My YA List: Top Reads of 2013

The GrimM Legacy By: Polly Shulman

Keeping the Castle: By Patrice Kindl

Mind Games: By Kirsten White

Taken: Erin Bowman

Alice in Zombieland: By Gena Showalter

Legend: Marie Lu

The Selection & The Elite: By Kiera Cass

Etiquette Espionage: By Gail Carriger

The Fault in Our Stars: By John Green

Pushing the Limits: Katie McGarry

Divergent: By Veronica Roth

The Distance Between Us: Kasie West

Dark Triumph: By Robin LaFevers

Everbound: By Brodi Ashton

Cinder & Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles): By Marissa Meyer

*Read so many great books this year, it was hard to narrow it down to these. Can’t wait to get reading in 2014!

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Query Christmas!

QUERY DEFINED

query letter is a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. Writers write query letters to propose writing ideas.

For example, a standard requested format for a manuscript query letter to a literary agent could be approximately 200 – 400 words, expressing the following information:

  • The topic of the work
  • A short description of the plot
  • A short bio of the author
  • The target audience

The literary agent would then decide whether to contact the author and request to see the manuscript, based on the contents of the query letter. In this sense, the query letter is an author’s first step towards getting his/her manuscript published. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Query_letter

QUERY DECEMBER!

That being defined…

The month of November was filled with NaNo-writing. December has been filled with perfecting my query letter (for my YA urban fantasy, BOUND), and sending it out to agents. And waiting…. Just have to say that I really appreciate the agents who have gotten back to me the same day I send them the query. Even though it’s been no (so far), I appreciate the promptness, and the finality–don’t have to wonder or lose all my nails waiting for a reply.

I know the “perfect” agent will come, eventually, and I’ll look back on this journey (will share more about my journey as soon as I do get an agent), and think it happened fast…..but until then, off to have another cup of coffee while I wait….

**Praying that 2014 is my agent year! Will keep you posted!

 

2 More DREAMS/GOALS for 2014

So….Here are 2 more goals/dreams for 2014.

1. Get 500+ LIKES on my Facebook author page!

Here’s the link . . . Come check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/JanelleLeonard523

(I plan on doing another gift card drawing when I reach 300 likes!)

2. Get to 200+ Followers of my blog.

BTW: I’m so thankful for those of you who have supported and encouraged me so far! Please help me reach these goals–pass it along! THANKS!

2014 Goals For Writing

If I could sum up 2013 in two words (as pertaining to my writing career), they would be:  PROFESSIONAL WAITER. (lol, notice the coffee…could add “Professional coffee drinker” to resume too…)

This year has really stretched my patience, has grown me as a person and as a writer, and has given me quite the backbone. I’ve learned the great importance of “it takes a community to write a book.” I tried so long to be a writer all by myself–I wanted to be able to say I did it ALONE with no help from anyone! But this year has taught me that the more people I involve, the better my writing becomes. It took so much out of me to actually share my writing, to allow people to read my stuff. I shook each time I pushed the send button….but everyone who I’ve shared my writing with, has improved it in one way or another. There are still days when I jump in the worthless-writer pit and want to give up, go it alone . . .but those days have gotten less and less as I allow more people to read, edit, help, and encourage me along this writing journey. 

How about you? Where have you seen growth with your writing knowledge and actual writing?

I started 2013 finishing up a major overhaul of my YA novel, BOUND. I sent out more queries. Got a few rejections and one maybe. I connected with so many writers on FB–have really benefited from their knowledge and advice. I finished NaNoWriMo, having written 66,000 words. I got two new ideas for series, and worked on several novels that I had started… 

So, I wrote all the above to say, it’s been quite the year. I’m looking forward to 2014 and the challenges and growth that are on their way. (BTW: There are still a few more weeks of 2013 for writing news…) 

I’ve decided to make a list of my writing goals for 2014. By posting them here, I feel I’ll have some accountability. And, the best part, I can share the excitement with you all as I’m able to cross off the items!

My writing Goals (& Dreams) for 2014 

1. Finish polishing/editing BOUND. (Have the most wonderful editor!!)

2. Write 70,000 words in January (I’m doing OhNoNaNo with a group of writer friends)

3. Send out queries for BOUND . . . until I get an agent.

4. DREAM: I would love to have an agent before I’m 30 (that gives me until the end of February…) A girl can dream!

5. Write and organize the first draft of ENDICOTT. 

6. Finish the first draft of TAKEN. (sequel to BOUND)

7. Get 1-2 editing jobs. 

*I may add more as I think of them, but there are 7 to start with. 

 

So, who’s with me? What are some of your writing resolutions, goals, dreams for 2014? Share and let us cheer along with you as you accomplish each one!