Tag Archives: twitter pitch

Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts March 2011

I’m excited this month to introduce a new addition to my blog. If you look up at the tabs above you will see a new one titled, ‘Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts Masterlist’. In this master list I have gathered all the links from all the past editions of ‘Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts’ into one place. This way you won’t have to go searching through all the past editions to find the link you’re looking for. To make it even easier, I’ve put the links under headings, such as: ‘dialogue’, ‘openings’ and ‘queries’, so if you’re looking for information on query writing, go to the ‘queries’ section or if you want a stronger opening, go to the ‘openings’ section. From now on, whenever I do one of these monthly posts, the links will get added to the master list.

Now, onto this month’s edition:


How to Get Published: A Flowchart

A great flowchart (and checklist) on the writing process and a great way to know if you’re ready to query.

My Writing Success: The ONE Thing That Helped Me Most

Author Jody Hedlund explains the one specific thing that helped her most on her journey towards writing success.

On Story Openings

Using their soon-to-be-published anthology of stories as examples, The Australian Literature Review outlines the elements of effective story opening lines.

Story Skeletons: Teaching Plot Structure with Picture Books

Although this post is meant to be a teaching tool for young readers/writers in the classroom, it’s a great post for writers of picture books as well. It focuses on the basic structures used in picture story books and includes examples of each structure.

Where Should a Second Chapter Start?

There’s always a big focus for writers on getting that first chapter perfect, but what about chapter two? This post looks at building a strong second chapter.

Five Ways to Show Emotion in Your Writing

Based on the book From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler, this post looks at expressing emotion in your writing with a focus on showing vs telling.

Genre Novels – Word Count Rules, Subgenres, and Guidelines for Getting Your Book Published

A short guide to word count rules and subgenres for the various genres (fantasy, romance, historical, mystery, thriller, horror, YA, and Western).

Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

Before you submit your work, double-check to make sure you haven’t made any of these mistakes that are easy to fix. (Sometimes this is where a critique partner can come in handy.)

NOTE: For number one, I find Wordle is a helpful website for weeding out crutch words. For number nine, reading aloud is a great way to pick up on awkward phrasing.

The Doctor is in the House – Novel Diagnostics

An exploration of common problems found in the beginning of a manuscript that can be an indicator of problems in the rest of the manuscript.


The Twitter Query

A look at how to write an effective query in only 140 characters.

Rites of Submission: Cover Letters and Query Letters

This article includes two sample letters: an example of what not to do (including common mistakes) and a successful letter.

How I Got My Agent (Part 1: The Parts of a Good Query)

Author Susan Dennard shares advice on writing a good query letter, using her own successful query letter as an example.


How to Write a 1 Page Synopsis

A break down of the key elements needed for a one page synopsis. Includes worksheet.


On Sticking With It

A reminder from author/agent Mandy Hubbard that is hard to become published, and why it is important to stick to it and not give up.

Social Media

Twitter Hashtags for Writers

Using these writer hashtags on Twitter is a great way to meet fellow writers. A comprehensive list of writer hashtags, including a schedule of writer chats on Twitter.

8 Sentence to Immediately Cut From Your Twitter

These 8 bio mistakes may be costing you followers and you may want to avoid them. Includes two things you may want to include instead.

Blogging Tips: Tips for Increasing Your Followers and/or Subscribers

Rachael Harrie has some great simple tips for building up a following on your writing blog.

Facebook for Authors: How to Get Started

Agent Nathan Bransford gives some helpful tips on starting up a Facebook author page.

For Fun

9 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Writers.

Very funny and very true. Pass this list on to all your non-writing friends.

Speaking of Facebook author pages, I’ve just started one of my own. You can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/JoHartAuthor or on the Facebook link on the sidebar of this blog.

Pitches and Queries and Updates, Oh My!

I want to cover three separate topics today: the Twitter pitch, query critiques and an update on the 100 Stories for Queensland Anthology.

The Twitter Pitch

Earlier this week literary agent Jennifer Laughran (aka @literaticat) of Andrea Brown Literary agency decided to have a bit of fun on Twitter. She gave everyone one hour to tweet her a pitch of a (real or fake) manuscript. I LOVE Twitter pitches. You think it’s challenging to condense a 50-100k word manuscript into a 250 word query? Try condensing it into a 140 characters or less pitch. Not only do you need to capture the essence of the main plot of the story, but you have to make it hook too, which really boils down to showing what makes your story unique.

Following her ‘Tweet-a-query’ session, Jennifer Laughran posted her conclusions about Twitter pitches on her blog, stating “…the lessons here are applicable to the regular query process too.” You can find her post here, as well as the four pitches she thought stood out above the rest.

As another follow-up to the Twitter pitch session, teacher and writer Tamara posted on her blog a breakdown of the Twitter pitch. You can find her post here.

Query Critique

Last week I blogged about my endeavour to continually improve my query. As a recap, I’d been writing, revising and rewriting a query for my YA fantasy. I submitted to ABNA as a test for myself to see how effective my query was before submitting to agents. I didn’t pass the pitch round. So I have been revising and rewriting the query some more. In the meantime, I came across author Susan Dennard’s blog and she just happened to be starting a new feature on her blog where once a month she takes on ten queries and critiques them. She then randomly selects two of these queries to also go up on her blog for community critique (either as it is or with revisions following Susan’s critique). I was lucky enough to be one of the first ten to submit my query to her when she opened the gates for queries this month. She gave my query a fantastic critique (my main problem was being too vague, I needed to be more specific). Then, my query was selected as one of the two to be put up for community critique. I’ve received some more great feedback already. You can see it (and offer your own critique if you want to) here.

Susan next opens her doors for queries for critique on the 4th of April. It’s well worth submitting, because Susan gives great critique. You can opt not to be put in the draw for the community critique if you don’t want to, but Susan’s critique alone is worth it. Be quick though, because only the first ten get in each month.

Anthology Update

The 100 Stories for Queensland anthology (an anthology to raise money for those affected by the devastating floods in Queensland) was meant to be due for release on the 8th of March. Due to unavoidable circumstances, the release date has been pushed back. At this point I’m not sure when the new release date will be. I do know the anthology has already been edited and formatted and is currently being looked at by proofreaders. I’ll let you know when I know more.