literary

Why You Should Read From the Off-Beaten Paths of Your Favorite Authors

Using authors you know to find books you'll love: why reading beyond an author's most famous work can help you find a hidden gem.

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5 Things Interning At A Literary Agency Taught Me

Interning at a literary agency was like being paid to eat candy all day. Except that I wasn’t paid and the books I read usually weren’t sweet. The internship entailed reading and reviewing manuscript submissions, working the front desk (aka awkwardly offering visitors coffee/tea and then just getting them water), and sending out mail.

Over the course of those four months, I read tons of books and it’s likely only one or two of them will ever make it to publication. It was a time of ‘business casual’ clothing and free Nespresso coffees that taught me a lot about how the publishing industry works.

1. No, the literary agency doesn’t publish books

The different facets of the publishing industry can be confusing because there are so many of them. There’s the publishing company, the editors, the lawyers, the agents, and more. The job of the agent is to get a book to publishers. Usually, agents have relationships with companies and they will take a client and their work to the company to get published. Jericho Writers reported that the odds of sale with an agent are around 67%. Chances are much lower if an author just cold submits their manuscript to a publishing company.

2. there’s a method to all the career madness

If you were wondering how someone manages to make it in the industry, there’s actually a system in place that allows you to rise up. After getting hired as an agent’s assistant, you can work under them learning for about two years, before starting to take on clients of your own. Another year or two after that, once you’ve established yourself with a couple of works, you can break away and become an agent. Generally, the agency that you’ve been working for will hire you, but you can take your clients elsewhere or start up your own agency as well. Over the years you will work your way up by gaining more clients and (hopefully) representing some bestsellers.

3. There really are a ton of white women

In my agency alone there were 9 that I was aware of. Granted, there were a bunch of male agents, but no male assistants and no males of color. But yes, the stereotype is alive and thriving.

4. it’s worth submitting a proposal before writing your manuscript

There’s nothing quite as disappointing as pouring hours into your work only to have it rejected. Agents will only accept clients that they can sell, otherwise they won’t make any money. They get paid only when their client does, and do not run on a set salary. So, before sitting down and throwing your whole life into an idea, send some proposals around to agencies first to see if someone will represent it. This will also force you into a deadline for your writing (which some of us NEED) and will allow for better feedback throughout the process.

5. submit your work with normal formatting

Times New Roman. 12pt. font. Double spaced. It’s so easy to do. No agent is going to be impressed if you decide to write in Courier Neue because you think it looks nicer. In fact, most won’t even read the manuscript if it isn’t formatted correctly. It’s worth just sticking to the standard so there will be nothing distracting your reader from the actual work.

feature image via masterclass.com

5 Teachers You Wish You Had During Online Learning

During these crazy times of quarantine, those of us still in school are having a pretty rough experience trying to complete our assignments. However, we can’t give up hope just yet! Here are some amazing fictional teachers we wish we had to help get us through this.

1. Mr. Keating from ‘Dead Poet’s Society’

Mr. Keating Dead Poet's Society

Image Via The Guardian

If there’s anyone who can inspire us and keep our heads up during this time, it’s Mr. Keating. His invigorating lessons are enough to keep our minds off of things and to look forward to the future. He’d probably have us all stand on our chairs and recite poems from our bedrooms. Too bad the students started their Dead Poet’s Society club before Zoom was invented!

Watch on Amazon Prime

 

 

2. Ms. Frizzle from ‘The Magic School Bus’

Ms. Frizzle Magic School Bus

Image Via Bustle

Although we’re not supposed to travel (unless it’s essential), the innovative and wacky Ms. Frizzle probably has a few tricks up her sleeve to keep online learning refreshing and exciting! No videos or Powerpoints… instead, lessons with her exotic pets and jam sessions with her various musical instruments. No field trips necessary! Just imagine how chaotic her house must look during sessions.

Watch on Amazon Prime

 

3. Miss Honey from ‘Matilda’

Miss Honey Matilda

Image Via The Sun

In these desperate and confusing times, who doesn’t need a calm, nurturing presence? Imagine her reading to you in her soothing speaking voice, knowing that everything is going to be okay, and this will all be over soon. I wish she’d adopt me!

Watch on Amazon Prime

 

4. Ms. Norbury from ‘Mean Girls’

Ms Norbury Mean Girls

Image Via CinemaBlend

We all need a little extra “push” and motivation right now, and who else besides Ms. Norbury could keep us from slipping too far into the black hole that is senioritis? Although she can be a little disorganized, she’s trying her best like the rest of us. Her wisecracks and “real talk” life advice will keep you present and entertained (even if you hate math).

Watch on Amazon Prime

 

 

5. Professor McGonagall from ‘Harry Potter’

Professor Mcgongall Harry Potter

Image Via Looper

Although she’s a little more old-school, she’d sure keep us entertained with her informative material and spells to master. Prepare for a heavy workload, as she is to be less forgiving during these hectic times. However, transfiguring and shapeshifting are sure-fire ways to keep us entertained (just don’t go too crazy)!

Watch on Amazon Prime

featured image via national wildlife federation blog 

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