News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

March 8, 2017

South of Hell by P.J. Parrish
A "First 50" Review

Flap Copy: For Louis Kincaid and his lover, female detective Joe Frye, the present and the past collide when they team up to find out what happened to Jean Brandt, who was reported missing by her husband from their Michigan farmhouse in 1981. Jean’s daughter Amy, only five at […]
March 3, 2017
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The Truth About First Novels and Traditional Publication

What you might hear: “Publishing-house editors don’t want to read first-novel submissions.” “Literary agents don’t want to take on unknown writers.” “Publishers only want novelists who have a good track record.” “If by a miracle you get a first novel published, it’ll sell 500 copies to your friends […]
February 26, 2017

Mystery Musings
An editor's reflection on an enduringly popular genre of fiction

Mysteries are more popular today than ever, hogging bestseller lists year after year—taking up about half the spots unless you include pure thrillers (I don’t), in which case the percentage is higher. The variety of today’s mysteries is mind-boggling, ranging from the manor-house murder committed and solved over […]
February 21, 2017

Agent Spotlight: Ten Agencies Representing Fiction and Nonfiction

We’re always on the lookout for agents and agencies whose specialties might be of interest to our clients, and this month we’re focusing on agents who handle books for the Christian marketplace. 1. Bruce Barbour of Literary Management Group Specializes in the area of Christian publishing from […]
February 9, 2017

Candor, Tough Love, and The Delicate Art of The Bounce
How our editors handle manuscripts that aren't ready for editing

The first thing I’d put on the table in connection with how we handle manuscripts that need a lot of work could, I hope, go without saying. And that’s that we never want to be discouraging to an author. There’s no pleasure in telling a writer that a […]
February 1, 2017

Part III: Showing vs. Telling
Rue the day you tell what's been shown

For those of us who don’t remember show and tell in kindergarten oh so fondly—I personally recall an unfortunate incident involving a classroom hamster and a certain child’s not-so-captive boa constrictor—we promise that this will be our final installment in this particular series of blogs on Showing vs. […]