Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
One of the best ways of finding literary agents is through subscribing to a high quality writing magazine such as 'The Writer.' The word 'subscribing' is the key, as it's generally not enough to just pick up any old writing magazine. flick through it, take down the contact details of a few agents,parcel up your precious short stories manuscript, head for the mail office and hope for the best.
A better approach (and one that is easier on the fragile self-esteem) is to subscribe regularly to a good quality writing magazine like 'The Writer' and keep an eye on which literary agents and self-publishers are advertising, how long their ad stays up there, and crucially what the letters,editorial and review pages say about them and the personal experiences of their hopeful submitters.
Looking forward to curling up with an informal, funny, entertaining and educational writing magazine with your feet up, the phone off and a coffee in hand is not only a well-deserved break from the hard slog of 'the writing business' it also keeps novice (and experienced) writers abreast of the latest trends, calls and styles in writing. In fact many magazines for writers may have highly valuable guest articles written by literary agents themselves - often 'spilling vital beans' about just what it is they are looking for - that elusive 'je ne sais quoi' writing element or story line.
Writing journal 'The Writer' is a magazine for writers which features more than just the latest writing markets. As a resource for writers, it offers writing tips and practical help, examples of how to improve writing and advice from successful authors such as Debbie Applegate on how to break into the secret world of literary agents and best-selling authors.
One very tempting feature in a recent issue offered tips on how to break into the exotic and lucrative travel writing field through writing for airline magazines. In addition, a particularly valuable and interactive hands-on activity involved a writing task that would-be writers can complete in order to hone their writing skills.
But perhaps one of the best bits about subscribing regularly to a writing magazine is the boost to confidence and self-esteem that comes from hearing about the trials, tribulations, frustrations and rejections - and of course successes - of like-minded writing soul mates. No wonder so many writers, both new and established, look forward to the thud in the letter box or mail box of their favourite writer's magazine. Soon they should be armed with enough 'insider information' and writing skills to actually pitch to the literary agents that advertise within its pages.