Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Talk about reverse engineering!

At last, there is a way to connect keyboard-less digital devices to typewriters!


Excerpt:
The USB Typewriter, created by Jack Zylkin, is one of the products that pay homage to that lionized, endangered, and, for some, still preferable writing machine. The USB Typewriter is a kit of electronica that, when installed on a typewriter, sends whatever is typed on the machine to an attached digital device—a computer, tablet, or smartphone—where it is stored as electronic, and thus editable and uploadable, text. The converted typewriter still works on its own, in the traditional fashion, with or without a device attached. Zylkin began tinkering with his own typewriter in 2009, simply out of love for the machine and a wish to rescue it from obsolescence; it wasn’t until he officially introduced his creation to the public, in 2010, that he fully realized what it could mean for writers. “For me, it’s all about the magic of typewriters and how wonderful they are—I just like working on them,” Zylkin says. “But they represent a whole way of writing that is being forgotten.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Year-end writing opportunities

A castle library!  
If you're like me, you are ending the year with a pile of story and article submissions you didn't complete. Here are a few recent market possibilities if you want to set aside some extra time for writing between holidays.


The following are from the great Brian Scott at www.freelancewriting.com

Words the Podcast (Words) is presently welcoming submissions of poetry, short stories, essays, and pitches for journalism pieces. Words is a new weekly literary podcast launching in January 2015...
Payment: $40/article
Source: FreelanceWriting.com

Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.
Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.
Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.
Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.
Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing...   http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Payment: up to $100/story
Source: WritingCareer.com

Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.
Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.

Mslexia magazine has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing. The editorial staff, led by Debbie Taylor, invites national and international writers to submit original, unpublished materials for various sections of the magazine. - See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and#sthash.qJEf6Fgu.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/105170659666/mslexia-magazine-posts-new-deadlines-for-prose-and
Copyright © WritingCareer.com - All content on our website is original and copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be copied, reproduced, or re-printed, online or offline. Use our RSS feed instead. Thanks for respecting our rights and our hard work.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A reminder: Even the best writers need to put in the time...


Interview excerpt

Enjoy this brief excerpt from Writers Relief, part of an interview with two-time United States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, author of eleven full-length collections of poetry.


Excerpt:
What is it about writing poetry that gives you the most joy?
It happens when I am sitting with my notebook, picking away at a poem, and suddenly something wonderful unexpectedly rushes in from my blind side and I exclaim, “Yowie! Did I just write that?”

Your most recent book, Splitting an Order, had an incubation period of approximately ten years. Do you write every day? Can you talk a little bit about the intersection of patience and the writing life? What else would you like us to know about your new book?
I do try to write every morning, and I fail to write anything of merit maybe twenty-eight days out of every month. But on a couple of days, I might write something that I think will have some endurance and mean something to other people. If I’m not sitting there with my notebook when the good ones mysteriously arrive, I’ll miss them completely.

Something to keep us humble and a reminder to feed the daily writing habit. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Now that's a book jacket!

 
 
 
If you are wondering how to make your next book stand out, consider Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.
Seriously, this is a striking book cover design. I'm not sure what message it delivers to a book browser, but a review on Brain Pickings, (one of my weekly passions), describes her book: The unhinging of that trap is what Amanda explores with equal parts deep personal vulnerability, profound insight into the private and public lives of art, and courageous conviction about the future of creative culture.
 
Considering the trap of too much entitlement to what we feel we want and too little capacity to accept what we truly need, we can relate when she speaks of the Imposter Complex: 
There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to university, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.

Glad she got that off her chest.... !

Friday, December 5, 2014

Put more 'self' into publishing

Here's news of a collaborative self-publishing idea!
Gather your friends and surge ahead in 2015!

[from Infinity Publishing blog]:

Bundles are a hot new trend for self publishing indie writers these days, and multi-author bundles are a great deal for both readers and author marketing.
 "These anthologies of short stories or novellas give readers more of what they're looking for: great stories in their favorite genre. This strategy also applies to non-fiction where the subject matter is similar. For the authors, they're a great chance to be discovered by many more new readers than they might otherwise find. The rewards for writers can be huge in terms of sales and recognition, but bundles don't come together overnight. It takes a dedicated, organized person to put a bundle together, but the effort will pay off significantly."
Read more about the logistics, costs, legal issues here at Infinity Publishing's blog. Then share this post with friends and consider a similar publishing project.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grammarly to the rescue

In my youth, a convoy of nuns at Sacred Heart School taught English, grammar, writing, shorthand and typing. The nuns are long gone to their heavenly reward but daily, I am grateful for my ability to string sentences together. These basic skills helped me make a living in the corporate world for many years, and then as a writer/author. Freelance writers without the early-childhood advantage of nuns for teachers can be grateful for Grammarly. This company stepped forward to provide a survey showing the value of good writing, at a time when good freelancers are in great demand. Grammarly is an online automatic proofreading service and grammar coach.


In a survey of nearly 500 freelance professionals, Grammarly analyzed how well the freelancers' online profiles at ELance.com seemed to correlate to credibility, hireability or pay. The results showed the best-reviewed freelancers had the fewest writing errors per 100 words in their profile. Error rates by freelance writers were markedly lower than other areas, such as IT, engineering, sales and financial professionals. Across all fields in the study, writers earned more money per job than other professions.

Perhaps it is our attention to detail, critical eye, and love of words that make us so reliable and in demand.

To the left, you'll find an interesting infographic supplied by Grammarly... (click to enlarge)







Note: Grammarly made a donation to Reading is Fundamental, on my behalf.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Special event for teen writers


If you're in the Chicago area, here is something special coming up on Saturday:

JESSIE ANN FOLEY - Writing Workshop for Teens
Saturday, November 15th
3:00 pm at The Book Stall, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL
 
Every story has to take place somewhere, and for writers from William Faulkner to Suzanne Collins, the WHERE can be just as important as the WHO and the WHAT.  In the “Take a Place” workshop, Jessie Ann Foley will introduce some techniques to "see" a setting in your mind and build out an entire story world from there.

The event is free, but space is limited. Please call The Book Stall: 847-446-8880 to reserve your spot. Recommended for teen writers ages 14-18. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blogging is 20 years old!

WOW... Blogs have been around for twenty years!

Yes, 1994 was a long time ago and that's when blogs got started.

The Columbia Journal Review has a nice long piece here about the start of something that grew larger than anyone could have predicted.

NANOWRIMO inspiration break

If you're writing daily in November, and feel yourself running on empty, take a break and read this lovely essay by Sven Birkerts on Aeon.co.

"It was going to New York City last week that finally did it, almost as if the point of going had been for me to be in Central Park on that fine crystal afternoon, to sit on a bench by the lake watching that cinema trick of a painting dissolving into motion. Something happened in that spot. I was touched in the core of my reverie by one of those unaccountable inner shifts. This one scarcely more than a flutter, really, but I took that flutter as the beginning of a larger turn, a motion counter to the deep inertia of the long weeks before.

"The matter sounds so simple. All of a sudden, I found myself wanting to write sentences again and, when I did, it felt to me like the rains had finally come, stirring up life in the dry land. I don’t know if I even shifted in my place, but whatever it was has since brought something back that had gone missing. The time hasn’t been that long, really, but by what clock? What decides long? The clock of days or the clock of the inside life? How long can a person feel unconnected and not feel that it’s too long? Writing, for me, is the mainspring, the momentum, that small tipping action inside that makes the watch keep real time."
Continue reading at Aeon.co

Friday, October 31, 2014

NANOWRIMO returns. Stop procrastinating.

If you're excited by National Novel Writing Month, you're in good company. See my 2011 post for more about NANOWRIMO. Some writers have novel ideas ready to go, and others will work on a memoir or use the event to make a commitment to writing over 1,600 words a day or even commit to daily blogging. The goal is a total of 50,000 words, a great first draft on your project.

Too ambitions for you? Any effort is better than none.Either way, it is an inspiring community of writers. Learn more at NANOWRIMO.

Also, Story Studio Chicago has events to keep you motivated here.

And if you need help, there is a new productivity app Stop Procrastinating, designed to help writers stay focused by combining psychology with technology. I just learned about this today, and if you want to find out more, visit this link. (www.stopprocrastinatingapp.com). The app is ridiculously inexpensive and can finally help you focus on your writing instead of online distractions. Do it...now.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Thirteen places to hold book events

Lucky 13... Thanks to Caitlin Muir @authormedia.com for these great suggestions. Get motivated to plan a book tour schedule for next Spring to promote your books. Pick a few close to home and do winter events too. People love to get out and hear authors talk about their work.

Find a Place To Give a Book Reading:

  1. Your local coffee shop
  2. A hospital
  3. A retirement community
  4. A rehabilitation center
  5. A local church
  6. A locally owned bookstore
  7. The library (try the five closest to your house)
  8. The local community college
  9. A school
  10. Wherever the main setting of your book is
  11. Google+
  12. Videos you upload to Facebook
  13. Goodreads--stay active on this site

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Even famous authors can get a bad review

Book reviews help our books get noticed. That's a good thing, right? Usually...

People reading reviews on Amazon understand that when a grumpy person writes a negative review, the author doesn't deserve to be attacked. We tend to dismiss reviews that insult the writer's integrity, or when the reviewer is being mean.

But, how would we feel if said review was in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, and tore into the author's work in such a highly visible way? The author I'm referring to is Joyce Carol Oates, and the review was of her story collection, Lovely, Dark, Deep.

The reviewer, who shall remain nameless here, has decided the book is "a fatally slack enterprise, a makeshift heap of first drafts, blighted by shallow emotion". Worse, he refers to offhand manipulation of trauma, and prose that feels virtually unedited.

Ouch!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Promote your events @ Poets & Writers


Poets & Writers has revamped their Literary Events Calendar. They cite its "beautiful new interface makes it easy to find readings and other literary events near you, and to post events you are part of." 

And, of course, its free! Post your upcoming events now, and they will also be listed in our their new app -- Poets & Writers Local -- coming later this fall!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Do reviews help ebook sales?

I;ll bet you think the answer is "Yes, of course."

Surprisingly, though, the chart below shows ebook sales attributable to a traditional media review represent only three percent. That means word-of-mouth and browsing are better methods of discovery. Of course, the best way is being a repeat author and having fans waiting for the release of your next ebook....

Thanks to Mark Coker of Smashwords for the chart below: