Posts Tagged ‘Writers Resources’

Blogging in 2012

01/04/2012

Last year at this time I was committed to writing a blog a day. As you well know, I started out strong and fizzled out half way through. This year I am going to be much more realistic in my goals. I make no promises for a daily blog. I do hope to post weekly but if writing, teaching, and/or spending quality time with my family interfere, so be it. I will get back to posting as soon as possible.

At best this new plan will result in better blog content and more followers. At worst it will give me a little time to goof off and that’s not bad at all.

So, what can you expect to find here?

1. Installments of a fiction piece titled,  Girl in the Wind.

I’m not sure how long it will be or how it will end. It’s a story that is writing itself as I type it. Reading that last sentence will drive writers who have a clear outline in place before they begin a little crazy. I apologize for that. But, I’ve discovered that when a story starts telling itself it’s best to let it flow. I’m often delighted by how things work out in the process. In this case, I hope you will be too.

I repeat, the story is fiction. However, in places I will draw on my life for inspiration. If I write it well you will be left wondering what is true and what is pure imagination. When asked, I will smile an inscrutable smile and assure you I am innocent of all wrong doing. And please, don’t rely on whether or not I blush when saying so in order  to determine the truth of my assertion. Blushing  happens often to fair-skinned people like me and, at my age, it could be signaling the onset of a hot flash.

2. Guest bloggers. Authors, aspiring authors, bloggers and others with something of interest to writers and readers are invited to contact me about doing a guest blog.  Readers enjoy a change of pace from time to time and so do I.

3. Book reviews.  I will post my review on my blog, Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. I also write a monthly book review column for About Families Publications with a circulation of 48,000 families. I prefer hard copies of books but I do have a Nook e-reader so I can accept electronic copies.

4. Odd comments and things of interest as they come to my attention.

Installment one of Girl in the Wind will be posted tomorrow with future installments appearing weekly after that. I look forward to your comments.

 

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Pennwriters Offers Another Great Online Course

07/18/2011

PROMOTIONAL BASICS: GETTING THE WORD OUT, WHEN YOUR WORDS COME OUT:

INSTRUCTOR: Babs Mountjoy
DATE: August 1 – September 2, 2011
LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now. Go to www.pennwriters.com

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Congratulations! Your book or project has just been published. Now comes the real work: making sure your audience can find your book, purchase it, enjoy it and share it with others, bringing you fame and fortune! Most publishers want to hear about your platform, which includes a website, blog, or other publicity method to sell and promote your product or book across the world.

The internet and social media are great methods to share your news and can go a long way toward reaching your potential audience. This online course will teach you the basics of publicity and marketing, some old tricks and some new tricks, to make your new release a real success.

* 4 most important things to include when developing a website
* Discover a variety of ways to get your work noticed online and offline
* Blog tours: how to get one started and why they’re a great way to spread your name
* Freebies and giveaways to attract readers and followers
* Setting up personal appearances and book signings (Have a program in mind, not just a chair behind a table)

FREE BONUS: A list of 50 sites where writers can submit their books for review.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Barbara “Babs” Mountjoy has been writing ever since she was a little girl, unable to control the urge of stories that wanted to percolate through her fingers into the keyboard. Or back then, onto the old Royal typewriter (before the TRS-80 even! Wow!). She’s been a published writer for over 35 years, spent seven years as a news reporter and editor in South  Florida, and has contributed stories to two CUP OF COMFORT volumes. Her non-fiction book 101 LITTLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR SURVIVING YOUR DIVORCE was published by Impact Publishers in 1999, and her first novel, THE ELF QUEEN (under the pen name Lyndi Alexander) came out in 2010. THE ELF QUEEN is the first of the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series, with THE ELF CHILD coming out in 2011 and THE ELF MAGE to be released in 2012.  Her romantic suspense novel DELIVERANCE will be released by the Wild Rose Press in 2011, and her women’s fiction book SECOND CHANCES comes out from Zumaya Publications in 2012. She blogs about autism, writing and life at http://awalkabout.wordpress.com, and continues to write tech articles and TV reviews at Firefox News online. For more information on Babs Mountjoy or this course, email her at <a href=”mailto: <!– var prefix = ‘mailto:’; var suffix = ”; var attribs = ”; var path = ‘hr’ + ‘ef’ + ‘=’; var addy46632 = ‘bmountjoy’ + ‘@’; addy46632 = addy46632 + ‘zoominternet’ + ‘.’ + ‘net’; document.write( ‘‘ ); document.write( addy46632 ); document.write( ” ); //–> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <!– document.write( ” ); //–> “>
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I’m a Guest Star! Imagine That…

05/09/2011

Pennwriters Presents –

Our Guest Star will be Bobbi Carducci, short story, memoir and creative nonfiction writer, and author of STOREE WRYTER GETS A DOG, her first venture into writing for kids. She describes herself as a schizophrenic writer because of the variety of writing she does and in recognition of the voices in her head (her muse) that demand to be heard.
She also writes a monthly book review column for About Families Publications available in print and on line.

In addition to writing, Bobbi is the President of Community Voice Media, a small print publisher specializing in books by and for young people. She is the Executive Director of the Young Voices Foundation a 501 (c) (3) educational nonprofit established to mentor young writers http://www.youngvoicesfoundation.organd the creator or the Young Voices Awards honoring books that Inspire, Mentor, and/or Educate readers of all ages. http://www.youngvoicesawards.com.

She is a long time member of Pennwriters and, as a resident of Virginia, is the Area 7 Representative to the Board of Directors. She is a writing coach and frequent presenter at writer’s conferences, including the upcoming Pennwriters Conference where she will present a workshop titled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – How To Evoke Real Emotion In Your Memoir.”

Bobbi Carducci’s month-long online course, CREATIVE NONFICTION & MEMOIR WRITING, starts June 1, 2011. You’ll discover proven methods to convey real-life facts and events through story structure and character development with a focus on storytelling, personal essays, and feature writing. To learn how to write that great real-life story of yours and get it published, enroll now at http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201106 .

Bobbi Carducci, also writing as Barbara Simpson Carducci, can be reached by email at bcarducci@comcast.net or through Twitter @BobbiCarducci and Facebook. You can also visit her blog at https://schizophrenicwriter.wordpress.com or her website at http://www.communityvoicemedia.com/bobbicarducci.html.

Topics to discuss with Bobbi Carducci include:

* Short story writing
* Creative nonfiction
* Writing for young readers
* Writing in general
* How to be an overnight success in 60 years or less
* The correlation between a well made Cosmopolitan and a happy marriage

The opinions of Pennwriters Presents Guest Stars do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Pennwriters organization. INCLUDE THE GUEST STAR’S NAME IN THE SUBJECT HEADING OF YOUR QUESTIONS. To get the most out of the program, please set your Message Delivery to “Individual Email.” Here is how you do it:

1) Go to the Pennwriters online group setup page at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pennwriters/join

2) Under “Step 2. Message Delivery,” click the option “Individual Email.”

3) Click the “Save Changes” button.

That’s it! Have your questions lined up Monday. You can start posting questions early over the weekend. See you soon.

– Nate Hardy
Pennwriters Internet Activities Coordinator

CREATIVE NONFICTION & MEMOIR WRITING Online Course
http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201106

What to Write About?

05/04/2011

There are so many things that need my attention today that I am almost paralyzed.  I still have work to do on my upcoming workshop at the Pennwriters Conference next week.  Next week! OMG it’s next week. Yesterday I realized that what has been far on the horizon for so long is now imminent and I’m not quite ready. I’ll get there. I always do but in this moment all I can think is, How on earth can I get it all done?

The Young Voices Awards call for submissions honoring books that Inspire, Mentor, and/or Educate readers of all ages just closed. That means I have to mail the book to the judges for review and scoring. This is another near monumental task that should be done this week. Oh boy.

Today I absolutely must get to the post office to mail the April Book of the Month to the young reader whose name wa selected in the monthly drawing sponsored by the Young Voices Foundation. I’ve already put the information about the May drawing up on the website so that’s one thing I can cross off the to-do list.

I sent my book review column to About Families Publications yesterday afternoon. Not as early as the editor would like it but not late either. About the same time I was hitting the send button on my keyboard two more books for review arrived in the mail. The good news is, I have three weeks before I have to submit another column.

It’s almost eleven o’clock and I’m still in my pajamas and robe. My tea has grown cold and I really need to go to the bathroom. Before I log off to take care of that pressing need and head out to deliver posters announcing my upcoming book signings at Dog Day Afternoon in Leesburg and Borders Express at Dulles Town Center I want to explain why you, my readers, have been subjected to this rant.  It’s because with all of that going on and more I could not think of a single thing to write about this morning. Stop by tomorrow when I hope to have something better to entertain you with.

If You Want to Write

05/03/2011

1. READ  – Novels, Biographies, Books about Sports, signs along the road, read cereal boxes, read plays, read poems. Read  horror and sci fi and romance and mystery. Read blogs and text messages, read on line, use an e-reader or a ratty old book you found under your bed.

2. Learn and use the Rules of Grammar, Punctuation and Form

3. LISTEN- Listen to family stories, listen to music, listen to the news, listen to gossip (don’t repeat it – use it in a story or book or play), listen to little kids and old people. Listen to bird song and crickets. Listen to traffic sounds and hear the life in it. Listen to your dreams and your doubts and make stories out of what you hear.

4. READ – read comic books and graphic novels, read history books and the classics.

5. Write – Write about what you know and what you don’t know. Write about life and death and fish and bubble gum. Write about anything that comes into your head. Some of it will be great – a lot of it will not be great. It doesn’t matter as long as it gets your imagination going. This is how you entice your brain to cut loose with all the imagination stored in there. Let it out and use what you can, store the rest in a file on your computer. You might want it someday.

6. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. They don’t know what you can do. Only you can decide that. As long as you have ideas you can create stories. But you do have to learn the craft as well as the art. SEE RULE 2 AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.

7. READ – read blogs and text messages. Read on line, use a Kindle, fish that ratty old paperback out from under your bed and read it again.

8. Talk to other writers. Join a writers group if there is one near you. If there isn’t start one. 9. Submit  your work to a contest or for publication –FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES – ALL OF THEM.

10. Never give up. There is a place for you in the writing world.

CREATIVE NONFICTION & MEMOIR WRITING Online Course

05/02/2011

INSTRUCTOR: Bobbi Carducci

DATE: June 1 – July 1, 2011 LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”

William Shakespeare

Discover proven methods to convey real-life facts and events through story structure and character development with a focus on storytelling, personal essays, and feature writing. In this online course, you will learn:

* How to Begin

* Research

* Turning facts into drama

* Point of View

* Character Development

* How to handle family (What will they say, ethical dilemmas, etc.)

FREE BONUS: Memoir writing tip sheet PLUS the first 10 people to register for the course will receive an autographed copy of the CUP OF COMFORT FOR SISTERS anthology featuring Bobbi Carducci’s creative nonfiction short story, “Changing Currents.”
$79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members) $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)

EARLY-BIRD PRICES END SOON!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Bobbi Carducci is a former senior staff writer for a Washington, D.C. area newspaper and currently writes a monthly book review column for About Families Publications. Her short stories appear in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL and CUP OF COMFORT anthologies. Her first book for young readers, STOREE WRYTER GETS A DOG, is scheduled for release in February 2011. Bobbi is a long time member of Pennwriters and is currently on the Pennwriters Board of Directors. She is a frequent speaker at writing conferences and serves as judge for the annual Mom’s Choice and Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. In her capacity as Founder and Director of the Young Voices Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) educational nonprofit established to mentor young writers, she created the Young Voices Awards honoring books that Inspire, Mentor and/or Educate Readers of all ages.

* Subscribe to our Online Courses announcement list for email on our latest workshops!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PennwritersOnlineCourses

Writing Contest – Win A Copy of Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

04/30/2011

Write a mini story (250-300 words) using the following words: cell phone, blog, roast beef sandwich, blow dryer, flat tire, Facebook.

Have fun with it and post your entry as a comment to this blog.  Contest open May 1 – May 21, 2011

Winner announced May 30, 2011

 Win A Copy of Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

Anthologies Seeking Submissions

04/29/2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul says:

“We have many Chicken Soup for the Soul® books in development and are adding new titles all of the time. We are always looking for new stories and poems and hope you have some for us to consider. Take a look at the list of our future book topics to see if you have a story or poem on a subject we are looking for and then please submit it to us.

If you have a great story or poem you want to submit but we are not collecting for that topic at this time, please save it and check back with us soon. Our list of Possible Books Topics is added to frequently and hopefully, in the near future, we will add a topic that will be a perfect fit for your story or poem.

We prefer that you submit your stories only once, but if you believe your story fits in more than one book topic, please indicate which other topics you have submitted it for in the Comments line on the submission form. You can submit your story by going to the link at the bottom of the page. Thanks!

Here Are Our Future Topics:

***SELECT YOUR TITLE***

Brides and Weddings
You are engaged! How lucky you are to have found that one person you want to share the rest of your life with. We are looking for stories about this very special experience in your life. From the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events — both touching and hilarious – these stories will capture your heart and your emotions. Stories from the groom or the proud parents would be great too! Please share the memories that were created during this special time in your life. The deadline date for story submissions is April 30, 2011.

Christmas Stories
We are collecting stories for our newest Christmas book. Everyone has special memories and stories to tell about the Christmas season – from inspirational and joyous, to heartwarming and humorous. We want to hear about your special Christmas memories and traditions. Please note: if you have submitted stories to our Christmas books in the past, we have your stories in our database. Please make sure that the stories you are submitting to this book are NEW stories that our editors have not read before. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2011.

Family Caregiver
Do you have a family member who requires constant care? Well, you are not alone. The stories in this book will be written by people caring for a family member who requires their assistance due to a variety of reasons – old age, Alzheimer’s, chronic illness, long-term or permanent physical or mental disabilities. Are you part of the “sandwich” generation – caring for an elderly relative while also raising your children? Or are you the person receiving the care from a family member? We want to hear from you too. These stories will inspire and support family members who are making sacrifices to make sure their loved ones are well cared for, whether in their own homes or elsewhere. The deadline date for story submissions is July 15, 2011.

Find Your Happiness
How have you found happiness in your life? Share your stories about how you found purpose, passion, and joy in your life. Stories can be serious or funny, but definitely inspirational. Attitude adjustments, gratitude, a new way of handling your daily life, major realizations, and other great ideas to inspire readers to find their own paths to happiness would be appropriate. The deadline date for story submissions is May 15, 2011.

Food and Love
There is such a universal connection between food and love – both the romantic kind of love and the comforting kind of love between family members and friends. There is that delectable feeling that certain aromas and tastes stir up in your memory and imagination. We are looking for savory, sweet, sometimes spicy, mouthwatering, succulent, and tasty stories on how food and love together played a flavorful part in your life. You get the idea! These stories will whet your appetite and leave you with a divine aftertaste and a pungent yearning to read more. The deadline date for story submissions is May 15, 2011.

Home Sweet Home
Whether you rent your home or own your home, home is where your heart is. It is your safe place in the world. We are looking for stories about getting your first home, returning to your childhood home, do it yourself repair disasters and successes, downsizing, moving day or any heartwarming or funny stories associated with home. This book will make the perfect housewarming gift. The deadline date for story submissions is August 30, 2011.

Marriage and Married Life
Whether you are newly married or have been married for years and years, the stories in this book will capture your imagination, inspire you, make you laugh and touch your heart. We are looking for stories that will celebrate the commitment two people make when they say their vows. Tell us about your relationship. What makes it work? How did the comfort of your mate guide you through challenging times? What is the most important thing in your relationship? How did you try to change your mate? Did it work?! The deadline date for story submissions is May 30, 2011.

Think Positive for Kids
Where do your children find the inner strength to stay positive in these challenging times? The world today is fast-paced and filled with choices, temptations and challenges. The values that children, ages 7 to 12, learn today will stay with them for the rest of their lives. We are looking for stories that show children how to make good choices… even when no one is looking, respect the needs and feelings of others and focus on hope. The stories will remind kids that each day holds something to be grateful for and show them that they are not alone in dealing with difficult issues. We hope that adults will take the time to read these stories with their children as together you share special times and expand communication. The deadline date for story submissions is December 31, 2011.”

Submit Your Story

American Dichotomy

04/27/2011

Americans are the fiercest of gentle creatures. Men and women stand with open arms of welcome as they look about in suspicion.

Lean and hungry people who diet their way into obesity, driving everywhere only to arrive at the gym on Saturday morning to go for a walk.

Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters, black, white, brown, yellow, mixed, form a melting pot of individuals, each demanding their differences be heard.

Educated ignorant people teach, creating a thirst for knowledge that can only be sated by MTV. Through it all they persist, reach for the stars and find them within their grasp.

Ugly and debased at times, these beautiful men and women laugh at their neighbors and weep in the night for an uncaring world.

What’s to become of us?

*** I found this in my files this morning. The date on it was June 2005. I wonder what was going on in my life that day and what inspired me to write this passage.   Interesting in a  cynical way, isn’t it?

Not Really a Writer

04/18/2011

Nothing I have ever published was written only once. While it’s true that some stories practically write themselves, coming to life in a stream of images and words that often leave me wondering where in God’s name that came from, they still need to be put away for a day or two so I don’t become so enthralled by my own words and ideas that I send them out before their time. 

Note: That second sentence is way too long and I’d rewrite if I had more time. Unfortunately I have a very busy schedule this morning so I’m leaving it as an example of what comes out unedited.  Now you know the truth. I’m not really a writer. I’m a rewriter.  Are you?

****

“Every book is different. Every writer is different. I’ve written some books straight through and never had to change plot or characters again, just had to tighten the language. Other books required more stops and starts. I love revising because it makes me look smarter. The reader doesn’t know that the best thing in the book didn’t come until the third pass, and that’s the way I like it.”  Denis Lehane, Author of Mystic River