What It Takes

A Bronx Tale

By Callie Oettinger | 6 Comments

When Dom was in first grade, he told his teacher he wanted to play center field for the New York Yankees. In a deadpan voice that  didn’t entertain dreamers or laughter, she asked, “What’s your back-up plan?”

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Bringing It All together

By Callie Oettinger | 8 Comments

(From the Archives: How did Writing Wednesdays start? About ten years ago, Steve had an idea to launch a vlog. It was launched in 2009 and the vlog quickly became more blog tha vlog—fewer videos, more long-form posts. The first Writing Wednesdays post ran on July 22 of that year. That’s when we started looking at transitioning the site, which turned into the site many of you remember, which stood its ground until earlier this year, when the current version was launched. Below is the post I wrote about the evolution of Steve’s previous site, including the launch of Writing…

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Wisdom from Mentors

By Shawn Coyne | 7 Comments

From www.storygrid.com, agents have mentors too.  And the great ones listen to the ones who’ve been in the foxhole longer than they have… It’s a Friday morning in the summer of 1996, around 10:15.

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Getting Past No

By Callie Oettinger | 29 Comments

(This post went up almost 4.5 years ago. Bringing it back for a rerun today.) I started this post Wednesday. Thursday I read this from Seth Godin: What “no” means I’m too busy I don’t trust you This isn’t on my list My boss won’t let me I’m afraid of moving this forward I’m not the person you think I am I don’t have the resources you think I do I’m not the kind of person that does things like this I don’t want to open the door to a long-term engagement Thinking about this will cause me to think…

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How An Agent Figures Out Her Pitch to Publishers

By Shawn Coyne | 3 Comments

From www.storygrid.com…some things never change… It’s 1996.

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Thank You Mr. Walsh

By Callie Oettinger | 31 Comments

One of the best friends I’ve ever had lost his father this month. Death proved itself a slingshot, pulling me back through the decades to think about the few times I met his father and then catapulting me forward to question what I’m doing today. Jay and I met at Emerson College. I was climbing the stairs in front of him and tripped. He laughed at me. For a split second I thought he was an asshole—and then realized that I would have laughed at me, too. The friendship started there. Lots of talking and philosophizing and listening to Dave…

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How Literary Agents Target Acquisitions Editors

By Shawn Coyne | 6 Comments

To follow up from the last post from www.storygrid.com, here is a description of how literary agents think about who to send a particular project at a particular publishing house… So a good agent understands how editors think…specifically, how they sort submissions.

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Mistakes are Opportunities

By Callie Oettinger | 19 Comments

I made a mistake this week. I was introduced to a few dozen new people. I attempted to correct the mistake. I was introduced to more new people.

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How Acquisitions Editors Think

By Shawn Coyne | 6 Comments

Here is an oldie but goodie from the www.storygrid.com archives.  There are many reasons the system is the way it is and you need to know just how difficult it is for acquisitions editors to balance their love of the art and the necessity of feeding the machine. Here is how editors think about and sort projects:

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Secrets of the Creative Brain

By Callie Oettinger | 14 Comments

In this week’s “Writing Wednesdays” post (“The Artist’s Journey, #10“), Steve discussed the two worlds in which artists reside, and how artists break through from one world to the other to access ideas and inspiration. But . . . How does that happen?

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