Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday's Market - Bylines Writers' Desk Calendar

Today's forecast for St. Peters: Mostly cloudy, high 51 degrees.

Here's some good news about two writing friends from Saturday Writers: Cindy Allen and Doyle Suit will be among the writers featured in the 2009 edition of Bylines Writers' Desk Calendar, which will be released on December 12.

I recently e-mailed Bylines Calendar publisher, Sylvia Forbes, and asked about what she is looking for in the 2010 calendar.

Sylvia is looking for: "great stories about the writing life. Stories that are funny, moving, tell of a rewarding moment, of hard work paying off, of not giving up, of "ah ha" writing moments, of learning something from other writers or writing groups, of a memorable moment at a writing conference, or even learning what NOT to do, are just a few possible topics that would be fitting. These stories are meant to motivate a writer to keep trying, to cheer them up on a day when the writing seems hard, or just to inspire them or make them feel they're not alone, by reading about someone else's trials, errors and successes.

"In 300 words, there's not a lot of room for a complicated or multifaceted story, so writers must pick just one incident, or idea and write about it. Some writers introduce too many elements, and then aren't able to resolve everything in such a short story. Writers are certainly welcome to submit more than one story, but only one story per person will be chosen for an edition.

"Two types of submissions that get rejected for Bylines are: 1) entries that are really just bios of the author. (I wrote published my first article, got better, met an editor, and now I have 5 books published, etc.), or 2) those who submit some version of "I write because I must."

"I would like to include a couple of poems about the writing life in each edition, but get very few poetry submissions. Poems must be specifically about writing to be eligible.

"Stories are accepted totally on the quality of the writing and on the story told. I do not look at the writer's name, what genre they publish in, or anything else, to decide. However, if I get two stories that are almost exactly alike, I might save one for a different edition. This has rarely happened, however.

"Compensation could be better, and as Bylines grows, I will try to do better. We pay $5 and a copy of the book, plus give discounts on any extra copies that they buy. We also put a link to their website from the Bylines website, and will publish their email address on the contact page in Bylines. I do know that several writers have been emailed by fans who got their email address from Bylines, and complimented the writer's writing, but I don't know if any Bylines writers have gotten assignments or book deals from being in Bylines.

"Currently Bylines is available on Amazon, from the Bylines website, and also from Funds for Writers, and by calling or emailing me. The website is the best way for me to sell books.

"Last year, we added a submission tracker, as well as an expense tracker. This year, I've added listings of over 50 popular literary festivals in North America. Authors who want to promote their books might find this listing of benefit, as one more way to market books is to either speak at or participate in a booth selling books." Sylvia

According to the submission guidelines on Sylvia's website, submissions for the 2010 calendar must be received by February 1, 2009. Writers will be notified by April 15. For complete submission guidelines, visit the website.

Good luck with your submissions, and congratulations, Cindy and Doyle.


  1. Donna,

    Thanks for all those details! I had checked the site last week, wondering about the 2009 edition, and now snap! There's everything I wanted to know.

    P.S. I'm in it, too :-)You should give it a try!

  2. Hi Cathy,
    Thanks, and congratulations!
    A quote of mine is on the back cover of the 2008 issue. Maybe I will send something to get inside next year.

  3. Thanks for the details, Donna. Really helpful info.


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