Do query letters stress you out?  Michael Stearns and Firebrand Literary want to help.  Forget the query and just send the first, fabulous chapter of your completed manuscript from December 15-January 15.  You can find more details here (via Cynsations).

It’s pretty standard for agents and editors to request that you submit only after your manuscript is polished and complete.  Seems logical to me.  I’m neurotic enough to wait until I don’t think I can make it any better.   Then I’ll send it or shelve it.  I’ve been hearing some nice success stories of people getting deals based solely on partials, rough drafts, and outlines.  So, here’s a poll…


If you did, how did that work out for you?  Spill!


Here is one for the illustrators:  Swissmiss shared a link to over 40 Wacom tablet tutorials.  

When do you know if you should give up on a manuscript?  I’ve been stuck on mine, but I’m not sure if it’s just the manuscript blahs or a deeper issue.  I have other ideas for books that are sooo inviting, but Laini reminded me that those inklings to be wooed by exciting new plans are just sirens leading to doom.  I know me.  If I put a project aside to work on something else, I won’t go back to it.  

I spent last Saturday gaining lots of new inspiration and ideas (and hand cramps) at Writeorama, and then Laini shared lots of good advice on finishing your novel last night.  Sooo…I’m going to give it another shot.

farBy the way, I read an advanced copy of Joni Sensel’s new book The Farwalker’s Quest (Bloomsbury USA, 2009).  I am not a book reviewer, but when I really like something I like to mention it (Full disclosure: Joni and I serve on the SCBWI WWA Advisory Committee together).


The Farwalker’s Quest is a light fantasy that’s going to appeal to any middle grade reader who enjoys a good adventure.  It’s definitely a page turner, and I think it’s Joni’s best book yet.  I’m excited to have a sneak peek, because I predict this book is going to be a smashing success.

I.N.K. makes a recommendation for the non-fiction writer in your life.

Books for the holidays!