My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the tag “creative writing”

Submission window open for Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

Submissions are open from April 1 to May 31, 2019.

Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

“More than seventy short-story collections have appeared in the Flannery O’Connor Award series, which was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership. The first prize-winning book was published in 1983; the award has since become an important proving ground for writers and a showcase for the talent and promise that have brought about a resurgence in the short story as a genre.

Winners are selected through an annual competition that attracts as many as three hundred manuscripts. Submissions are open from April 1 to May 31 each year. Winners of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction include such widely read authors as Ha Jin, Antonya Nelson, Rita Ciresi, and Mary Hood.”

Roxane Gay is the series editor.

Submissions are open from April 1 to May 31, 2019.

https://ugapress.org/series/flannery-oconnor-award-for-short-fiction/

#ownvoices #weneeddiversebooks Contest

Forever Books (Romance imprint of Grand Central) has a very short submission window for its diverse/own voices Romance and Women’s Fiction contest. You must send your complete full-length, adult novel and a synopsis.

Submissions close mid-April.

Find more information about the “All Love, All Voices” contest HERE: https://www.read-forever.com/imprint/grand-central-publishing/forever/page/diverse-romance-open-submissions/

Good luck!

Character development is mostly unseen

I spend a lot of my editing energy helping my clients refine their characters. And in my own writing I can never know too much about my characters. But readers don’t need (or want) everything about the inner and outer lives of our characters presented like a stenographer’s notes. It’s my belief that character is revealed through action on the page, but the motivation for that behavior is all off-screen. And motivation is the pulse of a story. That’s what keeps us turning the page.

We’ve all seen the iceberg analogy, and it’s one of the most universally true writing axioms: 80-90% of the story is behind the scenes and, in my opinion mostly embedded in characterization. Characters, though, are their own icebergs.

Image from Seopresspr.com

Screenwriting guru Scott Myers explains here: “Screenwriting Tip: Character Work as Iceberg.” https://link.medium.com/9ufJeoRdRS

Happy writing!

Louise Meriwether First Book Prize— Feminist Press

SUBMISSION WINDOW CLOSES JUNE 30, 2018

There is just a couple of days left to enter, so put this contest on your calendar to be ready to submit next year.

This one is for women of color and nonbinary people of color who haven’t yet published a book.

Check it out!

https://www.feministpress.org/louise-meriwether-first-book-prize/

Open Call for Pitches: Carina Press

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.

https://carinapress.com/blog/2018/04/carinapitch-is-back-and-were-open-to-proposals-this-year/CarinaPitch1

How to Reduce Editing Costs

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. daphne@mypassionspen.com 

 

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk

This is such a refreshingly honest piece. Sometimes our skills are simply not up to par with the story we’ve envisioned.  There is no shame in admitting that.

Don’t get discouraged.

Work on other things. Read. Learn. Write. Grow. One day your ability will exceed your vision and that perfect piece will flow uninhibited.

Don’t give up.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk.

Exclude Us From Novels

Print this and post it at your workstation as a self-editing guide.

A list of what shouldn’t be included in novels, including words and common fiction elements. Use this list to safely exclude unnecessary elements from fiction.

via Exclude Us From Novels.

How Much Back Story Should I Include

A writer asks how much back story is too much for a novel. Tips for knowing how much back story to include and where to put it.

via How Much Back Story Should I Include.

It’s Not Cheating to Use Writing Tips and Tools

It’s not cheating to learn from other writers. Take advantage of the experience of writers and use their tips and writing techniques for your own stories.

via It’s Not Cheating to Use Writing Tips and Tools.

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