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This month, Agent Kristin talks agent types to be wary of, Angie shares tips for pitching character-driven novels, and Agent Joanna spotlights what stories she wants in 2021

February 2021

In This Issue Kristin Chats Publishing |  NLA in the News |  Writers in the Know |  Angie Chats Story Craft |  From the Blog  |  Kristin's Book Club  |  New Releases


Kristin Chats Publishing

Three Agent Types to Avoid… and the One You Won’t See Coming

Kristin Nelson

Whenever a new story breaks about an established literary agent behaving badly, I cringe. Although I’m not personally responsible, it’s another black-mark moment for this profession that I love. So what responsibility do agents have to protect writers, and what can writers new to the publishing world do to protect themselves?

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NLA in the News

In a two-book deal, Foyinsi Adegbonmire at Feiwel and Friends has acquired North American rights to And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner.


Courtney Milan’s The Duke Who Didn’t is named a 2020 New York Times Top 100 Notable Book.

Kate Baer’s collection of poetry What Kind of Woman was featured in the goop Book Club.


Jordyn Taylor’s The Paper Girl of Paris among three amazing audiobook nominees for teens.

Christina Delaine is nominated for a SOVAS Voice Arts Award for her amazing audiobook narration of Doug Engstrom’s Corporate Gunslinger.


Writers in the Know

New Year, New #MSWL

Is Joanna MacKenzie on your dream-agent list for 2021? Here’s her updated wishlist to kick off the new year.

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Angie Chats Story Craft


How to Pitch a Character-Driven Novel

Angie Hodapp

When it comes to pitching and querying, it’s hard for writers of introspective, character-driven novels not to feel like writers with action-forward novels have an edge. If you’ve written a quieter story (nary an explosion or shootout in sight), how can you pitch it in such a way that it will pique an agent’s interest?

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From the Blog

Got First Person POV? Writing Tip Of The Week
If You Remember One Thing, It Should Be This: Never Sign An Unnegotiated Boilerplate Contract With Any Publisher
Writing Craft: Mechanics Vs Spark

Kristin’s Book Club

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As a group of book nerds, we kicked off book club with stories about going to the library as kids. Each of us had one memorable story to share. Mine was being able to check-out Wifey by Judy Blume as a young tween. My mom didn’t believe in withholding books. But, she did believe in discussing them if she thought something was above my maturity level. There were a lot of awkward conversations in my youth. So I was one the gal in middle school who had a legit copy of this hush-hush, whisper-with-hand-over-mouth book. If I were to re-read it today, I’d probably laugh about what was considered risqué then.

So Book Club was ready to have a love affair with The Library Book by Susan Orlean. And although many of us enjoyed the rather colorful history of the librarians who’ve headed up the LA Public Library (truly a wild bunch—I should have been a librarian), this nonfiction work didn’t quite strike a chord in our hearts as previous titles by Orlean have done. We did agree that one of the most fascinating elements of the work was not the mystery of who started the fire, but the explanation of how a library recovers books hugely damaged by smoke and water. I personally enjoyed this one, but it wasn’t a top pick for the club. Next up, Where The Crawdads Sing, a title that definitely fits that upmarket/literary sweet spot but that I’m sensing won’t hit mine. I’ll probably be in the minority.

New Releases

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