Close

writing contests

Subjectivity and Reader Shaming

A woman with her head in her hands with text: Have You Ever Been "Reader Shamed"?

If we write genre fiction, we might bemoan the lack of respect, but the same lack of respect occurs at the reader level too. Readers of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult, and romance have also been looked down on. Many outsiders have attempted to make readers ashamed of their reading choices by judging by subjective measures.

Pin It

August 11, 2015

Read More

Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!

Question mark surrounded by text: The Beta Reading Worksheet -- What to Ask & What to Answer

When we first start seeking or giving beta reads, we might not know what kind of feedback is possible or appropriate. To help us, here’s a listing of ideas of the many aspects beta readers can use for evaluating a story.

Pin It

August 12, 2014

Read More

Are You Waiting for Permission?

Begging pug dog with text: Waiting for Permission?

This past week has been a good news / bad news / good news sort of week. The conflicting emotions have been *ahem* good for making me question my strategies (yet again). On the good news side, I received the scores from my last contest, The Emily. I mentioned a few […]

Pin It

December 19, 2013

Read More

The Pros and Cons of Writing Contests

Check box form for excellent to poor ranking with text: Are Writing Contests Worth It?

The other week, my friend Janice Hardy emailed me for insight into a question one of her blog readers had about writing contests. She wanted to turn the question into a blog post on the pros and cons of writing contests and thought I might have something to say about the […]

Pin It

November 14, 2013

Read More

Does Good News Make You Worry?

Happy and sad drama masks with text: Does Good News Make You Worry?

Being a writer can often feel like living on a rollercoaster, with huge hills and dips around every curve. Writer’s block, rejections, low sales figures, pirated books, and other bad news can make us feel heavier than gravity itself. We might wish we could sink through the floor and disappear. […]

Pin It

May 14, 2013

Read More

Why Is Storytelling Ability So Important?

Footbridge heading into woods with text: Tell Me a Story...

What makes some poorly written books fall flat on their face while others succeed despite their flaws? One common answer is “storytelling ability.” But what is storytelling? The concept can seem vague and immeasurable—rather like “voice.” A recent experience with two poorly written books gave me insight into how a […]

Pin It

April 30, 2013

Read More

Why Do You Enter Writing Contests?

View from diving platform high over lake with text: Are Our Expectations Too High?

A couple of weeks ago, someone (I won’t name who because I don’t want to embarrass her) asked me what score I’d received in a writing contest. I didn’t want to answer at first. I worried about making her feel bad or seeming like I was bragging. Yet I could […]

Pin It

April 25, 2013

Read More

Merry Christmas! Some Gifts for You…

Christmas ornaments and candle on a tree with text: Sharing Christmas Fun and Cookie Recipes

I’ll be offline for most of this week, but I wanted to leave you with some fun (and yummy) gifts. If you’re celebrating this week, I hope your plans all unfold smoothly, your travels all go safely, your family members all behave perfectly, and all your dreams for the New […]

Pin It

December 25, 2012

Read More

Can We Tell When We’re Getting “Close”?

Mobuis strip sculpture with text: Our Publishing Journey... Can We Tell When We're Getting "Close"?

Everyone’s journey along the writing path is unique. Yet it’s natural to watch for milestones and sign posts that might indicate when we’re getting “close.” When we get our first request off a query, we might think our query won’t hold us back anymore. When we get our first contest […]

Pin It

November 6, 2012

Read More

NaNo Prep: Making Time for Writing

Hand pulling back a theater curtain with the text: What's Behind the Curtains that Keeps You Busy?

Many writers will spend the month of November dedicating every spare minute to writing as they participate in National Novel Writing Month (known as NaNoWriMo or just plain NaNo). So now is the perfect time to identify issues that could interfere with our writing goals. (And read on below for a […]

Pin It

October 11, 2012

Read More