A New Year, a New Chapter, and a Query Letter Critique Giveaway!

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shutterstock_88462129Happy New Year, everyone!

So much news and so many things to celebrate. 2013 was amazing and part of me hates to see it go! The first half of the year was marked with lots of milestones at Nelson Literary Agency. Among them: Kristin earned the title “Admiral Nelson” for her blockbuster contributions at Digital Book World, Sara Megibow celebrated her first NYT bestseller (go Jason M. Hough and The Darwin Elevator!), and NLA authors found big success with indie titles through NLA Digital. For my work in foreign rights, I coordinated translation deals for clients’ books in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. As in previous years, I got to present at conferences and events around the country. And I had the thrill of seeing authors I’d first met in the slush pile rise to bestseller status, release amazing sequels, and achieve success abroad.

In July, with the support of my friends at NLA, I made the very difficult decision to leave my work there in order to pursue a path that combines my passion for the writing and publishing industry with my other loves: teaching and travel. In September I left for Dharamsala, India to spend three months as a volunteer English teacher at an organization called ES Tibet, a nonprofit that provides education to Tibetan refugees who have fled persecution from the Chinese government in their homeland. The students I worked with, like many others in the refugee community, had literally climbed over the Himalayas to reach India for education and work opportunities and to join the community of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. (To read about the school or to see how you can help, visit their website or send me an email. You can also check out my pictures on Facebook.)

And that brings me to three things I’m celebrating at the dawn of 2014:

1) Returning from India. I arrived home to Denver just in time for Christmas with my family (at least I think I did—merciless jet lag!). To be honest, I’m both celebrating and mourning this one. The experiences I had at Kunpan Cultural School, and my subsequent travel in India, were among the best of my life. I had the chance to do meaningful work, learn about Indian and Tibetan culture, and meet some of the kindest, most courageous and generous folk on the planet. I also gained firsthand insight on the fascinating Indian book market. I’m not going to lie—leaving was rough. But the experience filled me with even more excitement and energy for my next adventure, namely…

2) The official launch of Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique ServicesWith a name like mine, how could I consider doing anything else? I’m going with karma on this one! Armed with the knowledge I gained from my work at NLA and the publishing biz, I’m offering developmental editing and critique packages for full manuscripts, partials, and query letters. In the near future I’ll also offer workshops and presentations on writing craft, publishing advice, and other topics covered here on Word Café. Spanking new website coming soon! In the meantime, to receive an information sheet or book a project, send me an email at anitaedits(at)gmail(dot)com. My project schedule is filling up, so if your New Year’s resolution is to land an agent or polish your final draft for self-publishing, say no to procrastination!

3) The anniversary of Word Café. Yes, indeed—Word Café turns one today! It’s been such a blast and I can’t wait to kick off another year. So to celebrate, instead of cake (because my resolution is a serious reduction of sweets: Indian bakeries…withdrawal symptoms…not pretty!), I’ve decided to do a query letter critique giveaway. To enter the drawing, post a comment here or on the Word Café Facebook page (be sure to mention “query critique drawing”) and with the help of Random.org I’ll select two lucky winners at the end of this month.

I’ll close with a toast to all of my readers: health, happiness, and big writing success for 2014. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead…

Cheers!

33 responses »

  1. Welcome back to Denver, Anita! It’s been interesting following your adventures! Good luck with your new editing service… Please enter me in the Word Cafe query critique drawing. Happy New Year!

  2. Enjoyed reading about your experience in India. Also love the title of your critique service! Thanks for the opportunity to win the query critique.

  3. Happy Anniversary to Word Cafe, and a very happy new year to you! Can’t wait to see the new website with info about your new venture.

    *Praying at the altar of random-picking bots for Query Critique Drawing: pickmepickmepickme!*

  4. I am a firm believer in immersing oneself in as much of the world as possible. Everyone should have a chance to live in a foreign country for at least a short time.

    Your new venture sounds marvelous. It’s nice to see someone who actually knows writing and the publishing business putting out her placard. Too many folks are happy to lighten writers’ wallets without giving any real help in exchange. Of course I’d like to win the query critique, but I think I’ll get in line for some of your professional services, too.

    • Thanks, Moira! Yes, ES Tibet is a wonderful organization. If you know anyone who might like to teach there or help out in other ways, please spread the word. I’ve got you down for the drawing–best wishes!

  5. Congratulations on your anniversary and return from India. What a marvelous and generous adventure. Please enter my name in the query critique drawing.

  6. Please include me in your query critique drawing ~ I am already excited to be among the very first to work with you on my manuscript critique and winning the query critique would be gravy should I be your first client to earn a publishing deal in 2014!! I know with your feedback I will be on my way to success and also able to showcase your talents! Love, love, love reading your blog and keeping up with your WordCafe FB page!

  7. Hi Anita! What a great year you’ve had. It was exciting reading about it from my end in Los Angeles, CA. I’d love to be entered in the query critique drawing. I sent out a query letter right before the holidays (and right before I read your advice on not to do this) and haven’t heard anything. I obviously need help. Thanks for the opportunity!

      • yes, please. I am just reading your outline to better understand what your new focus is….
        I hope a query letter is one that requests sponsorships during a trip???? I am at the point where I am taking my travel blog to the next level on an extended trip and I need help from the local tourist boards to accomplish my goals.

  8. I love, love, love India and can certainly empathize with your sadness in leaving. I heard about your site from GiGi and would love to be entered in the query critique drawing. Best of luck on your new venture!

  9. Pingback: How to Create Sympathetic Characters (Part 1 of my famous author quotes series) | Word Café

  10. Oh boy, is it really January 22nd?! I guess entering your query letter critique drawing has been circling in my mind for almost an entire month. Well, hope it’s not too late. I’ll heed your advice in future and say no to procrastination! -Sabrina

  11. Pingback: Getting Both Ends of Your Novel Right (Thank You, Mr. Chekhov!) | Word Café

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