Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


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Writers Ask: Heaven Is For Real

This week we revisit the topic of writers’ conferences, and try to offer specific advice on how to find a good one that will actually help you improve your work. We also talk about “the classics,” and whether writers need to be well-versed in some version of the literary canon. Plus: Mike channels a questioner who’s writing from heaven, and our first drunken email! (Well, at least the first time an emailer has identified himself as drunk.)

If you’d like to send us emails–drunkenly, soberly, or from some pleasant place in between–you can do so right here, from our site, or at bookfightpod(at)gmail(dot)com. You can also ask us questions via Twitter, or by visiting Tom’s house on a pleasant spring evening and waking him up by pelting his window with tiny pebbles.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can download our entire back catalog and subscribe (for free) to never miss another episode.

Thanks for listening!

Stream:

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Writers Ask: Elevator Pitches and Caviar Dreams

Lots of websites and conferences promise to help you craft an “elevator pitch” for your novel. But is that something writers will ever use? This week we’re talking agent queries, the good and bad of writers’ conferences, and a few scams writers should avoid, like agents charging fees. We also answer a question about confident protagonists, specifically: How do you create a confident character without veering into a parody of confidence?

Other talking points include: AWP table antics, dirty Valentines, overalls, faking your own death, selling a novel, good agents vs. not-so-good agents, dramatic irony, how to pronounce the word ‘quixotic,’ and Tom’s forthcoming novel.

For more on “agent” Melanie Mills, here are a couple stories worth checking out.

For a hilariously pedantic/pissy argument about how to pronounce the word ‘quixotic,’ check out this Wiki discussion.

As promised on the episode, here are a couple photos Mike took while Tom sold his novel in a Wawa parking lot in Delaware.

"Silver Linings Playbook? Never heard of it, sir."

“Silver Linings Playbook? Never heard of it, sir.”

Half-eaten hot dog, sneaker that's seen better days.

Half-eaten hot dog, sneaker that’s seen better days.

Oh, and here’s a photo of Dave Housley from the early 90s, from the Barrelhouse archives.

"Hey Lance, if this doesn't work out, what do you think about starting a lit mag?"

“Hey Lance, if this doesn’t work out, what do you think about starting a lit mag?”

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. Or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode. While you’re there, do us a favor and leave a quick review, which will help us reach new listeners.

Thanks for listening! And come back next week for more!

Stream:

Download Writers Ask: Elevator Pitches and Caviar Dreams (right-click, save-as)