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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: WOW! Women On Writing, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 9 of 9
1. Flash Fiction Contest with Prizes and Critiques!

You don't even have to be female to enter the WOW! Spring 2014 Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by WOW! Women on Writing--you just have to write your best 750 words or less and pay a ten dollar entry fee (additional ten dollars for critique).

I've entered several of their contests, placed and not placed, and I highly recommend not only the contest, but the website itself. When I started writing seriously in 2007, I discovered Wow! Women on Writing,and I felt I'd found friends, people to whom I could learn from and whose words encouraged me.

If you've never visited their site, you've got a lot of good stuff waiting for you. Check out current articles and contests, and don't forget to pore through the archives. This is the kind of website that makes you feel as though you are in the company of friends.

Good luck, and have a great day!

0 Comments on Flash Fiction Contest with Prizes and Critiques! as of 3/18/2014 1:41:00 PM
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2. Labrador Retrievers: How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend (Review and Giveaway)

I am a dog lover! Any of you, who know me in real life or have seen photos of mine on Facebook or even on this very blog, can tell I love being a dog mommy! So, when WOW! asked if any dog lovers would like to review the following book, I raised my hand. Although the book I am about to tell you about is for Lab owners or wannabe Lab owners, and I have a boxer, I’m still excited. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free e-book all about this popular breed. You do need to fill out the Rafflecopter form even if you comment or tweet about it–it won’t count unless you fill out the Rafflecopter form. The contest goes until August 16, 12:01 EST. If you have any questions or problems, please let me know!

This book is appropriate for my blog audience for two reasons: 1. I know there are a lot of parents and teachers/librarians who read my blog. You probably have children and a dog–often a lab since you have children–and this book will help you understand your dog, its breed, and how to care for it in the best way possible. This book will also help you (and it’s really short so it helps you fast!) decide if this is a good breed and fit for your family. (In my opinion, this is very important–find a breed that fits you and your family BEFORE purchasing a dog–if possible.) 2. If you have a student doing any research on a Labrador Retriever, this book will be very helpful! It’s short and to the point!

It begins with the history and overview of the Labrador. Although this is not really a practical chapter for a dog owner, the author, a vet named Lorie Huston, presents interesting facts in a clear, writing style, which again may help if preparing a report OR if you are trying to decide if the breed is for you.

Lorie Huston, DVM

Next comes a chapter all dog owners SHOULD read before purchase: “Choosing the Right Lab.” This chapter has a very valuable resource in it: a long list of reputable resources for pet adoption is included in the chapter. Then Chapter 3 talks about what all new owners have mixed feelings about: coming home! They are excited to bring their new puppies home; but if you are not prepared, disaster can occur! This book can help with the essentials. The rest of the book focuses on owning one of these fihe animals and even going for a vet visit. Anyone who is interested in owning a Labrador Retriever and leaving a comment or question for Lorie, please do. If you are looking for information on how to plan for a trip with a dog, use this book to help you, too! It’s a great resource for dog owners.

Don’t forget to enter the contest. Here’s the Rafflecopter form for the drawing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3. Celebrating WICKED GOOD People With WOW!

Today I’m participating in a mass blogging day! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about “Special People We Know and Love.” Why? We’re celebrating the release of Joanne Lewis’s and Amy Lewis Faircloth’s debut novel. Wicked Good (Telemachus Press, LLC, 2011) is about the unconditional love between a mother and her adopted, special needs (Asperger’s Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder) son and the adventure that brings them closer together. Visit The Muffin at http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/ to read what Joanne and Amy have to share about their special people and view the list of all my blogging buddies. Then be sure to visit http://www.amyandjoanne.com/ to learn more about the authors.

So who am I blogging about today then?

In keeping with the theme of this blog–education and helping women and children around the world, I thought I would take a minute to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, the organization Made By Survivors. Although many of my fellow bloggers will be blogging about special people in their lives–family members, friends, neighbors–and I sure have many of those–(I couldn’t do as much as I do without my husband and my parents! And I could go on and on about my wonderful daughter and stepson), I really want to share with you this wonderful site since the holidays are almost upon us.

Human trafficking and the sex slave industry is something I’ve written about many times on here ever since I went to the human trafficking information night at the U of I a couple years ago. Then I read a book about women’s issues in the world, and it changed my life. If you haven’t read the book Half the Sky yet, please put it on your list. It is a book that will make a huge difference in your life. What goes on around the world and in our own country with the abuse of young girls in brothels is horrifying, and Made By Survivors is doing something to help women and children who have been victims of this abuse. Here’s more info:

From their website (http://www.madebysurvivors.com): Made by Survivors is “the core program of Made By Survivors Network, a US based NGO that works internationally with survivors of slavery and human trafficking. Founded in 2005, our mission is to end slavery through economic empowerment and education, giving survivors and people at the highest risk the tools they need to build safe, independent, slavery-free lives. MBSN currently operates programs in six countries, with a concentration of programming in India and Nepal. We offer job training and fairly paid employment to survivors, and provide intensive business development support to our core programs and partners. We market and sell the survivors’ products in the US, and also assist them in finding other buyers.”

And here is another amazing thing about this organization: (from the website) “We currently sponsor 200 child survivors and children born into brothel communities to attend school for the first time. We lead volunteer trips to provide therapeutic arts and life skills workshops to survivors. We provide funding for medical and emergency needs, start-up capital for employment programs, and whenever possible, we fund projects to increase capacity at our partner shelters for rescuing and housing more survivors.”

I have bought the jewelry and notecards, and both are beautiful and make perfect presents for your loved ones. You can make someone happy and make a di

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4. Turn Your Love of Books Into a Writing Career

Many of you who read this blog may also be writers or aspiring children’s authors. Some of you may be interested in taking some online writing courses to learn an aspect of the writing business you didn’t know before. WOW! Women On Writing offers several online workshops in a variety of subjects from finding an agent to writing picture books and screenplays! You can check out all the listings here on the classroom page.

I am teaching five classes for WOW! Here’s the information:

This is the perfect class for someone who wants to start blogging or someone who has started and needs some oompf added to her/his blog. I’ve had students who knew nothing to students who had been blogging for years but had become uninspired.


    If you want to learn how to use the 3 social networking giants for marketing purposes and to get more exposure for you as a writer, then this class is for you.
  • Also if you are looking for some inspiration for your writing this summer instead of a class, I highly recommend this book, which I just love and look at from time to time: The Literary Ladies Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas. There’s more information about this book at this post on my blog.

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    5. Special Sunday: Social Networking Class for Writers

    I am happy to announce that I’m going to be teaching another class for WOW! Women On Writing. I am super excited about this class because it is about one of my new favorite loves–SOCIAL NETWORKING–and ways to use it as a writer. So, here are the details:


    START DATE: Monday, February 22, 2010

    DURATION: 4 weeks

    COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will teach writers how to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites such as Shelfari or Jacket Flap (students’ choice) to network; to build a following of fans; to start working on a brand/image; and to promote books, articles, magazines, and blogs. Instead of using Facebook and Twitter to write about your fabulous dinner or disastrous day at the grocery store, you will learn to sell yourself and your writing!


    Week One: Facebook: We will discuss how to use Facebook to promote yourself and your writing. We will talk about posting links to your work, using status updates to promote writing, joining Facebook groups for writers, and even starting a Fan page for yourself or your work.

    Assignment: Create a Facebook profile if you haven’t yet, complete your Facebook profile, make it scream writer!, join at least one writing group and become active!, and start promoting your writing with your Facebook page.

    Week Two: Twitter: My favorite marketing tool ever is Twitter. Twitter can be used in so many ways as a writer—to promote your work, to follow writers and editors who provide useful information, to find other writers for support, and to discuss writing. You will learn how to do all of this and more on Twitter. You will be introduced to two Twitter tools—Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, and you will register yourself with Twellow.

    Assignment: Create a Twitter profile if you haven’t yet. Make your Twitter profile scream writer! Start tweeting. Participate in a writers’ chat. Register with Twellow. Try out Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

    Week Three: LinkedIn: This week, we will talk about how to use LinkedIn as a writer. LinkedIn seems harder for people to figure out and use to market yourself, but there are ways through your status updates, by checking out your contacts’ contacts, by recommending others and having them recommend you, and by participating in LinkedIn groups.

    Assignments: Create a LinkedIn profile and/or complete yours. Make it scream writer! Join a few LinkedIn groups. Find more contacts. Check out your contacts’ contacts and link to them.

    Week Four: More Social Networking and Evaluation: The content in this week’s class will depend on the participants in the class. The instructor will do a survey to find out what people are most interested in learning about and trying out with guidance: Shelfari? JacketFlap? Digg? Students will also fill out a class evaluation.

    Assignments: Try out one or two of the social networks that classmates are most interested in. Fill out the class evaluation.

    Materials needed: a computer with Internet service, e-mail address, and ability to sign-up for free Google Account. You also must be willing to sign up for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts if you haven’t already.

    COST: $100, which will include four weeks of instruction on how to use social networking as an author and one critique for each student of a social networking profile page—student’s choice.

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    6. Special Saturday: Winner of Sensory Processing Disorder book

    The winner of Not Just Spirited by Chynna T. Laird is. . .


    Congratulations to Elyse! Enjoy this wonderful, hopeful, and inspirational memoir.

    If you or someone you know has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), then don’t miss Chynna’s interview on Wednesday. She provides several resources and lists for parents and teachers as well as books to read about children and SPD. If you didn’t win Not Just Spirited, you can order it right from that blog post.

    Thank you to everyone who read Chynna’s post and who left comments. It means a lot to both of us to know that we touched some people’s lives and provided information for a disorder that can be heartbreaking but improved with proper education!

    Thank you.

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    7. Tuesday Tales: Family Relationships Mass Blogging Day and Patricia Polacco books

    wow logoToday I’m participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We’re celebrating the release of Therese Walsh’s debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit “The Muffin” to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit Therese’s website to find out more about the author.

    therese walsh last will book cover

    I chose WOW!’s “Family Relationships Mass Blogging Day” to write about one of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators, Patricia Polacco. She has written and illustrated many picture books, including some of my favorites: My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother; Thank You, Mr. Falker; and Pink and Say.

    The reason I chose her for today is many of her picture books are based on true accounts of her childhood, and she does not try to mask these events behind some fictional characters. She includes herself and her family members, and the stories are touching, often bringing tears. The book I chose especially for today is Thunder Cake. If you have a child scared of storms, this is the perfect book for you. It will help you and your child share special moments as Patricia and her grandmother did when she was a child.

    Short, short summary: Thunder Cake is the story of how Patricia Polacco learned to conquer her fear of storms when she was a young girl. Her grandmother senses a storm is coming, and so she convinces Patricia to go outside and gather the ingredients they need to bake thunder cake. This includes eggs, tomatoes, and milk. While the cake is baking, Grandmother recaps what young Patricia did OUTSIDE as the storm was approaching, and she convinces her granddaughter that only a brave girl could do those things. Patricia agrees. This is one of the perfect family relationship books as it shows the heartwarming love between a grandma and her granddaughter, and it can help you as a parent (or even a teacher) with a child who has a fear of storms.

    So, what do I do with this book?

    1. Make a thunder cake with your students or you child. (If you are doing this with a classroom, you can also turn any cooking lesson into a math lesson–studying fractions, doubling recipes, and so on.)

    2. Ask students or your child to write (or make a list together) all the reasons why rain is a positive thing–why do we need rain? Why is this important? If children can see why rain is necessary and helpful, it might give them more positive feelings toward storms. When your child starts to become afraid during storms, draw pictures of the ways rain helps, create poems, or even make up a play or story with older children. This will distract them from the storm and promote positive feelings.

    3. Make noise with your child or students as a storm is approaching. Can you make your own thunder? Often children just don’t like loud noises they can not control, and this is why thunder scares them. Get out some pots, pans, and wooden spoons. Have a storm concert. Chant favorite poems and play music to drown out the outside sounds.

    Another super easy thing to do is just talk with your child about Patricia’s bravery and see what they think. Thanks for checking out my post today as part of WOW!’s mass blogging day!

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    8. Maniac Monday: On-Line Writing Courses

    by whiskymac www.flickr.com

    A squirrel is certainly a maniac–especially when a boxer puppy is chasing it up a tree. Happens in my yard all the time!

    On this Maniac Monday, I thought I would act a bit like a maniac myself and do some shameless plugging of an on-line writing course I am teaching for WOW! Women On Writing. I am going to put the very detailed description below (I am not sure if I need this much description; but as a maniac myself, I always want to know exactly what I am playing for when signing up for on-line writing courses.) So, here goes:

    If you are a mom or a teacher or a homeschool parent, then you may have thought about writing for children in your spare time (or in the time that you are supposed to actually be sleeping). I mean, Madonna does it; so does your neighbor and your fifth grade teacher who retired eons ago, so why not you? This on-line writing course below is one of the first steps you can take in learning what it takes to get published if you want to write for children. It focuses on children’s magazines, which can give you much needed practice and publishing credits when it comes time to send your book manuscript to agents and editors.


    WRITING FOR CHILDREN: Everything You Need to Know About Short Stories, Articles, and Fillers by Margo L. Dill

    START DATE: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    DURATION: 7 weeks

    COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will teach the basics of writing for children’s magazines, crafting short stories, nonfiction articles, poetry, and fillers. The student will come away with a short story and cover letter, nonfiction query letter, and a filler or poem. She will also have a list of potential markets, fitting her manuscripts. The instructor will also share an organizational tool for submissions and information on finding other children’s writers and networking.


    Week 1: Overview of writing for children’s magazines: We will discuss different types of manuscripts that magazines accept, how to read magazine guidelines, setting goals and expectations for the seven weeks, answering questions, and breaking myths about children’s writing.

    Assignment: Find three markets (and their guidelines) that you would be interested in submitting to and sharing them with the other members of the class through the Google group.

    Week 2: Crafting short stories: This week will focus on writing a short story for the children’s magazine market. You should have a market from week one’s assignment that will help you write a short story while having a market in mind. We will discuss creativity vs. marketing your story.

    Assignment: Write a short story for a children’s magazine.

    Week 3: Cover letters and submissions: Now you have a short story draft. You will learn this week how to write a cover letter for your short story; how to format your short story manuscript; and what to include in your submission package.

    Assignments: 1. Upload your short story to the Google group. 2. Critique (using the critique form the instructor provides) your partner’s short story. 3. Create a cover letter for your short story. 4. Revise your short story to turn in next week.

    Week 4: Nonfiction articles: This class will discuss writing nonfiction articles for children’s magazines, which are easier to sell to magazines. We will discuss possible topics, how to narrow and focus topics, ways to begin magazine articles, outlining, and researching topics.

    Assignments: 1. Upload your cover letter and short story to the Google group. 2. Come up with a topic or two for a nonfiction article that targets one of the markets from week one. Include your angle, beginning of article, and any sources you will use. Create a brief outline.

    Week 5: Query letters and submissions: Once you have your topic for a nonfiction article and a rough outline, you are ready to query a magazine to see if editors would be interested in the article. We will look at sample query letters and talk about the different parts of a query letter. We will also talk about what to include in your submission packages for a nonfiction query proposal.

    Assignment: Write a query letter to a children’s magazine.

    Week 6: Fillers and Poetry: Children’s magazines use a lot of recipes, activities, crafts, quizzes, puzzles, jokes, and poems. These are often called fillers, and they pay and provide clips! We will discuss these, some tricks to the trade, and how to submit them to magazines.

    Assignments: 1. Upload query letter to Google group. 2. Critique partner’s query letter. 3. Write a filler or a poem for your target magazine.

    Week 7: Tracking Submissions, Organization, Support and Networking for Children’s Writers: When you write for magazines, it is important to keep track of submissions, wait times, and rights. We will discuss different organizational systems. We will talk about what to do if you do not hear back from an editor after an acceptable amount of wait time. We will also discuss how to find support and networking opportunities for children’s writers from SCBWI to local groups to social networking.

    Assignment: Fill out the evaluation

    Materials needed: Most materials will be provided by the instructor. You will need: a computer with Internet service, e-mail address, and ability to sign-up for free Google Account and Word Hustler account (optional).

    **Writer’s Market or Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is helpful, but it is not necessary for the class. You can find similar information with a free Word Hustler account or with Internet search engines. Some libraries may have older editions that you can use for a reference.

    ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Margo Dill has written for children since she completed a course from the Institute of Children’s Literature nine years ago. Her children’s writing has won awards, including honorable mention in the annual Writer’s Digest contest. She has had articles, short stories, poetry, activities, and recipes accepted and published in various publications such as Fun for Kidz, Pockets, Cuivre River Anthology III, Characters, Highlights for Children, and Calliope: A Writer’s Workshop. She has taught children’s writing at the University YMCA in Champaign, IL. She has spoken to writing groups on subjects such as writing articles, networking, and short stories, and she is the children’s writing coordinator for Saturday Writers in St. Peters, MO.

    COST: $200, which includes access to a Google group, ability to upload work to Google group for discussion with instructor and other class members, a free first-page critique from the instructor and a free query or cover letter critique from instructor, private email discussions with instructor as needed.

    If you want to sign up for this on-line writing course, it’s easy through PayPal (scroll to the bottom of my class description for the button), or you can contact me with questions or registration information at margodll [at] aol [dot] com.

    WOW! offers a ton of on-line courses if a path to publishing children’s books is not what you are after. They offer on-line writing classes for very cheap rates on screenwriting (see you at the Oscars!), poetry, and short stories. Check out the classes WOW! offers here.

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    9. Blog Tour With Author Ann Whitford Paul


    Thank you for stopping by “Read These Books and Use Them” today. Author Ann Whitford Paul is with us today on her blog tour, and we have a real treat for you!

    **LEAVE A COMMENT below by Tuesday, June 30, 8:00 p.m. CST, for a chance to win either Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication or Word Builder, a picture book about words. Two winners will be drawn randomly. Winner number one will get the first pick of the book he or she wants.

    An interview with Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books and Word Builder:

    Margo: Hi Ann, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog today and share your knowledge with us. What made you want to write Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication?

    Ann: I was fortunate enough to be advised, tutored, and taught by two fantastic teachers who encouraged and prodded me to keep working. Without Myra Cohn Livingston and Sue Alexander, I might still be unpublished. When I finally had a few books published, I knew I wanted to pay back those talented and giving women by doing what they did–mentoring and teaching others. So I started teaching at UCLA Extension. One of my students, Molli Nickell, first brought up the idea of writing a book [about writing picture books], but I was terrified. My manuscripts were only 350 words long. Could I really write a book for adults that in the end turned out to be 350 manuscript pages? I put it off and put it off for several years until finally I willed myself to begin. Breaking the project into chapters made it much easier. I thought of each chapter as a picture book, and then I was able to proceed. Also I discovered that much of the material for my book already lived in my computer. Handouts and class lectures were adapted and revised to fit into the book. Isn’t it amazing how a project that seems so overwhelming can turn out not to be so once we begin?

    Margo: That is so true; and we all know it when we are busy procrastinating instead of writing, but we do it anyway. (laughs) Your book offers chapters on all sorts of topics for picture book writers from early story decisions to the structure of your story to what to do when your story is finally done! Out of all of the advice and tips in the book, what are the two things writers can start doing today to improve their picture book manuscripts?

    Ann: Yipes! Just two? I think my first suggestion would be to pay close attention to the language of your story. Picture books are meant to be read out loud. Therefore the words have to be able to flow off the tongue of the adult reader. They have to be written in such a manner that even an untrained actor can read them with expression. In addition, they must echo the action in the story. In my book, I spend several chapters talking about the sounds and rhythms of words and sentences. Quiet scenes need quieter words and leisurely sentences. High action scenes need hard words and short tight sentences. Work hard on the language of your story, and you’ll be one step ahead of most picture book writers.

    The second suggestion would be to fill your story with action. Action can be illustrated. Think of your picture book as a slide show with each page or spread giving the illustrator an opportunity for a new picture. Following up on this, I encourage every picture book writer to make a dummy of her book . . . a dummy is 32 pages (the usual length of a picture book) with your words pasted on each page where you think they would fall. This dummy is not to send to the publisher, but [it] is yours to make sure that you have good picture variety, strong page turns, and both tight openings and endings. I wouldn’t submit a manuscript without making a dummy.

    But my most important advice (I guess this is cheating because it’s number three) to any writer, whether picture books or adult novels, is not to try to imitate other writers. Dr. Seuss and J. K. Rowling are unique. Their books succeed because they were the first. Follow the stories that grab you, and have faith that your experiences and outlook will make your books unique and therefore maybe even best sellers.

    Margo: I’m glad you cheated and included three tips because all three are equally important. Let’s switch now and talk about your picture book that you have out called Word Builder. How can teachers use Word Builder in their classrooms? Would it be appropriate for all elementary grades?

    Ann: My friend Sandy Sandy Schuckett, a retired librarian, made up a worksheet for teachers to use in the classroom. I’m attaching it here [see the file link below for the worksheet], and it will be available when I update my website, www.annwhitfordpaul.com, soon.

    Many schools have units where students write books, and I would imagine that WORD BUILDER might take some of the fear of writing away from girls and boys. After all, writing is simply building words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. It’s as natural as piling blocks into a tower or walking forward along a line. One block and one step at a time. That’s how you get a story down. And once the story is down, then comes my favorite part—revision. I agree with Katherine Patterson when she said, “I love revisions. Where else in life can spilled milk be transformed into ice cream?” The hardest part of writing is the first draft, then comes the fun part—making a story the best it can be.

    Margo: Ann, such words of wisdom from you and Katherine Patterson. Teachers, make sure you download this two page resource for use with the book, Word Builder. It is excellent! worksheetwordbuilder.doc

    **Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for Ann for a chance to win one of her fantastic books!

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