Monday, March 28, 2011

Writing Must Haves?

As I type this, I'm snuggled into the most comfy corner of the couch. My feet are propped up, I'm covered with a well worn quilt, and I'm listening to the soothing voice of John Mayer as he serenades me with "Free Fallin." The lights are low, the distractions are few, and I can just feel those creative juices as they begin to flow.

For me, this is the perfect set up to be creative and write something I can truly be proud of. They're writing must haves. I'm sure you have your own. For some of you, it's a certain type of music you like to listen to while you write, or a particular lighting. For others, it might be a special notebook or pen. I want to know what you absolutely, positively can't write without. Be specific! If it's a particular song, tell us the artist and title. If it's a pen, tell us the color and brand. Let us know why you must have it. How does it benefit your writing?

Do you have writing must haves? Inquiring minds want to know. Comment away!!!! 

P.S. There's an awesome contest going on over at YAtopia! Stop by and enter for awesome prizes.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Query Critique Contest!!!

Check out YAtopia today for an awesome interview with new author, Jeyn Roberts. That's not all. Jeyn will read and provide feedback for one lucky random YAtopia commenter. You must be a follower of the YAtopia blog to enter, but can get additional entries from the following:

+1 Follow YAtopia on twitter yatopia_blog
+1 Follow Jeyn Roberts on twitter @JeynRoberts
+1 Blog about the contest
+1 Facebook the contest
+1 Tweet about the contest
+2 Add Dark Inside to Goodreads bookshelf as 'To Read'
+50 Preorder Dark Inside (currently available on Amazon for preorder).

The competition closes on 31st March - please provide links for additional entries.

What are you waiting for? Click to check it out!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Amazing Finds

I’m so excited! I’ve found so many wonderful resources for writers lately. I’d feel just terrible if I kept them all to myself, so I’m sharing them with you. I encourage you to click on the links below. Hopefully, you’ll find these resources just as helpful as I have.  (Some of these are duplicates from my previous Sharing the Love post. Somehow, those links got erased, so I’m going to repost them along with my new finds.)

Brenda Drake writes novels for young adults and middle grade students.  She holds some awesome contests for her blog followers, some of which include amazing prizes like manuscript critiques from literary agents. Check it out!
Evie is a reader, writer, and blog designer who posts on a daily basis. Her blog layout is one of the best I’ve seen, and she’s kind enough to share her blog knowledge with others. Every Thursday she posts a blog tip to help fellow bloggers get their blogs in tip top shape. That’s not all!  There’s Must-Have Mondays, Talkin' Books Tuesdays, What's What Wednesdays, Favorites on Fridays, and Suggestion Saturdays. Head on over and take a peek!
I love this blog so much because there are always helpful posts for writers. Their most recent bit of advice dealt with research and the many types of research one can do to make their manuscript more authentic. If you’re looking for great advice to help hone your skills, then hop on over!
Leigh is a South African born, Irish writer, living between the US and Ireland. Her debut novel, The Carrier of the Mark, is being published by HarperCollins, and will be released to the public soon. Leigh got her start on InkPop, and often posts about the ups and downs of publication. She also holds some pretty unique contests. This blog is definitely worth your time!
This blog was created by a writer who loves to participate in writing contests, like me! If I’ve failed to spread the word about a particular contest, chances are she’s spreading the word about it on her blog. It’s worth a look.
Here, you’ll find a group of writers who love to help. Providing resources for YA writers, and giving author/ agent interviews are their specialties. Go! Go! Go! Follow them, now!
The agent spotlight on this blog is nothing short of amazing. If you’re on the prowl for an agent to represent your manuscript, then you seriously need to check it out!
Agent Query offers the largest, most current searchable database of literary agents on the web—a treasure trove of reputable, established literary agents seeking writers just like you, and it's free!
Love to Write? Connect with other writers like yourself. Read and vote on what others write. Talk about novels, poetry or a book you love. Write a post for the community. Connect with other writers like yourself. Make the Top Pick list and your writing will be read by a HarperCollins editor. (This site is for young adults, or writers who write for young adults.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Contest Alert!

If you haven't already noticed, blogs offer some of the best contests-giving opportunities for up and coming authors to have their manuscripts critiqued by agents. Well, here's a new one I stumbled upon, and I'm very excited about it. Head on over to the YAtopia blog and check out their new contest. The following was directly copied and pasted from their blog.

Super agent Ammi-Joan Paquette has so kindly offered to host a pitch contest - our first, but definitely not last - on YAtopia. And seeing as she's currently closed to submissions, this is an opportunity you simply CANNOT miss out on.

It's really quite simple what you have to do. Ready?

1) Be a follower of the blog. Nice and easy.

2) Blog about this contest and include a link with your entry. If you don't have a blog, you may tweet or make a facebook status. But we prefer blog.

3) Create a TWO SENTENCE pitch. And not a massively long run-on sentence either. Two concise sentences that will hook Joan to your book and have her desperate to read more.

4) Include the opening line of your manuscript.

5) Manuscripts that you submit should be completed. I leave it up to you whether you decide to submit a half finished manuscript. You'll have to deal with it SHOULD Joan request you send her the full.

6) This contest will be capped at either 150 entries OR will end midnight on the 24th March.

7) Winners to be announced (along with prizes) on 31st March.

8) Only childrens and young adult categories will be accepted. Sorry!

What are you waiting on?!?!? Click on the link and get those entries ready!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Pop the cofetti cannons and raise your arms in celebration! My blog has officially received 1000 hits! I'm so excited! My next goal is to have 1000 followers, so spread the word! If you're a writer, reader, editor, publisher, or just a friend interested in my journey to publication, I encourage you to sign up and be a follower. Thanks to all who have signed up and contributed thus far. Your interest and support has been greatly appreciated. :) Have a beautiful, sunny Sunday!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Thoughts & Prayers

I officially started my spring break yesterday. For a week now, I've been planning a celebration post to kick off the occasion, but with everything going on in Japan, I feel this post should carry a more serious tone. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan. May you find strength, hope, and ecouragement in this most difficult time. God bless.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Word Play Contest

Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a long time coming, and now that it's here, I don't want to do anything except lounge on the couch and be lazy! Trust me. Morning bus duty will do that to a girl.

Anyway, I want to thank you all for the comments that were made on my "Writing Challenge" post. I love hearing your thoughts and ideas, so keep them coming. I also enjoyed reading the sentences you created using the words lucky, charm, and calamity so much (many of you posted them on inkpop instead of here) that I thought I'd issue a similar challenge, only this time you'll get to decide the three words used in the sentence. Everyone comment to this post with the three words they'd like to see in combination, and create the first sentence of a novel using those three words. I'll pick the three words from the comment I like the best. Then I'll issue the official challenge using your three words on inkpop and in my next post. We'll see who has the best sentence!

I wish I could tell you you'd win something really fantastic, but sadly, I have nothing to give. You will, however, get the satisfaction of knowing you're completely awesome!

Please do not use curse words or sexually explicit words. Comments containing any such words will not be approved. Sentences must be 25 words or less and must contain the three words you'd like others to use in combination.

I think that's it. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Use those imaginations! Let the comments begin. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twitter Pitch Contest

Aspiring author, Chanelle Gray (represented by agent Victoria Marini) is holding a Twitter pitch contest. It's my understanding that agent Michael Carr will be involved in the judging of this contest, and may request to see your full manuscript if your Twitter pitch catches his eye. (At least, that's what I gather. Correct me if I'm wrong.) Here are a few key points to the contest. These are copy and pasted directly from Chanelle Gray's website.


1) The contest is now live!

2) It will be capped at the first 75 entries or, if we don't get 75 entries, it'll cut off at Midnight GMT on the 7th March.

3) You have to be a follower of my blog to enter.

4) You have to blog about this contest and post your link along with the twitter pitch. (If you don't have a blog, then Twitter or Facebook will do. But only if you don't have a blog - not instead).

5) Alongside your 140 twitter pitch (you'll be disqualified if it's longer) you'll be asked to submit the first three sentences of your manuscript - so make sure they're polished and ready to go!

6) Once the contest opens, it'll be first come first serve to enter. Anything after 75 entries won't be counted.

Good luck! And don't forget to include a link to your blog post/twitter/facebook with your entry. And I'll allow posts to be made any time before you actually comment here. Including the same day. Please use the format as below:

Your name:


Genre & Age:

Twitter pitch:

3 Sentences:

Blog post:

Remember, Michael Carr is looking for any age any genre. And works should be completed if he was to request the full manuscript, but you may take the risk without a finished manuscript if you choose.

Click on the following link for more details.

Good luck to all who enter!!!!