Writing

The Black River Chapbook Competition Deadline: May 31, 2014

The Black River Chapbook Competition is a semi-annual prize from Black Lawrence Press for a chapbook of short fiction or poems. Entries should be between 16 and 36 pages in length. The winner will receive $500 and publication. Recent winners include: Lisa Fay Coutley, Amelia Martens, Charlotte Pence, Russel Swensen,  Nick McRae, Shane McCrae, Simone Muench, Blake Kimzey, and Caleb Curtiss.

Entry deadline for the Spring 2014 Competition: 

May 31, 2014. 

Complete submission guidelines are available here.

Very Short Fiction Contest – Deadline Oct 27

Bookkus Publishing is seeking very short fiction (250-1,500 words) for its fall competition. All entries should somehow address the theme of pregnancy and/or childhood. We want stories that inspire, warm your heart, make you laugh, and feel sincere about the trials, tribulations, and joys of being pregnant and having children. Stories from mothers, fathers, and siblings will give some great perspectives on our theme.
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Why Self-Published Authors Should Leave Negative Reviews on Amazon

I know a number of self-published authors who also love to help other authors with their book promotion by leaving reviews on Amazon. While most of these people won’t fake a good review if the book is horrible, most of them, because they feel some solidarity with other self-published writers, or whether they’re just too nice to leave critical reviews, will merely decline to leave a review for books that are too awful to write anything nice about. Continue reading

Author Facebook Ads


I’ve been noticing a few authors with Facebook ads showing up while I’ve been perusing my FB wall. I’ve been liking them as a matter of course, but I’m wondering if I should stop, so I can watch the evolution of the ads.

These are the ones I’ve captured so far. I think Patterson has the most compelling ad, since free offers are very successful on Facebook. Cornwell’s is aimed primarily at existing fans. I’m not sure DiCamillo’s strategy of pursuing aspiring authors is the best way to find new readers for her books, but it will get followers, I’m sure.

Rejection Doesn’t Stop Successful Authors

Some authors and books initially faced rejection before eventually becoming hugely successful. Bestselling authors such as Patricia Cornwell, J.K. Rowling and John Grisham received many rejections before getting their first book contracts.

Patricia Cornwell talks about working in a morgue before getting published, and even after, to pay the bills.