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Showing posts from July, 2014

The Benefit of Contests

I have a new found love for entering contests for unpublished authors. I couldn’t believe that there were so many contests available. The reason I would recommend contests are because this can add weight to query letters. You can also  receive valuable feedback that will help you revise and learn to receive critiques in a helpful way. The drawbacks to entering are the fees, rules and if I must say the waiting time to find out who won! Some contests ask that you not shop your novel for a specified amount of time so make sure you read the fine print, and know the benefits and drawbacks to each contest you choose to enter. Here is a great table of contests created by author Stephie Smith . Also another list of contests can be found on the Funds for Writers website along with writing grant opportunities.  The following list of companies/websites is from my own experience entering their contests (except for the Leap Frog and Amazon): Romance Writers of America (RWA )   has a cool a

The Benefit of Writing Groups

Before participating in Nanowrimo 2013, I was gung ho about writing by myself, secluded at home mostly. But since participating in Nanowrimo’s write-in's during November I've continued to participate in monthly and weekly writing groups that I absolutely love. I recommend joining one if you can; being around a community of writers is inspiring. These are the benefits I have found with writing groups: 1. Support from like-minded individuals who love to write. 2. Gain other contacts for editors, publishers, websites, articles, etc. that come recommended. 3. Exchange critique for critique if you're brave enough. 4. Run by elements of your story for feedback/opinion. 5. Socialize!

Color in YA - Original article on Word for Teens Blog (7/14/13)

Color in YA - Great post on defunct blog WORD by Nicole about adding color to YA. Original article on  Word for Teens Blog   (7/14/13). This is not my work/writing and I am reposting only because I fully-heartedly agree with Nicole. As an African-American women who writes inclusive books featuring many nationalities, I hope soon that showing color in YA will be an accepted norm that finally reflects our world of color. Thank you, Nicole. (She also has a wonderful post about LGBTQ as well.) Racial representation in YA lit and what Trayvon Martin has to do with it. On Saturday, George Zimmerman was   declared not guilty  of shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. Despite the fact that there was all evidence to the contrary, despite the fact that Zimmerman was expressly told not to go after Martin, and despite the fact that Martin had done absolutely nothing wrong, Zimmerman's shooting Martin because he was 'scared' meant that he got off scotch-free. He even got his gun


Nanowrimo!!!   5 0,000 words or roughly 175-200 pages is considered a novel. Each November writers take the challenge of writing 50,000 words. I did and am proud to say I finished, I'm a winner!  Well known novels with a 50,000 word count are:  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (46,333 words),  The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (52,000 words),  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (50,061 words),  Lost Horizon by James Hilton,  Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk,  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and  The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. Now if this isn’t enough motivation. I don't know what is.  Yuraliso   is my first nano creation and I made almost exactly the 50,000 word count on the last day of November 2013. I did this by reaching my word count goals daily but when I didn’t, I wrote to catch up. I finished editing the book with a professional in July 2014. I will enter nano for 2014 and this year I've managed to drag at least two more people into the