Saturday, November 17, 2007

Writerly Reference for the Masses or Help a Writer Out!!!

First, A Little Inspiration



I thought I’d start this blog with a few references to some of the things that inspired me this week... the first I found at Jaye’s Blahg , sorry I didn’t leave a comment, Jaye... It was a little too compelling and thought provoking for words – but I checked your links multiple times... if anyone is looking for the most inspiring message about getting over life’s obstacles, go visit Jaye.

The next one I found at Angela’s Blog. It’s a prayer for mothers of teenagers, and it was both compelling and heartrending, so if you get a chance give it a visit.

Now a little Writerly Advice for the Masses



A blogger I met long ago at the now defunct blogging community I used to frequent is off to a fantastic start in her writing career. When I met Colleen Katana her voice drew me in immediately. Upon talking with her I found that she’d always wanted to write and had played around with stories but had never studied publishing or fiction writing... you would never know it to read her – her voice is that fresh and inviting naturally. A great example of this can be found in her piece, The Night I Flew.

Colleen has already completed her first book, a memoir, which is in the submission stages – Yay, You, Colleen!!! That’s a fantastic accomplishment! She contacted me because she’s looking to improve her craft and is interested in finding workshops or forums where she can get feedback and interact with other writers. So, I thought the best way to go about it was to put up a post asking all of the bloggers, who have been so great at helping me along and exchanging information, to help me out. First, I’d love it if you all would take a few minutes to stop over at Colleen’s and get to know her – it’s not much of a favor, as you’ll find her both witty and fun.

Next, I’d like to put together a little list of forums and areas where there are other writers exchanging ideas and techniques, information on publishing... and I’m sure you each have your own favorites, so if we can list them all in the comments this can become a great resource for all of us. Lastly, if anyone out there is part of an online critique group or writer’s circle and you think you have room for another, let us know.

My favorite writing communities so far have been Compuserve. My friend, Malcolm Campbell, recommended this one to me a while back and the writers there are both welcoming and knowledgeable. If you visit, you’ll notice the folders for forums on the left hand side of your screen. If you write children’s, there’s a folder marked YA and they also have a kidcrit group that’s fabulous, but you have to be a member to participate... If you’d like to participate with that group, post a message in YA for Marsha or Rose with the subject line ‘wave the magic wand’ to request access.

Another forum that people rave about is Absolute Write Water Cooler. I’ve stopped over there a number of times but haven’t really participated yet, so if someone else is more experienced there, feel free to give us some feedback. The nice thing with this community is that there are a lot of agents and publishers who frequent as well as accomplished authors.

One of the best references besides Writer’s Market, and a free one to boot, for researching prospective agents is Agent Query.

Okay guys, anything else you can add or help out with would be great. This should be good to get the ball rolling, but I’m hoping we can accumulate a lot of really great references for all of us...

As a side, I think the link thing is fixed, but Ello asked about my links a few days ago, so I’m not sure... If you have a problem getting to the sites I’ve linked, let me know and I’ll post their html address without the link. To make a link on these fields I’ve been leaving out the quotation marks before and after the address, I don’t know why it doesn’t work with them in, but that seems to be the problem.

For those of you who didn’t know, I’m hosting a book club blog on Patricia Wood’s Lottery. Please visit the post and see if you might like to participate. I’m really excited as Patricia’s offered to participate in the discussion and it’s really wonderful to have the author on hand to discuss a novel with...Hope to see you all there.

24 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

Also Duotrope is a great resource to search short story markets. It is free but they do take donations to help with the costs.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Travis,

Thanks for chiming in!

Ello said...

I love Absolute! I've been lurking there for years and only recently joined as a member. REally worth doing as you get alot of good resources and answers there. PUblishers Marketplace is a must for research and getting all the information on deals.

Mary Witzl said...

Travis has already mentioned Duotrope, which I only found a few months ago, but one more good resource for writers of children's, MG and YA books, is Verla Kay's website. I've found a lot of good information and inspiration there.

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Merry, Thanks for the linkage. I'm glad that post spoke to you.

I visit Absolute a lot, especially when research agents.

Merry Jelinek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Ello,

I finally registered with Absolute last night... I still probably won't participate much, I'm too busy with blogging, but if something interesting comes up, I can... It is a great site.

Hi Mary,

I had never heard of Verla Kay, but it looks like a great little site. I've been thinking about writing early reader books with rhyme, but most of the publishers say no to rhymed submissions... the thing is, all of my kids loved it, and it really was an aid to helping them read - if you can read one word, you can easily read the words that rhyme with it... and the rhythm of that type of verse is fun for them - which is exactly what you want - what five year old will sit down with a book that's boring?

Hi Jaye,

Absolute seems to be a popular stop for most of us - no problem with the linking, it was a really great post.

Thanks for chiming in, guys. So far we have:

Duotrope’s Digest



Merry Jelinek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merry Jelinek said...

Okay, I'm having serious linking problems here, I'll try it one last time... duotropes seems to have worked up there, but the other two you can easily find with google.



Merry Jelinek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Family Fun & Faith said...

Hi Merry, the last link in the post, to Lottery, is not working properly.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi FF&F,

I know, I put up a post at the help group about the linkage problems - hopefully someone can tell me what to do about it... so far I'm at a loss, some of the links work, others don't, none of them are working in comments, but the link I tried to put in is showing up on the date - time stamp or the line break between comments... oy...

At first I thought I might be messing up the html, though I didn't know how that would be possible since I've been able to link for about two years now - none of my readers' links are working either, so it has to be something with my template.

I tried switching to another template and that didn't work either... I might just scrap the blog and start fresh with a new template (saving the blogs and my blogroll of course)...

Bear with me, hopefully I can figure it out this week.

Jaye Wells said...

Merry! Excellent news on Bookends. Great job!

Colleen_Katana said...

Thanks to all for the recommendations and thanks to Merry for the glowing review and link to my blog.

Also, CONGRATS on an AWESOME critique by BookEnds!!!!!! Truly well done!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Jaye,

Thanks so much, I just finished doing a little happy dance... I've actually been working on my pitch since Jessica's post over at JJ's, Goblin's Crucible... really great fun and I have a whole different pitch that I actually like a lot better... hopefully it's not a case of fixing what's not broken, but the new one really seems to capture the novel better. Still, always thrilling to get great feedback from an agent!

Colleen,

Don't worry about the glowing recommendations, you deserve them - plus I think you'll get a great deal out of the fabulous circle of writers out in the blog-o-sphere - feel free to follow my links in the blogroll, most are writers and all are excellent.

And thanks for the kudos - that was a great little pick me up while I'm slogging through revisions.

Travis Erwin said...

Spotted your pitch on Bookends. Sounds very intriguing. Good job.

Precie said...

merry--Yay for Jessica's response to your pitch at BookEnds!

I don't know how I just know found you...it seems you and I have been traveling in the same online circles for a while...mainly Compuserve and some fellow bloggers. :)

Here's another resource for short story markets:

newpages.com

And I see you already have the agent blogs in your sidebar. Writers with rhino skin might be interested in Evil Editor's blog too. You can submit queries, synopses, and opening paragraphs for him and his minions to ridicule. EE is mercilessly funny, and really not all that evil...his comments generally do point out weak spots that need attention.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Precie,

First, yours was great, too! Second, I have actually seen you around the blog-o-sphere, mostly agent blogs - I haven't been able to visit your blog though, there's no link to the blog itself in your about page. If you can drop the address in my comments, I'd love to come read you - don't link just now though, there's something wrong with my template and most of the links aren't working, just type in the address and I'll find you.

Thanks for the venues, I forgot all about Evil Editor and I hadn't known about the other one.

Hi Travis,

Thanks so much, actually, I like my new pitch better, but I'm so glad this one worked out better than I thought.

WordVixen said...

I agree, Colleen is sweet and very talented. Her post about ballet class just sucked me right in and kept me there through the end. :)

Buuuuttt... I stopped by to say "Whahoo!". Your pitch is up at BookEnds- congrats on the high praise (much deserved). I completely agree about the final line- too funny! Definitely sounds like something I'd want to read even if I weren't already your fan. :)

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Wordvixen,

You might actually remember Colleen from writingup, too, that's where I met her. She's got such a great writing voice, it really does pull you right in. Actually she reminds me of some of the older chicklit that was very popular a few years back, Bridget Jones without the great accent...

Though, if you're reading this, Colleen, don't bill yourself as chicklit it's a red flag right now in publishing, I'd call it women's or humorous or both...

Anyhoo, thanks for the kudo's I'm still grinning and I've been working on only ficition today, even though I should be trying to fix my damn blog.

Merry Jelinek said...

Okay, we're going to try this linking thing one more time...

by the way, ff&f, the link to the book club blog is fixed, huzzah, I'm hoping it was just a corrupt template... we shall see...

Precie left the link to

the original in her comment didn't work, let's see if this one does...

Just for good measure, I'll try it with the quotation marks -

Newpages

Merry Jelinek said...

Okay, both seem to have worked, though without the quotes, the entire surrounding area becomes the link and the word is absent, with the quotes the link appears just fine... la, la, la...

link as usual, and let me know if you're having problems getting them to appear. I don't know if it's completely fixed, but I'm crossing my fingers and toes.

Precie said...

Oh, right! My blog is set to private so it doesn't appear in my profile. It's here!


Hope that worked. If not, here's the address:

http://www.pmas-fiction.blogspot.com/

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Precie,

I found you! I found you! You probably already noticed the comment - I followed the link from Ello's.

Now I can stop in more often, and after Thanksgiving I'll be able to scour through some of your older blogs that I missed.