Markets For Writers

Esther Newton has found some writing and poetry competitions that may be of interest to you.
Thank you, Esther, for your continuing efforts to help writers and poets find markets for their work!

Esther Chilton

This week’s market is for poets and for those who enjoy writing about nostalgia. Writing Magazine are inviting entries of up to 40 lines for their poetry competition, which ends on 15th November 2017.

The top prize is £100 and there’s £50 for the runner-up. Both winning entries will appear  in the magaazine.

The entry fee is £5, £3 for subscribers to Writing Magazine. For further information, visit the competition page.



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Anatomy of a Bad Review

What to do with a bad review… Thanks for sharing your perspective and constructive analysis, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

online-reviewers Thumb up and down buttons

I’ve been blessed. I’ve written a number of books. I’ve been very fortunate. Readers that I don’t know have given my work reviews that have, in the vast majority, earned four or five stars.

That’s why, when I receive a bad review, I like to study it and figure out if there is something I can learn to improve my work.

Let Me Be Frank - CoverWhen I signed onto the Amazon author’s site, I saw this review for my second book, Let Me Be Frank:

bad review

I’ve redacted the name in this review. I didn’t want to make this post about the person who submitted the review, I wanted to make it a teaching moment.

First, I looked at the review. It’s titled ‘Boring’ and starts out with the words ‘too slow’. This is valid criticism for a book and sometimes, in a detective novel, the pacing can be…

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Writing Workshop…Top Tips

Check out Esther Newton’s first Writing Workshop post! Lots more tips coming your way soon!
Welcome back, Esther!

Esther Chilton

Normal business on my blog will be resumed shortly but, in the meantime, I thought I’d take the opportunity to start a new series. Here’s the first in a series of writing workshops:

Top Tips…

For Creating A Cracking Short Story Opening

Hours can be spent tapping away at the computer keys, trying to come up with a gripping short story opening – one that will dazzle, amaze and astound. Here are some tips on how to make sure your story does just that:

  • Your opening paragraph has to grab your reader’s attention straight away. It’s no use filling it with lots of waffle. Your reader will switch off and move to another story.
  • There are several ways to hook your reader. Dialogue is a great tool:

 “I didn’t mean to do it. I’m not bad,” she said, her pale blue eyes awash with tears.  

“I’ve heard it all before…

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Obsession is Essential to Creativity

Author Libby Sommer talks about obsessions and writing. Read on!

Libby Sommer, Author

coffee cup, water, writing pad, pen on wooden table in cafe

Every once in a while, when I’m scratching around for something new to write, I make a list of the things I obsess about.  Thankfully, some of them change over time, but there are always new ones to fill the gap.

It’s true that writers write about what they think about most of the time.  Things they can’t let go: things that plague them; stories they carry around in their heads waiting to be heard.

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Connected short stories

Turn your short stories into a novel!
Thanks for this wonderful tip, Libby!

Libby Sommer, Author

exterior State Library of NSW State Library of New South Wales Sydney

I had a five minute spot last Wednesday at the Society of Women Writers monthly lunch meeting at the State Library of NSW in Sydney. I was given the opportunity to stand up in front of a microphone and speak about my two books. It was a chance to confront my fear of public speaking and tell everyone ‘The Crystal Ballroom’ (Ginninderra Press) had been launched the previous week in Melbourne. I’d only spoken in public twice before, at the two launches. It was a very scary experience. Apparently, most of us fear speaking in front of an audience more than death. So, even though I appeared confident, my hands kept up their shaking for some time after I sat down again. But very pleased with myself for doing it. Those more experienced than me tell me it gets easier every time.


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Another Potential Market for Indie Authors – Audio Books – Part 3

Here is part 3 of Don Massenzio’s series on the audiobook market.
Thank you, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

This is the third part of my post on considering  production as an audio book. If you want to read the first two parts, you can click Part1, Part 2.

In Part 1 of this post, I talked about finding a voice actor on ACX. I’ll pick up in this part with what to expect once you have submitted a proposal to a voice actor.

In Part 2, I talked about the audition, the offer and reviewing the first 15 minutes produced by the voice actor.

We will drill down in this part of the post into the production process and putting your book up for approval and sale once it is complete.

Reviewing the Final Product:

When you made your offer, you were asked to set two deadlines. The first was for the first 15 minutes to be completed and the second was for completion of the…

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I Am Not the Stories I Tell

Wonderful wisdom from author Libby Sommer. You are not who you write!
Thank you, Libby!

Libby Sommer, Author

two book covers: 'My Year With Sammy' and 'The Crystal Ballroom'

by Libby Sommer:

Sometimes when people read my stories they assume those stories are me.  They are not me, even if I write in the first person.  They were my thoughts and feelings at the time I wrote them.  But every minute we are all changing.  There is a great freedom in this.  At any time we can let go of our old selves and start again.  This is the writing process.  Instead of blocking us, it gives us permission to move on.  Just like in a progressive ballroom dance:  you give your undivided attention to your partner—keep eye contact for the time you are dancing together—but then you move on to the next person in the circle.

The ability to express yourself on the page—to write how you feel about an old lover, a favourite pair of dance shoes, or the memory of a dance on a chilly winter’s…

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Another Potential Market for Indie Authors – Audio Books – Part 2

Here is Part 2 of Don Massenzio’s series on audiobooks as a potential market for your writing.
Thanks, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

This is the second part of my post on considering your book for production as an audio book. If you want to read the first part, you can find it HERE.

In Part 1 of this post, I talked about finding a voice actor on ACX. I’ll pick up in this part with what to expect once you have submitted a proposal to a voice actor.

Let’s assume that you receive an audition from a voice actor for a sample of your work and you like what you hear and want to make a proposal to have him/her record your book.

The audition dashboard shown below is an example of what it will look like after you indicate that you like the audition.


If your offer is accepted, you’ll see something that looks like this:


As you can see, this view gives you a synopsis of your deal with…

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Another Potential Market for Indie Authors – Audio Books – Part 1

More helpful advice frm author Don Massenzio. Audiobooks!
Thank you, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

Back on May 17th, I published a post asking advice on the best way to go about creating an audio book from my independently published novels. I also asked if it was worth doing so. The response was overwhelming and for that I am greatly appreciative.

If you’d like to check out this post and the wonderful advice and encouragement I received, it’s right HERE.

In that short span of time, I have been able to put one audio book on the market with another in process and targeted for completion sometime in August. I received an email from the wonder Anette Rochelle Aben asking for any information I could provide on the creation of audio books since I was able to get one completed.

As I answered her email, I thought that the information I provided, plus a bit more, would make a useful blog post for other…

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A Fabulous Celebration

Author Libby Sommer launches her newest book!
Congratulations, Libby!

Libby Sommer, Author

Libby Sommer reading from her book while Stephen Matthews listensNicholas Building, MelbourneMelissa Bruce and Libby Sommer in Collected Works Bookshop

A big thank you to my publisher Stephen Matthews, Ginninderra Press for a wonderful afternoon of celebration last Saturday at Collected Works Bookshop in the historic Nicholas Building, Melbourne.

Ginninderra Press celebrated 21 years of independent publishing and Stephen Matthews launched my second book, ‘The Crystal Ballroom’. That’s him looking on as I read the first couple of pages of the story. The room was jam-packed full of people. Hopefully, the audience were enthralled and wanted to read the rest of my book.

Other Ginninderra Press writers from all over Australia attended the event and many read a poem or a story including my new friend, the award-winning Melissa Bruce.

We all enjoyed ourselves drinking wine and eating cheese and other tasty bits and telling each other about our work.

There was a long queue at the cash register at the end of the day 🙂

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