Read a confession, write a confession.
Read a confession, write a confession.
Since many children’s publishers only accept from agents, this list should save you hundreds of hours combing through the submission guidelines of every children’s publisher on earth. And here’s a bonus! You won’t even have to wait to get an agent.
I hope you enjoy this list and wish you good luck finding the right home for your manuscript.
What is the history of punctuation signs?
Would you believe me if I told you that there was a time with advanced language but without punctuation?
And that the history of punctuation signs involved a lot of fighting, backstabbing, and theft?
And that the way we punctuate now, with rules that we consider as irreproachable as the 10 commandments, has a pedigree shorter than the list of ingredients on a Cheerio box?
There is no good reason why a graphic like this should cause controversy, but I know it will: people will complain that a novelette is the same thing as a novella, or that micro fiction is the same thing as flash fiction, or that I made up the category for Russian Novel (okay, that last one is true. I did make it up. But isn’t it a good term? Let’s keep it.)
But stop your complaining. I think we need a term that indicates the stuff smaller than flash fiction, the under 50 stories or under 100 word stories. And I also think we need a term for that space between a short story and a proper novella.
So there you have it. Want to argue with me? I eagerly await your insights in the comments.
Mind the Gaps: I really don’t think the skull and crossbones is an exaggeration if you’re writing fiction that doesn’t fall inside these parameters. I mean, it’s hard enough to place a novella somewhere, but even harder to find something that doesn’t fall inside these word lengths. It’s the kiss of death.
If you’re looking to submit a manuscript to Catholic Book Publishing companies, or if you’re looking for good reading to bolster your faith, this is the right page. Below are the eight best publishers for your manuscript.
Below I explain what each publisher accepts, and their submission policies. A few are open to fiction, others prefer more popular titles, and toward the end of this post I concentrate on the more academic publishers.
I’m a writer and a parent, and fellow parents email me all the time, asking how they can help their kid become a creative writer.
It’s not like these parents are pushing their kids into creative writing. Far from it. Their kid is writing stories at nighttime, under the covers with flashlight, and filling notebooks with pages of words which they call their “book.” Their kid is practically begging them to teach them how to write creatively, but the parents often don’t know what to do.
This is where I come in.
Over the years I’ve perfected an email I send to these parents, and now, for the first time, I’m sharing the contents of that email online.
Here are the 10 best things you can do to teach creative writing to kids:
If anything, you should take much more time to craft your stories under 1000 words, because the precision of a tiny jewel is harder to work on than a mammoth gem. I’ve worked harder on Sudden Fiction, as it is sometimes called, than on full length short stories. And sometimes perfecting that microfiction feels more difficult than the big, broad strokes of a novel.
It uses the same methodology as in my Best Literary Journal Rankings. It uses the Best American series, specifically the Best American Essay series, to compile a number of how many times each magazine or journal gets published or a Special Mention, then tallies all these points up to determine the top markets for nonfiction and essays.
This is not meant as a list of the absolute best magazines, newspapers, and journals, but more of a research tool to help you find quality markets. Sometimes the markets we think are the best are actually middling, and there are a few of huge surprises in this list — journals and magazines that weren’t even on my radar, but rack up a huge number of prestigious awards!
By “Modern Christian Literature” I mean modern literary novels that deal with the Christian faith. Some people might call it “Christian Literary Fiction.”
What is counts as Christian? I mean the Christian faith, including Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. Most of the books on this list are actually Catholic novels written by Catholic authors.
This list doesn’t consider nonfiction, devotionals or poetry, and I’m not considering any mainstream Christian fiction, by which I mean novels belonging to the commercial genre of Christian books.
Now if we’re still on the same page after all three of those definitions, let’s forge ahead.
If you’re a reader, feel free to treat this list like a pick-and-choose resource—read the summaries and reviews of selected books and read the ones that tickle your interest. For writers, though, this is meant as an exhaustive way to train yourself in the tradition, in order to prepare you to write the Best Christian Novel of the future.
With this list I’m trying to find books that engage in faith in meaningful, complex ways. It isn’t enough just to have a religious character. It isn’t enough to have a vague underpinning of a quasi-religious notion like “forgiveness” at the heart of the narrative. I’m looking for brave fiction, that risks apostasy and heresy and ideological alienation, and which tears open the human soul. I’m looking for fiction that treats words as sacred, and narrative as a divinely selected medium.
This press release was sent out to submitters:
Unfortunately Black Clock will be ceasing publication as of June 2016. This surprising decision was not made by us, the editors, and we were not aware such a decision was looming when you submitted your work. Therefore, we regretfully say that we have an abundance of stories for our final issue and could not include many worthy pieces.
This NY Times article on libraries surprised me with a revelation about the smallest, saddest library in human history: the children’s library at Auschwitz, consisting of eight books that the girls hid every night so the guards wouldn’t confiscate them.
But it goes on to talk about the role of libraries, and how it’s shifted away from a central focus on books and towards providing a variety of services the library is ill-equipped to handle:
I love short sentences. I really do. In any book filled with a series of long, expansive sentences, a short sentence arrives like a gift.
Short sentences rarely have the ambiguity or mystery of a long sentence. They rarely have twists or swerves or switchbacks, because that requires the length of a longer sentence. They rarely win your admiration for verbal virtuosity, the way that a long sentence can astonish you.
His poems have been described as “tragic, comic, absurdist, nihilistic, hopeful, haunting, lonely, and surreal.” (The Poetry Foundation).
His death will leave his many readers in mourning. He is survived by his wife, the poet Dara Wier, who is a professor in the UMass English department.
Tate wrote more than 20 books of poetry. His collection “Worshipful Company of Fletchers,” won the 1994 National Book Award, while his “Selected Poems” won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
Early in life, he planned on being a gas station attendant. He also disliked reading when he was young. Thankfully, he wised up and abandoned those ideas.
There are lot of creative writing prompts out there, and even some image-based writing prompts, but I think this is new: Musical Creative Writing Prompts.
In the righthand sidebar there’s a link to a new page I’ve recently created with 30 song-based writing prompts. Each prompt has a song paired with a specific writing exercise based on that song.
When composing writing prompts, there’s always a tension between giving enough specific information to inspire the writer, and giving so much information that the writer feels like the imaginative work has already been done for them. I tried to find a nice compromise between those extremes.
If you’re looking for easier prompts, keep to the ones at the beginning. Advanced writers: you should be challenged by the later prompts.
If you like any of them, please tell me! List your favorites in the comments section of that page.
“Consider this. Picasso trained in realism before he shattered our way of seeing. Patricia Smith can rock a sonnet or villanelle as well as experiment with free verse. Can you say the same? Can you write something that is scene-driven and as tightly fitted as a Lego castle and then turn around and write something masterfully nonlinear that artfully employs summary? Or are you exclusively “artful” because it’s easier to excuse your sloppiness as purposeful? Oh, the fact that nothing happened in my story? That’s because I was trying to capture the nothingness of the modern condition. Uh-huh. Good luck with that, smart aleck.”