Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evan Marshall's Template Generator Saves the Day!

I was doing some revision work on my romantic suspense novel last night and came across a scene that just wasn't working. I wrangled with it for a couple of hours and seriously considered pitching the whole thing.

Why was it there anyway? Should I just cut it out and paste it into my junk file? Today I had the brilliant idea of looking back at my Marshall Template Generator. I'd filled it out faithfully and was pretty sure that I didn't put anything in that wasn't necessary for furthering the plot.

Sure enough there it was and it was necessary. I must have been having one of those days at the keyboard because my template told me exactly what my conflict was and I'd even typed in some notes as to how I'd accomplish it.

Those notes allowed me to fix the scene to make my novel stronger.

Thanks Evan:)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

10 Essentials to Pack for a Writer's Conference

Image courtesy of Flickr

There are certain things you'll need when attending a writer's conference. Many of them have absolutely nothing to do with writing. Here's my list of things that I can't leave home without.

  1. A comfortable pair of shoes. Chasing down an agent/editor isn't something that is easily accomplished. And definitely nothing you'll want to attempt in heels.

  2. Your own name tag. They really aren't that expensive and it's much better than having those HELLO My Name is tags stuck to your armpit. (Don't ask)

  3. A supply of business cards. Go to Vista Print and order their free ones. Don't let them scare you into expedited shipping. If you're too freaked out to list yourself as a writer at least put your basic contact information on them.

  4. Coffee and fixings for the mini pot in your room. Honestly, when was the last time you had a decent cup of coffee in your room. Take your own, you'll be glad you did.

  5. Shower shoes. Need I say more?

  6. A flashlight. I always check the emergency exit route and sleep with a flashlight on my bedside table. Better safe than sorry. Plus you can find your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking your roomie.

  7. A clean trash bag for your dirty clothes. I dump my dirties in the bag it's easy to transfer them to the suitcase and then to laundry room at home.

  8. A couple of gallon size freezer bags. They're great for wet swimsuits or for organizing various goodies you picked up at the conference.

  9. Breakfast bars. They're perfect for a midnight snack or light breakfast.

  10. Super glue and double sticky tape. You should be able to fix hems, shoes, purses, finger nails, gaping blouses and a variety of other things.

What's on your list?

Friday, March 13, 2009

HAWK Writing Seminars--"The Writer's Boot Camp"

The Seminars (June 8-13) are week-long intensive writing symposiums on the beautiful University of Tulsa campus for aspiring writers ready to seriously improve their work. This is a rare opportunity to transform your writing by working with Executive Director William Bernhardt and other multi-published authors.

The Seminar is five intense, inspiring days learning the art and craft of writing. In these small, hands-on groups, each participant will write or revise a first-rate query letter, synopsis, outline, and several chapters—the building blocks for selling and publishing your work. This is an rare opportunity to transform your writing.

There will be two separate seminar groups—one for fiction and one for nonfiction. Each group will meet between four and five hours a day and will be strictly limited to ten participants. The small class size and the direct focus on each writer's own work has proven to produce results. Two students from last year's Seminar have already sold their first books to major publishers. Bernhardt taught the same program last year at Maui, and three of his eight students have already sold their first books to major publishers.

There are discount rates available at the Crowne Plaza. See the HAWK website for contact information.

HAWK Writing Seminar
June 8-12, 2009
University of Tulsa
Tulsa OK

For information and registration, use the attached brochure or visit:http://www.hawkpub.com/writingworkshop2009.htm

HAWK Writing Workshop--"The Writer's Way"

The HAWK Writing Workshop (June 6-7) is a professional writing symposium modeled after the successful programs at the Gotham Writers Workshop, the University of Iowa, and the Maui Writers Conference. There are no contests, auctions, or costume balls--everything is geared to one goal: allowing serious and dedicated writers the opportunity to make their work publishable.

The Workshop will feature multiple tracks of presentations, panels, and master classes from more than a dozen published authors, agents, and editors, providing aspiring writers the chance to learn the art and craft of writing. There will also be opportunities for one-on-one consultations with writers, agents, and editors, and specialty programs on getting published, young adult books, magazine writing, screenplays, and poetry.

Fiction : From the latest trends in fiction to the art and craft of the character-driven novel, our star-studded fiction track is sure to educate and entertain you. Led by two bestselling authors, Steve Berry and William Bernhardt, our faculty will offer the invaluable insights that made them successful—and could do the same for you. Steve Berry is not only one of the most successful writers working today, he also was recently awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award at the Maui Writers Conference.

Creative Nonfiction: Whether you are writing a memoir, a history, a biography, or the latest blockbuster self-help book, these sessions will inspire as well as instruct. Led by New York Times-bestselling author Susan Piver and Pulitzer Prize-nominated Michael Wallis, every aspect of researching, organizing, writing, editing, and publishing your work will be addressed. Susan is a wellness expert who has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, and others. In addition to talking about writing, she will lead meditation classes and discuss the important relationship between meditation and creativity.

Saturday Banquet and Sunday Lunch with the Authors. The Saturday night banquet will feature keynote addresses from our special guests, New York Times-bestselling writers Steve Berry and Susan Piver. Sunday Lunch will give every participant the opportunity not only to dine with the authors but to hear testimonials on how they became published.

HAWK Writing Workshop
June 6-7, 2009
Doubletree Hotel at Warren Place
Tulsa OK

For registration information visit:http://www.hawkpub.com/writingworkshop2009.htm

Sunday, March 8, 2009

SIWG Writing Contest 2009

The SIWG (Southern Illinois Writer's Guild)Writing Contest is an annual and much anticipated event. Entries are open to all persons over 18 years, or enrolled in post-secondary education. Submissions for the 2009 contest can be sent in beginning immediately. The deadline is May 1.


1st Place $100; 2nd Place $50; 3rd Place $25, in each category. Honorable Mentions as determined by judges. Winners will be published in the Writers Voice, the SIWG anthology, unless authors request otherwise. Winners will be notified by mail in September.

Entry Fee

Five dollars per entry, maximum of three entries per author. Check or money order only, no cash. Make checks payable to: John A. Logan College. Entries not enclosing the fee or following the rules will be discarded.

Entry Rules
  1. Fiction - Any subject or genre. Nonfiction - Biography, memoir, article, or essay on any topic. Poetry - Any style or topic. (Please, no explicit sex or excessive violence.)
  2. Original work of the entrant; unpublished at time of submission.
  3. Page limit - Up to eight pages for Fiction and Nonfiction, one or two pages for Poetry.
  4. Format - Standard manuscript format (8-1/2" x 11" paper, typed and double-spaced, 1" margins,12-point Times New Roman, pages numbered and title of entry on every page). Poetry may vary margins and spacing as needed.
  5. Two copies of each entry.
  6. Cover sheet for each entry, with contestant's name, address, category (Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry) and title of entry. Author's name should appear only on the cover sheet, not the manuscript. Optional - Provide email address for winner notification; brief bio to include with publication.
  7. All winners must supply social security numbers in order to collect a cash prize. Please do not supply your SSN until you are notified that you have won a cash prize. There will be no exceptions to this rule.


Judges will be announced

Mailing Instructions

  1. Postmarked no later than May 1.
  2. Mail flat, not folded, with sufficient postage. Do not send by certified mail.
  3. Optional - include a SAS postcard for verification that your entry was received.
  4. Send to: John A. Logan College
    Attn: Student Activities C109
    SIWG Contest Entry
    700 Logan College Rd.
    Carterville, IL 62918

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

94th Annual Missouri Writers Guild Conference

They've got some discounts available for the MWG Conference- April 3-5, 2009 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. You can check out their website for the full agenda. Faculty includes Harvey Stanbrough, Barri Bumgarner, Marcia Preston, Lee Goldberg and Annette Fix. If you've never heard Harvey Stanbrough speak then you've been missing out.

The announced discounts are as follows:

Here's a special announcement from MWG Conference Publicity Chair, Margo Dill Balinski, to members of Saturday Writers and any other interested writers:

"During March Madness, the Missouri Writers’ Guild is making the following offers for the 94th Annual Conference in Cape Girardeau:

1. Calling all College Students: If you are currently enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university, you can attend the MWG conference for $139, which is a savings of $30 off the current price.

2. Saturday Only price: We’ve had several requests about attending the MWG conference on Saturday only. So, we are offering pricing just for Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. (includes lunch). The prices are $109 for MWG members, $119 for chapter members, and $129 for non-members.

3. Deals on Master’s Classes and the Banquet: FOR ONE WEEK ONLY From March 9 to March 16, you can sign up for a master’s class for $10 off ($55.00) or for the banquet for $5 off ($20).

4. More Deals on Master’s Classes and the Banquet: If you add a Sunday Class or the awards' banquet to your registration from March 17 to April 2, you will get a $5.00 off coupon for the conference book store when you check in at registration on Friday night. (If you are only attending a Sunday class, this will not apply because the book store is only open on Friday night and Saturday until the banquet.)

5. If you live in the St. Louis area and can attend the SLWG meeting on Saturday. . .Barri Bumgarner, MWG board member, has been invited by the St. Louis Writers' Guild to share a program and information about the conference. If you register on that day and pay Barri in cash or check to the MWG, you will save! We are basically offering early bird pricing on that day only if you attend Barri's talk and pay that day. If you need more information about this, you can e-mail me at margodll@aol.com

Check the MWG conference website for more information: www.mwgconference.org , call Margo at 217-714-8582, or e-mail Emily at esh@mwgconference.org.

Hope to see you there!

Margo Dill Balinski"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Writing Conference vs. New Tires

I'm still trying to decide which I need/want worse, a new set of tires for my car or to attend a writing conference. I'm sure I actually need the tires worse. I couldn't cover Lincoln's hair even if he was styled with a bouffant up do on my penny.

But, I also want to sell a novel or perhaps two this year. My rationale is that I could buy tires if I could get even a tiny advance. Of course with my tread in its current condition I may not make it to the workshop.

Maybe I can compromise and buy two tires and go to half a workshop. Do ya think?