Tuesday Tips: 5 Tips on How to Find an Agent

5 tips on how to find an agent5 Tips on How to Find an Agent

Finding an agent is no small feat. Trust me. I’m struggling on this very subject, like many of you. So why do I feel qualified to give out hints??? Because, I’ve learned from my mistakes and would like to pass on some helpful information to hopefully save you from getting your hopes up OR going down the wrong path.

So here are somethings I have learned along my winding, bumpy, often full of boulders path:

    There are TONS of reasons to do research. Go to the agency’s website to:
    a) Make sure the acquire the same genre as you.
    b) Make sure they are open to submissions.
    c) To see how to format your submissions.
    BUT I want you to take your research a step further.  Look them up on other outlets like Preditors & Editors, Absolute Write, QueryTracker. Each of these websites will show you if the have a reputation (bad or good), and Absolute Write has discussions on some of them too. Or go to forums such as the Blue Boards and see if there is any information on them and/or ask about them yourself.
  • TALK
    Talk to other writers and illustrators about agents. Talk to the agents themselves!!! (They are really nice people.) There are groups who are focused solely one editors/agent information.
    Stalk… Follow them on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs/Tumbler/you get the picture.
    You will get to know them as a person… their likes, dislikes, #MSWL!!!, and more.
    Some agencies are open to hearing your questions. Fuse Literary Agency is one of them. #AskFuse is a popular hashtag on Twitter on Fridays. What better way of finding out thoughts and feelings that by asking. *note: these parties are usually NOT for pitching ms*
    In the end, go with your gut.
    If something doesn’t feel right, sound right, look right, whatever, LISTEN to that voice and follow through.

So why am I writing this post? Because I have had friends get burned by not-so-great agents. I have friends who have been lifted up by some awesome agents. I myself have had to run away when something wasn’t right. Through research I have found some lovely people, and even if they don’t represent me, I know are wonderful agents who will champion their right people.

Just remember this:

No agent is better than a bad agent.

Happy hunting.   😉

Do you agree with my advice?
Is there something I left out?
Do you know of any other great research websites?

Until next time,

Happy writing.

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www.Wednesday… KidLit TV


KidLit TV, which will launch in the fall, will be the online video resource for the greater KidLit Community.

So why am I telling you about this web site now? There has been a FB group created for KidLit TV. This group will be your place to post videos or links to videos! Share your book trailers, news videos, interview videos, school visits, book signings, how-to advice on everything from creating awesome picture books to making animated presentations. You can also share others that you have found helpful, even if you have not created them. This is your video group in the KidLit world. 

I spoke with Julie Gribble, the creative brains behind KidLit TV and here’s what she had to say about it:


Our exciting new venture, KidLit TV, will leverage our experience with other forms of media to help parents, teachers, and librarians learn more about the world of children’s literature. It will feature interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators and will be an online visual resource for the greater KidLit Community.
The KidLit TV website and YouTube channel will be launching in fall 2014!

Remember the FB Group Page I mentioned earlier. There is a ‘soft’ launch going on TONIGHT! Julie and I will be online at 8 pm est to answer your questions and take suggestions.
If you haven’t received an invite to the virtual launch, let me know you would like to be invited. We’ll have to be friends on fb. You can friend me on my page. Also here is the page for the KIDLIT TV FB GROUP PAGE.

Hope to see you all there. Now, get those videos going!




Only three more days to sign-up for


There’s a line up full of great advice, story sparks, and some prizes scattered throughout.

So go to this JUNE 1st POST to SIGN-UP!

***Sign-up is June 1st through June 14th.  You MUST comment on the June 1st post, complete the challenge, and comment on the last post to be eligible for prizes.***

Thinking Thursday: How to Critique

So you written a story and would like a fresh pair of eyes… in exchange for you doing the same.

ideasBUT how do you critique a story?

While there is no Do THIS and DO THAT instructions, I have found people give the same advice and this is what I tend to do when critiquing a picture book manuscript:

  1. Read the story through twice
  2. Put it down for a day
  3. Read story out loud, while making notes
  4. Read again to myself, while making additional notes (if any)

What notes do I make you may ask?

  • flow pattern
  • pov shift
  • grammer
  • spelling
  • suggestions on how to improve
  • comments on what I think (love this line, etc)
  • add or delete word(s) or phrase
  • anything I think will help improve the manuscript

How do I format my critique? I like to think of  it as a sandwich. You get two pieces of bread and then the good stuff in the middle.
The first piece of bread is me giving some basic instructions and an overall feel of the story. *I make a point to stay positive. FIND something you like*
The middle is where I include my notes, suggestions, and comments. *This is the meaty part. Yes, there will be constructive criticism here, but you are wanting it to get better. VERY rarely will you run across something that is absolutely ready with nothing to comment on*
The last piece of bread is where I go into  my overall comments of the story. I may also comment about marketing, submitting possibilities, and other things that may pop into my head.

Critiquing is like writing though. You get better with practice. BUT even someone who is new can see things that others may overlook. The best thing is to take the plunge, jump in feet first, and enjoy the water.

Let me know if you have some other great tips when critiquing.
ALSO… I offer a critique service for non-rhyming pbs. You can click on the tab at the top of this post to read what my fees are and how to contact me.



SUMMER SPARKS Writing Challenge sign-up is still on going. Click HERE to comment on the correct blog post to be eligible to win some great swag!

Happy writing!


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www.Wednesday: KIDLIT411.COM

Are you struggling trying to find information on the internet about children’s writing? Let me direct you to a great resourceful website that is FULL of information:




I spoke with the owners,  Elaine Kiely Kearns &  Sylvia Liu, about the website. It is so full of information and I wanted to give some great highlights. They mention the following interviews:

Good interviews:

Debbie Ridpath Ohi- Author-Illustrator- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/04/kidlit411-debbie-ohi-author-illustrator.html
Jodell Sadler- Agent- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/05/Kidlit411-Agent-Spotlight-Jodell-Sadler.html
Drew Daywalt – Author- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/03/kidlit411-Drew-Daywalt-Author-Spotlight.html


AND here are some of their Most Popular Pages: Most visited

Submissions: Agents & Editors –http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/kidlit411-submission-how-to.html
Contests & Awards- http://www.kidlit411.com/2013/12/kidlit411-contest-awards.html
For Writers- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/kidlit411-for-writers.html Picture Books- http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/picture-books.html

As you can see not can you find things about agents and editors, and writers and illustrators, but you can find contests, links, and you can learn more about the writing craft, tips, and and … okay, I’m getting tired here. GO! Click on the picture link above to go check out the website!!!



Only 4 more days to sign-up for the SUMMER SPARKS writing challenge!


Let me know what you thought about this website! Are there others you would like seen highlighted here? Do YOU have a resourceful website and would like to be highlighted?

Happy Writing!


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www.Wednesday… 12×12 and Julie Hedlund




I wanted to remind everyone about this great writing challenge.  ^^^^^ Yep, that one. The 12×12 Writing Challenge is currently underway aaaaaand it’s not to late to join in. Buuuuuuuuut time IS running out! Friday, February 28th, is THE LAST DAY to register to officially participate in this years’ challenge.

What Is It About

12×12 is all about writing. You have 12 months to write 12 picture book first drafts. Seems pretty easy, right. *cue evil laughter in the background* Believe it or not, writing is hard, life gets in the way, and sometimes your muse takes a vacation without telling you.
With the 12×12 writing challenge you get the added benefit of a community of writers who all are trying to do what you do… in the same genre! You can bounce ideas off of each other, ask questions, express concern, post exciting details, and rant. hahaha. Even when someone else is asking a question, it may trigger an idea with you and you are off and running with an idea yourself.  The group is mixed with newbies, mid-range, and experienced writers. This is an added benefit. You get experience, you get the ones digging in, and you get the ones who are struggling and may see something in a different way that you haven’t thought of.

How To Join

You can click on the 12×12 picture above or click here.  There are 3 different levels and different fees that go along with them.

What To Do After You Join?

W-R-I-T-E! Put your butt in that chair  (BIC)  and get to business! That is part of the job description. You have to write, type, scribble, BLEED those words out and get them down.
There is a forum with 12×12 as well as a Facebook page where you can ask questions, post events, introduce yourself, find critique groups, post the first 250 words of your ms, and MORE!


Why am I posting about something that someone has to pay for? Because I use this challenge myself! This is my 3rd year doing 12×12 and I believe the motivation and people keep me accountable and moving in the right directions.
Does it work? Yes, if you put work into it.
Will it guarantee a sale? No, that is up to you. YOU have to work at this writing business. YOU have to research publishing houses. YOU have to submit and get those rejections. YOU have to not get discourage and decide that YES, THIS IS WHO I AM AND WHAT I WANT TO DO!
But… you will have a whole slew of people behind you. Rooting you on! And enjoying it when that sweet success does happen. 🙂

There are other writing challenges out there too. I participate in quite a few. hahaha. I like challenging myself to become a better writer. How about you?

Let me know if you are participating in the 12×12 Writing Challenge. Or what writing goals do you have? How are you going to keep yourself accountable and achieve those dreams?
I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Happy Writing!

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Well, I’ve been trying to think of another good web site to come up with to share. The problem is there are so many out there. Maybe I should start highlighting different publishing house/magazines/newsletters etc. to help those of you who don’t know where to begin. Because let’s face it, there is a lot — and I mean A LOT — of information out there and there are places that will take your money and run! Let me first say that the old adage of :

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

is SO right on. Listen to your gut on issues and don’t second guess yourself. The road to publishing is a long one for 99.9% of the people. I know a lot of people read on here or facebook or where ever my accomplishments of late. Most don’t realize that it has taken me 11 years to get to where I am, and I have a ton of rejection letters to prove it. 😀 That being said, I would do it all over again, pay all the dues, hit all the bumps and dips along the way, just to get back to where I am today in my writing career. I ❤ it that much.

So that being said, I think I’ll post the first publishing house that ever accepted my writing to be published as a book.  GUARDIAN ANGEL PUBLISHING   ***and here is some inside tidbits too***

  • Guardian Angel Publishing is children’s genre only
  • They accept submissions by email only
  • This is a hands on publisher, be prepared to make sure your work is top notched
  • Their guidelines are on their website… follow them.
  • They are open for submissions from April to October (but look on the website to make sure this info is still current)
More highlights to come. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your dream publisher among my writings. How awesome that would be!
Till next time,