Tag Archives: writing fiction

Good News x 2

In reading Christina Katz‘s second great writing resource, Get Known Before the Book Deal, I learned that writers should toot their own horn when they achieve little successes. How else would our readers/followers know what we’re up to?

So, taking Ms. Katz’s advice, I’d like to “toot” about my recent successes in publication and contest entries!

Underwired, a KY based women’s print magazine, just accepted my essay “Cravings” for publication in their upcoming June ’09 issue.  I wrote “Cravings” last September, with a different market in mind. I wrote the essay from my perspective on motherhood and our needs to give in to guilty little pleasures. I wrote, rewrote, sent to my writing buddies for critiques, rewrote again and finally submitted to skirt! magazine, who politely and promptly rejected my essay due to “no space.”

Of course it was a minor blow, equivalent to a small crescent shaped shiner under my right eye, but I went down my list of markets and sent the essay out again, this time to Imperfect Parent.  My essay seemed to fit their tongue-in-cheek humor and bold observations on being a parent without losing your identity. Weeks, then months went by with no reply and an updated message on their website stated they were “backlogged” and no longer accepting submissions.  So, I emailed the editor, again, and professionally stated I’d be pulling my essay from their consideration if I hadn’t heard back by a specific date. No reply and off to the market guidelines I returned.

So, you can imagine my elation when the editor of Underwired replied via email with a “Congratulations! We’ll see you in print…” Not to mention the attached contract that spelled out payment and rights for my publication of “Cravings.”

The lesson in this? Keep moving forward. Don’t lose momentum, don’t lose your faith or your focus. Your essay may be personal to you, but editors have a job to do and though they may appreciate your wit or tone, it may not fit for their publication.

My second “toot” is about another exciting email I received a few days ago, in regards to my fiction entry for the 100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest.  This email said I was at the top of the mountain where the air was thin. My entry “In Father Brannigan’s Room” had made it past two levels of judging and is now in the running for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place! 100 little words, crafted so carefully, rewritten about 20 times, paragraphs cut and pasted in different order to achieve the maximum effect of “wow” in such a small space.  And I deliriously wait,  with little oxygen.

Who thought after writing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where every word counts and even contractions are banished to maximize  number of words, I’d be able to cut out prepositions, articles and adverbs to ruthlessly minimize word count and tell a full story with less than 100 words. An achievement in itself. I’m proud to have even accepted the challenge.

And when the winners are announced in mid-June, I’ll be back to “toot” some more (hopefully!)

Keep writing and submitting my friends! And please share your successes here and EVERYWHERE!


Filed under Advice, Believe, contests, Creative Essays, emotion, Inspiration, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing

5 Prompt Friday!


5 Prompt Friday!

  1. Think of your top five favorite books. Now put yourself in one of them, walk around, interact with the characters, describe the setting as you see it
  2. Write a personal ad for your main character: they are looking for love, or a dog, or a job…Go!
  3. Think back to Christmases past and reflect on the strangest gift you received. Now have a character receive this gift and write about their reaction.
  4. You open the door to find a mangled package and something inside is moving…
  5. If you were on a busy city street corner and started to pan handle, what would your pitch be?

Share some of your favorite prompts top get your mind churning out those great stories! Or share the stories you’ve started with one of the above prompts…


Filed under Advice, Fiction, Fun Stuff, Inspiration, writers, Writing prompts

Flash Fiction Contest!

  gordon  (Flash Gordan, circa 1980) 

While I will not be able to get my “stuff” together to enter before the deadline, hopefully one of you out there will!  Be quick – deadline is this coming Saturday!

The winner of the 2009 Kathy Fish Fellowship will be considered a “writer in residence” at SmokeLong for each of the four issues to be published in 2009. Each issue will include one flash by the Fellowship winner. The winner of the Fellowship will receive $500, to be paid as follows: $100 on announcement of the winner, and $100 upon publication of each of the four issues in 2009. The winner will be announced January 20, 2009.Deadline December 20, 2008. This award is open to any writer not previously published in SmokeLong Quarterly. Applications should include five samples of your flash fiction (stories of a thousand words or less). These samples may be unpublished or previously published in venues other than SmokeLong Quarterly.

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Filed under contests

5 Prompt Friday!


5 Prompt Friday!

  1. Start a story with this sentence (from Heartburn, Nora Ephron, 1893):  “The first day I did not think it was funny.”
  2. Describe the sound of falling snow.
  3. Reflect on a time when you were most afraid.
  4. Write about karma.
  5. Create a Facebook profile for your character.



Filed under characters, Fiction, Fun Stuff, Inspiration, Writing prompts

5 Prompt Friday

Your Friday fix:

  1. (From Sun Signs for Writers, Bev Walton-Porter) “Contact local ghost hunters in your area and ask if they will let you tag along on one of their investigations…”
  2. (From What If?, Anne Bernays & Pamela Painter) “Write a page in the first person, assuming the voice of someone of the opposite gender… The main point is to completely lose yourself and become another.”
  3. (From Writer Mama, Christina Katz) “What topic do you never tire of? Ask yourself what fascinates you and see if you can make a connection through writing.”
  4. (From Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg) “Describe a grandparent.”
  5. (From A Writer’s Book of Days, Judy Reeves) “_______ is the color I remember.”

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Inspiration, writing inspiration, Writing prompts