VOLUME 23, ISSUE 36 | september 15, 2023
I spoke to a
library group this week, and one man stood out in the audience. I wish I'd gotten his name and contact information.
He was 80 years old, a retired engineer, and he'd written creatively his entire life. He'd written many shorts, poetry, and five novels. He said his time was running out and he needed to either publish or set fire to it, but in essence, do
something with it. Would someone even be interested in the writings of an 80-year-old?
I told him to query agents and publishers with his best, not to mention his age (after all, younger people don't query using their age), and dazzle them with his story.
Delia Owens was 70 when she released Where the Crawdads Sing. Frank McCourt was retired in his sixties when he published his debut title Angela's Ashes. Agents and publishers just want a great story. You're never too old or too young to pitch your work. It's just about how you tell the story.
(READ THIS NEWSLETTER ONLINE)
C. Hope Clark
Email Hope | Visit Website | Sign up for Newsletter
Newsletter: ISSN: 1533-1326
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Our subscriber list is NOT made available to others. Use information listed at your own risk. FundsforWriters gives no warranty to completeness, accuracy, or fitness of the markets, contests, and grants although research is done to the best of our ability.
FundsforWriters finds open
submission calls, contests, and markets from a wide variety of sources, including Erika Dreifus' Practicing Writer newsletter, Erica Verrillo's blog, Authors Publish, Poets & Writers, Duotrope, Winning Writers, Write Jobs Plus, LinkedIn Jobs, Emily Stoddard, and other newsletters and online sites. Many announcements are submitted directly to FundsforWriters from active contests, journals, magazines, publishers, residencies, and grant providers. All must be paying opportunities. Contests must pay a minimum of $200
first place. Submit potential listings to [email protected]
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/hopeclark
AUTHOR SITE - http://www.chopeclark.com
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If you’re a writer, you need support. You need constructive advice. You need a leg up from a trusted, experienced source. That’s where we come in!
Find out what’s working in your manuscript, what’s not, and how to fix it—before submitting to an editor or agent—with The Institute’s Critique Service.
Our Critique Service provides you with:
- An annotated critique using Word Track Changes, with
edits in the margins.
- An in-depth, two-page analysis of your manuscript with recommendations for how to improve your story structure, setting, characters, plot, dialogue, grammar, and spelling.
- Guidance on your next revision & next steps!
You’ll receive a professional, objective review of the quality of your manuscript from someone with years of experience in
the publishing industry—an Institute instructor. As published authors & seasoned editors themselves, you can be confident your critiquer understands market needs & trends and will suggest worthwhile edits to make your manuscript shine.
Whether you’re working on a short story, a magazine article, your memoir, or a novel, we have the critique option for you. We accept most genres, types, and wordcounts—from fiction Sci-Fi or Romance to nonfiction History or Science, from picture books to YA novels, from 1,000 words to 115,000 words.
Choose from critique offerings organized by readership here: https://www.instituteforwriters.com/ffw5. We’re certain you’ll find the Critique that best fits your writing!
You only get one chance to make a first
impression. Let us help you make it the best it can be.
There are ways of giving feedback to another writer. Of course now you're thinking the harsh way, the polite way, the soft way, the uplifting way, the bitchy way . . . No. What I mean is there are viewpoints of giving feedback, and you need to recognize which one you need to use in order to be taken seriously and for the criticism to be worth anything once you give it.
But isn't criticism "what you
Sure, but that's only half the point. Criticism is more what you think in how the author needs it.
Let's say a person gives you a book to beta read. They are seeking feedback.
You can read the book and critique it based on:
1) How it impacts you;
2) How it will impact the targeted market;
3) How well it represents the genre;
4) It's commercial value;
5) It's literary value;
6) It's politics;
7) It's grammar and correctness.
Of course you can find other categories, but these pretty much cover the options.
For instance, critiquing a children's book isn't about you. It's about how the book will impact children, parents, and educators. If you fall into one of these groups, then critique accordingly.
You can get a
how-to on writing, but if you aren't a writer, you cannot critique based upon how it will impact you. If you read mystery and are given a sci-fi book to review, you probably won't do it justice as it pertains to you, but you might put yourself into someone else's shoes.
On the other hand, if this is your genre or topic, then try to view the book not only from your viewpoint but from the targeted market.
find yourself reviewing a book that isn't your cup of tea (assuming it's written well), you don't discount it because the author didn't think about you first. Instead say something along the lines of "This isn't something I would pick up, but I can see where someone who wants x, y, or z would be interested."
If you accept any book to review, return the critique with several honest and positive things. Keep the negative in a positive note, then
sandwich the critique with more positive. You've been trusted with someone's hard work poured out from their heart. Care enough to help bring the book forward, not kill it. There are many angles from which to review a piece of writing. Choose those that shine a good light on yourself as well as aid the writer.
YOU HAD ME AT ROOM SERVICE!
APPLY FOR FUN, UNCONVENTIONAL WRITER’S RESIDENCY
What writer wouldn’t want to attend the wildly popular Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and spend two additional all-expenses-paid weeks at a hotel to write? Free room service. A housekeeping staff. An omelette bar. A TV remote of your own. The sun rising over the Great Miami River (aka, the Dayton Riviera).
And, most importantly, a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Applications for A Hotel Room of One’s Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program will be
accepted Sept. 5-Oct. 5.
Improvisor Dion Flynn, best known as Barack Obama (and other characters) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and comedy writer Monica Piper, longtime head writer and producer for Rugrats, will choose the two grand prize winners. Preference will be given to emerging humor writers. The package is
worth approximately $5,000, but the experience is priceless. Cash prizes for finalists and honorable mentions.
Read the announcement and FAQs. Then apply here for what Forbes says “may be the best writer’s residency in the country.”
Deadline: Oct. 5
- October 2, 2023 - Night Harbor Book Club, Night Harbor S/D Rec Center, Chapin, SC - 7-9 PM (Hope will be moderating this night - book is One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood)
- October 5, 2023 - Richland County Cooper Library, 5317 N. Trenholm Rd, Columbia, SC - 6:30-9 PM - open to the public
- October 26, 2023 - Podcast - Everyone Has a Story: True Tales from Everyday Life - guest C. Hope Clark
- December 9, 2023 - Triangle Sisters in Crime Zoom - Gary W. Clark, Sr talks about crime solving and Hope's books - 1:30-2:30 PM
- June 1-8, 2024 - The Gutsy Great Novelist Retreat, Bar Harbor, Maine - writer-in-residence
Email: [email protected] to schedule events, online or otherwise. There's starting to be life out there!
We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
I have enjoyed FundsforWriters since 2016. Your suggestions and encouragement have helped me through some tough times as a writer. I am thrilled to
announce that the fifth book, Epiphany, in the Father Jake Austin Mystery Series will be release October 10th and is currently available at www.amazon.com/Epiphany-John-Vanek/dp/1684921198
for all that you do.
Best, John A. Vanek
<<If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to [email protected] >>
Data Analyzers: Using Facts to Sell Your Fiction
by Angela Yuriko Smith
As an author, having a marketing plan is essential to earning money from your books. It's not enough to rely on your perceptions, as this can lead to flimsy publishing plans that fall apart in the face of unforeseen events. Instead, you need to base your plans on data, specifically on the numbers that come from your book sales.
You need to know how much money you're making, where your sales are coming from, and which books are selling the
best. An easy way to gather this data is to use a data analyzer such as Book Report (getbookreport.com) or BookTrakr (booktrakr.com). These tools gather sales information for all your books and organize the information for you.
Once you have this data, you can use it to make more informed
decisions about your publishing plans. For example, if you see that a significant percentage of your sales are coming from a particular country, you might consider investing in translations to appeal to a new set of readers. If you see that one of your forgotten titles is suddenly surging in sales, you can adjust your plans to promote it and release a sequel.
With this data in hand, you can build a detailed and data-driven publishing plan. This should include target dates for publishing
new books, as well as dates for starting promotions through various channels such as Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
By basing your plans on data, you can avoid wasting money on ideas that aren't likely to pay off, and focus your efforts on the areas that are most likely to generate sales. And by tracking your sales data over time, you can continue to refine your plans and make better decisions in the future.
This benefited me most recently when I saw a sales spike in
one of my forgotten titles for kids. With zero promotion, The Christmas Spiders surges to 38% of my total sales every December. Now that I know, I'll build that into my plans and schedule some promotion, audio book version and a follow up book. I always knew that I sold some copies of that book each holiday. I just didn't realize how
significant they were.
Picking a data analyzer depends on your situation. If you have most or all of your books available on Amazon, you can use Book Report (getbookreport.com) to track that information for you. Book Report gathers sales information for all your books, including extended channels. You can check sales by book, country, your top sellers in easy to read charts. Best part
is that Book Report is free until you make $1,000 a month on KDP, and then it costs $19 a month. When I'm bringing in $1k a month from book royalties, I will happily pay Book Report to count it all for me.
BookTrakr is better for authors who publish wide including Draft2Digital and Smashwords. BookTrakr doesn't have a free version like Book Report, but the cost is from .99 to $19.99 based on how many books you have. BookTrakr and Book Report both have free trials so you can check them out before committing.
In short, if you want to earn a living as an author, you need to be a professional and keep track of your numbers. Use a data analyzer to gather this information, and then use it to build a detailed and data-driven publishing
plan. With a little focus and effort, you can turn your hopes into reality and build a profitable career as an author.
BIO: Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), a two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020, find her at angelaysmith.com.
PETER PORTER POETRY PRIZE
AU$20-$30 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 9, 2023. First prize: AU$6,000. Four other shortlisted poets: AU$1,000. Open to all international poets. Entries must be an original single-authored poem of not more than 70 lines written in English.
BRIDPORT PRIZE MEMOIR AWARD
£24 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2023. We initially need 5,000 to 8,000 words plus a 300-word overview. If you’re long listed
we’ll ask for a total of 15,000 words, including your original word count. Shortlisted? Then we need a total 30,000 words, again including your original entry and long listed word count. First prize: £1,500. Runner up £750. Highly Commended £150 x three awards. The Memoir competition is open internationally to writers aged 16+ writing in English. Your memoir does not need to be completed to submit. We accept work in progress.
SEJONG INTERNATIONAL SIJO COMPETITION
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2023. Any nationality (including USA and Canada). Sijo must be written in English. Only one entry per
applicant is permitted. Previously published or awarded SIJO is not accepted. Winner: $500 USD. Runner-up: $250 USD. Honorable Mentions: $100 USD. The sijo is a traditional three-line Korean poetic form organized technically and thematically by line and syllable count. Using the sijo form, write one poem in English on a topic of your choice. Organized both technically and thematically by line and syllable count, sijo are expected to be phrasal and lyrical, as they are first and foremost meant to
be songs. Sijo are written in three lines, each averaging 14-16 syllables for a total of 44-46 syllables. Each line is written in four groups of syllables that should be clearly differentiated from the other groups, yet still flow together as a single line.
WILLIE MORRIS AWARDS FOR SOUTHERN WRITING
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2023. Fiction and nonfiction winners receive a cash prize of $12,000. The winner of the poetry category receives $3,000. Winners also receive an expenses-paid trip to Oxford, Miss., where we celebrate the winning writers as part of the Oxford Conference for the Book.
During their trip, winners have the chance to read from their work during the conference and meet and learn from other writers. They also enjoy an intimate celebration dinner with judges and other special guests at one of the town’s famed restaurants or a memorable location like Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, the University of Mississippi Museum or the Lyceum. Books (fiction or nonfiction) must be published during the submission year and cannot be self-published. Poets may submit one original,
unpublished poem no longer than three pages that evokes the American South.
WHEELBARROW BOOKS POETRY PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2023. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication within two years of selection under the Wheelbarrow Books imprint. Manuscripts are eligible for the 2024 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize if the author has not yet published a full-length collection of original poetry. Manuscripts must be in English and a minimum 64 pages.
XJ KENNEDY PRIZE
$28 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2023. The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize highlights one full-length collection of poetry per year. The Prize comes with a $10,000
advance, a standard royalty contract, and 10 copies of the published book. The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize is not a first book prize, though we welcome first books. The Prize is open to poets at any stage of their career.
THE JAKE ADAM YORK PRIZE
Deadline October 15, 2023. The prize-winning poet receives $2,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions. To be eligible for the prize, poets cannot have published—or have under contract—more than one full-length book of poetry in English. (Chapbooks of less than 48 pages and individual poems in magazines are OK.) Self-published books count as previous book publications if they
are at least 48 pages and saw any real distribution whatsoever. Poets must be US Citizens (living abroad is fine) or must live in the US and be writing in English.
GERALD CABLE BOOK AWARD
$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 15, 2023. This prize is awarded annually to a book-length manuscript of original poetry by an author who has not yet published a full-length collection. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter; translations are not acceptable. The winner will receive $1000, publication, and 25 copies of the
ALTA CALIFORNIA CHAPBOOK PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2023. Gunpowder Press invites all Latinx poets who
are current residents of the United States (age 18+) to submit in either English or Spanish. This contest is open to poets of all levels, published or unpublished, who self-identify as Latinx. Two manuscripts will be selected for publication in bilingual editions. The winning poets will each receive $500.00, 10 copies of the published chapbook, and an invitation to read at the Mission Poetry Series in Santa Barbara in 2024.
FLASH FICTION COMPETITION
£5 ENTRY FEE. First: £300. Second: £200. Third: £100. This quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. Encapsulate an entire story
in just 500 words.
GRANTS / FELLOWSHIP / CROWDFUNDING
BUTTERFLY COVE RESIDENCY
$25 application fee. Deadline September 22, 2023. Butterfly Cove
aims to provide women a restful environment conducive to reflection and creating. The Cove offers uninterrupted time to begin a new artistic project or complete a current project. Located in Bryson City, North Carolina, the residency takes place in a rural setting. The selected resident will receive a seven-day, six-night stay October 1-7, 2023. You will not be expected to teach classes or interact with anyone. This is your time alone to relax and rejuvenate! This is a solo
EQUITY GRANTS FOR INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS - TN
Deadline October 5,
2023. Individual grants are available to BIPOC female artists (BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, People of Color) who live and work in Hamilton County. Grant funding will be available in three categories: Artist Works, Equipment, and Professional Development. Disciplines considered include Visual, Fine Craft, Media, Performance, and Literary.
Deadline October 27, 2023. Thanks for your interest in PERIPLUS, a mentorship collective serving U.S. writers who are Black,
Indigenous, and people of color. We’re looking for Fellows who identify as people of color, are located in the United States, and are at least 18 years old, and whose writing shows great promise. The mentors are seeking to mentor promising writers in the United States who are relatively early in their careers. We would especially like to award fellowships to those with limited past access to writing communities or writing guidance. We aim to equalize access so that writers can achieve their
goals regardless of their background and affiliations. If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program in creative writing or journalism, you are not eligible for mentorship. You are also not eligible if you have published a book (or have one under contract) with a major U.S. press in a genre in which we mentor.
THE WORKING CLASS WRITERS GRANT
Deadline September 30, 2023. Award $1,000. Awarded annually to speculative fiction writers who are working class, blue-collar, financially disadvantaged, or homeless, who have been historically underrepresented in
speculative fiction due to financial barriers which make it hard to access the writing world. Such lack of access might include an inability to purchase a computer, books, and tuition, or to attend conventions or workshops. Please send your best work — up to 10 pages of poetry, 10 pages of drama, or 5,000 words of fiction or creative nonfiction.
MISSION is a future-of-work publication for builders who want to ditch the status quo and lead the next
generation of products, teams, and companies. We're looking for contributors to share actionable advice, bold ideas, and compelling stories, backed by original reporting and data. You'll get paid well and your work will appear before a high-value audience of tech leaders. We pay a flat rate of $500-$1,000+ per story.
At Raconteur, we’re interested in what connects business. From the rise of the four-day week to supply chain risk to the journey to net zero, we want to tell the stories impacting leaders and driving change in the business world. We encourage writers from any background to pitch to us. Pieces tend to be between
1,000 and 1,200 words, although they can go up to 2,000. We pay on a per-word basis, based on the commissioned word count. Expect 50 cents/word.
Deadline September 28, 2023. Now accepting pitches for the October series, Haints of the Black South. The editor wants to explore the things that still haunt the South, both in a literal and figurative sense. Alongside regional stories of haints and hauntings—from Appalachian apparitions to Gullah Geechee Boo hags and other folklore—we are also seeking
critical and personal essays, poetry, short fiction, photography, video, and other multimedia exploring personal, historical, and spatial hauntings connected to and within the Black South. Rate with depend on the type of submission (art, poetry, essay, etc.), but it will range from $500 to $1200.
The Content & Editorial team at Angi is looking for experienced Freelance Financial Writers to join our growing network of contributors. We're building best-in-class digital content to help our users learn how to improve and take care of their homes. This is a freelance, independent contractor position. Write 5 to
10+ new long-form articles (averaging 1,000-2,000 words) per month and/or update existing long-form articles (averaging 500-1,000 words), submitting articles throughout the month to meet deadlines.
Seeking pitches for Cosmo’s Confessay series (erotic personal essays about real-life sexperiences) from women 60+. Pitch Associate Editor Kayla Kibbe at [email protected]. Pays around $250.
HANDSPUN LITERARY (PARTICULARLY BEN MILLER-CALLIHAN)
"He is looking for quirky,
cozy, character-driven fantasy, sci-fi, and other speculative fiction, as well as crossover fiction a la The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and The Lost Apothecary. He also loves the macabre (for all ages), off-the-beaten-path folklore, Deaf culture and community, and anything food-related. Writers from marginalized communities are especially welcomed."
LITERARY (PARTICULARLY CHEYENNE FAIRCLOTH)
"interests include romantasy, cozy fantasy, speculative fiction, Southern Gothic stories with speculative elements, folkloric and atmospheric elements; rom-coms; young adult and adult
fantasies with political elements and well-grounded world building; feminist retellings of mythology; and new takes on popular creatures of myth. Is not currently accepting middle grade, picture books, contemporary YA, or nonfiction."
JENNIFER LYONS LITERARY AGENCY
We ask that you only query one of our agents at a time. Please read each agent’s description carefully as each agent as a different way they prefer to receive queries. Each agent is diverse in their needs and desires.
PEREZ LITERARY AND ENTERTAINMENT
Pérez Literary & Entertainment is a full-service agency dedicated to storytelling in all of its forms. We believe in the power of words to open minds and
change lives. We welcome queries from writers all over the world who write in English. We will also consider select projects in the Spanish language for the English language market only.
THOMPSON LITERARY AGENCY
All agents at Thompson Literary Agency are now accepting queries through Query Manager. The agency is always on the lookout for both commercial and literary fiction, as well as young adult and children’s books. Nonfiction, however, is our specialty, and our interests include biography, memoir, music, popular science, politics, social justice, adult illustrated, cookbooks, sports, health and
wellness, fashion, art, design, and popular culture.
Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact [email protected] for permission.
Do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish out of ours.
C. Hope Clark
E-mail: [email protected]
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036
Copyright 2000-2023, C. Hope Clark
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