Message from Hope
There are reasons you make presentations as an author, and they widely vary. This year, my appearances took place for the following purposes:
1) To discuss a particular book after the audience has read it., usually the newest release Edisto Heat,
2) To talk about how I became an author . . . my writer's journey, so to speak. The audience is usually readers more than writers.
3) To talk about the details of writing a book/serious/genre. The audience consists of writers more than readers.
4) To talk anecdotes of being a writer.
5) To talk some aspect of FundsforWriters (grants, contests, crowdfunding, etc.)
Note that the purpose "To sell books," didn't make the list.
When I see an author signing or presenting, I can usually tell within two to three minutes that they are selling, not presenting. There's something glaringly crass about letting an audience know you are there to sell books.
No, instead, you are there to impress the audience. You are there to educate the audience. You are there FOR the audience, not for yourself.
You let the moderator, book club president, librarian, or introducer, even the audience themselves, say or ask if books are for sale. The words "Please buy my books" should never cross your lips.
When you give more than you take, when you are there to please them rather than swipe their credit cards, everybody wins. They walk away entertained, and you, without saying a word about selling, make sales. It's called take care of them and they take care of you.
Oh, and one more thing, you have to be genuine about it. Love your readers, people. Love your readers.
Hello all perfectionist writers!
If you want to write more and worry less, take Amber Petty's Perfectionist's Half-Assed Writing Challenge.
For 3 days, you'll get live trainings on how to brainstorm ideas, create simple stories (that can sell), and find out that writing doesn't have to be so hard!
Plus, you'll finish a new story by the end of the week.
Starts Aug 1st. Sign up now - it's free!
ART IS FIRST AND FOREMOST ABOUT THE ART, NOT THE ARTIST
Regardless how famous an artist is, they started as an unknown. It took writing several REALLY GOOD if not GREAT stories to gain traction. Then and only then did the public want to know who the author is.
The public wants the picture and the story first and foremost. Only if they are attracted to it do they maybe want to know about the artist. Artists often grow so wrapped up in their work that they forget it isn't about them. It isn't about their struggle in traditional versus self-publishing. It isn't about the research or how long it took to write the story. It isn't about the hours put in or the doors slammed in their face.
It's about the subsequent final creation, and people liking that creation. That's the ultimate priority.
Writers, especially new ones, need to stop shouting ME, ME, ME.
AVOID: I'm an author who wrote this story.
INSTEAD: (Insert title) about (insert one liner) is available at (fill in the blank).
AVOID: My book is on sale.
INSTEAD: (Insert title) about (insert one liner) is available at (fill in the blank).
AVOID: I'm tired of people not appreciating how hard it took to write this book.
INSTEAD: (Insert title) about (insert one liner) is available at (fill in the blank).
Get the idea?
When I read a good story, I like being ensconced in the tale. So do most readers. I do not want to know the pieces of its creative history unless it's a novel like Where the Crawdads Sing
and I want to know what the heck catapulted it to the top of a bestseller list before buying it. Any other background gets in the way of what you want the public to know . . . that this is a good story.
Knowing about an author's struggles with getting published do not matter to readers, and frankly, can impede a reader's ability to sink into a wonderful story. To me, knowing that the author of Where the Crawdads Sing
, Delia Owens, is wanted for questioning about a murder that occurred in her past, gives me pause about seeing the movie.
Yes, I realize I repeated STORY over and over. That's because that's what this journey is about. Your story has to pave the way. You just follow, giving it and its sisters more fuel to keep going. Make it a lot less about you.
It’s time to register for the nationally renowned Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.
The Oct. 20-22 gathering will feature celebrated comedians and authors, including “Cathy” cartoonist Cathy Guisewite, “Saturday Night Live” legend Laraine Newman, New York Times’ bestselling authors W. Bruce
Cameron and Adriana Trigiani, screenwriter Cathryn Michon, improviser and comedian Dion Flynn, and award-winning author Katrina Kittle.
Your registration includes all meals, keynote talks, choice of dozens of workshops, and a complimentary virtual package of the keynotes and Pitchapalooza.
At the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, you’ll laugh, learn and network with a supportive writing community. Discover more and register here.
- July 23, 2022 - Indiana Sisters in Crime, Zoom - Noon ET - Gary and Hope Clark Tag Team on Getting the Facts Right in Mysteries
- August 2, 2022 - Writer's Chat - Crowdfunding - public invited, must join FB group - Zoom - 11 AM
- August 4, 2022 - Generations Retirement Community, Chapin, SC - 10 AM
- June 3-10, 2023 - Writing Retreat on the Maine Coast - Special Guest - Sponsored by Joan Dempsey, author and teacher
Email: [email protected] to schedule events, online or otherwise. There's starting to be life out there!
"People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - -
If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to [email protected]
Bios: The Subtle Art of Bragging
By Bernadette Geyer
When submitting your writing to a magazine or publisher, expect to include a short biography along with your pitch or query. While it should not matter as much as the quality of your writing, you want to make sure that your “bio” does not turn them off from the start.
Even if you sometimes suffer from impostor syndrome, your bio is where you have unfettered license to brag about yourself and your accomplishments. This does not mean, however, that you should list every publication you’ve ever been in or award you’ve been nominated for – even if you’re very proud of that essay contest you won in fourth grade. Such bios make you come across as unprofessional or insecure.
First, there are two golden rules: always stick to the word count, and always use third person. If you write in different genres, you’ll want to have bios for each genre. For instance, if you are a poet and a travel writer, you will want to have separate bios, each dependent upon the type of publication you are pitching to.
Why have multiple bios? Let’s say you are reaching out to a top market like Conde Nast Traveler to pitch an article about the best sites in Paris for newlyweds, and the editors want you to include a bio along with your submission. They want to know that you have experience as a travel writer. They’re not interested in your poetry publications. They could actually dilute your credibility as a travel writer.
Here is a simple template to make sure your bio is as professional as possible. Assume a 50-word limit unless stated otherwise.
YOUR FULL NAME is the author of YOUR BOOK TITLE. His/her/their writings have appeared in (list up to three magazines/journals) and numerous other publications. LAST NAME lives in (city, state/country), where he/she/they work(s) as a (occupation).
That’s it. Short and sweet.
If you don’t have any books published, don’t worry. Just remove the first sentence from the above example and start the magazine publication section with your full name. Three or four specific credits would be appropriate if you’re not listing any books. The magazines or journals that you choose to list in your bio are up to you. You could list the ones that you think are the most well-known or highly ranked, or you could list ones that are along a similar vibe or topic as the
magazine/journal you are pitching.
Some magazines or journals specify other things in their requirements for a bio. For instance, they may ask for a sentence about the inspiration for the piece they are publishing, or they may even ask for some personal detail. The latter could include a funny or interesting hobby, such as collecting letter openers or the number of chickens you have in your backyard.
Most publications will specify a bio length. As I mentioned earlier, this is one of the golden rules. Stick to it! If no length is specified, keep it concise – somewhere between 50 and 75 words.
At the end of your bio, if you have space, you can also include a note about where readers can find you online, such as – “Connect with him/her/them on Twitter @YourHandle. Or you can point people to your website or online portfolio – “Read more of (last name)’s writing at www.yourname.com.”
After taking the time to craft a concise bio, you’ll want to save it, so you don’t have to rewrite from scratch every time you submit writing to a new magazine. Write a couple of versions – one under 50 words and one under 75 words – and update it on a regular basis to cycle out older credits.
Bernadette Geyer is a writer, editor, and translator in Berlin, Germany. Her writings have appeared in FundsforWriters, The Writer, Oxford American, and elsewhere. Geyer has copy edited or translated more than 20 books and teaches the “Streamline Your Book-Writing Process with a Book Style Guide” workshop through WOW! Women on Writing. You can find out more about her through her web site at https://bernadettegeyer.com
STRINGYBARK SHORT STORY AWARDS
A$14 ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 14, 2022
. The story must be 1,500 words or fewer in length; contain a twist; have a link to Australia in it; and be written for an audience aged 16 and above. First prize A$350 cash + publication + e-book + paperback + choice of any two Stringybark anthologies. Second prize A$250 cash + publication + e-book + paperback + choice of any two Stringybark anthologies. Third prize A$125 cash + publication + e-book + paperback + choice of any two
CHESTNUT REVIEW PROSE CHAPBOOK CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 1, 2022.
The winner will receive $600 USD and 20 copies of their chapbook. Chapbooks will be published through Chestnut Reviewvia a print-on-demand provider. The winner earns 30 percent royalties, distributed annually on all copies sold. The winning chapbook will be advertised in Chestnut Reviewand on social media and will be featured for sale on Amazon.com and via our website. Chapbooks may be on any theme or subject although Chestnut
Reviewreserves the right not to publish material it deems abusive or offensive. Chapbooks should be original and unpublished. Submit between 5,000 and 12,000 words total.
MSLEXIA WOMEN'S FICTION COMPETITION - CHILDREN'S AND YA NOVEL
£26 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 19, 2022
. Our competition is open to unpublished novels of at least 20,000 words in any genre for children and/or young adult readers. Submit the first 3,000 words only in the first instance. Longlisted entrants will be asked to submit their finished manuscripts along with a synopsis later in the judging process. The winner will receive £5,000. The winner and three finalists will also receive manuscript feedback from The Literary Consultancy,
one of the leading editorial and mentoring agencies in the UK, and pitch training at a day-long professional workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne, where participants will learn to summarise and present their book in an effective way . . . and more.
SHORT STORY AWARD FOR NEW WRITERS
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 28, 2022.
Limit 6,000 words. The winner receives a $3,000 prize and agency review, and their story will be published online in late winter/early spring. Second and third place finalists will be awarded publication, agency review and $300/$200 prizes. Participating agents include: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, and Heather Schroder
from Compass Talent.
OXFORD BROOKES POETRY CENTRE INTERNATIONAL POETRY COMPETITION
£5 ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 31, 2022
. The competition is open to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe and has two categories: Open category (open to all poets aged 18 years and over), and English as an Additional Language (EAL) category (open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language. The winners of each category will receive £1,000 and both runners up £200.
EDINBURGH AWARD FOR FLASH FICTION
£7 ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 31, 2022.
Any topic. Limit 250 words. The flash fiction competition is open to writers worldwide and includes prizes of £2,000 for first, £300 second and £150 third. The Golden Hare Award is an additional award for writers resident in Scotland and carries a prize of £500.
GRANTS / FELLOWSHIPS / CROWDFUNDING
NORTH CAROLINA CARTWHEELS PROGRAM
Deadline July 31, 2022
. The North Carolina Arts Council is excited to reintroduce cARTwheels, an Arts in Education Grant Program which provides high quality arts performances and residency experiences for students and schools. For this new iteration of the program, cARTwheels teaching artists will develop programmatic content that directly responds to timely and important issues that are being faced by students and educators in communities across the state. cARTwheels artists
may receive between $3k - $15k for their in-school performance and accompanying teacher professional development and student workshops.
JOHN LEWIS WRITING GRANT
Georgia Writers’ John Lewis Writing Grants are inspired by the late civil rights icon and his more than three decades of service as Georgia’s 5th District representative. The John Lewis Writing Grants will be awarded annually in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The purpose of the grant is to elevate, encourage, and inspire the voices of Black writers in Georgia. Winners in each genre will receive: a grant of $500 to present a workshop or reading at a selected Georgia
venue, and a scholarship to the next annual Red Clay Writers Conference. Applicants must be 18 years of age and emerging writers who are Black or African-American residents of Georgia for at least one year, or full-time students at a Georgia college or university at the time of application and on the date of the award, and have published no more than one traditionally published book.
- NEFA NEST 1: The public presentation and engagement of a New England artist presented by a New England nonprofit organization. In this category, the nonprofit organization must be located in a different New England state from the artist’s home state. Grants provide up to 60 percent of the artist fee and range from $500 to a maximum of $5,000. Applications with artist fees under $2,000 may request the full artist fee.
- NEFA NEST 2: The public presentation and community engagement activities of a New England artist presented by two New England nonprofit organizations. Tours must include one presenting organization based inside of the artist’s home state and one other organization from outside of the artist’s home state. Both presenting organizations must submit their application and both must be submitted at the same deadline. Grants provide up to 60 percent of the artist fee and range from $500 to a
maximum of $5,000. Applications with artist fees under $2,000 may request the full artist fee.
GOOD CONTRIVANCE RESIDENCY
Deadline July 31, 2022
. We will be reviewing applications over the course of the next six weeks in order to choose one additional writer to sponsor for writing a residency at Good Contrivance Farm. Residency is for one full week. Ephemera will also provide a $200 travel stipend. The recipient will be lodged in the Hen House Cottage, a bespoke tiny house on the farm’s property, as described in this link: https://historicfarm.org/hen-house-cottage/ For consideration send up to 10
pages of prose on any subject and up to five poems or five pages of poetry. Include a personal statement.
LANESBORO ARTS RESIDENCY
Deadline July 29, 2022
. The Lanesboro Artist Residency Program, located in Lanesboro, MN (pop. 754), is supported by the Jerome Foundation and aims to provide an immersive, meaningful experience for emerging artists from Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City. The program is unique in that it provides an entire rural community and its myriad assets as a catalytic vehicle for engagement and artistic experimentation, with staff working with each resident to create a
fully-customized residency experience. Artists of all disciplines are eligible and encouraged to apply. Artists must be legal residents of Minnesota or one of the five boroughs of New York City and have been residents for at least one year prior to the submission of an application. Artists are paid $1,250/week and are provided studio and lodging space. Lanesboro Arts does not cover material or transportation costs; these expenses should be factored into the $1,250/week stipend.
FRESH VOICES FELLOWSHIP
Deadline August 1, 2022.
Epiphany is thrilled to announce the 2022 Fresh Voices Fellowship, a year-long fellowship supporting one emerging Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other writer of color who does not have an MFA and is not currently enrolled in a degree-granting creative writing program. You do not need to be located in NYC to apply (all meetings and classes can take place virtually). Benefits of the Fellowship include, but need not be limited to a $2,000 stipend,
publication in the Spring/Summer 2023 print issue of Epiphany, online publication at epiphanyzine.com, optional attendance at biweekly editorial meetings and, if of interest, a place on the editorial team, and a crash course in the nitty-gritty of the independent publishing industry.
So Textual is a community and online platform for bookish individuals who seek smart conversations about literature, creative practice, and a considered lifestyle. We are a new literary voice and are open to content ideas that can bring us closer to what we aspire to be: discerning, observant, smart, and perhaps a bit irreverent. We deeply value backlists and positioning literary texts within broader contexts. We absolutely love the synthesis between old and new: the ways a 60’s text can help us
think about something in pop culture today, or the way an 80’s film lands a particularly relevant political point. We’re looking for writers who can help us understand the cultural zeitgeist through books and cultural resources that aren’t of this time but speak to it. Hence: we love enduring literature. Evergreen literary essays start at 1,000 words. Also considers personal essays about a single book or author that changed your life, book reviews of art & photography books, and lists
related to reading culture. We occasionally accept book reviews for books recommended by our interviewees. We are currently considering pitches for monthly columns. Pays is up to 20 cents/word. (Thanks wow-womenonwriting.com
ACCESS MARKETING SERVICES
ACCESS Marketing Services out of DC. We have a fully remote workforce with deliverables due in eastern time. We employ full time writers but frequently need freelance ad copy writers during busy primary and general election cycles. When in our freelance pool, we keep a calendar of availability so that project managers can pull writers. The work is by the hour, paying roughly $100 per hour. Contact Olivia Hatcher at https://twitter.com/plathitude
THE DAILY BEAST
Most of the stories we’re looking for fall under a mini-feature length, between 800 and 2,000 words. There needs to be a reason we should greenlight this pitch now, whether it’s some new research or new developmental breakthrough, a new announcement, some new insight or news that the story itself is breaking, etc. If a pitch doesn’t have a strong news peg, then it should be able to live outside of the news cycle. Second-day analyses are fine, but they should go beyond just a knee-jerk reaction
to the news, and add value to what is happening. If the story is unpacking a larger trend or issue that isn’t going to vanish overnight, we’re much more likely to be interested. Query Neel V. Patel, Science and Innovation Editor at [email protected]
Pays up to $600.
Seeking submissions for their BODIES issue. "Bodies," the theme for our Winter 2023 issue, will explore the ways our bodies, in both the literal and metaphorical sense, can provide avenues for resistance, healing, community cohesion, and societal transformation. Our conception of the body is not limited to the physical body, but rather includes the bodies of which we are also a part: our communities, our body politic (local, national, and global), and our planet. The "Bodies" issue begins with
an understanding that we are interdependent, that none of us leads single-issue lives, and that attacks on any one of our personal, political, or planetary bodies are a threat to us all. All the stories we seek will be examples of excellent journalism and storytelling: stories that are well-researched, with compelling characters and that demonstrate struggle and resolution. Hurry and send your pitches to [email protected]
by Aug. 2 to be considered for the Winter 2023 issue. (After that, you can continue to send them to [email protected]
As an independent, nonprofit newsroom led by journalists of color, we tell stories from the ground up: to disrupt harmful narratives, and to inform movements for justice. Our coverage deeply explores issues of racial justice, mass incarceration and policing, workers’ rights, gender justice, electoral justice, and the climate emergency. Currently, Prism is covering these topics as they relate to the U.S. and U.S. territories. We accept reported news stories, features, and profiles (up to 1,200
words), as well as op-eds, commentaries, and short personal essays (700 to 900 words) on those topics, along with other stories that have the potential to impact lasting social, culture, and systems change. Pay for accepted pieces is $.40/word.
We're hiring B2B freelance writers! This is a part-time, fully-remote position. If you're interested in writing impactful content that helps make empathy mainstream at work, this role is for you. As our freelance writer hire, you'll get the unique opportunity to work with our fast-growing startup, learn a ton, and network with industry experts. Feel free to reach out to [email protected]
if you have any questions. Write minimum of four
1,000-2,000-word posts per month for our blog. Interested in topics centered around employee engagement, burnout prevention, team building and employee wellness checks. We pay between $200-$400 USD per post.
Return is an explorers' guide to living well in the digital age. Staking claim to a more human way of life with and for our families, communities and friends. Understanding what's being doe to us and our world by our technologies, and by those who wield them. Send pitches or drafts to [email protected]
. Reports say they will pay $200-$800 for essays (based on length, subject matter, and author profile) and $1,000+ for profiles.
Click here for guidelines.
Pitch Jocelyn Silver, Guest Editor at Dirt, at [email protected]
. Pay negotiated but standard rates start at 50 cents/word. Q&As pay 30 cents/word. Articles are commissioned in the 500-800 word range or 800-1,000 words. Dirt is a newsletter about entertainment and especially television (streaming particularly). Love unexpected angles on anything from a popular show to the one nobody bothers to watch. Also addresses cultural ephemera on
movies, books, fashion, style, furniture, design, shopping, video games, music, politics, and media.
BLAC is a monthly magazine solely devoted to the people, places, issues and events that matter most to the black community who are living, working and playing in and around metro areas. Pitch to Darralyn Hutson, Editor in Chief at [email protected]
. Caters to Black women professionals 35+. Looking for experienced Black writers anywhere. Pitch good black stories and meet deadlines. Rates: $200 digital, $300-$400 print.
Specifically, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago are first priority because those are the markets we serve and are lacking. But a good story is a good story.
DANGOLFO HELIN & FOUNTAIN LITERARY MANAGEMENT
Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management is a full-service literary and dramatic rights agency with a presence in Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville. We manage the development, publishing, producing, and licensing of client property including commercial fiction, nonfiction, personal memoirs, original teleplays, and screenplays. With our background in both publishing and Film/TV, we support client projects in a wide array of media possibilities from books to film.
We strive endlessly to cultivate flourishing and fruitful relationships with clients and colleagues across the publishing and media industries, and we pride ourselves in offering our clients and partners the opportunity to be at the forefront of a cultural shift—one that ArtHouse Literary Agency champions with its dedication to pushing forward in the industry with diverse voices and perspectives. We help build and facilitate the careers of passionate writers who seek to provoke readers and
worldviews in new and innovative ways, shifting the way readers see the world – and we do this with a radically unique championing of diversity and a tremendous amount of joy. ArtHouse Literary Agency is an agency built around bold, thought-provoking and underrepresented voices.
THE BLAIR PARTNERSHIP
We’re a full-service agency for clients across fiction, nonfiction, children’s & YA as well as across entertainment, broadcast, speaking and more. If you would like one of our agents to look at your story, please check that it fits in with the genre your chosen agent is looking for and then follow the instructions.
A leading independent publisher of academic nonfiction, McFarland is recognized for noteworthy books about pop culture, sports, military history, transportation, body & mind, literature, history and medieval studies, among other topics.