A Panel of Writers Discusses How they Got Their Agents

I don’t know about you, but I’m currently looking for an agent. Here’s a podcast panel with five agented writers talking about how they connected with those all-important partners in the publishing business.

Click here to check it out.

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Join the discussion or start one.

Places to Submit for Free

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Building a resume is important, but it’s hard when so many journals and small publications charge for submissions. Sign up for this newsletter and you will be notified of places to submit for free. It’s an inbox treasure.

https://www.authorspublish.com/

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A Shaky Reading

On Sunday afternoon I went to a poetry reading. When I stood up to do my thing, Both my voice and knees began to shake.

What was going on? I performed as a storyteller every day in the school library for seven years. Then I remembered. That was thirty years, almost a lifetime, ago.

We all live so many lives. (I know if I walked up to my younger self, I’d scare the pants off her.)

The poem I botched on Sunday was from a sequence of dramatic monologues I wrote when we were living in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Yes, LA does have distinct neighborhoods. I’ll tell you more about them another time.)

I composed the piece in the late eighties or early nineties for a group of actors who teamed up with the Arroyo Arts Collective to do cold readings of local authors’ poems, short stories, and novel excerpts. The title was “The Marriage Bed.”

Mostly invented, the sequence drew on things that happened even earlier in my life, in the mid-sixties.

I was nineteen. I’d just run away and married my husband, a guy I’d dated a month.

On our first morning together the phone rang. One of my husband’s friends, Jim Ashley, lived in Ouray, a tiny nineteenth-century mining town in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. He worked for the Idorado Mine, the village’s economic engine.

The afternoon before, Jim had stepped on a rotten board just inside the mine entrance and plummeted down through a dark vertical tunnel all the way from the Red Mountain entrance to the Telluride entrance, hundreds of feet.

I didn’t know Jim, but that secondhand experience drilled itself into my mind. Every so often I fall into it, just as I did on Sunday.

There was one more layer to my shaky reading. After its first, last, and only cold performance by the Arroyo Arts Collective players, “The Marriage Bed” disappeared into my files. I made a few half-hearted attempts to send it out, but knew it was destined to be one of those things I did just for myself. (There are a LOT of those.)

Then I saw a call for an anthology in Coda (which later became Poets and Writers.) It was for ghost poems. The voice in one of the monologues in The Marriage Bed, “Frank,” was a ghost, the long-dead father of the husband in the story.   I sent it.

It was accepted. I’d forgotten about the book, Ghost of a Chance,  until Sunday. Looking at it, I was amazed. There I was, hired-gun ed writer, with Rita Dove, Billy Collins, and others famous for their poetry.

Then I remembered, huddling in the back seat of my dad’s ’41 Chevy, playing with the sounds of words. I must have been two or three.

We live so many lives. So many layered lives. Sharing them with others can be a shaky experience, but we only have the stage for a few minutes, so why not?

 

 

 

The Role of Practice in Writing

Here’s a great blog post (I recommend subscribing to this blog, by the way) about the nature and value of writing practice. It doesn’t mean the same thing as morning pages, though those are valuable, too, for different reasons.

Does the Write Practice Work?.

Prepare Now for Submit-O-Rama in October

I just found out about this today. It’s another monthly challenge. This one is held in October, just before NaNoWriMo. The assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to submit as many things as many places as possible in one month. Read all about it by clicking the link below. Start collecting resources, reading interviews, and saving submission sites now for maximum effectiveness.

our lost jungle: :Submit-O-Rama:.

Don’t Let Rejections Keep You from Writing or Submitting

I haven’t been rejected much lately, but just because I haven’t submitted much. I’m still working on my novel and I have a terrific assignment.

I’ve looked at my old picture book manuscripts, and most of them just don’t work for the current market. I have a new one that’s close, but I won’t have time to work on it this week.

Anyway, back to rejections. Everybody who sends work out gets them, even famous award-winning writers. I’ve come across some great posts on the subject that are worth sharing.

Thursdays with Amanda: Rejections Don’t Determine Your Worth as a Writer | Chip MacGregor .com.

The Only Person Like Him in the Whole Wide World

Here’s an author who has built a career on his very unique background and his amazing special interest. (I discovered him on Twitter this morning.) What is your unique set of interests? How can you share it in your books?

Amazon.com: Teodor Flonta: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle.