Writing Contests — They Shoot Horses Don’t They?

Why Pay an Anonymous Judge to Smack Me Down? ~ By Jeff Salter I could write a book about contests. So today’s little excerpt will be just a few of my rants and raves. But first a disclaimer: For those talented and fortunate few writers with positively golden entries which win or ‘final’ — contests are fantastic opportunities for exposure to agents, editors, or publishers… and many of those contest results lead to SALES! So, if I were one of those few winners/finalists, I’m sure I would heap nothing but praise on contests… and most of their judges. AND: Years...

Five Reasons You Should Judge The Stiletto Contest

~ By Mary E. Thompson The 2018 Stiletto Contest opens March 9. To make the contest a success, we need lots and lots of judges! Judging isn’t an easy job, but it’s a great job. We think you’d be perfect for it! You Get Free Books Who doesn’t love free books? You don’t get to pick any free book you want, but you do get to read books without having to pay for them. That’s always a good deal. Unpublished entries will be documents, and published entries will be mobi, epub, or paperback books so they’ll be easy to read!...

The Stiletto Contest is coming! Want to be a judge?

~ By Liza Keogh The Contemporary Romance Writers chapter’s annual contest, The Stiletto, opens for entries on March 9 and this year, we’ve expanded the ‘unpublished’ category! Authors may now submit unpublished works under the following guidelines: the work is a standalone or, if the work is part of a series, it must be the first book in the series; the work must not be available on sites such as Wattpad; the work must not be under contract. Re-issued work is ineligible. Any work available for purchase online or in print at any time is considered published and is ineligible,...

World Bending

~ By Molly Jameson I had a reputation for exaggerating as a kid. I liked to think of it as creative license. I don’t object to reality necessarily, so much as I’d like to rearrange some things to make it entertaining. So it makes sense for me as an author to bend the living world to my will, to make it fit the story I want to tell. My thought process was fairly straightforward. I like to look at gorgeous international destinations, designer clothes and shoes, and many of my dream holiday spots are museums and old buildings rather...

Celebrating Seasoned Romance – Why?

~ Nan Reinhardt Note: This post originally appeared here. I’m bugged. It seems that romance novels are the bailiwick of characters who are younger than 40. If 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40, then how come romance after 50 isn’t sexy anymore? Well, folks, I’ve got big news–sexy is timeless. Excuse me, but two words, Pierce Brosnan. Sean Connery? Jeff Bridges? Denzel Washington, anyone? Richard Gere? My husband? And as far as sexy women are concerned–want to talk about Susan Sarandon? Sophia Loren? Goldie Hawn? Helen Mirren? Tina Turner? Me? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)...

Austen’s Universal Appeal

~ By Marilyn Brant  Note: This post originally appeared here. When I was a fourteen-year-old high school freshman in the 1980’s, my English lit teacher had the audacity to foist a supposedly romantic novel on our class. The story took place in Regency England and was considered a “classic,” which I figured was literary shorthand for “deadly dull, full of obscure symbolism, and probably selected by the members of the department while drinking too much spiked punch at a staff holiday party.” After listening to our teacher’s introductory lecture on the book and its author, I was underwhelmed. So, I...

What I Screw Up

~ By Laura Trentham  All right folks, we are about to get down and dirty with sentence mechanics here… If you’ve gone through the editing process with a good editor, this post might not apply, but if you haven’t, then read on. I’m going to talk about two bad habits I am still learning to shake—Autonomous body parts (Abp’s) and Simultaneous actions (SA). I’ve learned these abbreviations by heart because I saw them so much from my editor☺. I still struggle with this in my first drafts, but at least now I can recognize and fix them before shipping them...

Backstory vs. Exposition

~ By Mellanie Szereto A lot of agents and editors comment about submissions they’ve rejected because the author either opened with page after page of backstory and no action or had a great opening action scene followed by pages of backstory. Some of the contest entries I’ve judged have had similar issues. How much Backstory is too much? And what is Exposition? You’ve thought of a fantastic idea for a story, so you start getting to know your characters. If you’re a Plotter, you might create a character bio, listing physical characteristics of your hero/heroine and finding the perfect celebrity...

GOAL SETTING FOR 2018 – GET SMART

~ By Katina Drennan  Out with the old, in with the NEW, right? For most of us, the NEW means setting NEW writing goals for the coming year. Some of us have been at this a while and we know what works for us and what doesn’t. But many of us go about this task with “fear and loathing”. This year, I’m borrowing from my past. As a safety consultant, I taught my clients how to set SMART goals, and darned if they don’t apply to writing as well as accident prevention. How do you know if your goals are...

The New Year’s Goal Advice You Don’t Want but Probably Need

~ By Nicole R. Locker The beginning of a new year is so exciting for some of us. People stop to reflect on the previous year, what they’ve accomplished, and what goals they still want to achieve in the next 365 days to get them a little bit closer to that pie we’re all reaching for in the proverbial sky. To me, the New Year is like the ultimate Monday. You know what I’m talking about. Monday is that day of the week when some people I know start new diets, or that new workout program, or whatever the...

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