"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, February 19, 2024

7 Fast Approaching Submission Deadlines

Seven fast approaching deadlines...

Chicken Soup for the SoulMiracles, messages from heaven, angels - The deadline for submissions is FEBRUARY 28, 2024. Stories about miracles, angels, messages from heaven, premonitions, amazing coincidences and other unexplainable but good events! We are looking for powerful, astounding, stories that will make people say "wow" or give them chills. This book is for everyone, whether religious or non-religious.

Chicken Soup for the SoulThe power of thinking positive - The deadline for submission is FEBRUARY 28, 2024. We know that using the power of thinking positive helps you to achieve your goals and lead a happy, purposeful, and productive life. Almost anything is possible if you think you can. You can dream big, overcome challenges, create the best life possible for yourself, and turn adversity into opportunity. What do you do to think positive and how did it change your life? Tell us your success story about using the power of thinking positive!

GRAYWOLF PRESS NONFICTION PRIZE
https://www.graywolfpress.org/about-us/submissions
NO MENTION OF ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 29, 2024. A $20,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press will be awarded to the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre. The winning author will also receive a $2,000 stipend intended to support the completion of their project. The Graywolf editors are particularly interested in new approaches to the personal essay, cultural and literary criticism, creative scholarship, and books exploring complex ideas from unexpected angles. Must live in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. Must have published at least one piece of nonfiction in a literary journal or magazine.


SEJONG WRITING COMPETITION
https://www.sejongculturalsociety.org/writing/current/sijo.php?fbclid=IwAR3dsNgV_I0yqv-oCp4MFqmMihAVk6cwHbmBCsihV0iPfrSQIjIDtbDwdKU
Deadline February 29, 2024. Divisions: adult division (age 19 and older) and pre-college division (age 18 and younger). Write one sijo in English on a topic of your choice. Only one entry per applicant. Adult division: First ($1,000), Second ($750), Third ($500). Pre-college division: First ($500), Second ($400), Third ($300). Must be a resident of USA or Canada.


LITTLE TOKYO HISTORICAL SOCIETY SHORT STORY CONTEST
https://www.littletokyohs.org/
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 29, 2024. The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories for its 11th annual Imagine Little Tokyo short story contest in the categories of English language, Japanese language and youth (18 and younger). The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness of Little Tokyo through a creative story that takes place in Little Tokyo. Each category winner will be awarded $500 in cash with their short story being published in The Rafu Shimpo, Discover Nikkei and Little Tokyo Historical Society website.


ALPINE POETRY PRIZE https://alpinefellowship.com/poetry-prize NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 1, 2024. Theme: Language. You may submit one poem or a collection of poems as long as ALL the poems in the collection speak to the theme. There is a maximum of 500 words per entry. There is no minimum required word count. First place: £3,000. Second place: £1,000. Third place: £1,000. The winner and runners-up will be invited to the annual symposium. Up to £500 travel expenses to help with travel to the event and meals and accommodation.

ALPINE WRITING PRIZE https://alpinefellowship.com/writing-prize NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 1, 2024. Theme: Language. All genres of writing are permitted, including fiction, non-fiction, and non-academic essays. Open to all nationalities. First place: £3,000. Second place: £1,000. Third place: £1,000. The winner and runners-up will be invited to the annual symposium. Up to £500 travel expenses to help with travel to the event and meals and accommodation. A maximum of 2,500 words per entry.


Monday, February 12, 2024

For Love of...

Last month, I shared a couple of posts on Love (to celebrate any form of love) and upcoming conferences, workshops, and festivals for readers and writers. Today, I thought I would share more opportunities for lovers of the written and illustrated word.

February 17 - Hickory Con is a one day, in person comic con event in North Carolina. To learn more, check out: Home (hickorycon.com)

March 15-17 - Galaxycon is a 4-Day FESTIVAL OF FANDOM with celebrities, creators, voice actors, cosplayers, entertainers, fan groups, gamers, panelists, streamers, and wrestlers in Richmond, VA. To learn more: Galaxycon Richmond

March 27 - see the TWITTER PITCH info below.

April 5-7 - CyPhaCon: https://www.cyphacon.org/ - taking place in the Lake Charles Civic Center Complex, CYPHACON 2024 is the largest fan run Pop Culture Convention in the State of Louisiana!

July 12-14 - ConGregate is a speculative fiction convention held in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. To learn more: ConGregate 7 / DeepSouthCon 59 (con-gregate.com)

July 25 - 28 and OTHERS- Galaxycon is a 4-Day FESTIVAL OF FANDOM with celebrities, creators, voice actors, cosplayers, entertainers, fan groups, gamers, panelists, streamers, and wrestlers in Raleigh, NC. To learn more: GalaxyCon Raleigh This group actually offers multiple events virtually at at multiple locations throughout the year so be sure to follow for more news.

August - Wake Forest mini Comic Con - WakeForest, NC - https://www.facebook.com/WFComiCon/

If you'd like to see an even longer list of opportunities, check out the IWSG page here: https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/publications.html


#IWSGPit Twitter Party


The next #IWSGPit will be March 27, 2024.
10:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, Tweet your pitch using #IWSGPit. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.

For hashtags and guidelines, visit our #IWSGPit page.

Do authors really find agents and publishers through a Twitter pitch party? Yes they do! Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. has found FIVE authors from this event, including one of our best sellers, Damien Larkin.

So, get your pitches ready for March!

 Will you be participating in #IWSGPit? Have you had success with a Twitter pitch party? How about you? Are you attending any this year? Do you have a favorite that we haven't listed here?

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

IWSG: Author Turn Offs

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.


FEBRUARY 7 QUESTION - 
What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author's books? Constant mention of books?

MY ANSWER - Information overload turns me off immediately. If I click on a site and there is a ton of text and images (the entire screen), flashing ads, or constantly moving images then I'm done. I prefer simple design and layout that lets me know who the author is, their platform or genre, and how to access more information if I want it. Don't try to cram it all down my throat at once.

What about you? What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author's books? Constant mention of books?

Monday, January 29, 2024

Planning for a Week of Love

Many are already making plans for the next holiday, but did you know there is actually an entire week of love that thousands celebrate? Most of the people I know only celebrate, or dread, the most famous day which is Valentine's. However, according to multiple sites, there is an entire week of love and each day leading up to Valentine's has a significant meaning or purpose.

According to those love experts, the days are as follows:


 

While I love flowers and jewelry, my family and friends know my favorite gifts are a good book and chocolate.

Interested in a few FREE romantic flash fiction pieces? Try my stories:

Or order the last IWSG anthology on the right - First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts.

Not sure what to get the writer in your life? Check out this list of suggested Valentines day gifts for writers or check out these Six Ways to Participate in Romance Week at Goodreads.

Want to share the theme of love with children? Check out these 10 Best Children's Books About Love.

So many of us love reading and writing. We have favorites that we return to again and again. How about you? 

I am especially grateful for a warm home full of books as I've been seeing the massive freezes and storms sweeping parts of the world. I hope you all stay safe, warm, and loved. Happy Valentine's!

Will you be participating in the week of love? What is your favorite genre? Favorite author? Favorite book from childhood? Are you doing something special that week, or for Valentine's Day?

Monday, January 22, 2024

National Polka Dot Day and Writers

Today is National Polka Dot Day!


It's also the day Minnie Mouse finally received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame six years ago - a mere 40 years after her counterpart, Mickey. You can find out more about that here. 

Many of my family members are Disney fans. I'm from Southern California, and even though I live in Texas, we head back as often as possible to visit family and friends. We also visit Hollywood and The Walk of Fame from time to time. You can see pictures here. W
e also visit the Florida Parks.

Another reason I mention all of this is because the original article I read announcing Minnie's big day, as well as a visit to Hollywood this past summer, led me down a rabbit hole of reading. I became curious about writers who have earned a star on that famous walkway. I knew of a few, but I was surprised at the number. Some of these authors I know have brought joy to many and will be immediately recognized: Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Capra, quite a few others I recognized, and a few I didn't. Here is a list the Los Angeles Times has comprised of all the writers who've earned that coveted star.

Have you been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or a Disney Park? Which authors are your favorites? Who would you like to see earn a star? Are you celebrating National Polka Dot Day?

Monday, January 8, 2024

2024 Conferences, Workshops, and Literary Festivals

UPDATED: 1/20/24

This list started out mostly focus on
 Texas 
(where I am) and Louisiana. However, there are some others listed here for you. Also, keep in mind, many are virtual now, so your own location may not matter. Please let me know if you would like to recommend any others to be added to the list. The list below is what I know of as of today.

First, please let me recommend MASTERCLASS. This is an online set of instructional and motivational videos given by some of the industry's top professionals and gathered together in one location. These are very reasonably priced, and you can read about my personal experiences with it by clicking on the link in the labels below. There are other genres besides just writing that are extremely beneficial and interesting as well. They just added quite a few more options this past month. 

There is also a similar site called SKILLSHARE, but I have not personal experience with it. Let us know in the comments if you have, and what you think of them.

Any Time: More than a dozen authors - https://www.masterclass.com/homepage

Any Time: Skill Share

2/9-11 - Austin SCBWI In-Person Conference in New York - https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-in-person-winter-conference-2024

February 11-14 - American Booksellers Association Winter Institute

February 15-18 San Francisco Writers Conference

February 18-20 - Social Media Marketing Conference

2/23-24 - Austin SCBWI Virtual Conference - https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-virtual-winter-conference

3/8-16 - SXSW Film and writers festival in Austin - http://www.sxsw.com/

3/14-16 - New Orleans Book Festival - New Orleans Book Festival

3/22-24 -Writer's Digest 10th Virtual Mystery and Thriller Convention - https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/courses/wdu-mystery-and-thriller-virtual-conference

3/20-24 - New Orleans Literary Festival - http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/

4/11-14 - Left Coast Crime in Seattle Washington - https://leftcoastcrime.org/

4/20 - The Pre-Quill Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah - The Pre-Quill Conference | League of Utah Writers

5/4-5- Austin Writer's and Illustrators Conference - https://www.scbwi.org/events/texas-writers-and-illustrators-conference

6/1 - Lone Star Book Festival - https://www.lonestarfestival.fun/

6/1 - The Gutsy Great Novelist Retreat, Bar Harbor, Maine 


6/7-9 - in Dallas, Texas - Inkerscon

6/19-23 - Florida - Space Coast Book Lovers

6/26-28 - Historical Novel Society - https://hns-conference.com/


8/28 - 9/1 - World Mystery Convention - Nashville - http://www.bouchercon.com/

9/18-22 - NINC Conference

9/27-28 - in Florida - Once Upon a Book Author Signing

10/5-6 - Dallas Writer's Conference - http://dfwcon.org/

10/16-19 - In-Person - Houston, Texas - https://romanceauthormastermind.com/

10/25-26 - Las Vegas - https://lovenbooks.com/lovenvegas

10/24-31 - Austin Film Festival -  https://austinfilmfestival.com/

11/4-8 - (Tentative) - https://20booksvegas.com/about/

11/7-9 - (Tentative) - https://hamptonroadswriters.org/

11/13-16 - Virtual - Romance Author Mastermind

11/16-17 Austin Book Festival - https://www.texasbookfestival.org/

Year Round - Interested in a more expansive list of national and international options? Checkout this list: Insecure Writer's Support Group: Conferences, Workshops, etc. / Publications (insecurewriterssupportgroup.com)


Please feel free to comment with any you would like to see added to this list even if it's not happening in the USA.  You never know when an opportunity will arise. Right? :-)

Also, if you are looking for a writer's group in Texas, check out: Writers' Groups | Lone Star Literary Life

HAPPY WRITING! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

IWSG: BookBub

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.


JANUARY 3 QUESTION - 
Do you follow back your readers on BookBub or do you only follow back other authors?

MY ANSWER - I've never actually used BookBub. This question was my first introduction to the site. I'm curious to learn what you think of the site and its benefits or drawbacks. So...

Do you use BookBub? Do you follow back your readers on BookBub or do you only follow back other authors?