Remember back when you applied to colleges and you had to fill out a whole application explaining why you were such an outstanding 18–year-old and why the college should select you over thousands of others? What about those first after-school/summer job applications? Remember hoping they’d be impressed by your babysitting experience and the fact that old Mrs. Jones would say what a responsible young teenager you were because you shoveled her driveway?
Many, many years have passed since that stage in my life. And yet, in some ways, I feel I’m repeating it … thankfully, minus the braces and the teenage angst.
I want to start contacting agents soon and pitching my novel, but I hate the idea of a blank paragraph in the query letter about my fiction writing experience. How can an aspiring author start building up a writing resumé to help diminish that hated white space on the ‘job application’?
Luckily, writers today have fantastic on-line resources at their fingertips, often provided by other aspiring writers. Rebecca, aka Novel Girl, recently published a great post on submitting to literary magazines friendly toward new and emerging writers .
Contests are another option. There are usually small entry fees, but they also offer prizes and, in most cases, the publication of your story on-line and/or in anthologies. These contests can provide positive feedback on your writing, the chance to get your work seen by a wider audience and the deadlines some of us – ahem! – may need to push us to complete our projects. Two contest web sites I like are The Book Trust site and Funds for Writers .
Writers out there, any other tips or recommended sites for aspiring authors hoping to bolster their writing resumés?