August 15, 2019
5 Tips an Aspiring Author Can Use to Move Up and Get Noticed

Literary agents and publishers regularly receive hundreds to thousands of unsolicited queries and book proposals per year. That can mean 10 or more each week. They often rely on manuscript readers to skim requests and to vet authors. They also turn to professionals with a track record of recognizing talent to find the types of […]

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July 19, 2019
The Job of a Literary Agent and How to Know if They're Good at It

Contracting with a literary agent and getting a traditional publishing contract remains the holy grail of many authors and aspiring authors, but getting the attention of agents and publishers is becoming increasingly difficult. Most advice out there, including what I offer, is geared toward making you more appealing to agents. But there's something that isn't […]

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July 9, 2019
Does Your Art Imitate Your Life? If not, Why Bother?

In life, we never achieve anything meaningful without overcoming some fear or wound from our past and giving up some thought or behavior pattern that keeps us locked into one plane of existence. And it takes test after test, try after try, opportunity and failure after opportunity and failure before we finally throw up our […]

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June 26, 2019
My Statement of Values

As Marc Zicree says, "Your career will be defined by two poles: what you stand for and what you won't stand for." I hope that my body of work communicates to the world what I value, but I also believe that it's important to codify and share upfront my values and how they guide my […]

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June 24, 2019
You Can Always Do More Than You Think You Can

guest post by developmental editing client Scott Forrester What have you done recently that was a bit challenging? I recently participated in the Western States 100 training run that covers the last 22 miles of its 100.2-mile race course. The training run is a unique event and wonderful opportunity to experience the legendary course if […]

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June 8, 2019
Cristen's Wish List: Memoir

I’m actively looking for compelling, high stakes survivor, medical, and adventure memoir projects and literary memoirs and essay compilations that have strong themes and a built-in audience. If a results-oriented developmental editor or book collaborator and long-term strategic partner is on your wish list, let's talk to see if we're a good fit. SOME OF […]

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June 8, 2019
Cristen's Wish List: Vegan Book Projects

I'm looking for thought-provoking, nuanced academic and subject matter expert written nonfiction projects focused on veganism. My degree in anthropology and focus on medical anthropology means I love working with people who shine a light in dark places and help readers better see, understand, and navigate the world around them in a healthy, sustainable way. […]

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June 8, 2019
Cristen's Wish List: Fiction Projects

I'm actively looking for thought-provoking and nuanced literary, upmarket, and Southern Gothic (grit lit) fiction projects. I help clients develop high-stakes fiction that moves: clear goals, conflict, strong character development, interesting protagonists, complex antagonists, and situations that drive the story. I’m particularly interested in nuanced stories with a strong sense of place, where setting and […]

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June 8, 2019
Identify and Bridge the Communication Gap to Persuade

Being right is one thing. Being persuasive quite another. Often passionate people--myself included--communicate in ways that appeal only to those who already agree with or think like us. We "school" people with facts and logic and congratulate ourselves for our reasoning skills and courage but are confused and frustrated when met with silence and inaction […]

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June 8, 2019
An Interesting Story Requires an Interesting Antagonist: Example from Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Underground Railroad, offers an excellent example of the relationship required between the protagonist and antagonist to craft a page-turning, stick-with-the-reader story. The Underground Railroad tells the story of (no spoilers ahead) a runaway slave girl's journey from the plantation she'd been forced to call home across the antebellum South […]

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recent blog posts

5 Tips for Authors to Move Up and Get Noticed

Literary agents and publishers regularly receive hundreds to thousands of unsolicited queries and book proposals per year. That can mean 10 or more each week.

Read More »
pitching to a literary agent

Contracting with a literary agent and getting a traditional publishing contract remains the holy grail of many authors and aspiring authors, but getting the attention

Read More »

In life, we never achieve anything meaningful without overcoming some fear or wound from our past and giving up some thought or behavior pattern that

Read More »

As Marc Zicree says, "Your career will be defined by two poles: what you stand for and what you won't stand for." I hope that

Read More »

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