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Search #MSWL on Twitter (Day 27)

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We get all excited around here when the commercial for the Farmers Only matchmaking company comes on. My kids start singing the theme song in their already appropriate Texas twang and we all giggle a little.

“You don’t have to be lonely, at FarmersOnly.com” (everybody join in)…

I love match-making. I always said that if agenting didn’t work out, I’d go ask Patty Sanger for a job. Don’t Hate. I don’t know what it is about connecting two people romantically that is so fun, but it is extremely rewarding to me. I have two marriages under my belt to date, working on my game-plan for match # 3 as we speak. 🙂

If you and your manuscript are eating TV dinners and staying home ALONE on Friday nights, then you are in luck. Since I love to match-make so much, I’ve even found you a writerly way to connect with the agent of your dreams. It’s a hashtag you are never going to forget:

#MSWL and it stands for Manuscript Wish List.

Genius whoever started it. Now, you can spend your Friday night’s scouring the wish list and match-making your writing project with prospective editors and agents. So, how would you go about pitching yourself once you’ve found yourself a match? I would say something like this:

“Hello @jessiefromTexas, sent you a query on my non-fiction project based on #MSWL preference for #foodbloggers. Thx 4 reviewing!”

That way you A) show them that you still know the proper way to send them your material B) connect with them on social media so they can shadow you. C) show them that you have done your research in even knowing about #MSWL in the first place. Once you’ve found some agents that you pair well with, feel free to keep going and write down a list of editors that might be currently looking for what you have written. You can turn that list right over to your new agent and I promise they will appreciate your research. Finding your perfect match is as much about timing as it is talent. So, quit living the single life, and go find yourself a match— the fabulous #MSWL awaits you.

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This series is part of the #Write31Days challenge. To read all the posts in this series click here.

 

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Follow the Submission Guidelines (Day 26)

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Thanks for all the social media love over the weekend! Y’all have effectively filled my agent cup. And thank you for all the messages of concern about the flooding in Texas.

1st—It’s raining cats and dogs down here.

2nd—My town is more or less on high ground.

3rd—My neighborhood is literally at the top of a hill, so we are completely safe from flooding.

The only bad thing going down at my place beneath the pines is this guy right here.

IMG_3699Romo has effectively stolen both a ribeye and a few sausage balls straight off my kitchen counter—twice—in one weekend. I have been laying down the law for him, but he doesn’t seem to care. Not only did he swipe some of the food I cooked out of the kitchen, but I went outside for a second and the wind swung the door open behind me, and surprise, surprise, bad Romo bolted out of the house like it was some sort of prison break.

He is so awkward, y’all I just can’t even explain the level of his pre-teen awkwardness. He frolicked like a lamb over to the neighbor’s house, turned circles on their front lawn, used their yard as his personal toilet, and then barked for 30 minutes at their dogs. He is as unruly as he is awkward. Then, he bolted down the street after a squirrel like some sort of wind-up toy. It was ridiculous.

Romo needs obedience training, or I’m gonna need counseling. 

Sigh. So with that said, let’s talk about agency rules. I hope you’ve learned that all agents function uniquely. Generally, we want to work with professional people, but our specific wants/needs can look very different. What I want you to know today is that it’s not just about “what” we want, it’s also about “how” we want to review your material. The best piece of advice I can give you is to spend some time reading the submission guidelines on each agency website. If an agency tells you “no attachments” for instance, this means they want you to copy/paste your query and sample chapters right into the body of an email. If you violate this specific submission rule, then the agent on the receiving end will trash what you’ve sent. Simple submission rules like this are common, and vary from agency to agency. If you can’t follow the rules from the beginning, an agent might doubt that you will listen down the road. And more importantly, attachments make our computers prone to viruses. And nobody’s getting reviewed if our computers crash.

Just follow, follow, follow, the specific guidelines that each agency sets. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s their choice as to how they want to review your material. And I promise, those rules are in place for a reason. So, please don’t pull a Romo, and simply follow the rules. When you follow specific submission rules, you can rest assured that your manuscript will receive a fair review from the agent you hope to snag.

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This series is part of the #Write31Days challenge. To read all the posts in this series click here.

 

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Show Me the Irony (Day 25)

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I’m on your blog, reading, digging, and I’m hunting for something special. It is possible, that I would love a writer to tackle a particular topic in order to round out my list. I am certainly looking for fantastic writing, and savvy marketers, but more than all of these things:

I am looking for irony.

Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality.”

I want to know how the things you say, the lessons you’ve learned, the things you display on the page would work together in order to bring irony to the reader. I want to see how you can build a story in a way, that the lesson I think might be coming, is unique and ironic enough that when I close the book I say, “Wow, how did they string that together?” Readers love and need irony. I’m looking for the beautiful DIY blogger whose online home is perfect. But, yet, her personal, real-life home is a mess. I’m looking for writers that know how to put irony on the page.

When you set up your online home, if you have irony in your story, display it somehow. If the reality of your life and the message of your book are filled with nuggets of truth that are clear to the audience, but unknown to the characters, then you are on a good path.

Flip over the back of any good book jacket. You will find irony there. Or you should. Irony is an art. Master it.

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This series is part of the #Write31Days challenge. To read all the posts in this series click here.

 

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