Tackling a first draft can be a serious challenge! Here are six tips to help you power through and finish your draft–and maybe even have some fun too!
Here are my favorite of the 6:
Try again. Fail again. Fail better. –Worstward Ho by Samuel Beckett
Read all of the tips here:
There are just a couple of weeks left to submit your self-published books to this contest. The details are below.
4th year. Your self-published book can win up to $3,000 plus expert marketing services.
Please submit during February 15-June 30, 2018. Submit one or more self-published books in these categories:
- Mainstream/Literary Fiction
- Genre Fiction
- Creative Nonfiction & Memoir (definition)
- Poetry (new!)
- Children’s Picture Book (new!)
- One grand prize winner will receive $3,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $450 value)
- The top winner in each category will receive $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $150 value)
- One honorable mention in each category will receive $250
- We will publish online excerpts (1,000-6,000 words) from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges
Length limit: 150,000 words. You may submit a collection of short stories or essays as a single entry. No restrictions on age or country. No restriction on year of publication. All contestants receive a free PDF download of The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and free guides from BookBaby. Read about the winners of our third contest. The results of our fourth contest will be announced on February 15, 2019. Entry fee: $60 per book. Click the Submittable button below for full details.
Siskel Center offers grants to celebrate Black Harvest Film Fest
As y’all probably know, in addition to my own editing clients, I am a part of Carina Press’s freelance editorial team. Today (from 9am-9pm EST) Carina is holding its annual #CARINAPITCH .
Now, I’m still very green in legacy publishing, so bear with me here as I attempt to explain how this works.
Carina editors will read every #CARINAPITCH. If one of us is interested in your pitch, we will ❤ it. We will then DM you with our personal submission link. Trust me, more than one of us will like your pitch, so the choice is yours. Be sure to let us know about your idea and yourself through the use of hashtags such as #POC #OwnVoice #HR , etc.
Part of what makes #CARINAPITCH great is that every submission receieved as a part of this event will get personal feedback.
There is still time to share your best ideas with us.
One of the wonderous and comfort-zone busting parts of my new gig as a freelancer with Carina Press (oh yeah, I am now working with Carina Press to find amazing new voices) is moving from a social media lurker to a participant. Maybe one day I’ll become an influencer, but I won’t get ahead of myself.
Savvy Authors is hosting a pitch event starting today (2/14/18) and running thru Friday 2/16/18. Check out this terrific list of publishers and agents who are participating. Pitch to your favorites!
Check here for event details https://savvyauthors.com/blog/agents-editors-2018-sweetheart-pitchfest/
I’m looking for stories by and about people of color and other marginalized groups. Since I’m representing Carina Press at this event, these stories must have strong romantic elements.
Also, until 9pm EST, allthekissing.com is hosting #KissPitch 2018 on Twitter. If I like your pitch, please go to https://carinapress.com/blog/submission-guidelines/ and submit your query, synopsis, and first few chapters to my attention via Submittable.
Recently, I was approached by an emerging writer who opened her correspondence with something to the effect of: I don’t have money but I need a comprehensive editing package. My last editor was more interested in taking my money than fixing my book.
I can empathize with this writer: she’s hungry to get her product into the marketplace and believes her work experience qualifies her to be a NYT Bestseller. But, as most of us who have tried our hat at creative writing after careers in journalism, academia, technology, etc. have learned, writing fiction requires a different skillset.
Writers are fortunate to have resources available to help save costs while honing their craft. Through the Internet, we can take master-level courses in creative writing and storytelling, grammar, and all points in between at little to no cost. I have personally completed the Creative Writing Specialization through Coursera.org and found it to be one of the best learning experiences I’ve had to date. There are also local workshops hosted by writing groups and universities such as this one in my corner of the world: The Apprentices: Free Creative Writing Workshops at Northwestern University. On social media and apps like Meetup or Scribophile you can join face-to-face or virtual writing groups.
Also, there are literally oodles of books about writing available for free through your favorite eReader bookshop, and don’t get me started on the tens of thousands of titles on Kindle Unlimited alone! And, don’t forget about your library where you can rent ebooks and audiobooks as well.
All of these resources can help writers — newbies and veterans — gain a better command of their craft. This legwork is done so you can save time and money when you reach the editing stage of the publishing process.
As an editor, I hope you’ve used your time wisely and sought advice from early readers and writing partners. I don’t like to have been the only other voice at this stage of the process.
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” Stephen King On Writing
What King means is, tell yourself the story in the first draft. Let it rest. Then collaborate to make your story more real through the help of trusted crit partners. Give your manuscript another thorough self-edit or two before handing it over to editors.
Also, check out this post about how to determine what kind of editor you need and how to combine services to save money without negatively affecting your manuscript. In the linked article are alternatives to costly editing tasks. Picking Editors: Can We Combine Steps…? Jami Gold has a terrific site chock-full of detailed guides and worksheets to help you tell your best story.
After you’ve done all that, give me a holler to discuss your publishing goals. firstname.lastname@example.org