Monday, Nov 26, 2012

Writers News Nook

So you have not landed a literary agent. Here are four reasons why you may be failing to do so:

1.   Writers, you are pitching to the wrong agents!

If you are writing a historical novel, make sure you pitch to agents that handle these types of books. Do not send out query letters without doing your homework first as to what type of books a particular agent will handle. If you do not do your homework upfront, you can almost be guaranteed that your solicitation will be thrown away or rejected. Make sure you do your research.

2. Writers, your query letter may not be strong enough.

Your query letter has to be unique and should make the recipient want to keep reading. If your query letter sounds like every other millionth letter, then most likely it will go into a slush pile for an editor to read whenever they have time. Remember that your query letter should include something that will make an agent take notice of your work.

3. Writers, your sample chapters do not deliver.

Many times an agent will request the first 50 pages of your manuscript, but then rejects it. Why does this happen? It could be a number of reasons. It could have been that this agent may not have found your book was interesting enough for a larger audience, or that the concept was not original enough, maybe the execution was not right, the writing was weak, the tone was off base, or he just did not like the book altogether.

Hopefully the agent will give you some feedback when rejecting the material so it will help you move forward in a direction to getting your book represented. Do not get discouraged. Take any constructive advice and remember – it could just be that you have not found the right agent to champion your book as yet.

4. You can not find the right agent.

Sometimes having your manuscript rejected is not necessarily due to faulty writing. It could be that your manuscript is just fine; however, it may simply be that this particular agent is not the right person to represent the book because they do not believe in it. Remember an agent has to personally connect to a book before he can sell it to an editor.

The important thing to remember is to attend book conferences or places where you can connect with people in the industry. It is about building relationships and ensuring you keep submitting your work to the right people.

Literary Artists

Who was Elena Poniatowska? She was a Polish and Mexican aristocrat born in 1932 and began her writing career in 1953. She was born in Paris due to the family feeing from Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, but was to return to Mexico at the age of ten to escape the Second World War in Europe. Throughout her career she has published many fine literary works which includes non-fictional novels, fictional novels, and journalistic essays.

It was during the 1960s that she began to conduct interviews and began to write about the social affairs in Mexico. Her novels include La Noche de Tlatelolco and Lilus Kikus which focus on human rights, civil liberties, and the oppression of women and the poor. Her novels have been translated into several languages. These include German, Polish, English, French and Danish.

 English Grammar Tidbits

Did you know there are 21 rules for including commas? Each week we will be covering TWO of them.

1st Rule is for separating a series of items

Use a comma to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more items. This helps to avoid confusion for your reader.

Example: My estate should be split among my husband, daughter, son, and cousin.

If you were to omit the comma after son, it would indicate that the son and cousin would have to split one-third of the estate. It is important to use a comma in the appropriate place.

2nd Rule is for the use of commas with multiple descriptive adjectives

Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word and can be inserted between them.

Example: He is an intelligent, smart fellow. You would not use a comma for The new college student moved into his dorm.

Why do you use a comma in the first sentence and not a comma between the words new and college in the second sentence? You cannot insert the word and between the two.

Also because there are basically five descriptive adjective classes: General, Age, Color, Material, Origin and Nouns. Most adjectives fall into the general category. See the table.

General

Age

Color

Material

Origin

Noun

intelligent

elderly

French

woman

charming

new

glass

goblets

rough

old

brown

tree

smart

blue

steel

college

The basic rule is: If you are using adjectives from the different classes above within the same sentence, then do not use a comma; however, if you use two or more adjectives from the same class, include a comma.

 Author Events and Books to Read

November 29, 2012. Featured Author at La Cena – Literary Salon featuring various artists: 4700 Western Heritage Way Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 667-2000

Books to add to your bookshelf:

Killing the American Dream by Pilar Marrero. This is a book about the plight of the illegal immigrant coming into the United States and its impacts on all people as a whole. She discusses not only the political realm of this issue, but also the human elements involved.

The Sandoval Sisters: Secret of Old Blood by Sandra Ramos OBriant. This is a story about three sisters and their family blood lines, loves, and losses. This author weaves in tradition, culture, and family secrets of the three sisters to make this a most intriguing and wonderful story. It will draw you in quickly.

The Latino Threat by Leo R. Chavez. This is a book that discusses as to why Latinos may be constructed as a threat to U.S. society. Mr. Chavez talks about how Latinos become targets for nativism and xenophobia. It is a great read without all the academic jargon.


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