NaNoWriMo Is Coming; We Want to Help

The best books start here.

Category: Inspiration

In honor of NaNoWriMo‘s twentieth (!) anniversary, we’ve put together a sort of daily devotional beginning tomorrow and appearing each day right up through the middle of December. It’s our small way of expressing our solidarity with the thousands of writers giving the month of November over to their work.

Expect to find bits of inspiration drawn from our reading; practical advice gleaned from other writers and from our own experience; and ideas about how you might want to approach the monumental feat of drafting a novel in thirty days.

Some of it may be new to you, some of it may be obvious, but our hope is that one or two of our posts might be just the thing you need most should you find yourself written into a corner.

Stay tuned!

Next [more]

The agents of Upstart Crow Literary are hosting an #AskUpstart session next Tuesday, April 9th from 1:00-2:00 pm EST. This is an opportunity to ask us any publishing or book related questions – we’re here to help! In preparation for that, here’s some information about the session.

 

Who’s participating?

Danielle Chiotti, Susan Hawk, Alex Penfold, and Michael Stearns. For more information about each of us, please click the ABOUT link for our bios.

 

What do you represent?

Children’s books of all kinds—young adult, middle grade, picture books, as well as graphic novels, and non-fiction for children and teens. In addition we also rep select cookbooks, adult fiction, and nonfiction. Again, more details and specifics in the About link.

 

Are all four of you open to submissions right now? 

Danielle Chiotti and Susan … [more]

I’m delighted to announce that Upstart Crow Literary will be hosting an #AskUpstart session next Wednesday, Nov 7th from Noon-1:00 pm EST. In preparation for that, here’s some helpful information about the session.

 

Who’s participating?

Danielle Chiotti, Susan Hawk, Alex Penfold, and Michael Stearns. For more information about each of us, please click the ABOUT link for our bios.

 

What do you represent?

Children’s books of all kinds—young adult, middle grade, picture books, as well as graphic novels, and non-fiction for children and teens. In addition we also rep select cookbooks, adult fiction, and nonfiction. Again, more details and specifics in the About link.

 

Are all four of you open to submissions right now? 

Danielle Chiotti and Susan Hawk are open. If you’d like to submit a query to one of us, … [more]

I’m delighted to announce that Upstart Crow Literary will be hosting an #askagent session next Tuesday, Aug 7th from 1:00-2:00 pm EST. In preparation for that, here’s some helpful information about the session.

 

Who’s participating?  

Danielle Chiotti, Susan Hawk, Alex Penfold, and Michael Stearns. For more information about each of us, please click the ABOUT link for our bios.

 

What do you represent?  

Children’s books of all kinds—young adult, middle grade, and picture books, as well as select cookbooks, adult fiction, and nonfiction. Again, more details and specifics in the About link.

 

Are all four of you open to submissions right now? 

Danielle Chiotti and Susan Hawk are open. If you’d like to submit a query to one of us, please click the SUBMISSION link and check our feeds this week, as we’ll be tweeting … [more]

DenbyJonesAt the New Yorker, tetchy old fogey and mediocre former film critic David Denby has published a lament about how few teens are reading books these days. He has one great overheard line—a student saying “Books smell like old people”; and a few careful caveats (“It’s very likely that teen-agers, attached to screens of one sort or another, read more words than they ever have in the past”); but mostly he is describing a decline of western civilization via smartphone. “If teachers can make books important to kids … those kids may turn off the screens,” he wraps up, making clear his real issue here: a favored primacy of one form of technology (ink on paper) over another (e-ink or pixels on screens).… [more]

logoWe are pleased to announce that Upstart Crow client Erin Byers Murray has won the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing. The award, presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, is for Erin’s essay “Sense of Self”, which appeared in FoodThinkers in 2014.

Erin is the author of Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and a co-author of The James Beard nominated cookbook The New England Kitchen (Rizzoli 2014). Erin is an enormously talented writer and she has many more exciting projects cooking for the future. Congratulations, Erin!… [more]

I read a lot of queries this week–about one hundred. I sent a lot of rejections this week–about ninety-something (I requested four manuscripts).

Getting rejections is never easy (remember: I get them, too!). Sending rejections isn’t easy, either. But when I pass on your project and tell you to keep writing, I mean it. The passage below explains why. So even if you think I’m a jerk with no taste for passing on your project, you should listen to Ira Glass, because he’s a really smart guy.

Keep writing.

[more]

[Dear All— Reposting this note from last December because, well, it says it all. Why remake the wheel? Enjoy your holidays and we’ll see you back here in January. —MS & CR & DC & TM]

_______________________________________

I am a huge fan of good design, and also a great fan of pithy expression. So it probably makes sense that Stefan Sagmeister would be a hero of mine. He has a firm in New York that has designed packaging for many things you’ve likely seen but not known came from his team, and he is also a creator of winningly temporary public art installations. For a few years now, he’s been orchestrating a series of strange and stunning artworks that deliver aphoristic bits of wisdom (such as “Assuming is stifling,” or “Helping other people helps me,” … [more]

BannedBooksAs many of you clever writers out there already know, it’s ALA’s Banned Books Week, a yearly celebration in support of reading in general and the First Amendment.

As you also probably know, the four of us here at Upstart Crow are huge readers and have been heavily influenced by a great number of titles on the banned list over the years. And then I discovered, by way of a lovely blog post by my client Josephine Cameron about her struggles with banned books as a child, that young adult writer Jo Knowles has started a fun meme on her blog as a way of celebrating Banned Books Week.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Go find your favorite banned book. 
  2. Take a picture of yourself with said book.
  3. Give that book some love by
[more]

As we zoom into another week, I thought it might be fun to start out with a light post, a little game of sorts, to see what you’re reading these days.

old-stack-of-books

As a devoted lover of books, it’s not unusual for me to have many books and magazines stacked haphazardly on my bedside table, some of which I’m in the process of reading, some of which I’m hoping I’ll be in the mood to read soon, and some I’ve already read (multiple times) and love so much that I just can’t stand to put them back on the bookshelf just yet.

The books on my bedside stand are a reflection of my mood, of inspiration, and my goals. Books are my greatest pleasure, my stolen moments, and my meditation. I simply cannot fall asleep without … [more]