Get Published Weekly Roundup: September 4, 2017

Book Barcode By Thepwnco [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Change made: from color to black and white.
Happy Labor Day! As we celebrate the American Labor Movement today, we also remember that it was only 60 years ago today, by orders of Governor Orval Faubus, 289 soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard prevented 9 African-American students, Elizabeth Eckford, Minnijean Brown, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrance Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Walls, from entering Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. It took almost three weeks before the students were protected by federal troops and could enter the school. For these heroes, high school was not a safe place, but a hostile environment where they took a stand and did what was right not just for their own advancement but for the betterment of our society. We give thanks for their sacrifice today.
In this week’s GSF Roundup we highlight agent news (specifically agents that recently opened up to submissions), notices of approaching writing and submission deadlines, highlights from the past week’s Manuscript Wishlist, and a few more tidbits at the end.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think in the comments and if there are certain types of information you would like to see in the Roundup. Also feel free to tweet at us (@freelancingrads) with any ideas or questions. Have a great writing week!

Agent and Agency News

Open again, Open again, jiggety jig.

Jessica Watterson, Agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, is back open to queries.

Jessica is seeking:

Fiction: Romance (all genres); Women’s Fiction; YA

Nonfiction: Nope.

Jessica is always on the hunt for new and diverse voices.”

Jessica is accepting queries via online form,  here.  Click here for the agency’s submissions guidelines.

Kelly Peterson, Junior Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency, is open to queries.

Kelly is seeking:

Fiction: Fantasy for MG, YA, NA, and Adult; add Romance for YA, NA, and Adult; and Science Fiction for MG and YA

Nonfiction: Nah.

“With books, there’s just something about strong female main characters holding their own against the world, in an environment that Kelly could never, in her wildest dreams, find herself living within. It tears at her heart and pulls at her soul, especially when the main character finds that she never needed another to complete her in the first place.”

Kelly is accepting queries via email at See submission guidelines here.

Courtney Miller-Callihan, Founder and Agent at Handspun Literary Agency, is open again to queries (well, to be fair, she has been since July, but we just picked up on it now).

Courtney is seeking:

Fiction: General; Historical; Women’s; Romance; Mystery

Nonfiction: Most everything except Religion and Spirituality

Courtney is accepting queries via email at For more information and submission guidelines, click here.

Submission Deadlines

Writers, you have between six and ten days:

World in Focus In Focus Art & Essay Contest—Submissions due Sunday, September 10th (Art and Writing Contest—$$ Prize)

Who: Ages 10-18

What: Art or essay. 1,000-word maximum. $100 CAD Prize

To promote awareness of the vision problems individuals in third-world countries may face on a daily basis, due to their difficulty in accessing resources and care; To promote outreach in the youth community by allowing them to reflect on the topic of sight and its importance; To encourage youth to express their creativity, individuality and talents on a global stage 

To Submit: Submit via the online form, here. For guidelines and more information, click here.

Operation Awesome Pass or Pages Contest—Submission Window: September 11th-13th (Query Contest—Agent Evaluation)

What: Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy, query and first 250 words. Five randomly selected entries will be evaluated by an agent, with feedback given about why they’re passing, or why they’re requesting pages.

Querying authors get a peek into agents’ minds as they go through their slush piles.

To Submit: Submission online (once the submission window is open), here or here. For guidelines, prompts, and other information, click here.

VCU Cabell First Novelist Award—Submissions due Thursday, September 14th (Annual Award, $$ Prize)

Who: Authors with a first novel, published between January and June 2017

What: Must be a first novel, published originally in the US, no YA/Middle Grade. Winner receives $5,000.

The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award honors an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year. Symbolized by a three-dimensional compass, the award is a tribute to writers who have navigated their way through the maze of imagination and delivered a great read, taking the reader someplace new.”

To Submit: For complete submission details, click here. For more information and other guidelines, click here.

What Agents Want

Highlights from this week's #MSWL tweets…

Meg LaTorre-Snyder, Agent Apprentice at the Corivisiero Literary Agency
Meg wants some Disney by way of Burning Man: “I’d love a steampunk Beauty & the Beast retelling. (Bonus points for M/M or F/F romance.)”  Source Tweet


Fiction: Fantasy; Historical fiction; Romance (with magical elements); Space opera; Steam punk; Thrillers (with magical elements)

Nonfiction: Negative, Ghostrider. The pattern is full.

She loves books written in third-person with multiple POVs, quirky, realistic characters, rich descriptions, and a unique inclusion of mythologies. (However, Meg does love first-person stories with a single POV as well, or any combination thereof!)

How to submit: Meg is accepting submissions via email at query@corvisieroagency.comClick here to read the full submissions guidelines on her profile at the company website.

Follow Meg on Twitter @MegLaTorre.

Lauren Spieller, Agent Assistant at TriadaUS
Lauren is looking for The Slammin’ Salmon cum Le Morte d’Arthur: “funny YA set in a Medieval Times-like restaurant. Give me performer hierarchy drama, kitchen secrets, and a love story to swoon over.” Source Tweet


Fiction: Middle Grade; YA; Select Adult

Select Nonfiction

“She’s particularly hungry for counter culture books, cocktail books with a twist/theme, or narrative nonfiction with a unique hook.” 

How to submit: Lauren is accepting submissions via email at lauren@triadaus.comClick here for submission guidelines and more info on what she’s looking for. 

Follow Lauren on Twitter @laurenspieller

Leon Husock, Agent at the L. Perkins Agency
No, Leon, I’m sorry, I don’t: “You know that Shanghai/Hong Kong/British Raj aesthetic that’s a mash-up of Asian/South-Asian and Western culture? I love that.” Source Tweet  Oh, good, I must not be alone: “For reference, see (among many other things) The Age of Shadows, a Korean spy drama set during the Japanese occupation of Korea.” Source Tweet


Fiction: Science Fiction; Fantasy; YA; Upper Middle Grade; Genre Mashups

Non-fiction: No, nah, man, this is not a good idea!

“…especially fantasy with non-Western European inspired settings and cultures.”

How to submit: Leon is accepting queries via email at Click here for submissions guidelines on the company website.
Follow Leon on Twitter .

Ejusdem Generis

So writers, here’s the thing. The first line of your manuscript is super important. Check out this insight #StraightFromAnAgent in Literary Agent Mary C. Moore’s post, “Do Literary Agents Reject Your Submission After Reading One Line?”

Yes, I have rejected a submission based on the first sentence and yes, it happens more often than I’d like. But how could you possibly know from the first line? you ask.

Because it’s our job to know.

Sounds arrogant, sure. Believe me, I’ve been there on the other side, thinking it wasn’t fair that agents claimed they rejected a sub based on that first line. But after years of reading the slushpile, editing manuscripts, shopping clients, etc., I’ve been trained to see the level of prose based off that first line. Other agents will tell you the same.

Mary offers 10 things she determines about an author’s manuscript from its first line. Read the full article by clicking here.

Popular on the GSF Twitter Feed @freelancingrads:

We just stumbled upon J.P. Beaubien’s YouTube Channel Terrible Writing Advice. The writing and the publication process is a tough one and sometimes we just need a good laugh. Check it out… but, please, please don’t follow his advice, especially on marketing your book:

Grad Student Freelancers (GSF) is dedicated to helping authors take care of the details of the publication process. Part of the process includes sifting through huge amounts of information to find important news, events, and tips that can give you an edge in the publication process. Every week GSF will provide three lists of curated information focused on helping writers get published. Our goal is to gather what’s important from the web in the past week, so you can focus more on your writing.  

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