-head with her cancer-stricken mother, endure flame fights with her ex-boyfriend, and suffer the antics of her raft passengers, but what she doesn’t expect is to fall in love. With a town, with a farm, with a farmer. Rebecca Lawton in #litchat Enter Chris Sorensen, a widower and a cowboy as rooted in the land as Mad is home on the river. Unlikely partners, Mad and Chris join forces against the encroaching oil rigs for a conclusion that will have you turning pages back and forth to fully accept.

Junction, Utah opens with a hair-raising whitewater ride down the Yampa River and never lets up as it explores the wildness within a person as well as the wilderness without.

Rebecca Lawton was among the first women whitewater guides on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and on other rivers in the West. Her essay collection on the guiding life, Reading Water: Lessons from the River (Capital Books), was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and ForeWord Nature Book of the Year finalist. Her essays, poems, and stories have been published in Orion, Sierra, The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Shenandoah, THEMA, More, and other magazines. She blogs about writing and environmental issues at Writer in Residence.

Lawton’s writing about the West has won the Ellen Meloy Fund Award for Desert Writers, three Pushcart Prize nominations (in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry), and other honors. She has received residencies at The Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers in Langley, Washington.  Her debut novel, Junction, Utah, set in the resource-rich Green River valley, is available as an original e-book from van Haitsma Literary.

Lawton works as a writer and scientist and serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of the River.

Follow Rebecca Lawton on Twitter: @LawtonRebeccaC.

Follow Sally van Haitsma: @SallyJVH.

Photo of Rebecca Lawton above by Melinda Kelley.

No LitChat Today May 27, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, there will not be a moderated #litchat today. Please join us for WritingWednesday to discuss pacing in fiction.

WritingWednesday: Exposition May 22, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized, WritingWednesday.
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Exposition may be the most maligned element of fiction craft. Too much exposition and the writer falls into the telling trap. Not enough exposition and the writer risks losing details in overwrought scenes. What exactly is exposition? How is exposition different from narrative? How is exposition used effectively? How can a writer recognize when he/she has exposition excess? We’ll discuss these questions and more in this week’s WritingWednesday. Listed below are some helpful links about exposition.

Show and Tell
By Nancy Kress, Writer’s Digest

Exposition vs Narrative
By Dr. Vicki Hinze, Fiction Factor

Handling the Exposition of Story
By Harvey Chapman, Novel Writing Help

The Four P’s of Exposition
By Sarah Brand, Alpha

Balancing Exposition and Scenework in Fiction
By Lori L. Lake, Just About Write

Technique-Exposition-Weaving
By Carlos J. Cortes And Renée Miller, On Fiction Writing

Exposition in Fiction
By Elle Carter Neal, Hear Write Now

This Week in LitChat April 29, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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Monday, April 29, 2013

We’re on a break today, so there won’t be a MediaMonday discussion this week. We’ll be back with MediaMonday on May 6.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

WritingWednesday: Setting in Fiction

Friday, May 3, 2013

Guest host: Laura Bates, author of Shakespeare Saved My Life

 

MediaMonday: Book Snobbery April 22, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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MediaMonday for April 22, 2013: Book Snobbery

Today in MediaMonday we’ll discuss author Matt Haig’s April 19, 2013 essay in BookTrust: 30 Things to Tell a Book Snob, published April 19, 2013 in BookTrust. Excerpt:

One of the reasons people are put off [from] reading is snobbery. You know, the snobbery that says opera and lacrosse and Pinot Noir and jazz fusion and quails’ eggs and literary fiction are for certain types of people and them alone?

WritingWednesday for April 24, 2013: Dialogue

Source links to come

Guest Host Friday: Jon Clinch

More about Jon Clinch here.

Romance In the Air February 6, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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Megan Mulry in #litchatLove makes the world go round. Or is it romance that moves the earth? Either way, February is the month we recognize Eros, or if you prefer his Roman cousin Cupid, and their magical, mischievous, mesmerizing effects on the hearts of humans. On Wednesday, we’ll discuss love and romance in literature, from Shakespeare to Steele to Spencer and beyond. Then get ready for Friday when Megan Mulry joins us as guest host to discuss her novel, A Royal Pain.

In Mulry’s debut novel, A Royal Pain, heroine Bronte Talbott follows all of the exploits of the British royals. After all, they’re the world’s most preeminent dysfunctional family. And who is she to judge? Bronte’s own search for love isn’t going all that well, especially after her smooth-talking Texan boyfriend abruptly leaves her in the dust. Bronte keeps a lookout for a rebound to help mend her broken heart, and when she meets Max Heyworth, she’s certain he’s the perfect transitional man. A Royal PainBut when she discovers he’s a duke, she has to decide if she wants to stay with him for the long haul and deal with the opportunities—and challenges—of becoming a royal. This book is the first in a brand new series of women’s fiction featuring modern Americans marrying British royalty.

Mulry’s second yet-to-be-titled novel in this series of sexy, playful women’s fiction imagines what it might be like for a modern American woman to fall in love with a British aristocrat. Sarah James is an accomplished American woman who heads her own chic shoe company. Devon Heyworth is the rakish, ne’er-do-well younger brother of the 19th Duke of Northrop. When the two meet at the Duke’s wedding they embark on a whirlwind weekend romance. And what begins as a casual fling at a royal wedding quickly proves to be far more meaningful. But when a string of misunderstandings threaten to tear them apart, their meddling aristocratic relatives join forces to reunite the star-crossed lovers.

Mulry writes sexy, modern, romantic fiction. She graduated from Northwestern University and then worked in publishing, including positions at The New Yorker and Boston Magazine. After moving to London, Mulry worked in finance and attended London Business School. She has traveled extensively in Asia, India, Europe, and Africa and now lives with her husband and children in Florida.

Follow Megan Mulry on Twitter: @MeganMulry.

Photo of Megan Mulry by Wheaton Mahoney.

MediaMonday: Authorial Responsibility February 4, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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MediaMonday for February 4, 2o13: Do authors have a moral responsibility to readers and culture in general? Source media from Salon and Galley Cat regarding Stephen King’s decision to pull his Richard Bachman novel, Rage, citing it as an “accelerant” to gun violence.

The Legacy of Black Literature January 30, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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Jacqueline E. Luckett, photo by Ashley SummerFebruary is Black History Month and it’s only two days away. Notice how we’ve not used the term African-American. Black History Month is also recognized in Canada and the United Kingdom, where many of our #litchat participants reside. So this year we’re expanding the conversation to include the work of such notable black-heritage authors as Alexandre Dumas, Zadie Smith, Malcolm Gladwell, poet Aimé Césaire and others who live outside the African-American reference. The contributions of black authors to the canon of world literature is indisputable and generates brilliant discussion.

We’re beginning our celebration of black authors today in #litchat with special guest  host, novelist Jacqueline E. Luckett. Luckett will lead discussion again on Friday.

Luckett’s first novel, Searching for Tina Turner, put her on the list of writers to watch. A lifelong storyteller, Luckett spent most of her professional life in corporate America. In 1999, she took a creative writing class on a dare, from herself, and happily found her love of writing reignited. By a lucky coincidence, that same year she discovered the Voices of Our Nations (VONA) writing workshops and participated over the next four years in workshops with Christina Garcia, Danzy Senna, Junot Diaz, Ruth Forman and Terry McMillan. VONA provided a safe haven for a new writer still unsure of abilities, yet eager to learn. Luckett attributes much of her growth as a writer to the VONA workshops. In 2004, Luckett formed the Finish Party (featured in O Magazine, October 2007) along with seven other women writers–of–color. An avid reader and lover of books, Luckett is an excellent cook, aspiring photographer, and world traveler. She lives in Northern California and, though she loves all of the friends there, she takes frequent breaks to fly off to foreign destinations.

Follow Jacqueline E. Luckett on Twitter: @JackieLuckett.

Photo of Jacqueline E. Luckett (above): Ashley Summer.

LitPicks of 2012 January 9, 2013

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in Uncategorized.
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Yes, it’s the second week of January and 2012 is so last year. Nevertheless, some of you are slow readers and you’ve needed time to digest all of the books you read in 2012 before you can choose your favorites of the year. Today in #litchat we’re discussing your favorite reads of 2012. Maybe it was a classic you loved for the first time, a long-awaited novel by one of commercial fiction’s favorite names, or a debut by a rising new star. Join us today at 4 p.m. ET to share your litpicks of 2012.

Here are LitChat’s favorite reads of 2012. These may not be the critic’s darlings; some may be from small, self-pub or digital-only presses, and some of the titles and authors you may have never heard of. Still, each of these titles deserve a shout of recognition.  There were many wonderful books published this year and it was hard choosing only 10, so we didn’t. Here are the LitChat faves of 2012 presented in order by title.

Arcadia Lauren Groff
Fobbit David Abrams
Glow Jessica Maria Tuccelli
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
Hemingway’s Girl Erika Robuck
Need to Breathe Tara Staley
Night Swim Jessica Keener
Passing Love Jacqueline E. Luckett
Shine, Shine, Shine Lydia Netzer
The Casual Vacancy J.K. Rowling
The Midwife of Hope River Patricia Harman
The Round House Louise Erdrich
The Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry Rachel Joyce

Have you read any of these wonderful novels? What were your favorite reads–fiction or nonfiction–of 2012?