Thursday, March 05, 2009

Got Questions?

So I seriously can't think of anything to blog about today! :) Probably due to my lack-of-sleep and focus/energy on the ms, but I did think this might be a good time to reopen the blog up to any questions you might have but haven't asked OR have asked and that I've forgotten to answer! (Hey, it happens.) Books, magazines, agents, craft, time management, whatever.

So feel free to post below or to email me directly, and I'll do my best to have something more inspiring and informative up asap.

I also wanted to let you guys know about Maria Schneider's Get an Agent Guide. She runs the great blog, Editor Unleashed, and has compiled a thorough guide to agents, how to contact them, who reps what, etc. Check out more here: Get an Agent.


Anonymous said...


I have a question. Recently on the Dystel & Goderich blog there was a post that bemoaned the fact that agents are having a difficult time getting editors to read their submissions. I'm wondering if other agents are finding this also.

Excerpt: Has EVERYBODY stopped reading?

This last week a senior editor at a major publishing house received a proposal from us and rather than read it at all, she simply looked up other books in the category and decided that since they hadn’t sold, it wasn’t even worth reading one word of this author’s work. In another, rather shocking instance, a publisher of a very good house turned down material I had submitted saying that the fiction market was extremely difficult these days. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the note – the material I had submitted clearly stated that it was a memoir.


Anonymous said...

Hey Allison,
I'm curious about how you broke into writing for major women's magazines. Is it hard to do so? Harder now with the economy than it used to be? You did a great blog a while back about how you packaged a story with a "Why You Resist/Why We Insist" theme and I wondered how a big a part of the process that is -- coming up with the catchy concept and headline.

Maya / מיה said...

Can you explain more about how I can find a good writing group (preferably online)-- i.e., one that can help me develop writing as profession, not just a hobby-- and how exactly writing groups work? I'm not really sure, for example, about at what stage you might share your writing with a group. Can groups help with brainstorming/developing ideas as well? How would you know if you trust a group enough to give honest, good feedback? Would you ever be worried about a group stealing ideas? I'm not sure if you've ever worked with a fiction group, but I know you say that freelancer groups helped you as you were breaking into that business.

Thanks so much!


Anonymous said...

Those agents links are just what I needed, no kidding. I'm about 80% done with my very rough first draft, which is really more of an extended synopsis, but I'm thinking ahead to the whole agent thing with not-inconsiderable trepidation.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have you talk more about knowing when to give up on a story idea/manuscript? How do you know when it's worth pushing through and finishing, vs. assessing whether the idea is strong enough to continue writing?

Anonymous said...

Hi Allison,
I'm a huge fan!!! Congrats on such a successful magazine/publishing career!

I'm a freelance writer, in the process of working my way up the magazine todem pole.

I have a question about big-time magazines...Last year I got an FOB assignment from one of my dream publications. Obviously, I was thrilled, and worked my booty off to make a good impression, do what the editor wanted, etc. It seemed like all went well. But when the article came out, it looked 80% different than the piece I sent in. The editor hadn't asked for any rewrites. I guess I'm this normal? Should I be discouraged or just chalk it up to the editing process? I'd like to send the editor more ideas, but am a bit hesitant to do so. Do you have any advice/thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance for your help in this - I greatly appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Love your books and blog (and the occasional insight to you as a writer and mom) but were you like as kid?

JCK said...

Hi Allison,

I have a blog in which I write occasional poetry interspersed with writing about parenthood and identity issues.

I feel passionate about my poetry, and with the encouragement of my readers have recently begun to submit some of my poems.

In my research on submission guidelines, I have found that most major publications say they will not accept anything that has appeared online. In any form. I am saddened to think that the sharing of my poems to my relatively very small readership has jeopardized any hopes of publishing these pieces. Any thoughts?

I am also considering self-publishing the poems in a collection book form, if that is my only option.

Thanks so much!

abigail said...

My question is: paper or plastic? Heh. Just kidding Allison. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to pick your brain!

My REAL question(s) is: What books, if any, have you found helpful as a freelance writer (and when will you be publishing your own)? Was it difficult to create relationships with editors at magazines, and thus, create work through said relationships? Finally, do you know when/where you'll be touring for TOML yet?

Take care!