Cover image for Your novel proposal : from creation to contract : the complete guide to writing query letters, synopses and proposals for agents and editors
Your novel proposal : from creation to contract : the complete guide to writing query letters, synopses and proposals for agents and editors
Camenson, Blythe.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer's Digest Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
246 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN3355 .C26 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The only guide of its kind created just for fiction writers. Drawing upon the insights of experienced authors, editors and agents, it provides writers with crucial information needed to get published in today's rapidly-changing fiction industry.Using examples from real novel proposals, this guide illustrates all the do's and don't of pitching a manuscript, including how to:-target the right publishers-find a great agent-network and make important industry contacts-send a query letter that gets attention-avoid editors' and agents' "Top 10 submission pet peeves"-master the elements of a strong synopsis and killer cover letterBlythe Camenson is a full-time writer with 37 books and numerous articles to her credit. She is director of Fiction Writer's Connection, as well as an instructor for AOL's Online Campus, where she teaches courses on writing query letters and submissions. Marshall J. Cook also the author of Freeing Your Creativity and How to Write with the Skill of a Master and the Genius of a Child, teaches writing, editing and creativity at the University of Wisconsin. He is a frequent speaker at conferences nationwide, and has recently published his own novel, the Year of the Buffalo.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

In spite of the first title's rather murky subtitle, the books under review will be of immense help to both beginning and semiprofessional writers. For fiction writers who actually get past all the usual obstacles, such as writer's block, lack of time, and little or no inspiration, the biggest challenge lies ahead--getting published. Many sincere and serious novelists may be naive about what it takes to get published. Camenson and Cook describe the pathways (query letters, synopses, writers' conferences) and the pitfalls (unscrupulous agents, rejections). The book takes readers through all the steps from finding an agent and publisher, writing query letters and synopses, and working with agents and editors. Our only complaint is that the publishing contract is given short shrift, but there are other books (by lawyers) that deal with that topic in more depth. This is a very useful book for those writers with a finished product looking for a buyer who will turn them into published authors. Edelstein's guide is for the beginning writer who sincerely wants to write, and sometimes does, but needs a nudge to get going. The book is divided into five parts: Basic Wisdom, The Writing Process, Building Your Writing Skills, Making Money from Your Writing, and The Writer's Life. There are some good tips here. For writers who have a little more experience under their belts, the best information is in the second half of the book. For example, in #79 Edelstein warns that some literary agents operate scams on naive and eager to publish writers--a harsh but true reality. Edelstein is a writer, writing instructor, and literary agent, so he brings a good combination of viewpoints to this book. He is somewhat discouraging for those who are only interested in the fiction market. Still, Edelstein has something to offer most writers who are fortunate enough to pick up his book. For writers who never seem to find the time to write, Golub offers more than solace--practical guidance. The issue of finding time is a universal problem for writers whether they work in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. No matter how talented the writer, it's simply easier to wash the car or even the dog than to sit in front of a blank computer screen or stare at an empty piece of paper. Golub advises that making writing a serious priority and a regularly scheduled activity (if only 20 minutes a day) is mandatory. Her chapters are short and to the point. As with most useful books on writing, this one includes doable exercises. Golub's exercises require writers to organize, think, and write--all basic requirements to get started writing. This is a handy tool for writers at all stages of writer's block or those who really want to make writing a regular hobby or even a career. --Marlene Chamberlain