Elizabeth Taylor is Literary Editor at Large for the Chicago Tribune, Co-Founder of the National Book Review, and Past President (now on the Board of Directors) of the National Book Critics Circle. She has served on four Pulitzer Prize committees. With Adam Cohen, she is co-author of “American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley, His Battle for Chicago and the Nation,” named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times.
We had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Liz Taylor and pick her brain about everything publishing. Here are the essential tips that we took away, geared towards any young writers who have decided to embark upon the long, unpredictable traditional publishing route.
- Submit, submit, submit! To every magazine and contest you can find. It’ll help build up your bio, and it’s a great place to start.
- Your collection should be laid out at the beginning of the publishing process. An agent has a lot of power, but they can’t sell your book off of just a proposal.
- You must write a query letter! (more info here)
- Don’t worry about your audience— that’s the publisher’s job.
- Check out smaller, quality presses (Catapult, Dorothy Project, Dalkey Archive, Graywolf, Coffee House, Milkweed) —Minneapolis is the center of cool publishing!