About authorpaulafriedman

Author of The Rescuer's Path (2012, PVP), a novel of love, courage, and family in the antiwar movement. Author of Time and Other Details (2006, Highlights Press), a selection of award-winning poetry on history, life, and other ephemera. Author of numerous stories and poems published in literary and other journals and anthologies. Freelance editor for university and trade presses. Former director, Rosenberg Award for Poems on the Jewish Experience. Founding editor/facilitator, The Open Cell literary magazine/collective. Former newspaper reporter, museum public relations director, gallery readings director, etc. MFA, San Francisco State U.; MLS, U.C. Berkeley; BA, Cornell U.

The Forest for the Trees

This is a guest blog with some good points about queries. Another  point of course is to be sure your lead paragraphs mentions (along with a good hook and the book title, genre, word count, and any super-major (short] blog you may have for it, the reason you are querying this particular agent or press.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

There’s a story in there somewhere…

I’ve been querying a book and it has not been going well. I had a few requests from conference meetings and Twitter pitchfests, but in the actual emailing-agents-I’ve-never-met process, I was just not getting the response I hoped for.

This was deeply puzzling.

I definitely workshopped the heck out of the actual book. It’s a Young Adult novel so I had kids read it (they showed up 40 minutes early for school to discuss it, perhaps the best compliment my work has ever received). Good adult readers read it and gave feedback I used.

And I workshopped the heck out of the query. I read all of Query Shark (highly recommended!). I participated in Twitter pitchfests. I ran the query by query workshop leaders.

But not too many nibbles.

A couple of weeks ago, two of my writer buddies and I were sitting in…

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Five Reasons You Can’t Get Your Novel Published – And Why It’s Not Your Fault

This is a fine article that I hope is helpful to my author friends. I wish it spoke more to the fact that only 5 or 6 publishing corporations, themselves part of huge conglomerates beholden only to stockholders, control all US “major” publishers (and of course the “major media” (and their book reviewers) as well). So here’s Kahaner’s blog–and a useful one it is.
by Larry Kahaner

Dear Author:             Thanks for sending us your manuscript. The plot is unique, the characters are compelling and the writing is top notch. It’s one …

Source: Five Reasons You Can’t Get Your Novel Published – And Why It’s Not Your Fault

Where Were You?

This account–NOT by me but by a very courageous and eloquent participant in the MLKing Day Black Lives Matter civil disobedience action on the Oakland Bay Bridge–is so right on! As some of you know, my novel of the late-1960s antiwar demonstrations at Port Chicago now nears completion, and I am struck how alike are the challenges then and now for those who would, nonviolently,change the social structure.

mostly * danger

I was shaking as we loaded into the cars. I was shaking as we went through the toll plaza. I was shaking as the cars started to slow down, and when they stopped in the middle of the Bay Bridge. I was shaking when the cops pulled my arms behind my back and my voice shook as our voices lifted up the names of the dead. I was terrified, I was furious, I was inspired.

And by the time we got to the Highway Patrol office, I also really, really had to pee.

I was pleading with every cop that walked by to let me use the bathroom. They told me they had to find a female cop to take me, and that there were none on duty, though I could see several gathering outside our makeshift cell and knew they were lying. Finally the comrade sitting next to me…

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I’m an Old Woman Now and I Still Remember

first posted by me in Aisenbe’s blog bullyingstories
[Note: “Polly” is pen name I used on Aisenbe’s blogsite.]

Bullying Stories

I am always grateful for the adults that share the stories of their past here, because it is the same reason I chose to. We don’t forget. We don’t forget the bad and we also don’t forget the good. Sometimes, as in the title of this story, someones we don’t forget the ones that didn’t beat us up or pick on us. Not only that, but I am grateful for a writer that shares such clarity in their words as Polly has below. I am honored to share her story. ~Alan Eisenberg


I’m an old woman now, and I still remember one girl didn’t beat me up that day

I’m an old woman now, and I still remember that one girl, pretty and blond and from the South, didn’t beat me up that day the others jumped me in the alley, going home at lunch time. In fact, Lucy–I don’t…

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Confronting sociopolitical denial

“It’s fine–I’m fine–everything’s fine,” says Theo parodically (Theo is the hero in Cuaron’s politically brilliant film Children of Men), whenever something particularly terrible occurs. For indeed isn’t “Everything’s fine” the claim of power, stupidity, and/or denial through the years?

This comes to mind, this late-March 2014, as we read of the county officials ignoring hydrologists’ and army engineers’ warnings of the deadly hillside that fell, 4 days ago, on the town of Oso, WA. I am reminded of it, too, by the county officials and new neighbor here who continue to ignore concerns that the neighbor’s excavations may harm my easement and home. I am reminded further when I consider the “deaf ear” turned to the dangers of noise (such as constant television noise in hospitals or apartment buildings) just as, for decades, the dangers of air-particle pollution were denied.

Above all, I am reminded of the Cold War years, not only the crazed denial that more nukes would bring more security, but, worse, the all-permeating claim–enforced especially through “freudian” psychology and its popularizers (including the too beautifully made but inimical films The Snakepit and The Goddess, and that worst-of-the-worst pop-psych books, Generation of Vipers)–that, especially for women, blacks, and the powerless, If You Think Something’s Wrong, It Means That Something’s Wrong in You.

The greatest internal liberation of the 1960s, for many of us, and of the early 1970s for many women, was to see that No It Isn’t Wrong in Us–We Are Whole and the Problem Is the System.

Yes, the problems, as we learned, were and are in our political-social system(s). Part of what we–as persons, as writers, as woman or man or trans or other, and of any age–continue to learn, and each generation learns anew, is what–and how pervasive, and at how many levels–these systems are.

 

Copyright 2014 by Paula Friedman. All rights reserved.

“Sentience” selected as Valentine’s Day’s Flash Fiction, Feb.14, 2014

Paula Friedman’s flash-fiction love story “Sentience,” a tale of tragic love between victor and defeated on a distant planet in 2365, is the Valentine’s Day Friday Flash Ficton on the popular Morgen Bailey’s Blog. Enjoy! http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/flash-fiction-friday-124-sentience-a-love-story-by-paula-friedman