Friday Five-O: Should I Sign With an Agent?

Dear Friday Five-O,

A fairly prominent agent read my story in a journal and has offered to represent me. It’s the first story I’ve published and don’t have much other finished work. Should I sign with an agent now or wait until I have a novel or collection?

-Lucky Lucy



Dear Lucy,

Thanks for the question.

September 2, 2011 | James Scott

Craft Advice Friday Five-O Success Stories

Friday Five-O: Where to Begin?

Dear Friday Five-O,

Be honest. What’s the most important thing to figure out before you start writing a novel? Plot, characters…?




Dear Anu,


Thanks for the question.


Okay, so what all published writers know, and what we’ve been keeping from you is that you start your novel in one place, and one place only: adverbs

July 29, 2011 | James Scott

Craft Advice Friday Five-O Secret

Why You Should Read

Dear Friday Five-O,

OK, I get it. If I’m a fiction writer, I should read more fiction. Everyone says this, and I understand the spiritual reasons I should be supporting other writers by reading them. But what are the practical benefits of reading fiction? In other words, how exactly will reading 10 more novels a year help me write a better novel?

-Judy Greenberg

June 24, 2011 | James Scott

Craft Advice Friday Five-O

Working With an Editor

Dear Friday Five-O,

I had a story accepted and the editor wants me to make changes. This is my story. I’m torn… What should I do?­

- Brian


First of all, congratulations, Brian. Take some time to enjoy your success.

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately. Or, rather, I’ve been thinking about editors a lot lately with the tragic passing of Jeanne Leiby on April 19

May 20, 2011 | James Scott

Craft Advice Friday Five-O

My Story Got Workshopped. Now What?

Dear Friday Five-O,

I just got home from workshop, and I have twelve copies of my story, and they’re all saying different things! I brought my story to workshop because I was confused—is this supposed to help?


April 7, 2011 | James Scott

Craft Advice Friday Five-O Inspiration weekly columns