QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Friday, January 20, 2012

Publishing Pulse for January 20, 2012

Success Story

Congratulations to Melodie Wright, who has recently signed with agent Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Read Melodie's success story on Query Tracker.

Publishing News

It's been a landmark week in the history of the Internet. On Wednesday, many websites went "dark" to show their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives or the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. Wikipedia shut down completely, as did many others.

If you haven't heard much about this legislation (beyond the blackout reactions) it's a good time to read up on the subject. Many are concerned that, in an effort to control "internet pirating", the laws will impose censorship on everyone--pirates and ordinary citizens alike.

Chuck Wendig speaks out against the proposed laws and Tim O'Reilly discusses the White House's response. Because of the pressure created by those blackouts, the legislation lost a lot of support. You can see if your Representative opposes this legislation. If you are interested in doing so, you can also sign Google's petition.

The legislation goes up for vote on January 24th.

Conference Calls

In more positive news, many writers, agents, and editors are looking forward to the upcoming conference season.

Attention, romance writers! Registration is now open for RWA2012, which will be held July 25-28 in Anaheim, CA.

Also, my group (Pennwriters) will be hosting our 25th Annual Pennwriters Conference May 18-20 in Lancaster, PA.

Writing conferences are fantastic ways to network with agents and editors, to meet up with writer friends new and old, and to take in workshops that help us hone our crafts. Most of all, they are an opportunity for us to leave the confines of our solitary writing efforts and simply enjoy being one of a fabulous group of peers.

Have a conference you'd like to mention? Want to encourage a new writer to attend their first one? Leave a comment and spread the word.

To the Blogs!

Rachelle Gardner writes about timing and trends and the "maybes" that sit on agents' and editors' desks for months—perhaps "no response" doesn't mean "assume rejection", after all.

Janet Reid prefers simple uncluttered queries—read about tips to keep your queries free of unnecessary information.

Vickie Motter goes a step further and clarifies what your query is not supposed to be.

In this older post, author Roni Loren describes her experiences at a writers conference and shares what she learned during an agent version of the Gong Show. Check out the list of things that may get your query "gonged" by an agent.

And Don't Forget...

...about the upcoming contest.

Agent Natalie Fischer Lakosil from the Bradford Literary Agency will be judging our next contest, which opens January 30, 2012. She'll look at the first hundred words and a one-sentence logline for children's lit, romance, and upmarket women's fiction manuscripts. Find details about specific genres as well as the guidelines here and start working on your pitch perfection.

Unsure how to write that killer logline? We can help.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction writer who resides in the heart of the Pennsylvania coal region, where she keeps the book jacket for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" in a frame over her desk. Visit the Books of the Demimonde blog for updates on the release of her debut novel, Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde, forthcoming in March 2012 through Pink Narcissus Press.


Judie said...

I have a question about the submissions; My novel has a prologue that explains some of the history of my YA novel but the characters in the prologue aren't in the restof the ms. When submitting the first 100 words, do I take them from the prologue or from the first chapter?

Ash Krafton | @ashkrafton said...

That's a really good question, Judie.

My first book has a prologue. It's a letter to an advice column, one that sets the tone for the book.

I entered a lot of contests with that book. I'm talking dozens. Some of them, I included the prologue. Some, I didn't.

My decision was based on the length of the submission. Your entry has to really hit the judges hard. If your prologue is a major hook, a really impressionable piece, then go for it.

If it's too subtle, then go with the first chapter and make sure it's strong enough to make the judge say, "That's it? But I want more!"

My advice would be to compare the first hundred words of each and decide which one--the prologue or the chapter--makes you want to keep going. Which ever you choose, that's the entry that is going to get read.

Make sure you leave the judge hungry to keep reading. That's the only way to win!

Leslie S. Rose said...

Perfect timing for me on the query links. Thanks.