How To Find A Literary Agent, by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Writing Teen Novels

Based on the writers I’ve known, there are four basic ways to find an agent:

1. Query an agent through Literary Marketplace, or another reference book that lists agents who are accepting solicitations. Write up a very polished letter, no more than a page or so, in which you describe your book, say why it has commercial appeal, tell the agent why you are contacting her in particular to show you’ve done your research, and if that agency says you can do so in their submission guidelines, send in the first chapter of your book. Repeat a few dozen times until you find an agent who wants to take you on. This is how I got my first agent, who managed to sell my first book before we parted ways for mutual reasons, and though the partnership didn’t last, I’ll be forever grateful to her.

2. Go to a…

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GERD

As my son has LM our Doctor has him on acid blocker medications, I am worried about the dosage and the long term effects.

See picture below:

Are Infant Reflux Drugs Worth the Risks? – An infographic by the team at Colic Calm

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Where Does the Time Go? It Goes Everywhere but the Laptop

CarolynWyattWrites

I keep trying to find time to write, and I have to say I’ve never found it this hard.

Between work, class and just plain family time, it has become difficult to carve out time to sit down and write. I used to be great about forcing myself to type at least one sentence per day, but since I allowed life to get the best of me, I’ve completely fallen behind.

It’s frustrating.

I would like to vow at this moment to sit down and type every day, but I don’t think that’s going to happen for at least another month. I have a national competition coming up in one month, and that means training, training and more training. I’m taking the time I would normally write and spending it kicking pads, practicing my form and kicking other people whenever I can.

I’ve been asked over and over again how…

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How to be a writer: getting feedback

Science Meets Fiction

So you wrote something. Great! Maybe it’s a short story. Maybe it’s a novel. Maybe it’s an epic 300,000-word tome (although if it is, you might have some issues).

It’s always good when you can finish a project, but now what? If you’re like a lot of writers (but not all!) you might want to get your masterpiece published. Hold on a minute, though. If you want to be a pro, you have to look like a pro first, and that means you need to get some feedback.

Feedback is essential to any professional-quality writing. It gives you a heads-up to fix any inconsistencies, plot holes, character problems, or just embarrassing typos along the way. You may have a great story, but fiction is a massive buyers’ market, and any one of those things makes you more likely to be immediately rejected.

So get some feedback to sniff out…

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Organise Your Inbox

ihearthome

As I’ve written before, I’m a little obsessed with decluttering and organising. A house full of small people ensures my life remains in some state of anarchy at all times. I think that’s what’s driven my organisational geekery, in search of what can be ordered and structured amidst the chaos.

There’s loads of info out there on how to organise the bigger areas in your home and life, so I thought I’d start a series addressing a few of the little areas that can reach a state of chaos, but easily get overlooked.

First up: INBOX

Call me mad, but an organised inbox is rather calming. And if it’s “tidy”, no small person can mess it up. Freakin’ awesome. How many emails are sitting in your inbox at the moment? I used to have loads. Here’s a screenshot of my inbox today.

Organise Your Inbox

My husband was actually the one to introduce me to the…

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Special Spot

ihearthome

I’ve recently implemented a new routine that has changed my life. You uber-mums out there probably already do this, but for anyone with a house full of preschoolers who doesn’t, let me share it with you.

My eldest 2 kids dropped their day sleeps before they turned 2, so by the time my 3rd was born, I had a 3-year-old, a 1-year-old and a baby all running riot in the house. I occasionally tried to send them off to their rooms for some quiet time, but trying to keep them there while breastfeeding or tending to some other carnage was impossible, and I was too exhausted to run around enforcing the rules. I figured I’d missed the boat on the whole “room time” thing, and gave up.

After a particularly intense day of tantrums recently, I had new resolve to carve out a quiet time in the day.

I announced that…

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Think Before You Shop

ihearthome

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want” Anna Lappe

The tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh last month was a harsh reminder of the relationship between First World consumer demand for cheap goods, and the devastating consequences for factory workers in the Third World. Many westerners point the finger at the factory’s landlords, but our demand for products at cheap prices is driving this machine. Ultimately, we western consumers are partially responsible.

So how can we, as part of the cause, become part of the solution? How can we begin to steer this beast in a different direction? Here are a few ideas.

Buy fair trade when possible

If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, choose to buy only fair trade (it is often the same price as all the other coffees on the supermarket shelf). If they don’t sell fair trade at…

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Organization 101

The B

 As a kid I have always been a very organised person, someone who likes things in order, someone who is neat and who enjoys being able to find things just as I left them. Somewhat of a neat freak and perfectionist, these traits have carried over into my adult life and to this day I continue to structure my life on organisation. Now I am completely aware that not everything can be organised and controlled and sometimes it is alright just to relax and let go, however, the organisational skills I have obtained have led me to where I am today in terms of my goals and ability to multi-task. Many people ask me regularly, how do you juggle everything and the only honest answer I can give besides “I don’t” is organisation.

BriggsGoalSettingBlog

Making sure you’re organised helps you to achieve your goals more effectively, allows you to be on…

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Twin Tuesday: My milk is coming back!

A Game of Diapers

image

Yes, I have cried!

I am happy to report that like any “growth” spurt my body seems to be adjusting to my new “exercise regime”. Now that the weather is nice I have been walking the dogs for an hour each day, and taking the girls on an hour walk. I have tried to eat more to compensate (and I am hungrier) and things seem to be levelling out (thank goodness). I am feeling great. I looked in the mirror the other day brushing my teeth and discovered I have bitchin pipes! All that baby lifting and pushing a double stroller is a great “workout” for your arms 😉

Here’s till the next growth spurt.

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PwC: the U.S. consumer ebook market will be bigger than the print book market by 2017

and less trees will be chopped down! There will be loads of issues to address though, one major issue being piracy.

Gigaom

Lots of different outlets are trying to project the size of the U.S. ebook market and how fast it’s growing. In its annual “Entertainment & Media Outlook,” set to be released Wednesday, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) estimates that trade (consumer, not educational or academic) ebooks will drive $8.2 billion in sales by 2017 — surpassing projected print book sales, which it thinks will shrink by more than half during that period.

Here’s how the firm thinks the trade print and ebook markets are going to evolve. Note that figures are projected from 2012 onwards.

[dataset id=”723689″]

The total size of the trade book industry, PwC estimated, will be $16.1 billion by 2017 — smaller than it was in 2008, with ebooks not quite able to pick up the slack as the print market shrinks.

PwC also projects that ebooks will make up 38 percent of all book sales — both…

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