5 Essential Tips for Writers from Editor, Brenda Copeland
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5 Essential Tips for Writers from Editor, Brenda Copeland

At The Ranch, we are lucky to have many talented professionals from the publishing industry come to share their knowledge with us.  This week was no exception, with writer Leslie Levine and editor, Brenda Copeland.  They had a series of writing workshops throughout the week including Interview with the Editor, where Brenda shared some of her most interesting stories in her career as an editor.

Brenda Copeland has had a 20-year career in publishing and is currently an Executive Editor at St. Martin’s Press.  Publishing both commercial to literary fiction and non-fiction, she has worked with bestselling authors such as Dean Koontz, Ann Leary, Matthew Dicks, Captain Rich Phillips, and Kerry Cohen.

In this post, Brenda gives her 5 Essential Tips for Writers wanting to get published straight from the eyes of an editor.  If you’re looking for a career as an author, take advantage of her tremendous knowledge!

  1. Write the best book you can and take as long as you need.  Your job is to write so don’t pay attention to the marketing side of the business while you’re writing.
  2. Keep learning the craft.  Go to writer’s conferences, join writer’s groups with people that you trust, and have your work critiqued.
  3. Once you’re done with your book, find the best agent to represent the book.  Do your homework.  Find authors who are similar to you, find the agents who represent them, and submit query letters to those agents.  Remember to always follow their query guidelines.
  4. Listen to the agent’s feedback.  If you find you’re getting the same feedback from numerous agents, listen!  Brenda and Leslie could not emphasize this enough.
  5. Learn to be uncomfortable and push your boundaries.  Don’t play it safe with your writing.  Go where the story needs to go.

We hope you enjoy these helpful tips from Brenda!  I know I will use them. If you are interested in coming to The Ranch to attend writing workshops, be sure to check out the writing section of our Events Calendar for upcoming talks.