Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm Moving

I have decided to combine my blog with my new web site. I'm still making adjustments and adding pages, but future blog posts will be located on the new site, Here's a direct link to the blog. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Memoir Writers/Magazine Market

Writer’s Thought for the Week: An inveterate and incurable itch for writing besets many… ~ Juvenal

If MEMOIR is your genre, check into the National Association of Memoir Writers. Membership includes monthly teleseminars and access to archived sessions, free e-books, monthly newsletter, and more.

SLICE magazine is open for short fiction, nonfiction and poetry submissions until August 1, 2013 for Issue 14 (Spring/Summer '14). The nonfiction theme for this issue is “Escape." Fiction and poetry submissions are not bound by the theme. Pays $100 for stories and essays and $25 for poems.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Talking to Readers (Free session!)/Poetry and Prose Market

Thought for the Week: The river may be wide, but it can always be crossed. ~ African proverb  

I’ve been to book signings that were deadly dull. The author just sits there at a table with books. If no one is at the table perusing a book or making conversation, the author looks hungrily, sometimes desperately, at anyone who enters the room. It’s painful to watch.

I’ve found lots of advice on how to talk to agents or editors, but none on how to talk to readers. Savvy Authors has a free one-hour session on this topic on July 24, 2013. You must be a basic or premium member of Savvy Authors to attend, but basic membership is free, too. I’ve registered to attend. Want to join me? The info is here

VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW is open for submissions until August 1. They consider unpublished short fiction (2,000 – 10,000 words), poetry, and nonfiction. Pays: "For poetry, we pay $200 per poem; for poems longer than 50 lines, the payment is higher. For prose, we generally pay approximately 25 cents per word, depending on length. For investigative reporting, we pay at a higher rate, sometimes including pre-approved travel expenses."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What's an Appositive?/Digital Fiction Imprint

Writer’s Thought for the Week: Writing is like touching old scar tissue. ~ Anonymous

A noun set off from another noun that refers to the same thing is in apposition. Commas often frame the appositive but not the description. Here are examples of both apposition and description.

BLOOMSBURY SPARK is a digital fiction imprint launching in autumn 2013 from Bloomsbury Publishing. They want teen, YA, and new adult manuscripts in a variety of genres: romance, contemporary, dystopian, paranormal, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, and more. Novels, novellas, and interconnected short stories should be 25,000 to 60,000 words. Read the guidelines carefully – there are different e-mail submission addresses depending on where you live in the world. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When to Crow/Essay Contest

Writer’s Thought for the Week: Part of the key to success is in getting past the fear and submitting- and to continue going back to that fire, even when you get burned.  ~ Robin Devereaux-Nelson

A friend of mine raises chickens in her backyard. Occasionally she gives me some surplus eggs. In the last half-dozen, each egg was a different pastel color - the prettiest natural eggs I’ve ever seen. When I soft-boiled some, I noticed the yolks were larger than those in store-bought eggs.

Last Saturday, I bought brown eggs from a local farm’s booth at my town’s new farmer’s market. They cost noticeably more than those at the supermarket. For a comparison test, I hard-boiled one farm egg along with a store-bought one. The farm egg had a larger, better-textured yolk and a fresher flavor.

Some people debate whether eggs from small farm and yard-raised chickens are really healthier, but I can see and taste a difference. Add the fact that I’m supporting a local business, and I have multiple reasons to buy those eggs over the supermarket ones.

The eggs reminded me that when pitching to an editor, it’s important to say why you’re the one to write the piece. What experience do you have to write that article? If you don’t have personal experience, have you lined up some experts to interview on the topic? If you’re pitching humor, fiction or nonfiction, does your personality come through in your query? Has your fiction been published before or do people follow your blog or Twitter posts?

Hens usually announce when they lay an egg. I'm told roosters crow whenever they feel like it. Pitching is not the time to be shy about what you have to offer. Check out samples from Writers Conference.  Scroll the article to see the samples.

Deadline: August 1, 2013
No entry fee – one entry per author
Award value £15,000; five runners-up will each receive £1000.

Looking for the best essay in the English language, between 2,000 and 8,000 words, published or unpublished, on any subject. If already published, the essay must have appeared for the first time in periodical (print or online) but not book form, between 1 January 2012 and 31 July 2013. Copyright remains with the authors but Notting Hill Editions reserves the right to publish or reprint the winning entries in a dedicated collection. Authors of any nationality are eligible.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Free e-book: The Activist's Daughter

June 20 through June 24, 2013 Free Kindle edition of The Activist's Daughter by Ellyn Bache.

About the novel . . .
Fall, 1963, the peak of the civil rights movement. A quarter of a million people have just marched on Washington, where they were galvanized by Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Mortified by her mother's public role in the struggle for racial equality, 17-year-old Beryl Rosinsky flees DC to enroll at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, planning to blend in and leave her mother agape with horror.
Instead, she encounters a world of troubling paradoxes: southern gentility masking deep-seated prejudices; a token "colored" girl relegated to a deserted hall in a crowded dorm; a "liberal" university with strict curfews and rules for women that don't apply to men; a ban on left-leaning speakers that prevents her own father from giving a program on campus. 
Meaning to conform, to reject her destiny as her mother's daughter, instead Beryl's immersion in a world she never imagined forces her to come to terms with her family's values -- and teach her who she really is.
Sample Reviews:
Solid and absorbing.  Bache capably reflects the complexities of this volatile period, including the shock of the Kennedy assassination.   -Publishers Weekly

The Rosinsky clan is a lively bunch and Bache renders them both comically tenderly.
 -Raleigh News & Observer

"Engaging and lively, The Activist's Daughter grapples with tough political and social issues and makes no bones about the need for human connection and a defined sense of human purpose. Sensitive and non-dogmatic, this is a moving and insightful novel."
-Lilith, The Independent Jewish Woman's Magazine


Saturday, June 15, 2013

How to Write a Synopsis/$5000 Essay Contest

Writer’s Thought for the Week: I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil. ~  Truman Capote 

Boiling down a novel to a 500-word synopsis can be a daunting task. This article is one of the best I’ve seen on how to do it.

Using a Star Wars movie as an example, the article goes through the steps point by point and then puts it all together. I don't normally like books or articles on writing that refer to movies or TV for examples because video and print are such different mediums, but I think the comparison works fine for the synopsis.

Deadline: July 1, 2013

This award "combines a one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center with a $5,000 prize. It is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. The award was established in honor of Richard J. Margolis, a journalist, essayist and poet who gave eloquent voice to the hardships of the rural poor, migrant farm workers, the elderly, Native Americans and others whose voices are seldom heard.” The winner will be announced in November.