Archive for the ‘Get Published!’ Category

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

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Three local authors will share “Resources for Writers” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Jil Plummer will discuss resources for research: how to find correct flora, fauna, and climate, feel the mood of the setting, and capture the culture, religion, and history of your subject.

Bill Stong will talk about drawing the reader in with challenges and writing goals, vivid and vibrant writing, and using a support network to make your writing come alive.

Leslie Rupley will present choices for the independent publisher: boutique publishers, all-inclusive packages, and do-it-yourself.

Sign-in begins at 11:15 am, with a seated luncheon from 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm. Meal selection should be included in your reservation: New York steak, salmon, chicken parmesan, or pasta primavera. Speakers from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, December 7.

Contact Robin at cwcrobin.gigoux@yahoo.com or leave a message at: 925-933-9670 or sign up via PayPal: click “buy now” on the Mt.Diablo website.: http://cwcmtdiablowriters,wordpress.com/next-program/.  Add $2 transaction fee. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com

 

Calling All High School Students! $5000 Essay Writing Contest!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize

 Submission window: Jan. 1–Feb. 28, 2016

The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize returns for its second year! This time, we’re looking for exceptional high school student essays that insightfully analyze and interpret a meaningful work of art.

Our understanding of the human experience is enhanced by the study of significant historical artifacts. When we interact with art — when we learn about it, think about it, write and talk about it — we participate in a larger, ongoing conversation about culture and society. The 2016 Writing Prize contest invites you to be part of this conversation.

Your essay should share your perspective on the artwork you choose to write about, and it should also include evidence that backs up your conclusions. We’re looking for writing that is both interesting and instructive, and that clearly communicates your experience with the artwork and your views on it.

Essays should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words and can be submitted from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2016. You’ll need to ask a teacher-sponsor to approve and submit your essay; see How to Enter for more on that. We’ll select one student winner who will earn a $5,000 prize and have his or her essay published in the September 2016 issue of The Atlantic.

For more information, visit CollegeBoardWritingPrize.org

Five Tips to Inspire Your Creativity!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016


A few years ago after we purchased new carpet, the seller mentioned, “When you vacuum your carpet every day . . .”

I laughed.

“You don’t vacuum each day?”  She said with a voice that implied I regularly tortured babies and small animals.

“No!”  My intonation indicated she was crazier than I.

“It’s not good for your carpet,” she said, nearly shaking her finger at me.  “It won’t last very long.”

Since our old, worn carpeting was installed into our house for decades, I wasn’t about to tell her it had survived well without any obsessive cleaning.

In our busy lives it’s hard to discipline ourselves to begin a routine.  But if you feel deep in your soul it should be a priority, make it one.  Turn off your gadgets and devote twenty minutes a day for your creativity to develop and flow.

Tips:

1. Train your family or roommates by posting a sign on your door.  Mine says Writer at Work.  Don’t disturb means don’t disturb.  No room to call your own?  A friend set up a small desk inside a closet in which to work.  She wrote several books this way, early in the morning before her kids were up and she went to work as a teacher.

2.  Play instrumental or movie music (without words) to inspire your writing or art.  Amy Tan plays the same music every day for the book she is working on. It trains your brain to get into the relaxed state to create.

3.  While walking, exercising, showering, washing the dishes, wonder about your story, poem, or painting.  Solutions and inspiration comes in the wondering state more than facing an empty computer screen or blank piece of paper.

4.  Motivate yourself with a star on each day you’ve made your writing goal or

5.  Motivate yourself by finding a writing friend to join you.  You can chat online or in person once a week about your goals and projects.

As author Jane Yolen commands, “Butt in chair!”  It’s the way to get your writing done. You’ll feel great once you’ve built this creative routine!

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Writers! Win $1000 for your short story, essay and poem!

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

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Hourglass Literary Magazine invites all authors and  writers who write in English, to submit their unpublished work to their writer contest.

Categories:  Short story, essay, and poetry.

Award: $1000 for each category.

No theme or genre limitations.  

For more information visit  www.hourglassonline.org or write: contest@hourglassonline.org

Deadline:  January 1, 2016

The literary contest is for authors who write in English and Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrin languages.

You want to write a children’s book? But how?

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

 

  1. Immerse yourself in a variety of children’s books.  Go to the children’s section of your local library and bookstore and       READ.  If you want to write a picture book, read 1000 of them.  This is your research.  This is your education.
  2. At home, with children’s books all around you, study the books as though you were taking a class.  Discover their structure, introductions of conflict, character, rhythm, repetition, the rule of three, and other techniques in children’s literature. Realize stories need to be kid-like, with kid-like dialogue, with kid appeal.
  3. Read these books out loud.  Internalize the rhythm of children’s books.  Internalize the structure.
  4. Brainstorm your book.  Let it flow!  Write a rough draft and see where it takes you.  Remember, it’s just a rough draft.  (Say that to yourself 100 times. Internalize this.) Write several rough drafts.  What age child is your audience?  Play with the format and the voice.
  5.  Read every draft you write out loud.  They all need to have a natural in-born rhythm.  When you master it, you’ll know it.
  6. Join SCBWI.  The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is the reason many of us children’s authors are published.  After you’ve joined, make use of every free document on their website. www.scbwi.org
  7. Take a class.  Or several.  Go to SCBWI conferences and meetings.  Keep reading and studying.
  8. Find or form a critique group.  Writing partners are also great.  Both writing groups and writing partners help with critiquing, motivation, and support.  At a signing I had for my book, The ABCs of Writing for Children, two women wanted to write for children.  I told them to get together.  They had coffee after my talk and started their own partnership.  One day several years later, I received an e-mail from them telling me they’ve been meeting and writing . . . and publishing ever since!
  9. Don’t forget the children’s magazine world.  Many stories for children may not be picture books, but short stories for children.  There are opportunities for paying markets for short stories and nonfiction in magazines in print and online.
  10. Don’t rely on the opinions of your neighbor’s children, or your friend’s.  They will love it because they love YOU.  Be honest with yourself.  If the story has been done before, publishers won’t want it.  However, maybe you can take your story and give it a new twist or slant.  Look at it a new way.
  11. Persistence pays!  Don’t let the rejections get you down.  There are large, medium and small publishers out there!  Dr. Seuss was rejected 27 times before he found a house willing to take a chance on him.
  12. My favorite advice is from prolific children’s author Jane Yolen.  BIC.   Butt in chair.  If you keep at it long enough and you are willing to grow and change, you WILL succeed.  When you read your published book to children in the audience and they smile, get involved, and shout out answers to the action in your book, you’ll know it was worth every minute.

Calling All Kids and Teens! Art Contest for YOU!

Friday, July 24th, 2015

IMG_6759The California State Parks Foundation is offering an art contest for youth aged 4 – 18.   Why do you think state parks are great places?  Guidelines state “Posters should be no smaller than 8 inches x 10 inches and no larger than 11 inches x 17 inches.   Almost any kind of paper can be used, and we encourage use of chalk, ink, marker, photography, paint, or more.”

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Winners receive prize packages, including $50 gift cards from Subway!  Posters will be displayed online at calparks.org and featured in their publications and media.

Postmark your entry by September 8, 2015.  Winners will be announced in October 2015.

Visit http://www.calparks.org/whatwedo/advocacy/youthartcontest/ for the entry form which must be accompanied by the art submission.

 

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Write an essay and win $500!

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

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EssayMama Writing Contest is a great opportunity for both young and experienced writers to express themselves. So don’t hesitate – enter the contest and win great prizes! Entry Fee – $ 0!

Why compete in EssayMama Essay Writing Contest?

Get cash.

  • 1st place – $500
  • 2nd place – $350
  • 3rd place – $200

Get published.

Get fame and popularity! Three best works will be published on the EssayMama Blog.

Get discovered.

Share your writing spirit and talent with the world!

Terms and Conditions

Deadline - October 1, 2015. Submit your essays from July 6 till October 1, 2015.

Judging Criteria

Essays will be checked by EssayMama team of professional writers and editors from October 1, 2015 till October 8, 2015. Scale – from 0 to 100 points. You can get extra points for extra social sharing (see the information below).

The final results will be announced on October 9, 2015. The winning essays will be published on EssayMama blog. Each winner will receive a personal email alert.

How to enter EssayMama Essay Writing Contest?

To enter the contest you need to “like” EssayMama Facebook Page and share the post about EssayMama Writing Contest on your own Facebook page OR to follow EssayMama Twitter Profile and retweet the tweet about EssayMama Writing Contest.

Link to your shared post/tweet is the ‘entry fee’ to the competition, so do not forget to add it to your letter!

ATTENTION!

You can get extra points for extra social sharing! Share/follow/like other EssayMama social profiles and get more points to your essay score! You can find the links to EssayMama social profiles in the sidebar. Page follow – 5 extra points, post sharing – 2 extra points.

Submission Guidelines

Type Essay (800 – 1300 words) – one participant can send only one essay!

Topics:

  1. What is the role of social media in education?
  2. A college student’s dilemma: to study or to work?
  3. Online learning: is it effective nowadays?
  4. Why don’t teens read like they used to?
  5. Importance of essay writing in education
  6. What are the effects of illiteracy for the civilization??
  7. The ideal education system: what does it look like?
  8. Causes and effects of academic procrastination

Language English only

Formats .doc, .rtf, .odt, and .docx

100% unique All submissions will be checked via PlagTracker.

 Participation in the contest automatically constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and the rejection of any claim.

 Mail title should be [EssayMama Essay Writing Summer Contest], your name.

Submit to contest[at]essaymama.com

For more information visit  http://www.essaymama.com/contests/

 

How can YOU write comedy?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”  Peter Ustinov

Who doesn’t love humor?  Readers, editors, and audience members yearn for it.  How would we get through the serious business of everyday life without it?  Bennett Cerf once said, “If writers want the sure road to success, for heaven’s sake, write something that will make people laugh.”

How can you make sure it’s actually funny?

According to Norman Lear in his memoir, Even This I Get to Experience, he says, “Laughter lacks depth if it isn’t involved with other emotions.  An audience is entertained when it’s involved to the point of laughter or tears—ideally both.”

Have you ever set out to write a humor scene and gone blank?  No one said comedy is easy.  A Shakespearean actor, on his deathbed said, “Dying is easy.  Comedy is hard.”

Amy Poehler from, Yes, Please, suggests, “Get out of your head.”

John Cleese discovered in So, Anyway, “an important creative principle: the more anxious you feel, the less creative you are.  Your mind ceases to play and be expansive.  Fear causes your thinking to contract, to play safe, and this forces you into stereotypical thinking. “

So exactly how do you write humor naturally?  Find your zone of creativity.  Relax.   Knowing your character, the setting and the situation will help you develop comedy intrinsically.  Ask yourself what’s weird about your topic.  Scary?  Hard?  Stupid?  Brainstorm.

Humor works when there is a setup and a payoff.  It’s what we expect to happen and what really happens.   Techniques include exaggeration, understatement, word play, satire, and parody.

Finally, remember to read what you write out loud.  Humor is all about beats and rhythm.  You should feel your comedy.   Timing is everything.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Where is humor in your life?  Everyone has funny anecdote in their lives.  Write a scene with one of your experiences.

2.  Keep a humor journal.  See something funny on the street?  Your favorite funny line in a movie or book?  What makes it funny?  Funny characters around you?  Funny things YOU do?

3.  Having a tough day?  Pretend you’re Dave Barry.  How would he turn this into a funny essay?  Write it.

4.  Use humor in your artistic projects.  Especially in the serious ones.

5.  Read humor to write humor.  And most of all, have fun!

Is Self-Publishing for YOU? Discover Smashwords!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Jim Azevedo, Marketing Director of Smashwords, will reveal the best practices of the most commercially successful self-published Ebook authors at the next meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Jim will discuss metadata–what it is and how to use it–leveraging viral catalysts to make your book stand out, using pre-orders, creating covers, and addressing global market opportunities.

He is the Marketing Director of Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published Ebooks, serving about 100,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents. He is also the drummer for Rivals, a popular San Francisco Bay Area Indie rock band, and the author of the forthcoming book, How to Get Your Band Out of the Garage.

Sign-in is from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm. Luncheon 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, including a short business meeting. Registration is $20 for CWC members, $25 for guests. Payment by cash or check.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, January 7th. Contact Robin at ragig@aol.com, or by phone at (925) 933-9670. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

For more information visit:  http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

Enter This Essay Contest!

Friday, October 10th, 2014

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The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s 2015 Essay Contest’s topic is My Best Car Story.  Write it in 200 words or less and you may win the first prize – $250, second – $150 or third – $100.

Entries become the property of Yankee Publishing, which reserves all rights to the material.  (They can publish it as many times as they like.)

Deadline:  Friday, January 30, 2015.

Label “Essay Contest” and mail to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH  03444.  You can also enter at Almanac.com/EssayContest Include your name, mailing address, and email address.

Winners will appear in The 2016 Old Farmer’s Almanac and on their website, Almanac.com

For cooks out there, they also have a recipe contest with the same deadline.  The best recipe in the category Dips and Spreads, must be yours, original, and unpublished.  Amateur cooks only, please.  One recipe per person.

For more information on either of these contests, visit Almanac.com