Category Archives: Publishing

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Indy Spotlight: Engine Books

Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Engine Books specializes in fiction—novels, novellas, and short-story collections—and the press is also home to the annual Engine Books Novel Prize. Engine Books was founded by publisher and editor Victoria Barrett in 2011, and both she … Continue reading

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How To Fall in Literary Agent Love

In my last post, I shared with you the checklist I used to put together my own book proposal. It contained all the building blocks I’d become familiar with when working as an editorial assistant for an academic book publisher, plus … Continue reading

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Indy Spotlight: Paris Press

During the war, we felt the silence in the policy of the governments of English-speaking countries. That policy was to win the war first, and work out the meanings afterward. The result was, of course, that the meanings were lost. … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: How To Screw Up A Book Proposal

When I first start working on a proposal or a manuscript with a writer, I tell them I have two stages of advice: breaking things and fixing things. At first, I’m going to keep asking hard questions and recommending big … Continue reading

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A Checklist of Book Proposal Essentials to Go Through Before You Start Schmoozing Agents

In my wildest fantasies, an editor from Seal Press stumbles upon that personal essay I wrote about the awkwardness of babymaking sex—or the blog post I wrote about landing a husband despite being a crazy cat lady, or that other piece I … Continue reading

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The Self-Publisher Who Changed the World of Baseball: On Fool’s Gold by Bill James

Under review: Solid Fool’s Gold: Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom by Bill James (2011, ACTA Publications, 224 pages) Whenever I think of Bill James I think of the following Margaret Mead quote, which probably appeared on the walls … Continue reading

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Indy Spotlight: Caketrain Press

Founded little more than ten years ago in Pittsburgh by Donna Weaver, Amanda Raczkowski, and Joseph Reed, Caketrain Press (still run by editors Raczkowski and Reed) publishes a journal and sponsors a yearly chapbook competition that alternates between poetry and … Continue reading

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POC vs PLOT: The MFA, Chipotle Cups, and Narratives We Crave

By now it seems everyone’s read Junot Diaz’s MFA vs POC blog on the New Yorker website. Even my freshmen at Cornell these days say to me, “Dan, was it really like that?” Usually I just shrug in response. I was a notorious recluse … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: How Publishing Looks From the Agent’s Side

If I were forced to write a mission statement, it would be short and sweet: “Help authors. Have fun.” It’s easy for anyone in this business to lose sight of the fact that we do what we do because we love … Continue reading

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