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The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
Bianca Marais, Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra

This is a podcast for emerging writers who want to improve the quality of their work and learn more about the publishing... more

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Episodes

May Bonus Episode

In this month’s bonus episode, Bianca chats with Courtney Preiss to discuss her debut novel, Welcome Home, Caroline Kline. They... more

27 May 2024 · 1 hour, 25 minutes
A Debut Experience All Authors Dream Of

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe critique a YA submission and a literary coming-of-age horror. They discuss... more

23 May 2024 · 57 minutes
Insights from Publishing Phenomenon, Veronica Roth

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe critique a literary fiction query and a high concept YA fantasy... more

16 May 2024 · 53 minutes
Rewriting Instead of Giving Up

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe are joined by Paige to discuss her query for her action-adventure... more

09 May 2024 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Metaphor and Meaning in Memoir

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe are joined by two guests, author Rachel Kapelke-Dale and her agent,... more

02 May 2024 · 1 hour, 22 minutes
April Bonus Episode: Writing Without a Pricetag

In this month’s bonus episode, Bianca interviews poet, novelist, and Chair of the Amherst Writers (AWA), Sue Reynolds. They discuss... more

29 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
Caroline Leavitt’s Insights and Encouragement

In today’s Book with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique two listener queries, a resubmission and a YA fantasy. They discuss... more

25 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Figuring Out What Genre You Should Be Writing In

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe critique a children's picture book and a literary fiction query. They... more

18 Apr 2024 · 56 minutes
Choosing the Best POVs for a Multi-POV Novel

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe are joined by guest agent, Jo Ramsay, to critique two queries. They... more

11 Apr 2024 · 1 hour,
Insights from Mary Kubica

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly and CeCe discuss choosing a unique title for your work; having a strong... more

04 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Defining Book Club Fiction

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe discuss keeping your author bio paragraph concise; the need for causality... more

28 Mar 2024 · 1 hour, 1 minute
March Bonus Episode

In this month’s bonus episode, Bianca interviews game designer, curator, and writer, Holly Gramazio to discuss her debut novel, The... more

25 Mar 2024 · 47 minutes
How Research Should Inform a Novel Without Leaving Too Many Fingerprints

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly, CeCe, and Bianca are joined by Ron, to discuss his query submission. They chat... more

21 Mar 2024 · 1 hour, 6 minutes
Balancing Curiosity Seeds and Tension Without Making the Reader Feel Cheated

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe  discuss the need for external pressure in your major dramatic question;... more

14 Mar 2024 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Insights from Acquisitions Editors & Working on Author Collaborations

In today's Books with Hooks segment, Carly, CeCe, and Bianca are joined by two acquisitions editors at Atria Books, Elizabeth... more

07 Mar 2024 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Being Intentional With Your Novel's Timeline

In today's Books with Hooks segment, Bianca, Carly and CeCe discuss the importance of specifying between awards for published and... more

29 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Bumper February Bonus Episode

In today's Bumper February Bonus Episode, Bianca kicks it off by interviewing interviews tech anthropologist and author, Nikki Payne. They... more

26 Feb 2024 · 2 hours, 15 minutes
How Some Stories Need You to Become a Better Writer Before Telling Them

In today's Books with Hooks segment, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe are joined by emerging author, Sarah. They discuss ways to... more

22 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Torturing Your Characters in the Second Act

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, CeCe, and Carly discuss small tweaks for an overall 'fantastic' query; a good example... more

15 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
How Writing Contests Can Help Launch Your Career

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, CeCe, and Carly critique an upmarket/southern-gothic query and a book club romance. They discuss... more

08 Feb 2024 · 57 minutes
Insights from NYT Bestselling Authors, Ali Hazelwood and Kiley Reid

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe discuss the need for specificity with regard to plot details when... more

01 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 33 minutes
January Bonus Episode

In today's January Bonus Episode, Bianca interviews Jami Attenberg, author of 1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Focused,... more

29 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 35 minutes
How the Close Third Person POV Can Get You Closer Than First Person

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe are joined by guest listener, Erica. They discuss the need to... more

25 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 16 minutes
The Dos and Don’ts When Writing For Children

In today's Books with Hooks, CeCe and Carly discuss what agents look for with a resubmission; the issue with starting... more

18 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Creating intimacy With Your Reader

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe discuss the importance of eliminating any confusion in your query; the distinction... more

11 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 6 minutes
Working with a Writing Coach

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe are joined by guest Alicia Clancy, executive editor at Lake Union Publishing.... more

04 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 14 minutes
Finding Your Voice

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe discuss an example of an excellent hook and query letter in... more

28 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
December Bonus Episode

In today's December Bonus Episode, Bianca interviews Sarah Lariviere, YA author of The Bad Kid, Time Travel for Love and... more

25 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
What to do When a Scene is Falling Flat

In today's Books with Hooks, CeCe, Carly, and Bianca are joined by Harvey to discuss his submission. They chat about... more

21 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Writing with Respect and Authenticity

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly, CeCe, and Bianca discuss a historical mystery and a women's fiction query. They chat... more

14 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 14 minutes
How Writing Interiority is Like Squeezing an Orange

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe are joined by guest, Ronnie Alvarado, a senior editor at Simon... more

07 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
Writing Retellings and Reimaginings

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly and CeCe critique two listener query letters, one fantasy and one middle-grade fiction.... more

30 Nov 2023 · 57 minutes
Bumper November Bonus Episode

In today's Bumper November Bonus Episode, Emilie Sommer of East City Bookshop kicks us off with suggested comp titles. After which,... more

27 Nov 2023 · 2 hours, 6 minutes
In Praise of the Essay

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe are joined by Nicole to discuss her query submission. They discuss... more

23 Nov 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Writing Morally Ambiguous Characters

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly and CeCe critique two query letters. They discuss a good example of the... more

16 Nov 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Encouragement from NYT Bestselling Author, Jean Kwok

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca, Carly and CeCe are joined by guest agent, Dana Murphy. The four discuss the... more

09 Nov 2023 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Adapting a Novel into a Screenplay

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique two query letters. During which, they discuss how specificity can make... more

02 Nov 2023 · 50 minutes
Bumper October Bonus Episode

In today's bumper October Bonus Episode, Emilie Sommer of East City Bookshop kicks us off with suggested comp titles.After which,... more

30 Oct 2023 · 2 hours, 4 minutes
Bumper October Bonus Episode

In today's bumper October Bonus Episode, Emilie Sommer of East City Bookshop kicks us off with suggested comp titles.After which,... more

30 Oct 2023 · 2 hours, 4 minutes
Trusting in Yourself and the Process

On today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe are joined by podcast listener, Johnny Hobson. While reviewing his query letter,... more

26 Oct 2023 · 55 minutes
Making Mindful Choices Regarding Characterization

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique three query letters. During the segment, they discuss the need for... more

19 Oct 2023 · 59 minutes
Writing an Opening Chapter That Ticks All the Boxes

In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique two submissions, discussing how to include enough of a hook in a query without spoiling the... more

12 Oct 2023 · 51 minutes
Getting Published Without an Agent

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique three query letters during which they discuss the 'hook, book, cook'... more

05 Oct 2023 · 59 minutes
Choosing an A Plot

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe are joined by listener, Jessica, while they critique and discuss her query... more

28 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
September Bonus Episode

In today's bumper September Bonus Episode, Emilie Sommer of East City Bookshop kicks us off with suggested comp titles.After which,... more

25 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 22 minutes
The Method Writing Technique

In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique three submissions, in the process discussing intentionality with regards to timelines; how novels with certain types of... more

21 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
The Hero's Journey in Memoir

In today's episode, Carly and CeCe are joined by Maya Golden, author of The Return Trip. During the episode, they... more

14 Sep 2023 · 52 minutes
The Layering Method of Writing

In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique three submissions and cover topics like having escalating plot in the plot paragraphs; having only one... more

07 Sep 2023 · 51 minutes
How POV Choice Lends Itself to Emotionality

In today's episode, Carly and CeCe are joined by Kelly S. Thompson, author of the memoir Still, I Cannot Save... more

31 Aug 2023 · 56 minutes
August Bonus with Emma Donoghue and Lisa Jewell, plus Q & A and Comp Title Segments

In today's bumper August Episode, we have two amazing author interviews as well as a Q & A and Comp... more

28 Aug 2023 · 2 hours, 10 minutes
Using Peripheral Characters Effectively

In today’s episode, Fiona Davis joins Bianca, Carly, and CeCe to critique Books with Hooks submissions while also talking about her latest novel, The Spectacular. During the episode,... more

24 Aug 2023 · 51 minutes
The Importance of Plausibility in Storytelling

Today's episode is sponsored by June's Journey. Find the link to the glamorous hidden object game here: https://www.wooga.com/games/junes-journeyToday, Bianca, Carly, and... more

17 Aug 2023 · 52 minutes
Striking the Right Tone

Today's episode is sponsored by June's Journey. Find the link to the glamorous hidden object game here: https://www.wooga.com/games/junes-journeyIn today's episode,... more

10 Aug 2023 · 42 minutes
Writing Pages That Will Make You Competitive in the Marketplace

In today’s episode, Byron Lane joins Bianca, Carly, and CeCe to critique Books with Hooks submissions while also talking about Big Gay Wedding. During the episode, they discuss... more

03 Aug 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
July Bonus Episode With Ann Patchett, Booktalk, etc. & Ramona Ausubel

In today's bumper Bonus July Episode, we have three amazing interviews!Bianca first chats with bestselling and award-winning author, Ann Patchett,... more

31 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 43 minutes
How to Elevate Your Descriptions

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

27 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 6 minutes
When Breaking the Rules Works

This episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. Go to www.hellofresh.com/tsnotyaw50 and use the code tsnotyaw50 for 50% off plus free shipping!In... more

20 Jul 2023 · 50 minutes
The Short Story vs The Novel

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

13 Jul 2023 · 53 minutes
Referencing the Pandemic in Your WIP

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

06 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 12 minutes
Setting Up Your Social Media Platform

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

29 Jun 2023 · 48 minutes
June Bonus Episode with Julie Carrick Dalton and Kerryn Mayne

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

26 Jun 2023 · 51 minutes
How to Make Readers Connect With Your Characters

Today's episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. Go to www.hellofrresh.com/tsnotyaw16 and use the code tsnotyaw16 for 16 free meals plus free... more

22 Jun 2023 · 48 minutes
When to Begin With ‘The Big Terrible Thing’

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

15 Jun 2023 · 52 minutes
Doing Everything Wrong in Your First Draft

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

08 Jun 2023 · 48 minutes
Creating Conflict For Your Characters

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

01 Jun 2023 · 46 minutes
May Bonus Episode: All the Romance & We Answer Your Questions & Give You Comps

Today's episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh dot com slash tsnotyaw16 and use code tsnotyaw16 for 16 free... more

29 May 2023 · 2 hours, 17 minutes
Writing Dream Sequences That Work

Today's episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh dot com slash tsnotyaw16 and use code tsnotyaw16 for 16 free... more

25 May 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
When Not to Give Up!

Today's episode is sponsored by Riverside.fm. Using the promo code TSNOTYAW offers you a 15% discount on all individual plans!... more

18 May 2023 · 1 hour, 18 minutes
Special Episode: Her Name is Coceka Lubobo

In this short bonus episode, Bianca pays tribute to the bravery of Coceka Lubobo, a young woman who ended a... more

15 May 2023 · 14 minutes
Being Intentional With Your POV Characters

This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/WRITING and get on your way... more

11 May 2023 · 1 hour, 20 minutes
Insights from Caroline Kepnes, Author of the ‘You’ Series

In today’s Books with Hooks segment, Bianca and guest agent, Rachel McMillan, discuss the importance of social media presence; tailoring... more

04 May 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
How Setting Informs Plot and Character

In today’s Books with Hooks segment, Carly and CeCe discuss descriptive specificity; comping to famous writers; sensitivity when describing mental... more

27 Apr 2023 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Bumper Edition: April Bonus Episode

In today's bumper Bonus Episode, in an incredibly emotional interview, Bianca talks with Carol Major, author of the memoir The... more

24 Apr 2023 · 2 hours, 36 minutes
Two Authors Review Your Work While Discussing Their Own

This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/WRITING and get on your way... more

20 Apr 2023 · 1 hour, 18 minutes
Insights from Bonnie Garmus, Internationally Bestselling Author of Lessons in Chemistry

In today’s Books With Hooks segment, Carly and Cece each critique two submissions, discussing tongue twister titles; putting a fresh... more

13 Apr 2023 · 57 minutes
Using Curiosity Seeds in a Dual Timeline Narrative

This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/WRITING and get on your way... more

06 Apr 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Keeping the Plot Moving Forward

In today's Books with Hooks segment, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe discuss keeping names in a query to a minimum; an... more

30 Mar 2023 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
Bumper Edition March Bonus Episode

In today's bumper Bonus Episode, Bianca chats with Amy Tector, author of three novels which have all been released in... more

27 Mar 2023 · 2 hours, 22 minutes
How to Know When You Need a Prologue

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe discuss the line between YA and adult historical fiction; category mashups; plausibility... more

23 Mar 2023 · 59 minutes
How to Ensure Your Characters Aren’t Just Puppets Being Manipulated Through a Plot

In today's Books with Hooks segment, Dongwon Song, an agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency who specializes in the sci-fi... more

16 Mar 2023 · 1 hour, 23 minutes
Rebecca Makkai's Writing Insights

In today’s Books With Hooks, Carly and Cece co-critique two queries, discussing showing how the protagonist is propelled on their journey; dealing with major dramatic... more

09 Mar 2023 · 56 minutes
Writing About Trauma

In today’s Books With Hooks, which is our 100th segment, Carly and CeCe each critique two queries, discussing comps; clear... more

02 Mar 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Jam-packed February Bonus Episode

In today's jam-packed Bonus Episode, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe answer questions about whether dark novels and WWII novels have a place in the... more

27 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 53 minutes
Being Intentional With Setting

In today's Books with Hooks, Bianca speaks to guest agent, Emmy Nordstrom-Higdon, about five submissions including middle grade queries, a... more

23 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Grady Hendrix’s Insights on Writing

In the latest Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe each critique two queries and discuss pitching only one genre; having... more

16 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Books That Get a Lot of Buzz

In today's Books with Hooks, Carly, CeCe, and Bianca are joined by listeners Marnie and Karisa. In the process, they... more

09 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Welcoming Critique & Using the Hank 'Tuck' Method

In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique two queries each, discussing strong hooks; coincidences; describing a character indirectly; grief, day-to-day, and voicey-ness in... more

02 Feb 2023 · 59 minutes
The Different Routes to Publication

In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe critique two queries each, discussing catchy titles; voice-y and specific details in... more

26 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Writing About Grief & We Answer Your Questions & We Give You Comp Titles

In today’s jampacked Bonus Episode, Carly and CeCe answer all your questions, tackling the difference between trade and academic publishing; using... more

23 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 40 minutes
Finding Mentors in Your Writing Journey

In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly, CeCe and Bianca look at two queries, in the process discussing a metafiction query... more

19 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
Writing About Trauma
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
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Description

In today’s Books With Hooks, which is our 100th segment, Carly and CeCe each critique two queries, discussing comps; clear and compelling... more