Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life Lessons Essay Contest

Real Simple magazine has submission guidelines for their Life Lessons essay contest. They are looking for essays that depict the memories of the most important day of your life. The word limit max is 1500. The online submission deadline is September 9th and snailmail submissions must be postmark by September 9th and received by September 16th.

This comes with a big prize and the opportunity to be published in Real Simple magazine.

Get Writing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Defining a Cozy Mystery

I'm fighting it, but I'm about to give in. The couple of times I've pitched my novel, the agents have said, " Oh, a cozy. Tell me more." My throat constricts and my heads starts to throb. It's not a cozy, I want to yell. It's a blah, blah blah with a hint of romance. I'm not sure what the blah, blah blah is, plain old mystery, maybe. But instead I pitch the novel. And yes, when you boil it down, it is a cozy.

But when I think cozy, I think 90 year old granny with knitting needles living in a cottage in the English countryside. My protagonist might be having hot flashes, but she doesn't knit, she isn't a granny (yet) and she lives in a mansion--okay a really big house. The more I fight it, the more I know in my heart that it's a cozy. She is an amateur, she lives in a smallish town and she solves a crime. But hey, she doesn't own a cat. And today I stumbled onto a site with the definition of a cozy. Uncle (said with my arm twisted bethind my back.) I give in.

The Cozy Mystery List site is awesome. I hope, someday, my cozy series is proudly displayed on this site. But I love the fact that this site shows all my favorite cozy authors and the order in which their books were published. Plus, I found a whole lot more to choose from.

Check it out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm finding excuses for not writing today. Ummm, the weather is nice and my garden needs weeding. Or the bathtub needs scrubbing (Huh, I need to find an excuse not to clean the bathtub, so maybe I'll write.) Actually, I'm blaming my lack of writing today on C. Hope Clark. Do you hear me Ms. Clark. It's all your fault. My first Total Funds for Writers Newsletter appeared in my email today, so I've been reading it back and forth and forth and back.

She's offering a 1/2 price special for July, so I signed up. I know, I know Funds for Writers is free, so why would I PAY for Total Funds for Writers... because there is a lot more in it, and they are all paying markets, and it's well worth it. Check it out Total Funds for Writers. And hop to it because her 1/2 price special is only good until the end of July.

I have to tell you, I am hooked! I've found several markets that interest me, and it is easier than trolling the Internet looking for markets. Maybe instead of editing the novel, I'll try my hand at a few articles or essays. Nope that won't work. I have a goal to get that dang novel finished. I have readers waiting. But I'll set aside a little time each week to work on a few marketable pieces.

What is your favorite reason not to write? What do you do to motivate yourself? (My favorite motivator is chocolate. I'll write for chocolate.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Visit Missouri in April

Spring is a great season in Missouri. The dogwood and redbud are in bloom. And if you need another reason to come the Missouri Writers Guild holds a great conference every year.

The 94th Annual Missouri Writers Guild Conference will be held in Cape Girardeau, MO, Plans are underway, so watch their website as details unfold. The 2009 conference will be held April 3-4, 2009.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guide to Literary Agents

If you haven't checked out this Blog, run right over and do it now. Chuck Sambuchino, editor of Guide to Literary Agents blogs about finding the right agent to represent your work. He blogs about the good, the bad and the ugly, and he doesn't mind calling out the ugly ones. Plus, he does agency profiles and gives us the inside scoop with advice from agents.

I read a lot of agent blogs, and the one thing that keeps popping up is that we (writers) don't do our homework when we query them. HELLO, PEOPLE. Wake up! There are tons of resources to help us. Guide to Literary Agents is one of those resources. Also just about every agent who has a blog posts query guidelines. Not doing the homework before submitting is just plain lazy. But that's okay, the more awful queries the agents receive, the better mine will look. So go ahead and ignore Chuck's advice :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Debs Video Trailer

Susan McBride's new book The Debs debuts on August 26th. Take a peek at her Video Trailer on YouTube.

It looks to be a great read and I can't wait.

Susan will be the guest speaker at Saturday Writers in St. Peters, MO on August 30th. See Saturday Writers for details.

I'm already coveting an autographed copy of The Debs, and I don't even have it yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Looking for an agent?

Just had to share this VIDEO I found on YouTube. Thanks to Candy Gourlay and all the brilliant kids in the video. It kind of puts the search for publishing in perspective. Now, if I can just have the persistence of the writer in the film :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Synopsis Class

Online class: August 6-31, 2008

"Tips From Madison Avenue: The Selling Synopsis"

by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Registration $30 at WriterU

No wonder so many great novelists have a tough time writing a synopsis -- the two jobs require completely different skills! Advertising copywriters have discovered a variety of techniques that make people want to buy a specific product, whether it's a bike or a burger or a book. So this hands-on workshop teaches those same techniques, including:

* Finding your unique selling points
* Headlines (or openings) that grab a buyer
* Identifying your target market
* When details matter, and when they don't
* Brainstorming a creative plot strategy
* Highlights that sell your product
* Changing format, emphasis or both

An advertising copywriter for 25 years, Laurie Schnebly Campbell was amazed when she realized her day job made it easier to "sell" editors on her books. So far she's sold six to Silhouette, including one that beat out Nora Roberts for Best Special Edition of the Year, and loves sharing marketing techniques with people who DON'T work on Madison Avenue.

Saturday Writers Short Story Contest

7th Annual Saturday Writers

Short Story Contest 2008

DEADLINE: Postmarked by September 15, 2008

ENTRY FEE: $5 per entry, maximum of three entries. Submissions without entry fee or
inadequate fee will be discarded or returned to contestant if SASE is provided.

PRIZES: 1st Place $100
2nd Place $50
3rd Place $25
4th Place – 10th certificates

Click here for guidelines Short Story Contest

Top ten winners may be given the opportunity to have a story included (one time rights) in Saturday Writers’ literary anthology, published the following year.

Contest is open to everyone, both members of Saturday Writers and non-members. For a list of winners, check our website: Saturday Writers after October 31, 2008.

Decision of the judges is final. Not responsible for lost or misdirected entries. Winners will be announced in the Saturday Writers newsletter. Manuscripts will not be returned.

Visit Amazon to purchase our current Cuivre River Anthology.