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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Easter!

I'll be taking this week off from blogging in order to focus on a few projects. I'll be back on Monday, April 1st for the "A to Z blogging challenge." To learn more, please click the logo to the right.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. Happy Writing!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View

Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View is a valuable tool for those studying point of view. The novella begins with POV basics and continues by covering what many professionals are calling “Deep Point of View.”

She asserts and uses examples to prove that if you write in DPOV you will eliminate any “show, don’t tell” problems you may be experiencing.
A professor recently told me it’s easy for writers to identify POV and even “show, don’t tell” issues in anothers writing, but it’s often difficult for those same writers to define or explain to others. This book helps with these problems.

For such a short work Nelson covers a lot, exercises included. I found this to be a very useful guide for only a few dollars.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Top Ten Movie Countdown

March 18, 2013 is the Alex J. Cavanaugh "Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest". There are more than 150 participants.  Click here if you would like to add your own blog to this challenge or if you would like to view other posts in this theme.

I have chosen to share my top ten favorite movies based on books.










What are your favorite movies based on books?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When and Where to Publish Short Stories

Writers often ask “how and where do I publish my work?” If you are asking yourself the same question there are many ways to do this. You can enter writing competitions, submit to magazines and anthologies, or self-publish.

You should ask yourself two questions before trying to publish.

1)      Is your work complete? Even when writing from real life your story needs to have a beginning, middle and end. There also needs to be some conflict either between two characters, in a character’s own mind, or pit your character against natural elements. The problem should present itself at the start of the story and be resolved by the conclusion. Without this, your work will read as an anecdote – interesting, perhaps, but not usually suitable for publication as a story.

2)      What genre does the story fit into? If you’ve written a science fiction piece you’ll have little luck submitting it to a magazine for nonfiction. And your sweet story about your newborn is unlikely to please the readers of a dystopian anthology. Be sure you know your audience and research possible publications.

Once you are ready to seek publication, the next choice you make will be where to publish your work. Either you need to find someone else, like a magazine editor, who likes your story and wants to publish it, or you need to self-publish. You will most likely reach a wider audience with the first method, but the latter option gives you total control over when and where your work appears. So, how do you decide the right choice for you?

1)      Enter Writing Competitions – In addition to cash prizes and perks such as meeting agents or editors, many contests offer the chance for publication, even if you are not the big winner. Try keeping up with contest news by joining a writer or critique group, watching local bookstore news, buying books like Writer’s Market or subscribing to magazines such as Writer’s Digest which provide contest listings in each publication. You can also subscribe to newsletters such as http://www.fundsforwriters.com/ which sends you biweekly opportunities.

2)      Find publications on the shelves and online which accept short stories - There are hundreds if not thousands of magazines, e-zines and websites where short stories are published, and some pay professional rates. One good place to start is the magazine shelves of your local haunts. What publications are you drawn to? Do they match the style in which you write? If you write science fiction, fantasy, horror or literary fiction, you’re unlikely to find magazines devoted to these on the shelves unless you are in a chain bookstore. Try searching online for small magazines which people subscribe to by mail-order: you may be able to order a back issue cheaply or free. Or look for e-zines which you can submit work to online.

3)      Use a search database to find the right publication – Anyone can use a search engine to look up publications based on genre, but a more effective and thorough search source is available for writers: www.duotrope .com  This database is an established, award-winning writers' resource. Whether your creative leanings are literary or genre, factual or poetic, these listings cover the entire spectrum. Simply specify your work by genre, sub-genre, length, pay grade, or any other number of identifiers you want included in the search and within seconds the database compiles a list of all publications available matching your request. You then have direct access to that publications site, submission guidelines, reviews by both readers and fellow writers and much more information. For seven years this service was free, but now charges a small subscription fee. However, you can still obtain a free trial period.

4)      Self-publish - You can publish your work for free on a website. One easy way is to set up a blog (try www.blogger.com) and post a new short story every week. There are lots of easy ways to create a full website too – try Google Page Creator . You don’t need to be very “technical” and you certainly don’t need to be able to programme or understand terms like “HTML” and “FTP”. If you are fairly web-savvy, though, you might choose to pay for a domain name and professional web hosting. I’d recommend this if you’re serious about your writing as it means you can use your site as a professional-looking showcase for your work. The other option is to publish printed and electronic device versions of your stories, to circulate around friends and family – and perhaps more widely. There are many options available now such as Lulu, createspace, and smashwords that take you step-by-step through the process of uploading your work and choosing the format of your book. You can design a high-quality glossy-covered paperback. Just be sure to research and compare cost options to find the service best for you.

What about you? Are you a short story writer? What do you struggle with? What have you learned?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

7 Writing Opportunities

DIANA WOODS MEMORIAL AWARD IN CREATIVE NONFICTION http://lunchticket.org/the-diana-woods-memorial-award/ NO ENTRY FEE. Creative nonfiction authors are invited to submit an essay of up to 5,000 words on the subject of their choice to be considered for the Diana Woods Memorial (DWM) Award in creative nonfiction. Winners will receive $250 and their work will be featured in the next issue of Lunch Ticket. Each award recipient must submit a 100-word biography, current photo, and send a brief note of thanks to the Woods family. All submissions for the award will be considered for publication in Lunch Ticket. Deadline end of March.

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Messages from Heaven: Love Never Dies http://www.chickensoup.com/form.asp?cid=possible_books We have heard many terrific stories about your own after-death communication experiences since our first Messages from Heaven book came out. It was a national bestseller so we have decided to make another edition, with the theme "Love Never Dies." If you have a story about receiving a sign or communicating with a loved one after his or her death, we would love to consider it. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is March 31, 2013.
BLACK LILAC KITTY "GRACIE" CONTEST http://www.blacklilackitty.com/feature.html NO ENTRY FEE. This contest is for adults age 18 and older and only accepts fiction. Any genre, however, erotica/porn will NOT be considered. The story must include a cat. The story must include a Rottweiler. The Rottweiler cannot be a "mean" dog. The cat and Rottweiler can belong to the same person or have different owners. Somewhere in the story must be the phrase "it was a dark and stormy night." The word count must be at least 2,000 words and no more than 7,000 words. Due April 1, 2013.

MGSA CONSTANTINIDES MEMORIAL TRANSLATION PRIZE COMPETITION http://www.mgsa.org/Prizes/Constant.html NO ENTRY FEE. For original, new translations into English of a literary work published in Modern Greek. A prize of $500 will be awarded for a piece of Modern Greek literature (poetry, prose, theatre) translated into English. We welcome work by scholars of Modern Greek and other fields and languages as well as creative writers, students, and anyone knowledgeable of Greek and English engaged in the work of translation. The winner will be formally announced and congratulated at the MGSA 2013 Symposium of November 14-16, 2013 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The MGSA Executive Director will mail the $500 award to the winner. Submissions are due April 15, 2013. (Thanks www.erikadreifus.com)

LOOKING@DEMOCRACY CONTEST FOR CREATIVE MEDIA http://lookingatdemocracy.org/ NO ENTRY FEE. Tired of partisan bickering? Feel your voice is left out of our democracy? Have a great idea about how we can all work together? Deadline April 30, 2013. Create and send us short digital media content that either: (a) Tells a story about why government is important to our lives, or (b) Tells how we might together strengthen American democracy. Your submission can come in many formats such as short videos, audio stories, animation, music videos, public service announcements, infographics, graphic art, even Facebook and iPhone apps. They all just need to be digital then Looking@Democracy is the national
competition for you! Prizes range from $5,000 to $25,000.

TAPESTRY OF BRONZE ODES TO OLYMPIANS SPRING CONTEST http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/OdeForm.html The Tapestry of Bronze is sponsoring a series of traditional poetry contests to celebrate Greek and Roman mythology and the Olympian gods. The subject of the current contest is Hephaestus (also known as Vulcan), the God of the Forge. The deadline is April 30, 2013. Limit 30 lines. MAKE SURE your poem is about Hephaestus / Vulcan. The first prize winner in each age group will receive $50 (US). Categories are over 18 and under 18. No entry fee.

The First Line - http://www.thefirstline.com/ Summer: “I started collecting secrets when I was just six years old.” Due date: May 1, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

TGCW Logo Contest

Texas Gulf Coast Writers presents a logo contest. We want a logo to represent our area and purpose. The logo will be used on the website, blog, facebook page and any official communication representing the group. The winner will receive $50 and recognition through our social media. Rules are below. Submission deadline is June 4, 2013.


1. Email your entry(ies) to texasgulfcoastwriters@gmail.com or mail your entry(ies) to TGCW PO Box 252 Bridge City, TX 77611.

2. Contest is open from March 1, 2012 to June 4, 2013. There is no entry fee.

3. Maximum of two color entries per artist, no b&w, will be considered. All mediums are welcome. Please include contact information (name, address, email, phone number) in your email or attached to your entry so we can contact the winning artist.

4. All entries will be voted on by Texas Gulf Coast Writers members at the June 11, 2013 meeting. The winning logo will be displayed on our TGCW documents (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, advertising, as well as on the website, blog, facebook, etc.)

5. $50 will be paid to the winning artist. The winning artist will also receive a blog post about them with any desired links and a certificate of credit.

6. Please familiarize yourself with our group by visiting our website: http://www.texasgulfcoastwriters.com/ and blog: http://www.texasgulfcoastwriters.blogspot.com/ . We are seeking a logo that depicts the spirit of the gulf and reading/writing/publishing.

7. The winning entry will be reduced in size for use on letterhead, newsletters, and other correspondence. When reduced to approximately 1½ inches by 1½ inches, the design should maintain all color and detail.

8. All artists are welcome to submit. Submissions must be each artist’s original creation and not used for any other purpose.


Monday, March 4, 2013

TGCW Poetry Contest

Texas Gulf Coast Writers presents its first poetry contest. Judging will be done by qualified professionals and may include comments and suggestions on each entry with a possible score sheet. Rules are below. Submission deadline is March 31, 2013. Winner(s) will receive a certificate and the option to post your winning entry on the TGCW blog: http://www.texasgulfcoastwriters.blogspot.com/ All entrants are invited to read their poems at the April 20th poetry reading at the Miller Library in Beaumont, Texas.


Poetry: rhymed or unrhymed up to 20 lines

COVER SHEET: Use a separate cover sheet for each entry. Put your name, complete address, telephone number, and email address (if applicable) in the upper left-hand corner. In the upper right- hand corner, list number of words or lines (whichever is applicable). Double space six times and center the title. Double space again and type the first line of your story/poem (to avoid confusion in case of a title being used by more than one member). DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON ANY OTHER PAGE! Cover sheets will be kept in a special envelope by the President for identification of the winning entries and will not be sent to the judges with the submissions.


Entry Fee: $5 per poem for paid TGCW members and $10 per poem for non members.

This must be your original unpublished work. Publication on the Internet is publication.

Poems must be typed but may be single-spaced and may begin at the top of the page. Use font size 12 and Times New Roman only.  Fasten cover sheet to your submission with a large paperclip. DO NOT STAPLE ANYTHING!

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS March 31, 2013 – anything received after this date will not qualify!

Emailed entries are not accepted. You may turn entries in to Laurie Kolp or Sylvia Ney at the March 11 meeting OR mail in your submission(s) to TGCW PO Box 252 Bridge City, Texas 77611.

Entries which do not conform to these rules will be disqualified and not judged. Judges often write comments directly on the submission. Each entry will be judged but we cannot guarantee all judges will write comments on either the score sheet or submission. Decisions of the judges are final.

Winner(s) will be announced at the April 20th poetry reading at the Miller Library in Beaumont, Texas. Anyone interested can read and share their poetry that day.