Our Literary Agents Issue features an in-depth interview with agent Eric Simonoff; an expert look at the query letter that landed an agent; a Q&A with popular novelist Neil Gaiman; an introduction to the authors of the summer's best debut fiction; tips from the stage on how to give an inspired reading; submission information for more than fifty-five contests with upcoming deadlines; and much more.
First Fiction 2013
For our thirteenth annual roundup of the summer’s best debut fiction, we asked five established authors—Paul Harding, Karen Russell, Nathan Englander, Curtis Sittenfeld, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—to introduce this year’s group of talented debut...
One of the world's most beloved storytellers, Neil Gaiman talks about his novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, young adult literature, writing comics, and how writers should (and should not) use Twitter.
A heavy-hitting agent who for twenty-two years has represented some of the biggest literary writers in the country, Eric Simonoff discusses recent changes in the publishing industry, the pitfalls of self-publishing, and what he's learned about staying creative.
Not Necessarily New York
Does it really matter where your agent is based? Contributing editor Michael Bourne talks with a group of agents who do not have offices in the Big Apple and discovers that there are many other more important considerations than whether your agent...
The Good Breakup
Knowing how to get an agent is undoubtedly important, but as fiction writer Myung-Ok Lee learned, knowing when to get a new agent is sometimes even more important.
The Aha! Moment: Anna Stein of Aitken Alexander Associates
Agent Anna Stein offers a close reading of a query letter she received from Jeff Jackson, whose first novel Mira Corpora, will be published by Two Dollar Radio in September.
News and Trends
New online platforms like Hostr are bridging the gap between virtual and in-real-life communities.
Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine, Tin House, Bellevue Literary Review, and Harvard Review.
New York City-based independent publisher New Directions recently relaunched its Poetry Pamphlets, a series originally published by founder James Laughlin in the 1940s.
With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including David Gilbert's & Sons and Lindsay Hunter's Don't Kiss Me, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.
The Newtowner, an arts and literary quarterly based in Newtown, Connecticut, published a tribute issue in an effort to help its hometown heal after the shooting at Sand Hook Elementary School.
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features Off the Grid Press, which publishes books exclusively by poets over the age of sixty.
Pamela Paul, the new editor of the New York Times Book Review, discusses her job and the current climate of literary criticism.
Audrey Niffenegger's new illustrated fairy tale for adults features original aquatint illustrations, all etched and painted by the author.
Poet Crystal Hoffman sets out on a pilgrimage across the country to write a collection of poetry and essays based on the narratives of people she meets along the way. And she’s doing it all on foot.
The Practical Writer
Make Them Glad They Came: How to Give an Inspired Reading
Kevin Sampsell, whose novel, This Is Between Us, will be published by Tin House Books in November, asks his eight favorite readers—Steve Almond, Derrick Brown, Michael Heald, Beth Lisick, Scott McClanahan, Alissa Nutting, and Jenny Zhang—to...
The Literary Life
The Art of Conflict: Why Your Characters Should Struggle
The author most recently of the novel The Next Right Thing (The Dial Press, 2012) explains why conflict is at the heart of every good story.
Why We Write: Tilted Naked Weirdo
Fiction writer Nancy Méndez-Booth explains how Junot Díaz helped her find both her voice and the ability to tell the most uncomfortable—and most honest—stories.