"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Conferences, Workshops, and Literary Festivals: Texas and Louisiana List

I will try to provide a broader national and international list at a later date, but for now here are a few of my favorites for Texas and Louisiana:

Unconfirmed so check back - Houston Writer's Guild Conference - https://houston.scbwi.org/

2/17 - Southwest Louisiana Book Festival - https://www.swlabookfest.org/

3/3 - Jambalaya Writers Conference - http://mytpl.org/jwc/

3/9-18 - SXSW Film and writers festival in Austin - http://www.sxsw.com/

3/21-25 - New Orleans Literary Festival -  http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/

3/24 - Galveston Island Book Festival - http://galveston.bookfestival.network/index.php/component/users/?view=remind&Itemid=101

4/28-29 - Austin Writer's and Illustrators  Conference - https://austin.scbwi.org/events/austin-2018-writers-illustrators-working-conference/

6/9-10 - Dallas Writer's Conference - http://dfwcon.org/

6/29-7/1 - Austin Agents and Editors Conference - http://www.writersleague.org/38/Conference

9/6-9 - New Orleans Mystery Convention - http://www.bouchercon.com/

9/14-23 - New Orleans Story Con -  http://nolastorycon.com/

10/13 - Louisiana:Bayou Writers - A Bridge to Publication

10/25- 11/1 - Austin Film Festival -  https://austinfilmfestival.com/

10/27-28 - Austin Book Festival - https://www.texasbookfestival.org/


Please feel free to comment with any you would like to see added to this list or the national one I am working to complete. Anyone know of any in other countries besides the US? Please feel free to comment with those as well. You never know when an opportunity will arise. Right? :-)

Monday, January 8, 2018

5 Flash Fiction Goals

As I mentioned last week, diligence is one of my New Year’s resolutions. A part of my plan for this is to finish incomplete projects. In May of 2017 I set myself a goal of writing 20 flash fiction pieces in 20 days – a spin off the famous Ray Bradbury advice of writing 52 short stories in 52 days. I didn’t quite make it – you can see my results here.
I also never returned to those projects. I actually enjoyed writing these shorts since it forced me to tighten my writing. I’ve decided to revisit my existing flash fiction pieces, as well as write some new ones. In an effort to cut back on wasting time as I return to them, I’m setting five flash fiction goals I’d like to share.
1.      800 Words - Flash fiction can be anywhere from just a few words in length to 1000, but I’m aiming for approximately 800 in mine. One of my goals is to be published in Woman’s World. They publish 800 word romances and 700 word mysteries every week.
2.      Strong Beginning – The first one to three paragraphs has to establish a sympathetic character, interesting setting, and believable conflict. After all, we have less than 1,000 words to tell an entire story!
3.      Action – What a character wants, and what they need, are not always the same thing. Something tangible must stand in the way of their goals, or what they desire, and showing the actions taken by that character are essential to motivate the reader to continue through to the end.
4.      Tension – Just as with longer works, the tension should continue to increase until the resolution. Characters should earn their ending, and the best way for this to happen is by floundering and perhaps failing at least once.
5.      Satisfying Ending – The best way to ensure this is by eliminating flowery descriptions and excess wordiness, paring down characterization to just enough of a hint for the reader, and following steps two through four until finally revealing an ending with an emotional impact upon the reader.

Do you read or write flash fiction? Do you have and other tips you’d like to share?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG: Writing Schedule

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

JANUARY QUESTION: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

MY ANSWER: Obviously, we all have little control over when we are published (unless we choose self-publishing). However, we can control our output. My resolutions this year include diligence both in my writing, and in my personal life. I want more of my decisions to be on purpose instead of just sort of letting things happen around me. I will chase my dreams and goals this year. I hope you will too!

Happy New Year everyone, and congratulations to the IWSG anthology contest winners!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year!


This year I hope to be braver, stronger, kinder, and happier. I pray we all have love, hope, and a fierce determination for accomplishing good.

I'll be back on January 3rd for the next IWSG post. Until then...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!

We actually had snow a few weeks ago (this pic is in my yard). However, it looks like we'll have a warmer Christmas with highs in the 50's. Wherever you are, whatever your situation, I pray you all enjoy a beautiful holiday season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Few Submission Opportunities

FICTION CONTEST

Danahy Fiction PrizeEligibility: All writers
Prize: $1,000 + publication
Entry fee:$20
Deadline: December 31, 2017

Glimmer Train Family Matters Prize
Eligibility: All writers
Prize: $2,500
Entry Fee: $18
Deadline: January 2, 2018

Eligibility: All writers
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $10 for 1 story; $15 for 2 stories
Deadline: January 15, 2018

The Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers
Eligibility: Emerging writers only
Prize: $3,000 + publication + agency review
Entry Fee: $20
Deadline: January 15, 2018

Prize: $1,000 + possible publication
Entry Fee: $25

Deadline: January 15, 2018

NONFICTION CONTESTS

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in Progress Award
Eligibility: Writers with a contract with a U.S.-based publisher to write a nonfiction book
Prize: $25,000
Deadline: December 11, 2017
J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize
Eligibility: Writers with a nonfiction book published in 2017 on a topic of American political or social concern
Prize: $10,000
Entry fee: $75
Deadline: December 11, 2017
Mark Lynton History Prize
Eligibility: Writers with a book-length work of history published in 2017
Prize: $10,000
Entry fee: $75
Deadline: December 11, 2017

Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers
Eligibility: Emerging, mid-career or established writers are all welcome to apply
Prize: $5,000

Deadline: January 15, 2018

POETRY CONTESTS

Robert H. Winner Memorial Award
Eligibility: Mid-career poets
Prize: $2,500
Entry fee: $15
Deadline: December 22, 2017
Dorset PrizeEligibility: All poets
Prize: $3,000 + residency
Entry fee: $30
Deadline: December 31, 2017

92Y Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest
Eligibility: Poets who have not published a full-length poetry collection
Prize: $500 + publication + reading
Entry Fee: $12
Deadline: January 12, 2018

Colorado Prize for Poetry
Eligibility: All poets (except affiliates)
Prize: $2,000 + publication
Entry Fee: $28

Deadline: January 14, 2018



TRANSLATION CONTESTS
French-American Foundation Translation Prize
Eligibility: Translations published for the first time in the U.S. between January 1 and December 31, 2017
Prize: $10,000
Deadline: January 15, 2018

Prize: $12,500 or $25,00
Deadline: January 11, 2018



MULTI-GENRE CONTESTS

Chautauqua Prize
Eligibility: Writers (fiction & creative nonfiction) with a book published in 2017
Prize: $7,500
Entry fee: $75
Deadline: December 15, 2017

Mississippi Review Prize
Eligibility: All fiction writers and poets
Prize: $1,000 + publication
Entry Fee: $15 hard copy; $16 online
Deadline: January 1, 2018

Society of Midland Authors Literary Awards
Eligibility: Authors born in, residing in, or with strong ties to one of the 12 Midland states
Prize: $500
Entry Fee: $10
Deadline: January 6, 2018

Eligibility: All writers and poets
Prize: $1,500
Entry Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2018

WRITING FELLOWSHIPS & RESIDENCIES
Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing
Eligibility: New writers of any age and background
Prize: $10,000. Residency in the San José area is expected during the academic year.
Deadline: January 2, 2018

Eligibility: Any artist, except those enrolled in full time undergrad or graduate programs
Prize: 2-week to 2-month residencies
Deadline: January 1, 2018

Dartmouth Poet in Residence
Eligibility: Poets with at least one full-length collection of poetry
Prize: $2,000 + 6-8 week residency at the Frost Place
Entry Fee: $28
Deadline: January 5, 2018

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG: Look Back

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

DECEMBER QUESTION: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

MY ANSWER: I would take a few more chances. I let fear and naysayers keep me from trying something new, and from a few submission opportunities I had. My confidence took a hit this year, and I'm trying to get back on the writing horse with some new goals. I hope you won't give up either.

What would you do differently?