Resources for Writers

Samhain Publishing Call for Submissions

Red Hot Fairy Tales Anthology

How did Belle tame the wild Beast? Did the carriage turn into a pumpkin….or did Cinderella? And just what was going on with Snow White and those Dwarves?

I’m very pleased to announce an open call for submissions for a new, yet-to-be titled Summer 2010 anthology. I’m open to any genre, M/F, M/M, or multiples thereof. I’m looking for your super-hot take on the fairy tales we grew up with and… there must be a Happily Ever After.

The anthology will include novellas from 20,000 to 25,000 words in length and will be released individually as ebooks in August 2010 and in print in Spring 2011.
Submissions are open to all authors, published with Samhain or aspiring to be published with Samhain. All submissions must be new material, previously published submissions will not be considered. Additionally, manuscripts previously submitted, whether individually or for past anthologies, will not be considered either. Please be aware that manuscripts submitted to this anthology cannot be resubmitted at a later date unless by invitation from an editor.

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please include:
The full manuscript (of 20,000 to 25,000 words) with a comprehensive 2-5 page synopsis. Please include a letter of introduction/query letter. Full manuscripts are required for this as it’s a special project.

As well, when you send your manuscript, please be sure to use the naming convention FairyTales_Title_MS or FairyTales_Title_Synopsis. This will ensure that your submission doesn’t get missed in the many submissions we receive, and makes it easy for me to find in my ebook reader.

Submissions are open until February 1st, 2010 and final decision will be made by February 15th, 2010. Please send your submission to editor@samhainpublishing.com and include Red Hot Fairy Tales Anthology in the subject line. Questions and queries can be addressed to Laurie M. Rauch (laurie@samhainpublishing.com)

*permission to forward granted

Writers Resources

Recommended reading for aspiring writers…

  •  On Writing
    by Stephen King
  • On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary : The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William K. Zinsser.
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
    by Natalie Goldberg, Judith Guest
  • The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
    by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell (Foreword)
  • Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    by Robert McKee (Author)
  • Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction
    by Vicki Spandel
  • A Writer’s Reference, Fifth Edition
    by Diana Hacker
  • Writing Fiction (6th Edition)
    by Janet Burroway, Susan Weinberg

Tip for proposal #2

Avoid the words I, we, us, and our unless the book is about you. Editors are wary of authors who overuse the word I unless it’s relevant to the book. Unless you or your experience are part of the book, write about the subject, not yourself. Also avoid the words you and your in your introduction and outline. The first two parts of the proposal are about the book. You’re writing them for the editor, not the book buyer. If you want to address readers directly, as this sentence does, do it in your sample chapter and the opening anecdotes for your outline. The most effective way to sell your book is to stick to the subject and the book.

What to look for when revising a novel

Look for the weaknesses that most often cause rejection: unsympathetic or flat characters, unrealistic dialogue, slow pacing, a boring beginning, lack of voice, and bad or clichéd writing. You’re probably wondering: How do I know if I have flat characters or a slow pace or any of these weaknesses? Show your manuscript to people you can trust to give their honest opinion, and if they all give you the same criticism, that’s a red flag.

Is your idea a novel or short story?

Here is a simple way to help determine if your idea is more appropriate for a novel-length work or a short story.

  • A short story shows a character in a state of flux. While other characters are present in the short story, it generally deals with one character’s situation. Hence, short stories are almost always character driven.
  • A novel has a broader scope. Not only will it deal with a character’s trajectory, there will be substrata and super strata as well. You’ll often find a number of leitmotifs, recurring ideas, or details that appear again and again. A novel’s larger idea (or theme) is many-tentacle and won’t always stay between the lines.

Tips for Proposal #1

People like to read about other people. That’s why anecdotes are an effective way to get your point across. Use fictional techniques to make them short stories that pack a wallop by being as humorous, dramatic, inspirational, or startling as possible. Anecdotes humanize the book by presenting a slice of life that readers can relate to. They also make for more enjoyable, memorable reading than abstract ideas. As Jack Canfield says, “Facts tell, stories sell.”

Tips for writing a Time-Travel Novel

Prioritize: The first trick of scripting your personal time-travel is to prioritize your life. What receives your best energy and attention is what gets accomplished. If you claim you want to be a writer, but your primary energy and effort goes to being president of the P.T.O., you will likely succeed as the president and not make it as a writer. If your goal is to be a writer, then you must make writing your number one priority.

Assign ‘BRAIN’ Time: I find I can most effectively focus on my priorities if I assign them blocks of time, rather than try to do more than one thing at once. Of course, it’s not always possible to remain isolated and uninterrupted, but having dedicated time tends to cut down on distractions.

Maintain a Balance: In spite of this rather structured approach to life, I am not some sort of automaton or workaholic. Try to balance a time for you and your writing. It is imperative that you do so to create your best work possible.

Allow Change: The only sure thing in life is change, and as you travel through time, your priorities will likely change as well. As you achieve one goal, move on to the next. Let go of that which no longer serves you. New horizons will beckon. Allow change into your life. It’s how you get from where you are to where you want to be.

Know your Era: Be sure to know your era’s. If you are doing a 1800 and 2004 time jump be sure to know what was in use in both those times. Do not put your character using a ipod touch in 2004 because it was yet not availible. In other words REASEARCH. Yes im sure just the though of reasurch can be daunting, but it will make your novel credible and rich in the era.

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