Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Contest Alert - Writers Digest Short Story Writing Competition

Got any short stories ready for the world? If so, check out this annual competition. This year's deadline is 12/1/09:

Writer's Digest 10th Annual Short Short Story Writing Competition

"Send us your best in 1,500 words or fewer. Enter the 10th Annual Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win BIG $$$$ - including the $3000 First Prize! Click here to enter or for additional information."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Contest Alert - Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Awards

For all of you independently published authors...

"ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors. ForeWord is the only review trade journal devoted exclusively to books from independent houses..."click here to read more

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Camping...Here I Come!

Today I head out to NH for the annual camping trip with the family. I am super excited for a chance to immerse myself in nature. Nothing beats the early morning sounds, waking-up to the the birds chirping as the sun rises.

We'll be pitching a tent and camping on the shore of a lake, so we've got some canoeing, fishing, and swimming planned.

I also love being the first to wake in the morning, putting on the coffee, and sitting down to write during the early hours. Sometimes the mist is just rising off the water. It's the best time to write for me. So, I'm lugging my manuscript and a notebook with me to get some quality early morning writing in.

So, needless to say, I will not have computer access. The blog will continue while I'm gone, watch each day for announcements on contests in several genres, but if you send me email or post comments they won't reach me until I get back.

So, have a fantastic week everyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Calling all Romance Writers - Quartet Press Seeks Its First Submissions

I wanted to pass this one. This was posted by Jason Boog on GalleyCat on Friday June 26. Sounds like an interesting submission opportunity for pieces with a strong romantic plot:

"The fledgling publisher Quartet Press is now accepting submissions for the debut launch of the digital imprint entitled, "Quench!"
The digital publisher was founded by Kassia Krozser of Booksquare.com; Kirk Biglione of Medialoper.com; book marketer Kat Meyer; and a silent partner. Submission guidelines can be found here. As TeleRead notes, the new books will be DRM-free, allowing writers to share books across platforms.
Here's more from the release: "Quartet Press is currently accepting queries for all genres of romance fiction, including erotic romance. We will also consider other genre fiction, provided the story contains a strong romantic plot thread. At this time, we are particularly interested in queries for erotic romance and romantic suspense ... Trends come and go, but good novels live forever. Focus on storytelling, character development, and solid plotting. We're interested in books that keep our readers up past their bedtime."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rise in Popularity for YA Genre Fiction

I've highlighted a few times on this blog the seeming rise in popularity for YA genre fiction. Well, I stumbled upon an article on the Futurismic Blog (it was mentioned on the PW Children's Bookshelf email). I think one of the strong points made in the piece is highlighted in the segment below:
"… young adult sales continue to rise even while book publishing is experiencing a significant decline. This is a mantra we heard over and over again during the massive YA genre fiction circle-jerk last year, and it’s always backed with the unvoiced assumption that only Young Adults read YA. I’ve worked in a library, and I can assure you that’s an observable falsehood; most genuinely popular YA is successful precisely because so many adult readers with an expendable income enjoy the same titles."

So it's a valid point, YA should have appeal not only for the YA market but for adult readers as well to increase a book's appeal and profitability.

To read the entire article, click on this link: Young Adult fiction: are we confusing marketing with markets?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Local Newspaper Contacted Me

So I got contacted yesterday by one of the local newspapers. It seems they received a copy of my press release and want to interview me for a story in the paper. Woo-hoo, that's exciting news...and a little scary too.

I asked the reporter if there's anything I need to prepare for the interview and she said there wasn't.

I've already got butterflies in my stomach, but it means more good publicity for my book, "Do You?" and that makes me very excited.

I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back to Revising!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I am excited because last night I was finally able to commit some time to revisions, something I haven't had the mental capacity to tackle in about a week. It felt good to get back to it.

So, in the spirit of getting back to a writing schedule again, I'm going to bring my big mound of papers I call a manuscript with me to lunch today, probably go to the local deli, and revise away on a counter seat for about 45 minutes. That's the plan - wish me luck!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Weekend of Movies Made From Books

What a great movie weekend - it gave me inspiration and a chance to really unwind.

I watched "A Wrinkle in Time". I'm reading the book by Madeleine L'Engle now, but saw the video in Blockbuster and had to pick it up. I can't believe I never read the book or saw the movie before now, where have I been? What a classic, very imaginative, and some parallels to my novel too.

I also rented another classic, "What Dreams May Come". I loved this movie when it first came out and loved it still this time around. What I didn't know is that the movie was made from a book written by Richard Matheson. Now I want to read the book too.

And the third was yet another movie made from a book. This one is called "Hogfather" written by Terry Pratchett. Very different, very "out-there", and yet it worked for me (and for my family too). After watching the video, it left me wondering about the creative process to create such an interesting story. I'm a writer but sometimes I stand in awe of other writers' creativity, and this one left me in awe.

So now, I'm super inspired, inspired by the stories of writers who have made such interesting and colorful stories that make me want to write stories just as interesting.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What a Week!

I am staring at this empty blog page and totally dumbfounded what to write. It's been one of those totally exhausting weeks. I just completed a huge project at work, one I didn't think would get completed in time. Lot's of stress, sleepless nights, and no remaining energy for anything else. I've posted a picture so you can see what has drained my creative juices all week.
But now that it's done, I'm hoping that I can recharge this weekend and get back to work (writing work that is). So on that note, I'm going to give myself a break this weekend from blogging. I'll post again on Monday.
Happy Weekend to all!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Am I Reading?

So I've been hopping between genres lately with my bedside reads. I've gone from Terry Goodkind ("Wizards First Rule") to Stephen King ("Cell") and now to Madeleine L'Engle ("A Wrinkle in Time"). After that I'm probably going to go to another Terry Goodkind, and then I'm heading to the bookstore to pick up some of the hot YA books talked about at BEA.

If you're like me, I never run out of good things to read, but rather run out of time to read the long list of books I want to read; and even less time now that I have a consistant writing schedule.

Hopefully there are still lots of people in the world who like to read as much as I do.

What's on your nightstand? Or in your beach bag?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Balancing Act: Writing vs. Responsibilities

I got quite a bit of writing done on Sunday, but then the last two days my writing time has amounted to little. Certainly not because I haven't been motivated, but more because my job has been so exhausting during the day that all I want to do is eat and sleep once I get home.

So here we are again, at the balancing act of responsibilities and writing, and unfortunately the responsibilities win-out again.

Well, hopefully I can put the projects to bed at work this week, and I can regain my writing time after that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Writing Tools - online links

I'm on a roll with writing resource links, here's a few more to add to your list:

YouWriteOn.com: The free website to help new writers develop, and to help talented writers get noticed and published.
Book Marketing Works: sign-up for the free bi-weekly ezine, each issue is jam-packed with marketing ideas.
Publishing Poynters: Book marketing ideas (use the link to see an issue)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Writing Tools - online links

Here are some fantastic writer resources and links to check out:

LitMatch - Literary Agent Directory
Red Room - a place for writers
Alvah's Books - book reviews, essays, author interviews
IndieBound - everything indie
Paris Pan Takes the Dare Launch Party - support the book, and see an example of great book launch ideas

Thanks Terin, thanks Beth for uncovering these great resources!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Press Releases Sent - Announcing Award NY Book Festival

I sent out copies of my press release yesterday announcing the award from The New York Book Festival. I've got my fingers crossed that one of the local newspapers will include the news in their publications. Every little bit of press helps to build credibility!

Today I'm off to a 20 year high school reunion meeting...wow-I can't believe it's been 20 years! Where did the time go. So I'm looking forward to seeing some friends I haven't seen in awhile and planning our reunion for August.

Have a great Saturday everyone.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Event - BooksNJ

For those of you in the New Jersey area, there's a great event coming up this Sunday in Paramus NJ called BooksNJ.

Here's the information about the event: Sunday, June 14th1pm - 5pm. Rain or Shine!@ Paramus Public Library, 116 East Century Road, Paramus, NJ 07652

Books, books, and more books. BooksNJ2009 brings together writers and readers (90 authors, illustrators, and poets up close and personal talking about their books and their craft!) Readings, panels, crafts for kids, and storytelling. The event is free and open to everyone. Please join us!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Contest Alert - 6 Word Story - Narrative Magazine

Another contest alert, and this is one that everyone should be able to squeeze in because it's only 6 words. Yep, a story in 6 words. I sent my entry in, maybe you can give it a try too.

Puzzler #8 - Six-word Story - Narrative Magazine

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Contest Alert - For Romance Writers

Calling all romance writers in search of a critique group. Lynnette Labelle is hosting a contest so you can show your stuff. Tell your friends! Hurry on over because the contest ends today at midnight.

For contest details go to: Chatterbox Chit Chat

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New York Book Festival

So, Friday I accepted an award at the New York Book Festival, and as promised I've got the recap below. It truly was an honor to have my work recognized at the event, and an even greater honor to be surrounded by such creative talent at the reception and awards ceremony.

First off, I met some fantastic people at the reception. Here's a picture of me with Terin Tashi Miller & K. Patrick Malone. They were both honored at the event with their books in the Fiction category: Terin Tashi Miller for From Where The Rivers Come and K. Patrick Malone for An Unfinished House (to be released in September).

Second, it was held at the Alonquin Hotel in New York City and for those of you not familiar with the hotel's rich literary history, here's a quick blurb from their website: "...In the early years, illustrious clients such as the Barrymores, William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford patronized the hotel and its eateries. The best known, perhaps, were the members of the Round Table -- who lunched daily at the The Algonquin's Rose Room for 10 years, beginning in 1919."

And here's a picture of me in front of the famous round table.

And third, After accepting the award I got the opportunity to hold the microphone and give a quick speech. What an unexpected thrill!

I was humbled to receive the honorable mention award in the Poetry category for my book Do You? and I hope it's a sign of great things to come.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Where the Magic Happens

So this is where most of the magic happens, although the last few weeks have found me revising my novel anywhere I can find a few minutes to pull out the manuscript.
Some of those out-of-my-norm spots include on the floor, in the truck (not while I'm driving mind you), at the corner eatery, coffeeshop, and even in my son's room. And when I don't have my manuscript with me, I'm fine tuning the storyline in my head.
There were a couple days last week that I couldn't get to sleep because the characters where haunting me in my sleep. One night I got up at 2am and worked until about 3:30am before finally being able to fall asleep.
But it's all good, although I will miss these characters when I move on to the next story, at least until the new ones root in my brain too.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

New Hot Children's Titles to Watch in 2009

And here are some more Children's Highlights from BEA for Fall 2009, some of which have already been mentioned but most I haven't mentioned yet on this blog.

There's too many to list on the blog, so wander on over to Publishers Weekly for their take on the up & coming titles to watch in the genre.

And as always, please chime in with news you've come across on titles to watch in other genres too!

Friday, June 05, 2009

YA BEA Book Buzz

As a YA writer, I want to know what's new in the YA market, so here's what was buzzing in YA at BEA. I'm going to be adding these titles to my "acquire & read" list.

Carlie Webber -- School Library Journal, 6/3/2009
“Wonderful new voices telling wonderful new stories” was how David Levithan of Scholastic described some of this coming fall’s hottest young adult titles. The six books highlighted at Book Expo America’s “YA Editors’ Buzz Panel” come from both new and established authors and cover a range of genres..." (click here to read more)
Anyone heard about other buzzed YA titles, and titles in other genres they can share with everyone here?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Agent Submission - Update

I got my first rejection letter from the material I submitted to agents from the agent pitch slam last week. It came as a form email, so there wasn't any useful feedback in it. I'm not too broken up because I would have guessed that if anyone rejected my material this agency would as they were less excited than the other three when requesting material.

So I'm still waiting on responses from 2 submissions, and I still need to submit my full MS to the final agent that had requested material.

I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Exciting News & Updates

I'm so happy I can hardly keep still in my seat...here's some news:

I just received news that my book Do You? received an Honorable Mention in the Poetry Category in the New York Book Festival. The reception and awards ceremony is going to be this Friday June 5 at the Algonquin Hotel, a famed literary landmark in midtown Manhattan and one-time home to the legendary Algonquin Round Table. So watch the blog over the weekend for an update on the event.

And my second bit of news is: My blog entries about the WD/BEA Writers Conference got referenced on the Writers Digest website. Thanks to trackle for uncovering this find! If you didn't get the chance to read the two blog entries about the event, click here and here.


Do You? is a collection of original poems and photographs (76 pages, 36 full-color photographs). It was a finalist in the 11th annual Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards, and a finalist in the New York Book Festival. You can learn more about Do You? by going to my website or to the publishers website.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Book Expo America (BEA) 2009

So I walked the Book Expo America show floor on Sunday. My husband came with me so we could both take in as much as possible. So let me first start by saying it was a bit overwhelming seeing SO many books in row after row after row. I can understand how a book (anyone's book) could get lost in the shuffle, and why just getting published is not the end of the work for an author, but just the beginning.

And at the same time, while it was overwhelming, it was also exciting. If SO many books got published, why can't my book get published. I mean honestly! It's just about getting it polished and finding people who are as excited about it as I am. It might take a few rejections (not too many I hope) but if it's a good story (and I believe it's a GREAT story) someone will believe in it.

Here's the official BEA blurb about the event and some links taken from their website:
The industry gathered at BEA 2009—the premier North American publishing event—to celebrate our passion for books, and to see and learn what was needed to survive today's changing industry and challenging economy. BEA showcased 500+ authors and hundreds of new titles on a Show floor filled with 1,500 exhibitors, the NEW Downtown Stage and Uptown Stage, and the ever popular BEA Autographing Area. The "Big Ideas at BEA" Conference and this year’s Global Market Forum: Books & Publishing in the Arab World illuminated the latest trend information. And the buzz of the book business was at an all-time high during dynamic Special Events. All of this, plus all of the rights business that was conducted at the largest North American International Rights Center.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Contest To Win a Copy of "Catching Fire"

Here's another amazing contest...your chance to win a copy of "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins on the Reviewer X Blog. Good Luck to all!

Watch for a quick review of what I saw at Book Expo America in tomorrow's blog.