92 votes

How can I contact JK Rowling for permission to publish my sequel for the Harry Potter series?

I'm sorry, but the chances of JK Rowling letting an amateur, unpublished writer use her ideas is zero. She and her partners have billions of dollars riding on the HP franchise. If she is tired of ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
49 votes

How can I contact JK Rowling for permission to publish my sequel for the Harry Potter series?

In an interview, Stephen Fry (who has recorded the audio-book versions of the Harry Potter series from the start) recalled how, at a book-signing that J.K. Rowling was doing, there were ...
casual user's user avatar
40 votes

Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay. Does that apply to me?

Write it. Even if it's just for you. I think this is an incredibly important and valuable question, because I hear it all the time from many of my friends. They aren't writers or authors, and they ...
Sciborg's user avatar
  • 8,742
40 votes

I feel like people would mock me for trying to become an author at 12, what should I do?

I would say go for it! If you have the possibility of contacting a "proper author," there's no reason not to. If they get back to you or someone from their office does, that would be a huge ...
Voldemort's Wrath's user avatar
39 votes

I feel like people would mock me for trying to become an author at 12, what should I do?

Your first publication will get harsh criticism whether you're 12, 21, or 120. The fact is, the only way to get good at something is to practice, and the only way to practice is to fail, repeatedly, ...
Zibbobz's user avatar
  • 1,005
22 votes

Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay. Does that apply to me?

"Assume that you have a million words inside you that are absolute rubbish and you need to get them out before you get to the good ones." That's a Neil Gaiman quote, but many other authors ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
16 votes

Am I a new writer?

When this question is asked, many companies specifically exclude self-publishing or require a certain number of copies sold to count. Typically the intent is to find out if you are a proven quantity ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
14 votes

I feel like people would mock me for trying to become an author at 12, what should I do?

Engage in online creative writing/fanfiction forums, with your parents' supervision. If you want to start writing, be aware that the first things you start writing will likely be really bad. This isn'...
nick012000's user avatar
12 votes

Consulting experts - why should they talk to someone who isn't a published writer yet?

I've got nothing on shadowing (I suspect that's a very hard sell), but for asking questions, there are two (non-exclusive) approaches that I've seen and occasionally been part of (on both sides). The ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Will the publisher/agent tell me what to write?

A This answer has been given multiple times before on this site, and it was consistently met with reservation and disbelief. Yet it is what I have learned from published authors: First novels are ...
Terry Noodle's user avatar
10 votes

How can I add depth to my story or how do I determine if my story already has depth?

@MatthewDave suggests asking yourself what your story is about. I would go farther: ask yourself what is the meaning of your story, what it is you're trying to say. If you're saying nothing at all, ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
10 votes

What kind of name should a fantasy author go by?

I do not know the source of that claim you heard, but I think you're taking it too literally. Generally, most authors just use their name. There's nothing about the name "J.R.R. Tolkien" or "Terry ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How to push through your inner critic

First of all, this is a very natural and typical experience for most writers that they learn to overcome. The intensity of the cringe varies from person to person, according to their personality. It ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 11.6k
9 votes

As a new poet, where can I find help from a professional to judge my work?

Go to a local university and speak with a writer in residence or a professor who is well-respected. Take creative writing courses and listen to the feedback. Join a writers group - but remember, ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
9 votes
Accepted

Help/tips for a first time writer?

I have two previous answers that will help you, Here, on the Three Act Structure and Here, on Getting the first 50 pages or so started. These are geared to discovery writers, like me, but if you ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
9 votes

I feel like people would mock me for trying to become an author at 12, what should I do?

Angst has no Age: Youth is filled with self-doubt, criticism, challenges and lack of experience. Guess what? Age is filled with self-doubt, responsibility and inertia. I've ALWAYS wanted to be an ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Write now or learn?

This is a great question with a simple answer: Write to learn* *Read when you're not writing. Learn from authors and stories you love. But...what should you write? Also a simple answer: Write ...
Gwendolyn's user avatar
  • 1,348
8 votes

Consulting experts - why should they talk to someone who isn't a published writer yet?

I don't buy any of the "ask an expert" notions either; although here on StackExchange you may find some experts in certain fields, I've been impressed with a few here on Writing, and others on ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
8 votes

Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay. Does that apply to me?

The quote is not about writers. It's about self-important people. This was my immediate thought, and then I watched the video where indeed Hitchens says it in the context of memoirs. There is a phrase ...
Artelius's user avatar
  • 666
8 votes

How to push through your inner critic

Label your Drafts In the software world, the application My-Work-0.0.1 is going to be a buggy mess. Everyone knows this just looking at it, because it's version 0-dot-something. It's not even "in ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 1,890
8 votes
Accepted

Is there an industry term for a letter inquiring if a publisher is interested in a work?

The term you're looking for is "query letter." Reedsy gives several tips for writing one: https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/how-to-write-a-query-letter/query-letter-examples/
Steve's user avatar
  • 306
7 votes

How can one go about writing with a full time job?

A few hours? Why, that's a good amount of time. If you sit down and write for them, you will be able to write a lot of works. Some things that may help are having a set scheduled time in which you ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 8,782
7 votes

I feel like people would mock me for trying to become an author at 12, what should I do?

"especially people I want to impress" If you're doing it because authors get all the hot <insert cute term for gender/orientation here> then you're probably SOL. If you're doing it ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,294
6 votes
Accepted

How can I get self-confidence when writing?

The only thing you need to ask yourself is this one question: "Do I enjoy writing?" If you enjoy writing, then do it. Do not be afraid. If enjoy writing, the quality of your writing will ...
WriterGeek1's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

As a first time wannabe writer, should I consider going in for Traditional publishing or Self Publishing?

Traditional publishing will only hurt your pride (but that's not a bad thing): The discipline, focus, and work quality to publish in the traditional market are all things that you will want to have to ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
5 votes
Accepted

As a new poet, where can I find help from a professional to judge my work?

There are many places to get good feedback for your work. You said you wanted a professional to look over your work and in that case, if you plan on publishing, I would suggest hiring an editor. But ...
Elias Rowan Albatross's user avatar
5 votes

Will the publisher/agent tell me what to write?

Terry's answer aligns with my knowledge, but here's a little more I'd add that is relevant to your question. Writers I know who have been agented are asked to revise their manuscripts before the ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
5 votes

Write now or learn?

I have a story that I wish to write. I like my story and genuinely believe it to be interesting. My issue is that I have never really written anything before. When I have read advice in the past, I ...
Double U's user avatar
  • 2,512
5 votes

Write now or learn?

The only way to become a better writer is to write. Yes, you can take classes and read and study, and those things will help, but only if you do them in conjunction with writing. What should you ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
5 votes

Help/tips for a first time writer?

What I do is get to know my characters well, my MC in particular, create a situation and see what happens. I write what occurs. If you have all of the elements in your story ready, but that blank ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible