Discover more from Eva's Newsletter for Writers
This is kind of a Big Deal
A new YA book, what I gave my husband, and TONS of writing resources!
There aren’t many YA books like THIS…
I met Claire Forrest in 2015 at a Young Adult writing conference at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Like me, she was volunteering in order to attend for free. (One of the reasons I knew she was my kind of person.) I was moving away from Minneapolis soon, so I told Claire she should take my place in the YA/MG writing group I had started. She did, and she is now the second person from that group to land an agent and a book deal.
Claire’s YA debut novel was released TODAY, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Where You See Yourself is about a high school senior with cerebral palsy who learns to advocate for herself as she applies for college and falls in love. The novel is based on Claire’s experience as a wheelchair user who has cerebral palsy, and Kirkus calls it “affirming, uplifting, and thoughtful.”
This a huge deal: not only to get a book published (it’s not easy, ya’ll), but a YA novel with a main character who is a wheelchair user. Read my full interview with Claire, and consider buying Where You See Yourself, or requesting it from your local library.
P.S. Do you have a book coming out soon or know someone who does? (Preferably YA, but I’m open to other genres.) I’m always interested in publishing author interviews on my website!
More Line Edit Lessons!
What I gave my husband for our anniversary…
I will preface this by saying he is difficult to buy for. He’s not materialistic, and he prefers, for environmental reasons, to get his clothes from yard sales, or simply wear the tattered rags he’s had since college. So, for our eighth anniversary, I wrote him eight poems and hid them around the house.
Writing the poems was a good idea (if I do say so myself), because it forced me to think about what Paul means to me, what I love about him, and what I can take away from these past eight years of marriage.
Marriage is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, except maybe writing novels and trying to get them published. Both require an incredible amount of love and dedication. Both can be quite humbling. There have been times when I’ve felt like giving up, but there’s nothing else I’d rather do with my life, and no one else I’d rather spend it with.
Want a free critique of your query letter and first pages?
This June I’ll be teaching another round of my popular query class at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. Except this time we’re studying first pages in addition to agent research and query letters.
But Eva, you say, I don’t live in the DC area and can’t attend your class. That’s okay. Every month, 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, 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.
P.S. Yes, that IS me in the photo below!
Writing News & Resources
For All Writers:
The next Tin House unagented book submissions period will beMay 6–7! They’re looking for poetry and short story collections that engage with place and/or food. Eligible writers must not currently have an agent, and must not have previously published a book (chapbooks are okay).
Uncanny Magazine for Sci-Fi and Fantasy is open to novella submissions from May 1-15 and open to short story submissions from May 1-7!
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.
For KidLit Writers:
Writing a MG, YA, or chapter book? With the 2023 Novel-in-Development Award from WriteMentor 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.
WriteMentor is also hosting two kidlit story competitions: flash fiction and short story. Any genre, but the main character must be a child or teen, and the theme is “community.” Enter by May 30.
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:
No agent? No problem! The next Tin House book submissions period will take place May 6–7! They’re looking for poetry and short story collections that engage with place and/or food. Eligible writers must not currently have an agent, and must not have previously published a book (chapbooks are okay).
The next online StorySnobs Pitch Contest from The Good Story Company will be May 17. After a brief presentation, editors will workshop loglines from attendees. The chosen winner will receive a FREE submission editing package. Live attendance isn’t required; you will receive a replay link with no expiration date.
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 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.
Writing Conferences & 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:
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.
Write Hive’s annual FREE online conference will be held June 9-11. You'll come away from the event with the knowledge, resources, and inspiration to further your career as a writer and creator.
The Chesapeake Writers’ Conference will be held from June 18 - 24 on the St. Mary’s College campus in St. Mary’s City, MD. The conference features lectures, craft talks, readings, panel discussions, and daily workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction
The Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy is back! Join educators in Washington, DC this July for one or both sessions of learning, including a panel with award-winning authors.
For more writing conferences, check out this list or this list of 19 Writing Conferences for Emerging and Established Writers.
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