How Do You Know if Your Pitch is Any Good?

How Do You Know if Your Pitch is Any Good?

How Do You Know if Your Pitch is Any Good? Get Feedback From a Real Literary Agent 

Hey there writers and muse daters. Annalisa Parent from the Writing Gym coming at you.

So, many of you know that I speak to lots and lots of writers all over the world. And one of the things that writers talk about is not knowing why their novel was rejected. ”Why me? Why did this happen to me?”

The problem is that a lot of the feedback that you get when you hear back from an agent is cookie-cutter. It’s the same letter from every single agent. “Not for me. Thanks, but don’t worry. My opinion is subjective.”

Those are pretty frequently-seen terms that you’ll see in a rejection letter from an agent. So, how do you know which part of your submission is the part that’s not working?

Is it the actual manuscript? Is it your query? Is it your synopsis? Is it something else? Well, there’s no real way to know until now.

What we’ve been doing over in the Writing Gym, since our in-person retreats have been postponed due to the Coronavirus, is we’ve been doing these amazing online experiences and we do a three-day retreat.

We got together on Zoom, and the online experience was as intimate, as fun and amazing as our in-person experiences have been (minus the amazing food that we usually have when we’re at manor houses).


There are opportunities for you to meet with agents in person, and to pitch your idea. Not only could you potentially get representation from her, but more importantly you could get feedback on that pitch.

Imagine getting that kind of personalized feedback from someone who’s an actual literary agent in the field. That’s one of the many perks that we’ve got. 


Well, we’ve got writing salons. We’ve got craft intensives. We’ve gotten New York Times Bestselling Author Kel Kade to speak with us about how she got published, how she got a 6-figure advance, and what it’s like to work with a publishing house.

Writing Gym Members and Writing Gym Alumni are prioritized for registration, and if slots are left, we will open it up to the general public. Be on the lookout for our next retreat! If you’re interested in becoming a Writing Gym member, let’s chat.

In the meanwhile, check out our upcoming events here

But  if you can’t wait any longer and you’re itching to write, enrollment is currently open for salon!

What is salon? Salon is a group writing experience that gives feedback based on neuroscience and designed to optimize your creativity. It is a powerful brain-based experience for writers at all levels in all genres. To sign up for the October 20, 2020 salon, click here.

The REAL Cause of Writer’s Block? Probably Not What You Think

The REAL Cause of Writer’s Block? Probably Not What You Think

The REAL Cause of Writer’s Block? Probably Not What You Think

Hey, writers and music daters. Today, I want to talk to you about imagination.

So, many of you may know that I’m a little bit obsessed with the Middle Ages. I was sitting in this middle-aged “laverie,” which is where the people would come to wash their clothes. There’s a structure above and the river runs through it and people can wash their clothes here. And this is something that really captivates my imagination.

I feel as though I can see the people here, see them working, living, being human. 

We all get our inspiration and our imagination from different sources and different things.

One of the things that I’ve learned in my years of working with writers is that it’s really important to know how your brain works, and how you get inspiration. You may have seen some of the work that I’ve done with writers here in the group.

One of the things that I do is really tap into into my study of neuroscience to find out:

      1. what kind of thinker you are
  1. what kind of creator you are

This is really to optimize your creativity, and to tailor our methods to suit your individual needs.


 If you’ve ever participated in one of our salons, you know sometimes people talk about writer’s block. “I’m so stuck, I don’t know what to write next.” I’ve got a lot of strategies to help with that, through studying how the brain learns and creates. And I use that to really get you into a beautiful, expansive place of imagination. 

I’d love to talk about where you are with your writing,  where you’d like to go, and how you can get there and be successful in your writing career.

If this sounds like you, let’s chat. Until next time, happy writing.

How To Turn Your Writing into a Real Career

How To Turn Your Writing into a Real Career

How To Turn Your Writing into a Real Career

As many of you may know, we run a Facebook group called “Write to Publish and Sell Your Novel,” where I share many of my publishing and writing tips. These days, I’ve been going through some of the pending posts and I was really surprised at how many “buy my book” kind of posts there were, along with other questions about our process. 

Now, here’s something that you need to know about this Facebook group, Write to Publish and Sell Your Novel. We are about one thing, and one thing only, and that’s real results.

What are real results? Real results means successfully turning your writing into a career, creating the author lifestyle that attracts readers and allows you to publish time and time again. Members of the Writing Gym are getting real results.

They’re writing, revising, and publishing books. They’re getting on national television, gaining readers, doing book signings and events. They’re doing the things that makes them able to call themselves authors. This month, we got two publishing contracts for members of the Writing Gym. 

So, how are we getting real results? I’ll focus on what we don’t do, because there’s a lot of practices that you’re going to see in other groups that we just don’t do here in Write to Publish. 

First and foremost, what we don’t do are beta readers. Why not? Well, we believe in real, personalized feedback that gets results and is based on the way that your brain learns and creates. Beta readers are not going to help you get the kind of feedback you need: feedback that’s going to move your piece to successful publication, and eventually, to selling many books and having readers. Rather, beta readers may derail that effort, and that’s why we don’t do beta readers.

Secondly, we don’t focus on questions such as “what should my character’s name be?” in this group. Those are fine questions to ask, and we take care of those kinds of questions over in the Writing Gym during the revision phase of the process, where we look at questions around character line, plotline, place name, character name, possible titles, etc.

But, why don’t we talk about these kinds of questions in Write to Publish? Because those kinds of questions ultimately have to do with personal preference, which is an opinion. For example, feedback such as “I don’t like Jennifer, choose Mary for the character’s name” is arbitrary. Opinions aren’t helpful, if you want to create a publishing career. What we want are results. 

Lastly, another thing that we don’t do in this group, is posting “buy my $0.99 ebook” posts. I’m sure your $0.99 ebook is fabulous, but let’s focus on what’s really important here, which is results. Our goal is to turn your writing into a career, and you are not going to create an author lifestyle based on $0.99 ebooks.

Let’s just do the math and think about your grocery bill for this week. Think about how many books you’d have to sell just to buy groceries. Or think about your mortgage, your rent, your car — a $0.99 ebook is not going to cut it.  But, we do care about $14.99 paperbacks. We do care about $24.99 hardcovers. We do care about publishing with the Big Five and we care about creating an author lifestyle. We care about quality.

If you want to create the author lifestyle and get real results, you’re in the right place. This is what our Facebook group, Write to Publish and Sell Your Novel, is all about. 

If that sounds like you, I would love to chat with you. Good luck and until next time.

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