May 3, 2011

Do You Got What It Takes?

Credentials. Do you have them?

Where can you get them?

New writers can be intimidated by this. I know I was, but even the smallest writing-related credit to your name will help you in the long run. For me, my membership in RWA helped a lot. Every chapter has a newsletter and I was lucky enough to have an idea for an article, "5 Steps to a Perfect Submission", that made the editor's cut. Since then I've written two more articles that were published in the chapter newsletter and then re-pubbed in other chapter newsletters across the country.

It is a small credit, but I'm happy to say that I can put it in my query. Even the smallest things will make an editor or agent think you're serious about writing. Whether it be a small article in a chapter newletter or a full-on degree from a university in Creative Writing (I'm in the middle of that one right now), any credit is good credit.

Of course, if you don't have credits, don't make any up. Agents and editors check that type of thing. It's better to end your query with, "Thank you for your time and consideration" instead of trying to impress. What they really want is a good story and your writing will speak for itself.

Along the same lines, only include credits that are relevant to your book or to writing in general. If you're writing romance, your molecular biology degree probably won't help you unless your hero/heroine are molecular biologists.

So tell me, what credits are you using to make an editor or agent think you're serious about this biz?

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