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My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the tag “fiction”

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/

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#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!

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

Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft

If you want to write a novel or other fiction, learn the craft. Don’t fake it. You can learn how to write, learn the rules and the elements of fiction.

via Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft.

Review: Fangirl

Fangirl
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been out for a while, so I’ll save you all the recap of the story. Instead, I’ll share what I liked, what I didn’t like, etc.

Likes:
-Tight 3rd person POV.
-A refreshing spin on a common theme (coming of age).
-Excellent use of secondary character arcs and subtext. I’d love to read a more about Art (Cath and Wren’s dad).
-Unique structure intertwines Cath’s fanfiction, fiction, and real life. At first I thought I could skip the parts that showcased the other stories because I’m not a Harry Potter fan, but they seemed to build off one another. I marvelled at what I envisioned Rowell’s writing process–actually writing several books at once with the same theme and struggles but set in different realms of space and time.
-Realistic portrayal of first relationships and new loves. Cath is a creature of habit and feels safest in a routine, but the whole of college and being separated from her twin sister could send her into a tizzy. Instead, she clings to her constant–Simon Snow fanfiction. Conversely, it is Wren who falls apart, becoming the poster child for teens behaving badly.
-Untraditional love interests. I figured out early on that Nick was the antagonist, just like I knew it was Hans from his very first lines in “Frozen.” Maybe I’m a pessimist, but I’m definitely NOT a romantic. I knew from the beginning that Levi was into Cath and that he and Reagan weren’t truly dating. The complexity and depth of their relationship was a bit of a surprise. I never really believed Reagan was the mega bitch she pretended to be. I liked her from the start.
-Rowell writes in a way that draws you in and makes you not want to leave.

Dislikes:
-Too tight of a POV. There is very little time spent with other interesting characters. I am unfamiliar with depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, so when it is revealed that Art lives with these issues (Cath acknowledges her own struggles but Wren doesn’t) and how the girls have coped, I was deeply intrigued. Then to learn not that their mother passed away as I initially suspected, but that she left them when they were old enough to remember the good and bad of her, I was so angry for Art, Cath, and Wren. I wanted to follow that arc and not go into Cath falling for Levi. Their family dynamic was much more interesting to me.
-The use of the other stories was confusing for a little while, particularly once they became so tightly bound. **I usually turn on my phone’s screen reader to listen to books during my commute, so if there were any physical markers other than asterisks, my reader didn’t pick them up.** After a while, I didn’t see how Cath’s story could exist without the others.
-The ending. I see a trend with Rowell, and I’m not sure I like it. Her endings don’t fade, they are like a cymbal crash of a bombastic march, and then it’s over. As with “Eleanor & Park,” I was left wanting but not entirely unfulfilled, which is not unlike Gillian Flynn’s ending which fade as if transitioning to another movement, so the audience doesn’t know to applaud or not. What we’ve just experienced was brilliant, but is there more?

I liked this book for it’s refreshing take on life. It exposed me to a realm I’m unfamiliar with, offering a bit of an escape and opportunity to explore new worlds. I totally want to read some Simon Snow (but not Harry Potter). “Fangirl” feels much more deliberately YA than “Eleanor & Park,” perhaps it’s because the latter reflects my generation, and therefore more relatable.

What I liked best is that Cath is incredibly unsure of everything except a couple of points: Simon Snow and her family. She fiercely fights, in her own way, to hold on to her truths and not lose herself. It seems detrimental at first, but Cath is so much tougher than what she seems.

“Fangirl” is definitely worth recommending, particularly for those who are embarking on major life changes. Stay true to yourself.

View all my reviews

6 Reasons to Write a Short Story

I couldn’t agree more.

Writers In The Storm Blog

Happy Friday to all our friends here at WITS! We’re doing some extra special posts this week as an advance thank you for helping us migrate to our new site next week. All will be unveiled on Monday!

Today our pal, Julie Glover, is here. *Jenny jumps up and down* Here’s an example of why she’s one of our favorite peeps. When we told her y’all love nice meaty posts, Julie responded with:

“I hope I delivered. I’m even hoping it’s bacon. All posts should be like bacon.”

Enjoy!

*  *  *  *  *  *

My Sister's Demon, paranormal fiction by Julie Glover, @julie_glover

As a novel reader, I always believed I was meant to write full-length books. Yet I find myself entering the self-published market with a collection of short stories instead.

I wrote the first one on a lark—merely a story premise I wanted to get out of my system. But I liked the result…

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