TulipTree Publishing

TulipTree Publishing

TulipTree Publishing is a great new publisher looking for quality content for TulipTree Review, their literary journal; TulipTree Online, a separate online review; and TulipTree Books, printed works of authors, including anthologies. Editor, Jennifer Top, is looking for submissions and now’s a great time to submit. Plus, each quarter, $1000 will be awarded to first place winners in short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. 

From TulipTree:

TulipTree Review is seeking entries for its first round of contests for its inaugural issue! A first place prize of $1,000 will be awarded in each category of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Second and third place winners will receive $200 and $100, respectively. Winners and all those selected for publication will receive a free subscription to the new literary journal. The theme for the first issue is BEGIN. Deadline: March 9.

Check out TulipTree Publishing to learn more and be sure to Like them on Facebook

Good luck and happy writing!


My Space

My Space -- April J. MooreA fellow writer recently asked me what I need to write. I need to channel Stephen King or Ivan Doig and write as often and as well as they do. But alas, that ain’t gonna happen. For now, I’ll take my little rituals and little space in our guest room and click-clack away. Notice the space heater . . . this is Colorado and The Husband and I are on opposite ends of the thermometer. I keep my room at a roasty-toasty temp and no one can tell me to turn it down. (It also keeps anyone from bugging me while up I’m here writing.) I found a table at a flea market, painted it, and wedged it in the corner. On the oppose wall, is a closet full of supplies and books.

Books -- April J. Moore
On my crookedly hung bulletin board (I have no idea how I managed that), I have notes, a picture my niece drew, a newspaper photograph I’d like to paint someday, and various little things. (Yes, that’s me on the Big Wheels.)
My Space -- April J. MooreThese are a few things that I don’t necessarily need to have in order to write, but they make me smile: a ceramic bird I received after my father passed, my prayer flags from the Shambhala Center, and the creepy, faceless figurine called the “Angel of Hope.”
MySpace -- April J. MooreI don’t know that I really need anything other than a pencil (mechanical, please) and paper, in order to write, but this space works for me. It’s peaceful and allows me to do what I love. The rest is up to me.

Do you have any writing rituals? What do you need to be a productive writer?


Folsom’s Hits New York City

Books on the Subway -- Folsom's 93I love New York City, but if I can’t be there, at least my book can be riding the subway system, courtesy of Rosy from Books on the Subway. Rosy, an avid reader, heard of Books on the Underground, based in London, and thought, why not do the same in NYC? Isn’t it novel? She calls it a “public library on the go.” The books are labeled with a BOTS sticker, so readers can pick up the book, read it, and then return it to the train for someone else to enjoy. I sent Rosy a couple copies of Folsom’s 93 and she just dropped them off at 28th street station. How cool is that?! I hope my 93 guys enjoy their rides. Look for Books on the Subway on Twitter and Facebook, and check her site to see how you could get your own book to ride the rails, too. 


#OneOfThoseParents

Driving

My son got his driver’s license yesterday. He asked me not to post a picture on Facebook with the caption, “Yikes! We have a new driver on the roads, look out!” In fact, he wanted absolutely no FB documentation whatsoever. He didn’t, however, say anything about not posting here. He doesn’t read my diatribes—he gets enough of them verbally. 

So what does all this mean? That I’m one of those parents who has to share everything about my kid and his milestones? 

Well, yeah.

Hey, I’ve earned it. Being a parent is hard and sometimes it’s important to document that we haven’t strangled these beautiful life-sucking miracles yet—we’re doing something right. What did those moms of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s do? They had to pick up the phone. “I have a whole list of people to call. Besides, you’ll see your friends at school tomorrow.” They carried brag books and did scrapbooks. Do parent still do those? (I got as far as his first haircut.) 

I’m sure the proud parent pandemic dates back to prehistoric times when cave women depicted their stick-figure offspring making their first mammoth kill, or riding on the back of a velociraptor. Ha! Just kidding . . . (like they were able to tame those dinosaurs enough to ride one). Geesh.

I digress.

Bottom line: I’m proud. I’m in awe. I’m scared shitless. This is also the start of my perpetually anxious existence for the next two to three to four years. Should you begin to see irrational, manic, and depressive writings that borderline horrific—particularly late at night—you’ll know why.

So bear with me and go easy on parents like me; we spent a lot of time molding and shaping these helpless little forms into responsible, intelligent young adults—and teaching them to drive stick. Surviving that, is my personal milestone. 


Writing Prompt Wednesday

Writing Prompt WednesdayYou know the drill. (Dean, I’m expecting big things from you, my friend.)

  • There’s never the right moment to tell . . .
  • The marinara sauce dripped down the wall . . .
  • As usual, I said something . . .
  • The remote trail led to . . .
  • Something didn’t feel right when I entered . . .
  • His keys hung from . . .
  • The shrubbery concealed . . .
  • The ER nurse gave me . . .

Happy writing!


So, You Say You Want to Write?

Quite often, I’m approached by people who are either just getting into writing, or have a finished manuscript, but don’t know what steps to take next. I’ve talked to retirees who are finally getting around to that story in their head, and the stay-at-home mom whose kids are now in school full-time, so at last, she has quiet time to write. So how do I get started? How do go about publishing my book? Ah . . . as many of you know, those are very loaded questions that require more than a quick chat over coffee. But they need to start somewhere, so I have five pieces of advice that will hopefully point them in the write direction.
The End (Now What)

1.) Connect with a local writing organization. Some people think that you can either write or you can’t, and for those who think they can, they don’t necessarily see the value in attending writing workshops and classes. Well sure, we all like to think we can handle this writing thing on our own, but quite frankly, even seasoned authors are constantly improving on their craft. There’s always room to grow and improve as a writer—especially with help from other writers. Writing doesn’t have to be a solo venture. The support and camaraderie between writers is a beautiful thing—we learn from one another, not only about the craft, but the business of writing as well. Plus, when your short stories, articles or book comes out, you’ll already have an audience ready and willing to read, Tweet, and review. Networking is just as important in writing as it is in any other occupation.

2.) Join a critique group. Vital. I can’t reiterate enough how important this is. This is also another great reason to join a local writing organization—they will likely be able to hook you up with a group that would fit your needs. Don’t subject your friends and family to your “shitty first drafts,” as Anne Lamott calls them; that’s what your critique group is for. Plus, a critique group will be more honest with you and have the writing chops to help. Another great reason to join one is that they keep you on track and accountable when it’s your turn to submit, otherwise, it’s easy to veer off the writing path. And besides, it’s fun to get your name in the acknowledgements page of their books (because your feedback was so valuable!)

3.) Perfect your query letter (for fiction). There’s a special place in hell for query letters. Many writers say that the query letter is harder to write than the damn book. Your amazing story is relegated to 1-2 paragraphs that has a killer hook in the opening. But it can’t be cliche. And it shouldn’t open with a question. Or can it? But you have to include the word count and some want it in the opening paragraph and some want it in the end. Oh, and don’t forget the brief bio and what other writing credits you have. And most important: never, ever, forget to . . . um, hmmm. . . . can’t remember. See what I mean? They suck. Luckily, there are a number of sources out there to help—though they all vary to some degree. I recommend Give ‘Em What They Want: The Right Way to Pitch Your Novel to Editors and Agents. Also check out Query Shark to get very blunt, to-the-point advice on writing a query. For some new writers, finding out that agents are practically the gatekeepers to traditional publishing, is like a punch to the gut. “You mean, you don’t send the manuscript and cover letter to Simon & Schuster?” Nope. That’s why I also recommend Agent Query when it comes time to start the glorious process.

4.) Perfect your pitch or book proposal (for nonfiction). These are usually just as heinous as the query letter. For most book-length nonfiction, a proposal is often sent with . . . brace yourself . . . a query letter too. I know, I’m sorry. (And that’s if you’re lucky!) Sometimes agents will take a proposal right off the bat (check their online guidelines). Oftentimes, you have to query the book proposal! Plus, the book doesn’t need to be finished, like it does with fiction. Many agents and editors want to be able to move things around and tweak a nonfiction manuscript, but you still need an outline and sample chapters to present in your proposal, which is often 30 pages or more. Fortunately, there’s help. Check out How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. For pitching magazine articles, Kerrie Flanagan, freelance writer and director of the Northern Colorado Writers says that in your query, open with a catchy hook; give the editor a brief description of the proposed article (and how it ties to their guidelines); tell them what their readers will get out of reading it; and finally, tell them why you’re the perfect person to write it.

5.) Set up a blog. For some, this is more daunting than the query letter. When an agent sees promise in your query or book proposal, they want to find out more about you. And what better way than Google? A lot of agents and editors believe that you need a web presence, no matter how stellar your book is. It won’t sell itself. You don’t have to be a Super Blogger like some of those in my previous post, but you have to let people know that you and your book exist. You’ll also need a page where you post links to any online clips so that magazine editors can get a feel for your writing style. Blog a couple of times a week—the key is quality, not quantity. Start building your audience, especially if you’re an expert in a certain field and are shopping your nonfiction how-to, for example. It’s a necessary evil. But wait, there’s more. Follow other writers’ blogs and comment! The more you put yourself out there with quality content, the bigger the audience you’ll build—agents and editors will love you for it. 

So there you have it: my 5-step, Get Published Quick Scheme. Well, more like writing scheme, and sometimes, that’s all you need to get going.

What’s your best advice for a new writer? (Besides turn the other way and run?)


Writing Blogs to Follow

I know, all of you probably only follow me and hang on my every word, but I’ll let you in on a secret: I get my wisdom from other writers and industry professionals. Here’s my top 8 writing blogs I like to follow:

  • Make a Living Writing Carol Tice is a freelance writer based in Seattle and her posts are full of amazing advice. 
  • Jody Hedlund Hedlund is an award-winning author who offers tons of advice from creating strong characters to how to navigate the publishing industry.
  • Terrible Minds Chuck Wendig . . . I’ll let him tell you what his blog is about: “novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. This is his blog. He talks a lot about writing. And food. And the madness of toddlers. He uses lots of naughty language. NSFW. Probably NSFL. Be advised.”
  • Helping Writers Become Authors K.M. Weiland is a bestselling author who talks about (among many topics) common writing mistakes, how to structure a book, and writing inspiration.
  • Writer Unboxed Focusing on the business and craft of writing fiction.
  • Write it Sideways: “Write It Sideways’ has been helping you see the world of writing from a fresh perspective. Our experienced team can help you learn new skills, define your goals, increase your productivity, and prepare for publication.” Need I say more?
  • Live Write Thrive Get your grammar on here with novelist, copyeditor, and writing coach C.S. Lakin.
  • Quick and Dirty Tips from Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty is a true grammar maven. She makes remembering grammar rules easy.

What are some of your favorite writing blogs?


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