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The Network Knows What You’re Up To

The North Carolina Writers’ Network knows what you’re doing. You can’t fool us.

You’re waiting until the last minute to submit your 20 pages to the Manuscript Mart at our 2023 Fall Conference.

You’re giving it that extra polish, mulling that word choice, double- and triple- and quadruple-checking for typos.

We know because we see it year after year, and we’re begging you: Don’t.

Submit to the Manuscript Mart now, before it’s too late. Spots are limited and fill quickly.

NCWN Fall Conference

A typo or two won’t ruin your literary career before it starts. As long as the sentence itself holds up, your choice of “humid” or “sultry” to describe the summer air won’t break the spell or the deal.

A good agent or editor can work with that sort of thing.

What they want to know is if you have a good story to tell, if you can tell it well, and if you can work well with them and others.

“For me, the writing has to be there,” agent Amy Bishop-Wycisk said. “I can work with an author on pacing, plot, character arc, endings, etc., but if they need a bit more work on the line level, that’s a hard sell. (And the usual caveat that a book that has clear mastery of pacing, thoughtful character arcs, etc., is always what I hope for and makes for a much easier decision.)”

“I am drawn to character driven works, lovely prose, high stakes/consequences, and detailed world building,” agent Kristina Sutton Lennon said. “If those elements are in play, I know we can work on fine tuning chapters to be more dynamic, on choosing the most attention grabbing hook or honing in on the most compelling ending. Typos we can catch in line editing. I want to give writers the best chance at getting a ‘yes’ to a full manuscript request, so my feedback will be tailored with that in mind.”

You may be hesitating because you expect to walk out of your Manuscript Mart appointment with an agent. Yes, registrants have done that, but people also have walked out of convenience stores with winning Powerball tickets. People have walked out of their houses on sunny days and been struck by lightning.

Like we’ve said for years, “Please don’t expect a Manuscript Mart session to lead directly to publication. Think of it, instead, as a learning opportunity, and you’ll get more out of it.”

Manuscript Mart isn’t your chance to find an agent: It’s your chance to have a real-life agent or editor help you learn how to find an agent, how to hone your work into something the right agent will want to represent.

“Consider me your practice round,” editor Betsy Thorpe said. “I know what stands out to agents and editors, having reviewed thousands of manuscripts in the past, and I will give you feedback on your writing, marketability, and any issues that you might need to address.”

The deadline for us to receive Manuscript Mart submissions is Friday, October 20, but never mind that. Register for the Manuscript Mart today.