Elizabeth Sims elizabethsims.com
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  • The Actress

    "Sims' wry commentary on life in Hollywood is dead-on." Publishers Weekly

  • The Extra

    "An intelligent thriller." —Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • On Location

    "You just have to love Rita." Kirkus Reviews

  • Holy Hell

    "I flat out loved this book." —Sheryl LeSage, Liberty Press

  • Damn Straight

    "Much charm and deprecating humor." Kirkus Reviews

  • Lucky Stiff

    "A nifty little puzzle solved by a most intriguing female detective." —Rex E. Klett, Library Journal

  • Easy Street

    "Don't overlook the work of this excellent and entertaining author." —Denise Pickles, Mary Martin Bookshop

  • Left Field

    "What more could a reader ask for?" —Cheri Fuller and Nikki Little, Curve Magazine

  • I am Calico Jones

    "The quality of writing and the entertainment value are high." —W Spice

  • You've Got a Book in You

    "Packs a twelve-week writing course into 280 pages." —Julie Compton,
    author of Keep No Secrets

  • The Actress

    "Intricate and surprising, this is a gripping read." —Kristine Huntley, Booklist

  • The Extra

    "The two leads, Rita and George, are engaging and believable." —Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe

  • On Location

    "Sims orchestrates the action—and occasional comic relief—for maximum impact." Publishers Weekly

  • Holy Hell

    "A rollicking good mystery." —Lori L. Lake, Midwest Book Review

  • Damn Straight

    "Your evening read will keep you up 'til dawn." —Whitney Scott, Booklist

  • Lucky Stiff

    "Colorful episodes involving trailer parks and luxury cars." Kirkus Reviews

  • Easy Street

    "Sims has created one of those heroines who you wouldn't like to be but you'd like as a friend." —Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence

  • Left Field

    "You'll be surprised over and over." —Caroline McCullagh, Mensa Bulletin

  • You've Got a Book in You

    "The approach is always positive and well worth the price of admission." —Ellen Hart, award-winning author

  • The Actress

    "A page-turner from stem to stern." Kirkus Reviews

  • The Extra

    "Goes down easy, like a perfect cup of coffee." Crimespree Magazine

  • On Location

    "A fast-paced, atmospheric mystery. Sims shines." —Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times

  • Holy Hell

    "Byrd is a very likable amateur sleuth and Sims is a really entertaining storyteller." —Andrea L.T. Peterson, Woman's Monthly

  • Damn Straight

    "Appealing characters, and a rabbit mascot." Library Journal

  • Lucky Stiff

    "A nerve-tingling thriller, rich with characterization and humour." —Vancouver BC Public Library

  • Easy Street

    "Hilarious. Lillian is a true original." Kirkus Reviews

  • Left Field

    "Unforgettable characters, lovely moments and brilliant dialogue." The Lesbian Review

  • You've Got a Book in You

    "Elizabeth Sims proves herself a true writer's friend." —Jamie Morris, Director, Voice Heart Vision


Articles in Reference Books



THE COMPLETE HANDBOOK OF NOVEL WRITING, Elizabeth Sims contributor
The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing
Everything You Need to Know to Create & Sell Your Work
3rd Edition

Writer's Digest Editors

Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

"BEND IT, AMP IT, DRIVE IT, STRIP IT: HOW TO DEVELOP ANY IDEA INTO A GREAT STORY " p. 12

"TRANSFORM YOUR NOVEL INTO A SYMPHONY: HOW TO ORCHESTRATE THEME, EMOTION, CHARACTER, AND MORE" p. 122

"ROUGH IT UP: GET MESSY WITH YOUR FIRST DRAFT TO GET TO THE GOOD STUFF" p. 212

"WRITE THIS, NOT THAT: KEY INGREDIENTS FOR A SATISFYING MYSTERY" p. 274

"GOING PUBLIC: HOW TO ACE READINGS, SIGNINGS, INTERVIEWS, AND MORE" p. 349


Published 2017 by Writer's Digest Books

Get advice from the best in the business on every stage of the novel-writing and publishing process!
In The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition, you'll learn from established writers about how to make your novel a reality. Discover techniques and strategies for generating ideas, connecting with readers emotionally, and finding inspiration you need to finish your work. This fully revised edition includes an updated marketing section for navigating the unique challenges and possibilities of the evolving literary marketplace.
  • Inside you'll find new essays from dozens of best-selling authors and publishing professionals detailing how to:
  • Master the elements of fiction, from plot and character to dialogue and point of view
  • Develop a unique voice and sensibility in your writing
  • Manage the practical aspects of writing, from overcoming writer's block to revising your work
  • Determine the key elements for success in every genre
  • Find an agent, market your work, and get published--or self-publish--successfully

You'll also find interviews with some of the world's finest and most popular writers, including David Baldacci, Lee Child, Robert Crais, Khaled Hosseini, Hugh Howey, Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, George R.R. Martin, Jojo Moyes, Anne Rice, Jane Smiley, and Garth Stein. Their insights on the craft and business of fiction will provide you with invaluable mentorship as you embark on your writing journey.

Add THE COMPLETE HANDBOOK OF NOVEL WRITING to goodreads
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CRAFTING DYNAMIC DIALOGUE, Elizabeth Sims contributor
Crafting Dynamic Dialogue
The Complete Guide to Speaking, Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction (Creative Writing Essentials)

Editors of Writer's Digest Books

Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

"THE SOURCE OF GREAT DIALOG" p. 28

"HOW TO CRAFT FLAWLESS DIALOG" p. 67

"MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS SOUND REAL" p. 133

"UNDERSTANDING INTERNAL DIALOG" p. 152 Read an excerpt online.


Published 2016 by Writer's Digest Books

"The two chapters on Dialogue and Suspense by James Scott Bell and Internal Dialogue by Elizabeth Sims, are worth twice the price of this fine volume." —Amazon Customer

Write authentic dialogue that invigorates your story!
Exceptional dialogue isn't just important when writing fiction--it's essential. In order to impress an agent or editor and keep readers turning pages, you need to deliver truly standout dialogue in every scene. Crafting Dynamic Dialogue will give you the techniques and examples you need to impress your readers.
This book is a comprehensive guide to writing compelling dialogue that rings true. Each section is packed with advice and instruction from best-selling authors and instructors like Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Steven James, Deborah Halverson, James Scott Bell, Donald Maass, Cheryl St. John, and many others. They'll show you how to:
  • Bend the rules to create a specific effect
  • Understand the role of dialogue in reader engagement
  • Use dialect and jargon effectively
  • Give every character a believable, unique voice
  • Set the pace and tone
  • Reveal specific character background details
  • Generate tension and suspense
  • Utilize internal dialogue

Whether you're writing flash fiction, a short story, or a novel-length manuscript, Crafting Dynamic Dialogue will help you develop, write, and refine dialogue to keep your readers hooked.

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CREATING CHARACTERS, Elizabeth Sims contributor
Creating Characters
The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction

Editors of Writer's Digest Books

Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

"NAME-DROPPING" p. 21

"USING PROFANITY AND OTHER RAW TALK IN YOUR FICTION" p. 90


Published 2014 by Writer's Digest Books

Create characters that leap off the page--and into readers' hearts!
Populating your fiction with authentic, vivid characters is a surefire way to captivate your readers from the first sentence to the last. Whether you're writing a series, novel, short story, or flash fiction, Creating Characters is an invaluable guide to bringing your fictional cast to life.
This book is a comprehensive reference to every stage of character development. You'll find timely advice and helpful instruction from best-selling authors like Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Orson Scott Card, Chuck Wendig, Hallie Ephron, Donald Maass, and James Scott Bell. They'll show you how to:
  • Effectively introduce your characters
  • Build a believable protagonist
  • Develop strong anti-heroes and compelling villains
  • Juggle multiple points of view without missing a beat
  • Craft authentic dialogue that propels the story forward
  • Motivate your characters with powerful objectives and a believable conflict
  • Show dynamic character development over the course of a story

No matter what your genre, Creating Characters gives you the tools necessary to create realistic, fascinating characters that your readers will root for and remember long after they've finished the story.

Add CREATING CHARACTERS to goodreads
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2015 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, Elizabeth Sims contributor
2015 Guide to Literary Agents
The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published

Chuck Sambuchino, editor

Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

"8 WAYS TO WRITE A GREAT CHAPTER ONE" p. 59


Published 2014 by Writer's Digest Books

"I thought '8 Ways to Write a Great Chapter One' by Elizabeth Sims was especially insightful for new and advanced writers alike." —Amazon Customer

The best resource available for finding a literary agent!
No matter what you're writing--fiction or nonfiction, books for adults or children--you need a literary agent if you want to get the best traditional publishing book deal possible. The 2015 Guide to Literary Agents is your essential resource for finding that literary agent and getting your book bought by a top publisher. Along with listing information for more than 1,000 literary agents who represent writers and their books, this new, updated edition of GLA includes:
"10 Reasons Agents Reject Your Manuscript"--helping you learn what not to do during the submission process
"New Agent Spotlights"--profiles of literary reps actively building their client lists right now
13 debut author success stories: Writers explain their paths to publication, so you can learn from their successes and see what they did right
Informative how-to articles on query letters, synopsis writing, voice and craft, platform and blogging, nonfiction book proposals, and more
*Includes access to the webinar "Everything You Need to Know About Getting an Agent" from Chuck Sambuchino, editor of Guide to Literary Agents* In this 90-minute webinar, you'll learn how to compose a query letter, what makes up a compelling pitch, synopsis writing tips, how to research/find agents, and much more.

Add 2015 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS to goodreads
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2015 NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER'S MARKET, Elizabeth Sims contributor
2015 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published

Rachel Randall, editor

Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

"GOING PUBLIC" p. 104


Published 2014 by Writer's Digest Books

The best resource for getting your fiction published!
The 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market is the only resource you'll need to get your short stories, novellas, and novels published.
As with past editions, Novel & Short Story Writer's Market offers hundreds of listings for book publishers, literary agents, fiction publications, contests, and more. Each listing includes contact information, submission guidelines, and other important tips.

  • "If you can't go to every literary cocktail party in New York, get this book. It's an instant network." -Elizabeth Sims, best-selling author of You've Got a Book in You

  • Add 2015 NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER'S MARKET to goodreads
    Buy 2015 NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER'S MARKET e-book
    Buy Paperback
    CRAFTING NOVELS & SHORT STORIES, Elizabeth Sims contributor
    Crafting Novels & Short Stories
    Everything You Need to Know to Write Great Fiction

    Editors of Writer's Digest Books

    Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

    Chapter 3: "Depicting Convincing Relationships"

    Chapter 13: "Write a Five-Star Chapter One"

    Focus on the Writing Life: Beating Writerís Block "Start Me Up"

    Chapter 34: "How to Gain Perspective on Your Work"


    Published 2011 by Writer's Digest Books

    Learn How to Create Stories That Captivate Agents, Editors, and Readers Alike!

    Inside you'll find the tools you need to build strong characters, keep your plots moving, master the art of dialogue, choose the right point of view, and more.

    "Youíll find many exercises already in the book, waiting for you. Donít know what to write? Try Elizabeth Simsís 'Random Sentence Kick-Start' on page 129." —James Scott Bell

    Add CRAFTING NOVELS & SHORT STORIES to goodreads
    Buy CRAFTING NOVELS & SHORT STORIES e-book
    Buy Paperback
    THE COMPLETE HANDBOOK OF NOVEL WRITING, Elizabeth Sims contributor
    The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing
    Everything You Need to Know About Creating & Selling Your Work

    Editors of Writer's Digest Books

    Elizabeth Sims, Contributor

    Chapter 31: "Rough Up Your First Draft"

         Get messy with your first draft to get to the good stuff.

    Chapter 38: "Write This, Not That"

         Forget formulas. Infuse your mystery with suspense.


    Published 2010 by Writer's Digest Books

    Get advice from the best in the business on every part of the novel writing and publishing process!

    In The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 2nd Edition, youíll learn from the invaluable advice of established writers. Discover new ways to generate ideas, implement intriguing techniques, and find the inspiration you need to finish your work. This fully-revised edition includes a revamped marketing section that covers the unique challenges of todayís publishing market and the boundless opportunities of online promotion.

    Inside youíll find expert advice from dozens of bestselling authors and publishing professionals.

    Add THE COMPLETE HANDBOOK OF NOVEL WRITING to goodreads
    Buy Paperback

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