Live Links: Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents

livelinks2Writing under the Writers’ Digest banner, Chuck Sambuchino, offers almost daily (and sometimes more often) entries about literary agents and agencies, the craft of writing (both in general and in different genres), the submission process, publishing and marketing, and more in his “Guide to Literary Agents”. Mr. Sambuchino is an editor with Writers’ Digest and also a writer of humor books.

His blog contains several useful recurring features: author and agent interviews, new literary agent alert (one of my personal favorites—three in the last month), and announcements of relevant webinars and conferences. Mr. Sambuchino makes regular use of guest bloggers writing on such topics as “How I got my literary agent” (three entries in the last month), “7 things I’ve learned so far..” (four in the last month), and various aspects of craft, genre writing, and inspiration for writers. Recent topics in addition to the standard features mentioned above included: Six Tips for Young Adult Horror; Everything You Would Have Asked about Steampunk, Had You Known it Existed; Synopsis Example (from the Way, Way Back); Six Reasons Novelists Should Write and Publish Short Stories; Should You Simply Write What You Know; and Six Simple Keys to Revising Your Fiction.

The writing style in this blog is concise and straightforward, not attempting to be hip or funny. The pithiness, especially for entries that follow the six or seven points format, means that the columns are easy to read but may be short on specifics. However, these kinds of essays can provide a motivational boost. (“I can do that!”) The agent interviews are helpful for anyone in query mode as are the debut author interviews.

A search feature allows the reader to focus on a particular topic. Using my standard search criteria of women’s fiction, I found 14 entries from the last six months, most of them agent interviews. However, a supposed live link to samples of successful query letters took me nowhere.

On the right hand side of the blog is a “blog roll,” with live links to more than 70 other blogs, primarily by agents.

Overall Rating: Writers preparing to send or in the middle of sending out queries may want to use this blog as part of their search process. For its focus on agents and the submission process and the frequency of its entries, I give this blog my four star “check-it-out” rating.

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