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1. How Characters Can Become Stories – Erika Wassall

snowman family

Talk about character, here is a steampunk snowman family Sylvia Liu recently made, as part of a new daily creative challenge blog that she started titled, Create One a Day. You can see her portfolio at: http://www.enjoyingplanetearth.com)

erikaphoto-45Erika Wassall, the Jersey Farm Scribe here on….

How Characters Can Become Stories

I enjoy character studies. Books that give perspective into the mysteries of human nature, and how we deal with intense mental, physical and psychological difficulties.

Give me a character I want to sit down and have a drink with, or even observe from afar and watch their interactions and reactions… and I’m sold.

When I write, I’m often focusing on a character in my mind. They’re more than a name, more than any description I can put on paper. I can sense them, know their thoughts, feel their emotions.

Which is great, right?

Well… yes. And sometimes no.

I tend to get bogged down in character development. Plot, is much more difficult for me. I’m exceedingly jealous of people who are more natural at plot than character development. While probably similar to curly-haired people wanting straight hair and straight-hair people longing for curls, being able to nail down a plot always seemed like it would make things “come together” more, give me more to go from.

Reading books on plot and attending workshops has been absolutely mandatory for me.   Martha Anderson, The Plot Whisperer… I honestly don’t know where my writing would be without her insight. I highly recommend her books for anyone else who gets stuck on plot.

For me, I’ve found one trick that works wonders for me, helping me take my character molds, and create not just ANY plot, but THE PLOT. The path the character was meant to take.

It’s focused on character transformation.

One of the other problems with an overly specific character profile, is that, to me, that’s how they ARE. And it’s hard for me to see them any other way. This makes for a very stagnant character, which we all know doesn’t really work.

This process helps me on both accounts.

I take the character, in all their their moods, their quirks, their temperament, and I make them the FINAL version of the character. (obviously this can change as time goes on, it’s just part of my process).

I ask myself… why?  What happened to them that gave them that chip on their shoulder or that far away look on their face they get when they listen to a certain song? Why do they place money all facing the same way, before putting it in their pocket?

I write out/think about, three categories: Mental, Physical and Psychological. I start out with at least two major and three minor things in each category. There are overlaps, but they each must have their own, specific effects on the character.

And then I delete them.

Naomi doesn’t like to be alone because she was once left behind during a field trip and spent a horrifying weekend alone in a museum. What was she like before that? Maybe before, she didn’t see how people could be a source of comfort. Or maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe before she was just a healthily independent person, and now she’s overly clingy.

Jurret has scars on his back up into his neck from fighting off a robot scorpion that was attacking his older sister. It makes him uncomfortable taking off his shirt, and sometimes he even wears turtlenecks so no one can see it. His sister lived, but was badly injured with many scars of her own, including some on her face. He feels responsible for her turmoil as well.

What was he like before all that happened? Did he and his sister get along? Were they close? Maybe he was a gym junkie who was overly concerned with appearance and it gave him much-needed humility. Or maybe he was already plenty humble and this just drained him of his confidence. Perhaps before that, he always felt like the baby, the one everyone was taking care OF, and that day, everything changed. Before then, perhaps he never felt both the joy, and the burden of responsibility.

I do this with dozens of concepts for my character. Literally.

And I don’t always write them down. Sometimes I just think about them. While I’m driving. Cooking. Food shopping. It’s a great exercise I work into time that I’m not necessarily able to write. Then later, I’ll jot down a few notes, sometimes just two or three words, to remember the concept.

The more interesting an idea – or a “deletion” as I have come to call it – the more I actually write it out. Sometimes these “scenes” even become actual events in the book.

But I write out FAR more than I end up using.

At some point, I start to feel a general theme, a pull in a direction of a certain “type” of transformation, and certain related concepts that bring the character through that change… events, relationships, both pain and joy.

And for me, this is where I find my plot. Hidden beneath the intricacies of the character. And I know it’s right when it makes the character themselves even stronger, more solid in nature, more truthful.

This doesn’t (usually) give me a nicely-laid-out plot. But it gives me ideas, storylines I can get excited about. It helps make “plot” a less intimidating, overwhelming word, and interweaves it into what I already have.

What “deletions” could you do to your characters? Do you have other tricks or exercises that help you to develop the nature and variables of your plot?

This one really can be time consuming. And I end up throwing out countless concepts, but that’s just nature of beast! And you know that I’m a believer…

… our manuscripts are worth it!

Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at www.TheJerseyFarmScribe.com where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!

Thank you Erika for another great post. We all enjoy your posts.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, Author, Character, inspiration, writing Tagged: Erika Wassall, Guest Post, How Characters Can Become Stories, Sylvia Liu

2 Comments on How Characters Can Become Stories – Erika Wassall, last added: 12/17/2014
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2. Happy Chanukah!

amaliaChanukah
Amalia Hoffman sent this in to help us celebrate Chanukah. Amalia was featured on Illustrator Saturday: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/illustrator-saturday-amalia-hoffman/

Bluebird-&-Dreidel--©-M-Kogan-12-14-2014

Michelle Kogan not only sent in the illustration above, but also the poem below to celebrate Hanukkah.

Hustle of Hanukkah
Michelle Kogan © 2014

Hustle of Hanukkah
somehow squeezing it in
In between holidays
falling often mid week

In between school and work
and numerous car trips
In between tradition
and finding your own way

In between Maccabees
the temples destruction
In between stolen oil
a miracle appears

In between night’s darkness
inner warmth radiates
In between lights glowing
throughout cold winter days

In between your mom’s arms
and between dad’s embrace
Making Hanukkah fit
in between for eight days

The poem below was sent in by Marie Wagner. Marie is an Artist, Author, Publisher, and Web designer. http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/marie-wagner.html?tab=artworkgalleries

ChanukahHankkah

Thank you Amalia, Michelle, and Marie for sharing your work with us.

Hope all my Jewish friends around the world have a wonderful holiday!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Amalia Hoffman, Chanukah, Marie Wagner, Michelle Kogan

2 Comments on Happy Chanukah!, last added: 12/16/2014
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3. Scarletta Press Submissions

ScarlettaLogo380SCARLETTA PRESS accept submissions ONLY during their reading period (September 1 to June 1).

SUBMISSIONS ARE CURRENTLY OPEN.

They use Submittable.

While they seek to publish new voices missing from the literary world, they also want to make sure your manuscript will fit their genre community. The books they choose to publish are intellectually stimulating, adding relevant knowledge to readers’ minds. Their Junior Readers and Kids imprints focus on literature and picture books with educational twists, exciting illustrations, and engaging plots.

Genres they focus on include:

  • Children’s Fiction
  • Middle-grade Fiction
  • Educational Fiction/Nonfiction
  • Picture Books

They do not publish plays, screenplays, short story collections, or poetry.

With your cover letter, please submit a synopsis of your book and one or two chapters, no more than 30 pages. They accept both agented and unagented manuscripts.

Illustrators: Don’t forget that picture book publishers need you, too.

You may submit electronic submissions through Submittable. If you are including images–no more than one total file–please make sure to save and upload them in a .pdf format.

You may send your hard copy submission to:
Editor
Scarletta
1201 Currie Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with any hard copy submissions to receive our response.

Special Instructions from Scarletta Publishers
*Please do not send submissions directly to any of our staff members.
**Note that due to the number of submissions we receive, we do not have the ability to notify authors of having received their submissions. While we understand that you may be anxiously awaiting a response to your submission, we ask that you do not send your manuscript more than once or send multiple inquiries about your submission’s status.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Artist opportunity, authors and illustrators, chapter books, Middle Grade Novels, need to know, opportunity, picture books, Places to Submit, publishers, submissions Tagged: Scarletta Press

3 Comments on Scarletta Press Submissions, last added: 12/15/2014
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4. Publishing Industry J.K. Rowlings

barbaraD

Todays illustration was submitted by Barbara DiLorenzo who was featured on Illustrator Saturday April 14, 2012. Barbara is an author/Illustrator and her first picture book titled Renato and the Lion will be released by Viking in 2016. Very Exciting. Congratulations, Barbara! www.barbaradilorenzo.com  

David Caruba sent me an note saying that PW reported that one of the publishers will be publishing J.K. Rowland’s commencement address at Harvard University in book form. He looked it up on the Interent and her speech is on You Tube (it’s posted in its entirety) and it’s really great. Funny, moving, shocking, sincere–everything that makes her a wonderful author. Thanks David for sharing your find.

 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Author, inspiration, success Tagged: Barbara DiLorenzo, David Caruba, Harvard Commencement Address, J. K. Rowling

10 Comments on Publishing Industry J.K. Rowlings, last added: 12/16/2014
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5. Publishing Industry J.K. Rowlings

barbaraD

Todays illustration was submitted by Barbara DiLorenzo who was featured on Illustrator Saturday April 14, 2012. Barbara is an author/Illustrator and her first picture book titled Renato and the Lion will be released by Viking in 2016. Very Exciting. Congratulations, Barbara! www.barbaradilorenzo.com  

David Caruba sent me an note saying that PW reported that one of the publishers will be publishing J.K. Rowland’s commencement address at Harvard University in book form. He looked it up on the Interent and her speech is on You Tube (it’s posted in its entirety) and it’s really great. Funny, moving, shocking, sincere–everything that makes her a wonderful author. Thanks David for sharing your find.

 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Author, inspiration, success Tagged: Barbara DiLorenzo, David Caruba, Harvard Commencement Address, J. K. Rowling

0 Comments on Publishing Industry J.K. Rowlings as of 12/14/2014 9:48:00 PM
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6. Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday

Last Saturday I picked my favorite Illustrator Saturday Illustration from each illustrator who had been featured during the second half of this year. Even though I had picked my favorites from the first half on May 24th I still wanted to post the first half and added a new choice for each illustrator so there would be something new.

ELISABETH ALBA

albabattle-angel-final-s

albapiedpiper-b

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/illustrator-saturday-elisabeth-alba/

OMAR ARANDA

29

omarbedfall

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/illustrator-saturday-omar-aranda/

DENISE CLEMMENSEN

denisefoxes

denisecatintreecropped

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/illustrator-saturday-denise-clemmensen/

MIKE CRESSY

cressyBubbles02

cressyWhenTheSunWentDownSML

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/illustrator-saturday-mike-cressy/

MICHAEL DOOLING

michaelfossilcoverlast500

michaelfap_looking_glass_LG500

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/illustrator-saturday-michael-dooling/

CHRISTOPHER DENISE

christopherabbeysnow

christopherbearcropped

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/

ERIC FREEBERG

ericgoldilocks

ericsnowdog

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/illustrator-saturday-eric-freeberg/

MELANIE HOPE-GREENBERG

melaniehgQ14

melanie07

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/illustrator-saturday-melanie-hope-greenberg/

MICHELLE HENNINGER

michelleelvis

michellechoir_dvd_cover_paint_crop

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/illustrator-saturday-michelle-henninger/

CAROL HEYER

carolliberty

carolblackwingsback

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/illustrator-saturday-carol-heyer/

ALISON JAY

alisonfourfrogs

alisonflyingcropped

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/illustrator-saturday-alison-jay/

SUZANNE KAUFFMAN

suzanneNight%20Owl_p24

suzannewonder_girl_balloon_facebook500

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/illustrator-saturday-suzanne-kauffman/

KAREN LEE

karenleeSlider-Dead-Anyway

karenleeHFC What Is It_ final

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/illustrator-saturday-karen-lee/

DANA MARTIN

dana800aladdin

dana800sinbad

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/illustrator-saturday-dana-martin/

WENDY MARTIN

wendy05-2TristanIsoldeWendyMartincropped

wendyorch

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/illustrator-saturday-wendy-martin/

BOB MCMAHON

bobBrunos Bakery

bobSing Clap Praise

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/illustrator-saturday-bob-mcmahon/

ANA OCHOA

anafishing

anaducks

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/

LYN STONE

lynRumpletump-in-colour

lyncatdogfight

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/illustrator-saturday-lyn-stone/

JENNIFER THERMES

jenniferflying witch

jenniferwhipingwind

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/illustrator-saturday-jennifer-thermes/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, picture books Tagged: Best of Illustrator Saturday first half of 2014

5 Comments on Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday, last added: 12/15/2014
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7. Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday

Last Saturday I picked my favorite Illustrator Saturday Illustration from each illustrator who had been featured during the second half of this year. Even though I had picked my favorites from the first half on May 24th I still wanted to post the first half and added a new choice for each illustrator so there would be something new.

ELISABETH ALBA

albabattle-angel-final-s

albapiedpiper-b

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/illustrator-saturday-elisabeth-alba/

OMAR ARANDA

29

omarbedfall

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/illustrator-saturday-omar-aranda/

DENISE CLEMMENSEN

denisefoxes

denisecatintreecropped

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/illustrator-saturday-denise-clemmensen/

MIKE CRESSY

cressyBubbles02

cressyWhenTheSunWentDownSML

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/illustrator-saturday-mike-cressy/

MICHAEL DOOLING

michaelfossilcoverlast500

michaelfap_looking_glass_LG500

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/illustrator-saturday-michael-dooling/

CHRISTOPHER DENISE

christopherabbeysnow

christopherbearcropped

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/

ERIC FREEBERG

ericgoldilocks

ericsnowdog

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/illustrator-saturday-eric-freeberg/

MELANIE HOPE-GREENBERG

melaniehgQ14

melanie07

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/illustrator-saturday-melanie-hope-greenberg/

MICHELLE HENNINGER

michelleelvis

michellechoir_dvd_cover_paint_crop

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/illustrator-saturday-michelle-henninger/

CAROL HEYER

carolliberty

carolblackwingsback

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/illustrator-saturday-carol-heyer/

ALISON JAY

alisonfourfrogs

alisonflyingcropped

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/illustrator-saturday-alison-jay/

SUZANNE KAUFFMAN

suzanneNight%20Owl_p24

suzannewonder_girl_balloon_facebook500

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/illustrator-saturday-suzanne-kauffman/

KAREN LEE

karenleeSlider-Dead-Anyway

karenleeHFC What Is It_ final

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/illustrator-saturday-karen-lee/

DANA MARTIN

dana800aladdin

dana800sinbad

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/illustrator-saturday-dana-martin/

WENDY MARTIN

wendy05-2TristanIsoldeWendyMartincropped

wendyorch

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/illustrator-saturday-wendy-martin/

BOB MCMAHON

bobBrunos Bakery

bobSing Clap Praise

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/illustrator-saturday-bob-mcmahon/

ANA OCHOA

anafishing

anaducks

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/

LYN STONE

lynRumpletump-in-colour

lyncatdogfight

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/illustrator-saturday-lyn-stone/

JENNIFER THERMES

jenniferflying witch

jenniferwhipingwind

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/illustrator-saturday-jennifer-thermes/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, picture books Tagged: Best of Illustrator Saturday first half of 2014

0 Comments on Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday as of 12/14/2014 9:48:00 PM
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8. Free Fall Friday – Reviews and Kudos

DOG

Melissa Iwai is participating in an AdventChallenge2014 this month and she sent me this fun illustration from December 3rd. Thought it might give you ideas for decorating your best friend. Melissa was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Now her husband has something to tout about below.

gayle Krauss

After being read and
reviewed by Karen Haas
in New Jersey, Cherry Money Baby by John Cusick took at trip to Pennsylvania and visited Gail Krause.

Gail is  pictured on the left holding Cherry Money Baby taken on Thanksgiving day in the Poconos.

Isn’t it a great holiday picture?

After Gail read it she wrote a review on Amazon and Goodreads, then set Cherry off on a trip to visit someone in Louisville, Kentucky.

We’ll have to wait and see where Cherry ends up traveling after that.

DenisMarkellKate Sullivan at Delacorte Press has won two middle-grade novels by Denis Markell (Melissa Iwai’s husband) at auction. The first book, Click Here to Start (a Novel) , is pitched as The Westing Game for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. In it, young Ted Gerson inherits “all the treasure” to be found in his great-uncle’s old apartment – only to realize the flat is actually an in-person “escape the room” game and the reward for completing it could be extraordinary. Publication for Click Here to Start is set for summer 2016; the second book is untitled. Holly Root of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency sold world English right to both books.

chrisbehrensChris Behrens’ had good news. He received a letter from Barnes and Nobel’s Small Press Department in NYC saying they wanted to include his book, Savanna’s Treasure on their stores book shelves. I asked how this came about and he told me he had written a letter to B&N’s Small Press Department and sent them a book to review. I am sure this will help increase his sales.

Congratulations, Everyone!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: inspiration, Kudos, News Tagged: Barnes & Noble, Cherry Money Baby, Chris Behrens, Click Here to Start, Denise Markell, Gail Krause, Melissa Iwai, Savanna's Treasure

7 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Reviews and Kudos, last added: 12/13/2014
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9. Free Fall Friday – Reviews and Kudos

DOG

Melissa Iwai is participating in an AdventChallenge2014 this month and she sent me this fun illustration from December 3rd. Thought it might give you ideas for decorating your best friend. Melissa was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Now her husband has something to tout about below.

gayle Krauss

After being read and
reviewed by Karen Haas
in New Jersey, Cherry Money Baby by John Cusick took at trip to Pennsylvania and visited Gail Krause.

Gail is  pictured on the left holding Cherry Money Baby taken on Thanksgiving day in the Poconos.

Isn’t it a great holiday picture?

After Gail read it she wrote a review on Amazon and Goodreads, then set Cherry off on a trip to visit someone in Louisville, Kentucky.

We’ll have to wait and see where Cherry ends up traveling after that.

DenisMarkellKate Sullivan at Delacorte Press has won two middle-grade novels by Denis Markell (Melissa Iwai’s husband) at auction. The first book, Click Here to Start (a Novel) , is pitched as The Westing Game for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. In it, young Ted Gerson inherits “all the treasure” to be found in his great-uncle’s old apartment – only to realize the flat is actually an in-person “escape the room” game and the reward for completing it could be extraordinary. Publication for Click Here to Start is set for summer 2016; the second book is untitled. Holly Root of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency sold world English right to both books.

chrisbehrensChris Behrens’ had good news. He received a letter from Barnes and Nobel’s Small Press Department in NYC saying they wanted to include his book, Savanna’s Treasure on their stores book shelves. I asked how this came about and he told me he had written a letter to B&N’s Small Press Department and sent them a book to review. I am sure this will help increase his sales.

Congratulations, Everyone!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: inspiration, Kudos, News Tagged: Barnes & Noble, Cherry Money Baby, Chris Behrens, Click Here to Start, Denise Markell, Gail Krause, Melissa Iwai, Savanna's Treasure

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Reviews and Kudos as of 12/14/2014 9:48:00 PM
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10. 2015 Short Story Challenge

short Story banner

Carol MacAllister copied me on this contest, yesterday. I don’t usually bring you contests with more than a $10 entry fee, but this one sounds like fun, is giving feedback on all submissions, cash prizes, and has gotten a lot of buzz, so I thought I would let you know about it for you to decide.

The Short Story Challenge 2015 Early Entry Deadline is Today!

The 9th Annual Short Story Challenge is a creative writing competition open to writers around the world.  There are 3 rounds of competition.  In the 1st Round (January 16-24, 2015), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment.  They have 8 days to write an original story no longer than 2,500 words.  The top 5 in each heat advance to the 2nd Round (March 12-15, 2015) where they receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write a 2,000 word (maximum) short story.  Judges choose finalists to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 1,500 word (maximum) story in just 24 hours (April 24-25, 2015).  The top writers receive thousands in cash and prizes and feedback from the judges is provided for every entered story.  Sound like fun?  Make sure to register by the early entry deadline of December 11th before the entry fee goes up!

OFFICAL RULES and PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

EARLY ENTRY FEE: $45 – Get $5 off if you tweet or post on facebook
EARLY ENTRY DEADLINE: Today – December 11th.

SHORTSTORYDEADLINE

shortstoryfeedback

Click Here to Visit the Forums.

In addition to the cash prizes listed below, we will be announcing many more great prizes for the 2015 competition soon!

1st Place • USD$2,000 Cash

2nd Place • USD$750 Cash

3rd Place • USD$500 Cash

4th Place • USD$250 Cash

5th Place • USD$100 Cash

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Competition, Contest, inspiration, opportunity, Places to Submit, Win, writing Tagged: 2015 Short Story Contest, Cash Prizes, Story Feedback

0 Comments on 2015 Short Story Challenge as of 12/11/2014 3:50:00 AM
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11. 2015 Short Story Challenge

short Story banner

Carol MacAllister copied me on this contest, yesterday. I don’t usually bring you contests with more than a $10 entry fee, but this one sounds like fun, is giving feedback on all submissions, cash prizes, and has gotten a lot of buzz, so I thought I would let you know about it for you to decide.

The Short Story Challenge 2015 Early Entry Deadline is Today!

The 9th Annual Short Story Challenge is a creative writing competition open to writers around the world.  There are 3 rounds of competition.  In the 1st Round (January 16-24, 2015), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment.  They have 8 days to write an original story no longer than 2,500 words.  The top 5 in each heat advance to the 2nd Round (March 12-15, 2015) where they receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write a 2,000 word (maximum) short story.  Judges choose finalists to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 1,500 word (maximum) story in just 24 hours (April 24-25, 2015).  The top writers receive thousands in cash and prizes and feedback from the judges is provided for every entered story.  Sound like fun?  Make sure to register by the early entry deadline of December 11th before the entry fee goes up!

OFFICAL RULES and PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

EARLY ENTRY FEE: $45 – Get $5 off if you tweet or post on facebook
EARLY ENTRY DEADLINE: Today – December 11th.

SHORTSTORYDEADLINE

shortstoryfeedback

Click Here to Visit the Forums.

In addition to the cash prizes listed below, we will be announcing many more great prizes for the 2015 competition soon!

1st Place • USD$2,000 Cash

2nd Place • USD$750 Cash

3rd Place • USD$500 Cash

4th Place • USD$250 Cash

5th Place • USD$100 Cash

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Competition, Contest, inspiration, opportunity, Places to Submit, Win, writing Tagged: 2015 Short Story Contest, Cash Prizes, Story Feedback

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12. Jami Gold’s Writing Worksheets

Jami Picture 200 x 300Yvonne Ventresca (Pandemic author) sent me a note pointing out all the wonderful writing worksheets on Jami Gold’s Blog. I wanted to make sure I pointed out all the helpful information you can find, download, and use on her site.

Last week we talked about the Seven Point Story Structure System. You can find worksheets for other story structure systems to use on Jami’s site, too.

I particularly like the one below because you can use to see if each scene in your manuscript has what it takes when you revise.

Here is Jami Gold’s Elements of a Good Scene Worksheet from her blog:

jamigold elements of a scene

Use this link to download and print the spreadsheet out to use: http://jamigold.com/for-writers/worksheets-for-writers/ – Check it out!

Jami also does workshops:

Full Beat Sheet Basics OnDemand Workshop Information:

Beat sheets, long used by movie scriptwriters, can also help us create strong stories for our novels.
Don’t know what beat sheets are or how to use them?
Do you write by the seat of your pants and don’t want to plan your story in advance?

Never fear—learn the terminology, uses, and ways to adapt beat sheets to our writing methods. At the end of this class, students will have an overview of story structure and beat sheets:

  • Introduction to story arcs
  • Introduction to beats and terminology
  • Digging deeper to avoid formulaic clichés
  • Using beat sheets to find unnecessary scenes and pacing issues
  • How those who write by the seat of their pants can use beat sheets too

Click here for more information about Jami Gold’s Beat Sheet Basics OnDemand Workshop

A little bit about Jami: After escaping the corporate asylum by leaving a clone in her place, Jami Gold moved to Arizona and decided to become a writer, where she could put her talent for making up stuff to good use. Fortunately, her muse, an arrogant male who delights in causing her to sound as insane as possible, rewards her with unique and rich story ideas. Fueled by chocolate, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply. Just ask her family—and zombie cat.

Thank you Jami for sharing this with all of us.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Advice, Courses, How to, opportunity, reference, writing Tagged: Downloadable Writing Worksheets, Forms, Jami Gold, Yvonne Ventresca

10 Comments on Jami Gold’s Writing Worksheets, last added: 12/11/2014
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13. Jami Gold’s Writing Worksheets

Jami Picture 200 x 300Yvonne Ventresca (Pandemic author) sent me a note pointing out all the wonderful writing worksheets on Jami Gold’s Blog. I wanted to make sure I pointed out all the helpful information you can find, download, and use on her site.

Last week we talked about the Seven Point Story Structure System. You can find worksheets for other story structure systems to use on Jami’s site, too.

I particularly like the one below because you can use to see if each scene in your manuscript has what it takes when you revise.

Here is Jami Gold’s Elements of a Good Scene Worksheet from her blog:

jamigold elements of a scene

Use this link to download and print the spreadsheet out to use: http://jamigold.com/for-writers/worksheets-for-writers/ – Check it out!

Jami also does workshops:

Full Beat Sheet Basics OnDemand Workshop Information:

Beat sheets, long used by movie scriptwriters, can also help us create strong stories for our novels.
Don’t know what beat sheets are or how to use them?
Do you write by the seat of your pants and don’t want to plan your story in advance?

Never fear—learn the terminology, uses, and ways to adapt beat sheets to our writing methods. At the end of this class, students will have an overview of story structure and beat sheets:

  • Introduction to story arcs
  • Introduction to beats and terminology
  • Digging deeper to avoid formulaic clichés
  • Using beat sheets to find unnecessary scenes and pacing issues
  • How those who write by the seat of their pants can use beat sheets too

Click here for more information about Jami Gold’s Beat Sheet Basics OnDemand Workshop

A little bit about Jami: After escaping the corporate asylum by leaving a clone in her place, Jami Gold moved to Arizona and decided to become a writer, where she could put her talent for making up stuff to good use. Fortunately, her muse, an arrogant male who delights in causing her to sound as insane as possible, rewards her with unique and rich story ideas. Fueled by chocolate, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply. Just ask her family—and zombie cat.

Thank you Jami for sharing this with all of us.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Advice, Courses, How to, opportunity, reference, writing Tagged: Downloadable Writing Worksheets, Forms, Jami Gold, Yvonne Ventresca

0 Comments on Jami Gold’s Writing Worksheets as of 1/1/1900
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14. New Agent At The Bent Agency

thebentagency

Molly Ker Hawn

molly_ker_hawnMolly Ker Hawn represents authors who write for the young adult and middle grade market.

Her time in the children’s publishing industry has included editorial roles at Chronicle Books and Dial Books for Young Readers, early social media development for a major teen magazine, and serving as National Programs Director at the Children’s Book Council, the trade association of American children’s book publishers. She’s also been a bookseller, and a past board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People.

She lives in London and works with authors and publishers both in the U.K. and the U.S. She’s bounced back and forth from America to England since she was a teenager: She grew up in Northern California, lived for a time in the West Country, read English at Cambridge University, spent many years in New York City, and now lives a stone’s throw from the River Thames.

She’s looking for middle grade and young adult fiction that’s inventive, well-crafted, and rich with emotion. She is also interested in non-fiction for readers ages 8-18. “I like wit, but not snark; I prefer books that lean more toward literary than commercial, but of course, my perfect book neatly bridges the two. The books on my list all share a strong sense of authentic place, whether real or imaginary. Some of my favorite (non-client) authors are Ellen Raskin, Edward Ormondroyd, Margo Lanagan, Maureen Johnson, Jack Gantos, Jacqueline Woodson, Catherynne Valente, Chris Crutcher, Francesca Lia Block, Noel Streatfeild, Gene Luen Yang, and Susan Cooper. And in the non-children’s/YA pantheon, my favorites include Maeve Binchy, AS Byatt, Mollie Panter-Downes, Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury, Laurie Colwin, and Judith Krantz.”

If you’ve got a terrific story, well-told, Molly wants to read it.

Send me your smart, funny YA contemp romance, your clever literary MG, your upmarket YA horror.

Twitter: @mollykh

email: hawnqueries@thebentagency.com

Submission Guidelines:

Please do not send an exclusive query. Queries are meant to be shared with multiple agencies. The Bent Agency ONLY accepts email queries. If you send your query by postal mail, it will be recycled and not returned to you.

It is their goal to respond to every query. If you don’t receive a response within a month, please resend your query and indicate that you’re sending it again.

If the agent is interested in your work, she will respond with instructions for sending the rest of your material. If we do request material from you, we ask that you check back with us before accepting representation elsewhere.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Agent, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to Submit, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Molly Ker Hawn, No New Adlut, Represeants writers in US and UK, The Bent Agency

0 Comments on New Agent At The Bent Agency as of 12/9/2014 12:19:00 AM
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15. New Agent At The Bent Agency

thebentagency

Molly Ker Hawn

molly_ker_hawnMolly Ker Hawn represents authors who write for the young adult and middle grade market.

Her time in the children’s publishing industry has included editorial roles at Chronicle Books and Dial Books for Young Readers, early social media development for a major teen magazine, and serving as National Programs Director at the Children’s Book Council, the trade association of American children’s book publishers. She’s also been a bookseller, and a past board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People.

She lives in London and works with authors and publishers both in the U.K. and the U.S. She’s bounced back and forth from America to England since she was a teenager: She grew up in Northern California, lived for a time in the West Country, read English at Cambridge University, spent many years in New York City, and now lives a stone’s throw from the River Thames.

She’s looking for middle grade and young adult fiction that’s inventive, well-crafted, and rich with emotion. She is also interested in non-fiction for readers ages 8-18. “I like wit, but not snark; I prefer books that lean more toward literary than commercial, but of course, my perfect book neatly bridges the two. The books on my list all share a strong sense of authentic place, whether real or imaginary. Some of my favorite (non-client) authors are Ellen Raskin, Edward Ormondroyd, Margo Lanagan, Maureen Johnson, Jack Gantos, Jacqueline Woodson, Catherynne Valente, Chris Crutcher, Francesca Lia Block, Noel Streatfeild, Gene Luen Yang, and Susan Cooper. And in the non-children’s/YA pantheon, my favorites include Maeve Binchy, AS Byatt, Mollie Panter-Downes, Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury, Laurie Colwin, and Judith Krantz.”

If you’ve got a terrific story, well-told, Molly wants to read it.

Send me your smart, funny YA contemp romance, your clever literary MG, your upmarket YA horror.

Twitter: @mollykh

email: hawnqueries@thebentagency.com

Submission Guidelines:

Please do not send an exclusive query. Queries are meant to be shared with multiple agencies. The Bent Agency ONLY accepts email queries. If you send your query by postal mail, it will be recycled and not returned to you.

It is their goal to respond to every query. If you don’t receive a response within a month, please resend your query and indicate that you’re sending it again.

If the agent is interested in your work, she will respond with instructions for sending the rest of your material. If we do request material from you, we ask that you check back with us before accepting representation elsewhere.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Agent, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to Submit, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Molly Ker Hawn, No New Adlut, Represeants writers in US and UK, The Bent Agency

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16. H.M. Ward Says Kindle Unlimited Crushed Her Book Sales

2014HMWARDHOLLY-thumbAmazon’s real-time experiment with the livelihoods they have provided to their exclusive self-published KDP authors through Kindle Unlimited (KU) continues to draw concern on online forums. The most recent scrutiny stems from a post by bestselling author Holly (H.M.) Ward on Kindle Boards from the Friday after Thanksgiving, which continues to draw follow-up remarks.

Ward said that her Amazon income dropped substantially when she participated in Kindle Unlimited: “[I] had my serials in it for 60 days and lost approx 75% of my income [from KDP]. Thats counting borrows and bonuses. My sales dropped like a stone. The number of borrows was higher than sales. They didn’t compliment each other, as expected.” She added, “I planned on giving it 90 days, but I have a kid in the hospital for long term care and I noticed my spending was going to exceed my income–by a lot. I couldn’t wait and watch thing plummet further. I pulled my books. That was on Nov 1, & since then my net revenue has gone up. I’m now at 50% of where I was pre-KU. During the time I was in KU, I had 2 new releases. Neither performed vastly different than before. They actually earned far less (including borrows).”

Perhaps more resonant for self-published authors broadly, she wrote, “This model needs to be changed for it to work. Authors shouldn’t be paid lottery style.” (In the current system, Amazon decides, retroactively, how much money to allocate to authors for each KU borrow. The amount paid per borrow has been dropping since the program launched in late July.)

In follow-up comments, Ward added, “That’s why I posted this info. I assumed I was the only one. I thought I was too stupid to make KU work, but both months I was an ‘All Star’ so something just doesn’t work. Plus other heavy hitters starting talking, telling me a similar story. The model itself is flawed….I have 60+ books, lots of new titles, and if I’m at the top of the KU list for the entire 60 days I was enrolled and lost a LOT of money, then something is wrong with the model.” (By our own data, Ward has had 12 works appears on bestseller lists during 2014.) She also indicated the KU experience affected all of her titles at Amazon, even the ones that were not part of the subscription service, “because buyers changed into borrowers, who in turn did not spend money on my other titles.” And “Ditto on audio sales. They’ve vanished.”

A number of other authors joining the forum tell stories similar to Ward’s, though there are also authors who say that KU has increased their net earnings. One common belief is that the current KU economics favor short works — “KU has allowed for shorter works to steal marketshare from longer works, pushing them out of sales rankings, search result rankings, also boughts, top 100 lists, and overall visibility. You think I’m wrong? Go read any of the popular erotica forums, those writers are cleaning up like it’s 2012 again.”

Self Published authors. We need to keep our eyes open for more info on this subject.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: need to know, publishers, Publishing Industry Tagged: Amazon Kindle Unlimited, H. M. Ward, Self-Publishing

2 Comments on H.M. Ward Says Kindle Unlimited Crushed Her Book Sales, last added: 12/10/2014
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17. H.M. Ward Says Kindle Unlimited Crushed Her Book Sales

2014HMWARDHOLLY-thumbAmazon’s real-time experiment with the livelihoods they have provided to their exclusive self-published KDP authors through Kindle Unlimited (KU) continues to draw concern on online forums. The most recent scrutiny stems from a post by bestselling author Holly (H.M.) Ward on Kindle Boards from the Friday after Thanksgiving, which continues to draw follow-up remarks.

Ward said that her Amazon income dropped substantially when she participated in Kindle Unlimited: “[I] had my serials in it for 60 days and lost approx 75% of my income [from KDP]. Thats counting borrows and bonuses. My sales dropped like a stone. The number of borrows was higher than sales. They didn’t compliment each other, as expected.” She added, “I planned on giving it 90 days, but I have a kid in the hospital for long term care and I noticed my spending was going to exceed my income–by a lot. I couldn’t wait and watch thing plummet further. I pulled my books. That was on Nov 1, & since then my net revenue has gone up. I’m now at 50% of where I was pre-KU. During the time I was in KU, I had 2 new releases. Neither performed vastly different than before. They actually earned far less (including borrows).”

Perhaps more resonant for self-published authors broadly, she wrote, “This model needs to be changed for it to work. Authors shouldn’t be paid lottery style.” (In the current system, Amazon decides, retroactively, how much money to allocate to authors for each KU borrow. The amount paid per borrow has been dropping since the program launched in late July.)

In follow-up comments, Ward added, “That’s why I posted this info. I assumed I was the only one. I thought I was too stupid to make KU work, but both months I was an ‘All Star’ so something just doesn’t work. Plus other heavy hitters starting talking, telling me a similar story. The model itself is flawed….I have 60+ books, lots of new titles, and if I’m at the top of the KU list for the entire 60 days I was enrolled and lost a LOT of money, then something is wrong with the model.” (By our own data, Ward has had 12 works appears on bestseller lists during 2014.) She also indicated the KU experience affected all of her titles at Amazon, even the ones that were not part of the subscription service, “because buyers changed into borrowers, who in turn did not spend money on my other titles.” And “Ditto on audio sales. They’ve vanished.”

A number of other authors joining the forum tell stories similar to Ward’s, though there are also authors who say that KU has increased their net earnings. One common belief is that the current KU economics favor short works — “KU has allowed for shorter works to steal marketshare from longer works, pushing them out of sales rankings, search result rankings, also boughts, top 100 lists, and overall visibility. You think I’m wrong? Go read any of the popular erotica forums, those writers are cleaning up like it’s 2012 again.”

Self Published authors. We need to keep our eyes open for more info on this subject.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: need to know, publishers, Publishing Industry Tagged: Amazon Kindle Unlimited, H. M. Ward, Self-Publishing

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18. No Fee Short Story Writing Contest Seeking Boy Adventure

lidiasnow in the park

The snowy illustration above was sent in by Lidia Gurling-Mielcarek to help us celebrate this time of year that brings in the cold. Brrr! 

Lidia is an freelance illustrator from Poland. She works in traditional and digital medias and loves to create children’s illustrations.

Call for:

Kudos for Friday post

Holiday Illustrations (at least 500 pixels wide)

Christmas Poems

Hanukkah Poems

New Year Poems

Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com Put December Illustration or December Poem in subject area. Thanks!

Last week I pointed out that the 7 Point Story Structure System could work even with short Stories. Here is an opportunity to try it out with this no fee short story contest. Here are the details:

2014 NIGHTLIGHT READING WRITERS CONTEST

Nightlight Reading is requesting submissions for our 2014 Nightlight Readings Short Story Writers Contest that is geared to at-risk boys in the 10-12 year age group who often stop reading for pleasure.  Nightlight Reading’s goal is to fund and promote literature that appeals to boys and keeps them engaged and reading.

  • The 2014 CONTEST THEME is ADVENTURE.
  • The written piece should be considered a SHORT STORY with a MAXIMUM COUNT of 5,000 WORDS.

JUDGING
The 2014 contest entries will be pre-screened and read by a jury panel who may be scholars, librarians, teachers, and special guests who will decide on 10 semi-finalists.  Then, a jury of young readers selected from our target readers will read all 10 entries and vote on the winners.

PRIZES
Prizes will be awarded for First, Second, and Third Place as follows:

  • First Prize: $1,000 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
  • Second Prize: $500 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
  • Third Prize: $300 award plus certificate and publication of the story.

All award winners will be publicized nationally by Nightlight Reading.

OWNERSHIP
The authors will retain ownership of the stories, but Nightlight Reading will have the right to publish and distribute the story without compensation and in ways consistent with its mission for up to 2 years from the date of the awards are announced.

RULES
The Nightlight Reading Writers Contest is open to anyone who loves to write stories for boys, and may be a professional writer, student or budding writer.

Submissions must not have been previously published or won any other writing contest.  However, simultaneous submissions to other contests are acceptable.

DEADLINE
Deadline for submission for the 2014 contest is December 31, 2014.

Use this link to enter: http://www.nightlightreading.org/contest-entry-form/ Good luck!
Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Contests, opportunity, Places to Submit, Win, writing Tagged: Lidia Gurling-Mielcarek, Nightlight Reading, Publication, Short Story Writing Contest

1 Comments on No Fee Short Story Writing Contest Seeking Boy Adventure, last added: 12/7/2014
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19. YA Books for Adults and Adult Books for YA Lovers

As writers and illustrators the holiday season provides an opportunity to support the publishing industry by buying a few books as gifts for friends and family.

Goodreads announced their 2014 Readers Choice Awards. Click the picture below to review the nominees and the winners in all categories.

readerschoicegoodreads

Here are 25 YA books that Epic Reads suggests for Adults. How many have you read?

25books

Out of the books pictured above I have read 7 and have 4 bought and ready to be read.
AdultForYA-EpicReads

Out of the 25 Adult Books for Fans of YA I have read 4 and 3 are waiting to be read.
PopularBooksForTeens-HGLessonsSmall

From the books pictured above, I have read 23 and 12 are bought and waiting.

There are so many more wonderful books I have read this year. How many of these books did you read? Did you have a book that was your favorite? It doesn’t have to be pictured. I’d love you to share.

Oh, don’t forget the picture books: Each time you buy a picture book you support an illustrator and a writer with your purchase and the book you buy might be the book that puts a child on the path to enjoying books for the rest of their life.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, inspiration, list, Middle Grade Novels, picture books, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 Goodreads Best Books, Adult Book for YA Lovers, Goodreads, YA Books for Adults

0 Comments on YA Books for Adults and Adult Books for YA Lovers as of 12/4/2014 1:05:00 AM
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20. Free Fall Friday – What Does It Take?

joan_charles_holiday

This wonderful holiday inspired illustration was sent in by Joan Charles. She is an illustrator, writer, graphic designer. Her work can be found in gallery exhibitions, magazines, and books. She illustrated the award-winning middle grade adventures Lost in Lexicon and The Ice Castle, written by Pendred Noyce. http://www.joancharles.com

In the last few months I have been asked how someone gets on Writing and Illustrating to show off their work, get an interview, and market a book. Here are the things I consider:

1. Do I know you? Have I met you?

2. Do you follow my blog?

3. Do you leave comments?

4. Do you promote Writing and Illustrating on your website, facebook, or blog?

5. Have you tweeted, reblogged, facebooked or shared information posted on Writing and illustrating?

6. Have you ever been featured on Writing and Illustrating?

7. Have you ever written or shared any information on Writing and Illustrating that would help other writers or illustrators?

8. If you haven’t done any of the above, do you have something to share that the readers who be interested in hearing about?

9. Have you published a book? Is there anything interested in how it got published or something you did that would interest readers?

10. Are you willing to do a book give-a-way?

I can’t know everyone by meeting them in person, but I can get to know you by leaving a comments or following my blog. I have many friends that I hope to meet someday. If you are writing or illustrating a book, you should be looking for people like me who have a large amount of followers and start working to make a connection.

I’m happy for everyone who gets something published, wins a contest, gets an agent, or wins an award and will be happy to include you in a Kudos post. But if you fit into the first seven on the list, you are considered family and will always get your successes promoted on Writing and Illustrating.

Tips: You shouldn’t wait until your book is about to come out to start building connections. Start doing that right now. Think about what type of things you could share that would help other writers. Maybe you don’t feel like you have anything to share, but I bet you do if you think about it. Have you attended a workshop or conference? Have you read a book on how to write or illustrate? You may be revising a story and have an epiphany. Did you learn anything useful during a critique? Maybe you run into an agent or editor who shared knowledge that could be shared?  The substance of all these things could be used to write an interesting article. It would be a great way to get your name out there and be noticed.

Just remember when you want to promote yourself, you can’t look like that is all you are interested in doing.

Submissions: Send to Kathy.temean (at) gmail (dot) com. In subject area write, SUBMISSION ARTICLE FOR WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING. Introduce yourself, bio, and send me your article or express you interest in writing an article on…(subject and your idea).

I love when people have a topic they would like to write about that will help other writers and illustrators. If there is not enough meat to the article, I will give you some ideas or suggestions to pump it up. So write something interesting, helpful and start submitting your article to build your list of places and people who will help spread the words when success jumps in your path.

I am sure you have gone to blogs or signed up for newsletters that end up just talking about their book or books. If you haven’t you are lucky. I know I have and it is very disappointing. In fact that tactic could turn someone off and cause them not to buy anything with your name on it. So be careful.

Don’t get buried in only thinking about writing only for your own blog. If you get your article on another blog, you are getting access to a whole new group of people who might end up following your blog. Be smart. Even if you have ten published books, do not turn down someone with a large following saying things like, “I want people to come to my blog, not yours.” This is a statement from someone who doesn’t understand the importance of marketing and someone not savvy enough to see how getting exposure to thousands of new people could be a huge win.

Remember: I am not the only blog with a large following. There are many that could provide opportunities for you.

I am looking to do a Kudos post next week. Any good things happening out there? Let me know.

Call for Christmas Poems or Hanukkah Poems and or illustrations. Will be posting them later this month. Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com Put December Illustration or December Poem in subject area. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: authors and illustrators, inspiration, Marketing a book, need to know, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Call for Illustrations, Call for Poems, Joan Charles, Pendred Noyce, Submitting your article

12 Comments on Free Fall Friday – What Does It Take?, last added: 12/5/2014
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21. Free Fall Friday – What Does It Take?

joan_charles_holiday

This wonderful holiday inspired illustration was sent in by Joan Charles. She is an illustrator, writer, graphic designer. Her work can be found in gallery exhibitions, magazines, and books. She illustrated the award-winning middle grade adventures Lost in Lexicon and The Ice Castle, written by Pendred Noyce. http://www.joancharles.com

In the last few months I have been asked how someone gets on Writing and Illustrating to show off their work, get an interview, and market a book. Here are the things I consider:

1. Do I know you? Have I met you?

2. Do you follow my blog?

3. Do you leave comments?

4. Do you promote Writing and Illustrating on your website, facebook, or blog?

5. Have you tweeted, reblogged, facebooked or shared information posted on Writing and illustrating?

6. Have you ever been featured on Writing and Illustrating?

7. Have you ever written or shared any information on Writing and Illustrating that would help other writers or illustrators?

8. If you haven’t done any of the above, do you have something to share that the readers who be interested in hearing about?

9. Have you published a book? Is there anything interested in how it got published or something you did that would interest readers?

10. Are you willing to do a book give-a-way?

I can’t know everyone by meeting them in person, but I can get to know you by leaving a comments or following my blog. I have many friends that I hope to meet someday. If you are writing or illustrating a book, you should be looking for people like me who have a large amount of followers and start working to make a connection.

I’m happy for everyone who gets something published, wins a contest, gets an agent, or wins an award and will be happy to include you in a Kudos post. But if you fit into the first seven on the list, you are considered family and will always get your successes promoted on Writing and Illustrating.

Tips: You shouldn’t wait until your book is about to come out to start building connections. Start doing that right now. Think about what type of things you could share that would help other writers. Maybe you don’t feel like you have anything to share, but I bet you do if you think about it. Have you attended a workshop or conference? Have you read a book on how to write or illustrate? You may be revising a story and have an epiphany. Did you learn anything useful during a critique? Maybe you run into an agent or editor who shared knowledge that could be shared?  The substance of all these things could be used to write an interesting article. It would be a great way to get your name out there and be noticed.

Just remember when you want to promote yourself, you can’t look like that is all you are interested in doing.

Submissions: Send to Kathy.temean (at) gmail (dot) com. In subject area write, SUBMISSION ARTICLE FOR WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING. Introduce yourself, bio, and send me your article or express you interest in writing an article on…(subject and your idea).

I love when people have a topic they would like to write about that will help other writers and illustrators. If there is not enough meat to the article, I will give you some ideas or suggestions to pump it up. So write something interesting, helpful and start submitting your article to build your list of places and people who will help spread the words when success jumps in your path.

I am sure you have gone to blogs or signed up for newsletters that end up just talking about their book or books. If you haven’t you are lucky. I know I have and it is very disappointing. In fact that tactic could turn someone off and cause them not to buy anything with your name on it. So be careful.

Don’t get buried in only thinking about writing only for your own blog. If you get your article on another blog, you are getting access to a whole new group of people who might end up following your blog. Be smart. Even if you have ten published books, do not turn down someone with a large following saying things like, “I want people to come to my blog, not yours.” This is a statement from someone who doesn’t understand the importance of marketing and someone not savvy enough to see how getting exposure to thousands of new people could be a huge win.

Remember: I am not the only blog with a large following. There are many that could provide opportunities for you.

I am looking to do a Kudos post next week. Any good things happening out there? Let me know.

Call for Christmas Poems or Hanukkah Poems and or illustrations. Will be posting them later this month. Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com Put December Illustration or December Poem in subject area. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: authors and illustrators, inspiration, Marketing a book, need to know, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Call for Illustrations, Call for Poems, Joan Charles, Pendred Noyce, Submitting your article

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – What Does It Take? as of 12/5/2014 6:15:00 PM
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22. YA Books for Adults and Adult Books for YA Lovers

As writers and illustrators the holiday season provides an opportunity to support the publishing industry by buying a few books as gifts for friends and family.

Goodreads announced their 2014 Readers Choice Awards. Click the picture below to review the nominees and the winners in all categories.

readerschoicegoodreads

Here are 25 YA books that Epic Reads suggests for Adults. How many have you read?

25books

Out of the books pictured above I have read 7 and have 4 bought and ready to be read.
AdultForYA-EpicReads

Out of the 25 Adult Books for Fans of YA I have read 4 and 3 are waiting to be read.
PopularBooksForTeens-HGLessonsSmall

From the books pictured above, I have read 23 and 12 are bought and waiting.

There are so many more wonderful books I have read this year. How many of these books did you read? Did you have a book that was your favorite? It doesn’t have to be pictured. I’d love you to share.

Oh, don’t forget the picture books: Each time you buy a picture book you support an illustrator and a writer with your purchase and the book you buy might be the book that puts a child on the path to enjoying books for the rest of their life.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, inspiration, list, Middle Grade Novels, picture books, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 Goodreads Best Books, Adult Book for YA Lovers, Goodreads, YA Books for Adults

0 Comments on YA Books for Adults and Adult Books for YA Lovers as of 12/5/2014 6:15:00 PM
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23. Illustrator Saturday Favorites – Second Half of 2014

Every year I pick my favorite illustrations from the artists featured on Illustrator Saturday. It is not an easy task to decide. I am sure you probably would chose different illustrations. You can click on the link under each picture and give it a try. You might have been busy when an illustrator was featured. This post makes it easy for you to click over and see what you missed. If you were featured on Illustrator Saturday (since it started) please send me a new illustration and tell me what you have been up to since you were featured. It is a nice way to show off your talent. Put “Previous Illustrator Sat. Featured Illustrator” in the subject area.

Here are my favorite from the second half of 2014:

75503

Mehrdokht Amini: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/illustrator-saturday-mehrdokht-amini/

Netjets14_final

Craig Cameron: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/illustrator-saturday-craig-cameron/

rebeccacinderfloor

Rebecca Caridadhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/illustrator-saturday-rebecca-caridad/

marcelocircus

Marcelo Elizalde:  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/illustrator-saturday-marcelo-elizalde/

14promo1-original

Lisa Fields: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/illustrator-saturday-lisa-fields/

anna10

Anna Guillotte: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/illustrator-saturday-anna-guillotte/

davidexoticwoman

David Harrington: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/illustrator-saturday-david-harrington/

9781442467446_02_interior_480x480-75

Leeza Hernandez: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/illustrator-saturday-leeza-hernandez-3/

14923

David Hill: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/illustrator-saturday-david-hill-2/

sharonJune illokathy temean art

Sharon Lane Holm: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/illustrator-saturday-sharon-holm/

ines10 woman of cats

Ines Huai:  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/illustrator-saturday-ines-huai/  bearsled

Lita Judge: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/illustrator-saturday-lita-judge/

colleenriver of wishes9hair lowered a smidge3tdep5_6_14_3NO-WORDS

Colleen Kosinski: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/illustrator-saturday-colleen-kosinski/

maryhalloween

Mary Manning: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/illustrator-saturday-mary-manning/

3_36_3A

Gregory Manchess: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/illustrator-saturday-gregory-manchess/

robbear-sunshine-spring

Rob McClurkin: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/illustrator-saturday-rob-mcclurkan/

beaver copy copy Mike Moran:

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/illustrator-saturday-mike-moran/

Angela Padron illustrator intesive FINAL

Angela Padron:  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/illustrator-saturday-angela-padron/

andrejasleepingonroof

Andreja Peklar: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/illustrator-saturday-andreja-peklar/

72851

Maja Sereda: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/illustrator-saturday-maja-sereda/

paperhohninterior

David Small: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/illustrator-saturday-david-small/

masks850

Connie Steiner: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/illustrator-saturday-connie-steiner/

Sarolta_TradizioniPopolariFriulane_Blog

Sarolta Szulyovszky: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/illustrator-saturday-sarolta-szulyovszky/

575371_613048448713469_51855414_n

Laura Susan Thomas: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/illustrator-saturday-laura-susan-thomas/

46289

Sholto Walker: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/35367/

eskimo

Anne Wertheim: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/illustrator-saturday-anne-wertheim/

IMG_7604

Annie Wilkinson: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/illustrator-saturday-annie-wilkinson-2/

I am looking to do a Kudos post next week. Any good things happening out there? Let me know.

Call for Christmas Poems or Hanukkah Poems and or illustrations. Will be posting them later this month. Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com Put December Illustration or December Poem in subject area. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, opportunity, submissions Tagged: Illoustrator Saturday Favorites, Which is your favorite?

10 Comments on Illustrator Saturday Favorites – Second Half of 2014, last added: 12/6/2014
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24. Illustrator Saturday Favorites – Second Half of 2014

Every year I pick my favorite illustrations from the artists featured on Illustrator Saturday. It is not an easy task to decide. I am sure you probably would chose different illustrations. You can click on the link under each picture and give it a try. You might have been busy when an illustrator was featured. This post makes it easy for you to click over and see what you missed. If you were featured on Illustrator Saturday (since it started) please send me a new illustration and tell me what you have been up to since you were featured. It is a nice way to show off your talent. Put “Previous Illustrator Sat. Featured Illustrator” in the subject area.

Here are my favorite from the second half of 2014:

75503

Mehrdokht Amini: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/illustrator-saturday-mehrdokht-amini/

Netjets14_final

Craig Cameron: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/illustrator-saturday-craig-cameron/

rebeccacinderfloor

Rebecca Caridadhttps://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/illustrator-saturday-rebecca-caridad/

marcelocircus

Marcelo Elizalde:  https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/illustrator-saturday-marcelo-elizalde/

14promo1-original

Lisa Fields: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/illustrator-saturday-lisa-fields/

anna10

Anna Guillotte: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/illustrator-saturday-anna-guillotte/

davidexoticwoman

David Harrington: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/illustrator-saturday-david-harrington/

9781442467446_02_interior_480x480-75

Leeza Hernandez: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/illustrator-saturday-leeza-hernandez-3/

14923

David Hill: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/illustrator-saturday-david-hill-2/

sharonJune illokathy temean art

Sharon Lane Holm: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/illustrator-saturday-sharon-holm/

ines10 woman of cats

Ines Huai:  https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/illustrator-saturday-ines-huai/  bearsled

Lita Judge: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/illustrator-saturday-lita-judge/

colleenriver of wishes9hair lowered a smidge3tdep5_6_14_3NO-WORDS

Colleen Kosinski: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/illustrator-saturday-colleen-kosinski/

maryhalloween

Mary Manning: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/illustrator-saturday-mary-manning/

3_36_3A

Gregory Manchess: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/illustrator-saturday-gregory-manchess/

robbear-sunshine-spring

Rob McClurkin: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/illustrator-saturday-rob-mcclurkan/

beaver copy copy Mike Moran:

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/illustrator-saturday-mike-moran/

Angela Padron illustrator intesive FINAL

Angela Padron:  https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/illustrator-saturday-angela-padron/

andrejasleepingonroof

Andreja Peklar: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/illustrator-saturday-andreja-peklar/

72851

Maja Sereda: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/illustrator-saturday-maja-sereda/

paperhohninterior

David Small: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/illustrator-saturday-david-small/

masks850

Connie Steiner: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/illustrator-saturday-connie-steiner/

Sarolta_TradizioniPopolariFriulane_Blog

Sarolta Szulyovszky: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/illustrator-saturday-sarolta-szulyovszky/

575371_613048448713469_51855414_n

Laura Susan Thomas: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/illustrator-saturday-laura-susan-thomas/

46289

Sholto Walker: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/35367/

eskimo

Anne Wertheim: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/illustrator-saturday-anne-wertheim/

IMG_7604

Annie Wilkinson: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/illustrator-saturday-annie-wilkinson-2/

I am looking to do a Kudos post next week. Any good things happening out there? Let me know.

Call for Christmas Poems or Hanukkah Poems and or illustrations. Will be posting them later this month. Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com Put December Illustration or December Poem in subject area. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, opportunity, submissions Tagged: Illoustrator Saturday Favorites, Which is your favorite?

0 Comments on Illustrator Saturday Favorites – Second Half of 2014 as of 12/6/2014 4:15:00 PM
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25. No Fee Short Story Writing Contest Seeking Boy Adventure

lidiasnow in the park

The snowy illustration above was sent in by Lidia Gurling-Mielcarek to help us celebrate this time of year that brings in the cold. Brrr! 

Lidia is an freelance illustrator from Poland. She works in traditional and digital medias and loves to create children’s illustrations.

Call for:

Kudos for Friday post

Holiday Illustrations (at least 500 pixels wide)

Christmas Poems

Hanukkah Poems

New Year Poems

Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com Put December Illustration or December Poem in subject area. Thanks!

Last week I pointed out that the 7 Point Story Structure System could work even with short Stories. Here is an opportunity to try it out with this no fee short story contest. Here are the details:

2014 NIGHTLIGHT READING WRITERS CONTEST

Nightlight Reading is requesting submissions for our 2014 Nightlight Readings Short Story Writers Contest that is geared to at-risk boys in the 10-12 year age group who often stop reading for pleasure.  Nightlight Reading’s goal is to fund and promote literature that appeals to boys and keeps them engaged and reading.

  • The 2014 CONTEST THEME is ADVENTURE.
  • The written piece should be considered a SHORT STORY with a MAXIMUM COUNT of 5,000 WORDS.

JUDGING
The 2014 contest entries will be pre-screened and read by a jury panel who may be scholars, librarians, teachers, and special guests who will decide on 10 semi-finalists.  Then, a jury of young readers selected from our target readers will read all 10 entries and vote on the winners.

PRIZES
Prizes will be awarded for First, Second, and Third Place as follows:

  • First Prize: $1,000 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
  • Second Prize: $500 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
  • Third Prize: $300 award plus certificate and publication of the story.

All award winners will be publicized nationally by Nightlight Reading.

OWNERSHIP
The authors will retain ownership of the stories, but Nightlight Reading will have the right to publish and distribute the story without compensation and in ways consistent with its mission for up to 2 years from the date of the awards are announced.

RULES
The Nightlight Reading Writers Contest is open to anyone who loves to write stories for boys, and may be a professional writer, student or budding writer.

Submissions must not have been previously published or won any other writing contest.  However, simultaneous submissions to other contests are acceptable.

DEADLINE
Deadline for submission for the 2014 contest is December 31, 2014.

Use this link to enter: http://www.nightlightreading.org/contest-entry-form/ Good luck!
Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Contests, opportunity, Places to Submit, Win, writing Tagged: Lidia Gurling-Mielcarek, Nightlight Reading, Publication, Short Story Writing Contest

0 Comments on No Fee Short Story Writing Contest Seeking Boy Adventure as of 1/1/1900
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