Feeding Animals

Posted on 18 July 2013

Eleven months ago, I sat in a craft workshop at Bread Loaf and came up with an idea for a novel. Now flash forward to this week, when I have a draft of that manuscript down on paper and am workshopping the first three chapters at the Tin House Writers’ Workshop. It’s amazing what can happen in a year if you simply sit down to do the work.

I have so much I could write about this conference and my time here, from my workshop to the readings to the lectures to the fact that I keep losing things around campus (my water bottle, my Tin House beer koozie, my sweatshirt, and, most embarrassing of all, my journal), but I’m a bit pressed for time.

So until I can write more in-depth posts next week, I’ll have to settle for sharing just some brief Tin House love:

“Take a personal rejection letter seriously. It’s an engagement, an invitation to submit again … Women take rejection more personally than men. They’re much less likely to resubmit [another piece] after receiving a personalized rejection letter from us.” –Tin House editor

“Be real and be complex. Even hookers go grocery shopping.” –Jodi Angel

“If that’s what you want — an agent who won’t return your calls but will break some knees for you — there are people out there for you.”

“If I didn’t have to make a living, I’d send every project to indie presses — it’s where you get the attention and care.” –Agent

“Remember that you’re sending work out to [someone like] yourself: a nerdy, book-loving, socially awkward person.” — Tin House editor

“Did you know that editors can pick up your work and know within one page whether you’re a confident writer?

“Be a good literary friend.”

“Mermaids are big now.”

“We don’t read to make friends. If you want a friend, feed an animal.” –Jodi Angel



4 responses to Feeding Animals

  • Sarah W says:

    I like Jodi Angel’s style.

  • Felicity says:

    Great tips — thanks for sharing, Laura! Hmmm, mermaids!

  • Averil says:

    “Remember that you’re sending work out to [someone like] yourself: a nerdy, book-loving, socially awkward person.”

    That’s exactly what my agent told me when he was setting up phone calls with editors. And it totally helped. Those are my people!

  • Teri says:

    Even hookers go grocery shopping. Ah yes, I suppose they do!!

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what you lost around the Tin House. I’m guessing you’ve made up for it. :-)

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