Monday, December 5, 2011

Morrill's Monday Morning Mashup - 12/5/11

Welcome to Monday morning! This week's mashup will test your resolve. I started and ended with positive blogs, but the meat (gamey as it may be) is in the two posts on slush piles. I dare you to chew through them. Then, be sure to follow Chuck Sambuchino's blog. Better yet, come meet him at this year's Story Weavers Conference!

Ready? Here we go . . .

I like lists. They are easy and quick to scan over, and as I tick off items on the list, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Here’s a list of books of interest to writers. When I reviewed this list, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I’ve already read a few—Bird by Bird, Writing Down the Bones. I’m looking forward to reading several of the others.

Many writers are in the querying process and have received the kick-in-the-gut rejection letter. Admittedly, this post will not do much to make you feel better about a rejection, but it will clarify the many reasons for rejection. Yes, the list makes the odds of being accepted by an agent sound insurmountable, but at least after reading this post, you'll know just how “wowerful” we have to be.

I’m afraid this is another distressing, but necessary blog post. Though cynical in tone, guest editor and former slush reader, Ruth Harris, provides us with a bird’s eye view of what it feels like to go through a slush pile, and therefore teaches us what NOT to do. Still, she reminds us that great writers have risen, even from the bottom of stack and stacks and stacks of manuscripts.

This blog by Chuck Sambuchino is one of my favorites. He regularly posts information on new agents, which is an invaluable resource to writers who are trying to obtain representation. As Sambuchino says, “Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers, because they’re likely building their client lists.” And here's some big and exciting news: Chuck Sambuchino will be presenting at the Oklahoma Writers Federation (OWFI) 2012 Story Weavers Conference May 3-5 in Oklahoma City!

I end this mashup with Chuck Sambuchino's blog so that you won't be discouraged. When I was querying agents, upon receiving a rejection--once I regained my composure--the first place I visited was Chuck's blog or his book, Guide to Literary Agents. From one of those sources, I'd pick two more agents and send out two queries for every rejection I received. But, I found my agent, Kathleen Anderson, when I shepherded and pitched to her at the 2011 OWFI conference. You see from the posts above how difficult it can be to get out of the slush pile--another great reason to attend the OWFI 2012 Story Weavers conference!

New York Times Best Selling author, Jodi Thomas, taught me that triumph comes through perseverance. As you can see by the above posts, without perseverance, you are likely to remain squashed at the bottom of stacks and stacks and stacks and stacks of manuscripts.

So persevere!!


  1. This is a good collection of links, Jan. I'll be home today working on my heater installation so will get chances to click through some to hopefully reinforce my motivation and drive to succeed at this writing thing.

  2. Great links, Jan. Thanks. I really enjoy your Monday Morning Mashup.

  3. I haven't had my coffee yet, and it's after 2:00 pm. Will sit with the information later today- ALL of the topics are things I want to know about. Thanks~ Linda Joyce

  4. @madisonwoods - oh boy. I hope they get that heater fixed soon! Did you see the snowflakes this morning?

    @Jack LaBloom - Thank you! I hope you'll find something useful in these links.

    @Linda Joyce - No coffee and it's 2:00?? I'd be a bear. Hope by now you've enjoyed a cup or two!

  5. My, you're just a goldmine of information. You must have put in a lot of hours digging all this good stuff up. Thank you for sharing it with us!