The Noble Pen for Nov 9, 2017

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Nov 9th, 2017 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


A professor uses computer analysis to study literature and other writing.


Ciuin gave her talk in Council Bluffs and sold out the small printing of PT.  She improved the cover for the next printing.

Stacie’s Gardens story is over 50k words now.

Stacy H is blogging.

Nick wrote a little on his sequel.


Self-publish?  Small press? Large publishing house? Decisions, decisions.

Writer’s Digest offers a free nine-page download on “Step-by-step guide to the Publishing Process” when you sign up for their email newsletter.  It covers a lot of how things work with a major publishing house.  Nathan Bransford offers his summary of the process.

Randy Ingermanson compares the process for different size publishers.  Unfortunately, the Preditors and Editors site is no longer active, but offers links to help you learn to  avoid scams and deal with many aspects of getting a book out.

If you are looking to get into a big house, an editor tells why a writer needs an agent.  You may benefit from Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents that comes out each fall (or on Amazon)  They also have guides for magazine writers,  screenwriters, poets, photographers, and other market segments.  AgentQuery offers some resources.

A resource often  mentioned is Query Tracker.  Check it out to see if you could benefit either from registering for its services or just from browsing its forum for information on agents, publishers, writing techniques, success stories, etc.  You could spend days on the site.

An agent gives advice on writing a query letter.  Writer’s Digest published this list of Dos and Don’ts for queries.  Agent Rachelle Gardner gives her own desired query format (which won’t match other agents).  A poor attempt at a query letter will NOT favorably impress an agent.

Here are 10 things a writer should find out if offered representation, and 10 things they may need to answer.

A typical agent in New York gets 400 query letters a month. Of those, they might ask to read 3-4 manuscripts, and of those, they might ask to represent 1.  [ …]  Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It’s the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It’s that important, so don’t mess it up.  Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write. ~Nicholas Sparks

Upcoming Schedule

November 9
Stacie S.

November 16
Stacy H (3k)
Nathan (3k)
Deanna (6k)

November 23
Thanksgiving, no meeting

November 30
Open slots

December 7
Stacy H.
Open slot

Keep Writing,