Tag: Carol L Wrignt

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Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC January Featured Author of of the Month

January 21, 2020 by in category Contests, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , , , ,

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), founded in 2006, is a community of mutually supportive, fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories, spanning a range of genres including: children’s, fantasy, humor, inspiration, literary, memoir, mystery, paranormal, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult.

BWG has published five anthologies. Each anthology has an overall theme—broadly interpreted—but includes a variety of genres, and all but the first anthology include stories from the winner(s) of The Bethlehem Writers Short Story Award. Their first anthology, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales (2009), won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

Besides anthologies and yearly writing contests, the group publishes a quarterly literary journal, The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and hosts twice monthly writing workshops and a critique groups for local members.  You can see the schedule of BWG meetings and events, including author signings  here.


Next up for BWG

BWG is working on their sixth anthology, Fur, Feathers, & Scales: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales. 

In connection with this anthology, they are hosting The Bethlehem Writers 2020 Short Story Award

The 2020 Short Story Award opened on January 1, 2020.  The theme will be Animal Stories, broadly interpreted. Stories of 2,000 words or fewer about WILD ANIMALSPETS, or IMAGINARY BEASTS will be welcome (so long as an animal is an important character or element of the story).

The winner will receive $200 and may be offered publication in the above mentioned upcoming anthology. The 2020 Guest Judge is Edgar Award winning and NYT best-selling author Peter Abrahams/Spenser Quinn.

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Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC January Featured Author of of the Month

January 14, 2020 by in category Contests, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , , , ,

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), founded in 2006, is a community of mutually supportive, fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories, spanning a range of genres including: children’s, fantasy, humor, inspiration, literary, memoir, mystery, paranormal, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult.

BWG has published five anthologies. Each anthology has an overall theme—broadly interpreted—but includes a variety of genres, and all but the first anthology include stories from the winner(s) of The Bethlehem Writers Short Story Award. Their first anthology, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales (2009), won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

Besides anthologies and yearly writing contests, the group publishes a quarterly literary journal, The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and hosts twice monthly writing workshops and a critique groups for local members.  You can see the schedule of BWG meetings and events, including author signings  here.


Next up for BWG

BWG is working on their sixth anthology, Fur, Feathers, & Scales: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales. 

In connection with this anthology, they are hosting The Bethlehem Writers 2020 Short Story Award

The 2020 Short Story Award opened on January 1, 2020.  The theme will be Animal Stories, broadly interpreted. Stories of 2,000 words or fewer about WILD ANIMALSPETS, or IMAGINARY BEASTS will be welcome (so long as an animal is an important character or element of the story).

The winner will receive $200 and may be offered publication in the above mentioned upcoming anthology. The 2020 Guest Judge is Edgar Award winning and NYT best-selling author Peter Abrahams/Spenser Quinn.

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Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC January Featured Author of of the Month

January 7, 2020 by in category Contests, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , , , ,

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), founded in 2006, is a community of mutually supportive, fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories, spanning a range of genres including: children’s, fantasy, humor, inspiration, literary, memoir, mystery, paranormal, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult.

BWG has published five anthologies. Each anthology has an overall theme—broadly interpreted—but includes a variety of genres, and all but the first anthology include stories from the winner(s) of The Bethlehem Writers Short Story Award. Their first anthology, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales (2009), won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

Besides anthologies and yearly writing contests, the group publishes a quarterly literary journal, The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and hosts twice monthly writing workshops and a critique groups for local members.  You can see the schedule of BWG meetings and events, including author signings  here.


An Interview

BWG members Carol L. Wright and A. E. Decker were interview for The WriteNow! Workshop podcast with Kitty Bucholtz.

Carol and A.E. share their wisdom and experiences in creating an online literary magazine. They explain how it all started, some of the mistakes made along the way, and how they found their groove.

In addition to the quarterly literary magazine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable (a paying market!), the group also publishes an anthology of short stories every other year. Early each year they host a contest based on the theme of the anthology. The annual winners are published in the anthology, and the runners-up are published in the online magazine. A celebrity judge chooses the best story. In 2019, John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, was the final judge. In 2020, Spencer Quinn/Peter Abrahams, author of the Chet & Bernie Mysteries, will be the celebrity judge.

More information on the contest can be found just below the video.


Next up for BWG

BWG is working on their sixth anthology, Fur, Feathers, & Scales: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales. 

In connection with this anthology, they are hosting The Bethlehem Writers 2020 Short Story Award

The 2020 Short Story Award opened on January 1, 2020.  The theme will be Animal Stories, broadly interpreted. Stories of 2,000 words or fewer about WILD ANIMALSPETS, or IMAGINARY BEASTS will be welcome (so long as an animal is an important character or element of the story).

The winner will receive $200 and may be offered publication in the above mentioned upcoming anthology. The 2020 Guest Judge is Edgar Award winning and NYT best-selling author Peter Abrahams/Spenser Quinn.

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Judging a Book by Its Cover

August 21, 2017 by in category Guest Posts tagged as , , , ,

It’s a saying we learn as children: Don’t judge a book by its cover. It means, of course, that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, and we should look within to discover the true meaning and worth of an object or a person. It’s an excellent lesson, made more memorable because of the catchy phrase we associate with it.

As we apply that to sage advice to many things, though, do we follow it literally? Most of us do exactly the opposite when it comes to actual books.

A book’s cover can tell us many things: the genre, the age group that is the target audience, and even how professionally the book has been produced. Take these two anthologies for example:  Once Upon a Time: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for All Ages, and Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse.

Certainly the titles and subtitles give us some clue as to genre and target audience, which is good since not every communication about a book comes with a cover image. But, as another old adage reminds us, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so the cover design has a greater impact than the title on our first impressions of a book. The two book covers for these anthologies are:

Judging a Book by Its Cover | Carol L. Wright | A Slice of Orange
These two covers elicit very different first impressions. The former (Once Upon a Time) is colorful, magical, and a bit whimsical. The font has a fairy tale feel. One would not have any qualms about picking it up and handing it to a child to leaf through. It invites children and adults into a world of imagination.

The latter cover (Day of the Dark) is mysterious, and bit foreboding. Looking at this cover, you would not expect it to be the reminiscences of people who have viewed an actual eclipse, despite its title. No—this cover tells us these stories are apt to be a bit darker. The color and font used for the subtitle, Stories of Eclipse, reinforces that impression. This book doesn’t reach out to a children’s audience the way the castle and happy dragon do on Once Upon a Time.

The same is true for books within the same genre. My new mystery, Death in Glenville Falls, has a cover that should tell you something about what might lie behind it:

Judging a Book by Its Cover | Carol L. Wright | A Slice of Orange

The colors are warm and inviting, and the scene charming. There’s even a cat. This idyllic scene might make you think of Jan Karon’s Mitford series. But there is clearly a sinister element afoot, for what foul force would result in the stabbed book in the foreground? This cover tells you that there is a mystery inside, but it falls within the traditional/cozy side of the genre. It might keep you up at night because you want to keep reading, but it probably won’t give you nightmares.

On the other hand, my friend Geoffrey Mehl has a book, Nine Lives, that also falls within the mystery genre. With a title like that, it could be the story of the cat on the cover of my mystery, but his cover looks like this:

Judging a Book by Its Cover | Carol L Wright | A Slice of Orange

The sinister element is certainly there—silhouettes of people holding guns—but none of the reassuring, small-town charm balances it. Instead, we see computer code streaming behind them. This is clearly an edgier, suspense novel—and probably one having to do with computer data.

The same can be true, even for books with similar titles—only the cover tells us whether it’s one we’ll want to pick up and read more about or not.  Take, for example, the books The Vampire’s Prisoner and Vampire King. Both titles suggest a powerful vampire is at work within the pages of the novel, but the covers give very different impressions. Look at:

Judging a Book by Its Cover | Carol L. Wright | A Slice of Orange
The two offer very different kinds of chills.

Selecting a cover is often solely left to the discretion of the publisher, but for independent or hybrid publishers, authors have more control over how their books will look. It’s important to bear in mind that the cover image and cover design are truly the potential reader’s first impression of your work. If the cover looks amateurish, the assumption will be that the contents are, too. If, however, your cover grabs the readers’ curiosity, they are more apt to pick up the book, turn it over, and read more about it. If the back cover copy confirms what the cover promises, they might then turn to read the first page. And if they like what they see there, you might well have made a sale.

And all because they have judged your book by its cover.

Carol 


Carol L WrightCarol L. Wright is a former book editor, domestic relations attorney, and adjunct professor. She is the author of articles and one book on law-related subjects. Now focused on fiction, she has several short stories in literary journals and award-winning anthologies. Death in Glenville Falls is her first novel.

She is a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, is a life member of both Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America, and a member of SinC Guppies, PennWriters, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group.

Raised in Massachusetts, she is married to her college sweetheart. They now live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with their rescue dog, Mr. Darcy, and a clowder of cats—including one named Dickens.

You can follow her Facebook page or learn more on her website.



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