Posts Tagged ‘ publishing ’

Getting Geared Up for NaNoWriMo

For the past two years I’ve worked with my library to host a variety of National Novel Writing Month events. For those of you who aren’t familiar, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writers are invited to sign up on (if you want to keep track of your progress and/or get some great support from fellow writers) and pledge to write 50,000 (a short novel) during the month of November. It’s crazy, but very rewarding!

This year we’re featuring a number of local NJ authors like Alissa Grosso, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, and Corey Rosen Schwartz, among other talented writers. They will talking about great topics that are pertinent to budding writers like publishing options, how to write successful query letters, and how to go from your first draft to getting an agent.

It’s a great time of year for me not only because I get to meet great authors and writers but it’s a great way to get inspired in my own writings and learn from the wisdom of others.

Good luck on all your writing goals this November! 🙂

Coming Soon to a Library Near You – Pitchapalooza!

  You’ve heard the rumors. You’ve seen the signs. Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for is here…


 People from all over migrate to wherever the famed Book Doctors are presenting to garner words of wisdom and helpful tips on how to break into the world of publishing. You may even be one of the lucky ones to give a one-minute pitch to a panel of judges at the event.

Past pitch winners have gone on to meet agents and editors and even sell their books. Gennifer Albin won during a Pitchapalooza event at a packed house at the Kansas City Public Library March 2011 and went on to sell her YA dystopian three-arc series for six figures! (The first, Crewel, is set to be released Fall 2012.) Talk about a testimony to the power of Pitchapalooza and the Book Doctors!

Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, the Book Doctors, co-wrote The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, which is filled with valuable information and guiding tools. Anyone who purchases a book at a Pitchapalooza event will receive a 20 minute phone consultation with Eckstut & Sterry. So even if you don’t get a chance to pitch during Pitchapalooza, you can still benefit from both the wisdom of the book and the suggestions from a one-on-one consultation.

Together with my helpful colleagues I am pleased to announce Pitchapalooza is coming to the Bridgewater Public Library, Bridgewater, NJ. It will be held on March 1, 2012, from 7-8:30pm. Registration is FREE but required and is limited to the first 80 people (the list is currently at 25). You can register HERE. Refreshments will be served.

So come with your pitch and leave with some great information on breaking into the publishing world!

NaNoWriMo – Where Do I Go From Here?

The end is near….! For NaNoWriMo that is. 🙂

I hope you are taking a short time out to read this and then getting back to writing, writing, writing. Now is the time you stop doing all those things that make you human and focus on finishing that novel! Stop showering, don’t run that errand to Target, don’t bother vacuuming and don’t even THINK of shopping at etsy. Just don’t do it.

Starting tomorrow you can get back to your old life. The life where you thought about things other than character development, plot twists and story arcs. But, I have a confession to make, my month of writing didn’t exactly go according to plan. While I didn’t crash and burn, I didn’t make the time to write as I should have. I can blame my lack of focus on any number of life hiccups, the truth is I dropped the ball or the pen as it were.

Moving forward


If this is your first attempt at completing a novel it can be just as daunting to know where to go after your first draft (yes, that’s right, first) is finally completed. Through trial, error, and much advice, here’s my list of what to do after that first draft is wrapped:

1. Walk away. Don’t even think about your novel for at least a few days. Take time to recharge your creative batteries and go for a walk, visit a museum, read, before going back to your novel. But don’t wait too long to go back or you might be tempted to fall out of the writing habit.

2. Revise, revise, revise. My favorite method is to print out my first draft (double-sided to save paper of course), choose a colored pen, and rip through my novel one page at a time correcting as I go. Then I retype my revisions, walk away, and go through my novel again to see if I can find any further discrepancies, blatant grammatical errors, or any other last minute changes I want to make.

3. Give your novel to someone else to read. Don’t give it to someone who’s going to lather you with praises. Do give it to someone (or someones) who will give you constructive criticisms that will help you hone your craft and perfect your work. This is the time a trusted writing group will come in handy.

4. Revise. Correct any worthy suggestions your critics may have made. As much as it might sting, they probably see things you missed after being so engrossed in your art for so long.

5. Develop a thick skin. After you’ve gotten your novel to a point where it’s as polished as you can make it, research agents that represent your genre (young adult, science fiction, Christian, etc.) and work on writing a query letter. Write a synopsis too if you can. The road to getting an agent isn’t an easy one for most, so don’t take it personally if your novel doesn’t get the response you’d like it to initially. Just remember even renown authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling got dozens of rejections and Kathryn Stockett of The Help fame received 45 during her five years of trying to find an agent. So don’t lose hope!

But most of all, never give up on your writing dreams!

Best wishes and happy writing! 😀

Six Signs You’re Getting Closer to Publication

1. You start receiving personalized, “encouraging” rejections.

2. Agents or editors reject the manuscript you submitted, but ask you to send your next work.

3. Your mentor (or published author friend) tells you to contact his agent, without you asking for a referral.

4. An agent or editor proactively contacts you because she spotted your quality writing somewhere online or in print.

5. You’ve outgrown the people in your critique group and need to find more sophisticated critique partners.

6. Looking back, you understand why your work was rejected, and see that it deserved rejection.


(This list was found in Jane Friedman’s article Revising Your Path to Publication found in Writer’s Digest, June 2011.)

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by the lovely Sheila @ Book Journey. Stop by and see what all the fuss is about! 🙂

I figured I should write my Monday post early in case Hurricane Irene decides to knock our power out. It already winked out for a little but is back on. Hopefully it will stay on! Irene has caused a lot of chaos these past few days and probably will continue to until she dissipates somewhere over the Eastern part of the U.S. But it’s better to be overly prepared and safe then to witness the wreckage that hurricanes can cause. It’s been wild that’s for sure! We’re still getting a torrential downpour and now there are tornado warnings! This is all on top of an earthquake that was felt by at least five states on the East Coast a few days ago – crazy!!!

In preparation for the storm, I stocked up on some great books and magazines. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore – I’m a big fan of Clement-Moore’s Maggie Quinn: Girl v. Evil books, so I was excited when I heard about this latest release by the author. Although it follows a different heroine, Texas Gothic is filled with the same things I loved about the Girl v. Evil series – sarcastic exchanges, flawed characters, and intriguing mysteries. Set in Texas, the story follows a family blessed with the gift of spells, psychic connections, and mystic powers as a young college girl, Amy, learns to accept who she is while solving the mystery of the Mad Monk, a ghostly power that’s been causing havoc around a neighboring ranch. A perfect book to read while a big storm rages outside!



  Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry – I mentioned this book in my post a couple days ago and am busy enjoying all the helpful tips the authors provide. While I’ve done a lot of reading and research in regards to writing and publishing a novel, I hadn’t read this guide. The authors, known as The Book Doctors, help people realize their publishing dreams through talks, one-on-one guided sessions, and Pitchapalooza events. Always interested in making myself a better writer and learning more about the trade, this is the ideal book!



  Rail-Trails: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York – I discovered rails to trails a couple years ago and have been hooked ever since. These converted railways make for ideal trails because they don’t have motorized traffic, they’re shaded, and they stretch for miles and miles. I usually run or bike these trails and wrote about the Columbia Trail where I usually go on my long Sunday runs this time last year. It’s especially nice because the trails are very flat and make for a perfect place for my longer runs and a welcome change from my hilly neighborhood where I run during the week. While this book showcases the trails in the tri-state area, I know there are rail-trails around the country with books highlighting different areas or you can hop over to the website: Rails-to-Trails.



Have a great reading week! 😀