WRITING HERO: Matthew MacNish

For a long time now, Becca and I have wanted a way to acknowledge the people who have helped us develop into stronger writers and who add to the writing community as a whole. As a new feature here at The Bookshelf Muse, Becca and I will take turns giving well-deserved recognition to some of the people who really make an impact…people who truly are Writing Heroes.

Today I am honored to profile the awesome Matthew MacNish! My boy Matt is beyond incredible…not only is he super-friendly and amazingly supportive, he has also practically broken the choke-hold of fear that query writing has over writers.

Yes, you read that right…Matt makes the Query-writing shakes VANISH. 

It seems impossible, doesn’t it? I mean, writing queries has driven more than a few writers to drink. I bet if you were to go back in time, it would be revealed that Poe rode the sauce train largely because of querying. In my mind, these one page torture devices are like the smoke monster from LOST…when you sit down, determined to find that perfect hook, you hear that creepy rattle instead. It speeds up and grows louder and suddenly you’re sweating and trembling and want to be anywhere but there in front of the blank computer screen.

Yet here we have a man who can eviscerate that swollen, greasy beast. He makes query-writing…bearable. In fact, when Matt works his crazy query voodoo, writers suddenly find themselves staring at a road map leading to one place: AWESOME.

I have 5 words for you: The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment.If you are new to his blog, please check him out. What. A Great. Guy.

For years, Matt has tirelessly work-shopped queries of all genres live on his blog, helping writers analyze their story lines and learn to juice up their hooks for maximum impact. He has helped many through this process–not only those who lay their query on the sacrificial slab, but also the people who tune in to see how he and his query katana will chop and slice until only the best elements remain, leaving the query stronger and closer to finding an agent to love it.

I can only imagine the time that goes into each one of these deconstructions, and of course there is much more to the QQQE than queries. Matt is just an all-round great blogger with strong insight on all things writing and industry related. He’s a must-stop on the blog run and a huge bright spot in the writing community. You can find him BBQing on Facebook and yukking it up on Twitter, too. Check him out as he co-hosts the popular A to Z Challenge for the month of April. It’s not too late to get involved, either!

So thank you Matt, for being one of my WRITING HEROES. You rock!

To pay it forward, I will give a 1000-word critique to Matthew MacNish. He can then choose to keep it for himself or offer it as a giveaway on his blog! As a resident writing hero, he will also have a permanent link in our header.

So tell me Musers…do you know Matthew MacNish? Has he helped you or your writing in some way? Please tell us in the comments and help celebrate this amazing WRITING HERO! 


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to WRITING HERO: Matthew MacNish

  1. Matt is seriously awesome! He just critiqued my query on his blog and I am so thankful for that!

  2. Sorry I’m commenting late! But Matt is awesome! Whenever I “see” him on Twitter or the blogosphere I smile. His humor is great. Good choice, Angela!

  3. Wow! Going to check out his site right now!!! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. Love this post. I’ve learned lots from Matthew’s blog, but I love the way you write about his work here. Excellent writing hero pick. And, by the way, excellent series. Thumbs up!

  5. Matt has a great blog and I love his Query series. I will need to spend extra time studying his deconstructions since I’ll be querying myself soon. 🙂

  6. Leslie Rose says:

    Anyone who has slain the query beast deserves warrior status. Finally added Matthew’s blog to my travels – long overdue.

  7. Matt is awesome! Great choice, ladies!

  8. How did I not know about this guy? (DUH moment.) His blog is amazing. THIS is why I love this series, and you and Becca. You do so much for the writing community, I swear you two need medals! Daily.

    Love you!


  9. How did I not know about this guy? (DUH moment.) His blog is amazing. THIS is why I love this series, and you and Becca. You do so much for the writing community, I swear you two need medals! Daily.

    Love you!


  10. I totally agree with this. Matt simply rocks. Period.

  11. Great choice! Matthew is one of my favorite bloggers. 🙂

  12. Slamdunk says:

    I’ve enjoyed Matthew’s blog for some time now. The insights offered by Matt and his readers regarding query letters are invaluable.

  13. I’m so pleased to see Matt being honoured over here. I learn so much from his blog.

  14. I’ll be sure to stop by Matt’s blog and check it out.


  15. He is the pinnacle of awesome…ha. I’m just trying to out do the other comments. Love that guy. He does so much for everyone else, a total writing hero.

  16. J.C. Martin says:

    Great choice of a writing hero! Matthew is definitely awesome!

  17. Larissa says:

    Agreed. Matt is DA BOMB. 🙂

  18. What a great tribute to Matt. I’ve been a long time follower of his blog. He truly is awesome.

  19. Matt is very deserving of the honor. Good choice!

  20. Matt is very deserving of the honor. Good choice!

  21. Matt is awesome. I’m so happy to see him getting some recognition here. : )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *