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The Building Blocks of Dan Cramer

This month, we'll be highlighting the Donors from Our Rate Your Story *Build-A-Story* Contest (August 1 - 31st). Each will share a little bit about themselves and the building blocks of their career, tell you about their latest project and leave YOU a building block to help build your stories! Be sure to check them out! AND don't forget to enter our contest (more info here) to be eligible for prizes!


I’m Dan Cramer, Founder/Agent of Page Turner Literary Agency, which specializes in children’s literature. I aspire to put great children’s literature into the world.


Why didn’t I start my literary agent journey earlier? I’m certain I didn’t start earlier because of fear of failure and negative self-talk, which only delayed me/prevented me from doing something I love. Since then I have done a lot of work quieting my fear and negative self-talk. Those two things aren’t completely gone, but both don’t take up as much space as they once did. I also believe those two things contributed to my imposter syndrome when I entered the literary agent world, which is also not helpful. From this, I’ve learned to be kinder to myself, own my accomplishments, and see failure as learning and an opportunity to try again.


A special topic that’s on my wishlist are specific cookbooks for children and teens. Ones that can either help teach the basics of cooking/baking, help children and teens who don’t live in a conventional home-setting or have conventional kitchen equipment cook/bake, and/or have recipes that feature ingredients typically found in a food pantry.



A query letter is important because it can be a great primer for getting me excited to read your manuscript. For me, I find the hook, stakes, and main character aspects of a query letter the most important. So, I always advise that you have that section the best you can make it.


I try not to focus on trends because if you are writing to a trend there are several things that could happen. One - you’re already too late for the trend. Two - you aren’t writing the story you want to write. Three - you lose your authentic self and voice. I have to believe that authentic and great writing will always find a way to be published, whether it happens to be on trend or not.


There are a few mistakes I see as an agent. You’ve queried before you’re ready is probably the most common one. To cure this I recommend joining a critique group that will actually give you a solid critique and not be just a cheerleader. If you want your writing to improve, you have to face critiques that not only point out what is working well, but also what isn’t working.

DAN'S CONTEST PRIZE: Dan was generous enough to offer (3) Three *Above-the-Slush* Opportunities, one to each of the First Place Prize Winners!

Meet MORE Prize Donors and Find More Prizes HERE:

[Click on the Links]

And don't forget to send in your entry here:

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