I attended the Connecticut Literary Festival on Saturday, and met the professor from Southern Connecticut State University who’s in charge of their MFA program. He told me that according to Connecticut state statute, senior citizens (62 and over) can take college classes and earn a degree tuition-free. I mention this because it’s a way to get yourself a free MFA. This includes all state university campuses and thirteen community colleges. So if you crave an MFA, sign up the next semester and get enrolled. And if you’re one of my out-of-state readers, check your state or province laws to see if the same applies there.
Some of you may have read the New York Times article about two authors and the question of plagiarism. Essentially, the question revolves around whether you can plagiarize someone’s life for your novel. This brings up the question of copyright too, and I found this article, by author and lawyer Matt Knight (whom I interviewed for my Where I Write column), incredibly helpful in explaining what protections you may have, what constitutes copyright and what plagiarism is. The original article (link above) is masterful in making the reader change their allegiance between the two writers as it tells the story.
A number of our members have joined Medium, an online magazine where you can post your work, and eventually, when you have 100 followers and have joined their Partner Program, begin to get paid for it. The work doesn’t have to be new – you can repost from your blog, or other places, so long as you hold the rights. More info here. You can follow Alison McBain, one of our members, and Alan o’Hashi, who have their own publication on Medium, called Morning Musings. The magazine accepts most genres of writing, and prefers up to 2000 words. Check their submission guidelines before submitting. Here’s my link on Medium, in case you’d like to follow me.
Many years ago, Jane Friedman gave a keynote talk at Midwest Writers Workshop on building an author platform. She’s written about how nice it would be to turn that video into a transcript (then adapt it into an article), but how she’s never found the time. She mentions that she’s found a free tool, CheckSub, that allows you to download and edit that YouTube data, either as an SRT file (closed caption format) or plain text file.
If you are just starting to submit your work to literary journals, or perhaps you just want to avoid rejection, this list from Authors Publish is for you. All of the literary journals in this list accept between 30 and 50% of what is submitted to them, and a few have a higher acceptance rate. So the odds of your work being accepted just went up. https://authorspublish.com/20-approachable-literary-journals-2/
The NFPW (National Federation of Press Women) annual awards contest is now open for entries. You can submit work in any of 60+ categories, that has been published or broadcast in some format between January 1-December 31, 2021. The professional contest deadlines are January 19, 2022 The NFPW award runs a two-tiered contest. Entrants first enter a state-level contest in the state they live in or are a member of. People living in a state without a state contest, are encouraged to enter the at-large contest. First-place winners in the state-level contest and the at-large contests are eligible to move to the national level of judging. National winners will be announced and honored at the NFPW conference in June 2022.
Kobo Writing Life allows you to self-publish both eBooks and audiobooks, distribute to libraries via OverDrive, tap into Kobo’s subscription readers through Kobo Plus, and reach a whole new global audience. You can find out more about what they do and what it costs here. They also run the Kobo Writing Life Podcast, where authors and publishing experts alike share their wealth of knowledge and insights with the indie author community. Having produced 267 episodes, they have turned some of them into audiobooks. Each book contains a collection of our favorite episodes discussing one area of indie publishing, making it easier for listeners to find the advice they’re looking for. There are currently six free audiobooks available: Craft, Marketing, Audiobooks, Digital Publishing, NaNoWriMo, and of course, Behind the Scenes at Kobo. They have plans to release more collections in the future.
To all those doing NaNoWriMo – good luck! And to everyone else – keep writing!