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Make Your Own Luck

February 19, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,

Monica Stoner, Member at Large

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the ‘luck’ intrinsic for success in the publishing world. And it sounds like a great discussion.  Except, well…hogwash.  Yeah, you heard me right, that’s pretty much a lot of bilge water emptying into the ocean.  Sure there’s luck involved.  Absolutely some writers just happen on to the right publisher, the right agent, at the right time.  But, as Harry Stone (Night Court…remember him?) pointed out, he might have been on the bottom of the list of judges to appoint, but he was on the list.  He had done the work and made the effort to qualify for that list.
By the same token, we can gag at the overwhelming popularity of writers whose books just aren’t that good, at least in our educated minds. We can point fingers at the lack of logic, or the grammar issues, but the fact is they’ve written those books, generally a lot of those books. And those books are what their fans want to be reading. While we’re stressing over the poor writing, they’ve written another book, and again it’s at the top of the Amazon rankings.
Maybe luck does have something minor part to play in readers enjoying their work.  But luck has nothing to do with them producing that work. As much as we want to bow down to our muse, or curse the lack thereof, the relevant issue here is just plain hard work. They possess a work ethic that has them at the keyboard early and late, that doesn’t allow them to check e-mail or cruise Facebook until their pages are done, and their word count is met.  Are they the best writers in the universe? Maybe, maybe not. But if quality of writing is based on the books which are written, and not those being mulled over in the mind of the writer…then yeah they probably are.
Okay, this is a bit of a whine since my work ethic is pretty much down the tubes. But I’m giving up complaining about luck, and even being envious of someone else’s ability to get things done. All of this produces artificial road blocks to accomplishing any sort of goal…and I’m getting a lot better at setting those goals.  Who’s ready to start that journey of a million words with me???

I realize I’m late putting fingers on keyboard and sharing this month’s thoughts. If you have just a minute more I need to share my thoughts on the loss of a wonderful woman who believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. Simply said, be at peace Barbara.  You touched so many lives.

Monica writes as Mona Karel

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New Year, New Writing (Calls for Submission)

December 31, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,

Many authors have a goal of writing in 2013. How about taking it one step further and submitting, too? Kick off the new year with some creative inspiration with these calls for submission, and if you need an extra kick in the pants – a watcher, if you dare, then I’m teaching a “Writing the Short Story for Anthology Call-Out” starting mid-January for Savvy Authors. More information below!
Cosmo Red Hot Reads
If you write romance, you had to have heard of this call. I’m already planning a submission. A super-fun short story I wrote (about 5,000 words), and never submitted anywhere. Want to finish it up, expand it, if necessary, and submit!

Cosmo
Red Hot Reads from Harlequin feature contemporary, fun, sexy stories for today’s fun fearless females!
The Heroine:
  • She is the Cosmo woman: fun, fearless, female
  • She is independent
  • She does not need a man to make her life complete, but he is the icing on the cake
  • She’s adventurous and daring both in the bedroom and out!
  • She values her female friendships
  • She is focused on her career
  • Our heroine (and hero) grew up with reality TV, texting, online dating
  • She is most likely in her early to mid-twenties
  • The heroine drives the story

Key Elements:
  • Sexy romantic relationship with a satisfying ending
  • Love scenes are frequent, fun, detailed, fantasy-oriented and push the envelope
  • A strong conflict
  • Fast-paced, snappy dialogue, witty repartee
  • Strong female lead
  • A hero that you want to spend the weekend in bed with
  • Fresh, contemporary voice

Stories Can/Will: Include multiple points of view; be told in first person; be contemporary (but not paranormal please!); urban international settings are good; heroes can be bad boys, successful entrepreneurs, geeky scientists—different flavors of men for different fantasies.
Stories are 25,000–30,000 words, 2 titles a month, digital first, launching late spring/early summer 2013. For more information, visit http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1784&chapter=0
ROUGH & TUMBLE
Theme: Fight Clubs, Tattooed Warriors, Muscled Bad Boys
From fight clubs to medieval warriors, dueling cowboys to tattooed mercenaries, what happens when the tough fall hard. Silver Publishing is looking for stories involving those hot men we love to read about. What happens when the mighty fall?
Boxers, ninjas, medieval warriors, gladiators, bouncers –the list goes on and on. Submission close: Feb. 1, 2013. Click on the link for word count, character pairing, cover info, release date and more! http://sp-pub.com/fKOWq
YA Suspense and then Some!

Theme:  Goosebumps Galore!
Do you have a story that will have readers looking over their shoulders and double checking their doors? We want your most spine tingling tales… truly suspenseful stories only involving young adults. Everything from edge of your seat to horror is welcome!


• 15k+ words
• Romance and Non-Romance
• All Genres
• No sexually explicit content



Submission Deadline: January 5, 2013

Release Date: May 25, 2013. While this deadline is really soon – more for those almost done, they also have an YA Fantasy & Adventure call due March 23.
Note: at its base, every story within the Young Adult section should involve issues important to young adults—these can be directly related to the storyline or sub-plots that they young adult tackles along the way. No topic is considered taboo as it relates to this age group; however, sensitive topics require sensitive treatment, so please keep that in mind as you craft your stories.

BDSM Anthology(ies) 
Secret Cravings Publishing is putting together a BDSM Anthology. Depending on how many stories accepted, this anthology may come out in volumes, as many as needed to get the smutty, romantic goodness to the masses. Here’s what I want: BDSM stories of any flavor from uber-kink (keeping the rules of publisher in mind regarding scat, rape, etc) to light vanilla, first-time play. Anywhere from your most Dom males to femdom to menage to an orgy, if you can pull it off and are so inclined. Even bondage out of this world on some foreign planet. Or a world of your own creation where BDSM rules the land ala The Sleeping Beauty series. Any sub-genre, mystery, paranormal, contemp, etc. I want intelligent, hot, tension filled erotic romance or erotica with a HFN or HEA ending. So long as you keep me reading every word from the first page, whether it hurts so good or tickles like a feather is all up to you. Due March 1.

Caveats:
No M/M pairings
Submissions must be 15-20k in length
Steamy to burning the page stories wanted, nothing behind closed doors here
Submissions must be formatted in SCP House Style upon submission
Usual no-no’s apply regarding rape, bestiality, scat, necrophilia, etc. Send all submissions to faithsommerseditor@gmail.com
Riverdale Avenue Books (RAB) – New Publisher
Riverdale Pop is our pop culture line. We are actively looking for both authorized and unauthorized biographies of celebrities who have captured the cultural spotlight, mostly current, but a blast from the past might be occasionally appropriate. We will also be publishing books about favorite TV shows, movies, and pop cultural phenomenon.

Riverdale/Magnus is our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) imprint. We are looking for titles, both fiction and nonfiction, in a wide variety of areas, including popular culture, entertainment, biography/memoir, self-help, spirituality, and current affairs, among others.

Riverdale Desire
is our erotica and erotic romance imprint. We are looking for works of fiction from 50,00 to 65,000 words that explore either the erotic journey (erotica) or the quest for satisfaction with a happy ending or at least a happy–for-now ending. We will consider anthologies as well as novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words.
We are looking for erotica and erotic romance in the following subgenres: contemporary, historical, male/male (m/m,) female/female (f/f), ménage, paranormal (especially vampires, weres and zombies) and BDSM (especially novels featuring dominant women).

Riverdale Truth
is our erotic memoir imprint. We are looking for true stories of erotic exploration and adventures from midlife dating to the life of a swinger. This is nonfiction, but we will consider anonymous memoir. We will consider anthologies as well.

Riverdale HSF
is our horror, science fiction and fantasy line. We are looking for game- changing fiction in these categories. If anyone has ever read anything like your book before, we don’t want it; we want you to blow us away.
For submission guidelines, and more information, visit http://www.riverdaleavebooks.com
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The first time I taught Writing the Short Story for Savvy Authors last January, a handful of students went on to have their stories final in contests or get published. A half-dozen “repeat offenders” have already told me they’re signed up. I look forward to keeping that track record going!
Writing the Short Story for Anthology Call-out
Jan. 14-Feb. 10, 2013
Beginning writers are often told to: “Write the story you want to read, not what someone else might want to see.” This class, instead, deals with catering a short story specifically to a publisher’s request for submissions. Regularly, editors and publishers list upcoming anthologies and the types of stories they’re looking to include. 
The course will explore current call-outs, and students will be encouraged to write specifically for one anthology and to submit the work at the end of the course. Basic crafting of a short story, such as development, characterization, plot structure & dialogue also will be covered. Since most short stories fall within 2,500 to 5,000 words, we’ll also look at ways to making word choice count and the editing process.
— Louisa Bacio

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