Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why We Love The Novella at Vagabondage Press...

He feels disabled by his own alienation from his middle-class suburban community. He'd rather listen to beloved mope-rock bands, The Smiths, The Cure, and Joy Division (from whom he quotes lyrics at length) than go to school or, God forbid, talk to anyone. He's buried in his own head, while this girl's disability, he imagines, has liberated her: “She seemed really to face the world, and her gaze came to me as if by catapult.”

Taylor Antrim explores why these short works might be perfect for our time and suggests a few recent ones that do things the novel can only dream about.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Amateur Query Mistakes

Here's a great list of mistakes that could land your queries or submissions in File 13. Some good advice here:

Some agents and publishers are fuss-budgets, so it never hurts to make your query slick and professional.

One point of contention not listed here is getting the agents/publishers name right when addressing them in a query or submission. Personally, I get annoyed when people address me as "Faun" rather than spelling my name correctly. Especially when I've responded to your query or submission personally and you have my signature right there for reference. I won't can a submission or query over it, but it's only four letters--it shouldn't be difficult.

It may seem tedious to have to write and rewrite a query letter, but it's time worth investing. The whole point is to make the agent/publisher want to read your manuscript. If they're distracted by misspelled names, irrelevant information, bad grammar, etc., they're not going to want to invest the time it would take to read your work. The same way too much backstory, bad grammar, inconsistent characterizations, etc., will make readers put down your book unfinished.