Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fiction Chapbook Contest

Fiction Chapbook Contest

Keyhole Magazine is sponsoring a fiction chapbook competition. The prize includes $250 and 25 copies of the chapbook.

Judge: Michael Martone

Deadline: December 1, 2008.

Michael Martone's most recent books are Racing in Place, a book of essays, Double-wide, his collected early fictions, and Michael Martone, a memoir done in contributor's notes. With Lex Williford he recently edited The Scribner's Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction and The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction. He lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he teaches at the University of Alabama.

Manuscripts must be between 30 and 50 pages--not including the title page, table of contents, etc. Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Entries cannot have been previously published as a collection/chapbook. If any part of your entry has been previously published, please include acknowledgments.

The reading fee is $15. Payment accepted through PayPal at

Entrants will receive further instructions via email after payment is processed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Follow your bliss... any age.

There has been a great deal of talk recently about the novel, The Heretic's Daughter, by Kathleen Kent (Little, Brown). The book is receiving rave reviews and was featured on the publisher's fall catalog cover.

I haven't read the book (yet), and I don't know the author, but I wanted to mention something else that I find remarkable about the publication of this book.

This a debut novel. Not only is this Kathleen's Kent's first book, it is her first publication of any kind.

Kathleen Kent spent five years writing and researching the story, based on a personal family history.

Kathleen Kent is 54 years old.

Think of this for a moment: Kathleen Kent spent the first 50 years of her life raising a family and working in a field that had nothing to do with writing. She began writing at an age when many people are thinking about early retirement. Not only did she begin her writing career at a fairly late age, she put the time and energy into it to produce an excellent book and make good things happen. Kathleen Kent has set an example that every aspiring writer should emulate.

Whatever your age--whether you are 20 or 70--do not let your doubts and fears hold you back from pursuing your dreams. If you have decent health and a strong mind, you, too, can make good things happen.

If writing is your passion, here are few easy pointers to remember:

Write every day. Musicians know that practice improves the craft. Pablo Casals, one of the greatest cellists in the world, continued to practice cello several hours a day well into his 90s. When he was asked by a friend why he still worked so hard on the cello, he said, "I think I'm improving." Writers need to remember this lesson. Practice, practice, practice.

Read--a lot. Why re-invent the wheel when you can learn the tricks from the masters? Read the classics, great works of literature, and works in the genre you write. Study the techniques of craft and apply them to your own work.

Believe in yourself and treat your writing as something essential in your life. We do first what is most important to us. If you are serious about your writing, then put it at the top of your priority list.

Happy writing! And, if you get a chance, take a look The Heretic's Daughter. It sounds terrific.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mike's Writing Newsletter

The September issue of Mike's Writing Newsletter is now available. Don't miss my new article, "Your Writing Space," a piece about organizing your writing workspace.

You can subscribe to Mike's Writing Newsletter for free by sending an email here.

Get your free copy today! It's a great writing resource, filled with interviews, articles, helpful links, job listings, and writing resources--a must for every writer's bookshelf.

Beginning Fiction Writing

I will be teaching a four-hour workshop on Beginning Fiction Writing on September 27, 2008. The full information is below:

Beginning Fiction Writing
Saturday, September 27, 2008
10:15 a.m.--3:15 p.m. (one hour break for lunch)
Fee $35.00 Peoria resident; $40.00 non-resident

Sunrise Mountain Branch Library
21200 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ
TelReg: 623-773-7725
Class Code 49686

You've always wanted to write a novel or short story, but where do you begin? This class will cover the basics of good fiction-writing. We will cover such topics as developing plot and conflict, creating interesting characters, writing believable dialogue, and more. There is $2.00 supply fee payable to the instructor at the start of class.

Friday, September 12, 2008

9th Annual WD Short Short Story Competition

Call for entries for the 9th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition

1. The competition is open to mss. of 1500 words or fewer. Type the word count on the first page of your entry, along with your name, street address, daytime phone number, and email address.
2. Entry fee: $12.00 per manuscript
3. All entries must be in English. They should be type-written, double-spaced, and printed on one side of the paper. Manuscripts must be stapled. Manuscripts will not be returned.
4. Postmark Deadline: December 1, 2008
5. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard if you want to be notified of your manuscript's receipt.

For more information and the online entry form, please go to: