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Every episode of Inside My Favorite Manuscript podcast, co-hosts Dot, a special collections curator, and Lindsey, a self-described huge nerd, sit down with someone who works closely with manuscripts and talk about the ones they love the most, and why.
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The Manuscript

The Manuscript

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In The Manuscript, we're passionate about writing and technology. Every couple of weeks we talk to people making a difference in Technical Writing, Instructional Design, UX Writing, Content Strategy and anywhere else there’s someone thinking about content in digital products and the tech industry.
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Debut author Kristy Jackson joins Julie and Jessica to talk about her new middle grade book, MORTIFIED, now out in bookstores everywhere! From embarrassing middle school moments to querying hiccups, Kristy talks about her 20+ year-long writing journey, how she found the right agent for her, and how perseverance made all the different to achieving h…
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In the first installment of the Manuscript Academy Book Club, we have Liv Constantine, the pen name for internationally bestselling sister duo Lynne and Valerie Constantine! Joined by Jessica, Julie, and the Manuscript Academy community, Valerie and Lynne answer your questions about how to collaborate and edit as a team, how to get the best results…
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You’ve heard of the all-important voice—but how do you make it more vivid, both on the page—and in your life? Enter Jessica Doyle-Mekkes, an author, voice coach, and eloquent speaker on how your voice in your life and your voice on the page are linked, vitally important—and within your control to improve. Listen along for what helps your voice come…
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We are thrilled to introduce our very own Julie Kingsley's debut novel! It's called The Space Between You and Me and came out this week!"That summer, I finally grew into myself. The problem? I grew too fast. And fruit that grows too fast often bursts in the sunshine."With her agent Lane Heymont (Tobias Literary Agency), we discuss: *What happens if…
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Content Warning: This podcast discusses suicide, grief, and loss. Pam O'Hara's beautiful writing captivated our expert audience during a recent Manuscript Academy panel, so much so that it was picked for our 2024 MSWL Agent Choice Awards. Pam joins Jessica and Julie to speak about her stunning memoir about love, loss, and losing a loved one by suic…
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Watch the free video version, slides and all (and get a coupon for our workshop!) at https://manuscriptacademy.com/emmyJoin our Three-Day Keep An Agent Reading Workshop, May 28-30, here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/product/keep-an-agent-reading-workshopTIMESTAMPS: Essential Elements of a Query Letter (00:03:07) Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon covers th…
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We are honored that author Elizabeth (Liz) Holden, author of the forthcoming YA novel Mighty Millie Novak, allowed us to go through her work as a teaching tool for you--what each element accomplishes, WHY it works, and how you can do the same in your own query and first page.If you'd like to follow along visually, head to our YouTube Channel, https…
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View our in-depth video of what Liz did right in her query letter and first page here: https://www.youtube.com/@manuscriptacademyMeet Elizabeth Holden, Physics professor, travel entrepreneur, and author of Mighty Millie Novak, a YA novel coming out from Flux Publishing in August. https://www.elizabeth-holden.com/Liz is also the travel coordinator f…
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Please note: This episode contains mentions of alcoholism, recovery, and sobriety. We are so happy to welcome author Jessica Guerrieri and agent Ismita Hussain (Great Dog Literary) to the podcast. They're a great example of what to look for in an author-agent relationship--they're creative, collaborative, supportive, and successful (Jessica's debut…
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We are so grateful to Emmy Nordstrom Higdon, agent at Westwood Creative Associates, who has offered to teach a free workshop for you all about the elements of querying—interest, emphasis, tension—that keep a busy agent reading in 2024. Get your free ticket (or replay ticket!) here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/emmyThe event is Tuesday, May 7, 8:30…
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We are thrilled to introduce Ali McLafferty, author, teacher, and most recent winner of the as-yet-untitled (Manuscript) Academy Awards. Ali was nominated by agent Melissa Edwards (Stonesong Literary) for this gorgeous fantasy novel that brings up a lot of issues in our world as well. We discuss how she polished her query, how many drafts she did o…
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We love this creativity-packed episode with Melissa Vogan (née Melissa Warten), former editor at Macmillan, current editor at Epic For Kids. We discuss: *“Just enough” art notes - and how they’re useful for every genre *How you can guide the focus of your reader through sensory language *How to get to the heart of your story *How to disagree with a…
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You may remember Julia Alexandra from our episode in the fall when we went over three query versions with her (good, better, best): Well, she now has an agent! Ellen Goff (HG Literary) joins us with Julia to discuss balancing plot, character, and world--if your fantasy novel will hold up without your fantasy elements, which we're now calling "The G…
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If you've ever had trouble with point of view in your work, wait until you hear the advanced logistical world author Nia Davenport had to navigate for her new novel, Out of Body, which she pitches as Freaky Friday meets Get Out. Not only does she have best friends, crushes, confused parents, and a villain on the loose--but she weaves it all into a …
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Tennessee, 1960. One extraordinary team of women--and the first all-Black women’s track team--found glory at the Olympic games in Rome. Here in America, their success was "an impossible dream come true."Now, author Aime Alley Card tells us her personal connection to the team, how she did her astonishing amount of research, and how she found agent L…
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Join our interactive Says/Does Activity + view transcript here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/faculty-members/sara-schonfeldWe discuss editing with love and patience, acquiring in the age of book bans (let's just say Florida doesn't get to choose what the rest of the country reads), how to make your book feel "fresh"--and why so many editors ask fo…
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Sometimes publishing your novel takes an unexpected route. In today's episode, Jessica and Julie speak with author JB Harris to discuss how she pivoted when agents told her the manuscript she'd been working on for 11 years would be hard to break out during COVID. We cover querying, finding the right small traditional publisher, and how to market yo…
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We’ve never seen a romantic comedy like this one! Happily Never After breaks ALL* the rom com rules, while still maintaining tension, interest, narrative arcs, and everything you need in a satisfying read. Learn the rules our favorite way—by watching Lynn breaks them, succeed, and tell you how she did it. Whatever your genre, a romantic element add…
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We are thrilled to welcome Emmy Nordstrom Higdon, agent at Westwood Creative Associates, to talk with us about the red and green flags when querying agents--how you can show (mostly) green flags, recognize agent red flags, and give yourself the best odds of a positive, productive working relationship. Learn more about Emmy and book a consultation h…
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Even our podcast editor describes author Karen Outen as "a breath of fresh air." After twenty years of work, her book, Dixon Descending, features two brothers with a seemingly impossible goal: To be the first Black American men to summit Everest. We discuss how Karen learned to write realistic dialogue that jumps off the page, her publishing journe…
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CONTENT WARNING: Mentions of abortion, grooming, assault.Annie Cardi's new book, Red, is a very modern take on The Scarlet Letter. Today, Annie joins Jessica and Julie to discuss the importance of tough topics in YA novels, how to create "quiet" books that pack a punch, and writing advice for new authors. Transcript here: https://manuscriptacademy.…
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A smart, poignant novel perfect for fans of Lessons in Chemistry“An incredible STEMinist read.”—The Honey PopTranscript, timestamps and video clips here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/podcast-sara-readJoin Julie and Jessica as they talk to the fabulous Sara Read, the author of the recent book Principles of (E)motion. Trust us when we say it'll make…
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Join our workshop here! https://manuscriptacademy.com/product/three-day-submission-strategy-workshopAre you a writer thinking about querying? Or have you already queried, and you're worried that a rejection you received means you should pivot, edit for months, or--worst of all--give up? This is for you. Listen in on how we'll interpret rejections, …
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We're thrilled to welcome Abrams editor Erica Finkel to the podcast to discuss editorial board meetings, the top reasons writers get rejected--and how "fit" means far more than you'd think. Book a meeting with Erica here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/faculty-members/erica-finkelErica Finkel (she/her) is an Executive Editor for Amulet Books and Abr…
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We are thrilled to welcome you to the replay of our SEVENTH (woo hoo!) Annual Holiday Party. In this event, writers nominated writers for feedback from our agent panel. Each agent chose a nominator-nominee pair to come up, read their work, and receive support and feedback in front of our audience.Our agents are: Kaitlyn Sanchez, Bradford LiteraryLi…
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We can’t wait—what an exciting month!December 5, 8:30pm ET: Our You Belong Here class with Nancy Tandon and Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo: https://manuscriptacademy.com/you-belong-hereDecember 6, 1pm ET: For Members, we have our Mystery Agent consultation with Jenissa Graham. Apply to be on the next one here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/mystery-agentDec…
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Query writing is a craft in and of itself and so often, even the experts disagree on the best approach (hint: that just means there are number of ways to write an amazing query!). Today we're joined by the very talented, multi-hyphenate writer, coach, and former copy editor, reader, bookseller, and more, Jonathan Baker, who answers your rapid-fire …
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This pep talk was inspired by that extremely uncomfortable phenomenon of going home for the holidays, only to be grilled by your relatives. It was made with the generous contributions of writers just like you. We hope this will give you some cheer when your family asks, "Soooo--are you still writing?" "Are you a New York Times bestseller yet?" "How…
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In October, we wrapped up the month with a deliciously spooky Halloween #MSWL panel. Join us for a live panel recording with agents T.S Ferguson, Kelly Van Sant, Jenissa Graham, and Claire Harris as they take us through their creepy wishlists and fun bookish activities.But even if you’re writing serious nonfiction, or in a completely other genre, t…
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Join us December 5 for Nancy’s class, You Belong Here (meant to alleviate the “walking with your cafeteria tray toward the popular kids’ table” feeling of pitching agents): https://manuscriptacademy.com/you-belong-hereAfter an exceptionally rocky entry to publishing—including a *five year* delay—Nancy Tandon is a well-regarded Middle Grade writer w…
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We are so happy to welcome Monica Rodriguez, agent at Context Literary, to the podcast!Not only is Monica Jessica’s Agency colleague in charge of Brand Management (and helping writers promote their work), she’s also an agent with expertise in branding, marketing, and helping creatives refine their ideas. Plus, she’s an agented writer on submission,…
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Starting today (we promise you're not too late!), join us for a Three-Day Workshop: Unputdownable: Write A Book Agents Can't Stop Thinking About. It's three classes, daily forums, a thriving workshop community, live Q&A and a first pages feedback panel. This workshop includes: *Class: Banner Days - have the reader looking forward and backward, imag…
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Join us in a lively conversation with debut author M Hendrix, whose book The Chaperone came out this year with Sourcebooks! From finding an agent and pitching your book during the pandemic, finding hope in dystopian novels, and making YA fun for teens to read, we cover this and more!M Hendrix (she/her) is the author of The Chaperone, published by S…
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We are thrilled to welcome Sierra Godfrey, author of The Second Chance Hotel and A Very Typical Family, to the Member Lounge. Sierra, along with Mike Chen, built the first ManuscriptWishList.com, and her work as an author is charming, funny, romantic—and set on the gorgeous fictional Greek island of Asteri. There, her main character accidentally ma…
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We are so happy to welcome Dani Segelbaum, Vice President, Literary Agent, and Subsidiary Rights Director at Carol Mann Agency.We discuss how the best nonfiction is an experience, how it relates to platform and the real world, how sub rights tie in—and why it’s so much easier to get Anti-AI clauses in contracts for books abroad. Dani Segelbaum join…
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Join us for a deep dive into query revisions with YA fantasy writer, Julia! Julia and Jessica have spent the last few months in revisions, taking a good query and transforming it into an amazing one. Today we share all the insights learned from this process, how to be resilient, receive feedback, and make your pitch pop.Julia's bio: I am a graduate…
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We love Kaitlyn! She’s so happy, perceptive, kind, and talented—AND a literary agent who’s created community for her writers, a strong sales track record, and a team of authors—all while being a full-time math teacher, educating young minds. Book a meeting with her here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/faculty-members/kaitlyn-sanchezKaitlyn Sanchez (…
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Do you have a book that's "No plot, just vibes"? We're here to support you! Join agent Taj McCoy to discuss how to feel good from Draft One to Done. We talk about how subconscious themes, sensory details, and putting new twists on familiar tropes can bring your work to life. We love how Taj talks about starting with the layers you know best first s…
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Content warning: brief mentions of fictional sexual assault off the page throughout the episode. We are so happy to talk with bestselling author Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, author of The Stepping Off Place and, now, The Sharp Edge of Silence. After ten years on submission, Cameron can now sell fiction without even writing the whole book—making deals o…
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Join us as we take a trip down memory lane with Corey Finkle, the author of picture books, Your Future is Bright and Pop's Perfect Present. From finding your writing community, the power of small but meaningful interactions at conferences and conventions, and seeing the value of every draft, we explore how Corey went from persevering writer to succ…
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The more we hear about the Writer’s Guild of America West, the more we wonder why book authors don’t have something similar. Did you know that members of The Writer’s Guild of America receive health insurance (good health insurance!), among many other benefits—all for 1.5% of the member’s yearly profits? Plus, there’s education on the (complicated!…
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In Episode 22 of Inside My Favorite Manuscript, Dot and Lindsey talk with Laura Estill about Bodleian MS Sancroft 29. Archbishop of Canterbury William Sancroft (1617-1693) was an avid reader and collector of extracts from various works. MS Sancroft 29 is one of many manuscripts in his hand that survives; it is a dramatic commonplace books, that is,…
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Today we have the delightful Ashley Audrain, author of The Push, as we discuss her new book, The Whispers. From the many faces of motherhood, getting inspiration from your neighborhood, pantsing, editing, and creating suspense, we get into what it took to send this book out into the world!ASHLEY AUDRAIN’S debut novel, The Push, was a New York Times…
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In Episode 21 of Inside My Favorite Manuscript, Dot and Lindsey sit down with Yvonne Seale and Heather Wacha to talk about Soissons, Bibliothèque municipale, 0007, aka the Cartulary of Prémontré. Prémontré was the parent house of the Premonstratensian Order, an the cartulary contains legal documents related to the house and its holdings. In our con…
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Join us as we speak with Daniele Hunter, Junior Agent at McIntosh & Otis, AALA member, and AALA DEI committee and Literary Agents of Change member!Becoming a literary agent is not for the faint of heart. As a passion-led industry that puts up many financial barriers to entry (unpaid internships, sky-high NYC rents, and earnings for many young worke…
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Join our Three-Day Workshop, Making & Breaking Status Quo with Anne Elliott, June 13-15, 2023. Tickets are $49 and include daily classes, daily workshops, a live Q&A, and first pages panel--all with replays, on-demand access, and 30 days to view. This podcast episode is a workshop preview for the three days together. Get your ticket here: https://m…
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In Episode 20 of Inside My Favorite Manuscript, Dot talks with Paul Dilley about one of the Medinet Madi Coptic Manichaean Codices. These seven papyrus manuscripts dating to the 4th and 5th centuries were discovered in Egypt in 1929, and they tell the story of a religion that was intended to draw from Christianity, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and other r…
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We are thrilled to welcome Sara Sargent, Senior Executive Editor at Random House Books for Young Readers, to the podcast. In our cozy member lounge format (rather like a neighborhood potluck, we think, that happens to feature publishing experts), we asked her questions about how editors choose books, how writers get book deals without agents, and t…
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Anne Elliott is back for her second three-day event! Join us June 13-15 for daily classes, workshops, exercises, Q&A, a live feedback panel, and a supportive writer community as we learn about making and breaking the status quo in your work.Get your ticket here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/anne-workshop ($0 members | $49 nonmembers).What makes th…
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