Posts in "Writing Life" category

15 Ways to Build a Writing Community (Without Moving to New York)

Hey Bookfoxers, it can be difficult to find a writing community in your area, even if you’re an established writer.

It’s especially hard if you’re not in a major metropolis. I mean, writers are on in every street corner in San Francisco or New York, but if you’re in a smaller city or suburbs or a rural community, it becomes increasingly difficult to find fellow writers.

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8 Tips to Score Bookstore Readings for Your Book Tour

I’m going to give you the information every writer should know when approaching bookstores to plan a book tour: the perspective of a bookstore owner and an author.

In December of 2013, Brian Lampkin and I opened Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, North Carolina. We sell mostly new books, some used, and we have a café where you can buy coffee, beer, wine, small plates, and snacks. We get a lot of requests from writers who want to hold events at our store, many more requests than we could possibly schedule. We hold as many events as we can, but we still have to turn down writers.

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19 New Literary Agents Seeking Clients (in 2018)

This post is based on old-fashioned research: I emailed 19 new literary agents seeking to build their client list, and got the inside dish from each of them.

  • The type of books they’re looking for
  • The type of books they read when they’re not working
  • Personal information — their history, hobbies, etc.

Many agents responded promptly to my question regarding what type of work they were seeking, and I was impressed and encouraged by the warmth and directness of their replies. By and large, agents are really looking for emerging writers.

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Never Write a Chapter Longer Than 4,000 Words

Most readers don’t pick up a novel thinking, “Okay. I’m going to read all 100,000 words of this right now.”

That’s why chapters exist.

Chapters give readers a stopping point without abandoning the book. They also allow readers to pick the book back up without feeling completely lost. 

A short story is a fantastic model for a chapter because it offers a beginning and end (a complete story!). And it’s worth noting that the perfect length for a short story is around 4,000 words

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Is It Too Late to Start Writing After You’re 50+?

Have young people cornered the market on writing?

I only ask because it seems like the big publishing companies tend to reward the prodigy model: you know, the wunderkinds who graduate from a prestigious university and get a seven-figure advance for a novel about New York or a YA fantasy series.

They have cherubic cheeks and photograph well for all the media outlets and act like very intellectual twenty-five-year-olds.

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12 Fantastic Writing Retreats in Latin America (plus the Caribbean!)

If you are at all like me, you fantasize about leaving it all behind–the job, the husband and kids, the yappy dog. Not for good, no, that’s a different post. Just for a week, maybe two, to go to a writing retreat.

You dream of traveling to a far away, preferably warm, but maybe not-so-warm (this is your make-believe moment, too) place where you can while away the days at a beautiful beach or curb-side cafe, writing your forthcoming novel.

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I Edited 61 Books This Year. Here’s What I Learned

As a full time editor, I read and gave feedback on 61 books this year. For those of you who wonder how this is possible, for most books I am not copyediting them, only (only!) giving feedback about every part of the fictional world — plot, characters, dialogue, beginnings/endings, themes, structure, metaphors, etc.

I’m basically a story doctor, helping writers tell better stories.

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My 5 Favorite Books About Writing (Read Them Now!)

No, I’m not picking Strunk & White’s “The Elements of Style” or Stephen King’s “On Writing” because those are just too popular.

My 5 books are a bit off the beaten path, but they are brilliant books that will inspire you to write, and help you create a writing life for the long term (and be successful!).

An Editor’s Advice for Submission Success

I loved my time as guest editor for Press 53’s Prime Number Magazine, and wanted to pass on a few tips to writers trying to break into literary journals. I got hundreds of submissions and had to pick carefully to select only the top 3, and here’s my best advice on how to get your next acceptance!

How Smart Authors Do Social Media

Listen up! This video tells you how to choose a social media platform, how to automate your social media to draw readers, when you should start your social media outreach, and what sort of content to offer.

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