Places to submit

Reminisce magazine wants your stories

Reminisce magazine: “Your memories are the very heart of this reader-written magazine.” Reminisce pays $100 for first full page and $50 for subsequent pages, plus an additional $25 for accompanying photos. Click here for submission guidelines and a list of upcoming topics. Click here for contributor guidelines and a list of topics. “Reminisce helps readers ‘bring back the good times’ through true stories and vintage photographs. Any appropriate photo or memory is welcome, as long as it originated from 1900 through the 1970s.” “Our editorial style is relaxed and conversational, so please write your memory the way you’d relate it to a friend.” “Because our features don’t often run more than 700 words, we do not read lengthy submissions or books. We prefer a first-person ‘I remember when’ angle and rarely accept features written in third-person.” Reminisce wants your stories about: RETRO RECIPES MOST ROMANTIC DATE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA…

Prompts

What does your character want? What gets in the way? Prompt #133

We’ve been working on character development on The Write Spot Blog. Your character could be fictional, based on a real person or someone in your memoir. Kurt Vonnegut says to “make your character want something.” There are several ways to go about this. Have your character do something unexpected . . . something that surprises everyone and weave in a problem. You can put your conservative character in an improv situation where he/she has to rap or act in a scene. Your male character might find himself on stage, learning how to hula or belly dance. Your female character might find herself in a lumberjack contest. Have your wild character volunteer to help with bingo in an assisted facility. Have your character do something unusual. Remember these are freewrites, where you write freely for 12 to 15 minutes. This doesn’t mean you have to use these character vignettes in your…

Quotes

“The key to a good essay is conflict, and . . . Victoria Zackheim

“The key to a good essay is conflict, and the story’s (and character’s) arc. People have to change during the story, whether fiction or non-fiction. — Victoria Zackheim, interviewed by Chris Jane in JaneFriedman.com. Victoria Zackheim is the author of the novel The Bone Weaver and editor of six anthologies: He Said What? Women Write About Moments When Everything Changed The Other Woman Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance The Face in the Mirror Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death and the upcoming FAITH: Essays from Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists (Feb. 2015). Victoria’s play, The Other Woman, based on her first anthology, will be featured in OneNight/OnePlay, and her play Entangled, an adaptation of the memoir Entangled:…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Jane Merryman titillates with ‘What’s in a Title?’

What’s in a Title by Guest Blogger Jane Merryman  Naked Lunch A Crack in the Edge of the World The Borrowers Book titles. Delicious. They provide entertainment in themselves, never mind what’s between the covers. The words on the front offer promise, titillation, or confusion. Of course, some titles are strictly workaday: Wildflowers of North America; The History of England from the Accession of James II; Math Formulas and Tables. But other titles are delightfully misleading, some are curiously ironic, others are satirical or even nonsense. A Moveable Feast Fezzes in the River Manhattan Transfer The title may or may not be an exact pointer to what’s inside, but it’s definitely a label that fixes itself in mind and memory. Take Pride and Prejudice—it has a lilt to it. But do you really want to plod through several hundred pages of unillustrated text enumerating the consequences of a couple of…

Prompts

Character development – discovering characters. Prompt #132

For this two-part prompt, we’re going to develop a character, either fictional or based on reality (especially if you are writing memoir). How do writers develop characters?   How do you get to know your character beyond their looks, their desires and where they went to school? Step One: Give your character a hobby or an interesting job. The more unusual, the better. Bee-keeping? Needlepoint for a man. Bucking horses, art aficionado, chemist, skywriter, laundromat manager, tornado chaser.  You can look up unusual jobs that pay well by clicking here, such as: Cruise ship entertainer, ice cream taster, human statue, hot dog vender, dog groomer, personal shopper, funeral director. Sketch how your character might spend an hour of their work day, or hobby time: gathering honey, purchase yarn and patterns, ranch and corrals, visits to art galleries and museums, mixing potions in the basement.  You might paint a picture what an…

Quotes

Make characters want something right away . . . Kurt Vonnegut

“Make characters want something  right away — even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the  meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time. …  When you exclude plot, when you exclude anyone’s wanting anything, you exclude  the reader, which is a mean-spirited thing to do.” — Kurt Vonnegut      

Prompts

Flesh out your characters. Prompt #131

You can use this prompt for fleshing out your fictional characters or for characters in your memoir. In works of fiction, we think of characters. When writing memoir, we think real people. But, when you write about real people, they become characters in a story. With this prompt, you can create character profiles for the real people in your life and for your fictional characters. Prompt: Make a three-column list. Label the first column “What I know,” the second, “How I know it” and the third, “How I show it.” First column – create a list with one or two-word descriptions about the character. Second column – write down how you know the particular characteristics. For example, if the person is known to be cheap, in column 2, you could write, “brings own teabags to restaurants.” Or, “carefully saves paper bags for lunch, been using the same bag for six…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Clara Rosemarda – writing with depth and clarity

Guest Blogger Clara Rosemarda reveals how to write with depth and clarity. Clara writes: Many years ago I took voice lessons from a master teacher. He worked with people who believed they were tone deaf. I was one of those people. My voice seemed flat as the ground I walked on, and I was too embarrassed to sing unless I was in a group large enough to swallow the sound of my voice. My teacher, robust and powerful, sat opposite me on the floor of his music studio. With full-bodied fingers born to make music he plucked the strings of his tambura going up and down the scale. Then he sounded a note and had me repeat it. At first I couldn’t reproduce the exact sound, but after a few tries and great concentration, I was able to. He told me I had a good voice which was a surprise…

Prompts

Revealing Conversation . . . Prompt #130

Pretend we’re at a party, sitting together talking quietly. Then you see someone you know and you want to tell me about that person. They can’t hear us. What will you tell me about that person? Or: Imagine any two people having a conversation about a third person. With this prompt, you can practice writing dialogue, revealing more about the conversants than the object of their discussion. Remember what Ted A. Moreno said in yesterday’s quote, “Making a pronouncement, judgment or criticism about someone else reveals little about them, but reveals much about you.” We’ll expand upon these characters with the next prompt on The Write Spot Blog.