"Good stories are not written. They are
Back in 2005, I started several romance
suspense novel projects that lay unfinished in file folders
until 2012. The rough drafts were anything but good, so
drudgingly, I tore the first manuscript apart, page by page,
paragraph by paragraph, word by word, until it was a much
better read than the first two rewrites. I sent it out via
email to ten different publishers, one being Harlequin
Romance. "This is the book that will make me famous," I
declared that day. Weeks passed, and rejection after
rejection poured in until eight publishers had declined.
Some weeks later, Harlequin finally rejected it and I gave
up hope. "I'm not cut out to be a book writer," I repeatedly
By then I figured it was over, so I
shoved the manuscript away in a file somewhere thinking it
wasn't fit to be published. A few days later, I received an
email from a
Itoh Press LLC requesting my permission to
publish my novel Anywhere But There. "What do I
have to lose?" I asked. "At least someone is willing to take
a chance on me." I emailed Carol back and told her to go
ahead with it, and let me know what I needed to do on this
Soon after (February 2012), I received a
contract via email. There would be no upfront royalties,
although I would get commission on each book sold. She
informed me that the ebook would be available at the
following locations: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble website,
Smashwords and through the publisher.
Since the book (at this point) had been
rewritten three times, and been turned down nine out of ten
times, I never signed the contract and didn't think it was
publishable material. The contract lay hidden, unsigned and
basically forgotten in a drawer of papers that some months
later I would toss in the trash. In April 2013, I was spring
cleaning and ran across the contract and emailed Carol
(Editor/Publisher) and asked if she was still interested in
the book. She emailed me a new contract which I did sign
immediately and emailed it back to her.
During this time, I started revising
(rewriting the entire book for the fourth time) because I
knew eventually she'd request it to be edited for final
preparations before publishing it, so once it was done, I
emailed it to her. The in-house editor assigned to my
manuscript emailed me a compliment saying, "Looks like you
hired a professional to edit your manuscript. Nice job. I
wish I could get all my manuscripts this clean. There are
only a few flaws. Proofing instructions follow."
With the final proofing, there were a
few paragraphs that had to be rewritten due to discrepancies
that I didn't catch in any of the rewrites, nor did the
in-house editor. One of my minor characters was seven years
old at one point but ended up being five in different places
throughout different chapters in the manuscript. When I made
the changes, several whole paragraphs at a time, it really
set my editor off because she had the proofs already set for
publishing in ebook format but had to change everything
because of my recent changes. She explained that I was only
to make a few minor changes not whole blocks of text or
paragraphs. I explained that my readers would catch the
discrepancies and I didn't want any bad reviews because Itoh
Press was publishing my next novel, Till Death Do Us
Part, tentatively in August 2014, and so on. So the
changes were made and my book Anywhere But There is
available now. After five complete rewrites, the final
version is born and ready for romance readers who like a
touch of suspense!
Phyllis Whitney couldn't have said it
better when she stated that "Good stories are not written.
They are rewritten". I wanted my book to be good and
pleasing, and because I am the author of this work of art, I
want it to be as error-free as possible. If I cramped
someone's style because of that, excuse me. If a company
represents me, I, in turn, want to produce a perfect
merchandise to put out there for my readers.
No author is perfect. I rewrote this
manuscript five times, proofed and revised it at least ten
times, and I guarantee there are still a few minor mistakes
somewhere in the book.
If you are working on a book, then don't
settle for less than perfect.
Revise and rewrite as many
times as possible to get the story right. But try not to
lose sight of what your novel is about. "Good stories are
not written. They are rewritten."
search over 1,600 other book publishers,
Inktears Flash Fiction
The Inktears Flash Fiction Competition
2014 is now open for entries. Entrants must be 18 or over,
and the closing date is July 31, 2014.
There are six prizes available:
All prize-winners will have their story
published to the InkTears Readership and their Bio published
on the InkTears website.
be 500 words or fewer in length, any theme.
Fees: one entry: £3.00 GBP; two entries: £5.00 GBP; three
entries: £6.50 GBP; four entries: £7.50 GBP.
Full results will be posted on the InkTears website by
November 10, 2014.
NB: stories may have
been previously published (in a magazine or online providing
the author still owns the copyright and there is no
exclusivity with the prior publication) or unpublished. Full
details can be found at:
For the details of over 50
other fiction contests,
New magazine seeks poetry
and critical writing
A new monthly poetry magazine,
Lunar Poetry, will begin publication in paper and
electronic formats on August 1, 2014. The magazine will
carry reviews of pamphlets, anthologies, full collections
and live events. Depending on demand, additional reviews
may also be published on the website:
Lunar Poetry aims to provide an inexpensive and
regular diet of poetry and criticism for both regular poetry
readers and those who find the contemporary poetry world
difficult to enter, due to financial or other considerations
(e.g. the difficulty of keeping track of a multitude of
little magazines with widely spaced or irregular publication
The magazine also aims to
emphasise the value of poetry; as such, any profit made by
the magazine will be divided between its contributors. The
magazine is looking for submissions of poetry and critical
For more information, go to
To search over 1,800 other
Competition for stories
In 2012, Inclusive Works organised an
international children's stories competition. The theme
was "New gender roles in the multicultural society". With
over 350 submitted stories from 33 countries and the
publication of three illustrated children's books the
competition was a success.
Inclusive Works is organising a new edition of this
competition. This year's theme is "Grandpa, grandma and I in
our multicultural society". Until August 31, 2014, everyone
can send in their stories for children aged 1–3 years or
4–6 years in either Dutch or English. For each age category,
the jury will select one winner. The winning stories will
be published as illustrated children's books in both
Dutch and English by Clavis.
The aim is to get as
many writers from different countries all over the world
to enter in the competition. For more information, go to
For the details of over 100
New website for sharing
and retelling stories
www.tellitmyway.org love the
idea of sharing stories with friends and peers. With our
non-profit website we invite those to share their take on
classic favourites, or any story at all. This creates
conversation and allows intellectual freedom for story
tellers to tell their twist on different stories.
Tell it my Way is e-storytelling on steroids. The bard at
the tree gone viral. Click "tell it my way" to the right of
any story title to retell the tale.
story chains grow!
Vote. Vote on any
story! One story, one vote.
the first contributor of a tale, your name will always be
shown with your story.
information, or to participate, go to
Write a teaser to win a
This is an opportunity for young
writers aged 14–18 to win a screenwriting holiday by
writing a teaser for a 5 minute film.
You don't need masses of experience, just a love of writing
and a great idea for a story.
to enter, simple to write and easy to upload; and you could
win a place on an amazing screenwriting holiday this summer,
where you will get to turn your ideas into a screenplay for
our next new film.
We're looking for
writers age 14–18, no experience necessary.
Just follow the simple steps below and enter your teaser to
show us how good you are.
Look at these examples of teaser pitches:
Europe, 1912. Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater enjoy a
secret and passionate romance after they meet on a ship
chartered toward New York. That ships happens to be the
Jessica Stein has met and
refused virtually every man in New York City.
time she looked for a woman. (Kissing Jessica Stein)
Northern England, 1984. Young Billy Elliot, the son of a
poor local miner, decides to start training for a career. In
ballet. (Billy Elliot)
own teaser for your new, original, 5 minute film. Your pitch
should be no more than 3 sentences long.
Enter the text and your email on
Write as many teasers as you like!
For more information go to
writers at firstwriter.com
Go to firstwriter.com
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