October 2016 Mining the gems By Beverly Jenkins Research in historical fiction requires a steady hand and a critical eye. Features Bust that block! By Ryan G. Van Cleave Five professional writers share their best tips for getting unstuck. What agents want By Melissa Hart Six literary agents weigh in on platform, publishing, and why you should never address a query to "dear sir." Submission sins By Sam Harrison Getting out of the slush pile starts with avoiding these deadly agent submission mistakes. Portrait of a modern novelist By Nicki Porter Best-selling author Caroline Leavitt has had both towering highs and staggering lows in her long career. Here's what she's learned after 11 novels and several decades in the industry. Curious and curiouser By Rebecca A. Hill Do you have what it takes to become a modern science writer? Road to a memoir By Pat Olsen Two-time memoirist Elena Gorokhova shares how she illuminates the past on the page. Departments Off the Cuff Down in history By Erika Janik One writer's love of the past led to an unforeseen future. Writer at Work Story study By Jack Smith How to conduct, manage, and cull research in fiction. Freelance Success Writers wanted By Pete Croatto The Internet is full of classifieds calling for writers. How many are too good to be true? Class Action Another world By Jeff Tamarkin This six-week sci-fi and fantasy workshop doesn't just teach craft. It provides a community that lasts long after the workshop is over. Conference Insider Thrill seeker By Melissa Hart From FBI field trips to an all-day 'PitchFest', ThrillerFest welcomes page-turners of all genres. Literary Spotlight Pulp fiction By Melissa Hart Works of all genres can find a home in this eclectic magazine. Also in Every Issue From the Editor Take Note Beverly Jenkins, Roxana Robinson, Roy Peter Clark, and more. Markets Classified advertising How I Write Amulya Malladi: "I am a character-driven writer, and I believe that once you define a character, they tell their story."