September/October Writing Contests

hkrowe:

Saving for later!

Originally posted on Rachel Poli:

September October Contests

Here is a reminder for contests in September. Below are contests due in October.

Good luck!

September 2015:

Type: Popular Fiction
Hosted by: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: Early bird–September 15, 2015; Final deadline–October 15, 2015
Entry Fee: Early bird–$20; Final deadline–$25

Type: “Family Matters”
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $15

Type: Standard fiction
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $0

Type: Essay
Hosted by: Literal Latte
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $10

October 2015:

Type: Poetry
Hosted by: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: October 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $15

Type: The Joy of Less
Hosted by: Chicken Soup
Deadline: October 30, 2015
Entry Fee: None

Type:Alzheimer’s and Dementias Family Caregiving
Hosted by: Chicken Soup
Deadline: October 30, 2015
Entry Fee: None

Type: Very Short Fiction
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: October 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $15

*Please note that any contests are subject…

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Letting Go – Old Writing

The big packing and de-cluttering continues at my house as we prepare to get it ready for selling. I’ve gone through so many of my things, that I’ve gotten to that exhaustive point of not caring and throwing old stuff out.

When I began sifting through my old writing stuff, I admit I was nostalgic. Looking over the print outs with notes of my own as well as from some of those in writing groups – the good and the bad. I wondered if the stories were worth salvaging in their half finished forms. I wonder if I could go back to them. In my gut, I knew I can’t. I saved a few ideas, a few snippets of notes with ideas written on them, but as far as the stacks and stacks of old stories, I sent them to the recycling bin. I felt a small pang for them, but then I realized that I have to start fresh. I can’t hold onto old ideas or stories that I never felt the motivation to complete.

I even discarded the notes and critiques. What good are they for me now? Do I take them in the move and get something out of them later?

Or would I rather nurture new ideas, ideas that are fresh in my mind that I can actually do something with them?

The answer is of course obvious. After chiding myself for wasting so much paper on the print outs, I knew that if a story was going to last, I would have kept at it. I would have transferred the idea onto my Google Drive, a much more environmentally friendly repository for all my copious thoughts.

Sometimes you gotta let things go. I’m starting to learn that as I slowly de-clutter my life. I’ve grown out of those stories, and though I may have gained something out of them in their time, they are no use to me anymore. Sometimes characters and stories just have to die; especially, if your writing style and craft has grown so much more since then.

What do you think? Can you de-clutter your own past writings and move on from them? How much do you mourn them knowing other better stories and ideas will take their place?

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Breaking The Stigma of Commercial Fiction: Why Writing “to Entertain” is Not A Lesser Aim

hkrowe:

Fantastic insight. You should read.

Originally posted on Aether House:

Recently, I picked up a copy of The Creative Writer’s Handbook from the used bookstore a sort of college textbook on creative writing. It is dense, detailed, and contains several short story and poetry samples from well-respected authors.

But in the opening chapter, that was a line that made me put the book down a second and just…stare at the wall, shaking my head. It went something like “when a writer’s goal is to encapsulate the whole of human experience, or more modestly, to entertain…”

This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed a gentle, condescending pat-on-the-head towards those who write primarily to entertain. John Gardner didn’t even bother with formalities when it came to genre fiction, calling most types of sci-fi or fantasy “junk” in his guide, The Art of Fiction.

Over and over again, usually in writing books or writing classes or journal submission pages or perhaps even writing circles, I see…

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29+ Ways to Market Your Book

hkrowe:

Good info

Originally posted on WordDreams...:

marketing woahsAt a recent #IWSG confab, I was whining to online friends about the difficulty of marketing my books. I got a long list of great comments, both on the blog and via emails from writers who have approaches that worked well for them.

To share these with you and then continue the conversation, I chose a Google Spreadsheet. If you’re familiar with Excel, it’s quite like that, but easier to share out and collaborate on.

Using this method, we can:

  • read about everyone’s thoughts
  • share ideas by clicking the link and adding contributions to the bottom of the spreadsheet (it’s set to share and edit)
  • repost the spreadsheet to your blog where you collect ideas from your readers. Those will automatically be shared on this same spreadsheet, meaning they’ll appear on my post here (and my readers’ contributions will appear on your blog). If we can repost this to lots of…

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Books – My Heavy Obsession

As a book lover, I never realized how obsessed I was with reading until my husband and I had to pack up our house because we’re trying to sell at the end of the month.

Yes, ten bookshelves full of books seems excessive to normal people, but I never thought it was anything bordering on a weird obsession. Now I have to put my books away into storage, and placing them in boxes not only is a taxing endeavor, it’s making my house feel very lonely. As we’ve packed up two rooms of books, I walk by missing the perfectly orderly spines of books and books with titles and authors that are much beloved. I know for some time I will have to accept that my prized books are going into storage, but that doesn’t mean I don’t experience some separation anxiety.

On my nightstand, I have a stack of ten or so books that I’m clinging to just for comfort that will not go into storage (I dare my husband to pry them from my cold dead hands). Some I’m in the middle of reading, some I may read while this whole moving/selling process is going on. I keep reminding myself, “I still have all the books on my kindle.”

But I never realized until how much my books comforted me. Yes, I will probably never finish every book. Or, if I do, I will be well into my 90s. But in any case, they are not just a decoration to me. They are portals to worlds that give me comfort knowing they are there, ready for me to jump into them and escape.

Moving on its own is stressful endeavor, but taking them out of their homes on shelves definitely exhibits a sort of emptiness. I only hope in the next place we live I can proudly display them again, and I’m also hoping that I never have to move again, that the next house is the ONE and my books never have to be stored or thrown into boxes again.

In addition to that I realized something else, put all those books in boxes, and damn those things are heavy!

If I have to put my books away, I better damn well get well-toned arms out of moving them all!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Writing – A Lonely Life

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For as long as I could hold a pencil and weave my own stories, I knew writing would be a lonely life. I may have the company of imaginary characters, squawking at me to tell their stories, to live their lives, but in the real world, my identity as a writer is often overlooked and even ignored. Generally, people will acknowledge my passion and will humor me in their interest to read my stories, but usually this is a passing fancy.

Rarely, do I garner support or understanding for my writing habits from others. Only when I am writing in groups or joining online communities do I get the feedback I want. I am not saying that there is no chance for feedback and criticism out there.

However, support is different than engaging with likeminded writers. Some writers give you their opinions out of help, and sometimes they do not participate in the mutual relationship that is writing – such as, you read my story and comment and I will read yours and give you the same energy. Some writers that I have encountered have given a little to others and expected a lot from their peers. To me, this is not true support.

Another type of support where I see a lacking is with family members and friends. Many of them do not understand the long hours required for writing, editing and polishing. They do not understand that you can not always plan a weekend of fun getaways and backyard parties because you’re knee deep in your draft. The idea of setting aside time to “just write” is foreign to others.

The worst part of lacking of support is when people closest you obviously do not care about your writing. They feign interest and support, but those are platitudes. Their support is sporatic and only skims the surface of the kind of encouragement that you need. I have found maybe one or two people in my entire life that are close or related to me that really truly support me. One person who sees I’m working hard and encourages me with simple expressions of hope and luck. One person who understands I need to take a Saturday night holed up in my office and just write, even if I’m languishly staring at a blank screen for minutes after minutes.

One of these two people is me. I’m my biggest supporter. I’m the one person that sends me good vibes of encouragement, congratulates myself on achieving a goal, and knowing that one day the hard work will pay off. The other person that is my biggest supporter is my husband.

But writing is still a lonely life because I expect even more family to encourage and support me. I expect some bragging when I’m not around on what my passions are. I expect some sort of general praise of someone who is my relative to tell others what I’m passionate about. When they think of me and are talking to strangers about me, what would they say? Would they only say I’m an artist? Would they only say that I’m a techie who could come fix your computer if something is wrong?

My writing always seems to escape them. It’s not as important a talent as drawing a landscape or managing machines.

I did not mean for this post to be narcissitic. I’m only acknowledging what a lonely life writing can be, that not everyone close to you is going to embrace it or feel it with the same passion as you do.

I’m aware of this like I’m aware that there are seven days in a week.

It’s hurtful. It’s frustrating. Why couldn’t my loved ones support all of me? Every talent, evey passion? It seems fruitless, and I don’t get any work done crying about it, or throwing myself pity parties.

If strangers can look at my writing and give me something then that’s good enough. If I can tell the stories and know that I am happy with myself and my accomplishments that is enough.

And for those who don’t believe in me or support me – maybe if I keep working hard enough I can prove to them that they are wrong in discrediting my writing.

That’s not the kind of encouragement I was expecting, but it’s definitely a challenge to show them just exactly what my true strengths are.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe