Hi friends. I know I have been TERRIBLE about writing recently. My life … as per usual … has been kind of a rollercoaster. The things that are going well are going really well – like my new teaching job at The New School and June not being ridiculously hot yet. And kind of, maybe, sort of finishing a new draft of a new book that I’m somehow still in love with. But other things are kind of a dumpster fire – globally (this needs no explanation) and personally (money stuff, roommate stuff, boy stuff, etc.).
So it’s the nicest to get away for a four-day weekend upstate at my very first writing retreat. My friend Kristina (the best critique partner anyone ever had) organized it. We are ten girls in a gorgeous house in the woods – with a pool! Three attendants are going to have their debut YA novels published next year, six attendants work in publishing, and four went to grad school with me (there is some overlap in these lists lol). We haven’t gotten the most writing done yet today, but are hunkered down now – listening to jazz and sitting with our laptops around a very long dining room table.
I brought along The Way You Make Me Feelby Maurene Goo and a lot of different ideas I want to flush out/choose from for my next project. And a swim suit … because, pool. It is beautiful and quiet and exactly what I needed.
Hi friends and happy Friday! I’m going on an 11 mile walk from one end of the Bronx to the other tomorrow in my quest to walk across all five Boroughs. I hope you have something good planned – maybe a good book to read or pages to write.
I’m sure there is a more chill way to title this blog post, but I’m not going to be able to access that chill. You guys know how much John Green and his books and vlogbrothers have meant to me. I’ve written about it again and again and again on this blog. After finishing Turtles All the Way Down,I began a hunt for every book John had ever recommended. It was kind of a cuckoo big undertaking for one little blog post. But I was really proud of the effort I put into my list of 99 John Green Book Recommendations for Book Riot. And then I woke up this morning and saw:
Alison Doherty put together a list of NINETY NINE books I've recommended over the past decade. I think I stand by all of these. https://t.co/VZIq1FfXDd
I guess, I’m doing it again. I’ve technically already started this project, but only in the last few weeks and I still have under 10,000 words in the new draft. So I’m committing to try and write 50,000 new words on book 2 in November. Wish me luck and feel free to leave me any encouragement or advice you have in the comments!
Hi friends! I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit. I have a blessed life, but juggling writing, revisions, teaching, blogging for BookRiot, planning my syllabus for the fall…this is boring. You get the point. I’m in over my head, and I’m so so so grateful for your patience and for everyone that’s still reading. While I queue up some good post for next week, here are some of my favorite, recent BookRiot articles. Hope you all are having beautiful ends to your summers – where does the time go?
Betsy and I met in college, but even though I had a big friend crush on her I was way too shy to talk to her much. Then I reached out about how much I loved her first book Tides and an online friendship sparked into being. In another life, we are roommates conquering the NYC publishing world together and drinking beers on the weekend at The Way Station. But since she lives with her dreamy family in Ireland, I have to settle for some of the kindest, most supportive emails a friend/aspiring writer could ever ask for. Betsy’s third book Venturess is out today. It is the sequel to the badass, feminist Cinderella retelling Mechanicaand my very favorite thing that Betsy’s written so far. Expect a (glowing!) review soon. But for now, Betsy was kind enough to answer some questions for me… Continue reading “Author Interview: Betsy Cornwell”→
Hi friends and happy Saturday! The weather is coldish and gloomy in New York City today, but that’s okay with me. I happy curled up on the blue chair in my room, typing out words on this laptop. This week was a good writing week. Thursday was a *very* good writing day. I’m working on a hardcore outline for my next novel. It’s totally weird to think about new characters, new conflicts, a new voice. But on Thursday everything started gelling together in my brain. I started working in the morning expecting to go for about two hours. Instead, with a few breaks, I kept going until around midnight. Continue reading “Good Days, Good Weeks”→
Writing is hard. Some people get that. Other people don’t… and then proceed to tell you about the children’s book they are going to write someday. But that’s not what my complaint today is about. Writing is hard, but publishing is hard too. I’m not sure if I should even bring this up, but lately I feel like a lot of people in the non-book world are wondering what’s taking me so long to get a book published. Continue reading “One (little) Complaint”→
I’ve written a little bit about querying and how I got my agent (still in a state of disbelief). When I was developing my query (both times) I really appreciated how many writers provided their own query letters and how many agents did public query critiques. When I was still in college, I devoured Query Shark. Later, the successful queries on Writer’s Digest became one of my must-read features. And Jackie Lea Sommers’s (author of Truest) blog post about writing her query is something I’ve returned to time and time again. I also was lucky enough to read hundreds of queries while interning at a literary agency and had many teachers advise me through my MFA program.
There are lots of Internet resources to learn more about writing a query and many different opinions on how to structure the letter. But in case anyone is curious, here’s what worked for me! Continue reading “Query Letter Construction”→
Last week, I made the exciting announcement (with an incredibly cheesy Jane Eyre pun!) that I signed with a literary agent. In case anyone is curious, here is a longer version of what happened and what this means.
Most publishers won’t look at un-agented work these days. Authors need an agent to represent them, kind of like a trusted middle-man to vouch for your book. This doesn’t mean I have a book deal or that my book is going to be published, but I am one step closer now that I have the wonderful Samantha Wekstein at Writers House representing me.