Nancy’s notes to contributors

editor/publisher of CommuterLit

Copyright is held by the author.

Years ago, I attended a week-long writers’ workshop. In the mornings we workshopped our stories; in the afternoons guest speakers would come to entertain and inform us on how to get published. Over the course of those afternoons, I gleaned some valuable ammunition that has stuck with me and kept me going through many rounds of publisher and agent rejections.

The first bit of ammunition came from a literary agent, who will remain nameless, who in answer to a question “what types of stories are you looking for?”, stated that she was not at all interested in stuff written about or by white, middle-class, middle-aged women. As a white, middle-class, middle-aged woman, who had just spent a pretty penny on this workshop, I was pissed off and completely discouraged. But through that discouragement and anger came a fierce determination to say what I needed to say to the world — regardless of those who thought my life experiences’ boring.

The next afternoon, Canadian writer, filmmaker, artist David Bezmozgis, in answer to a question about self-discipline and how to get yourself to write when you, strictly speaking, don’t have a deadline, said: “You do have a deadline. It’s called death.”

That pithy remark has stopped me from procrastinating on many occasions.

Below you will find some links to writers’ resources you might find interesting. Below that you will find links to previous Notes to Contributors’ Posts. 

Happy Writing.

Getting your Self-published Book Reviewed
Looking to get your book reviewed? There are reviewers who will charge to write a review and those that will not. Here are some resources for you:

Midwest Book Review

Indie Review

Self-Publishing Review

Best Book Review Blogs of 2018

Book Nerd Canada

Shopping your manuscript around? Beware of Fraudsters
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, under its Writers Beware program, posts THUMBS DOWN lists of Agencies and Publishers that members have complained about. Complaints include fees charged for everything, misleading advertising, author-unfriendly contracts and more. Before shopping your manuscripts around, take a look at these lists.

For more on this subject read this Quick Brown Fox blog by Brian Henry.

Three Awards Competitions for Self Publishers
Publicity, recognition, exposure to publishing houses and cash are just some of the benefits self publishers can win by entering their work in literary awards competitions. Here are three, specifically for self-published books, you might like to check out:

Writers’ Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Deadline: June 14, 2017

IndieReader Discovery Awards
Entries for 2018 start in September 2017.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Entries for 2018 accept now

Previous Notes to Contributors Posts:

“Finding Your Protagonist”

10 Common First-draft Problems

“On Being Stuck in a Loop and Unable to Reach your Writing Goals”

“Judging the Merits of a Story”

“Why Readers Keep Reading”

“Public Reading Tips for Writers”

“When to Give Up on a Manuscript”

“Five Signs Your Writers’ Group Isn’t Working for You”

“Write from Inside your Characters”

“How to Increase Pace and Write an Action Scene”

“Imagine your Story as a Movie”

“About Attributions”

“About Adverbs”

“How to Write a Query Letter”