244 episodes

The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.

The Manuscript Academy #MSWL

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 288 Ratings

The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.

    Querying, Middle School, And How Mistakes + Embarrassment Often Lead To Book Deals

    Querying, Middle School, And How Mistakes + Embarrassment Often Lead To Book Deals

    Debut author Kristy Jackson joins Julie and Jessica to talk about her new middle grade book, MORTIFIED, now out in bookstores everywhere! From embarrassing middle school moments to querying hiccups, Kristy talks about her 20+ year-long writing journey, how she found the right agent for her, and how perseverance made all the different to achieving her publishing dreams.

    Learn more about Kristy here: https://www.kristyjackson.ca/

    • 47 min
    Preparing For Your International Bestseller: Liv Constantine on Crafting Unputdownable Characters

    Preparing For Your International Bestseller: Liv Constantine on Crafting Unputdownable Characters

    In the first installment of the Manuscript Academy Book Club, we have Liv Constantine, the pen name for internationally bestselling sister duo Lynne and Valerie Constantine!

    Joined by Jessica, Julie, and the Manuscript Academy community, Valerie and Lynne answer your questions about how to collaborate and edit as a team, how to get the best results when querying, and how to keep your work fresh when writing multiple books in the same genre.

    **Please note that there are spoilers for The Last Mrs. Parrish as noted verbally in the episode.**

    01:00 Meet the Authors: Liv Constantine
    01:19 The Journey to Success
    03:26 Collaborative Writing Process
    12:09 Crafting Unputdownable Thrillers
    16:47 Pitching and Querying Tips
    19:39 The Impact of Reese's Book Club
    25:31 Character Development and POV Shifts
    26:04 Crafting Intricate Plot Details
    27:33 Collaborating as Sisters
    31:15 Balancing Writing and Marketing
    34:58 Navigating the Publishing Industry
    36:59 Advice for Aspiring Writers
    38:40 Creating Realistic Psychopath Characters
    42:54 Final Thoughts and Reflections

    Learn more at https://livconstantine.com/

    • 46 min
    Finding Your Voice: On the Page, In Your Life with Agent Katharine Sands + Jessica Doyle-Mekkes

    Finding Your Voice: On the Page, In Your Life with Agent Katharine Sands + Jessica Doyle-Mekkes

    You’ve heard of the all-important voice—but how do you make it more vivid, both on the page—and in your life?

    Enter Jessica Doyle-Mekkes, an author, voice coach, and eloquent speaker on how your voice in your life and your voice on the page are linked, vitally important—and within your control to improve.

    Listen along for what helps your voice come out as you intend—whether singing, public speaking, or reading your character aloud to an audience on your book tour.

    We also discuss:
    ***Do agents share projects with each other? Yes! In fact, this book happened in part because agent Jessica (Sinsheimer) saw author Jesica (Doyle-Mekkes) and just had a feeling she’d be a good fit for Katharine.
    ***Learning to write a book proposal from the ground up—and, in one case, overnight
    ***What makes an ideal client? What do agents look for?
    ***How much platform do you *really* need? There are two kinds of platform—here’s how to leverage both, and how Jessica builds hers (and you can too)
    ***How you can start preparing NOW for your readings on your future book tour

    Find I'm Speaking: Every Woman's Guide to Finding Your Voice and Using It Fearlessly wherever books are sold.

    Meet with Katharine here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/faculty-members/katharine-sands

    • 57 min
    Hollywood Versus New York: Publishing, Film, Options, Etiquette + What Makes A Hook?

    Hollywood Versus New York: Publishing, Film, Options, Etiquette + What Makes A Hook?

    We are thrilled to introduce our very own Julie Kingsley's debut novel! It's called The Space Between You and Me and came out this week!

    "That summer, I finally grew into myself. The problem? I grew too fast. And fruit that grows too fast often bursts in the sunshine."

    With her agent Lane Heymont (Tobias Literary Agency), we discuss:

    *What happens if you have film interest before book interest
    *How Hollywood runs on FOMO (fear of missing out)
    *How Julie got a sensitivity read with her film interest
    *When book agents send your work to Hollywood
    *When agents announce your book and why
    *What “film interest” looks like after your book is announced
    *Leveraging Hollywood pettiness to increase odds of an option
    *How the etiquette of Hollywood is vastly different from NY Publishing
    *The “secret sauce” for being fought over
    *What is a hook?
    *Planning your Easter Eggs

    Learn more about Julie's book here: https://www.juliekingsley.com/
    Learn more about Lane here: https://thetobiasagency.com/lane-heymont

    • 44 min
    Emotional Range, Sensory Details, And Pitching Works On Difficult Topics

    Emotional Range, Sensory Details, And Pitching Works On Difficult Topics

    Content Warning: This podcast discusses suicide, grief, and loss.

    Pam O'Hara's beautiful writing captivated our expert audience during a recent Manuscript Academy panel, so much so that it was picked for our 2024 MSWL Agent Choice Awards.

    Pam joins Jessica and Julie to speak about her stunning memoir about love, loss, and losing a loved one by suicide. We discuss everything from platform, to crafting your voice, to how to position a serious and sad topic for your audience, and more. Agents and editors, this one is in need of representation, if you're listening and like what you hear. We know we did.

    Learn more about Pam here: https://pamelaohara.com

    • 52 min
    Live Recorded: Query Class with Agent Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon

    Live Recorded: Query Class with Agent Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon

    Watch the free video version, slides and all (and get a coupon for our workshop!) at https://manuscriptacademy.com/emmy

    Join our Three-Day Keep An Agent Reading Workshop, May 28-30, here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/product/keep-an-agent-reading-workshop

    TIMESTAMPS:

    Essential Elements of a Query Letter (00:03:07) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon covers the essential elements of a query letter, including the metadata paragraph, summary, and bio.

    Query Letter Writing Tips (00:06:06) Insights into the query letter writing process, including addressing the agent, book title, and genre.

    Metadata Paragraph and Summary (00:09:18) Detailed explanation of the metadata paragraph and summary in a query letter, including the importance of personalization and book comps.

    Writing Style in Summary (00:21:12) Discussion on mirroring the writing style of the summary paragraph with the manuscript's tone and voice.

    Summary of Writing Style and Content (00:22:12) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon discusses the essential elements of a query letter and the importance of introducing main characters and conflict in the summary paragraph.

    Publishing Bio and Relevant Credentials (00:23:51) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon explains the significance of including prior publications, accolades, training, and relevant professional credentials in the publishing bio.

    Essential Elements of the First Page (00:26:54) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon highlights the significance of the first page in capturing the reader's interest and emphasizes the need to meet the main character, introduce the central organizing feature, and outline what helps and hurts the character.

    Crafting a Compelling First Page (00:33:44) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon provides insights on writing the first page, including the importance of starting with action, introducing the main character, and establishing the central organizing feature.

    Synopsis vs. Summary (00:41:18) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon differentiates between the synopsis and the summary, emphasizing the need for a bulleted list of plot points in the synopsis, including the ending, and avoiding a writerly tone.

    Crafting a Synopsis (00:43:24) Advice on crafting a clear and informative synopsis, particularly helpful for pantsers.

    Including Trigger Warnings (00:44:52) The importance of including trigger warnings in query letters and writing samples, and how to effectively incorporate them.

    Bio in Query Letter (00:47:34) What to include in the bio section of a query letter, including personal experiences and writing goals.

    Prologue vs. Chapter One (00:49:22) The debate over whether to use a prologue or the first chapter as the writing sample, and the impact on the query process.

    Querying Across Genres (00:53:07) Advice for writers querying across multiple genres and how to communicate long-term career plans to agents.

    Expressing Multiple Genres (00:56:54) Guidance on how to best express, showcase, or explain a book that spans multiple genres in a query letter.

    Lived Experience in Query (00:59:56) The significance of mentioning own voices or lived experiences in the first paragraph of a query letter.

    Commercial, Upmarket, and Literary (01:01:36) A breakdown of the distinctions between commercial, upmarket, and literary writing styles and tones.

    Literary vs. Commercial (01:02:23) Discussion of literary and commercial books, with examples and explanations of each category.

    Responsible Representation of Disabled and Chronically Ill People (01:05:07) Insights into the progress and challenges of representation in publishing, encouragement to include nuanced representation in writing.

    Query Consultation Prize Winners (01:09:00) Announcement of three winners for a query consultation prize with Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon.

    Upcoming Workshop and Ticket Drawing (01:10:24) Details about a three-day workshop and the drawing of three tickets for the workshop, including instructions for winners.

    • 1 hr 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
288 Ratings

288 Ratings

kt mom of 3 boys ,

Educational and encouraging

I have been listening to this podcast for a few months and not only is it educational for those trying to be traditionally published, but it is also encouraging in a slow and rejection-filled industry.

Sheila Myers ,

Just right

I listen to this podcast while working out and it’s just the right amount of information and inspiration.

KerrieFaye ,

Inspiring!

Really enjoy this podcast! As a querying author, I highly recommend giving it a listen!

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