Query Rejections Are Usually Not About You

I read a wonderful article this morning by Rachel Pieh Jones, over on Jane Friedman’s blog, and I started a Twitter thread. My first. I don’t really use Twitter terribly well (or often) but since I hope some of these ideas may be helpful to blog readers who are perhaps not on Twitter, I am sharing the conversation here as well. Continue reading

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Back From Another Conference

Another weekend come and gone and with it, Gateway Con 2019, the third-annual conference for writers held at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis, MO. If you missed it, you missed more than the great speakers, readers and workshops, you also missed out on the loud and occasionally raucous after party. If you haven’t noticed, writers like to decompress after the stresses of speaking, pitching, and sometimes, hand-to-hand combat, and there’s nothing quite like a party for networking.

Before it sounds like all fun and games, I wore a few different hats this year, running the registration table for a couple of hours, attempting to keep people pitching on track (it’s harder than it sounds), networking and even sitting in on an “Ask the Agent” session and both learning a lot about the trade and offering some feedback from my own experiences.

As one eager writer expressed it, “Literary agents are the rock stars of a writing conference”. I don’t know that that’s true, but getting to know other agents and hearing some of their experiences and gleaning what wisdom I could was a heck of a lot of fun, and I’ve made some new friends, I think. When you get a certain age where you no longer exchange crayons and friendship bracelets, it can be hard to tell sometimes…

So, what’s next? Penned Con is coming up in September and that’ll probably be my last conference to attend in 2019, more as a spectator and reader than as an agent. Although if you’re attending, I certainly hope to bump into you there and get to know you more.

Meantime, I am working on being more vocal on Twitter and I launched a Facebook page over the weekend so if you favor either of those sites, please pop over and say hello, give a like or a follow and let’s talk.

Have a blessed day and keep reaching higher!

I am a Junior Agent!

Dear friends,

Now that it’s official, I am pleased to announce that at my internship with Metamorphosis, I have been promoted to a Junior Agent. I am beyond thrilled at this unique opportunity to discover talented writers and help them pursue their dreams of publication. What a responsibility; what a gift!

Thanks to Stephanie Hansen for believing in me, and to Patty Carothers for being such an awesome guide, and most especially, to the Author of All Things, Jesus Christ, who orchestrated a twist in my story I never saw coming.

For those of you who are writers seeking representation, and have stumbled onto my blog, you’re welcome to hop on over to Metamorphosis and see what I’m currently looking for in terms of audience level and genre fiction. For everyone else, thank you for reading and God bless you.

Keep reaching higher,

Lauren Miller

“So, how’s that internship going?”

We’ve crossed the threshold into a new year and who only knows the plans that God has in store in the days ahead. I am delighted to say that this post to update you all about my literary internship was postponed (since last month) because the internship is still ongoing! That’s right, the awesome folks at Metamorphosis Literary Agency have allowed me an extension on my internship so I can take some additional time to go at a slower pace and still learn the ropes. And what a fascinating journey this has been so far! It is such a remarkable blessing to be able to see what goes on in a literary agency, from the other side of the desk.

In my own journey — from a reader, to a writer, to a book reviewer and blogger, to a managing editor of a small publication, and now, an intern for a literary agency — I can see the shift gradually moving into more of the publishing industry. What I’m finding is that my experiences, as varied and unpredictable as they’ve been, have been kind of a training ground, preparing me in ways I never realized. I learned about story structure and the fundamentals of writing (in high school and college); being a blogger (originally a book blogger) led to my being a reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. This trained me to look at books critically in a market for readers, as well as was my introduction to what is being published in certain genres. Even my background in the library field has well-acquainted me with reading trends (on the ground experience), recognizing self-published titles as opposed to traditional presses and educated me in cover design. All of these are skills I can now draw from as needed in the future, and I am thankful for these experiences.

I am so excited for 2019 and am immensely grateful to Stephanie Hansen, Patty Carothers, and the other great folks at Metamorphosis for being willing to take me under their wing and allow me this opportunity to learn and grow.

Parting Ways

After several months of hard deliberation, I am now in the process of transitioning out of my role as Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild (SLWG), a position I’ve held for the past four years. This was announced at the December 2018 meeting but I’d like to take a few minutes to expound on this decision in more detail.

I first got involved with SLWG over six years ago, when I began writing for their literary journal, The Scribe, as a reporter on guild events. Over time, I had several pieces published in their journal and anthology, and went on to be the content editor for an annual anthology, The Scribe 2016.

Earlier this year, I announced that I would be partnering with SLWG in launching a new literary journal, 1764. Since that time, I was privileged to read a number of wonderful entries by talented writers, as part of this project. If I were not busy enough, this summer, I also began a literary internship which has been an amazing opportunity that I would like to give more attention to.

Consequently, after evaluating my future goals and the best interest for me as a writer, and for the guild as a whole, I have made the difficult decision to step down from heading 1764 as the Managing Editor of this debut project, in addition to my responsibilities as Director of Communications. Ideally, this will take place over a transitional period to help everyone adjust as responsibilities are reassigned and new volunteers found.

After four years, I am ready to explore new paths and pulling myself in too many directions would only result in mistakes made, deadlines dropped, and less than my best effort for any one party.

SLWG deserves more than that.

Metamorphosis Literary Agency deserves more than that.

And so do I.

My hope is that in stepping into this new path and parting ways that 2019 will find us all that much stronger as we continue to grow in this writing community and as individuals. God bless you, and never forget to keep reaching higher.