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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby Boomer Writing Contest Sharing 70s Memories

Vintage: Family Gathering, 1975 by freeparking Creative Commons

GRAND Magazine, and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women are sponsoring a writing contest about sharing memories of that infamous decade, the 70s. (Forgive me for that school picture with the red shirt and gold lame vest).

Dotsie Bregel, NABBW founder says, “Give us 500 words about your life during the ‘70s—who was there; what was going on; how old were you; why was this moment in time so special—and if you win, we’ll give you the ultimate prize; $250 dollars and membership to the National Association of Baby Boomer Women, the only association devoted to addressing all issues concerning Baby Boomer women today.”

"Entries can be submitted to with Memories from the ‘70s in the subject line. Entries must be 500 words or less and must be sent as an attachment in a Word document by October 31, 2008. Contestants should include their name, email address and a short bio (no more than 75 words) at the top of the attached Word document entry."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Novel and Short Story Writer's Market 2010 Seeks Submissions

Editor Alice Pope is seeking submission for the next edition of the Novel & Short Story Writer's Market.

Interview and article topics should be aimed at the following subjects: The Writing Life, Craft & Technique, Getting Published, For Mystery Writers, For Romance Writers, and For Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Writers.
Send your queries with her name in the subject line to

Friday, September 26, 2008

Taylor Mali's The The Impotence of Proofreading

Here is my Friday fun. Spoken word artist and teacher Taylor Mali performs his speech on The The Impotence of Proofreading. He's me hiro. Found this thorough Smart Batches Who Live Trashy Bakes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Advice On Finding A Literary Agent

Fountain Pen and Glasses by Bright Meadow Creative Commons.

Check out this excellent short video on GalleyCat about finding the perfect agent for your writing project. Stalking optional.

Thanks to Pubrants for the link.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Book Reviewer Jane Henderson This Saturday

Saturday Writers, the local chapter of the Missouri Writer’s Guild, will host a talk by St. Louis Post-Dispatch Book Reviewer Jane Henderson on Saturday, September 27, 2008 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday Writers meets on the last Saturday of the month at St. Peters Community and Arts Center, 1035 St. Peters-Howell Road, off Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters. The meeting is free to members and $5 for non-members. Annual dues are $15.

For more information, visit the Saturday Writer's website at

And remember, Tuesday is the early bird deadline for the Saturday Writers "Turn the Page" Fall Workshop. So be sure to send in your registration or register at the meeting on Saturday. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Samhain Looking for A Few Good Shapeshifters

Cow Family Creative Commons

Author Maria Zannini has a post on Samhain's call for submissions for a shapeshifters anthology called I'm Too Sexy For My Shape. The stories (20,000-30,000 words) will be published both as etitles and paper versions.

How about some shapeshifting cows. Now wouldn't that be fun?

Remember the Writer Mama Contest!

The Writer Mama blog is still giving away tons o' stuff. I won Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds by George Singleton, illustrated by Daniel Wallace. There are still 8 more chances to win, so don't miss out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Writing White Paper's Top Ten Blogs For Writers

Closeup of pen by stardust_ Creative Commons

Michael A. Stelzner's Writing White Papers has their annual top ten blogs for writers out.

 Looks like there are some new ones to check out, as well as reliable favorites. There are more resources than ever, so get out there and use them writer people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Free Book Friday and Talk Like A Pirate Contest

Sunrise in my back yard this morning.

As promised, here is the info on Tor's newest free book downloads, two fantasy novels.

And it's Talk Like a Pirate Day. So enter this fun contest if ure in de mood. Wait, I sound Jamaican instead. I'm not even going to attempt it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free Book Alert!

Thanks for the info Donna V. I'm gonna have to hire you for the blog. Do you take payment in doughnuts?

"From now until October 15, the entire text of David Hewson's acclaimed  first Nic Costa novel, A SEASON FOR THE DEAD, is yours to read free.

Click here to view the book or download the PDFA SEASON FOR THE DEAD introduced Detective Nic Costa. The series includes The Garden of Evil, The Seventh Sacrament, The Lizard's Bite, The Sacred Cut, The Villa of Mysteries and coming in March 2009, Dante's Numbers. In the heat of a Roman summer, Nic Costa, a young, optimistic detective is  faced with a crime that reaches deep into the heart of the Vatican.

 The Dallas Morning News called it "A suspenseful, fascinating mystery."  The Washington Post praised it as "Intelligent entertainment...Hewson, far  more than most thriller writers, has a serious concern for character."Click here for an interview with the author about A SEASON FOR THE DEAD."

If anyone reads this in the next week, let me know what you think. I'm not gonna get to it for awhile. End of quarter grading looms. FYI Tor is also planning to give away more ebooks, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Heart "If I Can Help A Reporter Out"

I'm totally in love with Peter Shankman's website "If I Can Help A Reporter Out." He started it as a way to help reporters and other media find the sources they need to write articles.

Shankman says, "I built this list because a lot of my friends are reporters, and they call me all the time for sources. Rather than go through my contact lists each time, I figured I could push the requests out to people who actually have something to say."

Some of you know I've been working on a non-fiction survival guide for overweight teens. I put out a request for interviews on Sunday night, and by Tuesday I had around 14 people volunteer to share their wisdom about how to enjoy your teenage years, even while you're overweight. (If you're reading this and were or are an overweight teen, I'd love to interview you. Leave a comment on this post with your email or email me at

As the logo says, we're all an expert at something. So I also signed up to receive requests from other reporters. They are often looking for people who've had specific experiences to share their stories.

I just received my first email this morning and they were looking for experts on technology, breast cancer, and coaching high school students in writing essays. They also wanted people who've taken on internships as an adult (over 30) and college women who are willing to share what's on their minds today.

So join up if you'd like to share your expertise, or if you need interview subjects, put in a request.

Be aware some on the list are pr agents trying to get publicity for their clients. You're supposed to pledge not to respond to a request unless your experience fits the guidelines, but you may still have to weed out a few off-base responses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dante's Heart Poetry Contest

Märchenbrunnen 1 (Snow White and Rose Red) by Nordelch Creative Commons


Entries Due: November 1, 2008
Winners Announced: December 2008
  • 1st Prize - $125 + Publication
  • 2nd Prize - $75 + Publication
  • 3rd Prize - Honorable Mention + Publication
Contest Judge:
Ever Saskya, Author of _The Porch is a
Journey Different From the House_
Entry Fee: $7 (USD)

What We're Looking For:
This contest seeks work that speaks to the mission of Danteʼs Heart.

Dante's Heart ( is an online venue looking for creative work that explores how myth and fairy tale define and are defined by the human experience(s). We want to celebrate the shock, wonder, bewilderment, suffering, and enchantment of myth, of the fantastic; we want to hear about rivers running with wine and ghosts jumping the Mississippi on motorcycles. We're concerned with the neglect of myth, with the blindness of a culture determined by myths it hasn't thought about; we demand (beg, entreat, scream) that myths be thought about, made and remade, handled with a delicate & angry/sad/ desperate/joyous exuberance.

Contest Rules
Submit poems by e-mail to

Submit entry fees using the "Giving" page on our website (, and e-mail us to specify that the funds are for the contest entry fee. Entries & entry fees must be received by November 1 in order to be considered for the contest.

Submit one entry only. An entry may consist of any of these:
  • 1 poem of up to 7 pages
  • A series of 2-3 inter-related poems up to 10 pages
  • A series of 4 or more inter-related poems up to 15 pages
Send your best work. Please peruse our journal, Danteʼs Heart, at, prior to submitting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Adams Media Looking for Teacher Stories

"Teaching" by jmurawski Creative Commons

Thanks to Donna V for the heads up on this. The deadline is coming up fast at the end of this month, so get your stories in as soon as you can. (The bolding below is mine).

to be published by Adams Media (

I am looking for fifty true, inspiring stories by teachers remembering their first year in the

Stories should run between 850 and 1000 words, and will be organized along the lines of the school
calendar, illustrating the learning curve experienced by new teachers.

PAYMENT: Writers will receive $100 for each accepted story as well as a complimentary copy of the anthology.

I look forward to reading your submission.

Stephen D. Rogers, Editor
DEADLINE: September 30, 2008

- Facing the first day

- Meeting the students

- Surprising the students

- Bonding with faculty and staff

- Being surprised by the students

- Watching the students bloom

- Saying good-bye

From the hilariously obsessive/compulsive pre-class preparation of a rookie English professor to the
poignant lesson one stalwart third grader and his peers teach their novice teacher about love and
acceptance, this moving collection is sure to inspire new and veteran teachers alike.

Stories should be emailed (inserted as a text file into the email or attached as a rich text file) to: with the word "Submission" somewhere in the subject line. Please remember to include your full name and contact information both in your email and the story (if attached).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oedipus Vegetable Video Clip

Poor Oedipus killed his father and married his mother.

This short video clip is a vegetable reenactment of the pivotal moment when Oedipus offs his father. Seriously, I didn't know broccoli could swagger.

Broccoli by Rick Harris Creative Commons

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best of Writer's Digest CDs

Anyone besides me have tons of old Writer's Digests lounging around the house? I'm starting to feel like one of those people who end up with a small path through mounds of paper.

But I often go back to them to reference things like the 101 Best Websites for Writers and other articles I've found useful. But they take up lots of space, and sometimes I can't find the article I want.

Now Writer's Digest magazine is offering several CDs collecting the best of their magazine content.
Don't get me wrong; I prefer flipping through the pages of the magazine itself. But they are starting to stack up. And since I do most of my work on the computer, I think I'll actually use them. If you don't use your computer much, it's probably just best to renew your subscription for the paper version for around $20 bucks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Register Now for the Saturday Writers Fall Workshop!

Saturday Writers is doing a fabulous "Turn the Page" workshop on October 25, 2008. It's a great opportunity to talk to an agent and book and magazine editors. The early bird deadline is coming up October 1, 2008. You can also get a critique for $25 from literary agent Krista Goering, but manuscripts must also be in by October 1st.

Mea Culpa. I'm planning to go, but I need to get registered. You can pay with paypal! Or mail a registration form and check payable to Saturday Writers to:

Tricia Sanders
90 Westwood Trails
Foristell, MO 63348
  • Early Bird (received by October 1, 2008): ___ Member $50 ___ Non-Member $60
  • After October 1, 2008:___ Member $60 ___ Non-Member $70
  • At the Door: ___ Everyone $75
(Sorry, lunch will not be provided for those who register the day of the workshop.)

Workshop Details From the Website:
"October 25 - SATURDAY WRITERS PRESENTS "TURN THE PAGE" WORKSHOP from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peters City Hall, Room A, One St. Peters Centre Blvd, St. Peters, MO. (Note different location from regular meetings.)

Finished your novel or almost have it finished? Have new ideas for a smashing article? Well, turn the page and join us for an all-day workshop featuring Krista Goering, literary agent from The Krista Goering Literary Agency LLC; Susan Swartwout, professor, director of the University Press and editor of Big Muddy; Rebecca French Smith, Managing Editor Missouri Life, and Anna Genoese, Consulting Editor for Tom Doherty Associates, LLC."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Margo Dill's New Blog for Teachers and Woohoo to Donna Volkenannt

Pencils by The Trial Creative Commons

Freelance writer and children's author Margo Dill has an awesome new blog reviewing kids' books for teachers.

Read These Books And Use Them gives valuable tips on using books in classroom teaching. Her latest review is Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz.

If you're a teacher or even a parent trying to find books your kids will read, it's a great resource.

And Coffee and Critiquer Donna Volkenannt is a runner up in WOW Women on Fiction's Spring Writing Contest 2008. Her winning story, Ida's Rocking Chair, is available for reading on their website. And her story "Welcome Home" will appear in Cup of Comfort for Military Families in November. Congrats, Donna!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Writers Digest Popular Fiction Contest

Writers Digest is seeking short stories in the romance, horror, sci fi/fantasy, mystery/crime, and thriller/suspense categories

Length: 4,000 words or less
Deadline: November 3, 2008
Prize: $2,500, $100 worth of books, and 2009 Novel and Short Story Writers Market
Entry Fee: $12.50 per manuscript
See the website for details or to enter online.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

True Blood Sweepstakes

Charlaine Harris's southern vampire book series is debuting tonight as an HBO series called True Blood. They're also hosting a contest to give away $10,000 and other prizes.You need a code to enter, and you can get one by clicking the widget above.

 If you haven't read her books, check them out. They don't suck. Um, sorry. I couldn't resist.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Borders Open-Door Poetry Contest & Poetry Readings Video Series

Borders is hosting its 2nd annual open-door poetry contest judged by poet Billy Collins.

Entries can be in print or video. Note that in some places it says the cut-off date is July 2008, but the main page says September 30 is actually the deadline for the second contest. Ten winning poems (5 adult and 5 teen) will be featured on Border's website, with two of these selected as overall winners.

Submit your poem or a link to your video poem on their website.

Border's open-door poetry video series has poets reading and discussing poetry. Jorie Graham has some great advice on writing poetry, and I recommend the Episode Six performance, Kim Addonizio's "What Do Women Want" for a quick shot of inspiration. Here's to the red dress.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Erotic EPublisher Ravenous Romance

Lit Soup has info on a new erotic epublishing company called Ravenous Romance. If you've ever thought about epublishing, you may want to check them out.

You can sign up for updates from Ravenous Romance, and they're offering a free story download and IPod touch giveaway.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HarperCollins Uses To Choose New Books

A new website called lets authors go straight to the public with their manuscripts.

HarperCollins sponsors the site and suggests new writers submit there. The ten top rated submissions every month are read by their editors, and submissions are rated by readers of the website. It's billed as a "social network for writers and book-lovers."

So if you're tired of queries and the slush pile, you might want to check it out. It looks like an interesting way for publishers to go through the massive number of submissions they receive. Wave of the future? We shall see.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2008 Has Started!

(Blogger won't let me upload the logo for some reason)

Be sure to check out Writer Mama 2008 Giveaway over on Writer Mama's blog. I blogged the details a few weeks ago. She's giving away lots of writing books, products, and other goodies, including a year's subscription to Writers Market 2009.

Just leave a comment responding to each day's post on Writer Mama for your chance to win. Read the rules for specifics. Free stuff and interesting discussions of the writing life. You can't beat it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Coffee and Critique Schedule for September 2008

Here is Donna's email with the September schedule for Coffee and Critique.  Most of you have seen it, but I'm posting it so you can look it up if you forget, like I do. From Donna:

First, here's the Coffee and Critique schedule for this month:

1st and 3rd Tuesdays - Sep 2 and 16 - morning group 10 a.m. to noon.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays - Sep 9 and 23 - evening group 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
5th Tuesday - Sep 30 - Time to write. (No meeting)

Dear Members of Coffee and Critique,

With today being Labor Day and now that the summer is officially over, guess we all will be getting back to work.

A quick thank you to everyone who continues to come to C&C, and a welcome to all our new members in both sessions. Because we have several new or returning members, and in the spirit of back-to-work/writing/school/critique (take your pick), I thought now would be a good time to bring up a few housekeeping matters.

Now for some reminders:

* Double space your work and bring at least five copies if you plan to read. We can share if there's a big crowd, but five is the minimum number of copies that works comfortably.
* Please write your comments on the copies and critique when it's your turn.
* Keep the critiques to the writing.
* Avoid having side conversations while someone is reading or critiquing.
* If you are being critiqued, you don't have to respond to each comment or suggestion unless someone asks a specific question or you are unsure about the comment or suggestion.
* If you arrive late, need to use the restroom or have to leave early, that's fine, please do so quietly.
* After critique group some of us go to a local restaurant, where we discuss writing and other good stuff. If you want to join us, feel free.

Recently I've received e-mails from some who took the summer off from critique group but plan to get back in the swing of things this month. Yea and welcome back!

A few new members also e-mailed Lou and me with kind words about the feedback and encouragement they've received from our group and how it has already affected their writing. Yea again and keep on writing!

Some have also e-mailed with questions about the business of writing, so at the beginning of our Sep 2 and Sep 9 meetings Lou and I will have some things to share with everyone.

If you have any specific questions you want answered during these meetings, please e-mail me or Lou at the above addresses.

Hope to see you tomorrow morning or later this month.