Thursday, March 29, 2007

Market: Chick Lit shorties

Yeah, I know...chick lit is dead, or so they say.

Maybe, but if you jumped on the bandwagon and whipped up any short chick lit stories in the brief time it graced our presences, here's a market to check out.

No, they don't pay bunches of money but it's better than letting that gem of a story get musty in your dresser drawer.

Besides, I happened to like chick lit.

The Chick Lit Review: Chick Lit in Bite-Sized Morsels

Guidelines for Chick Lit Review

happy chick-litting,

Friday, March 23, 2007

Writing for Trade Magazines I

In our rush to get published by the big names--whether by fiction publishing powerhouses or nonfiction glossy magazines, we often overlook a possible source of positive income who welcomes relationships with writers: trade magazines.

Because I've become interested in trades lately for a variety of reasons, and because this is my blog and I decide what gets posted (it's good to be selfish me sometimes), here are some links to background information on writing for trade magazines if you're new or curious. In upcoming posts I'll dig up some trade magazine markets and guidelines to share. So let's get started...

Writing for Trade Magazines by Mark Lamendola

Podcast: Writing for Technical and Trade Publications with Denise Rockhill, Jenny Kasza, and Rachael Zimmerman of NaSPA, the Network and Systems Professionals Association

Do You Really Want to Get Published? Write for Trade Magazines! By Mary Ann Hahn

Writing for Real Estate Trade Magazines by Dan Rafter

That should do it for now...

Happy trade writing,

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I've been slaving away at editor-requested edits on a short story this week and in a moment of respite started thinking. What are my publicity options if the editor offers me a contract? I mean, I know the basics--which is that authors really need to do most of their own publicity unless they've nailed a 6 figure deal (and even then don't rely on the publisher) or have a publicist to do the thinking & legwork.

Here are some thoughts on where to go for publicity once that book/story publication grows nearer:

Armed and Ready: A Guide to Publicity Materials by Kate Stine

Free Publicity for Your Book by Patrika Vaughn

Blog: The Publicity Hound

Free Publicity for Your Book at Midwest Book Review

And one last post from one of my favorite, most insightful writer's writer:

16 Ways to Get Free Publicity by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Get out there and spread the word!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Flash Fiction

Another conversation amongst writing friends...this one regarding the value of learning to write short in order to write better long. If you've not heard of flash fiction, check it out and challenge yourself. 55 words. 100 words. What do you have to lose?

Flash What? A Quick Look at Flash Fiction by Jason Gurley

Red Inkworks Presents Flash Fiction

Smokelong Quarterly: Dedicated to flash fiction

Happy flashing (Oooohh..that didn't sound


Monday, March 19, 2007

Fiction Query Letters I

I'm numbering this post with a "I" not because I have enough stuff for a II but because I know there'll be a II sometime. Probably soon.

Of all the stuff fiction writers have to go through to get published, one of the most traumatizing events is cramming all your accomplishments plus a blurb of your story into a one (or at most two) page overview--the dreaded query letter.

Based on a conversation I had with Molly, one of the SeriousWriter girls, I've dug up some (hopefully) useful links on query letters. Now there's no excuse....(said specifically for Molly!). Get querying!

Writing the Perfect Query by Lee Masterson (be sure to check out Lee's great site for writers while you're there--Fiction Factor)

Advice from the Nelson Literary Agency (Scroll down a bit to get to the query letter stuff. Great sample letter, too).

The Complete Nobody's Guide to Query Letters by Lynn Flewelling

Query Letters for Children's Book Fiction by Margot Finke (don't let the title fool you--excellent example for all fictional subgenres)

Common Fiction Query Letter Mistakes by S. Thompson (although if you're writing--or thinking--these things in a query letter, you have a LOOOONG learning curve ahead of you...)

Query Letter: How to Write the Perfect Query Letter by Ali Lane (dissects parts of the query).

There you go. That should get you started. Query letters on a Monday morning...if you live through that, what's next? Sunday synopsis workshops?

Happy querying,

Monday, March 12, 2007


One of those great sites for writers where you can waste (spend) a lot of time reading (awaiting the muse) articles on every & anything to do with writing...easy to navigate and nicely laid out...

Happy Writing (or awaiting the muse)


Friday, March 09, 2007

Just Get It Out! Start Writing Your Novel

Another remnant memory from Monday's children's book conversation from my colleague was on how it'd taken her seven years to convince herself to sit down and write the book because she didn't really know where to begin.

Seven's like 49 years to a dog. But I digress...

If you've got an idea for a story and don't know quite where to start, here's a bit of reading to get you going. In all honesty, you don't need to read to know the simplest, best bit of advice on where to start writing.

Start now and start where you are.

Structure problems? Interesting concept here...

The Snowflake Method for Writing a Novel by Randy Ingermanson's advice on writing the novel (remember--lots of popups here..enable the popup blocker)'s How to Write a Novel

A more thoughtful approach on how to get things out on paper....

How to Write a Novel: A Simple Procedure to Follow by Paul Saevig

Happy getting-it-down-on-paper (and it is a happy feeling...)


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fun! Language Is a Virus (Games for writers)

Not until I took myself seriously as a writer did I truthfully realize (and accept) that part of the writing process REQUIRES periods of time where rational, functional, working thought is absent (translated: free time).

Now that I've accepted the need and value of those long lulls of time spent daydreaming about how to combine my two favorite desserts into one and other equally useless things, I've also discovered the need for fun diversions involving ways to stretch and twist language into something fun that sparks more ideas (like I need more of those).

In that vein, here's a cool-fun writing place crammed full of activities for writers. Obviously I've not checked them all out but there's tons of way-fun stuff here for consideration...when you can't take another game of Klondike....

Language is a Virus

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Writing For Kids II

Because I'm just liking the trend of naming my posts in sequential order, here's another posting on some links for those of you in the crowd who like children's writing...or are at least interested in it.

A thoughtful essay on things to consider when writing for kids...

So You Want to Write A Children's Book by Tammy Yee

Have you considered nonfiction?

Five Reasons to Write Nonfiction For Children by Rita Milios

A checklist of things to consider to make your children's book the best it can be...
The Case of Missing Elements: What Makes a Children's Book Memorable by Lynne Remick

Happy kid-writing!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Writing for the children's fiction market

A colleague at work (the day job) sparked this topic yesterday when she brought me two versions of a picture book she'd been working on for quite some time. She wanted advice, and I gave her some brief pointers but didn't give her nearly the amount of stuff she deserved because--simply--I don't know much about children's publishing.

I told her I'd bring her some reading, and here are a few of the resources I've found. More to come in the future, I'm sure:

Write For website

Children's Writing section at Writer's Digest

Colossal Directory of Children's Publishers

I think that's enough...for now :)

Happy writing for kids!


Monday, March 05, 2007

Goal Setting, Part II

Yeah, and you thought I was done preaching off the goal soapbox!

With almost 1/3 of the year gone, it's time to focus in on those writing goals we set with such fervor at the beginning of the year.

Today's articles are thought-provoking and hopefully motivational in getting you to revisit the goals you so loftily (my word, English teacher's prerogative) set in January or December.

First up is a refresher on the why, how and how-to of setting writing goals:

Setting Goals for Your Writing Career by Lee Masterson

The next is by one of my favorite writer's writers, Mridu Khullar, on whether the goals you set are meeting YOUR needs:

Are You Achieving Your Writing Goals? by Mridu Khullar

The third is probably the most fun and fascinating--if typical rewards for your goal-setting process don't do it for you, there's bound to be a suggestion here to capture your interest. Way cool ideas!

50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work by Jerry Oltion

Whatever you choose, the important thing is to get into the habit of setting and resetting those goals...the more you do it, the easier it gets...and the better your writing will become.

Happy re-goaling,


Friday, March 02, 2007

Market Database:

I'm continually amazed at a few things in the freelance world: the number of (growing) markets, the ability to find a market for just about every crazy idea I come up with and the number of free market databases you can access if you just know where to look.

Today's resource is one of those. I've been to's market database before but until I followed a link to get there again recently, I'd forgotten how great it is for being free. True, some guidelines are outdated, what with publishers closing up shop and things being moved, but at last count they had 671 links to guidelines listed--nothing small about that. And simple, too. Just type in your topic and see what pops up.

Give it a try:'s Database of Guidelines

Happy writing,