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 Issue #133

Writers' Newsletter

April 2014  

   

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The formula for writing success

By Marcella Simmons

My dream to become a writer started many years ago when my children were little; the desire lay dormant long before that and I had no clue how to pursue my dream in those early years. I had no formal training and couldn't afford it anyway. I didn't own a typewriter or word processor and wouldn't have known how to use one if I had owned one. There was one thing I did for years before any training or equipment was available to me though; in spite of the things I didn't have... I kept a journal and wrote everyday using the tools at hand: pen and paper. Stories were penned in notebooks, and kept with my journal notebooks (stored in boxes in my closet for years), and are still packed away in storage today.

  

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These notebooks will never be used for anything except taking up space in my storage shed, but I keep them in spite of everything because they were the learning material that helped get me from point "a" to be point "b" in the beginning of my writing career. I wouldn't have got here had it not been for my determination to become a writer and the simple but essential material (pen and paper) needed to get me here. I used every resource available at the time and when new equipment became available I utilised every possible avenue afforded me to get here. And I wrote... and wrote... and wrote all the while.

My stories, poems and articles didn't always get published. In fact, I rarely ever got paid for my writing except in copies in the early years of my career. But that was payment in some small way – it was proof that I was writing and getting published. And proof that I was learning "how" to become a writer. My stories and articles weren't always that good, but over time some of those same stories or articles that were published and paid for in copies were rewritten and published elsewhere, and sometimes I would receive a small check for my work.

Talent, creativity and inspiration certainly go hand and hand, and are very important ingredients in the formula for success. These ingredients alone won't get you there unless you take the time to learn how to be a writer, how to market your material and gain the experience you learn through trial and error and hard work. Learning how to write and how to market our work are two important aspects that, as writers, we must learn. Success doesn't happen overnight.

If you decide to write a book, and want it published, but you don't want to search for a market for it, then there are other options like self-publishing or vanity publishing. In my opinion, taking the easy road out isn't the answer. This "key" won't open the door to success that the real learning experience "key" opens for you. Personally, I chose not to self-publish because I knew that through hard work and determination I'd eventually get my book in the hands of the right publisher. My first novel, Anywhere But There is available in ebook and print format through the publisher at Itoh Press LLC, and on Amazon and Smashwords, and the second novel Till Death Do Us Part will be available later this year.

If you're willing to take the time, and learn how to be a writer, the secret of success is already in your hands – the road to success is the road we choose for ourselves.

To search for a publisher, go to www.firstwriter.com/publishers

  

 

Editor's pick: New literary agent, publisher and magazine listings in April

New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews;
Areas include: Cookery; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and art, related to food. Send submissions by post with SAE in specific submission windows. See website for more details.

https://www.firstwriter.com/magazines/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1949

New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction;
Areas include: Autobiography; Culture; Current Affairs; Entertainment; Literature; Philosophy; Psychology; Self-Help; Short Stories; Women's Interests;
Markets: Adult; Family; Youth;
Preferred styles: Commercial; Literary; Mainstream; Niche; Popular; Positive

An American-based Publication Company, founded in 2014. Our goal is to bring quality literature to the public. Reading should be a passtime that not only informs the mind but stirs the spirit and inspires the heart. A good book is a treasured find. We want to provide you memories you will share.

https://www.firstwriter.com/publishers/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1952

New Literary Agency Listing

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction;
Areas: Adventure; Archaeology; Biography; Crime; Culture; Fantasy; Gothic; Historical; Sci-Fi; Sociology; Suspense; Thrillers;
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth;
Treatments: Commercial; Contemporary; Literary

Send submissions by email. See website for specific agent interests and contact details.

https://www.firstwriter.com/Agents/agents_details.cgi?RecordNumber=1114

New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews;
Areas include: Autobiography; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult; Literary

Publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, memoirs, book reviews, and author interviews. No fiction or poetry for young children, young adult, fantasy, romance, sci-fi, or horror. Send submissions by post with SASE and 25-75 word bio. No electronic submissions.

https://www.firstwriter.com/magazines/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1952  

New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Poetry; Scripts;
Areas include: Drama; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Literary

Publishes 1-2 chapbooks per year of various genres (poetry, prose, drama, etc.). Always open to proposals. Poetry chapbooks should consist of 18-30 poems with a connecting theme or notion; fiction chapbooks should be 32-72 pages and may be short story collections or one or two longer works. Send proposal by email or by post with SASE in first instance. See website for more details.

https://www.firstwriter.com/publishers/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1955

New Magazine Listing

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

Publishes poetry and fiction. Send 3-5 poems and brief bio, or fiction up to 5,000 words (can be collections of flash fiction or a single story), using online submission system only. $3 fee.

https://www.firstwriter.com/magazines/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1955

New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction;
Areas include: Adventure; Crime; Erotic; Fantasy; Historical; Horror; Mystery; Romance; Sci-Fi;
Markets: Adult; Youth

Publishes LesbianGayBiTransQueer general and genre fiction, and nonfiction. Accepts unsolicited mss by email with one-page synopsis. See website for full guidelines.

https://www.firstwriter.com/publishers/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1951

New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Culture; Fantasy; Historical; Horror; Sci-Fi;
Markets: Adult; Youth

Publishes vampire fiction and nonfiction.

Fiction should be full-length novels 75,000 to 150,000 words in length. No short story collections. Interested in dramatic fiction with a realistic tone. All work must be entirely the author's work (not using any elements of other, established worlds). No slayers, hunters, etc.

Nonfiction of 50,000 words to 150,000 words exploring vampires in folklore, cultural tradition, occult theory and as a modern social subgroup or counter-culture are also sought.

Accepts approaches by post or email. See website for full guidelines.

https://www.firstwriter.com/publishers/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1956

New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction;
Areas include: Short Stories;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Experimental; Literary; Traditional

Publishes the work of new or established writers and can include short stories of any length, reportage, essays or novel extracts from anywhere in the world. Allows space for stories of different styles and subjects to rub up against each other, featuring classic slice-of-life alongside the experimental, the shocking and strange. Submit by post with SAE and personal contact details, or by email.

https://www.firstwriter.com/magazines/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1956

New Publisher Listing

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

Publishes adult literary fiction and nonfiction. Send query with SAE, synopsis, and 50 double spaced pages.

https://www.firstwriter.com/publishers/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1957

New Publisher Listing

Publishes: Fiction;
Areas include: Romance;
Markets: Adult;
Preferred styles: Contemporary

Publishes contemporary romance. Submissions by email only - see website for full guidelines.

https://www.firstwriter.com/publishers/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1958

New Magazine Listing

Publishes: Fiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Fantasy; Horror; Sci-Fi; Short Stories;
Markets: Adult

Publishes Science Fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories up to 6,000 words and poems up to 50 lines. Accepts submissions by post and by email. See website for full guidelines.

https://www.firstwriter.com/magazines/details.cgi?RecordNumber=1959

This is just a small sample of the listings delivered to subscribers' inboxes this month. To start receiving your own daily updates, subscribe now at www.firstwriter.com/subscribe

 

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Articles from around the web this month

Report shows book sales held steady in 2013

Even with slowing momentum for e-books and no new blockbusters such as "Fifty Shades of Grey," publishing held its own last year. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2594500/Report-shows-book-sales-held-steady-2013.html#ixzz2xlZytZT2

Writing a Book with Friends

How exactly do three people write one book all while living in different places? With a lot of time. San Antonian James Dennis and friends Brent Douglas and John Terry Davis spent more than 20 years working on their first novel, trading off chapters mostly with the goal of making one another laugh. When it was finally finished, their first book, Thin Slice of Life, won the Writers’ League of Texas’ award for Best Mystery Manuscript before its publication. Their second endeavor, LaSalle’s Ghost, was published last year. In both novels, the authors bring a Gulf Coast flair to the crime thriller genre using an interesting blend of mystery and Texas-sized culture clashes. We sat down with Dennis before his Saturday appearance at the San Antonio Book Festival to find out what it’s like to write collaboratively.

http://www.sanantoniomag.com/SAM-Says/Spring-2014/Writing-a-Book-with-Friends

Tom Weldon: "Some say publishing is in trouble. They are completely wrong"

The indie booksellers are shutting up shop, authors struggle to make a living, and more than 60% of 18-to-30-year-olds would rather watch a DVD than get their nose in a book. But as the publishing world gathers at the annual London Book Fair this week, one of the UK's leading publishers thinks the notion of the book industry in crisis is just a cliched old story.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/06/london-book-fair-penguin-random-house-tom-weldon

 

Jessica Craig To Leave United Agents And Join Pontas As Literary Agent

The Pontas Literary & Film Agency, a Barcelona-based international agency representing authors from all over the world, is glad to announce that New Yorker and Londoner Jessica Craig will be joining the team on September 1st, 2014.

http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/53294

Indie Authors Seeking an Agent: Take Note! Q&A With Literary Agents Jeff Kleinman and Michelle Brower (Part II of III)

If you're an Indie author looking for an agent, take note! In this Part II of my interview with literary agents Jeff Kleinman and Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management, they open up about industry numbers that tend to grab their attention by sharing the importance of Amazon rankings, reviews, price points, and book sales.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/qa-with-literary-agents-j_b_5147606.html

 

Writing Sex Scenes for the Non-Genre Novelist

For mainstream, non-genre novelists, writing sex scenes into a story line poses some serious questions. Unlike pornography, which is intended to arouse sexual excitement, literary novelists are concerned with insight, revelation, pace and tone. They must consider whether any extended graphic portrayal of sex is indigenous to character and plot development, and not merely a distracting detour offering the reader an erotic impulse. It can also be a clear sign that the story is flagging and that the author needs to reach for a kind of artificial sweetener to jolt his reader alert.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-adler/writing-sex-scenes-for-th_b_5112979.html

Writing Your Memoir? Ignore These Rules

It's your story. It's your life. You can write it your way. You are the hero of your memoir, and you are in charge of how you present your life to your readers. Please write with passion and write with integrity.

Here are some usual writing guidelines that are not necessary for memoirists to follow.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roberta-temes-phd/writing-your-memoir-ignor_b_5186793.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books

Writers' Trust introduces new $25K Canadian poetry prize

The Writers' Trust of Canada has announced the creation of a new $25,000 annual award for poetry.

The Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Latner Family Foundation and administered by the Writers' Trust, will recognize a mid-career Canadian poet's "exceptional body of work" and "hope of future contributions to Canadian poetry," according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/04/writers-trust-introduces-new-25k-canadian-poetry-prize.html

What Compels an Agent to Sign an Author? Q&A With Literary Agents Jeff Kleinman and Michelle Brower (Part III of III)

In this Part III of the series from my interview with literary agents Jeff Kleinman and Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management; they continue to shed light on the industry by discussing what compels them to sign an author and how willing they are to edit.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/what-compells-an-agent-to_b_5199873.html

 

The science of writing SF

So you want to write sci-fi, eh? Some claim that creative writing cannot be taught, but it can certainly be learned. And a good guide, be it a teacher or a handbook, can help shave hundreds of hours from your learning process. Of course the best sci-fi is just great writing by any measure, so it behooves any young writer to look at the best guides for general fiction writers. But sci-fi writing brings its own special challenges, and has its own canon of teachings to help overcome them.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/apr/25/science-writing-sf-guides-pointers-creative

 

     

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