Monday, January 28, 2019

Cover Release for Masquerade: Oddly Suited an #IWSG Anthology

Congratulations to all of the authors who won a spot in the Masquerade: Oddly Suited Anthology!

As one of the admins this year, I had the chance to read all of the entries before the judges weighed in on the winners, and I have to say it was a tough year with many awesome stories. If you submitted a story to the contest, you should be proud of your work as a writer.
For those who won a spot in the anthology - Way to go!
And for the winner, LG Keltner whose short story made the title - Wow!

Masquerade: Oddly Suited

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Release date – April 30, 2019
Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary
Print ISBN 9781939844644
EBook ISBN 9781939844651

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solace, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

My writing news this week:
1. I plucked up the courage and sent in a query. It's the first time I've ever queried a novel. 
(Yes, you heard that right, I self-pubbed novels without querying anyone first and my novella based on a Youtube show was commissioned - which meant I was invited to query my B plot and when given the green light, I wrote out the A plot based on the Youtube script and added in my B plot to turn a 30 minute Youtube show into a 30,000 word novella.)

2. In addition to the novel query, I have a handful of hint fiction stories, a flash fiction story, and two drabble-length stories all out on submission. (I had a short story rejection earlier this month, but that's okay. I'm still moving forward.)

 3. I love my Write-In group on Tuesdays. (I just can't say enough about how good it feels to sit in a room for 2-3 hours and just write with a group of like-minded people.)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

5 Things to Do the Day After a Twitter Pitch Party (and Mid-month Links)

5 Things to Do The Day After A Twitter Pitch Party

(Yes, this is a few days late ...)

1. Re-check the feed and see if there are any previously missed hearts from agents or publishers.

2. Review submission guidelines for agents and publishers no less than a dozen times throughout the day. (Actually, I don't know that anyone needs to review those guidelines a dozen times, that's just what I did.)

3. Thank retweeters. (I didn't do this the day after, but I did today.) 
-If this is you and I missed you on Twitter, THANK YOU!!!

4. Thank all all those who helped me hone my pitch.
- If this is you, THANK YOU!!! 

5. Get extra feedback on synopsis and more from beta readers.

Mid-Month Links

The IWSG made The Write Life List for the top 100 Writing Websites!

The Positive Writer is taking nominations and the IWSG hopes everyone will nominate them. Since I'm an Admin and a fan of the IWSG, I recommend nominating the IWSG.

My bit of news:
I am taking part in a "Write-In" group each week and I love it. We just sit and write for three hours.
And, I might be starting a critique group. 
Plus, I'm really read to sub my WIP ... or at least I'm 97% sure. So, that's happening because I think that's about as sure as I'm going to get. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

#THEIWSGPit is happening today!

#IWSGPit is happening now! It's not too late to take part in this awesome Twitter Pitch event! Get your book in front of agents and publishers today!

Here's the info: 

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 15, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.


Writers may send out 1 Twitter pitch every hour per manuscript.

Publishers/Agents will favorite/heart pitches they are interested in. Publishers can either Tweet basic submission guidelines or direct writers to their submission guidelines. (Writers, please do not favorite/heart pitches.)

No images allowed in pitches.

Pitches must include GENRE/AGE and the hashtag #IWSGPit.

#C - children’s
#MG - middle grade
#YA - young adult
#NA - new adult
#A - adult
#AD - adventure
#CF - Christian fiction
#CO - contemporary
#F - fantasy
#H - horror
#HI - historical
#LF - literary fiction
#MCT - mystery/crime/thriller
#ME - memoir
#NF - non-fiction
#PB - picture book
#PN - paranormal
#R - romance
#SF - sci-fi
#WF - women's fiction
#UF - urban fantasy
#S - suspense

And, I decided to go with several pitches for the same book, because why not?

Shunned by his peers, Dunnie hopes for redemption when he uses his super-power again. Instead his displays draws the attention of dark forces. #MG #AD #SF #IWSGPit

The Green stretches out around him. He only wants to use his powers to grow life a life he can call his own. Just how badly could that go? #MG #AD #SF #IWSGPit

Dunnie has a power that's gone wrong in the past. But he has it under control now. Until his old enemy throws an apple core at his head. #MG #AD #SF #IWSGPit

You might think that super-powers come with tights and a cape. Dunnie knows they just come with trouble - like detention, acne, and enemies. #MG #SF #IWSGPit

Dunnie hopes for redemption when he uses his super-power again, creating new life from an old apple core. Instead his displays draws the attention of dark forces. #MG #AD #SF #IWSGPit

Super-powers mean super-trouble, detention, enemies - everything Dunnie normally tries to avoid by keeping his power over the Green a secret. #MG #SF #IWSGPit

When Dunnie thinks of the Green, he thinks of life. It's more than just plants he can control. And, that's what his enemies are interested in. #MG #AD #SF #IWSGPit

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

#IWSGPit Prep

Are you ready to pitch?

I have never actually participated in a pitch event before as a writer, but I have helped host two of these events.
I have read the feed and added in encouraging comments and reminders about the event rules.
I know which pitches catch my attention and which ones I have to read twice to understand, but that doesn't mean I can create one.

In a recent e-mail thread between IWSG Admins, one of the other Admins stated this basic plan for pitches:

Character Goal
Character Motivation

Can you get these into a twitter-length pitch?

I think you can. I hope I can.

In the comment section, please feel welcome to leave your pitch and to comment on one another's pitches. Let's be encouraging but also helpful. Can we help each other hone our pitches?

I have one that I'm trying out. I'm pretty sure that even thought it fits the twitter box for length, it's too wordy. Help would be appreciated! (Big question: do I mention my working title?) (Another question: do I add more space between the sentences?)

Dunnie hopes for redemption and friendship when he uses his super-power in school, instead his display brings dark forces to his family's doorstep.
Can Dunnie and his new friends work together to rescue his family and their community?

More details and the rules for #IWSGPit found HERE. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

"Literary?" Update

During the IWSG last week, I came across a writer's insecurity about writing or not writing "literary" work.

I understand the literary insecurity cycle. It's a tough one.

But, what does literary really mean?

Literary is from the old Latin word literra which became litterarius which became the English word literary. The original definition means: relating to the letters of the alphabet.

Do you use the alphabet when you write? I do.

I guess that means we're literary authors.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: but that's not what "literary" really means!

It means . . . what? Something of snob value? Something that a bunch of college professors decided meets certain qualities or fits certain trends?

Again, looking at the definition, we get: concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form.

My question has been for many years, as a Secondary Education and English major (I took literature criticism classes) and as a writer, who decides what is considered "quality of form?"

It seems we often think genres like romance, science fiction, fantasy, or mystery can't possibly be "literary" works. But, is that really true?

What about Sense and Sensibility? Is that not romance?

What about Kurt Vonnegut's short story, "Harrison Bergeron?" Is that not science fiction?

What about The Hobbit by Tolkien? Is that not fantasy?

What about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock stories and novels? Are those not mysteries?

Did the authors of these works think they were literary writers?
Probably not.

Who decided they had "quality of form?"
We did. By reading them on repeat, we decided they had quality of form.

So, don't let the "literary" insecurity get to you.

Just write. Write your best. Write more. Keep writing.

Let the readers of the ages sort out the rest.

Publication - I had a hint fiction story included in the Best of 2018 edition of Nail Polish Stories: A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. You can read my tiny story here: "Breakfast in Red."

Out on submission: four poems and five hint fiction stories.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#TheIWSG January 2019

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Led and started by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Co-hosting this January by:

Sign Up Here:

Sorry, I'm a bit late today. 

Optional Question: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?
My favorite writing questions:
1. What do you like best about writing?
2. What do you like about world-building?
3. Any questions about heroes, villains, protagonists, and character-driven plot.
4. What authors inspire you?
5. What movies inspire you?

My least favorite writing questions (asked by real people in real time):
1. Why do you call yourself a local author when you don't write about local events? (I was asked this at a book signing by two very grumpy attendees who didn't understand that I usually write fantasy, even though I live local.)
2. Why do you think you're qualified to write without an MFA? (Because I write.)
3. Do you think you're going to become the next J.K. Rowling or something? (Why yes, what author wouldn't want to be successful and amazing like Rowling? But I can really only write and hope.)
4. Do you think you can really write in more than one genre? (Yes. Because I have.)


Oddly Suited by LG Keltner
Sea of Sorrows by AV Brown
Behind the Catcher’s Mask by Jennifer Lane
A Diver’s Ball by Angela Brown
Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
The Dark Charade by CD Gallant-King
The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
Remedy by Chelsea Ballard
Charleston Masquerade by Carrie-Anne Brownian

The top story has the honors of being included in the title. LG Keltner’s story came out on top! The official title of our next anthology – Masquerade: Oddly Suited. Congratulations, LG. (She was also in the top spot for our first anthology, Parallels: Felix Was Here.)

The IWSG Admins spent many hours reading the entries and fourteen were sent to our special judges. We certainly wish to thank them for taking time away from their own work to read the entries:

Kelly Van Sant, agent at Red Sofa Literary Agency
DL Hammons, Write Club founder
Gwen Gardner, author and previous IWSG anthology winner

Look for Masquerade: Oddly Suited late spring!



Big Magic will be discussed at the IWSG Book Club on January 31st