Writer's Roost Home Page
Last update: 1 February 2017
Welcome to Steven Houchin's official author website. He is a writer of novels,
short stories, non-fiction articles, technical papers, and also performs
editing services for other writers. His second novel won the Pacific Northwest
Writers Association's 2007 Literary Contest in the Mystery/Thriller category.
He was also selected to read and critique manuscript submissions for PNWA's
annual literary contest in both 2009 and 2010 for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category,
and in 2016 for the Mainstream Fiction category.
Please check out his
Writer's Roost BLOG. It contains book reviews,
announcements, and articles on the writing craft. Please post your comments on
any of the articles. Also, take a look at our list of upcoming Literary
Conferences and Contests.
By the way, if you think you are related to Steven, check out his
family genealogy website.
** Steven was selected to read, critique, and score manuscripts
submitted to PNWA's 2016 Literary
Contest for the Mainstream Fiction category.
** Steven's article "A Journey Through Time" appears in the
October 2011 issue of Northwest
Prime Time magazine. It tells the story of a letter he wrote
while in kindergarten that returned to him 49 years later, unopened.
** Steven gave an interview about his writing experience to
local Seattle author Norma Nill, which you can read on
** Steven served as guest blogger at the Literary Liasons site
with a posting titled "So, You Want to Win a Literary Contest?" In it, he
explains some of the factors that will help your manuscript break through the
clutter of contest entries to maximize the chance of winning.
** Steven's non-fiction article "McGraw Square" was
published in the Summer 2009 issue (Vol. 23 No. 2) of
Columbia Magazine, a publication of the Washington State
Historical Society. It details the history of a statue in downtown Seattle that
honors John McGraw, who served in the 1880s and 1890s as King County Sheriff
and Washington's second governor.
Agents and #MSWL
I ran across the MS Wish List
website the other day while searching for more agents to query. It
looks like a great resource. An author can select a genre and see a list of
agents/editors/pubishers who are interested in that genre. And, the genre
selections are numerous. After selecting a few candidate agents, I poked around
a bit more on the site.
From what I can tell, this site is a filter for various Twitter hashtags related
to agents/editors/pubishers. The one I used to select agents by genre was
#MSWL. A selection menu along the top chooses other hashtags, such as
#AskAgent, #Querytip and #Pubtip, and various hashtags giving reasons why queries
are accepted or rejected. I'm
not sure how it all works, but I suspect the agents, etc. register on the site
and then their hashtagged tweets are snagged and displayed in the proper
One disconcerting thing is the tweets come with no context, especially the query
tweets. It gets confusing. I suppose you have to navigate to the original
tweeter site to see more. Another thing: looking at the tweets shows lots of
other interesting hashtags related to writing and querying (#amwriting,
#amreading, #amquerying, #QueryMe).
One exciting thing I saw on the raw
Twitter site is that February 8, 2017 is proclaimed as "MSWL Day"
on the site. I gather it means agents/editors/pubishers will be tweeting like
mad what they're looking for. I'll be interested to see what it looks like.
Steven Houchin -- 1 February 2017
To see previous essays and musing about writing, please visit my