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News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

February 11, 2016
career of evil book cover

Review of Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
A reflection on J.K. Rowling's talent as a mystery writer

“When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible–and Strike […]
January 29, 2016

Common Language, Different Rules
Literary Agent Kate Johnson compares and contrasts the U.S. and U.K. book markets

When I relocated part-time to the UK last year, there were many mysteries to figure out: Why so many tea breaks, and how does one brew it in the Orwell fashion? Where does one find canned pumpkin come Thanksgiving? What’s a knees-up, and what does it mean to […]
January 28, 2016
book stacks

A View From The Trenches
Literary Agent Lucas Hunt reflects on the state of the today traditional publishing market and what authors need to know to be successful

If you want to publish today, your work must be impeccable. Whether you have a novel manuscript that has been slaved over for years, or are an expert in your field with a non-fiction book proposal, the case is the same. Your writing must be in the best […]
December 11, 2015

Spotlight on Development
An overview of developmental editing, why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process.

When many people think of editing, they think of arcane symbols and scribbled margin notes in red or blue pencil – move this paragraph, delete these words, add a hyphen, correct that spelling, capitalize this letter. And while that is an important part of editing, it’s only one […]
December 7, 2015
Book cover

Review of Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster
A reminder of why characterization still matters in mystery suspense

“When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her stepgrandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small […]
November 25, 2015

Word Play by Peter Farb
An enlightening study of language that's a gold mine for dialogue-conscious novelists

Word Play by Peter Farb may not have been written with novelists in mind, but it’s a smart, funny, and delightfully entertaining book about language and how we use it. And it’s chock full of good insights for writers, especially on the topic of dialogue. One chapter I […]