Category Archives: Markets

5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. The empty feeling in my stomach spread to my chest and head, threatening to pull me inside out.
  2. How do I say this to you?
  3. On her wrist was a bracelet made from multi-colored paperclips.
  4. His voice crackled through the walkie-talkie, “The Eagle Has Landed.”
  5. Are you ready to do this?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


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Final Magazine Giveaway Contest!

How fun has this magazine giveaway month been?

The final contest winner will receive 2 issues of one of these magazines:
Parents * Traditional Home * Spa * Ready Made * Runners

Post your best organizing tip:

  • How to organize your desk
  • How to organize your sample issues and writers’ guidelines
  • How to organize your to-do list of projects with and without deadlines
  • How to organize your computer files
  • How to organize your writing ideas, notes, research, etc.

THINK: Simplify, Clarify and Streamline

One Random winner will be selected, but you can enter multiple times:
Once by posting your organizing tip
Once with a link from your blog or Facebook page to this post
Once with a link from Twitter to this post

DEADLINE: Jan 31

Good luck !!

P.S. all left over magazine issues will be donated to Wings – a transitional housing for women and their children in IL

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Uber Opportunities

uberessay Have you worked hard on that argumentative essay for English Comp?  Feel like it  deserves more reviews than just your professor’s?  Share it on Uberessay.com – a site which provides inspiration and education for its readers and a valuable place for writers to share their works.

Editor, Rosalind Chu wrote me:

“We are trying to compile a database of excellent essays written by students for reference and inspiration. Each essay is copyrighted and put in a password-protected PDF, set only for viewing. Uberessay does not in any way condone cheating. We want to encourage academic honesty and integrity in students, from high school freshman to graduate students and anything in between.

Writers Inspired is a great community inspiring writers, and I feel Uberssay could be an outlet for their writings, from fiction to nonfiction and anything in between.”

Check ‘em out and tell them Writers Inspired sent you!

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Found on Twitter

Just added to my Bookmarks:

http://www.wanttofreelance.com/

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A Daddy of a Contest!

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:

Guidelines:

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 announced : Monday, June 15 checklists_cover

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

Good luck!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   *  *  * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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“Life is too short to waste.”

“…Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action.”

David J. Schwartz, Trainer and Author

 

 Enough said.

 What will you take action on this week?

 Me? (My Professional Action List)

 

(My Personal Action List)

  • Swap out salt & pepper for cayenne, cumin and salt-free seasoning mixes
  • Go to gym 4x this week
  • Arm & ab workouts 3 x this week
  • Play outside with my boys
  • Plan our anniversary weekend

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Obsession, a short story

The new issue of coloredchalk has been released. Check out my story, Obsession, in issue 7: McGuffins for Hire

And be sure to leave comments if you’d like.

Also, great place for your fiction, look at their guidelines for their next issue: Broken Clocks, Deadline: April 30

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Grow your writing! Part 1 of 2

Feeling stuck in your growing list of resolutions?  Well, help is here and now (for your writing goals, that is!)

Check out this Q&A with author Christina Katz, AKA WriterMama on her newest book: Get Known Before the Book Deal and decide how you’re going to grow your writing this year!

Come back for  Part 2 tomorrow!

Interview with Christina Katz on Get Known Before the Book Deal

Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer’s Digest Books). She started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on “Good Morning America.” Christina teaches e-courses on platform development and writing nonfiction for publication. Her students are published in national magazines and land agents and book deals. Christina has been encouraging reluctant platform builders via her e-zines for five years, has written hundreds of articles for national, regional, and online publications, and is a monthly columnist for the Willamette Writer. A popular speaker at writing conferences, writing programs, libraries, and bookstores, she hosts the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon. She is also the author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (Writer’s Digest Books).

What is a platform, and why is it so important for unpublished writers to have one?

A platform is a promise, which says you will not only create something to sell (a book), but also promote it to the specific readers who will want to purchase it. Your platform communicates your expertise to others and it works all the time so you don’t have to. Your platform includes your Web presence, any public speaking you do, the classes you teach, the media contacts you’ve established, the articles you’ve published, and any other means you currently have for making your name and your future books known to a viable readership. A platform isn’t what you once did. It’s what you currently do. If others already recognize your expertise on a given topic or for a specific audience or both, then that is your platform. A platform-strong writer is a writer with influence.

Why is it so important to publishers that writers have a platform?

One writer can have a great book idea at the perfect time and be the absolute best person to write that book and still not land the deal if he or she doesn’t have the platform that is going to fulfill the promise to sell the book. Agents and editors have known this for years and look for platform-strong writers and get them book deals. If you want to land the book deal, today, then you need to become a platform-strong writer. You need to stand out in the crowd by the time you are ready to pitch your book.

Why did you write Get Known Before the Book Deal? What was the intention behind the book?

Most of the other self-promotion books for writers pick up with the book deal. No other book dials self-promotion all the way back to how to get started. My intention for Get Known was that it would be the book every writer would want to read before attending a writer’s conference. It should increase any writer’s chances of writing a saleable proposal and landing a book deal whether they pitch the book in-person or by query.

As I was writing the book, I saw how this type of information was often being offered as “insider secrets” at outrageous prices. No one should have to pay thousands of dollars for the information they can find in my book for the price of a paperback! Seriously. You can ask your library to order it and read it for free. Get Known outlines the complete platform basics step-by-step.

Is there a single most important thing authors need to do to build a platform?

When you think about the fact that about 500 books are published each day in this country, you realize that writing a book isn’t going to set you apart. So, the first thing you need to know is what makes you and your expertise unique and communicate that. If you don’t know who you are and what you uniquely offer, how is anyone else going to know? I call this cultivating your identity, not branding, because that word is so grossly overused these days. Identity also nods to the importance of keeping things real and staying true to yourself, while also making self-promotion a priority.

You can learn more about Christina and her offerings at http://www.christinakatz.com.

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Write Guide to Holiday Shopping!

christmas-gifts-1383

{photo courtesy of wallpaperez.info}

I love anything “writerly.” And if you’re reading this, chances are you do too! Whether you’re buying for yourself, a writing buddy or conveniently “linking” to this post in an email to your loved ones, ideas for great gifts are always a bonus!
So, let the list of joyous writer’s gifts begin!

  1. If your magazine stockpile has become a dangerous pillar of paper – get organized! I LOVE this fabric wall-mount magazine organizer, priced about $15 from The Container Store.
  2. Keep your files neatly labeled with a Dymo Letratag Label Maker. Buy it on-line or at any office supply store for about $30. You can change the font style, size and color.
  3. Every writer needs pens, even if they primarily type their work. I love the smooth non-skip flow of the Pilot Precise V5 in black and red ink (gotta edit sometimes!)
  4. A Digital Voice Recorder is great for recording those plot twist ideas when stuck in traffic. Also beneficial for recording interviews to later transcribe. The one I use has a setting to record in separate “files” for easy tracking. RCA RP 5120-A runs about $30 and can be found at Walmart, Target, Circuit City, etc.
  5. Books! Of course, the highly acclaimed “Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids” by Christina Katz is a fav of mine. This book got me thinking seriously about the non-fiction market. Another on my own wish list: “Writing Personal Essays: How to Shape Your Life Experiences for the Page” by Sheila Bender. The market for personal stories is growing by the day and I intend to join them!
  6. Of course, general office supplies are always in need, since we use these up! Post-it’s, notecards, notebooks, binders, file folders, mailing labels are good staples (staples, too!) But for something fun and funky, try wrapables.com for cool bookends and such.
  7. If you’re getting serious about your writing and ready to take it to the next level, I recommend “Get Know Before the Book Deal“, another gem by Christina Katz. And in the meantime, order some inexpensive but quality business cards from Vistaprint.com. They have great sales and freebies!
  8. Maybe you’re a writer who’s going more techy. Some ideas would be: WritersMarket.com subscription to help find and organize all those markets, Storyright.com – a nifty software (free trial!) which helps the plotting, outlining and writing of your fiction, especially novels!, a flashdrive to save your valuable work, or a gift certificate to one of multiple on-line writing courses. I found my niche in writing short stuff and getting my first clip by taking “Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff,” valued at $199.00, you can get in the class for FREE, check out the details here.
  9. Of course, there are always the unconventional gifts writers need like time and space. Read this eye-opening article titled “Writers’ Wish Lists: More than Office Supplies,” by Melissa Mayntz in the Funds For Writers Small Markets Newsletter, (12-07-08 issue.)
  10. And if you’re still stumped, go here for a whole book of ideas, compliments of WOW! Women on Writing!

Happy shopping and remember…Santa’s watching.

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“If you want to know your past – look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future – look into your present actions.” ~Chinese Proverb

I was so uneasy last night. Maybe not just uneasy, but irritated, aggravated, unsettled.  In the car on the way home, the radio news tells of a woman who posed as her 15 yr-old daughter to go back to high school and try out as a cheerleader! That is just absurd.  Then the news at home is hashing out the aftermath of two major banks going bankrupt. Not to mention news still trickling in from the weekend warpath of Hurricane Ike. Russia is building bombs, Israel wants us to give them some. What is going on?!

Does anyone else feel depleted from the news around us? The rising food and gas prices? The decreasing jobs?  All the while our presidential candidates are all but putting on costumes and dancing on Broadway, this damn election has become so dramatic. Who’s in charge here?

Well, enough of my rant. Has anyone seen “Into the Wild?”  That idea is looking better and better each day.  But, before I traipse my family through the country on God’s good graces and end up living in a bus on a tundra in Alaska (huh, Alaska!)  I decided: take deep breath, hum the “om” sound and release it all.

As the proverb above says, today’s actions will determine your future. It’s OK to get all freaked out from time to time, right? As long as we step back, look at the happenings right before us and start small. Baby steps. Little changes. Positve attitudes. Random acts of kindness. It may not solve the financial and global crisises, but it will solve a few bitter moods.

Now, use your own rants or beliefs and write an essay for “This I Believe.” They’re a paying market and they’re on my list to target!

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