#MSWL Launches The Manuscript Academy

podcastlogoWelcome to the newest arm of Manuscript Wish List®: The Manuscript Academy. The Academy exists for writers who want the best aspects of a conference–the classes, the direct access to experts, the networking, and the personalized critiques–delivered right to you, without paying for flights, hotels, or travel.

Our model is different: You can learn on your own schedule, after the kids have gone to bed, the workday is over, and you’ve changed into your PJs. You don’t need to pay for travel, meals out, or even a new blazer. We believe that writing conferences should be affordable, accessible, and awesome. We offer personalized, creative access to the top minds in the industry–all without leaving home. 

With professional-grade recordings of classes, webcam workshops and pitch meetings, and critiques by our faculty of top agents and editors, everything you need is right here.

Registration is $199 and includes 30 days of access to our full menu of classes, plus access to critiques, pitches, workshops, and live events.

 

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Spring Special: Manuscript Academy Classes 50% Off Until Friday

Until Friday, all of The Manuscript Academy’s a la carte classes are 50% off. This means that a single class is just $24.50, and craft packs are only $39.50! Scroll down to find out more.

Classes come with 15 days of access–so you can watch, rewind, take notes–and 15 days with the meeting and written critique booking system. So, if you’ll want a meeting before the next Ten Minutes With An Expert event this summer, this is a way to learn AND connect.

As always, we’re here to help if you have any questions!

All best wishes,
Jessica and Julie

 

Un-branding Yourself: Revealing the True You to the Book Community — Laura Barbiea, Alloy Entertainment, $24.50

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For so many creative people, “branding,” “marketing,” and “promotion” are bad words. Many view these things as chores or barriers to expressing your true self. This class will change how you perceive the online world, and expand your understanding of how to effectively represent yourself and your work! Taught by Laura Barbiea, social media manager at Alloy Entertainment (a publisher), this class will discuss strategies for reaching the fans you already have and ways you can connect with other like-minded artists in the writing community.

49:02, shot in the Alloy Entertainment New York offices in HD.

 

 

 

From Pitch to Page — Katharine Sands, The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, $24.50

Literary agents are always on a treasure hunt. But few writers know what it takes to make agents yell at first glance: “Eureka, I’ve struck gold!” And a first glance is all that most writers will get before the agent moves on without ever reading further. This presentation cuts through the mystery of getting an agent to want YOU, to read YOU, and to say YES to YOU. In this class, literary agent Katharine Sands shows you the best ways to showcase your writing as a bold, new entry into its category—and yourself as a potential author with an intriguing book poised to spring forth. We look at hooks, selling points, and engines; and how to avoid Querial Killers: the easy-to-fix mistakes writers make when querying agents and on All-Important Page One. Shot in standard definition.

Nonfiction Basics — Amanda Shih, Tarcher/Perigee/Penguin Random House, $24.50

AmandasqDo you have an amazing personal story, expert knowledge, or creative talents you want to share with the world? With so much information out there for fiction authors, it can be tough to get detailed advice on what it takes to make a nonfiction project stand out. This class will walk you through the basics: What qualifies as nonfiction? (It’s not all memoirs and big-issue books!) How does a nonfiction proposal differ from a fiction submission? And platform, platform, platform: Why does it matter, and how can you build yours? We’ll demystify this wide-ranging genre, and give you the tools you need to create the kind of nonfiction project agents and editors will be excited to pursue.

27:49, shot in the Penguin Random House offices in HD.

 

 

 

Craft Pack, $39.50

  •  Writing A Manuscript That Gets and Keeps Everyone’s Attention — Linda Camacho, Prospect Agency
  • Worldbuilding 101 — Roseanne Wells, Jennifer Di Chiara Literary Agency
  • Character, POV, and The All-Important Voice — Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary 

Writing A Manuscript That Gets and Keeps Everyone’s Attention — Linda Camacho (Prospect Agency)

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Manuscripts are vetted at so many levels. They pass from the eyes of agents to editors to marketing to sales, and while there are some variables outside of the writer’s control, craft is not one of them. In the end, publishing folks seek the same thing: A good story. Every good story has certain key elements that I looked for as as a marketer at Random House and even now as an agent. If the manuscript falters on any of these counts, it’s a pass. In this workshop, I’ll talk about several key story fundamentals that not only grab an agent or editor’s attention, but that of the acquisitions board as well.

Shot in Standard Definition, 49:19 with 20+ slides.

 

 

 

 

Worldbuilding 101 — Roseanne Wells, Jennifer Di Chiara Literary Agency

Roseanne Wells copyEver received feedback on your work that said “I didn’t connect with the world”? Perhaps you’re not sure if your fantasy story is believable? Worldbuilding–for fantasy, magical realism, and even contemporary–can be hard to define, but it’s essential to support any narrative. Taught by a literary agent who seeks immersive and detailed worlds, this session will discuss what worldbuilding is, how character and worldbuilding help each other, and a breakdown of the elements of worldbuilding. (13:07, shot in HD)

 

 

 

Character, POV, and The All-Important Voice — Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary 

Laura new headshotIn fiction, a solid, engaging voice is the hardest thing to nail down. The reason why a book’s voice might fail is very often linked to one issue: a lack of connectivity between a character and the space they occupy (both their body and the world around them). The good news is that there’s a fairly simple solution to this problem: deepening POV. This class will focus on some simple self-editing techniques you can use to deepen your book’s POV without rewriting entire chapters. Shot in Standard Definition, 39:29 with 20+ slides.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Pack, $34.50

  •  Un-branding Yourself: Revealing the True You to the Book Community — Laura Barbiea (Alloy Entertainment)
  • Internet Stalking Without Being Creepy: Research, Networking, and Becoming A Priority — Jessica Sinsheimer (The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency)
Un-branding Yourself: Revealing the True You to the Book Community — Laura Barbiea (Alloy Entertainment)

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For so many creative people, “branding,” “marketing,” and “promotion” are bad words. Many view these things as chores or barriers to expressing your true self. This class will change how you perceive the online world, and expand your understanding of how to effectively represent yourself and your work! Taught by Laura Barbiea, social media manager at Alloy Entertainment (a publisher), this class will discuss strategies for reaching the fans you already have and ways you can connect with other like-minded artists in the writing community.

49:02, shot in the Alloy Entertainment New York offices in HD.

 

 

 

Internet Stalking Without Being Creepy: Research, Networking, and Becoming a Priority

TwitterPictureJessicaEveryone knows that social media can build your platform, expand your network, and make you look more appealing to a potential agent. But for the introverts among us, blasting content can feel unnatural, intimidating, and borderline creepy. This course will show you how to think of this now-essential task as a way to build authentic connections and find real friendships—while also locating the people most likely to move your career forward. In this course, you’ll learn how to build your list of potential agents, how to do targeted research that helps you personalize your pitch, and how to become a known factor—to present yourself as someone great to work with—so your name leaps out, and the agent already likes you, when you finally do submit your work.

38:21, shot in the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary offices in standard definition.

 

 

First Page Podcast Reaction Episode

We talk with Lindsey Danis about her experience being workshopped on our podcast, the changes she’s implemented, and whether she wanted to reach through the screen and shake us for not getting it.

We also answer Lindsey’s questions and talk about how much self-deprecation can work on the page (versus in real life) and how to create (and why you should try to create) an emotional and aesthetic range.

Want to volunteer as tribute? Submit your page for consideration by sending it to Academy@ManuscriptWishList.com as a Word document (yes, we know! The opposite of querying: we WANT an attachment). Please put “First Pages Podcast” in the subject line.

The Manuscript Academy podcast is FREE to everyone, and available on Soundcloud and iTunes. Click the logo below to find us, or search for “Manuscript Academy” in iTunes.

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New: The First Pages Podcast

Welcome to our very first First Pages episode! In this new series, we’ll be discussing the most interesting first pages we can get our hands on–YOURS! We’ll ask agents and editors to join us in finding the lessons in these pages that not only improve this work–but give you ideas for your own. Want to submit a page for consideration? Send it to Academy at ManuscriptWishList dot com as a Google doc (then you can make last-minute changes!) or Word doc.

We’re joined this week by the lovely and talented literary agent Linda Camacho of the Prospect Agency. You can view her class, How To Write A Manuscript That Gets and Keeps Everyone’s Attention, in The Manuscript Academy’s A La Carte classes section.

The Manuscript Academy podcast is FREE to everyone, and available on Soundcloud and iTunes. Click the logo below to find us, or search for “Manuscript Academy” in iTunes.

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Publishing & Publicity In Your Pajamas

This week, The Manuscript Academy Podcast talks with literary agent and publicist Dawn Michelle Hardy of Serendipity Literary to hear her take on how you, as an author, can best focus your energy when promoting your work.

In addition to savvy tips we’ve never heard before, Dawn tells us about the surprising amount you can do from home, plus talks profit and loss statements, distance running–and what really happens when a publisher rejects your work.

But our personal favorite is a wonderful story about how she made an author feel at ease at a live pitching event.

If you’ve ever been nervous to speak with an agent, you won’t want to miss this episode!

All episodes of The Manuscript Academy podcast are free for everyone, and available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

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Want to Spend 10 Minutes With An Agent? Now You Can.

MSWLdayEver wish you could sit down with an agent? Now you can! The Manuscript Academy 10 Minutes With An Expert event exists to give non-members once-monthly access to our agents and editors.

Each ten-minute meeting is $49. You can book as many as you like, until they fill up. 

This month’s meetings are February 15. Yes, that’s right–they’re all in one day so you can cheer each other on in the private Facebook group. Can’t make it this month? Join our list to hear about future dates–and which agents and editors are participating.

You can use this time to:

  • Pitch your project
  • Get instant feedback on your query or first page
  • Ask about your unique publishing situation

Get FREE access to browse this month’s agents and editors, book a meeting, and enter to win free appointments. You’ll be able to submit up to one page to discuss during the meeting–so you’ll receive instant feedback on the all-important query or first page, PLUS have the opportunity to ask any publishing questions you may have.

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PubLaw + The Art of Negotiation with Lawyer-turned-agent Melissa Edwards

design (3)Let’s talk the art of negotiation!  On Manuscript Academy Podcast-Episode Eleven, Melissa Edwards of Stonesong Literary dives into how she uses her background as a lawyer to get the best deals for her clients, all the while navigating the cumbersome rules of publishing law.  She’ll discuss her journey launching author Leslie Mosier’s New York Time’s bestseller: Doug the Pug, The King of Pop Culture.  Then listen carefully for a pep talk about the querying process.

Writers, it’s not as bad as you think!  Melissa even answers questions about her favorite pastime, which gives a clear roadmap to the types of stories that she loves. So after all this, if you are interested in how Melissa works within the industry day-by-day, then you don’t want to miss this podcast.  Plus, she’s looking for clients, and it just might be you. Go enjoy.

The Manuscript Academy Podcast is free and available in iTunes or on Soundcloud. You can find us in the iTunes Store (search for “Manuscript Academy” or click this link) and on Soundcloud.  Then explore past podcasts with top industry professionals all ready to go in the iTunes store. You can also learn more about The Manuscript Academy.

The Manuscript Academy Podcast  is FREE and published weekly with the aim to help you find you best path to publication.

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An Interview with Harlequin Editor Carly Silver

IMG_1303Pour a cup of tea and download The Manuscript Academy Podcast, “An Interview with Carly Silver.”  In this episode, Carly, assistant editor at Harlequin Books, discusses what inspires her within the romance genre.

No big surprise, it’s about falling in love with a manuscript.

Carly also dives into her editing process, being an editor in New York, plus some of her other passions—history and dogs!  This one is a don’t miss.  Download today!

The Manuscript Academy Podcast is free and available in iTunes or on Soundcloud. You can find us in the iTunes Store (search for “Manuscript Academy” or click this link) and on Soundcloud.  Then explore past podcasts with top industry professionals all ready to go in the iTunes store. You can also learn more about The Manuscript Academy.

The Manuscript Academy Podcast  is FREE and published weekly with the aim to help you find you best path to publication.

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How To Be a Writer During The Holidays

julieheadshotrcby Julie Kingsley

Put down the eggnog, save the work in progress, and grab yourself another candy cane because it’s time for Manuscript Academy’s Holiday Pep Talk.  Download immediately to hear cofounders Julie Kingsley and Jessica Sinsheimer dive deep into being a writer during the holiday season–all the while giving you insight into navigating holiday happiness as a creative.

Then listen on for a revival of #PubTalkTV’s 2015 Holiday Edition where people from around the country give insight into their best holiday season ever as a writer.

Visit Manuscript Academy’s podcast page to learn more–or click the link below to access in iTunes or Soundcloud.

The podcast is FREE for everyone.

Happy holidays!

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All Bi Myself: Why We Need to See Ourselves in Fiction

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by Kat Enright, Skyhorse Publishing

It took me a long while to realize that I was bisexual.

Perhaps it’s where I grew up, a picture perfect example of small-time Pennsylvania. Perhaps it was the influence of conservative, Catholic parents. Perhaps it was just something that I needed time to discover.

But mostly, it was because I didn’t know that it was something a person could be. Let’s face it, despite the diversity of the world we live in, many of our stories are still very white and very straight. This is slowly but surely changing, but the vast majority of our stories still fit into neat little boxes. And growing up, I believed that one had to fit into one of these categories – a person was either gay or straight. What else was there?

It wasn’t until college that I started to see that I started to see that were other options. Until I began to question what I had unconsciously internalized and faced that part of me that I feared was wrong. I started reading more broadly, watching different movies and TV. I started to find the characters that reflected me, but I had to search for them. And to some extent, I still do. The amount of gay and lesbian characters are in YA fiction rising, but bisexual characters are still fairly rare. And when they do exist, I found they often come with their own special kind of baggage.

I’m sure you’ve seen it somewhere. The confusion that rises when a  bisexual character is outed, the boyfriend or girlfriend who’s insecure that their significant other is going to go “straight”, the idea that it is just a phase, the bisexual who cannot help but cheat, the bisexual who, because they like two or more genders, obviously wants to be with everyone.  The bisexual who ends up with an opposite sex partner and suddenly has no claim on the queer identity. The bisexual who has not yet had an opportunity to be with a same-gender partner, and because of that, has also their identity called into question.

There is a lot of confusion, really, about bisexuality, and a fair amount of biphobia in the world as well. And it bleeds into the stories that we tell, which only helps in reinforcing the cultural narrative of the world we live in. And most hurtfully, this sometimes even comes from our queer brothers and sisters.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled to see stories that embrace the stories our gay and lesbian youth, from #OWNVOICES authors, and I do believe that all of those stories are incredibly important. But there should also be room on our shelves for stories about bisexual characters, pansexual characters, asexual characters – for each and every identity and orientation. And there should be an effort to understand each other and the richness of our individual experiences.

So my I find myself searching for a certain type of character, one who is able to proudly and confidently embrace their bisexual identity, who is not questioned or threatened by those around them. Who can love whomever they choose freely and not pinned down by the stereotypes we expect in such tales. Like the stories that reach out to our gay and lesbian youth, these stories are needed out there in the hands of young readers. Not just so that bisexual/pansexual youth can see themselves reflected and valued in stories, but so that everyone can know that we do exist, and we are just as real and varied and wonderfully human as everyone else.

So if you find these stories, please send them my way.

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Kat Enright was born in Middle-of-Nowhere Pennsylvania, and earned her BA in Philosophy (with a minor in Writing) from Gettysburg College. After college, she served for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA Service Member in Boston, MA, before she moved to New York to start her career in Publishing. Kat always has at least one book on her (and sometimes upwards of ten, if you count all the e-books on her phone), and a notebook to jot down all the creative ideas that pop into her head.