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OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles #1 (in progress), is a work of passion, one which I chose because of my deep connection to my native island of Newfoundland.
What follows is a list of some of my reading for this series, a list which may be of interest to those who are writing about, or have ties to, Newfoundland. Please note: the “Come Home Year” books on the list were printed for specific events and I purchased them in Newfoundland. The redasterisk beside their titles indicates that I could not find a link to them. (If you find one, let me know. Happy to update!)
An Armful of Memories* – Bond’s Path-Southeast Come Home Year 2006. Newfoundland: Transcontinental, 2006
Andrieux, J. P. RumRunners. St. John’s, NL: Flanker Press Ltd., 2009.
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A FREE SHORT STORY! Simply subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared. Thank you.
2) I entered my novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND, into a contest at the Houston Writers Guild, won the contest, and have since received the B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent writing for that novel.
3) For most recent manuscript, OF SEA AND SEED, which is set in Newfoundland, I wanted an evaluation by an author/editor who wrote historical fiction in the same setting. I have worked with editors across Canada and in the United States and am fully aware of the range of cost factors. I found exactly what I needed at a price I could afford through my membership in the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. Members of WANL are entitled to receive a manuscript evaluation at 50% off the actual cost; the Writers Alliance pays the rest. The fees for this service are based on the number of pages in the manuscript. My manuscript is 306 pages long; the total cost, tax included, came in at about six hundred dollars. The cost to me? $300. (My membership costs me twenty-five dollars per year.) The WANL contract promised a turnaround time of three weeks. It was actually two weeks from the day I agreed to the contract that my evaluation arrived. I received not only a fifteen page, single-spaced anecdotal evaluation but also a full version of the manuscript with Track Changes applied.
The take-away for you? Spend a little time checking out your local or national writing associations. Maybe you are a member of one or two, yet don’t know all of their offerings. You too could benefit from a meet up, a contest, or a professional critique.
A Free Short Story will be yours when you subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will be held in the highest confidence and will not be shared or distributed for any purpose.
Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for May, 2015:
Recently, I watched, then tweeted about SHOWRUNNERS: THE ART OF RUNNING A TV SHOW (Don’t usually include my own tweets here, but I was blown away by the amount of work these writers do! This show is available on Netflix and is well worth the watch!)
Have you noticed the prevalence of threes in writing?
I was reminded of it last week during a beginning course in photography when the instructor explained the rule of thirds in the composition of a picture. Instantly, I thought of creating a blog post about the rule of three in writing (defined by Wikipedia as a principle that suggests that threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying or more effective than other numbers of things.)
When a smattering of research on my part revealed an abundance of readily-available info, I chose to share rather than reinvent. What follows are posts (three, of course) related to the rule of three in the writing of speeches, blogs, and stories.
1. How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content by Brian Clark “…Think in terms of three when crafting your content, and you’ll likely end up with a more engaging outcome. If at first you don’t succeed, remember—the third time’s the charm…”Read More
2. How to Use the Rule of Three in Your Speeches by Andrew Dlugan “The rule of three is powerful speech-writing technique that you should learn, practice, and master. Using the Rule of Three allows you to express concepts more completely, emphasize your points, and increase the memorability of your message. That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.What is the rule of three? What are some famous examples? How do you use it in speeches?” Read More
3. Omne Trium Perfectum by L.G. Smith “Omne trium perfectum! No, it’s not an incantation lifted from Harry Potter, but it could be considered a magic spell for crafting effective stories. Literally it means everything that comes in threes is perfect. In writing it is referred to as the Rule of Three.”Read More
Many thanks to bloggers Brian Clark, Andrew Dlugan, and L.G Smith.
My favorite post from above? As a lover of Latin, I have to tell the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The third one’s a charm. 🙂
Amo, amas, amat… From my past: three Latin textbooks that have been in my library for more than three decades.
Are you about to publish a collection of your short stories? I have done that once and am considering a second. Here are six suggestions based on hindsight:
Go for a ‘sense of book.’Group stories around one theme, one character, one setting. My first collection is varied: most of its stories were written, not with the idea of a book in mind, but for contests based on prompts. It was long after their completion that I chose a theme.
Give thought to the title.
Take time to examine your collection. Perhaps, as book title, you might choose the title of one story or the name of a place that is common to all stories. After I read through my stories, I realized there was indeed a thread: the choices we make and the paths we take. Thus the title: Passages.
Consider, as title/subtitle, “a collection of short fiction,” not “a collection of short stories.”
I used stories in the subtitle of Passages and wished I had used fiction, especially after I dropped a narrative poem into the mix. (Yes, I know: could have eliminated the poem. Sigh.)
Acknowledge previous publications.
List the stories that have been previously published, and include publisher, publication, and date of same. In Passages, in acknowledgements, I thanked creators, administrators, and judges of writing contests, and named a couple of specifics. There was no ill intent in my lack of a list of previous publications; I was simply unaware of the courtesy.
Share background of story.
Many of the short stories in Passages were written for contests. In retrospect, I could have enhanced the reader experience by writing a paragraph or two before each short, revealing the prompt or inspiration for the story.
Give thought to the placement of stories.
You might consider placing your best story first and your second-best last. I went a different route: I put an award-winning short story first because I wanted to draw attention to the fact that it had grown into an award-winning novel. As for the last story in Passages, it is a very short piece called Final Passage, a piece that is more than appropriate for its position in the book. The only thing I would have done differently with it is listed above: I would have revealed the inspiration for the piece.
Why do I love story contests? Click on image to link to “Why Enter Story Contests.”
Are these suggestions helpful to you? If you have already published a book of short fiction, what were the steps that worked best for you? What, if anything, would you do differently the next time?
Are you looking for ways to get your short stories and poems published?
I recently received an email from a writer who was seeking ways to do that. What follows is what I offered her, what I thought could be shared here as well.
I have used two avenues for publication of short stories: Story Contests and Literary Journals.
I use story contests to hone my craft; therefore, I’ve researched them and have entered many, including 24-hour story contests. This has resulted in having many stories published, both online and in journals in Canada and the United States.
The most comprehensive resource for contests in Canada is the Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar. This calendar is published in the fall of each year, usually by November. All contests are listed by deadline. Everything you need to know—submission guidelines, eligibility, word count limits, etc. — are given for each contest and, yes, poetry contests are included.
The best site I’ve found for information on contests and journals in the U.S. is Poets & Writers, “the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers.” On the right hand side of the landing page, under Tools for Writers, you will find an impressive list of databases for literary magazines, contests, agents, etc.
I know how much time and energy go into the pursuit of publication. I hope the above is helpful to you.
Do you have any suggestions to share? Please send them along.
Annie Daylon reading short story “Buryin’ Day” at launch of Freefall Literary Magazine (Vol XIX, Number 1) in Calgary. (First contest entry, second place!)
Good luck on your journey.
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