Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips from AWW Visiting Agent and Editor

We recently asked our AWW 2011 visiting agent and visting editor to share their top three writing tips.

Suzie Townsend, of Fine Print Literary, is actively looking for fiction and non-fiction: specifically Middle Grade and YA novels (all subgenres, but particularly literary projects), adult romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy).

She says that her top three "quick tips" for aspiring writers are:

1. Tell a good story by starting where the story begins. (So many manuscripts I read actually start at chapter 3)
2. Good writing is not writing. Good writing is editing. (So get it all out on the page and then go back and really dive into the editing process)
3. Read. Read thousands of books in your genre.

Kevin Morgan Watson is founder of Press 53 and serves as the Short Fiction Editor. As a publisher, he has worked with writers ranging from first-time published authors to winners of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. His top three tips:

1. Pay attention to the details: Sloppy editing will kill a great story. Before you send your work out, make sure it looks nice.
2. Relax and tell your story: Pay attention to dialogue; make it natural. Engage the reader's senses. Rather than telling your story, allow the reader to walk alongside your characters and experienced the story.
3. Don't be in a big rush to publish: Once your work is out there, you can't take it back. Make sure you are happy with your story or poem, and then take the time to find the right home for it. Today, there are more places to publish than ever before. But having your story or poetry in a journal alongside average writing or sloppy editing will make you look just as average and sloppy. Take care and take time.

Learn more about Suzie and Kevin on our Faculty page.

And to learn more of their tips for great writing and successful publishing, register to attend the Full Week workshop or the Morning Only A La Carte program! Suzie and Kevin will speak during the morning "Professional Connections" class, and (for Full Week workshop participants ONLY) offer pitch sessions.

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