ANNOUNCING: Writers Inspired 1st Essay Writing Contest!
(This contest is CLOSED)
Mother’s Day is usually the “motherlode” holiday to celebrate parenting and all its up’s and down’s. Moms get “chore coupons”, cards dotted with sequins and even homemade pinch pots made of clay.
But what about Dads and all they do? Father’s Day is sandwiched between graduation parties and 4th of July picnics. No coupons, no cards made in the classroom and certainly no fire-glazed pottery.
So, I decided, with the help of my author friend, Joe Deyo, to host a contest:
Write an essay describing the best memory you have of your father and how he shaped you into the adult you are today. You can also write an inspirational essay of how the father of your child(ren) rocks as a “daddy.” I’ll be judging the entries based on: beauty of language, power of author’s voice and overall emotion: make us LOVE your dad (or the dad of your children!)
$0 entry fee / 300 word count
Deadline: 12midnight, Friday, June 12
Include Title, Name, Email and brief bio
Send entries in the BODY of an email (attachments will NOT be opened) to mjcwriter”at”comcast”dot”net
Winner will receive* an autographed copy of Joe Deyo’s Checklists for the New Dad and have their winning essay “published” on Writers Inspired (Author retains all rights)
*Must have US mailing address for shipment of book
Runners-up entries may be posted throughout the week leading up to Father’s Day
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And to help inspire you and thoughts of “Dad”, please enjoy this interview with the author of Checklists for the New Dad, Joe Deyo:
How did you find time to write a book while working full time in sales and still having time for your wife and children? Did you have a writing schedule, or just sneak in sentences in the nooks and crannies of your day?
Every writer certainly has a different schedule and mix of priorities. I have a full time day job as well as being a full time husband and father. I knew when I set out to write a book that it couldn’t take away from those responsibilities. So for me that meant going to bed a little earlier and getting up earlier to write. Weekends included. Mornings are also when I am the most energetic and creative so I usually do my best work between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. while everyone else in the house is sleeping. I am usually out of gas at the end of the day so that is personally not a good time for me to write or revise. It works best for me to do a little bit every day rather than try to do a lot in one day.
Tell us about your speaking engagements. Did you use these first to build your platform as an author or did these come after the book release?
For me the speaking engagements came after the book release. I always knew that speaking would be a big part of what I do. But I chose to focus all of my energy on completing the book first and then speaking.
As a first time author, can you tell us about the process of finding an agent, then a publisher? What tips can you offer other beginners?
Finding an agent and a publisher can be the hardest and most frustrating part of the book business. There are lots of great books and websites to help in the process but here are my top five nuggets of advice:
1) Before you even begin to solicit agents put together a killer book proposal. This may be the most important writing you ever do. Do your research on what makes a good one. A good timeless article to start with is Writing a Winning Book Proposal by Michael Hyatt. It is available as a PDF on the web at www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/Downloads/WritingABookProposal.pdf.
2) The difference maker for many projects is the author’s platform and marketing plan. Don’t neglect this part of your book proposal. It needs to be detailed, well thought out, and realistic. Don’t count on Oprah.
3) Research which agents might be a fit for your particular project. Don’t blindly send a query to just any agent. Two good tools to help you get started are Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents and Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide.
4) Set aside some time and money to go meet an agent in person before you sign with them. This is a huge partnership and you need to meet and be comfortable before doing business with each other. Establishing that personal connection with the agent and their staff will help you down the road when you need some attention.
5) If you decide to self-publish I recommend reading Aaron Shepard’s book Aiming at Amazon.
Lastly, I remember asking my agent early on what I could do as an author to be a great client for him. His answer was, “Write a great book.” That is as simple as it gets.
Are there any follow up books in progress on fatherhood or marriage?
For now I am really focused on maximizing the potential of the current release, Checklists for the New Dad. This includes speaking engagements, article writing, media exposure, and other marketing efforts. But like most writers I am always thinking about the next project and I have been putting some early notes together for it. Stay tuned!
Can you share a favorite memory you have of your dad from your childhood, or a favorite memory of being a new dad, yourself?
Some of my fondest memories as a child growing up in rural Idaho are the fishing trips I took with my father and my grandfather. We might not have said 20 words to each other in a two-hour trip but we were together having fun. Now today I take my own kids fishing and we share the same connection—enjoying each other’s company, the outdoors, and a tug on the line.
Come Back tomorrow for more on Joe Deyo and the inspiration for his book: Checklists for the New Dad