In search of


Have you seen my 4000 words? Brief description: 4000 witty, pithy, lush, world-building, and heartbreakingly beautiful, English words. Entire manuscript is bereft and cannot be submitted without them. Last seen…ok, never seen… I haven’t written them yet. If found, don’t bother calling. I can’t find my phone, either.



So, in order to query this editor, he wants THREE COMP TITLES. And not just any three—three published in the last five years. This means ‘no go’ to my go-to comps (Sherlock Holmes meets The Three Bears*).

From this experience I’ve learned three very important things: (1). There were thousands of Middle Grade books, many of them mysteries, published in the last five years. (2) Quite a few are moving, beautiful, meaningful prose. (3) Most of them I’ve never heard of, and it’s likely that nobody else has either, and they might be terrific, anyway.

Any other writers find this as depressing as I do?**

*No, honestly.

**Nothing a few dozen lattes can’t cure.

Manuscript Wish List


If there’s anything I’ve learned from visiting the Manuscript Wish List, it’s that many agents’ first names begin with “S.”*

*I’ve learned heaps of other things, of course, but as much of it increases my writer’s angst and insecurity levels, I’ll stick with the alphabet.