Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
AND CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT
(No Entry Fee)The Early Onset Project seeks true stories about persons with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s or early-onset dementia develops in a person who is younger than age 65. Entries should be compelling slice-of-life stories that show how early-onset Alzheimer’s or a related dementia has affected you or someone close to you. Authors of stories selected for the collection will receive a free copy of the publication. No other payment will be made. Stories submitted for The Early Onset Project are automatically entered into a contest.
First Prize - $100Second Prize - $50Third Prize – $25Honorable Mention – $10
For a sample story and more information, please visit the Early Onset Project page on my website at www.lsfisher.com.
Linda FisherAlzheimer's Anthology of Unconditional Love:The 110,000 Missourians with Alzheimer'shttp://www.lsfisher.com
It's candy for the Valentine disaffected among us. They have three collections of conversation hearts: Dejected, Dysfunctional, and Dumped. They say things like:
I CRY ON Q
NO FIX 4 DUMB
CALL A 900#
TABLE FOR 1
I have a few of my own I wish they would add:
TALK 2 THE HAND
I M FREE
Feel free to add your own special thoughts on Valentine's Day.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
She was recently diagnosed with an agressive form of cancer, so she isn't much up to promoting the book. So several authors and blogs have joined together to support her by spreading the word about The Liar's Diary. Francis is also blogging about her illness at the Simply Wait blog.
So check out the book, spread the word, and send a positive thought out into the universe for Patry.
Solana Beach, CA (PRWEB) January 29, 2008 -- Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2 Open for Story Submissions
Deadline: June 30th, 2008
Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays to publish in its forthcoming book Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We're looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect the culture of surfing, and develop the depth of the characters involved. Open to writers and surfers of any level.
Writers will be paid for submissions that get published
To see what the first book looked like visit www.thesurfbook.com.
There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. Submit online at http://www.casagrandepress.com/surfing2.htm.
Writers, columnists, reporters and editors encouraged to submit stories.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Most critique groups understand that new members need to observe how the group works before they join in, so you generally don’t have to worry about being put on the spot the first meeting. Having said that, I can give you a few tips on how to give a helpful critique to a fellow writer.
1. Point out what you like.
It helps break the ice when you give positive feedback – for you and them. Authors basking in the glow of a compliment are eager to hear the next thing you have to say. It also tells them what they are doing right, so they can keep doing it. Focusing only on negatives can discourage even the most tenacious authors.
2. Ask questions.
Criticism can be hard to take for anyone. Asking questions is less threatening than making “This is wrong,” statements. Better to say, “Is this the word you want here?” “Can you tell me more about this character so I can get to know them?” Caution – make the questions rhetorical rather than actual inquiries – you don’t want an extensive discussion.
3. Be Honest.
We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so sometimes we get wishy washy. If they wanted that kind of feedback, they could give it to their mother. (Love you, Mom!) As long as you’re tactful, say what you really think. That’s what a critique group is for. If you run into someone who just wants to share his or her writing instead of getting feedback, keep saying what you think. Usually they’ll get the message and stick to giving stuff to family and friends instead of taking up your critique group’s time.
4. Write on the paper.
I have 41,000 things I need to remember on a daily basis. There's an excellent chance I’ll forget a comment if you don’t write it down for me. And if you just have to make minor punctuation corrections, you can add them without taking up valuable critique time that should be spent on content. You can also write notes if you disagree with another group member's critique comment – this lets the writer know your opinion without offending the person you disagree with.
5. Look at the characters.
If you aren’t interested in the people in the story, you don’t care what happens to them. Ask the author to include personality quirks and background history that help us get to know the character.
6. Look at the dialogue.
Most people use contractions and shortened versions of sentences when they speak. When you read the dialogue, is it stilted or over explained? Suggest changes that make it sound more like people talk to each other. Keep in mind certain characters may have more formal speech patterns as part of who they are and don’t necessarily need changes.
7. Point out where they are telling vs. showing.
As authors, we want to make sure our readers get it, so we sometime do a good job of showing, but then also tell to the point of overkill. If the character pounds on the table, turns magenta, and spittle flies out of his mouth as he is dressing down an employee, the author doesn’t need to then tell us he’s angry. He or she just showed us. If, on the other hand, the writer only tells us these things, encourage him or her to show it instead.
Writers are constantly developing, and the writing life isn't for the squeamish. Part of your job as a writer is to give others a hand up and the encouragement to keep going. These are kindred spirits, so be patient if someone argues with your comments or seems to have a long way to go in their writing skills. We are all at different places on the cosmic journey of writing.
Stay tuned for: How to Critique Fiction for Fellow Writers Part II - The “Don’ts” of Critiquing for a Fellow Writer.
Can't find a critique group? Start your own:
How to Start a Critique Group Part 1 - Finding a Place To Meet
How to Start a Critique Group Part 2 - Finding Critique Group Members
How to Start A Critique Group Part 3 - How the Critique Group Works
How to Start a Critique Group Part 4 - Managing your Critique Group
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The meeting is free to members and $5 for non-members. As the publishing world changes at lightning speed, it’s become even more important for writers to learn the ins and outs of promotion. Laura Bradford, a local mystery author, will share some tried and true promotion tricks she’s learned along the way—both as a promoter and a promotee.
Laura Bradford is the author of Marked By Fate, the newest in her Jenkins & Burns Mystery Series. Her debut title, Jury of One, was an Agatha nominee and a sold-out book club selection for Harlequin's Worldwide Mystery.
Learn more by visiting her website: http://www.laurabradford.com/
Saturday Writers meets on the last Saturday of the month. For more information, visit the Saturday Writer's website at www.saturdaywriters.org.
Friday, January 25, 2008
StoryQuarterly announces the SQ Love Story Contest. They want any kind of love story - love for a person, object, or idea. Open to fiction and nonfiction entries, the contest offers:
First Prize of $2,500
Second Prize of $1,500
Third Prize of $750
Ten Finalists each will receive $100
Entry fee: $20 but it includes access to Narrative Backstage.
Deadline for entries: March 31, 2008.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Sylvia Forbes, a member of the Missouri Writers' Guild and the editor of Bylines writer's desk calendar is looking for succinct personal stories from writers about the writing life.
The calendar states that she invites dedicated, serious writers who have been published and paid for their work to submit an entry for a future issue. She accepts submissions via e-mail. Payment is one contributor copy and $5--not a lot of ca$h, but it's a good way to get name recognition, and the calendar is really cool. Deadline for submissions is Feb 1--next Friday! For more info, check out her web site http://www.bylinescalendar.com/ or e-mail Sylvia at firstname.lastname@example.org before all the weeks for 2009 are filled.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
So if you have a book ready to go, start your query engines.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The Other Tricia
See the offical rules for details. The excerpts are free and up to about 5,000 words long. They will also be judging the quality of the reviews, not just the number finished.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The African American Playwrights Exchange (AAPEX) reports NBC wants "ethnically diverse writers" to work on NBC's primetime series (not sure if this is a strike violation, so you might want to check when you apply).
Canadian Magazines says Reader's Digest is launching a new health magazine aimed at Canadian women.
The Novel and Short Story Blog has last Friday's list of Contests, Submission Calls, and New Magazines.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I must have the one that says, "I am excessively diverted." Although "Obstinate, headstrong girl!" does have its appeal.
This wall calendar isn't bad either if you haven't picked one up yet for this year.
Northanger Abbey was on last night, and I must say I was excessively diverted. Felicity Jones was perfect as Catherine Morland. She was very young, very charming, and very caught up in her novels. I loved her dream sequences where she swoons- funny stuff. She came off as genuine rather than flighty.
I also appreciated the way Austen pokes light at the romance novels of the time, but also points out some things are worse than ghosts and lunatics locked up in secret room (forgive me, Jane Eyre). Like evil fathers who stand in the way of true love! The vampire at Northanger Abbey (the Tilney patriarch) craves money instead of blood. Alas, real life is sometimes far more sordid than a novel.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky - try to take over the world!
Most of us bibliophiles have seen the poll that say a quarter of Americans didn't read a single book last year. Now a new one says the Brits aren't doing any better. Thanks to the Writer Beware Blog for posting on this. And as Nathan Bransford points out, even Steve Jobs says people don't read - so no Apple ereader for the twelve of us who do.
Some of us readers/writers go around lamenting this lack of reading. I don't understand why.
It's actually awesome because that means eventually I will rule the earth and all its outer planets (assisted by you eleven other people that Steve Jobs concedes read books). People who read know things. Ergo, people who don't read are poor shlubs who will have to submit to my world domination because they don't know where Africa is on a map or that Hitler was on the bad side in WWII. Would you put someone who didn't know those things in charge? I think not.
But wait, you say. I want to get published and paid for it. If no one is reading, how will that happen? We are in charge, silly. We get to keep all the money and resources ala Ferdinand Marcos. And we read, so you'll still get your books read by people who appreciate your efforts and don't leave nasty reviews for you on Amazon.
So all of you who aren't reading books? Don't worry your pretty little heads about a thing. I'll take care of everything. I've had time to read up on it. Go watch Brett Michaels "Rock of Love" (my addiction to Project Runway is legitimate research of...something).
All of you mourning the death of reading - Shhhhhh. There are overlord positions available in my new world order if you keep your yap shut and let sleeping minds lie. Moohoohahaha!
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't. - Mark Twain
Twain would have been good at taking over the world, don't you think?
According the their homepage, the Collective is "a group of comic creators and enthusiasts based in Columbia, MO." They have great information and articles for all graphic novelists and comic fans out there, so go check them out.
YA is hot, hot, hot. So if you've already got one in your pocket or always wanted to write young adult, get to it.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
- A book of poetry
- A book of collected short fiction
- A novel
- A book of collected non-fiction
Submissions are being accepted between January 1 and February 28, 2008 for all categories.
Entry fee: $25 for nonmembers and $10 for AWP members
- Donald Hall Prize in Poetry: $4,000 University of Pittsburgh Press
- Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction: $4,000 Rhodes University of Massachusetts Press
- AWP Prize in Creative Nonﬁction: $2,000 University of Georgia Press
- AWP Prize in the Novel: $2,000 New Issues Press
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
But upon further reflection and rewinding, I have to say I'm disappointed. My heart was wide open people. I wanted to like this. And as much as it is actually Persuasion, I do. But.
Anne Eliot looks into the camera too frickin much. At first I was charmed. Oh! Me? She's looking at me and allowing me to share in the story! I feel so...connected! But after the fifth or sixth time, I was annoyed. Stop looking at me and look at Captain Wentworth for god's sake. You've only been waiting nearly a decade to see him again. If used sparingly, I think this technique would've been a nice touch. But too much of it slaughtered the feeling of intimacy with the audience.
They also messed with two of my favorite scenes. When Anne is out for a walk with Wentworth and the others, she falls down and it looks like she goes on an LSD trip. Wentworth appears hovering over her in the vapor and then suddenly she sits up and he's gone. What could have been a moment of connection instead needs some Pepto Bismol.
And right after than, Wentworth's sister and hubby come along in a carriage and Captain W. asks them to take the injured Anne home. This shows us he still cares! But unless you already know the story, you totally miss it when he leans over and asks his sister to take care of Anne.
Then he throws her on the back of the buggy. There is none of that understated passion of him having to touch her to help her in the carriage. I mean, in the movie version of Pride and Prejudice, Darcy has to help Elizabeth into a carriage. After he walks away, we just get a close up of his hand flexing as a reaction to touching her. I swooned!
But oh no. Anne's a sack of potatoes he throws on the back of the carriage. They can't rip each other's clothes off people! It's Jane Austen! We only have those polite little moments to live off of instead of the slobbery movie kiss. Do not deprive me of them!
And when she finally accepts his proposal? They are finally together? The kiss looks like she's trying to reach up and bite his face off and he's not bending over to help her a bit. What is up with that! I'm totally a kiss scene fan and they might have redeemed my disappointment with a good kiss; they failed miserably!
Having said that, I would still watch it again. But I prefer the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root version if I have a choice. And as the owner of a copy, I do. And there are way too many exclamation points in this review.
They want 500 word essays from women that are "inspiring stories of determination and courage." They can be funny or serious stories.
The deadline is March 15, 2008.
First Place: $100
2nd - 4th place: $25
No entry fee.
Monday, January 14, 2008
I found it on agent Janet Reid's site. She also has a great link on the previous day's blog to a really bad query letter.
In addition to the on-going call for novels and collections of short fiction or essays, Sweetgum Press (www.sweetgumpress.com) currently seeks, for an anthology, non-fiction based on real-life mysterious and paranormal phenomena in Missouri (marsh lights, hauntings, and the like): Anecdotes, essays, interviews or other appropriate genre from 500 words (anecdote) to 8000 words. Contributors whose work is selected will receive a small cash payment, the amount depending on the length of the piece, and copies of the publication. Anticipated date of publication is fall 2008. Submit your best work, in standard professional format, to Sweetgum Press, P. O. Drawer J, Warrensburg, MO 64093.
Queries only to: email@example.com. See our general guidelines at www.sweetgumpress.com.
They are also still looking for novel and short story collections.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
They want 25,000-35,000 word stories about alpha males and modern women. There is no entry fee.
Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2008.
Friday, January 11, 2008
The application period is between January 13 - January 16, 2008. The class will begin on February 13. There's a scholarship application form on her website. She'll be offering three more scholarships throughout the year, so stay tuned.
1. Entries are to be 2000 word with a 10% leeway. For instance, as a writer, if necessary, you can go over the word limit by 200 words. However, remember the tighter you write the better.
2. Entries can include creative nonfiction or fictional works about anything that relates to a body of water such as a river, creek, tributary or canal.
3. Manuscripts should look professional as if being submitted to a publisher. All entries need to be double spaced, 12pt font Times New Roman or Courier New. Entries must be unpublished. Title and page number must be located at the upper left hand corner of each page.
4. The WSJC entry fee is $5.00 and materials submitted for the contest will not be returned.
5. Entry period/deadline: Submissions for the WSJC Riverside Stories Contest must be postmarked between January 1 and March 15, 2008. Entries will not be accepted before January 1, 2008.
6. The author’s name must not appear on the manuscript. Include a title page with name, address, telephone number, email address, word count and title of submission. Your check is not to be submitted with your entry [SEE BELOW]
7. Write down ALL categories you are entering on an index card with the title of your submissions, the categories and your name.
8. Remit Entry Fees by check or money order, payable to the Missouri Writers' Guild in the total amount for all entries submitted.
9. For example, if you submit one entry WSJC Riverside Stories Contest, you will submit your index card along with $5.00 to Margo Balinski Missouri Writers’ Guild President 209 N. Jefferson St. Mahomet, IL 61853.
10. Submit your entries to Doris Mueller, 4 East Lakewood Dr Fenton, MO 63026
11. Prizes: First place $25.00, Second Place $15.00, Third Place $10.00 awarded with certificates at the Missouri Writers Guild in April. See www.mwg.org for more information about the conference and the contests the guild is offering.
12. Contact Person: Dorry Catherine Pease firstname.lastname@example.org [Place Contest in the subject line to avoid my spam]
WIRED ART WRITING CONTEST OFFERS PUBLICATION AND PUBLIC READING OF WINNING ENTRIES!
In a unique collaboration, St. Louis Writers Guild, Art World Association, South County Times, and the Wired Coffee café are co-hosting Wired Art, a writing contest for art-inspired poems, stories and essays. The artwork was created by members of Art World Association and is currently displayed at the Wired Coffee café, 3860 S. Lindbergh, Sunset Hills. The public is invited to visit the cafe, enjoy great food and drinks, enjoy the art, and select one work on which to base a poem or short story or essay of up to 500 words.
Nine writing entries will be chosen by judges who are members of St. Louis Writers Guild as winners. Beginning in March, one winning writing entry and the art that inspired it will be published by South County Times.
Also, on Tuesday, March 11, SLWG's regular Open Mic Night at Wired Coffee, from 7 to 9 p.m., will begin with live readings of the Wired Art writing contest winning entries.
Contest deadline: February 26. For complete guidelines, including the printable contest entry form, visit: http://www.stlwritersguild.org/wordpress/?p=297
St. Louis Writers Guild's Wired Coffee Open Mic Night takes place every 2nd Tuesday at Wired Coffee in Sunset Hills. It is free and open to the public. Register to attend or read.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Among the predictions - EBooks will become more popular (though still not a huge share of the market) and the publishing industry will begin to specialize in niche books for very specific audiences. So niche may be the way to go if you've always wanted to write that book on ninja training your dog or knitting BBQ grill covers.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
- Christmas stories
- Cat Stories
- Dog Stories
- Basketball Stories
- Football Stories
- Runner's Stories
- Green Stories
- Expectant Mother Stories
- Couple Stories
- Twin Stories
- Leadership Stories
- Catholic Stories
- Stay-at-Home-Mom Stories
Monday, January 7, 2008
Who wouldn't tell its founders they're crazy if they heard the magazine idea pitched? And yet it fits so perfectly. The southern belles in their gardens sipping tea and the men out shooting stuff.
I was sucked into the dixie vortex first by my favorite southern authors William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Harper Lee. Then by my husband who introduced me to the shocking sight of a deer hanging up out in the shed, waiting to be skinned. I've been coerced into firing a gun and eating fried okra. These things never would have happened without me marrying into the south.
I do sort of live in the south - but not really. Missouri is among those contested states that mainly had southern sympathies during the Civil War, but St. Louis is too urban to feel really southern. It's more Paris light than Gone With the Wind. But I visit southern realms every time we travel 100 miles south in Missouri to my in-laws farmhouse. It sits alone amidst the acres of cotton, soybeans, and corn.
From what I've seen from this border state, there is something a little crazy and a lot wonderful about southern culture. Sometimes backward and yet beautiful. Honest and uncompromising. Its mystique rises like cream in this new magazine.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
For example, it's again time to submit humor essays to the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. The deadline is February 17, 2008. No entry fee!
Highlights for Children is also having a short story contest for futuristic stories. Entries can be up to 800 words and must be postmarked between January 1 - January 31st. No entry fee.
Friday, January 4, 2008
- People 50 and older
- women with diabetes
- indivduals with stories about their personal reaction to climate change
- "military brats" who write poetry
- Female poets over 60
- anyone who has something they wouldn't tell their mother (seriously, that's about everyone)
And remember this great advice from the Novel and Short Story Writers Market blog on submitting to anthologies and contests.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
1) Any style, any subject, any form allowed. Wow us in one page. (One poem per single-spaced page.)
2) No identification should appear on the entry. Attach a separate coversheet with title, name, address, e-mail, and phone number.
3) Two copies of each entry! (Both judges need a copy.)
4) Entry fee: $5 per poem, maximum of three entries.
5) Poems must be unpublished at the time of submission, original work of the contestant.
6) Deadline: March 15, 2008 postmark.
7) Prizes: 1st place - $100, 2nd place - $50, 3rd place - $25. Top 10 entries receive a certificate.
8) Winners will be posted on the website by April 30, 2008. Certificates and cash prizes will be mailed the following week.
9) Mail entries flat, not folded, to: Saturday Writers One-page Poem Contest, Tricia Sanders, 90 Westwood Trails, Foristell, MO 63348. Do NOT send by certified mail!
10) Checks payable to: Saturday Writers.
Contest is open to members of Saturday Writers and non-members. Prize winners and honorable mention recipients (top ten only) may be given the opportunity to have their stories included (one time rights) in the Saturday Writers literary collection, published the following year.
For a list of winners, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Or check out our website after April 30: http://www.saturdaywriters.org/.
Decision of judges is final. Not responsible for lost or misdirected entries. Poems will not be returned.
1. A man
2. A woman
3. A job offer
4. Set in western New York
5. Open to teens and adults living in western New York
Deadline: January 24, 2008
The pay is .01$ a word and contributor's copy. The deadline for submissions is April 4, 2008.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
As promised, way longer ago than I shall mention, I have some humble words of advice on how to manage your critique group for maximum efficiency.
Writers mostly sit by themselves composing works they fervently hope will be read. So sometimes when we get out in public, we act like the nine-year-old weird kid (I grew out of it beautifully) who never had any friends.
When a group of popular kids walks up and asks them to play kickball in their critique group, the new kid misses the ball for trying too hard and develops diarrhea of the manuscript. He or she is so excited, amnesia strikes that anyone else has writing to share. It’s all about US.
So you need a few personality types to manage us problem children:
A Manager – You need someone to keep track of who wants to read, who has read recently, and who is up for their turn. A notebook and an office-manager type work fine. This keeps people from getting ticked they haven’t had a turn when they should. You may also want this person to send out any announcements or email updates about the group.
A Bad Cop – You need that person (who is not me) who says, “Stop doing that.” If a fellow writer:
1.Takes too long to critique
2. Tries to read more than the rules allow
3. Reads something they want to share rather than actually have critiqued
4. Assassinates writing rather than critiquing
5. Gets way off the topic of writing when discussing what caliber your bullet should be or how railroads started in the 1800’s (we all do this on occasion)
The Bad Cop steps in and swings the proverbial nightstick. He or she points out the crime and gives a warning.
I’d give this job to a specific person so they know they have to step up – kinda like you need to point to a specific person and say “Call 911” instead of addressing the crowd. Everyone always thinks someone else will do it unless you ask them specifically.
The Bad Cop saves critique time and keeps problems from poisoning the group atmosphere.
A Good Cop – Sometimes feelings can get hurt after the bad cop points out a problem. The good cop can sweep up behind them, moderate the criticism, and keep the group from fragmenting under disagreement. This person will acknowledge what everyone is saying, soothe hurt feelings, and make people feel a welcome, valuable part of the group by pointing out their strengths in critique after a weakness has been highlighted like a gassy blue neon sign.
These jobs can rotate between members, or be combined if say your manager type may make a good bad cop or good cop too.
There will still be problems. Add people into the mix, and you always have differences of opinion and conflicting personality types. But having these specific jobs filled by someone in your group can make things run much more smoothly and keep anyone from getting tossed up against the wall and frisked for writer-just-let-out-of-her-cage behavior.
I really love my critique group, but it took me several group trials to find the right fit. That's okay. People, strangely enough, do not have the same opinions about everything. A writer must find the group for them - or follow these posts and create one that works the way he or she does. I hope everyone considers a critique group in the new year. My group has helped me get two pieces published so far - and helped me make them works I'm proud to wave as clips.
Coffee and Critique Writers Group meetings resume on January 8th at 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. If you live near enough, I hope to see you there.
Links to this post and all previous posts on starting a critique group can be found on the right under FAQ.