Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘getting published’

MORE PERKS AT THE 2017 MCWC

A Personal Word from the Director!

Three weeks from now, the 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference will be under way. Besides over 40 workshops, 4 Major Morning sessions, and 3 Work-in-Progress Seminars, there are numerous “perks” planned throughout the week. Just a few of them are:

  1. A Life-Changing Event: In 2001, I met Barbara Scott, who at that time was the acquisitions editor at Zonderkidz. Through that 15-minute meeting on the porch at the conference center, I received contracts to write the 8-book Keystone Stables Series, which is a best-seller (and still selling today!) You never know where your one-on-one meetings with an agent or editor might lead you. Take advantage of the opportunities at Montrose this year. (I acquired two additional contracts from other publishers at Montrose over the years as well.) Barbara will be with us again. She’s now an independent editor, but if you want the scoop on whether your manuscript is ready for publication, meet with her on the porch. She’ll give it to you straight!
  2. The Budget Book Sale! Every third year or so, we have a budget book sale, when faculty and conferees donate unwanted books. We then sell dozens, if not hundreds, of wholesome books of all genres at a much-reduced price. All the proceeds go to the scholarship funds. So raid your bookshelves and bring all those dusty books you don’t want anymore. Then bring some loose change and take a bagful of “new” used books home with you!
  3. Painting Class with Artist Dave Weiss: On Tuesday evening, Dave will teach a painting class. Every participant will have his/her own canvas, paints, and brushes to paint a picture that might have seemed impossible before the class started.
  4. Praise and Worship Time with Conrad and Donna Krieger: Every year, the attendees rate this half hour presentation and song time every morning as the highlight of the week. Conrad and Donna are gifted musicians, who lead us in a spiritually uplifting time of worship that starts every day on a God-honoring note.
  5. Writers’ Theatre on Thursday Evening: This is your time to shine. Bring a piece no longer than three minutes long and read it to an audience of your peers in a nostalgic setting with beautiful decorations by Ginny Merritt and dimmed lights with the spotlight on YOU.

So, this is just a sample of the “perks” the 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference will offer this year. It’s not too late to register, so go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

 and get your name on our conferee list. I’d love to meet you in a few weeks. Set your GPS to Montrose, PA, for July 16th!

Read Full Post »

DO YOU NEED HELP TO GET YOUR WORK PUBLISHED?

COME TO THE MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE, MONTROSE, PA

July 17th – 22nd

Don't.Stop.Believing

Thinking of self-publishing your book? Award-winning author Michelle Lazurek will have a continuing afternoon series for you to learn the ups and downs of doing it yourself.

Having trouble understanding all those little icons in the Microsoft WORD menu at the top of your documents? How do you insert a picture? Bullet points? A footnote? Author/illustrator Brenda K. Hendricks will explain in depth how to use WORD as you write your manuscript.

Working on a tween or teen novel? Author Marti Pieper and best-selling author Karen Whiting will show you exactly what you need to do to get that manuscript published.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Needing an agent? Hartline Literary Agent Jim Hart will tell you how to get that agent.

Writing some short pieces or feature/news articles? Authors Patti Souder and Kathy Ide and best-selling author Jeanette Windle will share what needs to be done to get that short work published.

These are only a few of the 40+ afternoon workshops and seminars offered at this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference. Check out all the details (including a registration form) at http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx   Smiley.Face.Smiling

We’d love to see you there!

Marsha

Director MCWC 2016

Read Full Post »

EVENING PERKS AT THE MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE – 2016

Westcotts.+BigDuck

Do you like to laugh?

How sharp are you at Jeopardy?

Jeanne.Mull.Readers.Theater.2015Would you like to read a section of your written work to the entire conference assembly?

Then it’s time to register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 17th to the 22nd. Besides choosing from over 40 workshops during the week, three evenings offer additional perks:

Monday Evening: Puppets on Parade will present faculty and conferees who would like to participate in a fun-filled program of puppetry and ventriloquism. You may volunteer to be in the program or relax in the audience and enjoy the event.

Wednesday Evening: Odd Ducks’ Dilemma, a Jeopardy-type game will challenge panels of three volunteers each, both faculty and conferees, with questions about writing/publishing on all different levels.

Example: Answer – The author of Alice in Wonderland

The Question – Who is Lewis Carroll?

Thursday Evening: Writers’ Theater invites any conferee or faculty member to read a three-minute section of any written work. It’s an evening of creativity you’ll enjoy whether you participate or cheer on the writers brave enough to read their work to their peers.

Please go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

for all the details and a registration form. I hope to see you at Montrose in July!

Marsha

Director

(More shameless promotion)

Whispering Hope

A wild horse and an angry young woman. Is there a secret to taming them both?

Foster kid, Skye Nicholson, sets her sights on a new teen and a rescued wild Mustang

at Keystone Stables.

http://www.amazon.com/Whispering-Hope-Keystone-Stables-Book-ebook/dp/B003TO59SW/ref=pd_sim_351_5?ie=UTF8&dpID=51o1ofvvbSL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_OU01_AC_UL320_SR206%2C320_&refRID=0WD7GM9G0BRSCZKCKZFM

Book 7. Keystone Stables

Read Full Post »

April 6, 2015

 THE EDITOR CONNECTION

 

As a beginner about 20 years ago, I didn’t have a clue about connecting with editors. I thought all I had to do was look up a publishing company’s address in the Writers’ Market Guide, send off my manuscript (after I wrote it and revised it once), and then wait for the check to arrive in the mail.

Boy, did I have a lot to learn! Over the years, I’ve accumulated some wisdom I’d like to pass on to you. Each of these “talking points” could be developed into an essay of sorts, but for convenience’s sake, we’ll just make a quickie list for you to ponder and then, in turn, to analyze your own progress in becoming a published author:

  1. Study the market and make sure your manuscript matches what the publishing company is looking for. This is the number one reason that writers are rejected. A story about your favorite pet cow won’t make it in a horse magazine!
  2. Follow the submission guidelines to the “T” if you even want to be considered. If the editor wants a proposal or a query letter first, then learn how to do those two “writing projects” well and submit them first.
  3. Have your manuscript critiqued several times by other writers you know (like in a critique group). If you have the financial means, hire a freelance editor to refine your copy. If you don’t do this, the editor at the publishing company might read only one or two paragraphs of your submission and go no farther because of poor writing. “Duh, shure eye kin spel; did eye miss sumpthun?”
  4. If you have an editor who is interested in your work, send it to him/her immediately. The longer you wait, the fuzzier his/her mind will become about your query or proposal.
  5. Be patient. These days it can take anywhere from three months to six months, maybe longer, to hear from an editor. The sad thing of late is that some publishing companies are not responding to writers’ queries or manuscripts unless they’ve been accepted. This can become a frustrating waiting game with no end. Therefore, find companies that accept multiple submissions, and send five or six out at a time. If you’ve heard nothing after six months, I suggest emailing or calling the editor (if an elusive phone number is available), but not before.
  6. The best way to “connect” with editors is to attend writers’ conferences. Yes, you have to dig deep into your starving author pocket to pay the conferees’ fee and other expenses, but in this business, it takes money to earn money. Meeting an editor face-to-face can change your writing life for the better. Believe me. Of the four book contracts I’ve acquired, three of them came from meeting editors at writers conferences. I’ve also had poetry, children’s short stories, and articles published in magazines by meeting the editors at conferences. Editors love to “connect” writers’ names with their faces. It’s a big plus for you and them alike.

So there you have a few tips to help you get started on the road to publication. Next time, I’ll address the topic of working with an editor once you get that acceptance letter or phone call.

I remember my very first phone conversation with an editor who wanted to do my Keystone Stables series (14 years ago already), and it was a thrill which I shall never forget.

P.S. Please make plans to attend the Montrose Christian Writers Conference this July. We have about a half dozen editors and an agent on faculty, who will be eager to meet one-on-one with conferees and their works-in-progress. (WIP)

http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Marshas.Class.Wk.in.Progress.2013

Read Full Post »

July 7, 2014

The Elements of an Eye-Catching Fiction Proposal

In your writing and publishing venture, you might be asked to submit a proposal to an editor or agent once you’ve caught his/her attention. So what is a proposal?
Other than asking someone to marry you, a proposal in the publishing world is quite the complex project. Of course, the first thing you want to do is check the publishing houses’ guidelines. They might have them outlined for you on the website or if an editor asks for a proposal, then you ask him/her for their guidelines. If there are no guidelines, then follow a standard format that all editors will accept to get to know you and your project better.
Let’s look at the basic elements of a good proposal for a fiction manuscript. In later blog posts, we’ll look at samples of each of these (if applicable). One word of caution is merited here. Be careful to spend quality time on your proposal. Depending on how many sample chapters you send, your proposal could easily be 40 to 60 pages long. It’s not something that should be taken lightly because your proposal will either earn you a contract or send your manuscript back to you to try again some other place.

Basic Elements of a Good Fiction Proposal

1. Cover page – includes title of your work, your name, address, phone number, email, website, and to whom you’re sending the proposal
2. Table of Contents – list all the sections included in your proposal and their page numbers
3. Synopsis –  a one-to-two-page synopsis of your entire manuscript, including the climax and resolution. Don’t keep the editor/agent guessing how it’s going to end.
4. About the Author – a one-to-two-page bio of you, including a photo, a little background, and your writing credits and awards won; include your involvement with social media, i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, blogsite, etc. with all URLs.
5. Character Sketches – a one-page description of your main characters (one or two main characters, no more); include time period, personal appearance, quips, goals in life.
6. Market Potential (this one takes the most time) – spend quality time in bookstores and/or online, researching the other books already published in the same genre and age group. Include these elements: Layout and Audience, Competitive Works, Marketing Ideas, and Date of Completion.
7. Chapter Outline – this is not a I, II, III, A, B, C “outline.” It’s a one-to-two-paragraph summary of each chapter in your book. If your work is not finished, just write the outline up to the last chapter you’ve written.
8. Sample Chapters – the publisher’s guidelines might indicate chapter one, two, and the last one, maybe chapters one, the chapter in the middle of the book, and the last one. If not designated, send the first three chapters.

Well, there you have the basic elements of a proposal that will catch that editor’s or agent’s eye.
Why is the proposal so important?
If an editor or agent reviews a well-done proposal, he/she will recognize that the author already has good writing and organizing skills, has a goal set to finish a project, and can meet deadlines. All these qualities are essential in maintaining a good relationship between the author and editor.
Write an eye-catching proposal, and you’re one step closer to reaching that unreachable star: publication!

pen and quill

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: