Every writer should attend conferences or classes to improve their craft. I attended the 34th Annual Western Reserve Writer’s Conference Sept. 23 at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The event was free and had a variety of workshops and speakers.
Brian Klems of Writer’s Digest Magazine offered suggestions for getting published:
- Write a great story with an exciting incident to send the story into action where life as usual changes. The protagonist has clear goals, and the setting puts reader into the story. Use active voice, active verbs, and good grammar.
- Get to know editors and agents before pitching a story and make sure it fits the category they represent.
- Follow writing guidelines of editor or agent. Look at website for submission guidelines. Send at least five out at a time from your target list.
- Write a killer query letter
- Introduction with book, topic, and number of words
- Pitch or blurb
- Similar books and where it fits in their books (find through research)
- Qualifications and platform
- Have a platform – visibility and show how people can find you with blog, website, Titter, and Facebook
- Be kind, useful, and network. Never bad mouth agents or publishers.
- Embrace all feedback and don’t let criticism get to you. Move on.
- Be the easiest person in the world to work with.
- Have more than one idea; ready for alternatives –what else do you have?
- Stay positive – lot of rejections