Our Thoughts


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November 23, 2015

Accepting Applications: Private Six-Month Writing Program


Does any of this sound familiar? • You have a lot of writing but don’t know how to put it together. • You are ready to get your writing out into the world, but you don’t know what’s the best way or how. • You’re not sure if what you have makes any sense or if it’s worth spending time on. • You’ve sent your work to agents and have only received rejections. Or Maybe • You have a book in you and you know you want to write, but you don’t know where to begin or how...

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November 02, 2015

Enjoy The Process


When I was in graduate school I thought I had to write a certain way and about certain topics to be taken seriously. I believed that because I loved writing I was supposed to be writing great works of literary fiction or would only be taken seriously if my pieces were published in literary magazines or certain media outlets. I believed that to be taken seriously as a writer my work needed to be serious. Over the years what I learned was that the more I tried to push myself into a certain mold the less successful I was. The...

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October 19, 2015

2 Questions to Answer if You’re Writing Non Fiction


In a lot of my workshops authors come with nonfiction titles that range in subject matter. Some cover a point in time, others teach technical content, or try to teach someone how to think differently or create something; identify a problem and show the solution. What they all do no matter the subject is teach. Pick up any non fiction title and by the end of it you will have learned something. The back cover and sometimes the inside flap will tell you exactly what the author hopes you'll take away from the book once you're done. And if it's...

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October 05, 2015

3 Elements To Make Sure Are In Your Picture Book


After however many drafts you may now know that writing picture books isn't as easy as it seems. There are many reasons why writing picture books is hard: you have to get the tone and voice just right for the intended audience; the dialogue can sometimes feel clunky because you are working with a limited word count; and you want to make sure there's a lesson but do so in a way that doesn't feel instructive. But to make your picture books stand out even more, here are three elements you want to make sure are easy to see within...

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September 21, 2015

Packaging Your Proposal


When I first started writing proposals for non fiction titles I knew what needed to be in them, but I didn't fully understand their purpose. I thought, just get the overview in there, the marketing information, similar titles, and the annotated table of contents, then churn out a sample chapter and call it done. But let me tell you ... you can write the best book proposal without it ever helping you land an agent or a book deal if you don't understand the purpose of the proposal itself. The purpose of the proposal is to sell the book. What that...

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September 07, 2015

Take Your Time


When it comes down to it agents are really looking for something they like to read. And so is the editor. You could be the best writer; have the most incredible story and not find the one agent or that one editor who falls in love with it. Not because it’s not good, but because it’s not the type of story they normally would read or rave about. You’ve likely heard over and again that the industry is subjective. And it’s because it’s all based on other people’s opinions. People who are no better...

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August 24, 2015

What To Do After The First Draft


A lot of times authors use the first draft to get all the information that’s in their head out on the page. We have so many feelings and emotions around writing that sometimes they can actually stop us from doing so. Any kind of brain dump is good. But after the brain dump then what do we do? From experience I can tell you that this is the time to actually define what you want your book to be. So first it’s weeding out the different stories in the material you have. We normally have about five or...

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August 10, 2015

Common Questions Answered About Writing Conferences


Conferences are wonderful events for writers. They are a great place to learn more about the industry, meet other creatives, and also connect with literary agents. As some of you know, along with editing for different publishing houses, coaching individual authors, and working on my own writing, I'm also a literary agent with Capital Talent Agency in D.C. So I've experienced writing conferences from all sides. Below are the most common questions I'm asked by my clients around conferences and the answers I give. Should I Attend Conferences? As I mentioned in the opening sentence, I do think conferences...

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March 16, 2015

Make Time For Your Writing


The hardest part is showing up for our work. It's a lot easier for us to think of doing anything else besides sitting down to write. If you feel like you need some tips for making writing a priority take a look at the pdf below! Find_the_time_to_write.pdf

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February 23, 2015

Get Honest With Your Work


You've written the first draft of your novel, memoir, or clicked save on the proposal. You relax back in your chair, stretch, smile. You feel liberated. You feel elated. You feel settled. Then you're eating dinner and you overhear something on the television that makes you think you maybe need to add a scene to your book. Or maybe you are in the shower and suddenly you're thinking that maybe what you're trying to say isn't really coming across. Next thing you know, you're sitting back at your computer with the understanding that you might have been done earlier, but...

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January 18, 2015

What To Do When You Start Doubting Your Work


You might fall into this cycle where some days you love what you've written and other days you come back to your words and think what in the world was I trying to say. We've all been there, thought something was great only to change it the next day in the hopes that we find some way better to express ourselves. But what if it feels like a never ending cycle. Or worse, you feel good about your work, but then others criticize rather than praise what you've created. Do you hide under your covers and think negative thoughts about...

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October 13, 2014

Why Rejection is Good


Rejection is a part of the writing world. We put ourselves out there time and time again, and sometimes things work out and other times they don't. It's when they don't though that we have an opportunity to learn. To learn what's working and what's not working. To go back into our pieces and look at our work objectively. What rejection does is give us another way to think about our words, structure, characters, all of it. And what it should do is make us want it even more. Make us want to find the best way to tell the...

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July 28, 2014

Fall Classes: How to edit your own work and How to find your voice!


I'll be teaching two classes in the fall at Politics & Prose in D.C.! I'm super pumped about both workshops and I'd love to see you guys in class if you can make it. Be Your Own Editor: This four week course will teach authors how to approach their work with an editor's eye. We'll focus on practical techniques that authors can use, not only while they are in the process of writing, but also once they have completed their manuscripts. Over the course we'll learn by example, looking at how other authors use transitions, pacing, description, dialogue and more....

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June 16, 2014

What Comes After The Book Idea


You have an idea and you think it could potentially be a book but now what? What do you do after you’ve scribbled in your notepad your story idea. What comes next? How do I begin is a question I get asked over and over again. Should I try for x amount of words a day? Give myself deadlines? Should I hire someone to help me, maybe go to a low residency MFA program? What’s next? Here’s what I tell authors: Get to Know Your Story Before you even begin to write, it’s important to get...

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June 02, 2014

The Why Behind Our Work


I was always told that if I was going to write something, I was going to want to live with it for a while, because draft after draft to get it just right could take years. Yes, we have to be interested in what we're writing to want to finish it, but that's not the only element involved. If we really want to knock off a piece, finish a book, or press send on our edits, there's a second element that is a must. Find out what it is below! The Why Behind Our Work from Open Book Editing on...

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May 15, 2014

FREE WRITING WORKSHOP!


This writing series will focus on memoir and creative non-fiction. We will tackle the elements of memoir writing and learn how to apply the techniques to our own work. There will be writing in class, so make sure to bring paper and pen or a charged laptop. If you are working on a personal essay or a longer work feel free to bring it in, because we will be workshopping pieces as well. Wednesday, May 28th, June 4th, and June 11th, 2014 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (D.C.) , 6:30P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

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May 09, 2014

What holds us back from writing and how to move forward


Click below to find out the Three things that hold us back from starting to write and the number one step you can take to move forward! What's Holding You Back from Writing and How to Move Forward from Open Book Editing on Vimeo.

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