First Things First

I’m forever amazed at the number of beginning writers who’re looking harder for an agent or an editor than at improving their prose. It is key to learn the industry, and it is a hard, increasingly big-money industry to learn, especially as related to its culture and politics. But…

As important as all that is, it’s insignificant next to the quality of your work. You cannot control if your manuscript sells. You cannot control if your book sells (though an agent/editor good at negotiating “push” is certainly a blessing). But…

You can write as well as you can rewrite.

Cynsational Links

Michelle Edwards, author of Papa’s Latkes (Candlewick, 2004), offers a lovely essay “Artifacts of a Knitting Life” from

“Serve Up Critique Etiquette Like A Good Cup Of Tea” by Jodell Sadler from If the link doesn’t work, go to the main page and click “essential resources.” The April issue also features time-management tips, collecting “cool facts to wow your readers,” and critiquing poetry.