Saturday, March 24, 2012

Time management by Hettie Ashwin

When your brain is bursting with ideas it seems hard to get anything done. You may plot, think, take notes, make sketches, busy yourself with all manner of 'work' but nothing gets completed, nothing gets a result. So how do you manage your time to write "THE END"  when it is all done and dusted.

1. Set a goal.
 Whether it be 100 words a night or a page a day edit. Set a realistic target for your lifestyle and STICK TO IT. If it is realistic then you still have time to dabble in other things ie. competitions, postings, twitter, facebook etc. Don't make it to the exclusion of everything else unless you know you have that stickability to carry it out.

2. Motivate yourself.
 This can be with a treat at the end of the week/month/word count or what ever.
Tell yourself that if you finish the set task you will allow yourself a two day stint of nothing but reading. Make the treat something you yearn to do, but never find the time. One hour to plot out that short story, surf the net for competitions, scan twitter for fun or just eat that chocolate. If you know you have something waiting at the end of your writing stint then finishing will be even more delicious.

3. Schedule your time.
 This is a vital tool and one you should learn and put in practice. If you have little in the way of self control and get distracted easily then schedule every 10 minutes. Write the increments down and fill every box on what you plan to do. Then as the minutes tick off just think how good you will feel. They soon add up. If you have willpower in baskets then your schedule might be for a few days or even a week. The idea is that if you see it all written down and then don't complete it the guilt will make you try harder to get your procrastination under control.

4. Value your work
This may sound like self affirmation rubbish, but if you don't believe in what you are doing and treat it with the respect it deserves then how do you expect anyone else will. You are carrying on the business of writing. It is a job, albeit a very enjoyable past-time. Don't say 'it is just a short story, a bit of writing, a dumb manuscript. It is your work. It took time, dedication and skill. These attributes will shine through your writing. I liken it to smiling on the radio. When I was reading the news on radio I used to smile. The tone changes and the listener can feel it too. If you value your work it will show. All your effort won't be for nought. The buzz you get from seeing your words take shape will spur you on to complete your writing.

5. Don't sweat it
Don't try and flog yourself if it isn't working. Go and write something else, do a crossword or take a walk. The laboured effort involved in trying to write when it won't work will show in your work. Write a bit of poetry, flash fiction, a tweet, a facebook post or a short monologue a vignette. Those creative urges will return. There will be times... don't beat yourself up about it but realise the hiatus for what it is and get on with something else using the tips above. I often have two or three projects on the go and then if I become stale I can flit to something else.

6. Just do it
It is the incurable itch, so go scratch.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the publishing industry stats.

Follow the link to an interesting article backed up with statistics.
this is the link

As the publishing industry has to evolve rapidly to adapt to the numerous changes brought forth by digital publishing, updated statistics are a boon worth sharing. Aptara is mainly concerned by non-fiction publication, rather than fiction books, yet, both fiction and non-fiction books belong to the publishing industry.

Trade and non-trade publishers are aggressively producing ebooks, despite the current low revenues derived from digital publishing. The majority of publisher producing digital book (57%) derive between 0% and 3% of their revenue from ebook sales. A still confidential 18% of these publishers generates more than 10% of their revenues from ebooks.

Read more: 
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

Read more: 
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Call out for horror and fantasy

Do you write with a scream on the cusp of your lips,your eyes unblinking and a numbing sensation running down your spine? Then this call out is for you...if you dare!
link hereFrom the Point of View of The Observer

Fiction through the eyes of the Observer. What do you see when you don't get involved? What do you see when you can't get involved? What do you see when you won't get involved?
SUBMISSION DEADLINE - April 1, 2012 - Accepting Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Artwork & Photography

Submission guidelines:Sirens Call Publications is currently taking submissions for our second e-zine to be released in April 2012, focusing primarily on the horror and fantasy genres. All contributors will receive a free PDF copy of the issue that their work is featured in.
We welcome short stories (2000-5000 words), flash fiction (300 - 500 words), artwork, photography and literary reviews. Interviews with both up and coming or established horror and fantasy authors will also be featured. Take advantage of this superb opportunity to gain exposure for your work and email with your submissions, or contacting with any queries.
We ask for one time publication rights only and stories that are previously published elsewhere are accepted provided that you hold the rights to them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

PayPal Reverses Proposed Censorship

March 13, 2012

Smashwords author/publisher update: PayPal Reverses Proposed Censorship

Effective last night, we rolled back the Smashwords Terms of Service to its pre-February 24 state.

It's been a tumultuous, nerve-wracking few weeks as we worked to protect the right of writers to write and publish legal fiction.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Smashwords authors, publishers and customers. You stood up and made your voice known. Thank you to every Smashwords author and publisher who wrote me to express opinions, even if we disagreed, and even if you were angry with me. You inspired me to carry your cause forward.
Smashwords authors, publishers and customers mobilized. You made telephone calls, wrote emails and letters, started and signed petitions, blogged, tweeted, Facebooked and drove the conversation. You made the difference. Without you, no one would have paid attention. I would also like to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). These three advocacy groups were the first to stand up for our authors, publishers and customers. Their contribution cannot be overstated. We collaborated with them to build a coalition of like-minded organizations to support our mutual cause. Special kudos to Rainey Reitman of EFF for her energy, enthusiasm and leadership.

I would like to thank our friends at PayPal. They worked with us in good faith as they promised, engaged us in dialogue, made the effort to understand Smashwords and our mission, went to bat for our authors with the credit card companies and banks, and showed the courage to revise their policies.

This is a big move by PayPal. It represents a watershed decision that protects the rights of writers to write, publish and distribute legal fiction. It also protects the rights of readers to purchase and enjoy all fiction in the privacy of their own imagination. It clarifies and rationalizes the role of financial services providers and pulls them out of the business of censoring legal fiction.

Following implementation of their new policies, PayPal will have the most liberal, pro-First-Amendment policies of the major payment processors. Will Google Checkout and Checkout by Amazon be next now that the credit card companies have clarified their positions, and have essentially given payment providers the permission to adopt more enlightened policies?

This is a bright day for indie publishing. In the old world, traditional publishers were the arbiters of literary merit. Today, thanks to the rise of indie ebooks, the world is moving toward a broader, more inclusive definition of literary merit. Smashwords gives writers the power and freedom to publish. Merit is decided by your readers. Just as it should be.

Mark Coker
Founder, Smashwords

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finally a report card that I can be proud of!!

Wits member Shaun Allen did a reading for his son's year 6/7 class on Monday the 5th of March. It came about after disappointing results after the class read a school book that they thought was a little dull. The teacher wanted to show the children that reading and writing stories can be a fun experience. In response to Shaun's reading the teacher wrote in the school's Weekly Wrap Up report this about the event.

"I would like to thank Shaun publicly for his assistance this week in the classroom. Shaun is a parent of one of our students and he is also a professional writer. He was welcomed into our classroom and read to the class a story he wrote called ‘Alone’ The students found this a valuable resource and his visit has improved the students understanding of why we write and the importance of adding selected verbs, adjectives and emotions to really strengthen a piece of writing. Also, the students asked some very intense questions, Shaun was delighted that certain questions were asked. After an intense discussion, the students believed that Shaun’s main message was that writing is fun and enjoyable. Students believe that Shaun should sell his ‘Alone’ story to Hollywood so they can make it a movie. If you wish to read ‘Alone’ or any of Shaun’s other work, Google Shaun Allen, War of the Words and enjoy the talent."   

Shaun acknowledges that the readings he has done for WiT's members and events has given him more confidence than he thought he could ever get for appearing in public. It has also taught him methods on how to try and engage an audience by putting emotion into his reading.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Granta Magazine is having a grand competition.

read all about it here and take a stab at entering. Remember it is only one sentence but it must tell a story. A beginning a middle and an end. The Judge is Jon McGregor.

Fleeing Complexity

Irby in the Marsh
The fire spread quicker than the little bastard was expecting. ■
Inspired by this story Granta is launching a short story competition today: Tweet @GrantaMag or send a single tweetable sentence (140 characters) to by 2 May to enter. The competition will be judged by Jon McGregor and the winner will receive a signed and stamped copy of his latest novel, This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You.
Taken from This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like Youby Jon McGregor, published by Bloomsbury on 2nd February 2012 at £14.99. © Jon McGregor 2012. A further story ‘In Winter The Sky’, which is a reworking of ‘What The Sky Sees’ will be published here in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

send that manuscript out there!

this is crackling good information if you have a completed manuscript. Get it polished and hit the ground running

.Pan Macmillan Australia. Manuscript Monday


Welcome to Manuscript Monday, a new initiative which is part of Pan Macmillan Australia's manuscript submission process. If you’ve ever dreamed of getting published, and have a story you’d like to pitch, here’s your chance to have it read by a publisher. No more navigating the slush pile! Every Monday we will accept submissions between 10am and 4pm that are sent electronically and comply with the guidelines set out below.
First chapter (double spaced) and synopsis separate word documents labelled
with title of mss, fill out form with genre of mss and send through the website.
Please note there is an underscore in the gap between manuscript and
Send on Monday between the hours of 10 a.m – 4 p.m.

Penguin Books Australia. The Monthly Catch
First week of every month. Mss and synopsis max 300 words.
The General Publishing team at Penguin Group (Australia) is keen and excited to read new work from Australian authors, and as such we’ve developed the Monthly Catch. For the first week of every month, we throw our doors open to unsolicited manuscripts. In this time period (the 1st to the 7th of every month), please send through submissions based on the guidelines below.
We are only accepting submissions electronically – all hardcopy submissions will be recycled. And we are only accepting submissions in the first week of every month; anything that comes through outside of this time will not be considered.
When you send through your submission, you’ll receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt. All manuscripts are carefully read and assessed, but we can only respond to those who are successful. If we do not contact you within three months of submission, please assume that we have decided not to pursue your manuscript. No further correspondence will be entered into.
We are not currently considering poetry, educational textbooks or plays/scripts. For books for children and young adults, please see the separate submissions instructions below.
Attach your manuscript and a short synopsis (of no more than 300 words) as separate Word documents and send via email
In the subject line of your email, please state the title of your book, whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, and then genre (eg Heiress in Love: Fiction/Romance or The Address Book: Non-Fiction/Memoir).
Please include in the body of your email the following information:
  • Title.
  • Brief summary (two or three sentences).
  • Brief author bio (two or three sentences).
  • Any previous publishing history and/or any writing awards you’ve received.
  • Where would your book sit in the marketplace – i.e. what books would you see as comparison titles to yours, what authors are similar to you, who is the intended audience for your book, etc.
  • Has this proposal been sent to other publishers?
  • Have you previously submitted this, or a similar, proposal to Penguin? If so, please give details.

Allen and Unwin. The Friday Pitch (children & teenagers, fiction, non fiction.)
Attachment first chapter, short synopsis. Title information sheet in body of
Allen & Unwin know how difficult it can be for writers to get their work in front of publishers, which is why we’ve been running our innovative and pioneering Friday Pitch service for the last 5 years. Through Friday Pitch we have given new and emerging writers a chance to have their work read by our publishers within a reasonable time.
ALL adult submissions – both fiction, non-fiction, children's and young adult – to Allen & Unwin should now come via Friday Pitch. To do this, email us a short synopsis and the first chapter of your work. If we like what we read, and want to read more, we will get back to you within a fortnight.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Twitter Workshop

Presenter: Hettie Ashwintwitter

Last Wednesday evening, award winning writer and internet whizz Hettie Ashwin introduced and illuminated the fast moving, and fast growing, world of Twitter.  It was an excellent session.  Among the aspects Hettie covered were what is Twitter; how to set up an account; customising your account; getting followers who matter; Twitter etiquette; and how to use Twitter to raise your web profile.

I had heard of Twitter, but did not really know anything about it, and by the session's end I felt able to dip my toe into the cyber-waters and get started.  The $10 workshop fee was absolutely worth the money, it included the e-mailing to me Hettie's power point presentation, and her availability for one-to-one assistance by e-mail afterwards.

Having attended other workshops that Hettie has run, I unreservedly recommend her future sessions, whenever, and wherever, she runs them.

Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

a Short story comp with kudos

P.O. Box 2320,
Richmond South, 3121
31st May 2012 closing date.

3 copies each story (has to be snail mailed)
2/5000 words
Entry fee. $14 ABR subscribers, $18 non subscribers.
1st prize $5000
2nd prize $2000
3rd prize $1000
ABR reserve the right not to award a prize
Entry form and conditions on website:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Big Issue short story comp

The 2012 edition will be co-edited by Melissa Cranenburgh and Chris Flynn. They’re looking for ” intriguing stories, humourous tales and lively and interesting writing”. You can choose to pick your own topic, or write to the official theme of “The End of the World”. Stories must be under 3000 words long.
Stories are due 31 May 2012. You need to make sure your name and details are on a removable coversheet, as stories are judged “blind”. To enter, you need to send two printed copies of your story to: Fiction Edition, The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne 3001.
Will you be entering this competition? Will you be following the theme or making up your own topic?
The Big Issue Fiction edition is one of the short form fiction highlights of the year. I’ve learned my lesson and I always buy my copy on the first day I know it’s out – it sells out so fast and everyone talks about it. Last year’s edition, Twelve Tales,sold a massive 34,000 copies across Australia.
The edition is a blend of stories selected from an open submission, and commissioned pieces from established and much-loved authors. Last year’s edition included stories by Frank Moorhouse, Peggy Frew, Nick Earls, Charlotte Wood and Chris Wormersley.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sneak Peek from Member Hettie Ashwin

Here is the link for our member Hettie Ashwin's book Literary Licence. 
It is featured in Indies Unlimited a web page for independent authors.
Indies Unlimited have a submission page so you can be a guest post(er) like Hettie or promote your book.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Robert Benchley humour comp on again 2012

Here is the link to the lowdown on the annual competition for 500 word humour. 
The judge this year is Arte Johnson. 
You can look at past winners, then try your luck. the Comp ends on April 1st (seriously) so get your happy face on and start writing that winning entry.

racking up the visitors. Bring on the cup cakes

Wits blog only needs 368 more visits to crack the 10,000 mark. What does this prove? Well...only that the blog has good, informative content and is a great writers resource.
Spread the word, the links, the looouuuuuuvvve!
Happy Days.

Poetry workshop wrap up

POETRY FOR RECEPTIVE MINDS: Facilitator Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

Last Sunday in conjunction with WITS, Michael presented a most informative & fulfilling workshop.
For those of you like me for whom all but the simplest forms of rhyming poetry is a mysterious art it
was a revelation. I have come away the proud possessor of a poem written in the sestina format.

Sestina is an intricate and beautiful form of poetry that originated in the twelfth century. Michael
skilfully and gently guided us through the process of creating our own poem. I came away richer for
the experience.

The boundaries of creative writing overlap and after exploring and expanding the technique of
evocative imagery I now have another useful tool to add to my writer’s toolbox.

Michael can be found Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Aitkenvale library in his role as Poet in
Residence. Michael is available to answer any queries or you may simply want to chat with someone
knowledgeable in the craft, or spend some time with a fellow poet.

For those of you who missed Sunday’s workshop Michael will be facilitating another later in the year.
While nothing has been decided as yet the next workshop may be centred on rhyming verse.