September 30, 2014, 11:00:02 PM
bigger smaller reset 800px Wide width Full width Reset * *

Writers Retreat

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Automatic registration is open again. If you have any questions, drop me a line --
Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
 on: September 10, 2014, 03:51:49 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by salex
Judy, it is hard to know when to "step back and make changes" and how to "move forward" after you receive form rejections. It is different for each writer. You are the one who has to decide when you need to move forward.

For me, there is no set rule. For my first book, I received enough rejections to paper my family room wall. But each one taught me to narrow my approach, write a better query, and really study the markets. Rejection to me is like a red cape to a bull--it makes me mad and even more determined, so I rarely get discouraged over them.

I do get discouraged though when I know I have written a solid query and researched the publisher/agent thoroughly, and then receive a form letter. When this happens, I give myself 2 days to fell bad--to tell myself I will never be a writer--to yell at the wall--and, to ignore my manuscript. After two days, I make myself read the manuscript from cover to cover without stopping with a yellow highlighter in hand. I correct anything I find confusing or mis-spelled, search for another publisher in my genre, rewrite the query so that it captures one's curiosity, and send it out again. Then I start a new project.

What Jan said about having three going at the same time is great if you can do it. I stick to two--a book and an article. Since I am publishing in low paying markets, I am building my credits and gaining more experience. Plus when an article comes out, I get to tell myself "See, you can write!" It's amazing how that dissolves any negative feelings.

 on: September 09, 2014, 07:09:37 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by judyr
No Mikki, I would never compare my discouragement over rejection to your son's illness. I have my family and they are healthy. That's more important to me than all of the success in the world. I do find your comments encouraging though, and I agree that writers aren't quitters.

You have mentioned before that getting published is only the beginning of the battle. What do you do to move forward when you're discouraged with the promotion process? I know for those of us that aren't published yet, we will have those issues to worry about in the future.

 on: September 08, 2014, 02:18:13 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by Mikki S
I don't suppose I can help in any way. I've never had to deal with discouragement, and have been very fortunate in that respect.

My daughter is a published author, my oldest granddaughter writes sitcoms for Warner Bros. TV, and they, along with the rest of my family, have always supported my writing...which, for publication purposes, came late in life. My husband, of course, is always there to encourage me.

But discouragement in life comes in other ways, and I have had to deal with that, and still do. I have found that when those moments come along, I stop whatever I'm doing, no matter how "important" it seems at the time. First, I sit down and concentrate on what that discouragement is. Is there anything I can do to change the situation? Usually, there isn't, as there wouldn't be for a rejection notice. Is there any thing I can learn from the situation? Sometimes ( not often, unfortunately) a rejection comes with some kind of explanation: the plot isn't what we want; the characterizations are not three-dimensional; the dialogue is stilted, etc.
Okay, those are things that can be learned from and worked on. But if nothing like that is there, then there is nothing to be done, nothing to be learned.

Then I do the second thing, and that is to get outside. This may sound like a cliche, but I don't mean it that way. I find peace and solace in the beauty of nature. Maybe that's because for so many years I've lived in two places...on our ranch and now here, on the coast...where I've been fairly well surrounded by nature. I used to take one of our horses out for long rides up in the I know most of you can't do that, but you can take long walks... and I would be happy in the moment...happy to see the sights, happy to smell the fragrancies of trees and flowers, happy to hear the sounds of birds and animals.

Two years ago, when our family learned of the devastating brain disease that is killing my son, my discouragement was at an all time high. I couldn't do what I wanted to do the most, get my favorite mare out of the barn and ride for hours, so I did the next best thing...with my husband's understanding. I went to the beach, and walked along the shore for a couple of hours.There was no other human being within sight, it was just me, the ocean, the breeze and the sand. I thought and I cried. I remembered and I cried. I cried.

But there was nothing I could do at that moment, about that particular situation, to change anything. It was what it was. It is, today, what it is. So I, and my family, go on. It is not in me, nor in my family, to give up. So we go on.

It's the same with a rejection, isn't it? You can think about what you wrote, you can consider what you might have said differently, you can cuss the agent or the editor who didn't understand and appreciate what you've written and how long and how hard you have worked, you can storm and you can cry.

But at that particular moment, in that particular situation, you can do nothing to change anything.
So what else is there to do, but to go on?

It is not in you to quit. If you were a quitter, you would not be a writer. So you go on. You find your own kind of peace in nature, or in whatever source is near you that can bring you that peace...and sometimes, it is the simplist of things, like a walk in the mall, shamelessly listening to the people around you; sometimes it's a cheery email coming from an unexpected friend you haven't heard from in a long time; sometimes it's just a talk with another writer, or your spouse or best friend. But it is there, that peace. You just have to find it.

And you never let discouragement win. You go on. You never let rejections win. You go on.

 on: September 08, 2014, 02:00:25 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by ColoradoKate
Thanks, Judy, and excellent questions!

 on: September 08, 2014, 01:54:36 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by judyr
Having read your novel, Kate, I have to say I think you are probably giving up to easily. Many people say wait until you get a hundred rejections to give up. But this does lead me to another question. How do you know when you should step back and make changes? What do you do to move forward if you get mostly form rejections?

 on: September 08, 2014, 12:28:20 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by ColoradoKate
You both have such great methods of dealing with what you know might discourage you!

I suggested this topic because I recently realized something. I'd always patted myself on the back because I thought I dealt well with the inevitable rejections that come with sending stories to magazines and query letters to agents.

Well... yeah. I didn't get upset; I didn't get weepy or angry or shuffle around feeling actively discouraged. But I've realized that what I do is give up, at least on that particular piece--it's like it's tainted, and surely if X wasn't interested in it, then Y and Z wouldn't be, either... and I don't like it much anymore, myself! I avoid subbing or querying other pieces, too, because, well, what's the point, really?

I don't have a question embedded in this; I've read and heard and used tons of tricks: have the next place for submitting a rejected piece to already planned out. Target carefully. Write to meet the needs of a magazine. Get critiqued. Rewrite the query letter if it doesn't succeed. Work on new things so you're not focused on waiting to hear about subs and queries. Study and get better. Remember that rejections are often because the piece isn't what the editor is looking for right now, not because it sucks. Subbing: just DO it.

I have the luxury of not needing to make a living from writing... but perhaps if I needed to, I would be much better at blasting my way through the discouragement!

So, even though I don't have a specific question, I'm looking forward to seeing what else folks have to say about this.

 on: September 08, 2014, 09:24:20 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by judyr
I read this chat a few months ago. At first I was intimidated at the idea of working on more than one thing at a time, but it really helps. In the back of my mind I'm always thinking even if this book never gets published, the next one might. Besides, having a WIP keeps me from sending out impulsive submissions just after a rejection. Sadly, I'm not published or making income yet, but I've learned to keep my samples up to date with the packagers I'm interested in ... so maybe someday...

 on: September 08, 2014, 07:40:33 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Obviously there are many discouraging things that come with the writing journey: rejection, writer's block, general pooh-poohing by those who should be supporting our dreams. Battling that can be tough. There have been times when the discouragement practically in capacitated me...but somehow writing always wooed me back. For any who aren't familiar with it, Nancy Sanders did a great chat about THE TRIPLE CROWN OF SUCCESS where she talks about how she manages to use a three-project approach to combat discouragement by a three prong approach. I'll quote from the chat here:

"I recommend to every writer I meet to always be working on 3 projects at the same time. I call this the Triple Crown of Success. Here's what these 3 are:
 1. Always be working on one project that you just want to write. (Write for personal fulfillment)
 2. Always be working on one project that you're writing for the no-pay/low-pay market. (Write to get published.)
 3. Always be working on one project that you're writing under contract so that you're earning income while you write. (Write to earn income.)"

Now, the number 3 generally means sending out submissions packets to publishers -- and this is basically what I do. All my writing comes from #3, but that's because discouragement (for me) grows out of rejection. And by limiting my writing to #3, I can both make a living and avoid rejection. Anyway, to read more of Nancy's method, the chat is at


 on: September 04, 2014, 04:49:21 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
September 4, 2014
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields --

"I often carry the germ of a story with me for years before I sit down to actually write it. Once I begin, most novels take a year or two to finish. The text for picture books may be shorter, but a picture book can still take me a year or two and many, many drafts to bring it to completion—dozens and dozens of drafts, as a matter of fact!"
-- Mary Casanova
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What's New at Kristi's?
5. Market
6. Cool Site
7. Essay
8. Good News
1. Kristi Holl is blogging again. Yay!
2. In the Rx
"Writing on Controversial Subjects" with Elaine Marie Alphin
"[If] you're going to write seriously about human nature, I think you're inevitably going to touch on things that make people uncomfortable and some of those things will result in controversy."
With the passing of Elaine Marie Alphin, I wanted to share this terrific chat. She was awsome, as always.
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
The August discussion on "Goal + Motivation + Conflict + Tension" is going on now.

And for all visitors whether registered or not, you'll find plenty of helpful information: get help for student lessons. Learn to build solid plots. Share your ups and downs with fellow writers. It's all there.
4. What's New at Kristi's?

Friday, August 29: "Round 'Em Up!"
I haven't done a round-up of "best writing articles on the web" in a long time. So, with that in mind, here's what I've been reading lately. I think you'll find these four articles helpful too.

Tuesday, September 2: "Writing Through Physical Pain"
Writers in pain--whether temporary or chronic, mild or severe--need ways to cope with it. Use these techniques so you can still write!

5. Scarletta Press Open to Submissions
Scarletta is open to submissions from Sept 1 - June 1.
They are no longer open to Middle Grade submissions.
"[W]e've realized that our greatest strengths play into producing quality picture books and children's nonfiction. The manuscripts we've considered in the past are no longer necessarily indicative of the Scarletta brand.... We have decided to spend our energy, resources, and attention focusing on quality picture books for our younger readers."

6. Writing for Children's Magazines
Check out the September issue -- it's terrific as always.
NOTE: Ev is accepting articles about writing for magazines. This is a GREAT place to get some exposure and share what you're learning along the way in your writing journey. Ev does so much for the writing community with her materials, let's give back with some helpful articles on writing.
6B. Check Out These Two Upcoming Highlights Foundation Workshops

Poetry for the Delight of It 2014
September 29-October 2
Delight yourself and study poetry writing with David Harrison, whose 80 published books have sold more than 15 million copies.

Rekindling the Fire
November 13-16
Do you struggle to balance your busy schedule with your commitment to writing? When you finally find time to write, is your energy depleted? This workshop is designed to leave you inspired and equipped with skills to integrate a flourishing writing practice into your current lifestyle.

7. When Educational Publishers Ask for Your Resume

A resume that you send on first contact with a publisher (especially an educational publisher) is not the same kind of resume you would use to find a job as a teacher or other position. The writer's resume is basically a map of writing experience and any useful knowledge/experience/expertise in your brain because that’s where the gems that interest the publisher lie. Approach your resume by asking yourself, why does the publisher want to see my resume? What’s in it for him/her? The publisher approaches your resume like a detective: “what do I see here that I could make use of?”


So what kinds of things will you need to include? One very "normal" resume item is education. Much of the time, the scope of your education doesn’t matter, but occasionally an editor will look specifically for someone with a certain level of education (this is especially true with assessment writing or when a publisher is looking for a specific kind of expert.) Or a publisher may look for someone who’ll look good in their catalogue because of education level. Education is almost always a bonus, but (most of the time) it's not a deal breaker.
Another "normal" resume item is job experience, but most of the time, the jobs you've held won't be of interest to a publisher. However, if you have educational or classroom experience, or experience working with children in another setting, this will be of interest. It will suggest that any school scenes or similar moments in the book will be based on much more recent experience than your memories of your own childhood.  For example, if you’re pitching a fiction series that takes place in the classroom to an educational publisher, you BETTER have classroom experience as a teacher, room mom or other volunteer or the publisher will pass because they will worry that your books won't mirror modern classroom settings.

Even experience with children’s Sunday School or Girl Scout leader suggests you are familiar with children TODAY and won’t be writing with only your memories of what childhood was like when you were a kid. And if your experience is unusual, you never know what a publisher will cherry pick THAT part of the resume and ask for a proposal on it. For example, I once volunteered to help with a creative problem solving competition. I mentioned that in passing to an educational publisher and was asked if I'd consider sending a proposal connected to that experience.

Focus on skills & experience

Any area where you are already an expert will shave time off the learning curve, so if you’re a licensed diver, or you’ve taken a flying course, or you can rock climb, or whatever – put it in. BUT be careful NOT to include things that you don’t want to write about. If you're a licensed pilot but don't ever want to write books related to flying, you might not want to mention being a pilot because editors will ask. So add in any unusual expertise, experience or interest. You honestly never know what will spur interest and result in an assignment offer.

Make the Resume look LIGHT

The easy your resume is to consume, the more likely an editor is to examine every item on it. Keep in mind, this is a different document than the one you would send when seeking a job. You don't need to give addresses and dates and extensive information about each place where you've worked. The removal of all that extraneous detail will help you to make your resume look like something a publisher could easily look over on even the most stressful day. So don't overburden the document. Don't try to look too academic. The look you're going for is clean, light, and easily consumed. If you don't have a website, but you're regularly submitting to publishers who ask for resumes -- consider getting a website. It's a great place to put the more extensive details you didn't put on the submitted resume. And it's a great place to load more writing samples. The kinds of editors who ask for resumes are also the kind who check out websites -- so having a clean, professional website to back up your resume is always a bonus.

8. Good News

Donna Marie West: Just want to tell you my short story, “Something Special Money” has been accepted by OUR LITTLE FRIEND and will appear in print in January, 2015. And I just saw that my non-fiction piece, “The Improbable Platypus” is in the September issue of GUARDIAN ANGEL KIDS.

Jennifer Sparlin (writing as J.R.Sparlin): When my historical fantasy novella for young adults, The Sea at Mughain, went out of print, I self-published it under the imprint Dragon Central Publishing.  It's available in print or as an e-book from Amazon and  So far it's selling better!

Kelly Hashway: I've signed with Spencer Hill Press for the 2016 release of FADING INTO THE SHADOWS, a YA fantasy.

Sara Matson: My story, "Pigskins and Pirouettes," was published in the September issue of CRICKET. This is my first publication with that magazine, so I'm pretty excited!

What's Your Good News? Send to -- be sure to put "good news" in the subject line since I get a lot of book announcements due to the review work I do. So I don't want your good news to slip through the cracks.

9. For All Subscribers

Many of our enews issues are being blocked from getting to all of our subscribers. It can be difficult to convince your email provider that you truly want to receive this enews. Therefore we've created a list of directions to make it easier for you find the exact steps to ensure the enews always makes it to your inbox.

Please, check out this link for specific directions to ensure you get every issue of the Children's Writers eNews.

To Unsubscribe from the email version of Children's Writers eNews, go to
NOTE: I can add you, remove you, or change your address manually and will be happy to do so.
To have your address changed, email and do the following:
1. TELL ME that it's a change of address for the enews. I handle a lot of things so if you don't tell me what you want me to do, I may not do it.
2. TELL ME your OLD address as well as the NEW one. I cannot search by your name. I need the old address.
3. DO NOT send me a mass mailing that you sent to everyone in your address book that just tells me your new email. I won't know what you want me to do or if it's really for me at all. And I'll probably just delete it.

 on: August 29, 2014, 06:33:57 PM 
Started by nickraw - Last post by hardt
Emily Miller, a reporter, has many articles.

Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
Powered by SMF 1.1.7 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC
Leviathan design by Bloc | XHTML | CSS