Lessons from the Writers League of Texas conference.

I spent Saturday at the Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference and came away with a lot of practical advice and information. Everyone was eager, professional, and wonderful to talk to and work with. My panels, on historical fiction and alternative worlds, were well-attended, and panelists and audiences had plenty to share.

Chuck Sambuchino‘s keynote address. Chuck is an editor at Writers Digest and he writes a Guide to Literary Agents blog that is one of the most popular on the Web. As Chuck says, there’s so much the writer can’t control. So what does a writer have control over? (Note: I have made plenty of these mistakes.)

Chuck Sambuchino’s Top Things You Have Control over as a Writer

  • Always write the best thing you can. Polish, edit, prepare. It’s not someone else’s job to fix your errors.
  • Investigate all publishing options and research them carefully. This means self-publishing and traditional publishing. Don’t get blindsided. Know what you are getting into.
  • Create and develop a platform and always be visible in the marketplace.
  • Keep moving forward. This is the number one thing, according to Chuck. Don’t stop after one rejection or two or multiple. Keep writing the next thing, keep developing the next project, keep going.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Agents always want to know what else you are working on. They don’t want to take on one-book authors.
  • It’s okay to write for money.
  • Don’t believe everything you hear.
  • Don’t give agents a reason to say no. This goes back to writing the best that you can.
  • Steal from yourself. If you have an old idea, repurpose it for articles, short stories, novels, etc. Maximize the value of what you write.
  • Success comes from rejection. Keep going forward and find the right publisher.

And the number one secret to writing. Are you ready for this?

Drum roll, please…

  • Put down the remote control.


A3 · June 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm

I think my #1 thing is: disconnect the internet!

Patrice Sarath · June 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I know what you mean. It’s my number one distraction.

Lessons from the Writers' League -- Part II - Author Patrice Sarath · June 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

[…] I blogged last week about what you do have control over in this crazy business, based on author and editor Chuck Sambuchino’s excellent keynote address. You can read that post here. […]

Lessons from the Writers League -- Part III - Author Patrice Sarath · July 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

[…] to Part I and Part II for more Lessons from the Writers’ […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Next up: Comicpalooza

I’ll be in Houston Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27) for Comicpalooza. Very excited to be part of the extravaganza! Hope to see you there. Here’s what I’ll be doing: Saturday 12:00 – 1:00 pm Literary Read more…


FollyCon Day 2: The Launch of The Sisters Mederos

Well that was fun. Angry Robot throw a good book party. We launched Jeff Noon’s The Body Library, the second book in his new series, and he signed a massive number of books. I signed Read more…


FollyCon Day 1

Registration. A turn around the art show and the dealer room. And then serious barcon for a while, meeting fellow authors and friends, two of whom are also agented by Agent Jennie Goloboy of Don Read more…