Writers Rendezvous – February update part 2

Here’s the second part of the writers’ update for February – it includes workshops, contests, advice on how to write more, and an award you can apply for.  In addition to providing weekly newsletters with lists of places to publish, Authors Publish runs regular online workshops. Their next one is a five-week course beginning February 26 and ending April 1, called Five Weeks of Motivation and Inspiration So You Can Make Real Progress On Your Novel run by New York Times best-selling author Emily Colin and book coach Julie Artz. They’ll give you daily inspiration, expert instruction, and introduce you to acclaimed authors and a literary agent. They promise to match you with critique and accountability partners, and provide lessons on craft or the business of writing. Live Q&A sessions enable you to ask questions of the experts. Early-bird tuition of $197 is available until February 19. More details and registration here.

The Westport Writers Workshop has instituted a foundation to honor Jessica Speart, a long-time author of mysteries and thrillers and teacher, who died last year. The Jessica Speart Foundation Award is a $1,000 stipend to be used at the workshop in whichever way serves your writing best, and can be applied towards workshops, coaching/editing, mentoring, or one-time offerings. To apply please submit the following to Liz Matthews at: programdirector@westportwriters.org a personal statement detailing your background as a writer, your current project, and what you hope to get from this scholarship, including which workshops, or one-on-one options interest you most (one-two double-spaced pages maximum) and a sample of your writing (10-20 double–spaced pages). Deadline April 1.

A Warm Mug of Cozy are asking for cozy mystery stories for their new anthology. Open for submissions until May 31. 5,000 words max. $5 submission fee. Selected writers receive a PDF copy of the anthology and ongoing royalties (2% per published story).

The Good Book Collective is an organization for writers of romance and women’s fiction that gives you several inexpensive ways of getting feedback on your WIP (work-in-progress). They include Hook Wars, where readers rank up to five of your “hooks” (maximum 150 characters each) and can provide feedback about their favorite ($20), Cover Duel, allows readers to choose between two covers ($20). Blurbs & First Five Pages has readers giving feedback on your blurb (max 75 words) and first five pages (up to 1,250 words) for $30, and a Step-by-Step Review, where readers have access to a short novel description, a longer description, the first thirty pages, and the complete manuscript. Readers decide at each stage if they want to continue and provide feedback ($100). Well worth looking into.

​​Vocal Media, a bit like Medium, provides you with the opportunity to earn money for your writing. They pay you for the engagement your stories receive, and make it easy to receive “tips” (one-off payments) from your fans. Here’s how it works: Create your story and make it engaging by embedding your photos, videos, music, and more. Submit it to a community of readers to get discovered. Get paid for the engagement your stories receive and allow your fans to send you tips.

Are you having trouble getting down to writing? Specifically, getting that book finished? Rhonda Douglas is a writing mentor, who won’t advise you on how to write your book, but will show you how to get organized so that you write consistently. A friend of mine used her to get her novel finished on time, and highly recommends her. Rhonda is giving away free PDF guides: a planner, 30 Ways to Find More Time to Write, and how to Organize a D-I-Y Retreat. Check them out here. And check out her Friday evening (5pm ET) get-together for writers on Facebook.

If you’re looking to rent some creative writing space here in Connecticut, you might consider East Haven Public TV studios. They have a range of inexpensive monthly membership options, from those for the casual creative to those who are interested in producing more content. Their corporate sponsors help us by offsetting larger costs, and unexpected expenses (such as repairs). For more details and rates, check here.

Authors Publish just announced the latest free edition of Submit, Publish, Repeat. The book has been fully updated for 2023. It’s the definitive guide to publishing your creative writing in literary journals. They’re giving away the book, completely free, for a limited time only. Get your free copy here.

Writing and publishing expert Jane Friedman pointed me toward a list of a database that includes more than 1000 literary magazines publishing fiction and/or creative non-fiction. Magazines publishing genre fiction and those with geographical restrictions tend not to be included. The database also contains info on the cost of submission, pay, word limits, reading times, location of the journal, journal description (taken from Twitter), and web address. In other words, a really useful list.

This comes from Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur: Editing is often expensive, and for good reason. It takes a lot of work to read and evaluate a whole book, and good expertise is worth paying for. But how do you know you aren’t wasting your money on an incompetent editor? Or, for that matter, sometimes the editor is great, but they don’t always work well for you. You need an editor who can understand your genre, your style, etc. So how do you find such an editor? They recently updated their article on that exact subject. In it, they provide a list of dozens of great editors, along with their specialties, a list of the best editing services, and detailed criteria of what to look for in an editor.

Happy writing!

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