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The Search

by Pam Binder

My path to being a published author of four novels with Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, and a novella in a New York Times Bestselling anthology, took a lot of twists and turns along the way.  

Writers are told the chances of being published are about the same as winning the lottery.  After all, these people say, no one is reading anymore, the editors in New York will only read agented manuscripts, they continue, and agents are easier to get than an editor.  more...


The Serial Comma: It's Back

by Cherie Tucker

There was a window when people were taught to leave out that comma before the and when there are more than three words in a row. We have too many commas, they said. You can leave those out. However, the serial comma has made its way back into the realm of importance, especially for writers, so the reader doesn’t get to determine what you mean.

Consider the story that is told of Tom, Dick, and Harry, who inherited a million dollars from their aunt. Since the will was written to “Tom, Dick and Harry,” the judge awarded half a million to Tom and, absent the comma, considered Dick and Harry a unit, making them split the other half.  It’s not wrong to leave it out. The Brits do it all the time, and journalists are taught to ignore it.  more...


Dispatches From The Publishing Front


A Day in the Life of a
New York Editor

by Erin Brown

7:15 am, 20 feet below Fifth Avenue: I hold tightly to the grimy subway pole with one hand, while flipping the pages of a particularly colossal manuscript with the other. As I struggle to retain the yoga-like triangular balance pose that I have mastered after a decade of riding trains in the City, the smell of the shower-challenged man next to me overwhelms the aroma of my café-mocha-latte-chino.   

In an instant, the train lurches to a halt and the car goes black. I stand in the dark, feeling the pages of the manuscript flutter to the ground, where they await retrieval amongst unidentifiable—and sticky—substances on the subway floor. Shower-Challenged inches closer to me.  more...


You Wouldn't Want to Publish This Article, Would You?

by Allen Cox

Have you ever sent a query letter proposing an article to a magazine or newspaper editor, and waited for a response, and waited, and waited? A month passes, then two. Ever wonder why a response never came?

If so, try to step into the skin of the editor who opened and read your e-mail after opening a dozen other e-mails that day, all of them queries from writers whose work she doesn't know. And only one of those queries grabbed her attention. But it's late, and all she can think about is picking up her kids from soccer practice, throwing dinner together, pouring a glass of wine, and settling in to edit a few articles for the next issue. She'll get to the query responses tomorrow. Good intentions. But tomorrow it starts all over again with an inbox full of new queries, an editorial meeting, an assistant who called in sick, and…  more...

Using a Laser Instead of a

by Katherine Pryor

This all started over a power lunch a few months ago.  Sitting across a linen-draped table from the owner and editor of a Seattle publishing company, I found myself trying to pin down the target market for my two unpublished novels. 

“Well, they’re contemporary women’s fiction….Except this last one, which guys would probably like, too….People who like books?  Yeah, that’s my target market,” I stammered.   more...



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