Just Write Cat

One Writer, One Journey

Miss Snark’s Bakers Dozen Auction November 12, 2010

Filed under: Agents,Query,Social Media,Writing Contests — justwritecat @ 3:34 am

You do know about the incredibly cool Baker’s Dozen auction over at Miss Snark’s First Victim, don’t you? How this gal finds the time to put such things together is beyond me, but she does – and we (writers) are the better for it. Hop over to her blog for the details, then take a look at the list below for a ‘cheat sheet’ on the agents, authors and editor participating in the contest. Even if you don’t enter (or win), you can use the list when researching agents to query. Um, you do research agents that might prove a good fit, right? Because sending out queries willy-nilly wouldn’t be the best way to go…

Please note – the info below is based on what I found on the web/agent blogs/agency websites. Always check for the most up-to-date info before querying an agent. If you click on the name of the agency, you will get an ‘about agent’ page with genre, interests, etc.

And…many of the talented individuals listed below are also into social media. I didn’t list facebook or twitter accounts, because well – that seemed sort of ‘stalkerish’.



Ammi-Joan Paquette– agent with EMLA 

Interviews on Cynsations and Guide to Literary Agents

Danielle Chiotti – agent with Upstart Crow (how can you not love the name of the agency??)

Interviews – World Hustler and Guide to Literary Agents

Josh Getzler – agent with Russell & Volkening  

Interviews – Guide to Literary Agents

Kate McKean – agent with Howard Morhaim Agency  

Interviews – Guide to Literary Agents

Kathleen Ortiz – agent with Lowenstein Associates  

Her Website: http://www.kathleenortiz.com/ 

Laura BradfordBradford Literary Agency

Interviews – Guide to Literary Agents

Lauren MacLeod – agent with The Strothman Agency

Interviews: http://www.strothmanagency.com/articles/2010/july/lauren-macleod-interviewed-galleycat

Guide to Literary Agents 

Melissa Jeglinski – agent with The Knight Agency

Interviews: http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/meet-agent-melissa-jeglinski

Women on Writing

Michelle Wolfsonhttp://www.wolfsonliterary.com/

Interviews: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/2009/09/q-with-michelle-wolfson-super-agent.html

Sarah LaPolla – agent with Curtis Brown
Her blog – Big Glass Cases

Interviews – MotherWrites and Guide to Literary Agents

Suzie Townsend – agent with Fine Print Literary Management

Blog: http://confessionsofawanderingheart.blogspot.com/

Interviews: http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/2010/03/agent-spotlight-suzie-townsend.html
Tina Wexler – agent with ICM

Interviews: http://algonkianconferences.com/agent-TinaWexler.htm



Weronika Janczuk – agent with D4EO Literary

 Blog: http://www.weronikajanczuk.com/

Genres She Reps http://www.weronikajanczuk.com/p/agent.html

Other Helpful Links http://www.weronikajanczuk.com/p/what-i-read.html – some books she likes and what she’d love to see, by genre (I thought this was incredibly helpful of her to offer)



Stacy Whitman

Her blog: http://slwhitman.livejournal.com/

Interview: http://nathaliemvondo.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/interview-editor-stacy-whitman-of-tu-publishing/


Holly Bodger http://hollybodger.com/

Jodi Meadows http://www.jodimeadows.com/Home.html

Beth Revis http://www.bethrevis.com/

(notice how the authors above ALL have blogs? Hmm….)


Oh, You Shouldn’t Have… June 21, 2010

Filed under: Life,Social Media,You Can't Do It Alone — justwritecat @ 3:03 am


Now this is fun.  Bryan over at the Time Guardian Blog was kind enough to give me a Versatile Blogger award.  I’m not fully sure why it’s called that…but hey, I’m happy my blog was so noted.   The way this works is I need to award the blog to fifteen other bloggers (see below), thank the person who gave me the award, and share with readers seven things about myself.  Ok.  I’m into introspection.  So here goes…

First, thank you so much to Bryan.  I’ve enjoyed visiting your blog and always appreciate the comments you leave here.

Seven Things About Me (other than that I live to write, eat chocolate and listen to Michael Buble of course).

1.  I ran my own (small) catering company back in college.  Catering by Catherine.  I took on gigs during breaks from college (holidays, summer), working from my parents’ home.  My then boyfriend, now hubby even tended bar at one of the parties I catered.  Guess we’ve always enjoyed working together.

2.  My husband and I owned a small bakery in Ann Arbor, Michigan before we moved to the Pacific NW.  Deda’s Bakery and Say Cheese Cheesecakes.  We hope to open our place out here, once the building in A2 is sold.

3.  I used to like Spam.  Past tense.  Hey, sometimes in life you make choices you’re not proud of.

4.  My super secret desire – like the kind that could never, ever come true – is to be an Olympic ice skater.  Um…I’ve never skated on ice in my life.  And yet, I dream about it all the time.

5.  When I was a kid, I would pretend I had my own cooking show (this was before the food network was big).  While cooking in our kitchen, I would talk to my ‘audience’ – explaining how to cook or bake whatever I was working on at the time.  I’d do that for just about every meal.  I had quite the following.  🙂  Years later, I had the opportunity to do cooking classes for several local places (back in Texas).  I did one at this fancy grocery store and if felt very much like having a show.  Cool.

6.  I’ve seen at least one of my guardian angels. Enough said.

7.  I saw Silence of the Lambs over twenty times (most of those in theater).

That was fun!

Now for fifteen other bloggers!

1.  Echoes of a Wayward Mind

2.  Anne Riley’s Blog

3.  Rachel Bateman

4. VR Barkowski (which would be the PERFECT name for a Private Investigator)

5. The Scribe Sisters

6. Writer Unboxed – there are actually several bloggers who contribute to this site.  I love their content…and the name of the blog.  Writer Unboxed.  Perfect.

7. Expatriate Games – Bethany is one funny gal.

8. OneFineMess – I like Andy’s attitude.  And he’s really putting himself out there…that takes courage.

9. I’d Type a Little Faster

10. Cassandra Jade in the Realm – I like blogs that have someone’s name in the title.  🙂

Ok – I should list 15…but I got 10.  So clearly, I need to find some more blogs to read!

Now – I visit the blogs above and let them know of their award.

Thanks again, Bryan!

P.S. – Do  you see how the award matches the colors on my blog?  Now, I love that.  I mean, I cannot express how much that appeals to my inner ARness.


The Importance of Being Patient May 10, 2010

Filed under: Agents,Life,Social Media — justwritecat @ 10:36 pm

First, an update on JustWriteCat’s submission process (or, the process of my submission which sounds wrong and sort of dirty):

As of May 10th, I have a partial out to four agents, a full to one agent, and one unanswered query.  Sending out the partials was certainly scary, but that full – whew, something about sending out your entire manuscript is downright nerve-racking.  Let me add that all of the agents who requested material were incredibly quick to respond and very friendly.  I know it can takes weeks, even months, to hear back on your query (longer on your partial or full), so I guess I lucked out.  Or the stars were aligned just right or something.  Whatever the reason, be sure you have EVERYTHING ready to send out should you get a fast response to your query.  In addition to your completed manuscript, you should probably have a synopsis and short bio ready to send as well. 

Not all agents will ask for a synopsis, but it’s good to have one ready.  Even if you’re not asked for one, writing a synopsis helps you get a better handle on your novel.  Sure, it’s a pain in the buns to write – but it serves a purpose.  For help, check out the following sites:

Guide to Literary Agents  – offers examples of well-written synopsis (primarily based on films).

Mastering the Dreaded Synopsis – straightforward approach, but be sure to check individual agent guidelines if they request a synopsis. 

Nathan Bransford’s Blog (his blog is great for a number of reasons) – practical advice on how to tackle a synopsis.  You may want to start with this one!

The bio was rather fun to write.  I don’t know if it’s good – but it was fun!  I felt like George in that episode of Seinfeld, where he keeps saying things like “George likes his chicken spicy.”  “George is getting upset!”  I  might have a “talk about yourself in third person” day once a month.  You know, just to keep the family guessing about my sanity.  Oh wait, they already do that anyway….  Catherine doesn’t like it when people talk about her behind her back!

An aside – about response times….I emailed the full manuscript to one of the agents this morning.  She quickly replied to let me know that she’d received the file, was able to download it, and was looking forward to reading it.  She also told me that given things were hectic, it might take up to sixty days for her to get back to me.  She even apologized that it might take that long.  Wow.  First, sixty days is really not that long for an agent to read a full.  From what I understand, that is rather a fast turn around.  Most agents state (on their submission guidelines) that it can take up to six months to read a full.  So, two months – I’m happy.  And, I think it was very cool of her to reply and give me a heads-up on the timeline. 

You may wonder why it can take months for someone to read a manuscript.  Well, yours is not the only one they have to read.  Plus, they have – uh – clients….  I’ve noticed a few agents post a query or partial/full status update on their blogs.  Often, they have something like thirty fulls to read (plus hundreds of queries).  That’s thirty books, people.  I mean, I’m a fast reader (I read Stephen King’s Under the Dome in three days, without neglecting my family) – but thirty manuscripts?  With more coming in each week?  Not to mention, agents do have a life (see below).  Anyway, patience people.  Patience and understanding.  🙂

That’s the status update on Set ‘Em Up, Joe.  And so now, I wait.  And write.  And maybe go a little crazy, but I can put that to good use (which goes back to the writing part).  Here are some other things to do whilst waiting to hear back on your query/partial/full/hopes & dreams  (about that last one – even if the responses are ‘a pass’, never, never, ever, never give up your hopes & dreams.  Never, ever.

Things to Occupy Your Time

Start or continue on your next novel (duh).

Social media – work on your blog, visit/comment on other blogs, tweet – get connected!

Catch up on your reading.  I checked out over a dozen books last week – with several more on hold.  I also have a few purchased books to read on my Kindle.  I’m set, for at least two weeks.

Hey!  Did you know that there’s a whole world out there, filled with people and places and things to do?  It’s called – ‘real life’.  Give it a try.  Sure, sometimes it’s not quite as…exciting…as the world you get lost in when you write, but sometimes it is!

Learn a foreign language.  Seriously.  We’re starting a Spanish program (as a family) this week.  Next – Italian.

Start a hobby.   I have a vegetable garden.  And not a small one.  My husband built five raised beds…and ahem, I asked him to build another one last week. 

Watch the first two seasons of Damages (netflix).  The writing is incredible!

What about you?  How do you maintain your sanity while waiting to hear back from an agent?  How do you find balance in your life (which is really the hidden topic of this post)?

 *Yes, I love Oscar Wilde.  And Stephen King.  And Jane Austen.  Go figure, I like variety.


#askagent – It’s Fun! April 9, 2010

Filed under: Agents,Life,Social Media — justwritecat @ 2:36 am
Tags: , , ,

You do know there are some incredibly helpful agents you should be following on Twitter, right? Following now. Agents who tweet about the industry, post links to their blogs, offer helpful tips (on queries, writing, blogging, whatever), and generally do what they can to reach out to writers in an attempt to make the road to ‘publishdom’ less bumpy. Or to agentdom, if that’s a more immediate concern of yours.

There’s a goldmine out there, folks – and Twitter is but one way to get the inside info on things. Case in point: #askagent. #askagent is a Twitter chat, scheduled on a whim, that gives writers the opportunity to ask REAL AGENTS questions about the biz. Please note – there are absolutely no questions allowed about queries (so don’t go to hawk your own manuscript). You can (and should) research individual agents to find out their query and submission guidelines, as well as what genres they’re open to at the time you plan to submit. What you can ask are questions about anything else – what it’s like to work w/ an agent, their take on changes in the industry, views on the use of social media for writers….and just about anything else you can think of that an agent would know.

Last night, I asked if four months was too long to re-send a revised manuscript to an agent who offered to read it again after changes were made. I was worried I’d taken too long to work on the revision. Their replies suggested that wasn’t too long, and in fact – would show the agent I had taken the time to really work on my manuscript. Also, when I resubmit I should remind the agent I was invited to do so. In my mind, I thought waiting too long (which for me, is like a month) might cause the agent to lose interest. I never considered sending it back too soon would suggest my revision work had been….lax. So, good to know that sending the revised manuscript out this month is still a viable option.

The other great thing about the #askagent chat is that you get to interact with agents. You know, as if they are real people. Seriously, when I first started on this journey I felt so nervous by the prospect of interacting with agents. I wasn’t sure how to approach any in a less formal setting. Should I make jokes?  Would offers of baked goods and/or liquor be well-received?  Am I allowed to make direct eye contact, or will that only anger the royalty?

Ok – I’m kidding about those last few things. They agents, not queens and kings.  And while you should NEVER send gifts to an agent until you are officially represented by said agent, they do like sugar as a general rule. But when I started, I was…well, kinda scared by ‘them’. I had this vision in my mind of the archetype agent – someone standing on a pedestal (made out of published books, of course) so high that if she looked down all she could see was some little dot running around, trying to scatter its way up the books (ahem, yes I’m the dot).  Or a bookish sort (and really, I have no idea what that means) sitting at an oversized mahogany desk, looking over his glasses and saying something like “what makes you think you can write?” 

Where, oh where, did I get those ideas?  Who knows?  Certainly not from any agents I’ve actually met (or interacted with via blogs and twitter).  All have been unfailingly kind, helpful and supportive.  Most likely those images were conjured up by my over-active imagination (good for a writer) and insecurity (not good for a writer).   But see that’s one of the problems new writers face – fear.  And the only way to get over that fear (and ignorance, in my case) is to put yourself out there and interact with real, live agents.  You can do that at conferences, via blogs and on twitter.  Yes, you should be professional and courteous – but you can also be yourself (uh, unless your self is naturally rude and obnoxious.  In that case, be someone else). 

So, why don’t you check out #askagent to start – even if you don’t want to post a question, you can follow the chat and see what others have to say.

A few suggestions – some of the questions often asked cover information you can find by doing google searches, reading books, and/or reading agent blogs/submission guidelines.  #askagent is not the place to ask how to query or to find out if an agent wants to read your manuscript on a zombie rockstar who falls in love with a wayward werewolf in a postapocalyptic world (and no, I’m not writing that book.  Sorry – zombies creep me out and anything related to the end of the world as we know it makes me depressed, but I do like werewolves).

To attend the next #askagent chat, you can either do a Twitter search or start following the chat’s host @colleenlindsay  In addition to agents, editors and other book pros attend the chat to answer your questions.