The competition is seeking short
stories up to 3,000 words, and is open to stories on any subject
and in any style: literary fiction; genre; romance; horror;
science fiction; experimental – all are acceptable and will be
treated equally – the only criteria on which they will be
judged is the quality of the story and of the writing.
A lot of writers just don't get it. They think just
because they can type on a computer, they have what it takes to write a story.
The phrase "You know, I've always wanted to write a book" creeps into casual
conversation so frequently that it's easy to believe that such a feat can be
reasonably accomplished without any schooling whatsoever!
Of course it isn't true. And, while these tips
can be used by anyone interested in writing a story, they are aimed at writers
who have taken the time to educate themselves in the process of writing.
1. Use real dialogue. Unbelievable dialogue can
be the bane of intermediate writers. It's the easiest way to get stuck, and
oftentimes we find ourselves unwilling to use dialogue from the real world in
our fictional writing.
USE IT. Dialogue can make or break a story, and
if the reader doesn't believe it's happening, they won't be able to suspend
disbelief in any other aspect.
2. Use "he/she said" as your primary dialogue
tag. Don't use tags like "muttered" or "mumbled" or "spoke" or "hissed" or
"retorted" or anything else you found in the newest Writer's Digest. Stick with
"said" as often as possible, no matter what. If you find that the tags are
becoming redundant, try to give the character talking an action so you can cut
the tag out without confusing the reader.
3. Do your research. Even in the fictional world,
your characters will most likely abide by the laws of nature and thus will
interact with the world in a similar fashion. This means knowing exactly what
the name of that thing that hangs down in the back of your throat. Pick up a
psychology book. Pick up a literary theory book. Study how things work in our
world and apply them to your fictional world.
4. Highlight the originality of your work.
Sometimes this can be easy to forget, but the fact of the matter is this:
somehow, your work stands out. Even if you're writing the same old "hero" tale
that's been told a million times before, something about your story is a little
different. Highlight that. Make it stand out. Make the reader care.
5. READ. Read the great stuff and read the crap
and learn from it. Get a feel for what makes the great stuff great, and what
makes the crappy stuff crap. Not only that, you're supporting other writers who
will, in turn, support you. There's no point in publishing 100,000 books a year
if no one's going to read them.
About the author Ken Brosky's first novel, Grendel,
is now available through Amazon.com.
His short stories can also be found in World Audience and WTF
Magazine. Ken also provides editing help to other writers at www.FinalDraftLiterary.com
and is the editor-in-chief of Brew City Magazine.
Writers need to be creative. They also need to be business savvy, in order to
successfully publish, promote and sell their books. But one aspect that's
constantly overlooked for writers is Law. Legal matters, for writers. Dozens of
books tell you how to market your books, and twice that many show you how to
write them. But very few offer succinct, clear legal guidance like this book
does. And the wording is in plain English, too. The Law (in Plain English)
for Writers is a comprehensive yet easy to understand legal guide for
writers. The book's pages cover a large amount of publishing law and writing
The only criticism for this book is that too much space is spent on general
law, such as tax deductions and the First Amendement (Freedom of Speech and
Information). The book includes plenty of useful information on Royalties,
Rights and Contracts. Topics like these are enough for the book to constitute a
Writer's Guide. But this isn't meant to be a law guide, or a handbook on tax
deductions. Those issues are not pertinent enough to the subject to warrant such
vast attention. Indeed, it's the rest of the book that's worth paying most
Throughout The Law (in Plain English) for Writers, the authors discuss
topics that are very important to the success and legal survival of writers.
Royalties and Advances. Magazine and Book Contracts. Copyright and Permissions.
These sections are pertinent to the book's subject. And, to Duboff's and Krages'
credit, these topics are covered extensively in easy-to-read, organised
chapters. The information is well researched, simply written and customized to
fit a writer's needs.
Writers will learn new things about writerly freedoms, permissions and
copyrights in this book. They'll also learn about getting their advances and
royalties paid on time. Finally, readers of this book will learn to negotiate
contracts and thrive in the publishing world – both creatively and legally.
About the author Rocky Reichman is a writer and Editor and Publisher of the online literary
Magic. He is a Reviewer for the Midwest Book Review and MBR and TCM
Reviews. He has authored several articles and reviews, and his language columns
have appeared in many newsletters and publications. Visit his website at www.LiteraryMagic.com or
contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
uses English spelling conventions.
Spellings such as "realise"
differ from other spelling conventions
but are nonetheless correct.
Manuscripts from older writers sought Editor seeks essays and true stories up to 1,500 words from people in their upper-fifties and sixties; from stories about youth to the way life has changed and shaped your attitudes, to thoughts on the best novel you ever read or best music you ever heard.
Accepted writers will be paid a share of the profits. For more information contact Blythe Ayne, PhD, at
Bloom literary agency to close Marie O' Neill of the Bloom Literary Agency has announced that she will soon be closing the agency, due to ill health. The agency has already closed to new submissions and will be shut down completely when its outstanding projects have been completed.
Brazilian publisher seeks manuscripts Sao Paulo-based publishing house "Editora Trapézio" is seeking manuscripts in the areas of fiction, nonfiction, adventure, and true stories (no science fiction or art) from new writers or writers with no more than one book published, for potential publication in Brazil.
Website offers outlet for eBooks TheEbookSale.com
is a new website where authors can upload and sell their eBooks, and receive royalties of 60-70%. The site can be used by unpublished writers, or authors wanting to increase the earning power of books they have already published.