Friday, February 28, 2014

First-Ever "Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA"

Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide
to Success After the MFA
Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA 

Kudos to a great group of contributing writers, chapter editors, marketing folk and new publisher, Fairfield University Press.

Welcome to the first multi-genre writer’s guide authored, edited and published exclusively by writers for writers, including co-author and co-editor Adele Annesi.

Graduates of writing programs and all serious writers will find this blend of practical advice and creative inspiration a unique, comprehensive and indispensable resource filled with essays and editorials, articles, instruction, checklists and glossaries — all designed to help aspiring and established authors thrive as lifelong writers.

Based exclusively on real-world experience, Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA shares wisdom, instruction and time-tested tips for making writing a permanent part of your life — whether as career, hobby or anything in between.

Visit the Now What MFA site for news and updates from this new paradigm in guidebook publishing.

For updates on what's next in writing, visit Adele's Amazon Author page.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

International Best-Selling YA Author Cantrell on Writing a Sequel

Julie Cantrell
I met award-winning young adult author Julie Cantrell while writing for Southern Literary Review when she was managing editor. Since then, Cantrell has received two Christy Awards (Debut Novel of the Year and Book of the Year) for her novel Into the Free, as well as the Mississippi Library Association Fiction Award. The novel is also one of five finalists for the University of Mississippi community reads selection.

The story also became a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, and an international bestseller, thanks to its Dutch readers. After strong reader support, the sequel, When Mountains Move, has hit shelves. Here, Cantrell describes how she conceived of and developed the new novel.

How did the idea for the new novel arise?
When the debut novel, Into the Free, went through edits, we cut a lot from the ending. I always wanted to tell more of Millie’s story, and I’m grateful the publisher gave me an entire second book to explore the next phase of her life. I’ve enjoyed seeing what happened next for Millie, and I hope readers will, too.

In what ways did writing this latest novel differ from writing your first one?
When I wrote the first book, I never intended to show it to anyone. So I was completely free to write without any fears or limitations. It was a beautiful creative experience. Of course, we went through major edits with it, but the original draft was born without those concerns.
With the sequel, I had a tight deadline and the added pressure of following the debut novel without letting down those readers. When I found myself worrying about reader expectations, future reviews, marketing plans, etc., I would try to take a step back and remind myself to enter that artistic space again, as I had with the first one, and to leave the rest of the details out of my mind frame. It was easier some days than others, but I did try not to let any of those concerns affect the process of putting the story on the page.
What advice would you give to aspiring novelists?
Try to write without ever thinking about who might read it, how they might react, or whether the book will be successful in terms of sales figures, reviews, etc. Write as if no one will ever read it. I believe that may be the only way to dig down deep enough to write with raw honesty, and that applies to fiction, too. I mean, even if you aren’t writing about your life or the way you see the world, you still have to be able to write honestly about the character’s life (lives), without worrying that you might offend someone or break a conventional social rule, etc. That’s the beauty of any form of art … you can bypass all the norms we live by in the real world, and just let your brain have some fun.
For more on Julie and her work, visit Julie Cantrell, as well as Into the Free and When Mountains Move.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Better Never Than Late?

While some things are better never happening than late, writing isn't usually one of them. Even bad writing (though it doesn't need to see daylight), has a place, one called "practice."

For work you're planning to send, check out these markets for unusual stories:

Black Warrior Review: Poetry and nonfiction that is lyric and language-driven.

Blast Furnace: Poetry on the theme of the mysterious and the magical in the everyday.

Chagrin River Review: New fiction and poetry.

Cigale Literary Magazine: Flash fiction, short stories, literary criticism, book reviews, and artwork.

Gravel: Comics, graphics, art, photography, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry.

Lunch Ticket: Creative nonfiction, writing for young people, fiction, poetry and art.

Tendril: Compelling poetry, prose and visual art that lean toward the experimental.

Vine Leaves Literary Journal: Vignettes on one element, such as mood, character, setting or object, in the form of prose, poetry, scripts and artwork/photography.

What writing  project are you working on today?

Get more from your writers conference at Ridgefield Writers Conference 2014.
For queries, contact Word for Words, or visit Word for Words.
For this month’s online workshop, visit Online Workshop.