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HOW TO HANDLE REJECTION

Detective.w.Spy.Glass.Cartoon

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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DO YOU KNOW YOUR WRITING/IMG_9699PUBLISHING TERMS?

This past Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July, we had a lot of fun on Wednesday evening playing a Jeopardy-type quiz game with faculty and conferees called the Odd Ducks’ Dilemma. One of the categories on the quiz board was entitled WRITING/PUBLISHING TERMS, which the contestants who were seasoned writers had no problem answering. But the newbies to this business got stumped several times.

In this blog post, we have the list of the writing/publishing terms included in the conference quiz game. For you who are more experienced, this little quiz will be old hat for you. It’s a 20-question matching quiz to sharpen the writing/publishing part of your brain. So, take a few minutes, grab a pen and paper, and let’s go:

  1. _______GENRE   A. $ EARNED AFTER BOOK IS OUT

 

  1. _______MANUSCRIPT SUB. B. YOUR NAME PRINTED W/ARTICLE

 

  1. _______ QUERY LETTER C.  SUMMARY OF BOOK ON COVER

 

  1. _______ COVER LETTER D.  UNDERLYING MESSAGE

 

  1. _______ PROPOSAL E.  CLEVER BEGINNING OF STORY

 

  1. _______ CRITIQUE/EDIT F.  CATEGORY

 

  1. _______ REJECTION  G.  “PLEASE LOOK AT MY WORK”

 

  1. _______ CONTRACT H.  ALL ABOUT YOU & YOUR WORK

 

  1. _______ MARKETING/PROMO I.  “DOES NOT MEET OUR NEEDS”

 

10._______ PITCH   J.  SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT YOU

 

11._______ HOOK     K. SENDING IT TO THE PUB. CO.

 

12._______ STORY LINE   L. “ENCLOSED PLEASE FIND …”

 

13._______ THEME    M.  $ FOR NOT BEING PUBLISHED

 

14._______ PLOT      N. EARNED BEFORE BOOK IS OUT

 

15._______ BLURB     O. ESSENTIAL REVIEW OF WORK

 

16._______ CREDITS   P. OF THIS A WRITER DREAMS

 

17._______ BYLINE   Q. LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

18._______ ADVANCE   R. ACTION IN YOUR STORY

 

19._______ROYALTY  S. WHAT YOUR STORY IS ABOUT

 

20._______KILL FEE T. THE EDITOR’S INTEREST PEAKS

 

Well, how do you think you did?  Here are the answers:

  1. F
  2.  K
  3.  G
  4.  L
  5.  H
  6. O
  7.  I
  8.  P
  9.  J
  10.  T
  11. E
  12. S
  13. D
  14. R
  15. C
  16. Q
  17. B
  18. N
  19. A
  20. M

If you missed this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference, you missed a real treat. Next year’s conference is scheduled for July 16th-21st, and we’ve already gotten verbal commitments from some of the faculty: film actor and best-selling author Torry Martin, fiction expert Barbara Scott representing Gilead Press, award-winning B.J. Taylor representing Guideposts and Inspiring Voices, Gloria Penwell representing Bold Vision Books,  Carol Wedeven doing a picture book WIP, Cathy Mayfield doing a WIP Teen Track, fiction author Mike Dellosso, and Don Catlett will be back with updates about blogging and social media and private mentoring sessions.

Watch for more updates as I connect with more best-selling authors, agents, and editors to make next year’s MCWC a double dynamite conference!

Keep on writing!

Marsha, Director

 

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January 18, 2016

HOW TO START AND MAINTAIN  A LOCAL CRITIQUE GROUP

Critique.Group.No.Two.8.7.14

The most valuable tool you’ll ever have to become a better writer is the local critique group. If you are not involved with one, please seriously consider starting and maintaining one. Here are the guidelines to help you get started: 

What To Do:

  1. Contact any local writer you know. Post notices in grocery stores, mini marts, free ads in newspapers, etc. with contact information.
  2. Have a set time and date for your first meeting. It can be at your home or in a local restaurant, library, community social room at a mall, etc.
  3. Pick one person to be the leader of your group—it probably should be you since the group is your idea—or rotate by having a different leader every time you meet. Choose a central location to meet. (Our group, average of five/six members, meets at a local Starbucks inside a Target store at 10 a.m. once a month.)
  4. Decide which way you and your critique members will critique each other’s work:
    1. Have your members send no more than five double-spaced pages to each member via email attachment about one week before your scheduled meeting. Everyone then critiques the pages at home and brings them to the meeting.
    2. Several days before the meeting, email or call everyone to find out who’s bringing something to critique. The leader then plans how much time will be allotted to each writer at the meeting. Example: we have a two-hour meeting once a month. If five bring something to be critiqued, each gets about 20-25 minutes total time for the critique. It’s best for the leader to have a timer. We usually limit our pages to about five typed double-spaced pages, but that depends on how many writers want to be critiqued.
  5. At the meeting, open with the sharing of news, i.e. someone has been accepted for publication, someone is speaking somewhere or having a book signing, writers conferences, etc. Share joys (new contract!) or sorrows (manuscript rejected).
  6. Each member other than the writer discusses the manuscript.  The leader should “control” the input by giving each person at the table a turn to speak, going clockwise or counterclockwise. The author is encouraged to offer his/her input. Also, the leader should prevent discussions and personal trivia that chase rabbit trails and have nothing to do with critiquing the manuscript. Then the critiqued copies are handed back to the writer. Fellowship and sharing can take place before or after the entire critiquing session is over.
  7. Before dismissing, the next date for the critique meeting should be set.

THE ART OF CRITIQUE-

1.  Offers a chance to communicate with each other.  First, tell the writer what you enjoyed about the story and its strengths. Be positive about something.

2.  Allows review of what you think needs work: boring opening, weak characters, weak plot, unnatural dialogue, etc.

3.  Prevents the members not to “over-critique.” Each writer has his own individual voice or style of writing. Other than correcting obvious punctuation, word usage, grammar, and spelling, try not to rewrite the work (especially poetry).  Too much critiquing will then morph the author’s work into your work, which is defeating the purpose of the critique group.

4.  As the author of the work, you should process the critique comments. Decide if the critique really hit home. Some writers don’t change anything unless they get at least two or three comments about the same area of work. Try not to be offended. Critiquing is a valuable tool to make you a better writer. To err is human; and we’re all human! Be ready to accept change.

 Remember, you are the final judge of your work. Smiley.Face.Smiling

HAPPY WRITING AND CRITIQUING!

 Marsha

(Web) www.marshahubler.com
(Writers Tips)
www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
Montrose Christian Writers Conference
http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

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SNOW

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July 13, 2015

Passive vs. Active Verbs

“Am, are, is, was, were, be, been!”

I don’t know how many times throughout my teaching career I had kids in my English classes recite those “BEING VERBS” so they would know NOT to use them in their writing assignments so often. I dare say thousands of times. So, the list has been ingrained in my thick brain as much as I hoped it was ingrained in my students’ mushy minds.

But, you know, after all the years I’ve taught English and all the years I’ve been writing for publication, I still catch myself overusing these words when I’m expounding. Using these words seems to come as natural as breathing, not only for beginning writers but for seasoned vets as well.

These nasty little three-and-four-letter words are like pesky little gnats in your eyes and the foundation to what we call the “passive voice,” a voice you should try to avoid 90% of the time. Why?

The passive voice makes your writing dull, lifeless, and uninteresting. These little nasties take the punch right out of any really good story you’re trying to write.

Let’s look at a few examples of passive voice verbs vs. active voice:

Passive: Joe was walking his dog Barney last night. (Ho hum.)

Active: Joe walked his dog Barney last night.

 

Passive: Martha was listening to her brother’s phone conversation.

Active: Martha listened to her brother’s phone conversation.

 

Passive: Trigger, a handsome Palomino, was ridden by Roy Rogers.

Active: Roy Rogers rode Trigger, a handsome Palomino.

 

Passive: Sally’s baby boy is loving his new toy.

Active: Sally’s baby boy loves his new toy.

 

Passive: The Jones’ kids have been going to camp every summer for years.

Active: The Jones’ kids have gone to camp every summer for years.

So, in a nutshell, there you have a quick survey of one aspect of the passive versus active voice. Take the time to evaluate some of your latest writings. Use a highlighter and see how many times these little nasties pop up. You’ll probably be surprised.

Just working on this one facet of your writing will improve your manuscripts far beyond what you can imagine. Work on sentence structure. Throw out the little nasties and make stronger sentences with more of a punch. Your readers will be glad you did, and they’ll be eager to turn the page in your book to see what’s coming next.

 

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IT’S NOT TOO LATE  TO REGISTER FOR THE

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE!

Dryer.Hall.Ft.Reg.Sign

July 19th-24th

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

Four Major Morning Continuing Classes

40 Afternoon Workshops

Fellowship with Other Authors, Agents, and Editors

Suellen.Brenda.Carol.W.Camp

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