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Archive for September, 2016

HOW TO HANDLE REJECTION

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Dear Sir/Madam:
We have reviewed your proposal and have found that it does not meet our editorial needs at this time.
Good luck as you search for the one lone publishing company in the world that is looking for an Amish horror paranormal romance.
Yours truly,
The Mean Old Editor
The Mean Old Editor

************************************************************************

How many times have you received a letter from a publishing company that read so much like this one? Did you want to take your precious manuscript, draw it to your bosom, and then go jump off a bridge? Or did you want to start a bonfire in your back yard using your five hundred pages of blood, sweat, and tears you just pumped into your best-selling novel for the last year that can’t get any editor’s second look
If you’ve been there, then join the rest of us odd ducks, who constantly receive rejection letters. And I’m talking about us who have been widely published too.
It’s really tough when you get the nasty letter that feels like the editor just stabbed your new-born baby or slapped you in the face. But take heart. It’s not personal; it’s business. And take a second good hard look at your manuscript and the market. It’s a word jungle out there, and sometimes it takes years to find a publisher who is willing to pay you for your work. I’m sure that’s the reason so many authors I know are self publishing today (now better known as “indie publishing.”) Of course, the only problem with that scenario is that you’re putting your own money up front, and if you don’t have thousands of dollars for a good edit and a reliable, reputable vanity press, you could get the shaft of your life along with a product of which you will not be proud. You also are the sole marketer of your book with no support from a publishing company. And promotion takes A LOT of time and money, which most authors don’t have!
Here are several tips to remember as you prepare to send that query letter or proposal out again to royalty publishing companies. And remember that, if your writing is well done, there is a market for you—somewhere. The key is to find the company that wants your work.

Tips to Handle Rejection

1. Go online to find publishers’ guidelines or buy the Writers’ and Illustrators’ Market Guide to make sure you’re submitting to companies who publish your genre.
2. Don’t let your manuscript die in a file cabinet. Keep sending your query or proposal out as soon as you get a rejection.
3. Keep a record of your rejections and the dates. Editors become irritated if they see the same query or proposal five times over a year’s time.
4. Revise! Revise! Revise! Just like a painting, our writing is never done to perfection. Make sure that critique group reviews important sections of your work.
5. If you’ve written short stories or articles, change the titles and names of the characters and/or rewrite the main plot or theme of the works and send them all out at the same time to different companies.
6. Read! Read! Read! Read the genre of which you are writing. Learn from those who are already published. Compare your work to those who already have their byline. Be willing to change your work and write clearer and cleaner.
7. Attend writers’ conferences to make that personal connection with editors of publishing companies or agents. Of the book contracts I’ve received, I acquired all but one by meeting editors and/or agents at writers’ conferences.
8. And this is so important, I’ll mention it again: Go online to publishers’ websites or buy the Writers’ and Illustrators’ Market Guide to make sure you’re submitting to companies who publish your genre. I’ve heard editors state that the number one reason they reject a manuscript is because it really doesn’t “meet their editorial needs.” Wrong genre? No sale.
We all become discouraged over time, but the thing to remember is that you are working at a highly-skilled craft with thousands of other writers trying to win an editor’s heart. Keep on writing and revising. Never give up, and one day you’ll see your byline under that article title or your name on the cover of that book.

Keep on writing!
Marsha
Director Montrose Christian Writers Conference

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction? How can you be creative writing “the truth”?

This blog post is loaded with some valuable nonfiction tips for you who like writing in that genre. Thanks to author Patti Souder, who has shared this information at writers’ conferences, we have some tips that will spruce up your writing and make it publishing ready.

Patti has been writing articles, drama sketches, and nonfiction books for over 20 years. She also has taught creativePatti.+Anniv.Power.Point.2014 writing on the college level, so her suggestions are well worth noting.

In a proverbial nutshell, I’ve listed the highlights of one of her workshops entitled “Creative Nonfiction: An Oxymoron?” So if you’re a nonfiction writer, take note of the excellent advice this experienced published author suggests.

Literary Elements Used to Create CREATIVE NONFICTION

Borrow from fiction techniques:

  1. Develop characters.
  2. Use dialogue.
  3. Include details.
  4. Adopt an effective point-of-view: Use inner thoughts.
  5. Limit your tag lines.

Incorporate poetic elements to increase your artistry:

  1. Use imagery to create sensory impressions.
  2. Borrow from nature: Example – a moth beating its wings against a window can picture the frustration of helpless people when oppressed by authority.
  3. Use metaphors
  4. Vary your rhythm, style, and length of sentences.

Important Elements to Remember

Creative nonfiction is NONFICTION:

  1. Be factual.
  2. Anchor your manuscript in real experience.
  3. Do your research.

Creative nonfiction requires PERSONAL PRESENCE:

  1. Go beyond mere facts.
  2. Add your voice.
  3. Share personal perspectives and reflections.
  4. But remember that your writing MUST be grounded in actual experiences.

Don’t avoid the challenges you might face from folks who question your writing:

  1. If you’ve written the truth, let the challenges come.
  2. Be ready to back your manuscript with research findings, testimonies, and recorded facts.

So, there you have some excellent tips on writing “creative nonfiction.” Whether drama, personal interest articles, drama sketches, or biographies, you can make your writing come alive with a fiction spark if you incorporate some fiction techniques in your work! Just remember, your nonfiction can get “weighed down” if you use boring techniques. Spruce it up with some hints from Patti, an experienced published author!

Marsha

Director of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference

B.J. Taylor .PhotoP.S. If you’re interested in memoirs or writing for Guideposts, don’t miss next July’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference. B.J. Taylor, representing Inspiring Voices and Guideposts, will present a Major Morning series on those topics.

 

 

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