The Noble Pen for January 9, 2014

Next Noble Pen Meeting

January 9th, 2014 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Danielle Steel, who has sold 800 million books to become the best selling author now alive and the fourth-best of all time, received France’s highest award, the Legion of Honor.


Ciuin got Petty Theft cleaned up and to beta readers before the end of 2013.  One reader is a Romany VIP and three are history professors.

Nick found a way at long last to convert his old western novel to his current word processor and has started revising.

Cassie spent the entire New Years Day writing, and produced 13,000 words of a 2nd draft plus ideas for scenes to add.

Riley made time to write 2,000 words.  He found the new CR library to be a good place to write.


After a writer has decided they are done improving the novel, they need to find a publisher, which usually means finding an agent first.  Study each agent to make sure they represent your kind of material.  Query a few agents at a time, and use any information you get in rejections to improve your query.

The query letter must be finely crafted and contain zero mistakes, to avoid any hints of amateur writing. Read each agent’s guidelines and tailor your letter to each.  Send exactly what the agent wants-some want a few pages of your manuscript pasted into an email and others do not.  Never attach a file to a query email. If the agent gets ten or twenty queries a day, they will happily discard one for not following instructions.

The Query Tracker web site has a free forum for information on agents, publishers, writing techniques, success stories, etc.  You could spend days on the site.  AgentQuery also has useful information, a forum where query letters are critiqued. and examples of successful queries.  Nathan Bransford shows his favorite query letter. Creative Writing Forums has a critique section for queries.

This site has some tips on query letters and writing a synopsis.

Never mention anything about sequels when pushing your first book, even if you have another one planned or written.  The first book has to be a success before they will even think about another, and mentioning sequels will scare them that the first book may not stand alone.

More advice is listed in our newsletter for last June 13.

Upcoming Schedule

Jan 9th
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Jan 30th
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