Resources for Writers

There's too much secrecy in the writing world. And that's bad for everyone involved. Here, I want to 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 for 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 Manhattan agent who signed me within 24 hours of me sending in a query cold 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. So I decided to make 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? Unfortunately, said team is no longer bad, so this proposal is already a time capsule of a forgotten era.


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.