Discover more from Eva's Newsletter for Writers
I don't normally tell people this, but...
Line editing, my deal with the universe, and TONS of writing resources
*For writing links and resources, scroll down.*
Did you know I’m a politician?
It’s something I don’t often share with the writing world, but I’m a town councilor for my very small, very eccentric Maryland town. (Imagine a combo of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls and Pawnee from Parks and Rec, and that’s where I live.)
I did not want to be on town council (it’s an unpaid and mostly thankless position), but last year I made a deal with the universe.
See, I’d been on a town task force in 2021, and a lot of residents thought I did a good job, so when elections were coming up, people started hardcore pressuring me to run. I was currently querying my YA novel, so I said to the universe:
“If I run for town council and give back to my community in this annoying way, can I please get an agent in exchange?
I won the election, and the very next day I had “the call” with the woman who became my agent. Coincidence? Believe what you will.
Anyway, I’ve learned a lot about small town politics in the past year, like the process of passing resolutions and town ordinances. One of the more annoying parts of this process is when a resolution gets wordsmithed to death right before the vote. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of getting the wording right in a government document. And I actually LOVE revising and editing— I just don’t love doing it on a Zoom call with five other councilors and the Mayor.
Line Edit Lessons
Speaking of editing, I’m really excited about my latest course for paid subscribers: Line Edit Lessons: How to improve, tighten, and polish your prose at the line level.
To me, line editing is not just catching typos and correcting grammatical errors, although it’s certainly includes that. It’s about making your prose more effective, no matter what you’re writing. And yes, it usually means killing some darlings.
When you read something and think, “wow, this author’s writing is effortless,” that guise of effortlessness is probably the result of an insane amount of work, including careful line editing.
It can be really hard to take a step back and see your writing the way readers will see it. It can be challenging to edit your own work, which is why sometimes it’s worth hiring an editor or getting an eagle-eyed friend to read your work. But I hope these lessons will help you look at your own prose like a ruthless editor might. Let me know what you think!
The Query Guru
This June I’ll be teaching another round of my popular query class at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. But this time, in addition to learning how to research and query agents, we’ll also be studying first pages. Because as important as your query letter is in getting an agent’s attention, your first pages are, perhaps, equally as important.
For three Saturdays, I’ll be dispensing everything I learned from years in the query trenches, and my students will workshop both their query letters and the first two pages of their manuscripts.
But Eva, you say, I don’t live in the DC area and can’t attend your class. That’s okay. A friend recently called me The Query Guru, and I’ve decided that’s what I’ll be.
Every month, starting in May, I will chose one subscriber for a FREE submission package critique. Send me your query letter and the first two pages of your manuscript, and, if you’re the winner of the month, I will send you back in-depth feedback on both.
I will be sharing some of the feedback with my paid subscribers, but you do not need to be a paid subscriber to get the free critique.
Interested in receiving a Query Guru Critique? Fill out the form here.
Eva's Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Writing News & Resources
For All Writers:
Just Do It! A collaborative support group for finishing your draft (no matter what you’re writing) starts tomorrow from the Highlights Foundation.
Free online craft chat with the awesome Kelly Link, this Thursday (April 20), complements of The Writer’s Center. I want to go but I have a town council meeting. Enjoy it for me!
I liked this profile in The Atlantic about the incredible Judy Blume and continue to be excited that the movie version of Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret comes out April 28.
I love the concept of this very cool and affordable writer-voted contest for fiction and poetry from Sixfold. Enter the vote by April 23!
Check out this free webinar on April 19 from Mary Kole of The Good Story Company: Writing Irresisitible First Pages. Open to novel and memoir writers of all genres and includes live critiques of attendee’s pages.
Also from The Good Story: a free webinar on April 20: The “It” Factor: How to Make Your Story Stand Out with author Rhiannon Richardson.
Don’t have a lot of time? The 100-word micro-fiction writing challenge/contest from NYC Midnight kicks off on April 28.
Check out all of these free replays of recent online events with agents and authors from The Manuscript Academy.
I updated my list of writing and publishing resources — my very favorite books, websites, and podcasts and writing, publishing, and creative life.
Thinking about self-publishing? This detailed guide tells you all the steps you need to take: How to Self-Publish a Book: A Guide for Aspiring Authors.
Hoping to create a regular writing habit or maybe start a novel? Learn about my do-it-on-your-own-time courses for paid subscribers: Cultivating a Regular Writing Routine and Getting Started on Your Novel.
For KidLit Writers:
Free YA Fantasy Writing Challenge from Fiction Potluck: submit your YA Fantasy short story by April 30!
Writing a MG, YA, or chapter book? With the 2023 Novel-in-Development Award from Write Mentor you can receive feedback on your opening pages with the chance to win a year’s worth of mentoring from a published author. Open to both unfinished and completed manuscripts. Deadline to enter: May 14, 2023.
The Highlight's Foundation is offering two sessions of the Whole Novel Workshop: a life-changing in-person retreat with amazing faculty members for those with a full novel manuscript they want to workshop.
From Bitsy Kemper’s blog: over 75 publishers accepting unsolicited picture book manuscripts — updated February 2023!
Check out this incredible list of upcoming events for KidLit writers!
For Querying Writers:
Every Friday, Operation Awesome offers one free query critique through their #QueryFriday contest.
Live in the DC area? I will be teaching a submission package workshop series on three Saturdays, June 3 - June 17, from 10am to noon at The Writers Center in Bethesda, MD. After learning what makes a great query letter, you’ll write your own to be critiqued by your classmates. We will also workshop opening pages and discuss topics such as researching agents, pitch contests, conferences, and agent red-flags.
Every month, starting in May, I will chose one subscriber for a FREE submission package critique. Send me your query letter and the first two pages of your manuscript, and, if you’re the winner of the month, I will send you back in-depth feedback on both. Interested in receiving a critique? Fill out the form here.
Are you an underrepresented writer seeking agent representation for a commercial or literary novel? Introducing The Jessica George Bursary, offering tangible help towards publication.
Twitter is a little different in these Elon Musk days, but Twitter pitch contests continue to happen, and though they can be frustrating, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. (After all, I found my agent through a Twitter pitch party. I am now an official success story.) So mark your calendar for these upcoming Twitter pitch parties. And be sure to read my article 13 Things to Know About Twitter Pitch Events.
The Writing Day Workshop “How to Get Published” Conferences will held both online and in person this year. I attended one of these conferences in person a few years ago, and I thought it was fantastic. I can’t vouch for the virtual version, but there are some benefits: recorded classes, no travel expenses, attend in your comfy pants. Plus, you can sign up for pitch sessions with agents for $29 a piece. Check out the upcoming conferences:
Philadelphia Writing Workshop: April 22, 2023 (in-person)
San Diego Writing Workshop: April 29, 2023 (in-person)
Michigan Writing Workshop: April 29, 2023 (in-person)
Seattle Writing Workshop: April 29, 2023 (in-person)
Writing Conference of Los Angeles: May 13, 2023 (in-person)
The Washington Writers Conference will be held in Bethesda, MD May 12-13.
For all those in the DC-MD-VA area, mark your calendars for the FREE Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 20. I’ll be there, and I’ll be teaching a workshop class at noon on using setting to increase mood and suspense.
Working on a thriller, mystery, or crime fiction? Check out ThrillerFest in NYC, May 30-June 3.
For more writing conferences, check out this list or this list of 19 Writing Conferences for Emerging and Established Writers.