50 Writing Contests in December 2020 – No entry fees – Written by Erica Verrillo

Thanks so much Erica Verrillo about once again, informing us about the writing contest in December. We are very grateful for all your hard work.


on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

This December there are more than four dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $45,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

Get Full Details HERE

EVIL: Our Love-Hate Relationship With Mischief, Mayhem & Destruction – Written By Kristen Lamb…

Another great post by our favorite humorous educating blogger, Kristen Lamb. Thanks so much for all you teach us, Kristen!


Evil fascinates us, and has since the dawn of human consciousness. I continually emphasize that humans are story creatures, which is good news for writers, since we’re in the story business.

Though not all stories face off evil directly, all stories must include conflict to be considered a story. Conflict isn’t, per se, evil, but great storytellers paint with words and black is only the farthest extreme. Some stories might demand a LOT of black, but others will likely run along the spectrum of “evil.”

No, the department’s budget cuts that force your MC (Main Character) to lay off twenty hardworking people she cares about isn’t, per se, evil at work, but maybe it is. For your MC? It sure feels close to it in the moment. Especially when the cowards higher up force her to wield the ax hand out the pink slips…a week before Christmas.

Continue reading HERE

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet (yours or one you have borrowed)

Check out Sally’s Smorgasbord blog. She needs your help for a new Holiday Christmas challenge!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This year the Christmas party is going to be held over two weekends (or more posts if enough guests respond) .. 12th/13th and 19th/20th of December. The theme is our pets, past and present, who usually love the activities at Christmas, especially the extra treats going around at the time.

Most of us have photographs of our dogs, cats and other cuddly members of the family.(A Christmas theme would be great but not essential).. but if you don’t have any photographs of your own pets, then you can borrow one for the occasion…there are plenty of funny images of pets at Christmas on the web that are free to use. Or you might find a friend or family member willing to lend you one for the party.

There will be food and drink of course and a video or two and I will make sure to add your details including…

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A Word Count Guide for 18 Book Genres, Including Novels and Non-Fiction – Written By Blake Atwood

Thank you, Blake Atwood, for your guide to work counts for our work. I wrote a similar post, but I admit, my article only contained Short Story, Novelette, Novella and Novel… yours is far more detailed. We appreciate your information.


on The Write Life:

“My memoir is 270,000 words long.”

I heard these words during a breakout session I led at a local writers conference.

An editor friend of mine, Shayla Eaton with Curiouser Editing, was sitting in on the breakout. We gave each other knowing glances, and because I didn’t want to break this poor memoirist’s literary heart, I nodded at Shayla to take the lead.

As nicely but as directly as she could, she explained to the memoirist that a 270,000-word memoir was excessive. Even if she self-publishes, the cost per copy would be high, and few readers would slog through such a tome — particularly for someone who’s not famous.

And no agents or publishers would even look past that number.

The prose could be as fleet-footed as Fitzgerald’s. The life story could be as compelling as Lincoln’s. The platform could be as broad as Oprah’s. But no agent would get to know that because they’d see “Memoir: 270,000 words” and hit delete before reading any further.

So, how long should a memoir be?

For that matter, how long should any book be? How long is a novel? What’s the ideal book word count?

If you’re writing your first novel or any book, you’re probably asking these questions.

The short answer is: long enough to tell the story but short enough to consistently hold the reader’s interest.

The long answer is, well, longer.

Continue reading HERE

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! #Audiblegate and the Audiobook Return Fiasco – Written By David Kudler

Thank you, David Kudler, for all the information about the Audiobook Return Fiasco. We really appreciate it!


on The Book Designer:

Perhaps you have seen grumbling on social media and across the internet about #Audiblegate and Audible’s return policy. In case you haven’t been following the controversy, let me tell you what it’s about – and why all independent publishers should care.

What’s happening is that Audible, the dominant retailer of audiobooks in the US, has been actively encouraging their customers to return their audiobooks in exchange for newaudiobooks. The reader/listener gets a new book at no cost. No questions asked, regardless of how much of the first book they listened to (even if they finished it), up to a year after they purchased it. Sounds great, right?

The problem is that when the first book gets returned, the royalties earned by the narrator, producer, and author of that book get pulled back as well. So the listener gets to enjoy our work — but we don’t get paid.

Continue reading HERE

Tangled Tales – Now Over 200 Short Stories – Written By Juliette Kings

Today I found a great blog post on the ‘Vampire Maman’s blog: A list with 200 of her short stories! What an amazing list! She even added a few short stories from other authors (including mine) but that’s only a detail. Thanks so much, Juliette! I read so many of them. But I sure will find the one or the other to refresh my memory!


 

Short Stories from Vampire Maman

A good portion of the posts on Vampiremaman.com read like short stories, but the list here is of stand alone stories that don’t necessarily follow the tales of Juliette’s life with her husband, kids and assorted Vampire Mom adventures.

Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

You’ll find Vampire, parenting, Gothic romance, horror, humor, urban fantasy, science fiction, odd ditties, literary fiction, and other unique and unexpected tangled tales. This isn’t the complete list but it will keep you busy for a while. Keep checking back for more.

* Guest authors  

  1. Dancing on the Beach
  2. Morning in the Vineyard
  3. When You Grow Old
  4. A Man Should Have What He Wants
  5. Ode to a Greek God
  6. The Alley
  7. Off to See the Wizard
  8. Baker Beach
  9. The Necklace (My Christmas Necklace)
  10. The Travelers
  11. Captain Sandy and the Airship at the End of the World
  12. Perfection
  13. The Shadow of Fire
  14. Robert and the Key *
  15. Dark Politics
  16. Romance of the Needles

CONTINUE READING HERE

DISSSECTING A SCAM: THE LITERARY SCOUT IMPERSONATOR – Written By Victoria Strauss

On the ‘Writer Beware’ blog, I found a new warning from scams. Beware, new authors, and read carefully. These are dangerous. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Victoria!


 

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

I’ve written several posts about a fairly new phenomenon in the world of writing scams: scammers that falsely use the names of reputable publishing professionals, including literary agents and publishers, to lure writers into paying large amounts of money for worthless, substandard, and/or never-delivered services.
This time, I’m breaking down a very similar scam that, capitalizing on the pandemic-fueled popularity of Netflix and other streaming services (as well as the eternal writerly dream of having one’s book translated into film), is appropriating the name of Clare Richardson, Senior Scout for film and TV at the New York office of Maria B. Campbell Associates, to hoodwink writers in an unusually complicated–and expensive–scheme.
Here’s “Clare’s” initial approach:

CONTINUE READING HERE

How Authors Can Grow an Audience Before the Book Is Written – Written By Jenn Hanson-dePaula

Jenn Hanson-dePaula writes on ‘Mixtus Media’, her blog, that authors can grow an audience even before their book is written and published. I’m glad I was told that early enough. But many might not know it. Check out her article.


 

When I tell authors that they need to start growing their audience as soon as they start writing their book, they look at me like I’m crazy.

They often reply with, “How can I do that when I don’t even have a book?”

We often just associate marketing with selling our book. But we can’t just appear out of nowhere online and expect people to automatically buy our book. We have to introduce ourselves and lead people to know, like, and trust us and what we have to say.

Modern marketing is simply connecting with people who are interested in the same things that we are interested in. The keyword here is connection. And you don’t need a book to sell in order to do that.

When you can connect with someone as another human being who has similar interests, life experiences, struggles, and hobbies FIRST, they will be much more attentive and receptive to learning more about your book.

When you already have someone’s attention and they know, like, and trust you, your promotions will be much more productive and successful.

So how can authors do that? How can we begin to build an audience even before the book is finished? Here are seven tips to get you started.

CONTINUE READING HERE