Issue #123

Writers' Newsletter

June 2013  



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Amazon launches fan fiction platform

Amazon has launched a new publishing model for authors inspired to write fan fiction. The new model allows any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store, and earn up to a 35% royalty while doing so. Kindle Worlds stories will typically be priced between $0.99 and $3.99 and will be exclusive to Kindle. To learn more and get started writing, visit

Here’s what authors and licensors are saying about Kindle Worlds: 

  • “It’s actually a gift to be able to take someone else’s creation and see whether you can take it in a new direction. Watch every show; read every comic book. Honour the canon and honour the fans. There is a reason these stories have become so popular. And don’t feel restricted by the universe that has already been created. It reminds me a bit of writing a haiku or a sonnet. There are rules that must be followed, but within those rules, you can go anywhere. Your imagination is the only limit.” 

~ Carolyn Nash, writer in Archer & Armstrong 

  • “I believe Kindle Worlds has the potential to increase writership in much the same way the introduction of the Kindle expanded readership. I am thrilled for the Silo Saga to be a part of this program. It’s a natural fit because for the past year, talented authors have been exploring Silos of their own creation, and I look forward to reading more and to crafting some Worlds stories of my own.” 

~ Hugh Howey, World Licensor for the Silo Saga 

  • “I was intrigued by the opportunity to create something that absolutely had to fall inside a canon that someone else came up with. In one way, it was very freeing to do so. Because the universe itself exists, with all the richness of an already established background and history, I could get right into the meat of the story without having to explain everything to the readers. I did try to make it understandable and enjoyable to a newcomer to the world, however. But there’s a lot I worked to add that will hopefully tickle the fancy of the fans.”

~ L.J. McDonald, writer in The Vampire Diaries 

  • “It was great fun to play "What if?" and come up with scenarios that had ties to things that have happened on Vampire Diaries but which took things in a different direction or introduced new characters that could fit into the world of Mystic Falls. There’s probably not a writer fangirl alive who hasn’t fantasised about being able to write at least one episode of her favourite show, and I’m no different. While these stories aren’t show episodes, it’s still pretty darn cool to be able to write them with the idea of fellow fans reading them.” 

~ Trish Milburn, writer in The Vampire Diaries 


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The Kindle Worlds Store is now open with over 50 commissioned stories including: 

  • “Pretty Little Liars: Stained” by Barbra Annino 
  • The Vampire Diaries: The Arrival” by Lauren Barnholdt & Aaron Gorvine 
  • “Shadowman: Salvation Sally” by Tom King 
  • “The Foreworld Saga: The Qian” by Aric Davis 
  • “X-O Manowar: Noughts and Crosses” by Stuart Moore 

Amazon are calling for storytellers to join Kindle Worlds. Here’s how the self-service submission platform works: 

  • Choose Your World: Choose a World to write in and read the content guidelines. 
  • Sign Up and Submit: Sign in (or sign up) with your Amazon account and submit your work using our self-service submission platform. 
  • Review and Publish: Amazon Publishing will review your submission for compliance with the stated guidelines and we’ll publish your work once approved. Each sale of the Work will result in a royalty to the author. 
  • Promote and Track Your Work: Post publication, sign into Author Central to track progress on your work. 

“Today, we launch the Kindle Worlds Store and the platform that will enable any writer to benefit from writing in one of the Worlds we’ve licensed,” said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development and Publisher of Kindle Worlds. “We look forward to hearing feedback from readers and writers, and hope to learn and improve as time goes on.” 

Amazon Publishing has already secured licenses from: 

  • Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and The Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith 
  • Valiant Entertainment for Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman
  • Best-selling authors Hugh Howey for Silo Saga, Barry Eisler for his John Rain novels, Blake Crouch for his Wayward Pines Series, and the Foreworld Saga by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo and more 

Amazon Publishing is engaged with additional rights holders from different areas of entertainment – books, games, TV, movies and music – and looks forward to announcing future deals soon. To get started writing works in licensed properties and to view the submission guidelines and instructions, visit the Self-Service Submission Platform at For updates on licensed properties and to buy Kindle Worlds works, visit For regular updates on Kindle Worlds, follow @KindleWorlds on Twitter


Editor's pick: New publisher and magazine listings in June

The Editor's pick of new literary agent, publisher and magazine listings added to the databases in June:

New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Articles; Features; Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction;
Areas include: Beauty and Fashion; Entertainment; Finance; Gardening; Health; How-to; Humour; Lifestyle; Medicine; Short Stories; Technology; Travel;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Light

Publishes articles, features, and new fiction with a light, humorous touch. Send complete ms with SASE for return or response. See website for full details. 


New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction;
Areas include: Religious;
Markets: Adult

Publishes books which address Jewish evangelism; the Jewish roots of Christianity; Messianic Judaism; Israel; the Jewish People. Publishes mainly nonfiction, but some fiction. See website for full submission guidelines. 


New Literary Agency Listing

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction; Scripts;
Areas: Autobiography; Crime; Film; Mystery; Suspense; Thrillers; TV; Women's Interests;
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth;
Treatments: Literary

Send query by email only, with synopsis and first three chapters as Word or PDF attachments. See website for full submission guidelines. Film and TV scripts for established clients only. 


New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Adventure; Fantasy; Historical; Mystery;
Markets: Children's; Youth

This publisher is committed to expanding their picture book, chapter book, and middle-grade fiction lists. Particularly interested in engaging characters and American subjects. Send query by email with complete ms (picture books) or synopsis and two sample chapters in the body of the email. No attachments or links to websites. 


New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Arts; Culture; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Newfoundland and Labrador-based journal of arts and culture. Publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork. Submit to appropriate email address listed on website. 


New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Experimental; Literary; Niche

Publishes subversive fiction and nonfiction that challenges the consensus thinking. Also publishes graphic novels. Send query by email or by post - see website for full submission guidelines. 


New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Music;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Niche

Publishes fiction by or about musicians or music. Publishes very few titles a year. Send query by email or send complete ms by post with SASE for reply only. 


New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Adventure; Fantasy; Historical; Humour; Mystery; Religious; Romance; Sci-Fi; Short Stories; Spiritual; Sport; Westerns; Women's Interests;
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth;
Preferred styles: Contemporary; Literary; Mainstream

Open to all genres of fiction. No nonfiction or poetry. Send query by email, with marketing plan and first three chapters pasted into the body of the email. No attachments. See website for full guidelines. 


New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Horror; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult

Horror magazine focusing on monsters. Send query in first instance. 


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Articles from around the web this month

Reading and Writing

To be a writer, you also have to be a reader. All my life, since I first read Go Dog Go, I have been a reader. Over the years, I moved on to Little House on the Prairie then Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Once a reader, always a reader. During my twenties, I became a voracious reader. I lived in Boston, didn't own a car and took the subway to work. This was the period when I discovered John Irving, Ann Beattie, Louise Erdrich, Isabel Allende. The list goes on and on. I was once reprimanded by my boss for stepping off the elevator into the office, while simultaneously reading Lonesome Dove. Apparently, the work day began when those elevator doors slid open. For the next eight hours, I was not a reader, I was a number crunching accounting clerk.

It wasn't until recently that I became a writer... 


Writing and Fear 

It’s 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and I’ve just gotten my three boys to bed. I sit down at my desk with a cup of tea and open the draft of my new novel. There’s a hazy moon in the sky and the wind is howling outside my office window. I can hear the branches of the old maple tree creaking in the wind, thrashing against the house — the perfect dark and stormy night. 


Publishers circle the next big thing after Fifty Shades of Grey

London: A British writer whose debut novel about mothers at the school gate sparked a seven-way bidding war between publishers has attributed the overnight success of her book to striking a chord with women used to negotiating the politics of female groups.


Secret 'White Glove' deals between Amazon and the Literary Agents

It is my belief that almost all the innovations that Amazon has brought-to/forced-on the publishing and bookselling industries over the last couple of decades have eventually worked to the advantage of authors and readers.

I am quite sure if I were a publisher or a bookseller I would feel very differently about the rise of Amazon to virtual world dominance, but I'm not. As both an author and a reader I love the many ways in which they have enriched my life.

There have been rumblings recently of "mysterious and secret" deals being done between Amazon and some of the biggest and brightest literary agents...


HarperCollins Christian Publishing Forms New Gift Division

HarperCollins Christian Publishing has announced the formation of Zondervan Gift Books. The company stated, “This newly created team indicates Zondervan’s intention to place a strong focus on inspirational gift books, devotionals, and journals.” 


ICM Partners forms alliance with Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents

ICM Partners has struck an alliance with New York-based Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, in a deal designed to strengthen the talent agency's presence in the publishing world.,0,841537.story


BOOM! Goes Archaia - Publishers Merge Into Indie Comics Supergroup

BOOM! Studios and Archaia Comics are now one company, according to a report by Deadline. BOOM! comes out as the owner, and will continue to run Archaia as an imprint with its own branding. Archaia President and COO Jack Cummins will remain in his roles within the imprinte, a press release revealed.


Why Big Publishers Think Genre Fiction Like Sci-Fi Is the Future of E-Books

One of the biggest success stories in U.S. publishing in recent years has been the continued growth of digital book publishing. Last year, total revenue for e-book sales in the United States reached $3.04 billion, a 44.2% increase on 2011′s numbers and a figure all the more impressive when you realize that growth is additive to the print publishing industry. Even more surprising, publishers have focused much of their attention on genres like sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and romance fiction – markets that have traditionally lagged behind “literary fiction” in terms of sales.


Former Paramount “Book Whisperer” Patricia Burke Joins Gotham Lit Agency Lippincott Massie McQuilkin

Patricia Burke, long a champion of book-to-film adaptations as an executive at Columbia Pictures, Fox, Jaffe/Lansing and when she headed the Gotham office of Paramount Pictures, has joined the New York-based literary agency Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. Burke takes the post of Director of Dramatic Rights. She had most recently been with Inkwell Management.


Publishing consolidation continues: Hachette buys Hyperion

The publishing industry got a little smaller Friday when Hachette announced its plans to buy Hyperion, the adult imprint owned by the Walt Disney Co. Disney, under Disney Publishing Worldwide, will retain its children's books.,0,5803976.story



Endless story ideas are everywhere
By Marcella Simmons

A beautiful Spring morning awaits; you walk outside and sit on the bench in the garden, listening to the birds chirping from every tree. What are they chirping about? you sigh as they chipper-chatter away. Suddenly a beautiful red breasted robin lands on a tree limb close by and you watch it as it is watching an insect on a leaf – suddenly the little bird has snatched the bug in its beak and up and away it goes. Going to feed your babies? you ask as it flies away.

Birds are magnificent creatures. Everyday, you sit in this same garden and you listen to the birds as they tend to their young in nests hid in the trees in your garden. Have you ever considered bird watching as a hobby? Are you attracted to them in any way? How much do you know about the different species of birds? What kind live in your garden? Where do they go when it rains, sleets or snows? How do they build their nests and what are they made of? Endless questions such as these can lead to endless story ideas waiting to be cultivated by you, the writer.

You visit this garden every morning, weather permitting. Orson Scott Card couldn't have said it better than this: "Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any." A walk in the garden or the woods or even in the yard for a few minutes each day is a storehouse for stories and articles of all kinds – even poetry. Capturing the sounds and smells of a Spring morning is a juicy recipe for a nonfiction article on gardening or a setting for a lovely spring morning for your heroine in your fiction novel or short story.

Take a walk today – take a notebook and pen with you and sit and listen. Write down the things you hear, what you see, smell, and how the brisk cool spring morning leaves little prickles of chill bumps up and down your arms and legs. Remember – you are the only one in this garden and it's up to you to show your readers all these things – otherwise, your words are meaningless. Your words have to convey to the reader that you are there, or have been there – and know what you see, smell and feel.

Readers can see right through you – if you make something up that is not believable or real, then that's the moment they stop reading.

If you're in the kitchen, peel an orange – can you smell the freshness as it enters your mouth? How does it feel as you sink your teeth into the juicy centre of each slice? Peeling an orange and tasting it isn't much for generating ideas but suppose you wanted to make your own orange juice from real oranges? Can you tell how you would do that? And why? What is the difference in store bought and freshly squeezed?

As you "walk past those thousand story ideas every day", reach out and take five or six and turn them into an article, a story or even a poem. The world you live in is your storehouse of writing ideas. Make use of it...

About the Author
Marcella has been writing professionally since 1988 – with over 700 published credits in over 300 small press publications nationwide, including several local newspapers, she continues writing for several publications and websites such as this one. In 2005, her first book of poetry entitled
Bittersweet Morsels, was published.

Marcella is working on several romantic suspense book projects at this time. "Writing is a way of life for me. I couldn't imagine 'not' writing. One of my many passions is writing for children – some of my stories appeared in Primary Treasure, Christian Educator, The Vision and many others," Marcella said. "In 1991, I graduated from THE INSTITUTE OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: Writing for Children and Teens; WRITER'S DIGEST SCHOOL: Nonfiction Writing; and ICS School of Short Story/Journalism," she continued. "I enjoy writing and teaching others how to write".

Marcella leads the Toledo Bend American Christian Writers group in Logansport. She also publishes a magazine for writers called The Writer's Monthly Review. Marcella is a member of the American Christian Writers ACW, Shreveport Writer's Group and the Attoyac Writers’ Guild in Center, Texas.


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