Category Archives: writer 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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What I learned this week

Missed my Friday post last week for numerous reasons…but I’m back, baby!

Check out all I learned this week (Yep, I’m a big girl, now!)

Writing:

New trends in YA and Teen Fiction? Dare I say, Move over Vampires – Enter Angels (Fallen Angels to be exact!) hush, hush, debut novel by Becca Fitzpatrick was a First Teen Read sponsored by Barnes & Noble Book Clubs (have you signed up, yet? Duh – free books months before they’re released to the public!! And lots of fun on line discussion boards.) I read this novel, I fell for the characters and am quite intrigued with the possibility of a new trend. I’ll be reviewing the book here in October -and maybe inviting Ms. Fitzpatrick over for an interview!

To Blog or Not to Blog: Great article on the why’s of blogging, for writers in particular. Found it interesting that Jane Freidman  (Writers Digest) compares the blog’s use for fiction writers vs nonfiction writers. Good stuff! Check it out and let us know where you stand.

Writing for Print vs Writing for the Web: Jennifer Applin makes a comparison to these different styles of writing and the pro’s and con’s of dealing with print editors and web editors, such as web editors may be more accessible (read: easier to reach and build a relationship=more projects=more moola!) Have you written for both print and online? Share!

Contests, Copywriting and Giveaways!

Do you follow Ask Wendy? You should! She’s not only the Query Queen, but the maiden of all writing contests.

More fun freebies: This week was Book Review Bloggers week, and you have a chance to win The Art of Reading book

Concerned about your online material being snagged and duped under another’s name? This might help.

Fewer categories this week, but lots of reading for you – get to it!

My own observations:

Blogging? Yes, definitely! Why? Let’s count the ways…Because of this blog, I have been contacted by: (and all this in a span of ~14 days)

  1. a published author’s PR assistant who sent me a free copy of the book for review and is hooking me up for an interview next month
  2. a ya novelist who just published his debut novel and is sending me a free copy for review and will be posting an inspirational message for young writers on WriteLikeCRAZY (soon!)
  3. a freelance writer who would like to contribute to Writers Inspired (and got me thinkin’: any of you want to wear my hat for a day? Send me an email: mjcwriterATcomcastDOTcom)

I don’t how they found me but they found me! Run for it, Marty!

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Filed under Advice, books, contests, Give Aways, writer markets

Writing of loss

LMbook_large

A writer friend of mine had the esteemed honor of being published in Literary Mama, recently.

I say “esteemed honor”, because among our online support group of  women writers, we share near misses and not one of our group had made it into Literary Mama, until now.

Not only did Stephanie Dethlefs get the coveted byline, but had a remarkable story to share about a mother’s love and loss.  Please follow the link to read her essay, “Beautiful Friend.”

And, if you have a story of mother’s loss to share, follow this link to a call for submissions for a miscarriage anthology, being printed by Catalyst Book Press.

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Filed under Advice, Creative Essays, Deadlines, emotion, Non Fiction, writer markets

Book Blog Tour: Mindy Friddle, Author of Secret Keepers

mindyTALK3-797755Today, I am excited to introduce novelist, Mindy Friddle, who brings a seasoned writer’s expertise to the muddle of writing we all face.

Bio: Mindy Friddle’s first novel, The Garden Angel(St. Martin’s Press/Picador), a SIBA bestseller, was selected for Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program in 2004, and was a National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition summer reading pick.Secret Keepers, her second novel, was published by St. Martin’s Press in May.She lives, writes, and gardens in Greenville, South Carolina where she directs the Writing Room, a community-based nonprofit program she founded in 2006. skeepersorder2

Mindy will be checking for your comments, it’s her “favorite part of blog touring!” So, be sure to leave a comment or question regarding Mindy’s novels, writing in general, or even gardening!(She’s a Master Gardener.)

 

Interview by: Mary Jo Campbell

 
   1. Wow, Mindy, your list of credentials are a novel in itself.  Let’s talk about your fiction awards.  Are you always on the look out for contests that suit your writing style, or is this something your agent or publisher does for you?  How do you prepare your work for a particular contest?  What about a residency contest?

Something I love about entering writing contests: the deadlines. Sounds funny, maybe, but consider two important points:
1. You have to prepare and submit something by a certain date—which can motivate you to finish or polish.
2. You’ll find out whether your manuscript made it or not within a certain time frame. Even if your work didn’t make it this time, take heart. So often when you submit a story or article for publication, you wait a loooong time to find out if it was read, much less accepted. At least in contests, you’ll know for certain if your work was considered or not. And you can move on.
Poets & Writershas an excellent calendar and listing of contests. You can find it at bookstores and also online.

 
 2. I, myself, sit on the board for a national non-profit for young writers and volunteer my teaching for a local non-profit organization for children.  So, your non-profit program, the Writing Room, touches my heartstrings.  Can you tell us how you founded this program, and how much time you now are able to devote to the Writing Room?  How do you seek out reliable volunteers or do they seek you out?

I talked to a local arts foundation, the Emrys Foundation here in South Carolina, that was willing to sponsor a program for writers. So I agreed to direct the program, which offers seminar and workshops to writers of all levels. I’ve recruited some terrific writing teachers, and we offer at least one seminar or class at no charge every season, as well as multi-week intense workshops (from fiction writing, flash fiction, writing for children, and screenwriting) for a range of fees. One of our goals is to eventually raise funds to offer one or two scholarships every season for folks who want to take in-depth writing workshops, but need some financial assistance. It’s a new program, which I spearheaded because I sensed we had an untapped literary community. Our mission at the Writing Room is to “build a community of writers.”

 

 3. Aspiring novelists are often curious how much of a platform one needs before tackling the marathon that is a novel (both the writing and publishing.) “Where to focus our energies?” Can you tell us about your fiction writing credits and platform prior to landing your first book deal for The Garden Angel?

 
I didn’t have much at all, as far as credits. And no platform, really. I hope aspiring novelists will take encouragement from that. You can’t go wrong with focusing your energy on the writing. Easier said, than done—I know! But a set schedule—writing several times a week no matter what—and reading a lot—that will get you far. Also helpful: attending writing conferences and forming a supportive group of fellow writers to read each other’s work.  After winning a fiction award in my state—the first contest I’d won—I attended Bread Loaf Writers Conference. There, I met Julianna Baggott, a generous writer who recommended that I send my manuscript–when I finished it–to her agent. I followed up and queried, and was fortunate to acquire my agent that way.

 
 4. Back to your latest novel, Secret Keepers.  Where did you get the inspiration for Emma’s character and what kind of research was needed to write from the POV of a 72-year-old woman?

 
After I got to know Emma—her background, her yearnings—and observed her actions (which sometimes surprised me) it wasn’t hard to get into her head. I like to think that age, gender, race, class, etc. aren’t obstacles to writers. Yeah, I know– that’s one of those Big Ideas that crops up on panel discussions: Can you really write about characters outside of your own experience/age/gender? YES. Imagination. Empathy, Curiosity. They go a long way.  Also, the omniscient point of view in Secret Keepers allows the reader access to the thoughts of a cast of characters: Emma, but also her adult children, her teenage grandson, a landscaper, and a homeless guy.  I really loved using the omniscient point of view, with a narrator who occasionally chimes in.  I hope the reader does, too.  I have more about the story behind SECRET KEEPERS on my website.

 

   5. On your tour post at The Muffin, you gave great bulleted tips on the process of novel writing: how to be a “weekend writer” and get through the first draft of your novel before focusing on revisions.  What method(s) do you use to keep all of your writing, research and notes organized while pummeling through that first draft? Do you outline; use note cards; have a favorite writing software?
Organize…not one of my talents. I manage piles. I don’t outline, really, but I do take notes on subsequent drafts and revisions. I use notecards to keep track of characters’ basic bios—when they were born, for example—and also to track scenes. If I think a scene is missing—a conversation between two characters that needs to explain something that will figure in later, for example—I make a note of it on a notecard. “Dora and Jake need to talk about Will’s death before we know Bobby remembers…” something like that. Occasionally, when I want to see the big picture and step back, I’ll use flip chart pages to note when things happen—sort of a crudely drawn timeline. That usually happens in revision, when I’m having to nail down details. I think you can find out what works for you as a writer—I love colors, for example. Highlighting my notecards by character is helpful, and using the “highlight” function in Word to figure out what needs to stay [green for me], what needs to be cut [pink], what needs to be moved somewhere else [yellow].  It’s always interesting to see what works for different writers. I’ve interviewed a number of authors, and this topic often comes up. The interviews are posted on my website, on the Interviews with Writerspage, and there’s more commentary on my blog here, and here. I wrote about the zen of writing– you just walk the path– at A Good Blog is Hard to Find
 

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights!  Please tell us what is on the horizon and where we can find more of your work:
I’m drafting a novel….and between drafts I sometimes turn to writing short fiction. Please feel free to visit my website and blog for more information on writing and reading, and drop me an email with questions or comments. Happy writing and reading everyone!


SECRET KEEPERS:  strong storytelling, comic touches, prickly family dynamics, and the magical power of nature.

St. Martin’s Press
Read an excerpt at www.mindyfriddle.com
On Sale: 4/27/2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-53702-9
ISBN-10: 0-312-53702-6
Also available: THE GARDEN ANGEL (St. Martin’s Press & Picador)

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Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books, characters, Fiction, Get Published, goals, Inspiration, Novels, Organization, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing, writer markets, writers, writing inspiration

Call for submissions – Women and their horse(s)

My friend and colleague, Verna Dreisbach, is collecting stories of women and their horses for an anthology.

 send-to-cheri-002Here is the website for the call for submissions. http://horsesandwomen.blogspot.com.   

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

WOMEN AND HORSES: A STORY COLLECTION
Seal Press, Berkeley CA
Editor, Verna Dreisbach

Dear Friends,

Here is an exciting opportunity for you to be published in a new story collection by Seal Press. Previous anthologies of this nature by Seal Press include Cat Women and Woman’s Best Friend. The expected date of publication will be spring 2010, giving ample time to collect, choose and edit stories.

I am looking for truly inspirational stories that speak from the heart and show the unique bond between a woman and her horse. Each story should be at least 1,000 words, but no more than 2,500 words in length. Please send double-spaced versions only, in 12 point font Times New Roman as a Word Document.  NO “first horse” stories please!

Should your story be selected for inclusion in the book, you will receive two complimentary copies of the book plus $100 for the right to use the story in the anthology. Your name will appear with the story as well as the option to include a high quality photograph of you and your horse. Please consider that photographs will be printed in black and white. Do not send photographs until asked to do so.

I am accepting submissions until January 15, 2009 (EXTENDED to March 31, 2009). Please be sure to include your contact information with your submission: name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address. Send stories to: womenandhorses@gmail.com. You can read more about the progress of the book at http://horsesandwomen.blogspot.com.

Due to the volume of submissions, only finalists will be notified.

I look forward to reading your stories and thank you in advance.

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Write Guide to Holiday Shopping!

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{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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