Q. I am working on a book about writing. May I quote briefly from the published work of other writers, with full attribution? By “briefly,” I mean no more than two sentences. Thank you.
A. Yes, you may. But if you are writing a book about writing, you should run to the nearest library or bookstore and read as much as you can on the complex matters of documentation and permissions. It’s your responsibility. If you goof up in this regard, at best no agent or editor will take you seriously; at worst, you could end up in legal trouble.