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Writers on the Edge guest author shares advice on getting published

February 3, 2016

Stephens College English/Creative Writing program recently hosted novelist Laura McHugh as part of the ongoing Writers on the Edge series. The award-winning author of “The Weight of Blood” shared her journey as a first time novelist, offering advice to students and guests about the process of submitting work, getting an agent, and negotiating the terrain of the world of publication.

Of special interest to the audience of writers and readers was McHugh’s experiences seeking agent representation. She shared her less-than-successful query letters as well as a sample of a more successful one that interested multiple agents, including the one currently representing her work. “An important part of a good query letter is how well you describe your novel,” she said. McHugh also suggested that writers look at other work that is similar to their own so agents might have a better idea of where your work fits in the current market.

“It was a great event,” said Kate Berneking Kogut, associate professor of English/Creative Writing. “A wonderful opportunity for us to hear about the experiences of a talented writer.”

“The Weight of Blood,” published by Spiegel and Grau, was a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. It was also a Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel and was named One the of the Best Books of the Year by Bookpage.

McHugh’s second novel, “Arrowood,” also published by Spiegel and Grau, is due out in July.

The English/Creative Writing program’s next event is “Sparking Words” a workshop with Visiting Writer Tara Betts, Sunday, Feb. 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Dudley 225. Every writer welcome!

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