True Literature or Not True Literature, That is the Wrong Question

Human beings enjoy a good story. Most people like some variety in the types of stories they engage with, and some people will read or watch pretty much anything. You would think that publishers would recognize this, but in book publishing, there is a long-standing and seemingly impenetrable divide between literary fiction and so-called genre (“popular”) fiction in general, and speculative fiction in particular. But is this distinction useful? Continue reading

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Pitch Fever

The Canadian Literature Pitch on Twitter (i.e., #CanLitPit) is back and it’s happening on July 12, 2017. If you have a manuscript that’s been scrubbed and polished until it’s ready for its close-up, this is a great chance to get the attention of a number of established Canadian literary agents and publishers all at once FOR FREE. Participating publishers include Turnstone PressSecond Story Press, and Coteau Books, among others. Continue reading

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Hiring Your (Near) Perfect Editor

So you’ve written a book (awesome!) and you’ve given it at least one critical read to catch plot holes, poor characterization, unclear writing, and so on (fantastic!). You’re reasonably confident that your writing is publishable, but you’re not sure what to do next. Whether you’re looking for a publisher or planning to self-publish, you may need to hire an editor at some point. Here are some things you’ll want to know. Continue reading

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Rules, Shmules?

You’ve probably been told there are rules for writing fiction — eternal, immutable rules that, if broken, will cause publishers to consign your novel/novella/short story to the flames and leave your name writ on water. Continue reading

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Agents and Publishers and Twitter, Oh My

Calling all Canadian authors: on Wednesday February 8, 2017, there will be another #CanLitPit Twitter event matching authors with publishers and literary agents who handle a wide range of genres. The fine folks from ECW Press, Turnstone Press, Blue Moon Publishers, and Transatlantic Agency will be among those on the lookout for the next bestseller. Continue reading

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Stratford Writers Festival

The DigiWriting people are at it again!

Back in August, the DigiWriting Book Marketing Agency held #CanLitPit on Twitter so authors could tweet their books at them. On October 22-23, 2016, they will be hosting the Stratford Writers Festival in (where else) beautiful Stratford, Ontario. There will be author readings, discussion panels, and writing workshops, as well as musical and theatrical performances. There will also be a #CanLitPit live pitch session, where you can talk to an agent about your own book! Continue reading

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Rely On Spelling and Grammar Checking Programs

So, I was helping a client with her dissertation this morning and before I sent her chapter back, I ran a quick spell check as a prudent last step. Well, wouldn’t you know it, THIS is the “correction” that Word suggested. Continue reading

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Forget the Fit, Pitch Your Book!

Well, August is getting busy fast, and it hasn’t even started.

On August 10, 2016, Canadian Literature Pitch, or #CanLitPit, will provide an opportunity for Canadian authors to reach out to editors and agents through Twitter. Continue reading

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Don’t Look Down

Once upon a time not so very long ago, I was chatting with a fellow writer and editor about the writing process and how to make a good story. My companion said “You have to know the rules before you can break them.” So what exactly are the rules? Continue reading

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The Art of Appreciation

I’ve been thinking a lot about why people make art and what they hope to achieve by doing so. That of course leads me to wonder how people judge art, how it affects them, and why it has the impact it does. I haven’t come up with any specific answers, but it boils down to one question: what makes good art? Continue reading

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