Friday, July 31, 2009

Rio Grande Review Seeks Submissions

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: A glorious Friday--mostly sunny, high 81 degrees.

The Rio Grande Review, a non-profit bilingual publication run by students of the MFA in Creative Writing at The University of Texas at El Paso, is looking for submissions for its Fall 2009 issue. They accept writing of all kinds, including (but not limited to): fiction, poetry, non-fiction, translations, flash fiction, screenplays, memoirs, interviews, etc. The Fall 2009 magazine is open to all topics and genres. Payment is two contributor copies. Electronic submissions preferred.

Visit their submissions page for complete details, including how they select texts. Here's their Million Dollar Question: Would you keep reading this story after the first page if you didn’t have to?

Personal note: While living and working in El Paso in the mid-80s and finishing up my Bachelor of Science Degreee, I took a two-semester English literature class on-site at Fort Bliss. The professor who taught these classes also taught English at UTEP. I don't remember her name, but she introduced me to Flannery O'Connor and Katherine Anne Porter, two of my favorite short story writers. She also gave me an "A" in each of her two classes. I have many reasons to be grateful to her.

Thanks to Julie E. for sending me the link to the Rio Grande Review.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Count Your Blessings

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Chance for thunderstorms, high 81 degrees.

Cari and I (and Harley) stayed up late last night and watched the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Los Angeles Dogers 3-2 in 15 innings. I'm tired this morning and wasn't going to post, but I came across this call for submissions with a very short deadline I had to share with you all:

Chicken Soup for the Soup is seeking submissions for its Count Your Blessings anthology. This call out has a very short deadline. Here is a synopsis of what they want; click on the link for complete details:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings 101 Stories of Gratitude, Fortitude, and Silver Linings.

* True stories and poems
* Written in the first person
* No more than 1,200 words.
* Can be serious or humorous, or both
* Should not have been previously published by Chicken Soup for the Soul or other major publications.
Good luck!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction Contest

Today's forecast for St. Peters: Chance of thunderstorms, high 80 degrees.

The semiannual deadline for the Glimmer Tree Press VERY SHORT FICTION CONTEST if July 31
Reading fee: $15 per story.
Awards: 1st place wins $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, 20 copies of that issue, and a one-year subscription. 2nd/ 3rd-place: $500/$300, respectively.
Open to all writers
Stories not to exceed 3,000 words. (No minimum, but according to their website it's rare for a piece under 500 words to be read as a full story.)
When they accept a story for publication, they purchase first-publication rights. (Once they've published your story, you are free to, for instance, include it in your own collection.)
Visit the Guidelines page of their website for complete details.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Poets & Writers Magazine Top Ten Topics for Writers

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Mostly sunny, high 89 degrees. This weekend was lovely. Michael played in a baseball tournament and Cari danced in a Feis (Irish dance competition). They both did great!

Poets&Writers is a wonderful resource for writers. Since its founding in 1970, the editors have fielded a wide range of inquiries, yet common themes have emerged over time.

Click on the link to read about their Top Ten Topics for Writers which include: Literary Magazines, Book Publishing, Literary Agents, Writing Contests, Vanity Presses, Copyright, Publicity, Conferences and Workshops, MFA Programs, and Literary Organizations.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bobbi Smith, Robert Vaughan and Greg Tobin Headline Writers' Workshop

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Chance of afternoon storms, high 81 degrees. It's almost 90 outside now, so I'm thinking the weather forecast is on the low side.

Robert Vaughan, Bobbi Smith and Greg Tobin share the spotlight to present a day-long writers' workshop.
When? Saturday, July 25 from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. LUNCH WILL BE SERVED
Where? St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1101 Sulphur Spring Rd., Manchester, MO.
How Much? Cost is $65 (includes lunch), check payable to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Call (636) 227-1227 to register.

ROBERT VAUGHAN is the a Spur Award winner and author of ANDERSONVILLE, the Emmy Award finalist mini-series on TNT. He wrote HOMECOMING, a History Channel documentary about Vietnam Veterans. A member of the National Writers Hall of Fame, he is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities, and is the founder and director of Write on the Beach, an intensive writers’ retreat held each year at Gulf Shores, AL.

BOBBI SMITH is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 50 novels. Bobbi is beloved for her page-turning stories of love and adventure, which have earned her the title of Queen of Western Romance. Her latest novel is Runaway published in July from Leisure.

GREG TOBIN was editor in chief of Book-of-the-Month Club and senior vice president of Random House. Currently a writer and editor at Seton Hall University, Greg is a frequent presenter at writers’ seminars, an editorial consultant to authors and literary agents, and at work on his newest fiction and non-fiction books.

With a lineup like that, it's one workshop I would love to attend, but I'm sorry to have to miss it due to a prior commitment. Maybe next time.
If any of my readers go to the workshop, please let me know how it was.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ask a Literary Agent by Noah Lukeman

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Chance of thunderstorms, high 79 degrees.

Literary Agent Noah Lukeman, president of Lukeman Literary Management and author of The First Five Pages, (I have a copy of the book and recommend it) has launched a blog where he answers aspiring authors' questions about writing and getting published.

According to information on his Ask A Literary Agent blog, Mr. Lukeman invites questions about publishing or the craft of writing. He will pick random questions to respond to once every few days or so. He is not accepting new clients, so please don't use this blog to query him.

Once a month, Mr. Lukeman will send out the Ask a Literary Agent newsletter, which will include tips and advice not included in this blog. If you'd like to subscribe, you can find out how to do so on his blog.

I'm a subscriber to his newsletter, which I received yesterday. That's how I found out about his new blog!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Urban Fantasy Trend Started by Stephenie Meyer Still Sizzles

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Mostly sunny, high 81 degrees. Another gorgeous day in the Midwest!

Vampires and zombies and wolves, Oh My! We're definitely not in Kansas any more. Okay, I definitely need to work on my transitions, but here's the scoop.

According to Yahoo News article, "Women Sink their Teeth into Urban Fantasy Novels" , publishers including St. Martin's Press and Ace Books, an imprint of Penguin, are poised to react to the demand for urban fantasy novels. Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series--which has sold more than 50 million copies since its release in 2005--might have ignited the trend, but the trend still sizzles. Other authors such as P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin, Alyson Noel, and Charlaine Harris are having their books snatched up readers with a thirst for (couldn't help myself) urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.

Thanks to Amanda from for e-mailing the article to me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Money, Money, Money, Money . . . MONEY

Today's Forecast for St. Peters, MO: Partly cloudy, high 80 degrees

Ever wonder what writers make? Me, too. This morning I got an education on just that subject when I visited Brenda Hiatt's website.

Brenda is an award-winning Romance writer. For several years Brenda
has surveyed many other generous romance authors who shared their figures.

For accuracy purposes, Brenda only included publishers about whom she received at least three responses and used data since 2000.

Talk about an eye-opener! I'm amazed that one person was able to amass so much information in an easy-to-read and understandable format. So, if you're curious about what some publishers pay their writers, check out Show Me the Money on Brenda's website.

Thank you, Brenda, for collecting, analyzing, and arraying such helpful information, and thanks to all the romance writers who shared their financial information with Brenda!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors - Book Signing

Today's weather forecast for St. Peters, MO: High 90 degrees, with a chance for thunderstorms.

Local writer and breast cancer survivor Alice Muschany will sign copies of A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors Alice's poignant essay, "Hidden Treasures," is among the stories in the inspirational Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors book.

The Saturday, July 18, book signing will be hosted from 1-3 p.m. at the Rendezvous Cafe and Wine Bar in O'Fallon, MO.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Comments in The Summerset Review

Chance of thunderstorms, high 90 degrees. The storms held off for last night's All Star Game in St. Louis. Unfortunately, the National League lost once again.

Some time ago I posted an announcement about Amy Willoughby-Burle's short story, "Out Across the Nowhere," which appeared in the Spring issue of The Summerset Review. I also posted information about The Summerset Review's Fifty-for-Fifty Contest Award. After my posting, I submitted comments about Amy's story.

I was surprised and thrilled to receive an e-mail that I was one of the two readers whose comments were selected for publication on-line. In addition to having my comments published, I received $50, plus a complimentary copy of their wonderful magazine.

The deadline for reader comments on the next issue is September 1 . You can read the guidelines by clicking here.

So, take time to read the poems, stories, or essays of the wonderful contributors in the Summer issue (click on the photo on the left), submit your comments, and you, too, might be a winner.

Good luck!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oprah's Summer Reading List and Ask the Authors

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Partly cloudy, high 89 degrees. It was lovely at 6 a.m. this morning. The sun was out; birds were singing; the dew on the grass made my weed pulling not so bad.

Summer is a special time to enjoy birdsong and work in the garden, but it's also a great time to catch up on reading. If you're looking for a good read, check out Oprah has published her reading list for 2009--books that you can't put down.

Another special feature you'll find there is "Ask the Authors" This week's author is Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin McCann has been a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was the inaugural winner of the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Award in Memory of Princess Grace. He has been named one of Esquire’s "Best and Brightest," He's been a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review.

You can also submit a question for the featured author, and your question might appear on the website.

Looks like I need to make a list and head for the library.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Learning from Other Writers

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Chance of thunderstorms, high 90 degrees.

Last night I attended an author talk at the Kisker Road Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library. During the event three local contributors to the Chicken Soup series spoke about their writing experiences, families, and careers.

Becky Povich, one of the speakers and a member of Saturday Writers, did a wonderful job encouraging writers to pick up their pens (or crank up their PCs) and write--no matter what your age.

In fact, all three women were great. After their talks, each of the three speakers read one of their published stories. As I sat there, I was amazed at their poise and courage reading in front of a group, mostly because their works are so personal.

Listening to advice from writers who have achieved some measure of success is always inspiring. When my schedule permits I try to attend these type of events, not just to support local writers, but also to learn from their experiences.

Another way I learn is by regularly seeking out books with solid writing advice.

Today on my other blog, A Book A Week, I have posted a summary of a book with some superb writing advice. The book, written by Ann Whitford Paul, is Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication (Writer's Digest Books).

If you get a chance pop on over to A Book A Week to check out my comments on Ann's book. Even if you don't write for children, Ann's book has lots of helpful advice and hands-on exercises to hel you become a better writer. While you're there, you'll discover which famous writer celebrates her birthday today. Hint: Did you love Nancy Drew books growing up?

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

W.W. Norton Seeking Hint Fiction for Anthology

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Mostly sunny, high 90 degrees.

Here's a submission opportunity from Robert Swartwood's blog I stumbled upon that is short and sweet--well it doesn't have to be sweet--Hint Fiction.

What is hint fiction? It's a story of no more than 25 words that suggests a larger, more complex story.

The Hint Fiction anthology is tentatively scheduled to be published in the fall of 2010 by W.W. Norton.
The anthology will include between 100 and 150 stories.
Payment is $25 per story for World and Audio rights.
Stories must include a title (which helps give a “hint” of the story).
Writers can only submit up to two stories, both embedded in the same e-mail.
To make everyone’s lives easier, embed the stories like this:
Submissions will open August 1 and close at midnight Eastern time August 31.
A submissions e-mail address will appear on this page on August 1 — DO NOT SUBMIT TO ANY OTHER ADDRESS BEFORE THEN.
Check back on the link above for examples of Hint Fiction and complete guidelines before submitting.
Good luck!
Bonus opportunity:
***For a limited time, if you link to these guidelines from on your blog or Twitter, you can submit a third story. These must be posted between July 1 and August 15. Include the link at the end of your e-mail. If you don’t include a link, the third story will be deleted unread.***

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July Contest Deadlines - Take A Chance on Winning

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Chance of thunderstorms, high 89 degrees.

Nothing like a hot day to keep me inside writing. One productive way I spend my time between large writing projects is entering writing contests, although some of my writing friends claim it's a diversion from finishing my YA novel. But that's another story.

Over the years I've entered many writing contests, and I've even judged a few. Sometimes I think my submission is the greatest, but it doesn't win anything. Other times I send something I don't think is my best work, and it wins. Who knows? One thing for sure, just like the Lottery, you can't win if you don't play--or in this case--enter.

The contests below either have no entry fee or very affordable entry fees. All have deadlines in July.

July 18 - "Three-Minute Fiction" Contest is sponsored by National Public Radio. Thanks to Amanda H, a member of Saturday Writers, who e-mailed me about this contest. No fee to enter, a 600-word limit, and lots of guidelines to follow. I'm working on a story I hope to finish in time.

July 24 - White County Creative Writers - is a great group of writers from Arkansas who sponsor fun contests in conjunction with their annual conference. You don't have to attend the conference to enter. I've entered a few of this group's contests over the years--and won a couple times. The entry fee is $5 for first entry and $3 for all others.

July 31 - Green River Writers from Kentucky sponsor several contests each year--mostly poetry, but some fiction and one novel contest. The one contest I've had the most luck with is the Jim O'Dell Memorial Limerick Contest. I'm definitely not a poet, but writing Limericks is fun, and winning money for them is icing on the cake. Their entry fees are also affordable.

So, take a chance on winning. Good luck! If you enter and win, please let me know, so I can share your good news with my visitors.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meet the Authors at Kisker Road Branch Library

Today's weather for St. Peters, MO: It's another hot one outside, but what do you expect for the Midwest in July?

If you live in St. Charles County or the metro-St. Louis area, here's an author event you might want to check out.

As part of the St. Charles City-County Library District Meet the Authors Series, on Thursday, July 9 from 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m., the Kisker Road Library 1000 Kisker Road, St. Charles, MO, will host three Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors.
Speakers include Saturday Writers member Becky Povich, as well as local writers Tammy Goodsell, and Theresa Sanders.

This author event is co-sponsored by Main Street Books in St. Charles and Friends of the Library. Each contributor will read one of their Chicken Soup stories and talk about their writing methods, including where they get story ideas.

This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale, and speakers will sign copies of their books at the conclusion of the reading and discussion. Click on the St. Charles City-County Library link for details, or call the Kisker Road Branch Library at 636-447-READ.

Monday, July 6, 2009

And the Winner is . . .

Today in St. Peters, MO: It's lovely outside this evening, and the full moon is gorgeous.

Drum roll, please!

The lucky winner of Elizabeth Kirschner's book, My Life as a Doll, is K9Friend (Pat W.). Pat's name was picked at random from everyone who visited and left a comment or question for Elizabeth. Thanks to Elizabeth for the gift of her time and wisdom, and thanks to everyone who stopped by.

Be sure and mark your calendars for August 5, when my guest blogger will be Sue William Silverman, memoirist and award-winning writer of Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir. Sue will discuss "Truth in Memoir"--a topic that is much debated among my writing friends. Sue's post about this controversial subject is one that I believe will generate lots of questions and comments from my visitors.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Walt!

Partly cloudy, patchy drizzle. High 79 degrees. Windows open, a/c off, it's a pleasant day to celebrate Walt's 62nd birthday today.

Happy birthday, Walt! On this day in 1947 my wonderful husband Walt was born in Erding, Germany. He emigrated to the United States in April, 1962 and lived in Holyoke, MA, until he enlisted in the USAF in 1967. I met and married him in 1968 while he was stationed at Scott AFB, IL.

Here's a photo of Walt with our grandchildren Cari and Michael at our place on the Gasconade River in Osage County, MO.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Chance of thunderstorms, high 80 degrees. I hope the rain and predicted thunderstorms don't dampen the holiday enthusiasm--or fireworks celebrations!

From the middle of America, in the "Show Me" State of Missouri, I wish you all a safe and happy Independence Day.

While you are enjoying yourself on this Fourth of July, take time to remember those who have made our country so great. If you cherish your freedom, thank a vet. If you want your children and grandchildren to enjoy the same freedoms, thank a member of our armed forces who nobly serve our country.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blog Me, Baby

Today in St. Peters, MO, it's partly cloudy, 76 degrees.

Recently I've received e-mails from two writing friends asking me to add links to their websites on my blog. I'm more than happy to do that. It got me to thinking about how closely connected networking and marketing are. Linking with other writers via blogs or websites or social networks helps to stay in touch--and possibly connect with publishing industry folks who visit blogs like mine.

I used the title "Blog Me, Baby" from Amy Willoughby-Burle's e-mail to me, which gives you a hint at Amy's wit and wisdom--not to mention her elegant writing!

Amy Willoughby-Burle’s fiction has appeared in Potomac Review, Sycamore Review, Inkwell, The MacGuffin, Summerset Review, Reed Magazine, and Cuivre River Anthology. Her story “Stone Jesus in the Front Yard,” which appeared in The MacGuffin was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2007.
Amy is a graduate of East Carolina University. Born and raised and now back in North Carolina she has also lived in Virginia, New York, California, and Missouri working as an event planner, a receptionist, a cashier, a housekeeper, a newspaper editor, a certified nurse’s aide and much more. What some would see as a fear of commitment she has used as a map of life and knowledge, allowing all that is awful and beautiful to permeate her fiction--living in that moment of transition. Amy resides in Candler, NC just west of Asheville, with her husband and two adorable daughters.

Claudia Shelton lives where summers are hot with humidity and winters are cold with snow; but, the other two seasons provide her world with colors and scents enough to spark her feelings. In spring, her imagination tiptoes through the daffodils, sits beneath trees bursting with blossoms and relishes the sound of birds returning from their winter vacation. Leaves in all their colorful reds and golds mix in her fall imaginings with the call of geese on their way south or the smell of an early morning get-the-chill-off fire. These all become the backdrop for her stories of relationships and love, patriotism and duty...and second chances in life.

Claudia is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Missouri Romance Writers of America (MORWA), Missouri Writer’s Guild, Saturday Writers and a few critique groups. Her short fiction has received numerous recognitions, plus being published in Sweetgum Notes and Cuivre River Anthology, Volume III. Sharing time with her family and two dogs brings her happiness. And, relaxing on her swing with a good book is always a great way to start the day.

If you get a chance, visit Amy's and Claudia's websites to see what wonderful and unique ways they express themselves through their writing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Your Truest Self - Free Downloadable Reader's Guide

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Partly sunny, high 80 degrees. It's a fine day for finishing the deck, which Walt is busy doing right now. In fact, it's about this color.

If you're a regular visitor to Donna's Book Pub, you might remember Janice Lynne Lundy's guest blog awhile back. Jan recently e-mailed me that her book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You are Meant to Be, now has a free downloadable Reader's Guide, which she believes would be perfect for book discussion groups. For now, the guide is housed at her publisher's website, Ave Maria Press but will be available on Jan's website at a later date. Click on the Ave Maria Press link above for more information.
The reader's guide has questions for discussion, and Jan has created a unique group activity for each of the 12 Transformational Truths in Jan's book.

Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...