I'm going to indulge myself and preface this post by complaining. I'm having a bad, BAD spell of luck lately with my car. Yesterday, I had to run off the road to keep some jackhole from hitting me head-on. Scared the crap outta me, and made me wrench Hurt Wrist really badly.
This morning, fresh from a physical therapy session in which the therapist tells me to take it easy on the wrist for a few days, I get about 20 feet out of the parking lot when my car just DIES. Engine cuts off, power steering, brakes, etc. all go out. I had enough momentum to coast into a parking lot, where I then had to put the car in park and pull the emergency brake to actually come to a stop. Thankfully my father-in-law recently retired, so he was home and available to come to my rescue. We ended up having to call a tow-truck, and my car is now at the mechanic... F-I-L seems to think it could be a bad alternator. Who knows? All I can say is the car gods HATE me and Evan. We've had the worst luck with our cars the last year...
Anyway, I just got home about thirty minutes ago and am still trying to shake the chill of standing outside in 20-degree weather with 10mph wind sucking the life out of me.
Whining over now. (Woe is me.)
So for Christmas, Evan got me a subscription to The Writer magazine. I highly recommend it as a "trade" magazine for anyone interested in becoming a better writer, PLUS it has a classifieds/market section in each issue.
Some highlights from the March issue:
-Give your fiction focus (step by step advice)--7 steps to find and develop a theme which unifies all the elements of your tale.
-3 essentials for a successful screenplay
-6 ways to use character goals to draw in your readers
But what I'm going to write about today is this part: 59 U.S and Canadian markets, agents, and writing groups
Here is some advice from Ron Sandvik, the managing editor of the North American Review on submitting:
"Don't rely on blind simultaneous submissions," he says. "It's like setting up a machine gun during hunting season and hosing down the woods with lead. If your objective is to put a rabbit in your pot, then before hunting season begins, find our where the rabbits...dance and drink beer."
He advises writer to research a few publications a day and read them! Make a list of 20 publications you'd like to appear in, then craft a personal cover letter for each one.
"The first paragraph should cite a specific piece and pay it a sincere compliment," he notes. "You're engaging with the text and publication. To find that someone's read my work and engaged with it, and wow, paid me a sincere compliment--you couldn't get to my heart quicker."
That may not work for everyone, but still something to consider. Two websites he suggests visiting when making your lists are:
I've just briefly looked at these sites, but they look amazing! I know I'll definitely be using them when I'm ready to start submitting.
If you're like me, you vaguely know about associations for writers, but don't know about many other than SCBWI and RWA. The Writer includes a big ol' list of associations, so I thought I'd share! I might leave a couple out, just for the sake of typing all of this out, but I'll try to include the ones I think will have the widest appeal.
- The Academy of American Poets ($35--2,500/year dues; www.poets.org)
- Association of Writers and Writing Programs (dues vary; www.awpwriter.org)
- The Authors Guild: largest organization of published writers in the US--must have published a book or have published 3 articles in general-circulation periodicals in the prior 18 months. ($90/first year, sliding scale subsequently; www.authorsguild.org/.net)
- Canadian Authors Association ($157.50/year; www.canauthors.org)
- Electronically Published Internet Connection, EPIC: for published and contracted e-book and print authors, organized to advocate for electronic publishing ($30/year; www.epicauthors.com)
- International Women's Writing Guild ($45/year; www.iwwg.com)
- Mystery Writers of America ($95/year; www.mysterywriters.org)
- National Association of Women Writers, NAWW ($127/year; www.naww.org)
- The National League of American Pen Women, NLAPW (dues varied; www.americanpenwomen.org)
- Romance Writers of America, RWA (dues vary by geographic location; www.rwanational.org)
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, INC [SFWA]: open to any writer who has sold a work of sci-fi, fantasy, or horror to qualifying market. See website for details. ($60-100/year; www.sfwa.org)
Not done yet!
Next: Writer Events!
-AWP Annual Conference and Bookfair: Denver, April 7-10. Details at www.awpwriter.org
-ASJA Writers Conference: New York, April 23-25. Details at www.asja.org
-Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: Ridgecrest, N.C., May 16-20. details at: www.lifeway.com/christian writers
-Pennwriters Annual Conference: Lancaster, Penn. May 14-16. Keynote speakers James Rollins and Elizabeth Kahn! Details at www.pennwriters.org/.com
-Crossroads Writers Conference: Macon, Ga. Feb. 26-27. Registration $25 for students, $45 for non-students. Details at www.wix.com/rnrhsmacon/CROSSROADS
--Thanks Lainey, for this information! I won't be able to go this year, but it sounds awesome, and I see that Judith Ortiz Cofer is going to be there! She's a creative writing professor at UGA, and I've had the opportunity of hearing her speak before--she's amazing!
I've seen a lot of contests in the blogosphere lately, so here are a couple outside of the nets:
-The Nimrod Literary Awards: submit an unpublished short story up to 7,500 words and 3-10 pages of poetry. Deadline: April 30. Entry fee: $20. Prizes: $2,000/ $1,000 and publication in each category.
Contact: Nimrod Journal, Literary Contest (Fiction or Poetry), The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.utulsa.edu/nimrod
-Wabash Prizes for Fiction: submit one story or a series of related short-shorts up to 10k words. Deadline: March 1. Entry fee: $15. Prizes: $1,000; publication in Sycamore Review.
Contact: 2010 Wabash Prize for Fiction, Sycamore Review, Dept. of English, 500 Oval Drive, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; email@example.com; www.sycamorereview.com
-Writers-Editors Network Writing Competition: features contests in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children's literature. See www.writer-editors.com for details.
-Glimmer Train: accepting short-story submissions now through end of month (March). See writing guidelines and make submissions online: www.glimmertrain.org. Payment for stories accepted for print publication. $700-2,000.
Well, hope that wasn't too boring.
Let me know if this was helpful, and if you'd be interested in posts like this every once in a while (I get the magazine every month.) And if any of you end up doing anything from these opportunities, let me know!!