20 Literary Agents Seeking Writers

RESOURCES-TIPS: For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write.
- Somerset Maugham

All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary -- it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
- Somerset Maugham

Anecdotes don't make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
- Alice Munro

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil -- but there is no way around them.
Isaac Asimov

To write fiction, one need a whole series of inspirations about people in an actual environment, and then a whole lot of work on the basis of those inspirations.
- Aldus Huxley

Get it down.  Take changes.  It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good.
- William Faulkner

Books aren't written, they're rewritten.  Including our own.  It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.
- Michael Crichton

Any man who keeps working is not a failure.  He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.
- Ray Bradbury

20 Literary Agents Seeking Writers

Earlier this week, I updated our list of 20 literary agents actively seeking writers with our most recent new agent alerts. Newer agents are great, because they’re the most likely to be interested in your project if it’s good and a good match for what they’re seeking. So let’s get into this. Read the full article…

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Publishers Tip Sheets

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

Need a Clip? Open a Newspaper

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

Need a Clip? Open a Newspaper

By Shirley Kawa-Jump
This article originally appeared in The Rock

As any fledgling writer knows, there’s a giant Catch-22 in the publishing world – can’t get published without clips and can’t get clips without getting published.

To circumvent that, you might want to first delve into the arena of small papers or free newspapers because they often have a lack of writers. These types of papers pay little or nothing at all. My first newspaper job was for a weekly hometown paper that paid seventy-five cents a column inch, about $10.00 an article. It wasn’t much, but it eventually led to much bigger and better things.

Pick a newspaper that is open to freelancers and study it at the library or on the Internet (if the archives are on the Web). Don’t just look at the last three issues, really study the paper over the last three months. Then go look at the competitor’s newspaper. There will be stories that one paper covered and another didn’t, sometimes due to lack of interest but often because there was no one to write the piece.

Come up with several ideas to pitch to the editor. Five or six is best because then you have plenty to come back with if the first two are rejected. Try to think of angles other people haven’t done before. For instance, if the weather is getting warm, that means the local ice cream shops will be opening up again. That in itself is a story, but not a very good one. What if you pitched the editor “How Ice Cream is Made” or “The Real Scoop on the Latest Ice Cream Statistics”? Neither of those angles are typically covered but both make for interesting pieces.

Decide which section your idea would best fit in and then look up the name of the editor. If you don’t know how to pronounce the name of the editor, or aren’t sure the paper even uses freelancers, call the switchboard and ask the receptionist. In newspapers, getting things right the first time is half the battle. The last thing you want to do is get your preliminary information wrong. Take five seconds to find out who edits the Metro section – it will be worth it.

Now make the phone call. If it’s a morning paper, try around eleven in the morning. Afternoon papers, wait till about three o’clock, when the issue has just hit the pavement. For weekly papers, call the day after the issue comes out. The hours leading up to deadline are the busiest for editors so make sure you aren’t calling at the wrong time.

When you make your pitch, keep it clear and concise. Remember the ABC’s of journalism – Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. These are the guidelines for every article you write and for querying editors. Make your point, have some information already gathered (names of some sources, local places to call, etc.) and list your credentials if they are relevant. If you worked on a newspaper before, that’s important. If you’re a full-time dentist who wants to write about new dental technology, that is also a key point.

Even if you have no writing experience at all, you can often land at least one assignment for a newspaper by offering to do the article “on spec”. Working on speculation is frustrating, very frustrating, but is often the only way to get your foot in the door. If you do a terrific job, it will automatically lead to more assignments and paychecks.

And remember, that’s what you ultimately want.

Freelance Writing 101

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

Freelance Writing 101

by Angela Adair

Anyone can be a writer, anywhere! Freelance writing was one of the premiere home-based businesses of all time. From the vintage typewriter to the high-tech home computers of today, freelance writing has remained a reliable source of income for wordsmiths worldwide. Their clients include magazines, newsletters, newspapers, book publishers, greeting card firms, gaming companies, and corporate clientele.

The best idea generator is to study market listings (see end of article).

You Have An Idea.  Now What?

Order Writer’s Guidelines. Writer’s guidelines are issued by publishers as an easy, quick way to let writers know exactly what they want from incoming manuscripts. To receive writer’s guidelines from a magazine or publisher:

  • Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with a short note requesting their writer’s guidelines.
  • Send an e-mail request to the editor
  • Or check their website to see if their writer’s guidelines are posted online.

Read An Issue of the Magazine

Most editors complain that they receive several queries that do not follow the magazine’s purpose or format, or do not target the magazine’s audience. Some publications will send a sample issue on request. Others charge a nominal fee. I always visit the newsstand at my local bookstore. I sit in their coffee shop and review the magazine without buying it. (If I bought every magazine I approached, I’d be in poor financial shape.) You can also get a good idea of a magazine’s editorial content by reading the articles posted at their website.

The Assignment and Dealing With An Editor

If you are persistent, you will become a published writer. The editor will contact you by mail, phone, or e-mail and will tell you to proceed. They might discuss your idea and tell you how they’d like you to write the article differently than your query angle. They should also provide you with a word count and a deadline. They might send you a contract, but this doesn’t always happen.

Many small publications do business “on a handshake.” One editor sent me an e-mail that said, “Great idea! Can you get it to us by August 15th?” My response was, “No problem. Send me a word count and I’ll get right on it.” That was it. I knew she was busy and didn’t have time for professional or personal chatter. I had read their guidelines and knew what rights they were buying and how much they were paying me. I only needed to deliver exactly what I’d stated in my query letter. The point I’m trying to make it this: I picked up on the editor’s “business etiquette” and her stress level. I did not bother her by calling for petty details, and I didn’t even call to ask if she’d received my article. I sent the manuscript by express mail so I could bother the post office with a phone call instead of her.

Included in my package was my manuscript, a disk of the article (so they wouldn’t have to retype it), my photos with accompanying negatives, and a short note proposing another article idea. My system worked because she gave me the go-ahead on that idea, and also asked me for a list of articles I could write for them next year. I’m now a regular contributor, and I have no doubt it is because I respected the editor’s busy schedule and made her job so easy.

Now write the article.

Making Money As a Corporate Freelancer

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

Making Money As a Corporate Freelancer

By Shirley Kawa-Jump
This article originally appeared in The Rock

One of the fastest-growing and most-lucrative areas for writing is corporate writing. If you have some understanding of marketing, a flair for words and an ability to meet short deadlines, this is a great area to consider. Many freelance article writers divide their time between articles and corporate writing because they’ve realized that corporate freelancing provides the closest thing to a traditional, steady paycheck. I’ve been doing corporate writing as a major component of my business for nearly 5 years now and have built up a strong clientele base. This gives me continual income and allows me to be home with my two children.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Get educated: Before you start looking for work, be sure you understand the terms of the marketing and advertising world. Get Bob Bly’s book or any of the books in the Guerrilla Marketing series. Both present the information in easy-to-understand terms. You should know the difference between a white paper and a press release, understand the basics of brochure layout and be familiar with terms like target audience, market analysis and top-of-mind awareness.

Find clients: If you have some writing credentials already, then you can approach the local marketing and advertising agencies first. Find out if they use freelancers and try to arrange a meeting. Be forewarned — most agencies work on tight deadlines and need turnaround of copy in a day or two. If you don’t have any experience yet, then call non-profits or small businesses and offer to do some pro bono work to build up your portfolio. Once you have some work under your belt, you can start approaching small to medium-sized businesses and subcontract to them.

Also consider approaching local writer groups to find published authors who need a publicist to write and send out press releases or review kits. Keep an eye out for small businesses that don’t seem to be doing any self-promoting (read the business section of the paper every day and you’ll see the regulars, who announce everything down to a new stapler and those who never do any publicity). Try to pick companies that have something coming up — an anniversary, an expansion — anything they might want to announce and then approach them about doing a press release, direct mail letter or flyer.

Do it all: The key, financially and convenience-wise, is to offer ‘turn-key’ service. This means you handle everything. As a publicist, this would include the distribution of press releases. In most cases, its easiest and most efficient to use online wire services, either BusinessWire or PR Newswire (both have websites). These are distribution services that hit all the local and trade media for you. It’s about $100 to join and $90 to send a 400-word release to local and trade pubs in one state. If you have a client who does a lot of releases, this is the best option overall.

With marketing materials, turn-key service means you work with the graphic designer and the print shop to coordinate the design and finishing details. Note that you don’t have to do the graphic design yourself — you can partner with a designer and make money on the hours you spend coordinating.

Promote your business: Don’t forget to send out press releases on your business. Do up a flyer and send it out to the small businesses in your area. Make sure your business cards talk about your copywriting work. Join business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and network. Keep reading about the industry, attend meetings of marketing communicator groups, and try to stay ahead of trends so you can bring the best and greatest service to your clients.

Corporate freelancing is a broad area that can encompass a wide variety of writing needs. I have done everything from letters of recommendation for CEOs who didn’t like to write, to scripts for audio visual presentations. Although I do have meetings about three times a week, the majority of my time is spent at home, working around my kids and their schedules. It’s a flexible and lucrative job that virtually anyone with a flair for writing and creativity, plus a basic understanding of marketing and business, can do.

The Power of the Press

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

The Power of the Press

Don’t Let it Go to Your Head

By Linda Sherwood

This article is a follow-up to “How to be a (shiver) reporter.” The dead air greeted me across the phone lines. The person on the other end had hung up seconds after I’d uttered the words, “This is Linda Sherwood, I’m a reporter.” I hadn’t even had time to finish my sentence.

Instantly a cold chill went through my body. No! I screamed to myself. I’m not one of those reporters. I quickly hit the redial and as soon as the phone picked up I blurted out what I wanted. It worked. The woman on the other end answered my questions and I felt redeemed. The incident reminded me of what I try to do as a reporter for a small weekly newspaper.

The story behind the click began with a car accident. A head-on collision that sent three children to the hospital in critical condition and killed their parents. The phone call was to the driver of the other vehicle, an elderly man. I didn’t want to know any of the gory details. My newspaper didn’t even print a photo of the accident. It would just hurt too many people in the community for the sake of a cheap thrill by a few. I had called to find out how the man was doing. He had been released from the hospital, but no one could tell me his condition.

Reporting the news is different than other types of freelance writing. You are the agenda maker for your community. You decide what issues to cover. You decide what is newsworthy and what isn’t newsworthy. As a reporter, it is important to keep in mind that you have power. By taking the time to research, write and print a story, you are giving credibility to the issue. You are promoting the issue even if you provide both sides.

When you determine what is newsworthy, you are going to encounter people who will try to persuade you its not newsworthy. Face it, lawyers are probably the only profession that people like less than reporters. People would rather sweep their dirt under the rug than print it in the paper. The mere fact you are covering an issue can change the outcome. It happens all of the time. The words you choose and the facts you include influence your readers and the ultimate outcome.

When you make a phone call in search of information on a story you normally get one of two types of responses. The first is someone eager to have their story told and who gives you all sorts of good information and quotes. The second type of response is someone who doesn’t want the story covered. Who would rather let this be put out with yesterday’s trash. You have to coax and persuade. Sometimes it helps to let people know why you are calling.

The advantage of newspaper reporting is you have time to gather the facts and present accurate information. The downside is you don’t reach as many people as other media like television. When a school district had an upcoming election to build a new school, I wrote several articles over several months covering the issues involved. On the day of the election, the local news station aired a story on the election. In the story, the reporter summarized the election by stating a failure to pass the proposal would result in the school district closing its doors.

By the next broadcast, the television station corrected its mistake. It was too late for many voters, however. The proposal passed, but people were unhappy. They felt they had been mislead and the vote should be redone. They didn’t remember it was the reporter who made the false statement. They remembered who had been interviewed, the school’s superintendent.

After the election, I called the superintendent for comments on the reporter’s mistake. When I called, he suggested I not do a story on it. It was over. He would rather not have an article on it. I persisted. I tried to change his mind so he would cooperate with me. I mentioned the letters to the editor we had already received on the matter. He relented and I interviewed him. The next week, he called me back to thank me. My story had cleared up exactly what had happened.

When you interview people, rather than look for the scoop of the decade, look for accuracy. Take detailed notes. Ask the obvious because it just might not be as obvious as you think. Don’t assume you understand the issue. Tell them what you think you understand and see if you’re right. Let them correct you before it goes into print. By the time it’s printed, its too late. You can correct it with the next issue or the next broadcast, but the damage is done.

The damage can go beyond that story. It effects your credibility. It may be the deciding factor on whether or not someone talks to you again. Do your homework. Make sure you are reporting facts with substance and not assumptions. It will make your sources happier and will make life easier on you the next time you call them as a source.

Words have power. Words influence people. People interpret the same words differently. They bring their own prejudices and beliefs to the article as they read. My advice to beginning reporters, or even to the seasoned veteran, is to choose your words carefully. Words have power and if you misuse them they can haunt you.

Last but not least, I would advise you, no, I would beg you (on my knees, pleading here) don’t be one of those reporters. You make it too hard for the rest of us.

Linda Sherwood is a freelance writer and a reporter for two northern Michigan newspapers and a columnist for Moms Online’s new Teens and Money Center. Look for her first column there in January. Linda is at work on her first novel and a children’s book.

An Interview with Holly Ambrose

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

An Interview with Holly Ambrose

by Grady Hanrahan  

Non-Fiction Submissions

Holly Ambrose has a degree in journalism from Florida International University in North Miami. Her publishing career began with freelance articles, which she continues to write today. Holly worked previously as an editor for a children’s educational CD-ROM and had a stint as editor/writer of a quarterly magazine for a non-profit organization. She has been in the process of publishing a new magazine called EcoFlorida for nine months now.

Q: What are the main criteria for a “good” non-fiction submission?

First, writers have to convince me that they know what they’re writing about. Then, they also have to show professionalism in that they spell words correctly and write complete sentences that are easy to read. When I read an article, it’s important to find a flow – a thought organization that makes sense. For example, I (and readers) shouldn’t have to read the same thing in two different places in the article — that shows poor organization on the writer’s parts. Those are the basics.

If an article is assigned, it should follow the criteria the assigning editor wanted. If an article is on spec, it should speak to the readers of the intended audience and have an obvious slant.

Q: What do you dislike most about non-fiction submissions?

I don’t like to see spelling mistakes-everyone has a spell checker these days. If someone is too lazy or careless to use it, I wonder about the quality of the thoughts in the article. Grammar problems also turn me off –and I mean real problems, like style things or clumsy wording. There are a lot of people who want to write just to see their names in print or to express themselves, but who don’t take the time to learn how to use their tools — words.

Q: What are the qualities of a “good” non-fiction editor?

From working with editors who have edited my work, I can say that I have admired those who just came right out and told me how to correct what I’d written. That was how I learned to write. They didn’t try to spare my feelings, and I was glad because I know I don’t learn anything from someone telling me “That’s real nice; I liked it.”

I think a non-fiction editor should be interested in not only the subject he or she is editing, but also be interested in lots of other subjects. Even though many non-fiction articles are specialized, they don’t exist in a vacuum. They are touched upon, and the subjects themselves touch upon other subjects, even in minor, but significant, ways.

Q: What are your writing habits, if any?

Currently, I write some articles for my own publications as well as a freelance article now and then. I also like to speak to other writers and editors about the work they encounter, and strike up discussions about certain aspects of using language.

Q: What advice do you have for beginning non-fiction writers?

I would say to begin writing what you know about. There is a lot each one of us knows about. We know about the place we live or grew up in, what the micro-culture was like, what the climate was like, what our childhood and families were like. Right there, you could write dozens of essays. We also know about our line of work, whatever that may be, which could spark ideas for how-to articles. We know about our neighbors, friends and families, who all have various jobs and interests, and by interviewing them, we could write profiles and all of the non-fiction genres above. We know how we feel about issues and how we’ve struggled with various problems, which make good essays if well written. There is a lot we know, but because it’s so familiar to us, we don’t think it’s that important.

Then, I would say to learn the business end of writing. Writers need to learn how to market their work. Basically, when you think about it, writers are salespeople because they have to sell their work or ideas to get published. That’s not sacrificing art; that’s the way it goes today. No non-fiction article is written today because the piece is nice. It’s written because there’s a need, and a writer proved that he or she was the one who could fill that need, or first proved that there was a need that could and should be fulfilled. Writers can help themselves out by reading sales and marketing books and articles, because in effect, they are their own business.

© Grady Hanrahan 1999

 

Craft True-to-Life Nonfiction Characters

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

Craft True-to-Life Nonfiction Characters

From Writer’s Digest

Characters are the soul of what’s come to be called creative nonfiction, an umbrella term that covers memoir, the personal essay and literary journalism, among others. But characters in nonfiction present special problems: While characters in fiction are often based on real people, there’s still that screen. In nonfiction, by contrast, the writer is telling the reader: These people I’m bringing to you are real.

A lot has been written about characters and character when it comes to fiction. Many of the same techniques apply to nonfiction: Through detail, through gesture, through talk, through close understanding of whole lives before and after the scope of your story, you make your people vivid in your reader’s head.

… read the rest

Fiction vs Nonfiction

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

Fiction vs Nonfiction

by Shashank Nakate @ Buzzle.com

The fiction vs nonfiction comparison presented in the following article should help understand the basic differences between these types of literary works.

The different types of artworks viz., literature, films, theatrical performances and in short, all the narratives can be broadly divided into two groups i.e., fiction and nonfiction. To start with, fiction is a narrative which tells a story with imaginary characters and events. The very foundation of fictional stories is based on imagination. Nonfiction, on the other hand deals with facts/real information. Authenticity of the facts presented by authors can be challenged and it is a completely different topic of discussion. However, the person who writes nonfiction claims the content presented in his work to be factual. It would be interesting to note that, literary works which review fictional narratives are categorized under nonfictional creations. This is because, the real/true/factual representation of the actual content in the work of fiction is kept before the audience.

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What Makes a Good Non-fiction Query Letter?

NON-FICTION:  For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

Ironically, in today's market place successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.
- Jerry B Jenkins

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
Any Rand

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.
- Brian Aldiss

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
- Clarence Budkington Kelland

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
- Mary Heaton Vorse

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.  Writers are like dancers, like athletes.  Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
- Jane Yolen

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.  Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors.  Every stroke you put down you have to go with.  Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.
- Joan Didion

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups into the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds.  In nonfiction, you don't have that luxury.
- Tim Robbins

What Makes a Good Non-fiction Query Letter?

by: Michelle Ule
Books and Such Literary Agency

… You need a good hook, a succinct project description, a short bio and an explanation about why you’re the best person to write this book.

In addition, you need to present a case as to why this book needs to be published. Nonfiction is a harder sell these days than in the past because so much information is available for free on the Internet. We need to know why someone would buy your book rather than google your subject matter.

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