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Top Ten Tips For Writing Short Stories

by Clare Cooper 1.  Before you start, study your targeted publication’s guidelines, plus as many issues as you can.  You should know your market, word counts, presentation, forbidden and well-worn themes, etc, as this will save you potential heartache and frustration later on. Editors can usually tell in the first sentence, and certainly the first paragraph, if it’s what we’re looking for.  We look for the same things you do:  A story that’s ...

The Other Side of the Desk

by Clare Cooper Wanted: Writers to fill pages in magazines. Must have thick skins and be prepared to take criticism, rejection and incredibly long waiting times on the chin. Must learn to bite their tongues and not get stroppy, or they will be sent to the naughty desk.  Must accept that ...

Real Names vs Pen Names

By Luke Edley  There are lots of writers who choose to write under pen names for many different reasons. But few seem to acknowledge why the popularity of certain names can be a determining factor in a writer’s decision to embrace a nom de plume.  Joanne Rowling, for instance, may have chosen J.K. Rowling ...

Netgalley for Authors

by Maria Riegger In 2019, I used  NetGalley  for the first time. NetGalley  is a paid site used by independent authors and publishers to obtain more book reviews. Here, I’m reporting on my first use of NetGalley and the results.  First,  what is  NetGalley? Authors and publishers can pay to list their books on the site. NetGalley subscribers  (it’s ...

Taser Your Writing Muse

by Cindy Tomamichel Writers block is something often mentioned when a group of writers get together. How do you fix it? How do you deal with the menace of the blank page? Has your Muse abandoned you?  Well, firstly writer’s block is just a temporary inability to write. It may feel horrible, ...

World Building – A Novice’s Guide

by Claire Buss When you set out to write a novel you have an early choice to make. Either the people and the setting are based on real life actualities. Or, and this is definitely more fun, you get to make the whole thing up. And let's face it, that's one ...

The Writing Research Rabbit Hole

by Cindy Tomamichel Most writers love to know things, collecting odd fragments of information to craft into a telling scene, or to spark creativity. From old recipes, newspapers, dusty books and odd google searches, the amount of random snippets can overwhelm any writer. For a writer of historical, fantasy or science ...

NaNo who?

by Claire Buss November means only one thing in the writing community, and it's not Thanksgiving - it's NaNoWriMo! What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and in their own words is both "a website, a community and an ambitious writing challenge". Every year writers sign up to start writing ...

How to get permission to use song lyrics in your books

by Maria R Riegger If you have ever wondered how to request permission to use song lyrics in your fiction and nonfiction books, then this blog post is for you. First, nothing in this post constitutes legal advice. Generally speaking, an author does not need to request permission to use the title of a song ...