Welcome to The Querying Show’s First Episode!
Each week for the next six months you will witness every juicy (or completely stagnant) detail of our SP Staff Member’s querying life in the SLUSH PILE!
(Check out our rules and reasons in our intro post here!)
Will CR’s/Write_Or_Left achieve AGENT success? Or will it result with a querying and MS reboot? Dying to know? Follow us to see how Write_Or_Left ‘s querying journey will end up!
Today is the 2nd week of CR’s journey. Let’s check in our with brave querying fellow and see how things are progressing. (Click below for Episode 1.) Continue reading
Pen Friends ~
Did you know that the success rate through querying through the slush pile is less than 1%? Does anyone else feel intimidated by this number?
How would you like to see an up close & personal FISH TANK view of one of our staff members querying in the slush pile? Witness his joy of requests and his disappointment of rejections? Witness him get an agent or end in utter despair? (Lol. Sorry. We’re more hopeful than that.)
At The Spinning Pen most of us are part of private writing groups that share our querying (and submission) ups and downs. We journey together until that special day of celebration comes when we signed with an agent or editor or publisher! Often, without our group’s support, encouragement, answering questions, and persevering alongside each other, it would have been a lot harder.
So we thought, What if we journey with you all? LIVE. WEEKLY. WE’LL BE OPEN. VULNERABLE. EMBARRASSED. CELEBRATE. Together? Continue reading
Pen Friends ~ You’re in for a treat today! We have debut Ya author, Sarah Carlson, here to talk about her upcoming book, All the Walls of Belfast. Find out she got her agent and what keeps her going as she shares about her querying, publishing, marketing, traveling dreams, and writing process & journey. Learning from and listening to other authors can help us a lot. Enjoy!
SP: Hi Sarah! Thanks for joining us. First, can you please tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you have been writing?
SC: Hey, thanks for having me! I write contemporary YA that touches on issues that make you think. By day, I’m a school psychologist working at an elementary school; my focus is on supporting mental health and behavioral needs. I also work to support and directly intervene around children who have been exposed to trauma. I’ve loved writing since 4thgrade, when I got picked to represent my grade at a writing competition. In middle school, it was hundreds of pages of Stephen King fan fic scrawled on loose-leaf paper. Then high school saw me creating an epic universe for a sci-fi novel that grew to over 240,000 words and will never again see the light of day. Continue reading
Lately, a lot of my friends are doing these “I got an agent” posts. I love hearing their stories. But if you haven’t got there. If your critique partners haven’t got there. It’s OKAY. Where is “there” anyway?
Go climb mountains.
Tear down lies.
Celebrate life NOW.
And yes, I can say that with two kids under five, hay fever stalking my house, and depression howling like the wind. This is a journey. It’s a loooong one and I need lembas bread, not just potatoes. Continue reading
Pen Friends~ It’s my honor to welcome YA Author Caitlin Sangster to the Spinning Pen. This amazing lady shares something very special with me– a love for travel and Asia! Which kind of inspired her debut, Last Star Burning– a thrilling dystopian, fantasy, fairytale, blend of awesome. Today she will share all kinds of gems with us: her writing journey, world building tips, and more!
SP: Hi Caitlin! Thanks so much for joining us! First, can you please tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you have been writing?
CS: Hi! I’m so glad to be here! I’ve been writing on and off since I was a kid, but started seriously writing about five years ago. I’ve lived in California, China, Taiwan, Montana, and, most recently Utah. In college, I did a BA in Asian Studies with an emphasis in China (and am, consequently, a huge Chinese history and politics nerd). I love to run and wish I were a ballroom dancer. Lost but very much not least, I have four delightfully disruptive children ages seven and under. Continue reading
Pen Friends ~ Welcome Jenny Park
, YA Author of The Shadows We Know By Heart, to talk about her writing, agent, and publishing journey with us. If you are Tarzan fans, you’ll want to check out her debut, The Shadows We Know By Heart.
SP: Hi Jenny! Thanks for joining us. First, can you please tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you have been writing?
Jenny: Thanks so much for having me! I’ve been writing for about six years now, and before that I was an art teacher for middle school students. Growing up, writing was never my thing, although I spent more time reading books than talking to people. It wasn’t until I was getting my master’s degree that I really kind of broke through the mental block/fear I had about writing since it was an online writing intensive program. But it was still years after that before I wrote my first draft.
When you’re surrounded by a lush, green landscape, crumbling medieval castles, and ancient stone circles, writer’s block isn’t a thing.
I live in Ireland. And I’m a writer. Those two things seem to go hand-in-hand. It’s no coincidence that some mighty scribes have lived here. William Butler Yeats, Anne Enright, Oscar Wilde, Roddy Doyle, C.S.Lewis and John Banville all called Ireland home at one time or another. I think that’s because the land on this island is fertile, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too. It feels like stories come up out of the ground, grab me by the ankle, and demand, “Write me!” Continue reading
Pen Friends ~ Meet Aimee Salter, author of A Dark Touch & Every Ugly Word, and 2017 PitchWars Mentor, who is here to share all kinds of writing gems with us.
Hi Aimee! Thanks for joining us. First, please tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you have been writing?
Hi there. Thank you for having me!
I’m Aimee L. Salter. I’m an American who grew up in New Zealand, married a kiwi, have a kiwi son, and am now back in Oregon permanently.
I’ve always dabbled with writing and have loved it since I was in elementary school. I had a couple false starts on books earlier in life, but the first manuscript I ever completed with an eye to publication was in 2009, when I was 33. I got my first publishing contract in 2014 when I was 38. Continue reading
Once upon a time…
…there was a group of young and promising writers. They had great ideas, finished manuscripts, and starry eyes filled with hope of Bestseller’s Lists. The only question was, what should they do next?
Our intrepid writers set out to explore their options: should they go indie and self-publish, or try the traditional publishing route? While a couple members of the group chose to investigate the self-publishing path, this narrator decided to follow the group who went toward the traditional path first. (Check in with the indie group here!)
Where are you in your writing journey? Are you NaNoing? Writing? Querying? On sub to publishers? In the midst of revisions? Taking time to read and improve your craft? Nurturing the seed of an amazing idea that’s taking root in your imagination?
Whichever of those things you are doing, or if you’re in a completely different place all together, I would like to take a minute to talk about something a lot of people would rather avoid.
No one likes to experience it, and a lot of us hold back on our dreams to shelter ourselves. But you know what? I’m a huge advocate for failing. I say let’s fail. Let’s fail BIG TIME.
Let me tell you a quick story. Continue reading