Resources for Writers

There's too much secrecy in the writing world. And that's bad for everyone. Here, I’ll share pretty much anything I can think of that might be helpful to emerging and seasoned writers alike. Take it, make it your own, pass it on.


Sample book proposal #1: Quite a Mouthful

It's one of the most common questions among aspiring writers: How do I write a book proposal? Well, here's an example in full. No, it didn't sell. I wish it did. But the agent who signed me within 24 hours of receiving the query said it was one of the best she'd ever read. Maybe it'll help you, too.


Towards a master list of pitching guidelines

Pitching story ideas to newspapers and magazines is hard. It shouldn't also be impossible to figure out where to send them. Here’s a list of every public call for pitches I've ever come across, plus a bunch of other pitch-related resources that'll help get your three paragraphs into fighting shape.


Sample book proposal #2: Rebuild City

Another non-fiction book proposal, in full. This one didn't sell, either, but under different circumstances: It was written to order for a particular editor at a particular press, but didn't quite hit the mark. In it, I set out to answer a very pressing question: Why was my favourite sports team so bad?


Picture books 101 (with Alison Hughes)

For many writers, picture books are the most tantalizing genre of all. They might also be the single hardest one to crack. So how do you do it? This is adapted from a workshop given by Edmonton-based children’s writer Alison Hughes, author of Lost in the Backyard and Spare Dog Parts.


Sample book proposal #3: Let’s Go Exploring (bonus: this one actually sold!)

Whew. Good news at last. Here’s yet another full-length proposal for you to peruse, this one for my book about Calvin and Hobbes, which was published in May 2018 as part of ECW Press’s Pop Classics series. This is word for word what I sent them, including the writing sample (about Calvinball, naturally).