Saturday, September 29, 2007
Way to go, Pat. She ran the story through the critique group. See, it works people!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Yeah, I could go to the library - that is if the library police didn't have a warrant for my arrest. I still can't find that one book. But I'm looking library people! Honest!
So I'm thinking about trying eBooks. Instant gratification, right? And many print books are being scanned into electronic formats. It's cheap and easy for publishers. And it's a lot cheaper for me than those new $16 books I want to read. (Although Harlequin, I've got news for you - I'm not paying as much for an ebook as you charge for the real thing. Some of your eBook prices are delusional over there. We aren't stupid. E versions don't cost near as much as printing, paper, and shelf space).
Which leads, of course, to the question of how to access them. Ellora's Cave has a nice guide for those new to eBooks that outlines the options (they sell eBook erotica, so don't go there if you'll be offended). But they breakdown your ebook options.
I want to take my eBooks with me, or read it in the bathtub (hey, I'll be careful. I only dropped that one book that one time). I don't own a palm thingie, an IPod, laptop, tiny computer, or one of those jet-packed phones. The screens are tiny and hard to read anyway, and I'm old-fashioned enough to want it to look a little like a book.
So I've been drooling over the Sony Ebook Reader, which is way expensive (averages $280 on Amazon, but that's down from $350 at debut). But it's about the size of a paperback and can hold, like, 80 books. That is an 8 and 0 = 80. Squeeeee.
For a woman who chooses her purse based on how many books she can fit in that puppy, that's tome heaven. At first I didn't think these things had much of a future. I mean, all it does is hold books. It doesn't play fifty-thousand ring tones or connect you with Mars (it can play some unencrypted music files and display black and white photos). But I don't want a lot of crap calendars and stuff - I just want it to have books - lots and lots of luscious books.
And I started reading comments from people on different websites pointing out future advantages. On day my children may not have curvature of the spine or be able to claim they "forgot" one of their books at school if they're all on a ebook reader they carry with them.
Once most books have an electronic version, lawyers could carry around a whole law library, doctors medical texts, and me, the complete collection of Janet Evanovich books! No more buying bookshelves!
So it looks like I'll be saving up my money. And then the library police will never catch me. Bwuhoohahahaha!
The magazine, aimed at 11-16-year-olds, features inspiring stories for and about teen girls. It's focus is more on activism and empowerment, with the fun stuff thrown on the side - music, fashion, beauty tips - but no sex stories or celeb focus.
Their tag line: Caris "with an ethical edge and a campaigning spirit
for girls with body, mind and soul!"
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Both contests accept fiction, non-fiction, and poetry entries, so you have to have something you can send, right? You can't win if you don't enter... I've heard that somewhere before.
Of course, entering contests can get to be expensive. The Springfield Contest is really reasonable at $1 & $2 entry fees, and even the $5 at the Missouri Writer's Guild isn't bad. I usually stick to contests I'm familiar with, so I know they are reputable. Some contests are as legit as the latest capital hill lobbyist headed to jail. So let's be careful out there, people. (Ancient television reference dating me horribly)
Stories are due by February 15, 2008. Check out the submission guidelines for more info.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sometimes it's a lot like Snipe hunting, but there are more and more markets for essays these days. Got a personal essay burning a hole in your pocket?
Send it to:
Nostalgia and Americana
The Good Life
Inspirational - Guideposts
Women's - Skirt! Magazine
Parenting - Brain, Child
For Grownups Who Never Lost Their Love of Dressing Up in Costume
7:30 - 10 p.m. 2750 Hwy K; O'fallon, MO
- Enjoy Fashion parade by legends of mystery in the March of the Mysterious and Macabe presented by SinC members.
- Strut your Stuff in the Sultans of Sleuth and Kingpins of Crime Costume Competition. Come as your favorite real life or fictional sleuth or villan to win a special basket of prizes.
- Guess who's who in the Sultans of Sleuth and Kingpins of Crime Contest.
- Can you mystify and amuse the audience in just three minutes? Try your wit in the Make Mine Mystery Open Mike Slam.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Entry fee is $3 per poem. The deadline is November 1, 2007.
The prize is $400 and publication in Compass Rose.
Monday, September 24, 2007
It's pretty clear that recommendation is for genre fiction rather than Man Booker fodder. While I enjoy the snarky tone of Ms. Harayda book review, I still feel a little uncomfortable with the topic because I'm not convinced that simple writing is bad literature. But to speak with any authority, I certainly need to read the book, which I have not done.
The book in question is narrated by a thirteen-year-old girl, so the reading level might be lower. But the review points out quite correctly that most kids in school would be reading at ninth grade level by that point (whether they would be writing/speaking at that level is a separate issue).
Another review from the U.K's Spectator has a more positive view of the book. Bringing the two reviews together raises some interesting questions about what qualities literature must have to be considered worthy of reading. I'll guess I'll just have to get the book and find out.
Flesch-Kincaid level of this blog post is grade 10.1.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Check their website for further guidelines.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
She's also running a helpful series on Great Small Presses on her site One-Minute Book Reviews, and plans to do another review on a Man Booker Prize Finalist that has a Flesch-Kincaid score similar to Mitch Albom's. I can't wait to see if she thinks the lower reading level works in that novel.
Voices: An Anthology of Short Stories
Unpublished short stories only, up to 3,000 words, no essays or poetry.
Standard manuscript format. Times New Roman, 12 point font. Mail two copies of each entry, along with your entry fee, to: Voices P. O. Box, 9076, Fayetteville, AR 72703
You many enter as many times as you like, but each entry must be accompanied by a $10 entry fee. No SASE required, manuscripts will be destroyed after contest. First North American Rights, rights revert back to author after 30 days of publication.
Include a cover letter with all contact information, including e-mail address, and a 50-word bio.
All genres, except erotica. No gratuitous foul language, violence, or gore.
$200 and publication awarded for Best Short story. A guaranteed twenty-five other winners will be published in the anthology and receive one contributor's copy.
By submitting to this contest, you are giving permission to publish your work in Voices, An Anthology of Short Stories Volume One. No other contract will be required.
Initial Deadline for entries: December 31, 2007. Winners will be notified 30 days after submissions close.
Hint from the editors: we’re looking for good stories with a well-defined voice.
For more information contact: LouTurn@aol.com
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Some software programs scan your manuscript and report how readable your text is based on the Flesch-Kincaid Reader's Scale. Each number on the scale corresponds with a grade level. Score a 6, and you're writing at about a sixth grade level. Microsoft has just such a readability check (for mine, it's located in Tools under Spelling and Grammar).
Smith, who writes a series under the pen name John Harriman, recommends keeping your reading ease at 6 or lower to maximize the amount of people who can read your work easily.
I googled to read more about this and found, courtesy of Miss Snark's now retired blog (I miss you, Oh Snarkalicious One) a link to a Mitch Albom book review that compares the readability of some famous authors to Albom's - and basically ditzes Albom for having a 3.4 readability.
Yet my new little helper tome says you should strive for a readability of 6 or under. So is it snobbery to look down on simple language? Or is plain writing catering to the masses? Don't we want to cater to the masses? Should we strive to write books that are accessible only to people we think literary enough? Does anyone out there consider this when writing their manuscripts? Should I? What readability level is your novel?
Whew. I feel like The Riddler today. Holy readability, Batman.
By the way, this blog rates as an 8.2 on the Flesch-Kincaid scale according to my Word program.
According to Wolaner, "TeeBeeDee enables members to share experiences and information about everything from relationships to work, families, hobbies, and passions."
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I blogged about it previously - but I want to clarify a comment I made that might be misleading. In my blog comment about the post, I said it would be nice if it had more than how-to-get-a-guy articles. I didn't mean to imply it had those articles - just that it will be great to have a magazine that has more substance.
In fact their letter to parents clearly says they have no guy-oriented or sexualized stories at all. According to their website:
"Kiki has a unique point of view. It takes the college fashion design curriculum and tailors it to a reader 9 to 14 years old. Through the lens of fashion, Kiki encourages girls to explore other disciplines (business, geography, fine art, craft, history, world culture, even math) and shows them that having fun with style and artistry is completely compatible with intelligence and creativity."
So no fluff stories at all. No boys, gossip, or overly mature themes.
All I can say is it's about time.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I was surprised that the Japanese transvestite wasn't a gimmick. She almost made it. Though I could have told her she'd lose time having to stop and adjust that black leather thong before she got on the rolling log - dress for comfort when doing an obstacle course, hon.
The announcer just cracked me up. Now, he's talking in Japanese and the subtitles, oh my God - how exact is the translation? I understand he has to describe someone going through the same obstacle course over and over, so he must use different descriptions each time. I just couldn't stop listening to his figurative language, so I made a list of the ones I thought most original:
He is swinging like a meaty pendulum!
They're like the ramparts of hell!
He's crawling through the tunnel like a feral baby!
He's going through the tunnel like a superhuman baby!
It's like a merry-go-round of pain and anguish!
They all have exclamation points because that's how he talked the whole time. He must have been exhausted by the end, but he certainly kept my attention. The power of figurative language!
Entries must be 1,000 words or less and can be short fiction or creative non-fiction, and they must have working at home as the central theme.
There is a $10 entry fee. The winner will receive $500 and 2nd and 3rd will receive cash prizes also. The deadline is December 31, 2007. Check out their FAQ for more information.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The wiki is written by and for freelancers and has magazine guidelines and query tips. I just added information for Fiery-Foods and BBQ Magazine, which is publishing an article of mine soon. Stop by and find a new market, or add a market for your fellow writers.
Friday, September 14, 2007
When I first started participating in online writing activities, I noticed a strange secret code in effect. I knew many of the acronyms used in chat - like LOL and such. But novel writing has its own special acronyms, so I thought I'd share some I've learned. I know I've forgotten some, so if you notice any I missed, remind me in the comments and I'll add them to the list.
WIP - Work in Progress (Your current writing project, usually a novel)
MC - Main Character
POV - Point of View
ARC - Advanced Reader Copy (The copies authors and reviewers receive before the book is actually available to the public)
HEA - Happily Ever After (Used by romance genre to indicate a happy ending)
HFN - Happy For Now (The characters end up together, but no indication it's a forever relationship)
H/H - Hero/Heroine (A couple in a romance novel) M/F - Male/Female (Romance between a male and female character)
GLB - Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual
het - Heterosexual
YA - Young Adult
SF - Science Fiction
NanNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month (Participants who join this website complete a 50,000 word novel in a month, toiling along with their fellow writers: November 1 - November 30th).
Thursday, September 13, 2007
You have until Friday at 5 p.m. to post your query for a Young Adult novel directly on agent Nephele Tempest's blog.
Anyone who does goes straight to the top of her pile, and she will respond to all queries posted. It's a great opportunity if you've finished a YA manuscript.
Submit your entries between September 1 and November 20, 2007. Staring on September 18, 2007, each Tuesday a finalist will be selected from that week's entries and posted on the finalist page. She will also select a non-winning entry each week for a mini-critique and post it on their mini-critique page.
Between November 21 and November 30, visitors will vote for their top three finalists. In addition to winning prizes, the top three authors will have their 1,000 words reviewed by panel experts - agents and editors. Several books from last year's contest have since been published.
I made a humble 1,000 word submission of my paranormal book with romantic elements, Zombies Are Forever. Manolo was very helful and supportive during its creation. Good luck to all who enter. If you get posted, leave a comment so we can check out your entry.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
What would your work day look like if you were making six figures freelancing? I couldn't resist, so here's my answer:
My manservant Manolo wakes me gently with fresh tea and scones. Then the nanny brings my beautiful children into the bedroom for a kiss from me before they are off to school.
After breakfast, Manolo brings me my laptop and goes over my scheduled tasks for the day (he’s so cute with that pencil behind his ear). I nod thoughtfully and make notes about which projects I need to work on.
I rise and dress. Manolo brings me the phone and dials the number for interviews I must conduct for my articles. I gently clear my throat and begin the day’s work.
I tip tap type until luncheon (Manolo is so good with chicken kiev). After my repast, I finish any projects due for that day and make notes on what must be accomplished for the next day and send out several more queries to prime the pump.
The children come home and we laugh, talk, and go over their homework. We have dinner and then I put them to bed for the evening and write on my WIP which has just been purchased by Major Publishing, Inc.
At bedtime, Manolo tucks me in. It must end here. I don’t kiss and tell.
Ya'll know I write fantasy, right? ;)
A few of my favorites include:
- You avoid having a One Crazy Person who works with you and never seems to get fired or leave the company.
- You can powernap at home.
- Your house will be cleaner because you're at home all the time. (Obviously they haven't met me)
- And last, you get cool tools. They link to a list of electronic tools great for freelancers - everything from calendars to ways to keep track of finances. I'm checking out FreshBooks. They do your billing and invoices for you. I'll try to post a review here after I try them for free.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Missouri Romance Writers of America and the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime are sponsoring an evening with "The Poison Lady" Lucy H. Zahray. Ms. Zahray is a registered pharmacist with a master's in toxicology from Texas A&M University.
Her class, Behold, Here Poison, talks about poisons and poison detection from a writer's perspective. The session discusses types of poison, doses, methods of exposing victims, and the physical symptoms.
Date: Tuesday, October 23
Time: 6:30 - 9:30
Location: Barnes and Noble at 9618 Watson Rd, Sappington, MO. 314-843-9480
Audio Interview On Poisons:
The pamphlet on the workshop also recommend you check out NPR's interview with John Emsley, author of The Elements of Murder: A History of Poison. So if you can't make the conference, listen to the interview.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The postmark deadline is September 15, 2007.
Fee: $250 for Sisters in Crime member
$290 for non-members (includes a year membership in Sisters in Crime)
After September 15 (subject to space)
Fee: $300 Walk-in Sisters in Crime member
$340 Walk-in non-members (includes a year membership in Sisters in Crime)
Examples of Workshops:
The ABC's of Forensic Science
Poisons: Basics of Toxicology
Forensic Anthropology: Finding and Recovering Remains
The CSI Effect: Forensic Science and the Courts
Interviews and Interrogation
And many more.... So learn how to kill them softly in your books - or at least using correct forensic science techniques.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
If you need some help or inspiration, go check them out. Sherry D. Ramsey has an interesting editorial called "Writing Experiments" about playing with how you write - plan it all vs. go with the flow - how do you approach writing? Damn. I just pray I can get to the computer and control my ADD long enough to write something.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thank God. Now my poor mushy grey matter doesn't have to remember if we're on a morning or evening meeting that week. It's both.
So the September schedule shapes up like so:
September 11th - 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. meetings
September 18th - 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. meetings
September 25th - 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. meetings
Come to one or both - yeah Paul, I'm talking to you! Slavish, devoted practice makes perfect! Ow. I'm getting carpal tunnel. Better write an article about it...
Right now they want funny travel stories from everyone, and from women specifically. They also want true stories of dangerous and exciting women's travel. Some deadlines have passed, so be sure to read the submission guidelines carefully. But they generally retain stories submitted after the deadline for the following year's books. They pay $100 and a contributor's copy.
And the God Allows U-Turns series has just reopened their submissions for three books:
Parents Setting Boundaries (with adult children) - stories on how adult children or grandchildren violate boundaries and how parents deal with these issues.
Boomer Babes Rock - Faith-based stories about baby boomer women, their issues, and connection to God.
Writing from the Heart and Soul - Writers of all kinds (published and unpublished) will share their stories of the writing life and how their faith contributes to being a wordsmith.
So tell your faith-based stories on one of these themes and you may get $30, a by-line in one of their new anthologies, and a contributor's copy. The deadline is December 31, 2007. Their computer had a melt down and they lost all the stories submitted so far for 2007, so if you previously submitted, be sure to resubmit.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The contest runs through September 14, and you can enter whenever you come up with a new term. The top ten terms will be put up for a vote. Winner takes all those lovely books.
My contribution to the contest for today:
Nunya - Meaning "it's none of your business." My daughter coined this term to use on her brother 10,000 times a day and drive me nuts.
Kidzheimers - the memory loss that comes from your children sucking out your brain cells when they're born.
The prizes include the following books:
Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition 2008, which comes with a ONE-YEAR to SUBSCRIPTION WritersMarket.com
Guide to Literary Agents 2008
Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2008
Poet’s Market 2008
Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2008
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
1st Place $1,000
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250
Plus the winner and top seven finalists will get a shot at representation with one of the following agencies:
William Morris Agency
The Elaine Markson Literary Agency
Sterling Lord Literistic
The Georges Borchardt Literary Agency.
You can't win if you don't play...
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
"Describe a time in your life when you overheard a conversation, or found a lucky item on the ground (coin, jewelry, other), or discovered something that wasn’t intended for your eyes (mail, letter, photos, or other). Write about this “chance” event and describe what it brought to you: good or bad luck, serendipity, a missed opportunity, or karma. This is a nonfiction essay, but be descriptive enough so your readers can see the event through your eyes.
Story slant: Geared toward women readers, light-hearted to funny, imaginative, creative—you get it--*original*."
There is a $5 entry fee and winners receive the following prize packages:
1st Place $200 and publication in Skirt! and on WOW website, Skirt! book goodie bag, and $50 WOW boutique gift certificate, and interview on WOW.
2nd Place $150 and publication on WOW website, Skirt! book goodie bag, and $50 WOW boutique gift certificate, and interview on WOW.
3rd Place $100 and publication on WOW website, Skirt! book goodie bag, and $50 WOW boutique gift certificate, and interview on WOW.
WOW has great resources for writers, and the Missouri Writers' Guild's Margo Dill has an article in this month's issue called "Writers' Conferences: 5 Reasons Why You Should Go NOW & How to Get the Most For Your Money".
Skirt! is a sassy women's publication with essays and features about everything female. Check out their guidelines for submitting essays according to their themes for each month. Submit your essay or just enjoy the great writing already published on Skirt!.
They've also started a new book publishing division in partnership with Globe Pequot Publishers. No book submission guidelines yet, but stay tuned.
Monday, September 3, 2007
The Leicester Review of Books has announced Penknife Press's 2nd annual short story contest. Submit stories between 5,000-10,000 about a current social or political issue. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2007. No entry fee. Submit your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1st Place: $1,000
2nd Place $600
3rd Place $400
The winning stories and some runner-ups will also appear in a collection published by Penknife Press.