Featured Blog Posts – March 2015 Archive (32)

The Art of Submission: How Do You Query Without Being Pushy (No, Really. How Do You?)

Here’s something I’ve been struggling with: there has been a significant lull in responses to my submissions lately.

It must be the time of year, right? Journals and magazines are slammed with the mid-submission-season accumulation, the stories piling up in their Submittable accounts as May…

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Added by Emily Lackey on March 31, 2015 at 7:00pm — 9 Comments

Writing About Your Life: It Doesn't Have To Be (And Sometimes Shouldn't Be) A Memoir

Everyone has heard the expression, "Write what you know." The real question is, write what you know...how? For some writers this isn't a difficult question. If you are writing fantasy or historical fiction, you write what you know by drawing from your life experiences with love, loss, and conflict to give your…

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Added by Kamy Wicoff on March 31, 2015 at 10:00am — 18 Comments

Grammergency #9: The Mysterious Case of the Missing Comma

As tiny as a comma is, its impact as both a punctuation mark and a conversation piece is anything but insubstantial. Put two people who differ on the subject of Oxford commas in a room together, and blood may be spilled. Get a copy editor going about how many comma splices she sees in an average workweek, and she…

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Added by Annie Tucker on March 30, 2015 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Remember Why You Wrote Your Book in the First Place

Last fall my good friends Martha and Tanya had a "stoop sale," which is what we apartment-dwelling New Yorkers call a good old-fashioned garage sale. As the three of us were discussing how much to charge for a beaded purse and why no one had yet bought the wooden elephant, a kind older gentleman strolled by. He struck up a conversation about the stack of books Martha and Tanya were selling. He said his name was Leland William Howard and explained that he'd written a memoir about the 20 years…

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Added by Maria Murnane on March 30, 2015 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - The Realities of Being a Published Author by Kathleen Kaska

Kathleen Kaska is an award-winning mystery author. Her Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series is set in the 1950s and features the plucky "girl" reporter and sleuth of the…

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Added by Zetta Brown on March 24, 2015 at 7:30am — 4 Comments

5 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Being Carried in Bookstores

Having worked my entire career for small presses, I’ve received the “why isn’t my book in the bookstore?” e-mail many many times from authors. Most new authors assume their books are going to be carried in any brick-and-mortar store they go into; savvier authors who’ve been around the block a few…

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Added by Brooke Warner on March 23, 2015 at 10:00pm — 23 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] All in Her Head: A Novel

After years of going back and forth and second-guessing about sharing my story, I made a decision to tell my story as fiction based on a true story.

During the birth of my daughter I experienced something I didn't know was possible. I had an orgasmic labor, then during the examination my mind broke and I…

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Added by Sunny Mera on March 23, 2015 at 5:30pm — 8 Comments

The Importance of Asking for Feedback

Requesting feedback is a valuable - and critical - element of the writing process. When it's positive, feedback can encourage you to keep going when you might otherwise lack momentum. On a more granular level, it can reveal what's strongest about your writing, which characters and storylines readers respond to the most, etc. All in all, it's a wonderful motivator in what can be an extremely lonely endeavor. 

Negative feedback, while sometimes (or perhaps always)…

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Added by Maria Murnane on March 23, 2015 at 2:00am — 15 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] A Chinese Artist Steps Out

The two biggest surprises that came from writing my memoir, Red Eggs and Good Luck, was announcing I was a visual artist to the world and sharing my Chinese heritage with others.

Prior to writing Red Eggs and Good Luck, I was a closet artist. My need to capture the world in images remained a secret until I met my husband, who was an artist. In his presence, I felt safe. At night, I would work alongside him as he finished his assignments. Sometimes my work turned out…

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Added by Angela Lam (Turpin) on March 22, 2015 at 11:30am — 6 Comments

[Breakfast with the Muse] The Way of the Scavenger

If you want to get the most out of life, discover joy no matter what your circumstances, and have an endless supply of ideas and inspiration for your writing, then I suggest you take up the ancient and powerful Way of the Scavenger.

Scavenging is a way of being, thinking, and living…

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Added by Jill Jepson on March 20, 2015 at 1:30pm — 7 Comments

[What's Next?] Twitter Tweet

I am terrible at Twitter. I find this ironic, because I’m part of an organization (this one! Hi She Writers!) that constantly speaks to the importance of author platform, having a digital platform, reaching your audience, etc. All of those things are, as we always say, extremely…

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Added by Caitlyn Levin on March 18, 2015 at 9:30am — 11 Comments

The Art of Submission: On Wanting It Too Much

When I was younger I used to steal things from my friends.

It wasn’t something I did for the usual reasons. Like, I never stole things because it felt dangerous or because I was seeking attention. I never wanted to get caught. In fact, it was the opposite: every time I would get…

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Added by Emily Lackey on March 17, 2015 at 6:30pm — 17 Comments

Grammergency #8: When Two Words Are Better Than One

It’s no secret that we live in a go-go-go world. I’m always trying to optimize my time and maximize my day-to-day productivity, which is why I like online shopping and my smartphone as much as the next person. But even in a culture that places a premium on speed and efficiency, some things just aren’t meant to be…

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Added by Annie Tucker on March 17, 2015 at 9:30am — 13 Comments

Tell Me Three Things (About Your Book).

In the first post I wrote for my author website blog, I decided to tell readers three things about three of the main themes in my book; first a quote from the book itself, then two more things on the same subject that are more general, link-tastic fun. (If you want to check out the format I used for…

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Added by Kamy Wicoff on March 17, 2015 at 5:30am — 36 Comments

[TIPS OF THE TRADE]: Lessons from an Overcoat: Reuse, Recycle

A Yiddish folksong I love gave me the theme for today’s post. (If you like, you can listen along as you…

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Added by Ellen Cassedy on March 16, 2015 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] How Poetry Found Me

It's interesting to me that I have a book of poems out this June. I've always been in love with writing, but I never set out to be a poet. I began writing seriously again after a self-induced hiatus that lasted about a decade. I had three children and little time. We had a horse farm and a big, big life. But my…

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Added by Mimi Zollars Sapparrart on March 16, 2015 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

Punctuation Tip: How to Use "However"

Knowing which punctuation to use with the word "however" is tricky. However, it's important to get it correct, so here's a brief explanation. 

 

As demonstrated above, when "however" means "in spite of that" and appears at the beginning of a sentence, it is…

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Added by Maria Murnane on March 16, 2015 at 3:30am — 1 Comment

Top 5 Ways Authors Can Use Instagram

Now that we’ve covered Facebook, Twitter, and…

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Added by Janay Lampkin on March 13, 2015 at 1:30pm — 21 Comments

The 5 Reader-Hooking Features Every Author Website Needs

Too often a website is an afterthought for authors. Your passion is writing. Your drive is finishing that book. Once you have the solid product in hand, there are agents and publishers and bookstores (oh my!) to deal with.

While you may have a website, and you may even have decent features, understanding why you have the components you do and how they should be utilized on a regular basis can really help drive your success to the next…

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Added by Christelle Lujan on March 11, 2015 at 4:00pm — 10 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - How to Make a Trailer to Promote Your Writing by Soniah Kamal

We get so used to promoting with the written word. We're writers, after all. But it's nice to change things up with something more visual and dynamic.

Enter the book trailer.

A good book trailer is like going to the theater and seeing a movie trailer that leaves you counting the days until the…

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Added by Zetta Brown on March 10, 2015 at 7:30am — 13 Comments

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