Q&A with Andrea Warren on Writing
I love to write. How can I learn more about writing?
I yearn for an audience for my writing, but how can I get published?
These days, many writers are literally publishing themselves by blogging. If you’re a
young writer, you can submit your writings for publication to inkpot.com, where you’ll
also get feedback from readers. Lots of writers are self-publishing their own books or
publishing them with companies like iUniverse.com and then selling them through such
websites as Amazon.com.
To get your work out there, you can also enter writing contests. Or you can volunteer to
write the newsletter for an organization you belong to—anything you can do to get the
word out there that you’re a writer.
If you want to go the traditional route, get the book Writers Market from your
public library and read the information at the beginning about how to submit your
work to a major publisher. This book contains numerous listings of publishers,
what they’re looking for, and how they want materials from you submitted to them.
You can submit to publishers without having an agent, but if you feel you should have
one, you’ll find a book called Guide to Literary Agents at the library or bookstore. The
front of this book will tell you everything you need to know about approaching agents
about representing your work. The book itself lists hundreds of agents, their credentials,
what they’re looking for, and how they like to be contacted (e-mail, snail mail, etc.).
If you don’t hear back from an agent in six weeks, you probably won’t, so cross that
agent off your list. It’s fine to submit to more than one agent or publisher at a time.
This whole process is time-consuming, but don’t be discouraged.
You can also meet agents at writers’ conferences. At most conferences you will have
the opportunity to “pitch” your story idea to the agent. Both Writers Digest and Poets &
Writers magazines list conferences and workshops.
Warning! Never pay an agent or publisher to review your manuscript. The legitimate
ones DO NOT charge fees.
What if all I get are rejections from agents and publishers?
Even very successful writers will tell you that rejection is the name of the game, just as it
is for actors, artists, dancers, and musicians. Writing can be hard, lonely work. But you’ll
do it because you love it and don’t want to do anything else. Hang in there! And don’t
take the rejection seriously. It’s just part of this business. When your writing is ready,
you’ll find a means of publication.