Guest Bloggers

Do you need a developmental editor?

Guest blogger, dev-editor, and author Shirin Yim Leos, answers the question she’s most often asked: What is developmental editing, does it really make a difference, do I need it and how much—HOW MUCH?!?!—can I do for myself? What is Developmental Editing? It’s the big, high level, Is the book working? edit. Does it make a difference? Resoundingly yes. Ask any author with a career. Do I need it? No writer can accurately see their own work. It’s a fact, like refraction through water or distortion through atmosphere. How much does developmental editing cost? It varies, but here are some recently published rates in The Write Life. How to be your own Developmental Editor Can I do it for myself? Try to duplicate a dev editor’s distance. They come to your pages cold and you can replicate that: Put your writing away in a drawer for 3-6 months. I can hear…

Just Write

Myths and Realities of Blogging

I recently spoke at a meeting of the Writers of the Mendocino Coast, a branch of the California Writers Club, on the subject of blogging. I recommend the blogs and books mentioned below. And of course there are many other blogs, books, and information about blogging on the world wide web. Highlights from my talk on “Myths and Realities of Blogging” If you don’t have a blog, but think you should, something to think about is why? Why should you have an author blog? “Blogging is simply a medium that allows you to connect with people who love the same books, hobbies and activities you do.”  — Gabriela Pereira, May/June 2018, Writer’s Digest magazine Author Blog Find Your Target Audience: Read the reviews of books in your genre on Amazon or Goodreads. Use words from the reviews for your headlines and tags in your posts. What to Post Stories about…

Places to submit

What do Contest Judges Look for?

Recently I was one of three judges for a writing contest. We didn’t agree during the first round of reading on the winners. It took re-reading and much discussion to select the three winners. So that got me to thinking. What do contest judges look for when choosing winning entries? My fellow judges and I came up with: Make sure to follow the guidelines. They aren’t arbitrary. The guidelines are specific for a reason. Make sure to follow the criteria of what genre the contest is. Don’t submit memoir if the contest is fiction. Even though the judges may not be able to tell for sure if something is fiction or memoir . . . if it feels like memoir, it probably is. And that won’t work in a fiction contest. The winning entries that stood out excelled in creative writing and well-crafted stories. The writing and stories were compelling,…

Places to submit

Prompt Contest: A Picture is worth . . .

A picture is worth . . . you know. . .  lotsa words. Redwood Writers, a Branch of the California Writers Club, is sponsoring The 2016 Prompt Contest. Write a fictional story inspired by this “Highway through the Redwoods” photo by Tim May. The connection between the story and the photo must be apparent to the judges. The words “redwood” and “highway” must be somewhere in the story. DUE DATE:  October 16, 9:00 p.m. Fiction only. Contest submissions are open to all California Writers Club members and to non-member residents of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Marin, Lake, Humboldt and Solano counties. $8 for California Writers Club members; $12 for non-members 1,000 words or less 1st place:  $100, a certificate  suitable for framing, and a signed photo by Tim May 2nd place: $50 and a certificate suitable for framing 3rd place:  $25 and a certificate suitable for framing

Places to submit

Redwood Writers, a branch of oldest writers’ organization . . .

Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club (CWC), has ongoing writing contests. Click Redwood Writers Contests to read about the current contest. “Whether you’re a traditionally published author or ‘just always wanted to write,’ there’s a place for you at CWC Redwood Branch.” CWC is one of the oldest writers’ organizations in the nation. Members are poets, journalists, essayists, technical writers, and creators of genre and literary fiction, as well as editors, booksellers, and others involved in related fields. There are branches throughout California. Click California Writers Club to find a branch near you. To enter a Redwood Writers branch contest, you must be a member. California residence is not required to be a member. Click Redwood Writers Membership for member information. Submit! You never know. . . the next contest winner could be you!

Places to submit

Redwood Anthology – Journeys

Submission Deadline for the 2015 Redwood Anthology:  March 1, 2015 Theme:   Journeys Eligibility: Members of the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club. You can join Redwood Writers Branch, no matter where you live. Click here for membership information. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Redwood Writers anthologies. The theme is Journeys. There are many types of journeys: travel adventures, life passages, heroes’ journeys, pilgrimages, odysseys, and flights of fancy. All journeys begin in one place and end in another, having elements of challenge, change, and transformation. Note: Submissions are required to reflect the theme, which may be interpreted broadly. If your piece is selected, you will be assigned an editor to work with you through the publication revision/editing process. Submission Guidelines Each Redwood Writers member may submit up to 2 pieces in any genre. For example, you may submit 1 poem and 1 prose piece, 2 prose…

Places to submit

Redwood Writers Anthology Accepting Submissions

It’s a good idea to always have something ready to submit. You never know when a call for submission might be a perfect fit for your writing. Redwood Writers Anthology is open for submissions. . . deadline extended to April 1, 2014. Submission Guidelines   Members of Redwood Writers may submit up to two pieces in any genre, including short story, memoir, essay, flash fiction or poetry. You need to be a Redwood Writers Member to submit. Email your submissions to: Redwood Writers is a branch of the California Writers Club.