The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.
Creativity, Monotasking, and Finding Focus in a Chaotic World with Author Julie Falatko
We are so happy to welcome Julie Falatko, author of Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book) and all-around delightful human, to talk with us about her writing process, the transition from picture books to middle grade novels—and how to maintain your ability to concentrate and do “deep work,” even when living in a year that’s a dumpster fire.
We also talk about preserving your emotional openness and sense of the world (so you can write works that appeal to young listeners), nurturing your creativity, and scheduling in purposeful analog time to keep you (and your projects) vivid in all the right ways.
The wonderful post Julie references is Word Count Dracula by agent Jennifer Laughran: http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html
Julie is the author of the picture books Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) and Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever (Probably) illustrated by Tim Miller, (Viking Children’s), and Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School (Scholastic). More books are coming! Julie lives with her family in Maine, where she maintains the Little Free Library in front of their house.
You can meet with Julie here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/julie-falatko
You Don't Have To Be Perfect To Get Published: Six Writers on Mistakes and Success
It’s easy to believe that you have to be perfect to get published. Today, we bring you proof—hilarious, painful, honest proof—that things can go horribly awry and then end up great.
Whether it’s checking in too soon (and getting called out by an agent), writing a pitch without a conflict or stakes (and then booking back-to-back sessions) or having a typo create havoc in a room of 200 conference attendees, these writers have been through it all—and come out better for it.
They’ve since signed with agents, received multi-book contracts—and one even went to her release party just hours after we recorded.
2:15: Sending out a book with seven points of view
7:50: Pitching a book without conflict or stakes
13:24: Checking in with an agent much too soon
19:27: Sending work to an agent just after typing “the end”
27:09: Submitting work to a panel without careful proofreading
Please welcome (in order of appearance):
Suzy Vitello is the author of three YA books and an adult speculative novel, FAULTLAND. You can find her at Suzyvitello.com, @suzy_vitello on Twitter, and @suzyvitello on Instagram.
Thalia Elie is the author of HAIR WE GO! : A Curly Girls’ Adventure series. As a multi-ethnic curly girl, she wanted to encourage readers’ curiosity about differing cultures. This book celebrates the curly girl! It’s an animated escapade that travels around Africa to laugh and learn that curls color the world. Each excursion is an adventure in diversity.
Learn more about Thalia’s FREE event, June 2 at 8pm ET, here: http://evt.to/ogiaoagw
Rachel Remick has had several short stories published in literary magazines, including Rosebud, Bluestem and The First Line, as well as women's magazine Sasee. Her short story The Favorite was published in a recent edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Listen to Your Dreams. You can follow her on Twitter @tampawritergirl.
Nicole Moleti is an author living in West Hartford, Connecticut. She is co-author of a suspense novel coming out with Lake Union Publishing.
Juliana Savia Clayton writes Young Adult novels and picture books. She’s a member of SCBWI and serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Indiana Chapter. When not refreshing her inbox, she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and two cats. You can find her on Twitter @kidlit_writer
Agentless in America is a soon-to-be veterinarian that is an editor for the Heroic Fantasy e-magazine. She often melds fantasy with reality and believes that there is always room for romance. She currently lives, eats and breathes veterinary medicine, but never fails to appreciate the little things--especially if those little things are semicolons. Twitter: http://twitter.com/thedragonvet
You Look Tired: An Excruciatingly Honest Guide to New Parenthood with Author Jenny True
When blogger Jenny True wrote a post called F%^ Your Baby Advice, she never expected it would go viral. Soon the offers came in—including an advice columnist post and, then, a book deal.
Now, with You Look Tired: An Excruciatingly Honest Guide to New Parenthood coming out May 4, she’s a powerful new voice of humor, support, and parenting insights. We discuss how she wrote her book proposal, balancing real advice with really funny examples, and becoming a responsible voice in the parental community.
Order a copy of You Look Tired: An Excruciatingly Honest Guide to New Parenthood here: https://www.runningpress.com/titles/jenny-true/you-look-tired/9780762473472/
Jenny is a longtime writer and editor and nationally recognized columnist for Romper. Her debut collection, At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press, 2008), won the Michael Rubin Book Award. She has published fiction in Boulevard, the Northwest Review, the Southwest Review, Salt Hill, and other journals and has written and reported for Guernica, Salon, and Bitch, among others. Her work has been anthologized and selected for publication by Steve Almond and Michelle Richmond, and she has been the recipient of fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the Tomales Bay Writing by Writers Workshop, a grant from San Francisco State University, and a scholarship from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her story "Thieves" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Jenny has a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and an M.F.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She has taught creative writing at the Bay Area's Writing Salon since 2009 and at San Francisco State University and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In a former life she was a fact-checker for Sunset and Dwell and an intern for Mother Jones and Ms.
As Jenny True, the voice of her blog and the “Dear Jenny” column, she has been recognized on the sidewalk by a mom driving by in a car, and a mom on a plane.
Critique: How To Handle It, When To Ignore It Completely
Julie asked our Facebook group (join here! 3,000+ nice writers to support you: https://manuscriptacademy.com/facebook) what they’d like to know about critique.
We discuss critique partners with the right problem and wrong solution, the chain reaction when you change one element, how Jessica gives her agency clients feedback, and differentiating between opinions and critiques.
Plus, we discuss best practices for communicating slippery concepts, replying to critiques you hate, and how to look for the patterns instead of the one frustrating edit.
Finding An Agent, Protecting Your Creativity + Somewhere Between Bitter & Sweet with Laekan Zea Kemp
We are so happy to welcome Laekan Zea Kemp to the podcast! We talk about how she got her agent (and made sure she was a true ally), her advice for writers (and how to keep your creative self safe), and how she came up with the idea for this gorgeous new story.
Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. She’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicanx grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health. Her debut novel, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BITTER & SWEET is coming from Little Brown April 6, 2021.
You can find a link to the book’s recipes here: http://www.laekanzeakemp.com/books
And you can find Laekan online here:
Finding A Home For Your Short Story with Author Anne Elliott
We are so happy to share this with you! This episode was live-recorded March 2021. Want to watch the free video version instead? Head to https://manuscriptacademy.com/anne-elliott.
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Many of us learn fiction writing via short stories—and many of us fall in love with the form and stick with it. But how do we get our stories into the hands of readers, when agents aren’t interested in them? How do we know when a story is ready to send? And where to send it? What are realistic expectations with respect to response times, acceptance rates, payment, and editorial input? This class will go over the basic norms, procedures, and etiquette of being your own short story agent, review strategies for targeting markets and record keeping, and field questions. Your instructor has been finding readers via the slush pile for years—it can be done.
Anne Elliott is the author of The Artstars: Stories (Indiana University Press) and The Beginning of the End of the Beginning (Ploughshares Solos). Her short fiction can be found in Story, A Public Space, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, Hobart, Bellevue Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and elsewhere. Elliott is a veteran of the New York spoken word circuit, with stage credits including The Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, PS122, and Woodstock '94. Her fiction has been awarded support from The Story Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Normal School, Table 4 Writer's Foundation, and The Bridport Prize. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College, and lives in Portland, Maine. Learn more at http://www.anneelliottstories.com.
I love these podcasts! The information they give is invaluable and I love the fun and engaging way they interact. Every writer should subscribe to this!
Great info for writers
This has been a great find for me for insights from the other side of the business
Ideas That Stick
I found this podcast last month and have been inhaling it. The wisdom and authenticity of the guests and hosts make me think about the podcasts’ ideas long after the episode’s over. Super for networking and specificity.