Top Publishers of 2016

The Write Nook

A few weeks ago, Publisher’s Weekly came out with a ranking of America’s top 20 publishing houses for 2016. It’s no surprise who the top 5 were, but what’s really important is what came after.

The sixth and seventh publisher were both that of children’s books- Scholastic and Disney came in right under the ‘Big Five.’ It’s quite a refreshing thing to see. Children’s literature has always been a tough genre to crack because the audience is smaller, the interests change rapidly, and the surge of technology has threatened to turn some children away from reading and the love of books. Nevertheless, books sales for 2016 has proved that there is still so much to love about children’s publishing. For Disney, Star Wars and Rick Riordan books led the way.

tops publishers

Houghton and Workman come in next, showing us that non-fiction titles still have a big impact on our consumption market as…

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March/April 2017 Writing Contests

Thank you so much Rachel Poli for the March & April 2017 Writing Contests.

Rachel Poli

march-april-2017-writing-contestsMarch 2017

Genre: Poetry
Theme: Food
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: March 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10 for up 6 poems or $15 for up to 12 poems
Prize: First place – $500

Genre: Fiction and Nonfiction
Theme: None
Website: Narrative Magazine
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: First place – $2,500

Genre: Fiction
Theme: None
Website: Colorado Review
Deadline: March 14, 2017
Entry Fee: $15 – snail mail, $17 – online submission
Prize: First – $2,000

Genre: Fiction
Theme: None
Website: Fabula Press
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: First – $250

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: My Kind of America
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

April 2017

Genre: Fiction or poetry
Theme: None
Website:

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Not All Publishers are Equal

Steven Capps informs us with his article not all publishers are equal, which I think is an interesting and informative read, in particular for us ‘newbies’. Thanks Steven!

Steven Capps

I originally posted this in a Facebook group, but I liked the topic and wanted to expand on it here. If you’ve already seen it, I’m super sorry though like I said, I have added more content. Recently, I’ve had some writers asking whether a publisher is good or not. Ultimately, this decision is up to the writer looking to submit to them. We all have differing motivations and some simply just want to get published and nothing more while others want to make a career out of writing. This post is not going to talk about scam publishers (you can read my post about them here), but rather what seperates an okay publisher from a good publisher.

There are three requirements I look for when I am considering if a market is worthy of a submission. If they do not meet these then they are a waste of…

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…Author, Frank Westworth reveals some of the dangers lurking for we scribblers…

Seumas Gallacher publishes a guest post, written by wise, unique and gifted author Frank Westworth. Thank you Seumas and Frank to provide us with this article of warning!

Seumas Gallacher

…any seriousHarley-Davidson rider, who also writes great books and gets playing blues guitar, automatically commands my attention… Author friend, Frank Westworth, is no exception in that regard… have a read of his WURDS of wisdom…

Unsafe Spaces

Frank Westworth’s new crime-thriller, ‘The Redemption Of Charm’, arrives at the end of March. In the meanwhile he ponders a topical peril of political correctness…

Writers have a problem. Readers. OK, so writers have many problems, among them … readers. What do readers do which is a problem for writers? Surely they’ve paid their sixpence, bought the book, and everyone is happy. What can possibly go wrong? What goes wrong is that readers sometimes read the books they’ve bought. No no, do not doubt me, for I know this to be true. It gets worse. After reading some of the book some readers write to the writer – to the author…

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues—What Doesn’t Work and What Does

Are Prologues bad? Read in Kristen Lamb’s blog what she recommends. It’s another great post she published! Thank you Kristen.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We writers have a vast array of tools at our disposal to craft stories readers will love. But like any tool, it helps if we know how to use it properly. Theme is wonderful. It can keep us plunging a story’s depths for years when used correctly. Applied incorrectly? It just makes a story annoying and preachy.

Description! Love me some description! But pile on too much and we can render a story unreadable.

The same can be said of prologues. Now, before we get into this, I want to make it clear that certain genres lend themselves to prologues. But even then, we are wise to make sure the prologue is serving the story.

So, to prologue or not to prologue? That is the question.

The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially with agents. They generally hate them…

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Three Ways to HOOK a Reader & Never Let GO

Kristen Lamb published a post on how to hook a reader and never let go. Thanks for your excellent guidance, Kristen!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Randy Heinitz via Flickr Creative Commons. Image courtesy of Randy Heinitz via Flickr Creative Commons.

How do we sell our stories? That is the big question. It is the reason for craft classes and editing and cover design and agents and editors and all the time on social media. And while platforms and covers and algorithms do matter, there is one tried and true way to sell more books.

Write a great story.

And not just any story, but a story that hooks from the very beginning and only continues to hook deeper.

Think of great stories like concertina wire.

The danger of concertina wire is not just in one hook, but hundreds. And it isn’t even in the hundreds of hooks. It is the tension created by the coiled structureIf a person is snagged even a little, every effort to break free (turning a page for resolution) only traps the victim deeper in…

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6 Signs of Scam Publishers

Steven Capps gives us excellent advice on what to look for if we want to find out about whether our publisher is a scam. Thank you Steven. We appreciate your efforts!

Steven Capps

As a warning, I am writing the rough draft of this post on my IPhone while I do cardio at the gym (cue gym selfie below). I am trying to be more efficient and thought that this would be a good time to get in some writing.

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Earlier today, I was browsing Facebook and amid the swath of political drivel, I found an advertisement for a publisher looking for authors. Several red flags flickered almost immediately. Though this post is inspired by an actual publisher, I am going to omit their name because when I reached out to them, they deleted the content. It seemed like they were more of a naive kid rather than a malicious con-artist. Regardless, here are 6 Red Flags to be aware of when looking into a publisher.

Red Flags of Scam Publishers

1. Poor Marketing Design

It doesn’t take an award winning artist to…

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