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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Harlequin Starts Imprint for Young Adult Fiction

Tez Miller's blog reports Harlequin is starting a new imprint for teens and looking for manuscripts. They accept unagented submissions, so looks like a wide open new market.

Romance category sales are up 83%, and fantasy books are doing well, so they're a frigging publishing spotlight in an otherwise inky economic cave.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Land an Agent Online Seminar

On January 15, 2009, the Writer's Digest company is offering a one hour online seminar on How to Land an Agent in the new year. The cost is $199. Just FYI. I've never participated in one, so I can't say if it's worth $199 for an hour.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 7 Awesome Things About Being A Writer In a Bad Economy

Ramen, My Ramen by Tricia Grissom
7.  We already consider ramen noodles a food group.

6. We understand life is unfair. After all, Joe the Plumber has a book deal.

5. Words are free and can earn us money.

4. Auto company bailouts, bank failures, Barak Obama's funny eyebrows - it's all just writing material.

3. My memoir on being broke and evicted that nets me a spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

2. What do you mean everything's hopelessly difficult in the publishing industry economy, and we'll never get published another job? You've shocked our delicate sensibilities.
1. We've already been laid off, rejected, and underpaid. Bring it on.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Writers Market and Get Known Before the Book Deal for 50% Off

You can get any Writer's Digest writing book from F+W Publications for 50% off with coupon code WD1224. The code is good until December 24, 2008.

That means you can get the 2009 Writer's Market for $15.50 + S&H or Writer's Market Deluxe, which includes a book plus a one year subscription to the Writer's Market website, for $25.00 + S&H. Not bad. A one year subscription to just the website is $29.99. I tried out the coupon and it worked just fine. It's $30.31 with shipping and tax - about a buck cheaper than Amazon with their free shipping over $25. If you're ordering a book that costs under the Amazon $25 total, it's a much better deal.

I also recommend Christina Katz's Get Known Before the Book Deal which you can pick up for the bargain price of $8.50 + S&H. (It's $11.55 on Amazon). I'm currently reading it and she has great advice for building the all important author platform. Writers will need to be even more marketable than ever in the current economy, so I'm studying up. You can watch Christina's YouTube Promo below for more information.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reporter Wanted for O'Fallon/Dardenne Prairie

Nick's Gingerbread House
Here is a Craigslist ad looking for a reporter to cover the O'Fallon/Dardenne Prairie Area in Missouri. You have to snail mail your resume and writing sample - no email applications.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day and Facebook

Tessa's Gingerbread House
Actually it was an ice day, but I'm not complaining. I'm going to make sugar cookies now. Something I only do once a year because let's face it. I've got no sucrose biscuit self-control.

Nothing really significant to report today. I'm actually starting to use facebook, so if you wanna be my friend (she whines) I am there under my alias Tricia Grissom. My posts may be spotty until Christmas. Today is the last week of class and then the Christmas Dance ensues.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogs With Insider Info on the Publishing World

Fat Snowman From My Tree by Tricia Grissom

O.K. Sick child at home. So rather than writing a blog today, I'm totally glomming onto Nathan Bransford's excellent post rounding up the week in publishing. He lists lots of insider blogs and other great articles for writers. So check it out if you want to stay on top of what's going on in the biz.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Book Seeks Rejection Letters

Author Bill Shapiro is looking for rejection letters for a new book slated for 2010.

Other People's Rejection Letters is his follow up to Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to Seewhich sounds like something I'll put on my book wish list.

Let the rejection purge begin.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update on HQ Magazine

McGraw-Hill representative Lisa Jaycox was kind enough to give me a more specific description of HQ magazine. Turns out it isn't just about green building, but also on ways that office/building design can help businesses perform better. That may include green practices, but it also has the broader focus of the best design possible for the work environment.

The Winter 2009 issue launched on Tuesday, December 2nd and another issue will come out in June. If you want to get a feel for the magazine, there's a digital version of the Winter 2009 issue on their website.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

McGraw-Hill Launches HQ Magazine

Bettencourt Green Building Supplies by greenbk Creative Commons

Let's hear it for the cojones on McGraw-Hill for launching a new magazine in the unnatural disaster that is our economy. HQ is a new magazine focused on green buildings created to make employees skip down the halls in productivity delight while the company pays less for the light bill.

It officially begins in June 2009, but they've already sent out one promo issue.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Saturday Writers Celebrates Writing for All Ages and Christmas Party

This Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 10 a.m., Saturday Writers will recognize the winners of our children's and teens' writing contests and host a workshop  and book signing by children's writer Jody Feldman, author of The Gollywhopper Games. We will meet at the St. Peters Community and Arts Center, located at 1035 St. Peters Howell Road.

From the website:
"Everyone who participated in the contest and entered a story is invited to the St. Peters Community and Arts Center, located at 1035 St. Peters Howell Road, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 6. Jody Feldman, children’s author of The Gollywhopper Games (, will present a program for parents, teachers, and students. She will also give out the awards and participation certificates, and she will have a book signing after the awards’ ceremony. Door prizes, a raffle, and refreshments will be provided.

Look below for a more detailed schedule. We hope you can all join us. (Children do not have to come to the entire morning to receive their awards, but we hope they will. Jody is a wonderful speaker and teacher. In the past, some children have been dropped off or had one parent stay for the program/workshop, and the rest of the family came at the awards’ ceremony time. That is great, too! Whatever works best for your family, we encourage."

After the workshop, we'll be having our Christmas party at 1 p.m., so bring a covered dish to share and a writing book for our white elephant gift exchange. See the schedule of events below.


10:00 am Registration and refreshments at the St. Peters Community and Arts Center
10:25 am Welcome, Announcements, Introduction, and Jody Feldman speaks
11:00 am Break into workshop groups/ more refreshments/ door prizes given
11:10 Third and fourth graders and their parents will do a writing activity with Jody Feldman
12:00 Workshop over, get ready for awards’ ceremony, more door prizes given
12:15 Awards Ceremony for Third and Fourth graders and Teen Writers
12:45 Jody Feldman sells and signs her books
Members of Saturday Writers:
1:00 Saturday Writers Christmas Party--Potluck and White Elephant gift game

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coffee and Critique December Schedule and Free Book Contest

From Donna V.
Here's the Coffee and Critique schedule for December:

Tuesday, Dec 2 & 16 - 10:00 a.m. till noon
Tuesday, Dec 9 & 23 - 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday Dec 30 Meeting optional. We can discuss if anyone wants to meet that day.

Donna is also hosting a contest. She'll give away Cup of Comfort For Christmas: Stories that celebrate the warmth, joy, and wonder of the holiday (A Cup of Comfort) to anyone who emails her with "Santa Wore Cowboy Boots" in the subject line.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Writer's Market 2009 50% Off

You can get the new Writer's Market 2009 for half off until November 30, 2008. Use coupon code WDTHANKS on your order.

That makes it $15 plus tax and shipping. I prefer the online version 'cause it gets updated thoroughout the year and has a place where I can keep track of query letters and such, but I know some of my peeps like those things called.... what are they? Oh yeah, books.

Plus the subscription ($29.99) is not on sale, so if you're economizing you might want to go for the print version by tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fictional Characters Are Imaginary Friends has a thought provoking audio clip from Pulitzer prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri on how fictional characters are like imaginary friends for writers. Her new book is Unaccustomed Earth

It does make us writers sound a wee bit dysfunctional.

Made any good friends lately? :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blue Mountain Seeking Book Submissions for New Publishing Line

Blue Rich Mountain by Kecko Creative Commons

Blue Mountain Arts has a new book division that is seeking submissions for gift books, teens and tween books, inspirational, motivational and so on.

Check out the post on Freelance Writing Jobs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free Christmas Gifts for Writers

Golden Christmas by krisdekurtis Creative Commons
Feeling a little destitue as a struggling writer? Collect these freebies and you'll be feeling richer in no time.

1. A pen for those random bursts of genius.

2. Free Entry in Hallmark's "Your Parenthood Contest." Deadline December 7, 2008.

3. Free ebooks. To go with the ereader you're hoping to get for Christmas.

4. Free postage and digital scale at the post office for sending out all those query letters.

5. Free coffee for when you need something to throw at the wall.

6. Free tea for the calmer, more benevelant essays.

7. Free snack for the munchies.

Some annoying surveys may apply. Don't sign up if you don't want junk mail. I, however, have recently begun collecting all the coupons on planet earth, so it's all good for me.

Or if you're looking for stuff to actually buy, check out my Top Ten Christmas Gifts for Writers list from last year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Woohoo for Pat Wahler and Her New Blog Critter Alley

Congrats to Coffee and Critiquer Pat Wahler whose six word memoir on Love and Heartbreak will be in the book of the same name in Feb 09. She found the submission info about Smith Magazine's fun six word tomes on this blog and was kind enough to tell me so.

She's also taken the brave foray into blogging, so go check out her blog Critter Alley where she blogs about cute critters (do not confuse these with critique group members, although we can be as fluffy as woodland creatures at times). And don't forget to congratulate her.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Essay Market: Skirt Magazine Themes for 2009

Vintage Skirt by tajai Creative Commons

Have a personal essay burning a hole in your pocket? Check out Skirt Magazines 2009 themes to see if it fits one.

Be sure to read their contributor's guidelines. The submission deadlines are the first of the month for the following month's issue. So submit by December 1st if you want in the January issue.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Amazon and Penguin Group: Second Annual Breakthrough Novel Competition

Pencils by The Trial Creative Commons and the Penguin Group have announced their second annual Breakthrough Novel Competition searching for new voices in fiction. Polish your manuscript for the February 2, 2009 start date.

From the article:
"Between Feb. 2 and Feb. 8, 2009, writers with an unpublished English-language novel manuscript can submit their work at Up to 10,000 initial entries will be accepted, from which Amazon editors will select 2,000 to advance to the next round. Expert reviewers from Amazon will then review excerpts of these 2,000 entries and narrow the pool to 500 quarter-finalists. Reviewers from Publishers Weekly will then read, rate and review the full manuscripts, and 100 semi-finalists will be selected. Penguin editors will evaluate the manuscripts from this group of 100 and choose three finalists. A panel of esteemed publishing professionals -- including mega-bestselling authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan -- will read and post their critiques of the top three manuscripts on Amazon customers will then have seven days to vote for the Grand Prize Winner.The winner will be announced on May 22, 2009, and will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $25,000 advance."

Many of the Top Ten Finalists also received writing contracts, so it's worth checking out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kudos to Donna on publication of her story in A Cup of Comfort for Military Families. I meant to post this yesterday, but I was swamped. Donna is having a contest and giving away a free copy of the book.

From her website: "To enter, send an e-mail by Thursday, Nov 13 [by midnight central time], to with Welcome Home in the subject line. Include your name, e-mail and mailing address. I will announce the name of the winner on Friday, Nov 14."

She also has a great post today on critique groups that mentions yours truly. Thanks and congrats, Donna.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken Soup New Call for Stories 2009

Wiltshire Chicken by Protohire Creative Commons

Chicken Soup is asking for submissions for new book topics including:

"...Results Stories...
Have you read a particular Chicken Soup story and, after reading it, found that it changed your life? We are looking for stories on how a story made important changes in your life and what specifically happened to you after you read it. Please be sure to let us know the title of the story that touched your life.

A Book of Miracles
Everyone has experienced extraordinary events in their lives that cause wonder and astonishment. Perhaps the only explanation is divine intervention. The true stories in this multi-faith book will awe you with examples of amazing coincidences and prove to you that miracles do happen every day. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

Christmas and Holidays
We love holidays! We know you do too. We are collecting stories for our next holiday book. There is no deadline date for story submissions.

College Campus Chronicles
We are looking for true stories and poems about your experiences in college, whether you are in college now, or a recent graduate. Stories about everything from leaving home, to classes, to roommates, to personal growth, to funny moments, to travel abroad...anything you have done in college that you would like to share with other college students. The deadline for story submissions is December 31, 2008

Dysfunctional Families
These serious or hilarious, oh so true stories will touch your heart and make you see that even in the most difficult situations, other families are not all that different from your own. Share your stories with others who may realize we all have the same in-laws, siblings, parents, etc. Submit under your real name, but rest assured we expect most of you to use pen names for publication and change the names of family members to protect the innocent (or guilty!). The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

Endurance Sports (run,cycle,swim)
Whether you are a triathlete, a duathlete, or you just love to swim, run, or cycle, we want to hear about your sports, your races, and how endurance sports fit into your life, whether you are an amateur, a student athlete, or a pro. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

Extraordinary Teens
Teenagers can do the most amazing and positive things. They can overcome obstacles and make wonderful contributions to the world. Do you know a teenager who has made a difference? We are looking for stories about these terrific teens. The deadline date for story submissions is December 31, 2008.

Not Really Retired
This book will share humorous and fun stories from those who are actively enjoying their "senior years!" Tell us about your new careers, your volunteer work, your sports, your travels, and those things you always wanted to do that you are finally doing. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

Our Best and Brightest (soldiers and veterans)
An amazing collection of stories from soldiers who defend and protect our country – both active and retired – and from their families who make sacrifices when their loved ones are far away. You will be overcome with emotion as you read these stories that will acknowledge, entertain and inspire you and will leave you with admiration and gratitude for our nation’s best and brightest. The deadline date for story submissions is March 31, 2009.

We have all had that one teacher who has made a difference in our lives. And teachers, remember that one student who made you know why you decided to be a teacher and who you will never forget? We are looking for stories from both teachers and students that will tell that unforgettable story. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

Thanks Dad
We are looking for stories of thanks from “children” of all ages about their dads. These stories of innumerable joys and challenges will touch your heart, make you laugh, inspire you and remind you that it doesn’t matter how old you are, the job of a parent never ends. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

Thanks Mom
We are looking for stories of thanks from “children” of all ages about their moms. These stories of innumerable joys and challenges will touch your heart, make you laugh, inspire you and remind you that it doesn’t matter how old you are, the job of a parent never ends. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2009.

The Golf Book
Chicken Soup for the Soul and Golf Digest are excited to announce a new book for golfers, edited by Max Adler of Golf Digest. Golf is a sport of passion and obsession like none other. We are looking for true personal stories that reflect what the game means to you. Think of the best stories you’ve told at the 19th hole and share them with us. The deadline for story submissions is December 1, 2008.

Tough Economic Times
We are all going through difficult times right now, some with more dire consequences than others. We would like to know what changes you are making in your lives that reflect the times. Are you downsizing, making do with less, discovering new joy in a simpler life? These stories will give you, our readers, inspiration and insight into how others are coping. The deadline date for story submissions is March 31, 2009.

What I Learned From The Cat
Another wonderful collection of heartwarming and humorous stories about what we learned from our feline family members. The deadline date for story submissions is January 31, 2009.

What I Learned From The Dog
Another wonderful collection of heartwarming and humorous stories about what we learned from our companions and best friends. The deadline date for story submissions is January 31, 2009."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Salon & Friends Poetry Night and "Are We Feeling Better Yet" Anthology Event

Fountain Pen and Glasses by Bright Meadow Creative Commons
Congrats to one of my favorite bloggers, Catherine Rankovic, who has two big author events coming up.

Salon & Friends Poetry
Fri. Nov. 14
Regional Arts Commission

Salon Poets: Amy Debrecht, Robert Lowes, Nancy Powers, and Eric Schramm and Their Friends: Eamonn Wall and Catherine Rankovic
"Come and be blown away as we read our new poems, and be there to network with everyone! Friday, Nov. 14, 7:00 p.m. at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Ave (across from the Pageant Theater). Light refreshments. Free and open to the public."

Are We Feeling Better Yet?

"Why, yes! The timely new anthology edited byColleen McKee and Amanda Crowell Steibel, Are We Feeling Better Yet: Women Speak Out about Health Care in America will be launched Wednesday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m. at the University of Missouri St. Louis/Institute for Women and Gender Studies, with readings (and autographs) by St. Louis contributors Denise Bogard, Cathy Luh, Catherine Rankovic, and Corrine McAfee.The publisher is the award-winning Penultimate Press of St. Louis."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Poetry in Motion Contest From Metro Arts in Transit

Photo by lordsutch Creative Commons
I've already been to vote, and I didn't have to wait in line.

Hey locals, here's your chance to have your poetry motoring around the city of St. Louis.

Plus check out this ultra cool sidewalk poetry project going on in St. Paul, Minnesota. Wish we would do it in Missouri. Think about it. You're walking through a mundane day, living your life of quiet desperation and you find passionate words at your feet. Who couldn't use some these days?

From Metro Arts in Transit:

"Metro Arts in Transit and the Poetry Society of America are sponsoring a regional Poetry in Motion® contest open to all residents living within a 50-mile radius of the city of St. Louis. Metro Arts in Transit has sponsored various poetry and literary contests for the past decade. Starting with MetroLines, Arts in Transit's programming evolved into Literary St. Louis, and now Poetry in Motion®.

For 2009, fifteen (15) poems will be selected for publication and will be reproduced on posters that will include visual imagery that relates to the subject of the poem. The visual design will be created by Metro Arts in Transit at its discretion and will be displayed on MetroLink trains and Metro buses for up to one year. The winners will receive a $50 award and will be invited to read their poem at the Reading Ceremony on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at the Regional Arts Commission.

The contest is open to both published and unpublished work by poets of all ages. Previously published work must be provided with permission to reproduce.

Submittals will be judged by Jeanne Allison, Certificate in Writing Program Coordinator, UMSL; Edward Boccia, Professor Emeritus, School of Fine Arts, Washington University in St. Louis; Kris Kleindienst, co-owner, Left Bank Books, journalist with Vital Voice, News-Telegraph, and Gay News-Telegraph; Deanna D. Neely, teacher, Saint Louis City Public Schools; Howard Ramsby, teacher, English Language and Literature, Southern Illinois University.

The contest is open to all children and adults.

Please visit our website at for contest rules, details, and to download your ENTRY FORM!

Sponsored by Metro Arts in Transit and the Poetry Society of America with financial support from the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council."

Deadline: Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on February 2, 2009 (postmark does not count)
Length: Up to 3 poems with a maximum of 15 lines per poem
No Entry Fee
An entry form must accompany your submission.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Donna's New Blog & November 2008 Coffee and Critique Schedule

Be sure to check out Donna Volkenannt's new blog, Donna' Book Pub, especially her two entries about the Saturday Writers' Fall Workshop. Do's and Don'ts from Editor's Panel and Editor-Agent Submissions have excellent summaries of the editors' advice and submission information from the workshop.

She also emailed the November Coffee and Critique Schedule. It starts with tomorrow's meeting:
Nov 4 & 18 - Daytime 10:00 a.m. to noon
Nov 11 & 25 - Evening 6:30-8:30

Query on.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Nick's Pumpkin and Tessa's Pumpkin by Tricia Grissom
You know, when I was a kid we took the biggest butcher knife in the house and tried not to cut off digits as we stabbed a triangle for the eyes and nose, and hacked out a mouth as best we could.

Now my kids are pumpkin artists with specialized tools. I have to say it's a big improvement.

If you want to see some funny, gross, creative pumpkins, check out Also, the website's creator Tom Nardone traces his experience publishing his pumpkin carving book. Let's all live vicariously through Tom! Plus he wrote his second book, Extreme Pumpkins II: Take Back Halloween and Freak Out a Few More Neighbors for 2008. I must get a copy to prepare for next year's pumpkin carnage.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

St. Louis Writers Guild Memoir Writing Workshop

Close up of pen by Stardust_ Creative Commons

From the the St. Louis Writers Guild:

"There's still time to sign up for Thomas Larson's workshop, "Writing the Memoir," next Saturday, November 1 from 10 AM until 1 PM at Crestwood Barnes & Noble. Please note that there is a $10 fee for members to cover Larson's travel expenses. You can pay at the door or when you register your attendance on our website,

You'll want to remind your "writerly" friends at Missouri Writers Guild,Writers Society of Jefferson County and Saturday Writers that they can also attend for just $10. Non-members of these organizations will pay $15. Larson is an acclaimed memoirist (see below for a brief bio) and this workshop promises to be informative and entertaining. If you've ever considered writing memoir or personal essays, you won't want to miss it. For more details about the workshop or to register, visit

*THOMAS LARSON* is the author of The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative
Ohio University Press / Swallow Press. He lectures and holds workshops on memoir writing throughout the United States. Larson writes personal essays, memoir, feature articles, book reviews, and literary criticism. Since 1999, he has been a contributing writer for the weekly San Diego Reader where he specializes in investigative journalism, narrative nonfiction, and profiles. His writing has appeared in numerous reviews and journals, among them The Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Antioch Review, Fourth Genre,, the Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997, and Contrary Magazine online. His web site is In 2008, Larson has new work in New Letters, Tampa Review, and Cadillac Cicatrix.

-- St. Louis Writers Guild

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday Writers Workshop Review And Missouri Life Magazine Update

Sunrise by Tricia Grissom
We had a excellent workshop Saturday, including a editor panel responding to the first hundred word hooks of essays, stories, and novels.

I thought I'd share a few of the lessons that stood out.

1. Never start your book with someone waking up in the morning, especially not to an alarm clock (I've heard this piece of advice several times at several conferences, so take heed).

2. Reality matters. The agent or editor reading your work can't concentrate on your awesome writing if they're worried about inconsistencies in reality - like the sun coming up at 8 a.m, or someone who has been wearing handcuffs for hours who fails to acknowledge his or her arms are numb.

3. Learn the lingo. For genres like young adult, listen to how the kids themselves talk and don't edit for political correctness. And for dialogue in general, write down what people around you are saying to get a feel for real conversation. If  you're going to write in a foreign accent (like Irish), listen to a radio station from that country to get a feel for how the natives speak.

I also got to talk to Missouri Life's managing editor, Rebecca French Smith. She says the magazine is looking to expand their coverage of Missouri into areas like politics, green stories, book reviews, and other Missouri-related issues. So if you have a story idea for one of these area, now might be a good time. She requests you send a writing sample along with your query if you haven't worked with them before, so they can get a sense of your style.

Another tip - sometimes they get ten queries for the same topic. The writer who explains how they will approach the topic and what info he/she plans to include has a better shot at the story.

And be patient. She's a very busy lady juggling all the content changes, new projects, and all the other editorial responsibilities.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saturday Writers Workshop Reminder

Remember the Saturday Writers Fall Workshop is tomorrow. You can still pay at the door ($75), but be sure to pack a lunch.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Heart of America Christian Writers Conference

Just saw this on the Missouri Writers' Guild discussion group. The Heart of America Christian Writers Conference is November 13-15, 2008.

Location: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 10100 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66212 (Greater Kansas City Area)

Full Conference (Thursday Night - Saturday):

Active/Pro Members $200 (before Nov. 1) $225 (after Nov. 1) $250 (at door)
Associate/Non-Members $230 (before Nov. 1) $255 (after Nov. 1) $280 (at door)

Partial Conference (Either day and an evening)
Active/Pro Members $105 (before Nov. 1) $125 (after Nov. 1) $150 (at door)
Associate/Non-Members $135 (before Nov. 1) $150 (after Nov. 1) $180 (at door)

To register and learn more about the scheduled speakers, see the conference brochure.

Has anyone ever been who could give us a review?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kudos To Author David Lee Kirkland

Saturday Writers member David Lee Kirkland has rave a review of his new book, The Yesteryear Tales in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

An excerpt:

"However you want to pigeonhole this book, be sure to put it somewhere on your shelf. It's a countrified delight — a collection of folk wisdom and folk folly. The stories center on farming — and hunting, and ranching, and Sunday sermons and Saturday-night sexual shenanigans. You'll learn how to saddle a balky mount and how to rein in a randy neighbor. And you'll read all about it in the backwoods prose that Kirkland employs to tell his terse tales."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Publishing and the Financial Meltdown

$$$ Money's so Tight by Faungg Creative Commons

Nathan Bransford has a great blog from Friday rounding up the experts' take on how the financial armageddon will affect the publishing biz. Forewarned is forearmed.

Query on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Romance/Women's Fiction Critique Group Forming in St. Charles County, MO

100000 worlds of oblivion by inkswamp creative commons

From Saturday Writers member Claudia:


Any writers--novel, essay, short story--interested in the new critique group I am forming for the Romance/Women's genre, please send me an e-mail at as soon as possible.

Just because you say you are interested doesn't mean you have to join once the details are worked out. Early November I will send out a survey to those interested to narrow down time, day, location, etc. The holidays are fast approaching which means a busy time of the year for everyone, so my plan is to have this organized and ready to start in January 2009

If you know of other writers not in Saturday Writers who are interested in joining, please let them know. No matter the stage of our writing, a good critique group can be of immeasurable help in editing/grammar/punctuation, information on workshops-publishing-conferences and motivation. Hope to hear from you soon and no matter what--Keep Writing!

Claudia Shelton Member of Saturday Writers

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tip: Photography and Freelance Writing

Doll Carriage Hunter Dawson House by Tricia Grissom

Learning about photography as I go has been my m.o. when it comes to taking pictures for my freelance articles. I've discovered tons just by doing it.

Learning to drive a stick shift takes some clutch popping (so sorry, first car) and learning photography means pointing and shooting with the camera you'll be using. So I got to thinking - Why not make a trial run of a writing assignment before you actually get it?

I wish I had. I'd have learned more thoroughly how my camera works and what all those settings mean. It's easy to see mistakes after you get home and blow them up in living color.

So pretend you're doing a story on this festival or that museum. Before you go, look at how the magazine or publication you want to write for does their photos. What angles do they like? Are there a lot of close ups? I say mimic mercilessly to get good pictures.

When the trees go up in flames in the fall, it's a great time to get some photo practice. And I confess, I just love to snap photos. My latest of my daughter with her mouth open is my favorite. I'd post it here, but I like all my body parts where they are. Fifteen-year-old girls have no sense of humor about these things.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Missouri Writers Guild Hottest Flash Fiction Contest 2008

The Missouri Writers' Guild is hosting a flash fiction contest. From the website:

The Hottest Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline - October 15, 2008
Entry fee: $10
Word Limit 1,000 words.
First Place: $100.
Second Place Winner: $50.
Third Place $25.

Honorable mentions are awarded at the discretion of the Judge.

What is Flash Fiction? It's fun. It's challenging. For writers, it is an exercise in rewriting and editing. It is a short short story.

All flash fiction includes the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. The brevity of this genre often forces some of the story elements to be implied or unwritten in the storyline.


What is flash fiction? Check out this definition and some examples of flash fiction.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

My posting may be a bit spotty over the next couple weeks. I just started teaching classes for the Fall semester at Lindenwood, and I've been interviewing steadily for my book (thank you, God).

So I may not be posting five days a week for a few weeks. I'm planning to shoot for at least three days a week until further notice.

So thanks for your patience, and query on.

Clock by Darren Hester Creative Commons

Monday, October 6, 2008

St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

St. Martin's is hosting a 2009 First Crime Novel Competiton for never-published writers. (Self-published authors will be allowed to enter as long as the work submitted is not the self-published novel). Murder or another serious crime or crimes must be at the heart of the story. They have a rather convulted procedure (maybe to weed people out?) You have to send off for an entry form to fill out by November 14, 2008.

From the website: All requests for entry forms must be received or postmarked by St. Martin's Minotaur at the address below by November 14, 2008. DO NOT SEND MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSIONS TO ST. MARTIN'S MINOTAUR. For copies of these rules and to request an entry form, please send a stamped, self addressed envelope to:

St. Martin's Minotaur/MWA Competition
St. Martin's Minotaur
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10010

Once you get the form, your entry must be postmarked on or before November 30, 2008 and received by December 15, 2008. No entry fee.

They recommend submitting your entry as soon as possible. Be sure to read the fine print carefully; there's a lot of it and people who follow the directions will prevail.

Each entrant will receive an entry form containing the address of the judge to whom he or she will send his or her manuscript. Entries must be postmarked no later than November 30, 2008 and received by judges no later than December 15, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Become a Writer in Troubled Times?

New Life by jtloweryphotography Creative Commons
So the economy sucks and everyone is running around like Armageddon just knocked and said howdy. How do you take those lumpy little lemon shaped rocks and stop from beating yourself in the head with them?

If you just lost your job, or your house was foreclosed on, or you just don't know where your next tank of gas is coming from - those are terrible, scary things.

But if the worst has to happen, maybe you can take a shot at that crazy, low-paying dream of being a writer (or whatever other profession you once lusted for). If you have nothing left to lose, there's power in that. Arrange your new life to cost as little as possible, and for a year, follow your dream. Simplify.

I'm not saying you won't need a day job, but maybe you can take a position that doesn't suck up all your time and creativity. Then create something before you go back to supporting the house and the 2.5 cars. Stop living that life of quiet desperation.

Write the book. Send out query letters to magazines. Tons of news outlets would love essays from people suffering through the financial crisis, and I bet they'll be looking for memoirs from people who survive this debacle. Keep a journal of what's happening. How does it change your family? Your outlook on life? Farm out some op-ed pieces. Take a shot.

Then maybe this big sucky thing that happened to all of us can jump start some dreams.

God knows I'm not a Pollyanna. You won't make much money as a writer and you have to want it really, really bad. It may not be for you.

But maybe you'll find out the rewards of following your passion make up for living in a mobile home or apartment instead of a house. Perhaps cutting the cable will give you more time to write and bring your family together. Would we do any of this voluntarily? I wouldn't. But being forced into it gives us options we never thought possible.

What do we have to lose?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Agent Pet Peeves

Agent Kristin Nelson has a great post on what she hates in a submission, along with a link to the Writers Digest article with her comment and those of other agents on sad, sorry submissions.

So avoid those pet peeves, people. It's inital alliteration day! I have declared it so! I doubt it's as popular as Talk Like A Pirate Day, but you never know...

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.