Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Bianca Marais, CeCe Lyra, and Carly Watters. We’ll be taking an inside look at the publishing industry.
Before diving in, I wanted to make a quick note. Our wonderful guests are the co-hosts of a fantastic podcast that has a particular word in its title. It would be impossible to talk about their show without saying this particular word, so consider this a heads-up that there will be salty language in this episode. If you’re listening in public or have little ones around, now would be the time to put on some headphones.
Have you gotten the DIY MFA Starter Kit yet? This is a two-week email series full of worksheets to help you DIY your MFA. You’ll learn more about how to write with focus, read with purpose, and build your community. You’ll also start getting Writer Fuel, our newsletter full of words of wisdom and resources to help you keep the momentum going in your writing. And you’ll be the first to hear about other fun goodies we only share via email. Best of all, it’s free to join! You can sign up with your email at diymfa.com/join.
In this episode Bianca Marais, CeCe Lyra, Carly Watters, and I discuss:
- Common myths about writing and publishing and what’s actually true
- Writing groups, beta readers, and how to find them
- What happens after you sign on the dotted line
Plus, their #1 tip for writers.
About Bianca Marais
Bianca Marais is the author of the bestselling The Witches of Moonshyne Manor, as well as the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh, and the Audible Original, The Prynne Viper.
She taught at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021.
She is the co-host of the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.
About CeCe Lyra
Cecilia (“CeCe”) Lyra is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency, representing adult fiction and non-fiction. A long-term strategic thinker, CeCe prioritizes the creative reach and sustainable longevity of her authors’ careers, and she is actively looking for clients with whom she can build fruitful, lasting relationships. As a mixed race Latinx immigrant, CeCe understands the power of seeing oneself reflected in books, hence her passion for championing under or misrepresented voices and narratives that contribute to a larger cultural conversation. The popular podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, for which CeCe is a co-host, has over one million downloads.
About Carly Watters
Carly Watters is a SVP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary and the sitting VP of PACLA, the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents.
Carly Watters has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Her masters thesis was on the social, political, and economic impact of literary prizes on trade publishing. She began her publishing career in London as an assistant at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. Carly joined Toronto-based P.S. Literary Agency in 2010 and has sold over 100 books during her career. She represents award-winning and bestselling authors in the adult fiction and non-fiction categories, and select children’s books.
She is known for her long-term vision for her authors and being an excellent collaborator with a nose for commercial success. She has close ties to publishers in the major markets, is a member of the AALA, and works directly with film agents to option film and TV rights to leading networks and production companies. Her clients’ books have been translated into 40 languages, optioned for TV and film, adapted into podcasts, and have been on every bestseller list from coast to coast, including the New York Times, USA Today, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail. Carly is also an annual judge for the Women’s Fiction Writing Association Rising Star Award.
The popular writing podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, for which Carly is the co-host, has over one million downloads.
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Podcast
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing is a podcast for emerging writers, who are looking to improve their work with an aim to having it published, or for anyone who would like a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry.
Bestselling author Bianca Marais interviews authors, agents, editors and just about anyone and everyone who’s involved in bringing a book to market. She’s joined by her cohosts, literary agents Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra from P.S. Literary Agency, who read and critique query letters and opening pages in their Books with Hooks segment, and who will occasionally answer your burning questions in their Q&A segment in bonus episodes.
(Right-click to download.)
If you liked this episode…
Also, remember that sharing is caring so if you know anyone who might enjoy this podcast, please tell them about it or leave us a review so other listeners will want to check it out.
Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!