Thursday, August 31, 2017

32 Writing Contests in September 2017 - No entry fees

There are more than two dozen free writing contests in September. They cover the full range of topics, styles and genres, from short stories, to essays, to poetry, to full-length works.

In addition to the prestige of winning a contest, some of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.

Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.

Many contests are held annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.

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Writers in Oxford CompetitionRestrictions: Oxfordshire writers aged 18-30.  Genre: Fiction, nonfiction. "Submissions are invited of a piece of writing ‘Inspired by Oxford.’ The work can be fiction or non-fiction, up to 500 words in length, and can have been previously published." Prize: Two prizes of £350 and three prizes of £100. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

PEN Prison Writing ContestRestrictions: Anyone incarcerated in a federal, state, or county prison in the year before the September 1 deadline is eligible to enter. Genres: Poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction. Prize: $200 top prize per category. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Cheshire Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire, UK. Genre: Original and previously unpublished children's story or poem. Prize: £2,000. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet ContestGenre: Poetry. Prize: $50, 2nd Prize $35, 3rd Prize $15, three Honorable Mentions, three Special Recognitions. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

On The Premises Short Story Contest. "For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the idea of community (or some kind of community) plays an important role." Prize: Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art WritingGenre: Scholarly essay. All work submitted must have been written or published within the last year. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Concis Pith of Prose and Poem ContestGenre: Poems, prose poems, visual poems, flash fiction, micro-essays or what-have-you. Prize: First prize $250 and publication. Deadline: September 3, 2017.

Pitch America  is a pitch contest created by Laura Pohl to focus on submissions and books produced by Latino voices. This contest will feature the first 500 words and the 35-word pitch of completed and polished manuscripts written by Latinos. Please keep it in mind that this exclusively for Latino writers. Prize: Chance at representation. Deadline: September 3, 2017

Young Lions Fiction AwardRestrictions: Open to US citizens 35 years of age or younger. Genre: Novel or a collection of short stories published between January 2017 and December 2017. Submissions by publisher only. Authors may not submit their own work. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: September 8, 2017.

Solid Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genre: Essay (See site for topics.) Minimum number of words is 600 and maximum is 800. Prize: Scholarship of $1000. Deadline: September 8, 2017.

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry PamphletsRestrictions: Poetry poetry pamphlet must be published in the UK between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2017. Genre: Poetry. Prize:  £5,000. Deadline: September 13, 2017.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingGenre: Book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. Book must be published in Canada. Prize: CAN$25,000.00. Deadline: Books published between July 5 and September 12 must be received by September 13, 2017.

VCU Cabell First Novelist AwardGenre: First novel published January–June 2017. No self-published books. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: September 14, 2017.

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer FellowshipRestrictions: Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. Genre: Book-length children's or young-adult fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Cha International Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Each poem must be a translation (loosely defined) of a text (loosely defined) from/about Hong Kong or China, written originally in English or Chinese, into a poem that is about contemporary Hong Kong. Prize: First Prize US$1501; Second Prize US$800; Third Prize US$400 and five Commended Prizes, each US$100.  Deadline: September 15, 2017.

The PEN/Heim Translation FundGenre: Book-length works of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama in translation. Beginning in 2017, under the administering of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, PEN will also offer the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature. From the pool of annual submissions, judges for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund will select one project of narrative prose that has been translated into English from the Italian to receive this award, which will come with a $5,000 prize. Prize: $2000 - $4000. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Outlook Springs Creative Nonfiction PrizeGenre: Creative nonfiction between 1,500 and 8,000 words. Prize: $500. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Past Loves Day Story ContestGenre: Short personal essay. "Nearly everyone has memories of a former sweetheart. Write your true story of an earlier love, in no more than 700 words. Tell us about someone whose memory brings a smile or a tear." Prize: $100 top prize. Deadline: September 17, 2017.

Good Read Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 19 or older at time of entry. Genre: Personal essay. What was the happiest moment of your life? Prize: $3,000. Deadline: September 18, 2017.

2017 Inspiring the World Journalism CompetitionGenre: Journalistic article on an inspiring theme. (See site for list of themes and examples.) Word count: 500 to 1,000 words. Prize:  $5,000. Deadline: September 18, 2017.

Kathy Fish Fellowship for Emerging WritersRestrictions: All writers previously unpublished in SmokeLong Quarterly and who do not have a published chapbook or book-length work in any genre (or are not under contract for such) are eligible to apply. Genre: Flash fiction (1000 words max). Prize: $500. Deadline: September 20, 2017. (The contest is free up until Sept 20, but requires fee after that date.)

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers ProgramRestrictions: Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut. Authors cannot submit their own work to the program; self-published writers and titles published via print-on-demand or available only as NOOK books are also ineligible for submission. Genres: Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative will be considered. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience. Prize: $35,000 to six writers. Deadline: September 21, 2017.

Sunday Times EFG Short Story AwardRestrictions: The award is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who is published in the UK. Genre: Short story. Prize: £30,000.Deadline: September 28, 2017.

Writers Online Picture Book PrizeGenre: Unagented and unpublished picture book up to 800 words. (No illustrations.) Prize: £200 and critique. Deadline: September 29, 2017.

Cullman Center Fellowships. Fellowship. The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers—academics, independent scholars, journalists, and creative writers. Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Award: A stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources. Deadline: September 29, 2017.

Lilith Magazine Fiction CompetitionGenre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250.  Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Lee & Low Books New Voices Award is sponsored by Lee &Low Publishers. Restrictions: The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published. Genre: Children's books - fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Prize: $1,000 and publication. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Iowa Short Fiction and John Simmons Short Fiction AwardsGenre: Short story collection. The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. Prize: Publication by the University of Iowa Press, royalties. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is held four times a year. Restrictions: The Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment of at least six cents per word, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits. Genre: Short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. Prizes: $1,000, $750, $500, Annual Grand Prize: $5,000.  Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction ContestGenre: Short fiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Solution Loans Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to UK residents 18 years and up. Genre: Short fiction on theme of "Coins." Prize: £200 and publication on the Solution Loans website. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Salisbury Story PrizeGenre: Short fiction (500 words) on theme of "City of Stories. Open to ages 4 and up. Prize: £50 for children to be spent at Waterstones. Free online course for adults. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

35 Fabulous Writing Conferences in September 2017

If you have the time and the money, attending a conference is the best thing you can do for your writing career. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with other writers, meet agents and pitch your book, and learn how the publishing industry works from editors and professionals in the field.

There are nearly three dozen exciting conferences in September. Workshops, retreats, and festivals are held in locations that span the country. If you miss your perfect conference, don't worry. Many of these are annual events, so plan ahead for next year!

For a month-by-month list of conferences throughout the year see: Writing Conferences. (You will also find links to resources that can help you find conferences in your area on that page.)

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DragonCon. Sept. 1–4, 2017, Atlanta, Ga. HUGE sci-fi event, with parade, autograph sessions, live performances, readings, wrestling (!), workshops on belly dancing, writing (yes, there's even some writing), art show. (This conference sounds really wild.)

2017 LoonSong Retreat. September 7-11, 2017, Cook, Minnesota. Award winning writers and teachers: Gary Schmidt, MT Anderson, Candace Flemming, Eric Rohmann, Marion Dane Bauer and more in an intimate setting for those who write for Children and Young Adults.

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. Sept 8 - 10, 2017: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Faculty: TBA.

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, Denver, CO. Keynote Speakers: Diana Gabaldon, Sherry Thomas & Lori Rader-Day. Faculty includes a wide variety of published authors, marketers, editors, and agents. Opportunities to pitch projects to agents and editors.

Connecticut Fiction Fest. Sponsored by Connecticut Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, Norwalk, CT. Keynote Heather Graham, master class taught by Jane Friedman. 20+ workshops, suitable for all genres and skill levels, full suspense-mystery track, manuscript critiques, opportunities to pitch major agents and editors.

Poets on the Coast. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, La Conner, Washington. Workshop, one-on-one mentoring, craft classes, and yoga for women poets. The faculty includes poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich. Tuition, which does not include lodging or meals, is $395. Waitlisted.

49 Writers Tutka Bay Retreat. Sept. 8- 10, 2016, Tutka Bay, Alaska. Guest Instructor: Louise Erdrich.

Creatures, Crimes & Creativity. September 8 - 10, 2017, Columbia, MD. A writer's and fan's conference for genre fiction covering mystery, suspense, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk & horror.

San Francisco Writing for Change. Sept 9, 2017, San Francisco, CA. This event is for writers of nonfiction AND fiction who want to change the world for the better through their work.

Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Sept 9 - 10, 2017, Brooklyn, NY. Craft workshops, panels, and one-on-one agent meetings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Participating authors include fiction writers Julia Fierro, Angela Flournoy, Justin Taylor, and Hannah Tinti; and nonfiction writer Alison Kinney. Participating publishing professionals include Ibrahim Ahmad (Akashic Books), Helen Atsma (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Libby Flores (PEN USA), Margaux Weisman (Knopf); and agents Andrea Barzvi (Empire Literary), Michelle Brower (Aevitas Creative Management), Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Union Literary), Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Erin Harris (Folio Literary Management), Annie Hwang (Folio Literary Management), Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management), Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary), Christina Morgan (Serendipity Literary), Andrea Morrison (Writers House), Monica Odom (Bradfor Literary), Anjali Singh (Ayesha Pande Literary), Sarah Smith (David Black Literary), and Saba Sulaiman (Talcott Notch Literary).

UCLA Extension Writing Retreat at Lake Arrowhead. Sept 10 - 15, 2017, Lake Arrowhead, CA. Join a small group of committed writers for four full days of uninterrupted writing time at UCLA’s beautiful conference center at Lake Arrowhead. Participants will enjoy private bedrooms, private baths, and three gourmet meals each day, along with complimentary beverages all day long. The Writers’ Program will coordinate some structured activities, including pre-dinner social hours and nightly open mic events, but your time will ultimately be yours to accomplish your writing goals at your own pace.

Brooklyn Book Festival. September 11-17, 2017, Brooklyn, NY. Readings, panels, workshops, and a book fair. Participants include Karl Ove Knausgård, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud, Chris Hayes, Carolyn Forché, Sarah Dessen, Alexandra Bracken, Thi Bui, Lynn Nottage, Hisham Matar, Maira Kalman and hundreds more! All events are free and open to the public.

Haiku North America Conference. September 13 - 17, 2017, Santa Fe, NM. Conference devoted to haiku as a literary art. Includes presentations, readings, panels, bookfair, exhibits, banquet, anthology. Faculty: William Higginson, Jane Hirshfield, Jim Hackett, George Swede, Haruo Shirane, Sonia Sanchez, John Brandi, Michael Dylan Welch, Jim Kacian, Lee Gurga, Emiko Miyashita, Fay Aoyagi, Ce Rosenow, Lucien Stryk, Gerald Vizenor, Charles Trumbull, Richard Gilbert.

Algonkian Writer Retreat and Novel Workshop. September 13 - 17, 2017, Sterling,Virginia. This event is now enhanced with new pre-event studies and pre-event phone consultation, a broader range of faculty, an array of vital workshops, as well as extended personal time with business professionals. "You can be as goal-oriented or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, have your work read by our writer mentors, attend our workshops, pitch a literary agent or two, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer.

Hampton Roads Writers Ninth Annual Writers' Conference. Sept 14 -16, 2017, Virginia Beach, Virginia. 1 evening plus 2 full days of workshops, 2 best-selling keynoters, 2 first ten-lines critique sessions, 50 workshops during 10 breakout sessions, ten-minute agent pitches, NO-FEE, cash-prize contests for short fiction, short non-fiction, and poetry, FREE 90-minute networking social with food and drink, and evening 2-hr open mic session. Optional conference features include: first 10-pages manuscript review. Workshops cover fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, and the business of getting published. A book shop, book signings, and many networking opportunities will be available.

Historical Realities In Fiction For Children 2017. Sept 14 – 17, 2017, Honesdale, PA. "Join professor, linguist, and author Donna Jo Napoli with her special guest, Professor of Latino/a Literature and Culture and Youth Literature and Media, Marilisa Jiménez García, as they work with you to build an understanding of the role of writing stories to process historical narratives. There will be daily lectures from the faculty paired with one-on-one feedback on your own writing. Build a deeper understanding of the role fiction plays in understanding our shared history."

Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Sept. 15–16, 2017, Lexington, KY. The Kentucky Women Writers Conference is the longest running literary festival of women in the nation. About 1,000 individuals attend the conference each year. Daytime sessions attract about 150 writers at all stages of development, and free evening events gather a lively community of readers. Most come seeking literary sisterhood, help with a manuscript, or practical advice about the publishing industry. Many are students or beginning writers.

2017 Free Expressions Seminars-Emotional Craft of Fiction. Sept. 15–16, 2017, Seattle, WA. Featuring Donald Maass. Based on psychological research and extensive study of what makes novels emotionally gripping, workshop participants will discover how to go beyond showing or telling to create an emotional journey for readers--one unseen but nevertheless deeply felt and ultimately unforgettable.

Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference. Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Columbus, GA, "Whether you write prose or poetry you can explore capturing thoughts, observations, and reflections with the written word. The sessions will be criticism free. You will be exposed to various writers and their styles, and work on editing, polishing and expanding writings into something that is reflective of your personality and talents. You should leave with a piece of original work and a sense of writing as an avenue to discovering self."

Be a Better Freelancer  Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Rochester NY. Annual conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, website managers and developers, etc., with presenters offering guidance and tips on marketing, promotions, new skills and other business aspects of freelancing. Focus: Nonfiction.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival at Boulder. Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Boulder, CO. Presentations, panels, readings, and music performances. Themes at the 2017 festival include migration, U.S. gun culture, nature and the environment, Native American rights, and LGBT, Latino, African American, and Native American voices. Authors include fiction writers Anosh Irani, Alberto Ruy-Sánchez, Navtej Singh Sarna, and Akhil Sharma; and nonfiction writers Johanna Hanink, Paulo Lemos Horta, Erling Kagge, and Dan-el Padilla Peralta. The conference is free, but you have to register in advance.

Historical Writers of America. September 21 - 24, 2017: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Workshops for fiction and nonfiction, research, the submission process, the road to publication, and the life of a historical writer; networking opportunities including keynote luncheon and dinner, theme receptions, and collaboration and brain-storming sessions.

New York Pitch Conference. Sept 21 - 24, 2017, New York NY. Features publishing house editors from major houses such as Penguin, Random House, St. Martins, Harper Collins, Tor and Del Rey, Kensington Books and many more who are looking for new novels in a variety of genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals.Workshops, homework & pitch training, agent/editor feedback, market study, publication plan.

North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference. Sept 22 - 23, 2017, Crescent City, CA. Workshops on writing, poetry, memoir, editing, social media, marketing, fiction, submitting.

Ridgefield Writers Conference. Sept 22 - 23, 2017, Ridgefield, CT. Faculty-led workshops; agent, editor and publisher panels; networking; readings; and post-conference resources. Registration closes Sept 1.

Big Sur on Cape Cod. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, North Falmouth MA. Faculty: Andrea Brown and four of her agents, four editors and four authors.

A Weekend For Words. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, Irvine, CA. 60+ working, professional authors of fiction, nonfiction & screen, editors & agents. Costs $325-$425. Manuscript critique & one-on-one consultation additional.

LiTFUSE Poets’ Workshop. September 22 - 24, 2017, Tieton, WA. Faculty Paisley Rekdal, Tod Marshall, Nance Van Winckel, Joe Wilkins, Tim McNutly, Derek Sheffield, Michael Schmeltzer, Alexander Dang, Carolyne Wright, Christine Holbert, LaRae Wiley, and Shankar Narayan.

The Pacific Coast Children's Novel Workshop & Retreat. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, Santa Cruz, CA. Intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Faculty includes Katherine Harrison, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, Brianne Johnson, Senior Agent at Writers House, and Sarah Landis, Agent at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference. Sept 23, 2017, St. Augustine, Florida. Among this year's scheduled authors are Ann Taylor, Christopher Tozier, Andrew Nagorski, Rich Wickliffe, Elizabeth Randall, Marty Jourard, and many more.

Western Reserve Writers Conference. Sept 23, 2017, South Euclid, Ohio. This free one-day writing conference takes place at Cuyahoga County Public Library's William N. Skirball Writers' Center, located in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch library. It features a choice of breakout sessions, a keynote address, and private sessions with editors. It occurs annually on the 4th Saturday in September.

2017 Flathead River Writers Conference. Sept 23 - 24, 2017, Kalispell, MT. Writers help writers in this two day conference packed with energizing speakers and workshops. Features:Workshops on VOICE, HOOK, Your WORLD & TRIBE, MS preparation & submission, working with agents, movie deals, media use, & children's book publishing. Authors: Susan Adrian, Christine Carbo, Kathy Dunnehoff, Larry J. Martin, Jess Owen. Agents: Kate Testerman and Cindy Uh.

2nd Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference. Sept 23 - 24, 2017, Decatur, GA. In addition to attending sessions, you will have the opportunity to schedule a five-minute one-on-one session with an agent.

The Journey: Your Path To Publication 2017. Sept 24 – 27, 2017. In this workshop, you will learn more about some of the steps toward publication of your picture book and discover ways to set goals for yourself. Picture book author/illustrator Don Tate and picture book author Carmen Oliver will also give you information and tools "encouraging you to savor the process and to enjoy the journey."

2017 Free Expressions Seminars -Writing the Breakout Novel. Sept 25 - Oct 1, 2017, Tampa, FL. Featuring Donald Maass. Included are new or revised units on story discovery, strong voice, standout characters, the inner journey, compelling story worlds, beautiful writing, creating resonance and finding meaning in both story and process. Breakout fundamentals are also covered: strong characters, inner conflict, personal stakes, plot layers, powerful scenes, micro-tension, practical theme techniques and much more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Writing Op-Eds

According to an old Chinese curse, we are living in "interesting times," which means many of us have the sudden urge to express ourselves about the path our country is taking. In this regard, writers have an advantage. We are trained to express our thoughts via the written word.

One of the best ways to get your views to the public is through an op-ed. Op-eds (originally "opposite the editorial page") are short, succinct opinion pieces. Like letters to the editor, they always refer to current events. (But unlike letters to the editor, they don't necessarily have to cite a recent article.)

Along with letters to the editor, op-eds are the most widely read page on any newspaper. They have the power to influence public opinion, and to shape editorial policy.
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How to write an op-ed

Op-eds are journalistic writing; they are brief, to the point, and provide information as well as expressing a point of view. They can be told from a first-person perspective if the writer's personal experience makes an essential contribution to the point being made. When writing an op-ed, keep these tips in mind:

1) Base your op-ed on facts. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but only those opinions that are backed up by factual evidence will get published in a newspaper or online venue.

2) Structure your op-ed as an argument. Most op-eds are meant to be persuasive. Check to see that you have made your point in a logical, structured manner.

3) Pare down your prose. Eliminate excess adjectives and adverbs. Keep your writing direct. The purpose of an op-ed is to convince and/or enlighten readers, not to entertain them.

4) Choose a topic that is timely. You can write an article about anything that is current. For example, you can write about someone who has recently been honored, or you can focus on complex matters that require explanation. You can write a critique, or you can support a particular political position.

Pitching your op-ed

Many news outlets require a pitch either before they consider your op-ed for publication, or sometimes alongside your submitted piece. A pitch is a short introduction to what you intend to write (or have written), and it provides your qualifications. A pitch can be summarized as: "This is why you should publish my piece."

Make absolutely sure you read the guidelines before you submit or pitch your op-ed. Guidelines will define word count limits (usually under 1000), explain how to submit, and so on. Most news outlets will also include how long they will take to make a decision which, because op-eds are timely, is usually a matter of days.

What to include in a pitch:

1) "How is my point of view relevant?" Explain, briefly, why your opinion is important right now.

2) "Why am I the best person to write this op-ed?" Give your qualifications. If you are basing your op-ed on personal experience, explain what that experience is. For example, if you are writing about health care and are disabled, include that information.

3) Summarize what your op-ed is about in two or three sentences.

4) Include all of your contact information.

Where to submit?

The first place to look for an op-ed submission is your local paper. Subscribers and local residents always get first preference when it comes to publishing letters and op-eds. But you can also submit op-eds to publications that have a wide national or international readership. These are harder to get into, but not impossible.

Online news sites, which have proliferated in recent years, will accept submissions from anywhere.

Resources

The Op-Ed Project is your go-to site for tips on pitching and writing op-eds. The site also lists over 100 publications that publish op-eds, as well as their submission guidelines.

How to Submit an Op-Ed Article to a Major Website gives some great tips on how to submit an op-ed piece to a major publication. In most cases, newspapers like the New York Times will turn you down. But, if you have a compelling point to make, and the credentials to back it up, high-powered outlets will often publish submissions from writers who are relatively unknown.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Translating Your Self-Published Book

One of the advantages of self-publishing is that you don't have to wait for your publisher to translate your book. You can do it yourself!

Translation can help open your book up to more markets, but keep in mind that your translated book will need to be promoted - just like the original. It helps to do some research into magazines, news services, and/or organizations that might be interested in reviewing or advertising your book abroad.

Authors have several translation options: 1) Translation services that charge nothing, but take a percentage of your sales, 2) Translation services that will translate your book into several languages simultaneously, 3) Freelance translators, who you can find on boards and freelance hubs. Most freelancers and services will give you a free quote, which will depend on the length of your work, and the degree of specialization required.

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TRANSLATION SERVICES WITH NO UP-FRONT COSTS

Babelcube

Babelcube bills itself as the easiest way for authors to team up with translators to sell their books in multiple languages globally. The way it works is quite simple: You upload ten pages of your book, along with a description. Translators then offer to translate your book and translate your ten pages. You can either accept or decline the translation, based on your assessment of the translation.

There is no charge to the author. The incentive for the translator is that for the first $2,000 of sales, the translator receives 55% of revenue generated from sales. The author receives 30%, and Babelcube receives 15% of net receipts. Babelcube distributes translated ebooks to multiple outlets, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Overdrive, Tolino, and many more. Over ten languages are offered. Their system is easy to use, and once the translation, translated cover, blurb, and author bio are uploaded, publication is immediate.

So far, I have used Babelcube to translate my book into Portuguese and French. Both of my translators were excellent, and I was quite pleased with the results. But the problem with a no-risk arrangement is that your translators can simply not follow through. They can miss their deadlines, and fail to respond to your messages. In that case, Babelcube will cancel that translation, and your book then becomes available for another translator in that language. (This has happened to me on more than one occasion.) The administrators at Babelcube are very responsive, and are always willing to answer questions. Nevertheless, waiting for a completed manuscript that never arrives can be frustrating, especially if the topic is timely.

Fiberead 

Fiberead offers translations into simplified and traditional Chinese. Translators will translate your book into Chinese at a rate of nine months for 80,000 words with one additional month per 10,000 words. Authors get their own project team that includes editors, translators, illustrators and proofreaders. For digital e-book versions: 30% goes to authors, 30% to professional translators, 5-10% to editors and the rest is re-invested into the Fiberead platform. Authors also have the option of allowing Fiberead to be their agent for printed versions as well, which pays 90% royalties.

I have not tried this service, so I can't offer feedback.

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FREELANCE TRANSLATOR BOARDS AND HUBS 

TranslatorsCafé.com

TranslatorsCafé.com is a hub where translators can post their specialties. The site includes a directory of translation agencies and translators, a forum, and a Q&A section. Writers can post a job, or simply browse translators. The site also has a good article on how to choose a translator, as well as the pros and cons of choosing a freelancer as opposed to an agency.

Proz

The Proz site features over 300,000 professional translators and translation companies. Freelance translators working in Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and other languages, and specializing in legal, medical, technical and other fields, can be contacted directly through the site. You can also post a job. Proz does not charge a fee, but you do have to pay the translator.

Traduguide
Germany
Email: info1@traduguide.com
Website: http://www.traduguide.com

This is an international online job board. You post your job to receive quotes from freelance translators. You can also simply search by source language, target language, and specialty.
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TRANSLATION SERVICES

Book Translation Service
Website: http://www.booktranslationservice.com

This site is an online job board to find translators for books or documents. They offer free price quotes. You simply post your project, and they match you with translators.

Com Translations
Phone: 818-436-6515
Email: americas@comtranslations.com
Website: http://www.comtranslations.com/en/

An international agency of more than 5,000 certified translators. They offer instant quotes, first page translation and full-book plans.

Verbumsoft, LLC
Burbank, CA
Phone: 818-748-6235
Website: http://www.translatorsbase.com

This is an online marketplace of freelance translators. You post your book/project to obtain free quotes. You can also select a translator. The site includes a helpful table of translation rates.

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TRANSLATORS' ASSOCIATIONS

American Literary Translators Association
Richardson, TX
Phone: 972-883-2092
Email: altacentral2014@gmail.com
Website: http://www.utdallas.edu/alta (Currently moving their website)

Association for translators specializing in literary works. Site includes a directory of member profiles listing their language proficiencies.


American Translators Association
Alexandria, VA
Phone: 703-683-6100 M-F 9AM-5PM EST
Email: ata@atanet.org
Website: http://www.atanet.org

Association of professional translators and interpreters, including search tools and directories to help you find the right person for your needs.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Smashwords Survey - Best Price for Your Ebook, Preorders & More

Smashwords is a popular  ebook distribution platform for self-publishers. Despite the dominance of Amazon, the company has enjoyed considerable success. Since 2008, Smashwords has published over 450,000 titles by 130,000 authors and small publishers.

In addition to its own platform, Smashwords distributes to multiple retailers and libraries. The largest Smashwords retailer is iBooks, followed by Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the Smashwords Store, Scribd, Amazon and several smaller outlets including public library aggregators such as OverDrive.

Every year, Smashwords analyzes trends in their ebook publishing platform — what works, what doesn’t work, which prices do best, etc. After nearly a decade of ebook publishing, and over the course of many surveys, the CEO of Smashwords, Mark Coker, has insights that are invaluable for writers launching into self-publishing. 

Below are some of the findings from the 2017 Smashwords survey. You can see an informative slide show of the survey HERE.

Top-Selling Categories

The vast majority of Smashwords books are fiction. The top-selling category is romance, which accounts for nearly 50% of books published by Smashwords. The top ten fiction categories are as follows:

  1. Romance (73% of the top 200 best-selling titles)
  2. Erotica
  3. Fantasy
  4. Young Adult
  5. Science Fiction
  6. LGBT Fiction
  7. Thriller
  8. Historical Fiction
  9. Adventure
  10. Horror
In the nonfiction category, the ten top-ranked books are: Self-Help, Health, Business, Religion, Relationships, Sports, Education, History, Home and Garden, and New Age.

Why Does Romance Perform So Well?

Romance has more dedicated readers than any other genre, but more significantly, those readers are voracious. Romance novels tend to be quick reads, and these readers will consume a book a day, which means there is endless demand. 

From an industry perspective, romance writers have the advantage of a strong national association, as well as regional organizations and publication-focused writing conferences. Because romance writers are prolific, they tend to adopt innovative marketing strategies (pre-orders, free series starters, and frequent releases of new books).

Best Price for Self-Published Novels

Free still draws the most downloads - 33 times more than paid books. (Interestingly, this is down from previous years.) Free promotions work best for series, and for authors with a substantial backlist. 

The most popular price is still $2.99. But, $3.99, $4.99 and $5.99 earn more. (The price that generates the most earnings is $3.99. The price that gets the most downloads is 99 cents.) How does this work? Authors who are just starting out should price their books at $2.99 in order to gain readers. But once they are established, they should increase the price of their books. Popular authors can charge more for their books than those who are relatively unknown.

Length Matters

Longer books tend to sell more than shorter. The average length of books in the top 100 selling bracket was 111,000 words. Words counts decline from that point, down to 90,000 words, which is still a substantial book. The average word count for the top 70 romance books is 113,000. 

What this means is that romance readers really like to immerse themselves in a book. 


Title Length Matters Too

Readers who like long books, apparently don't like long titles. The top 100 bestsellers featured titles with roughly 25 characters, rising up to 30 characters as the bestselling rank decreased. Coincidence? Probably not. Covers sell books, and romance covers sell a LOT of books. Romance readers don't need to be distracted by a lot of words on the cover. Just the semi-naked man/men or woman/women plus the author's name will do.


Pre-orders

Smashwords launched its pre-order program in 2013 with the promise that it would yield significant gains for authors. Surprisingly, very few authors took advantage of this feature - only 12% of books were launched as pre-orders. But, over 60% of the highest earning authors utilized a pre-order for at least one of their books. Roughly 45% of bestsellers were born with pre-orders. 

The spread of fiction categories utilizing pre-orders was fairly even. About a quarter of romance, YA, and historical fiction books were launched with pre-orders. Fantasy, mystery, and thrillers each amounted to 20%, with the rest of the categories declining. What is interesting is the percentage of sales gleaned from pre-orders. Those categories which utilized pre-orders the most, also generated the highest number of total sales. In sum, pre-orders work.

Series 

Series still rate as the top means for finding readers. Of the top ten series, seven started with a free book (all seven were romance titles). And of the top 100 series, 67 began with a free book. What is important to note is that series that started with a free book eventually made three to five times more than series that did not.

There was an average of between seven and eight titles per series. Three-quarters of Smashwords bestsellers come from a series. Series titles sell significantly more than stand-alone books. On average, series books sell nearly four times more than stand-alones. 

Bottom Line(s)

1) Always start with a pre-order

2) Write a series, and start with a perma-free first book

3) Price your book at $2.99, but then increase as your books gain readers

4) Don't base your publishing strategy on a single metric - experiment to find what works for you!

Free Guides

Smashwords provides a number of incredibly useful free guides. Take advantage of these!




(Also available in Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Hindi and more.)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

3 New Literary Agents Actively Seeking Clients

Here are three new literary agents seeking clients. New agents are a boon to writers. They are hard-working, enthusiastic, and will go the extra mile for their clients.

Hilary Harwell (KT Literary) is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction. Julie Dinneen (D4EO) is interested in literary fiction, commercial fiction, women’s fiction, romance, and select memoir. Shaheen Qureshi (Capital Talent Agency) wants literary fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on historical fiction and narrative nonfiction, as well as memoirs, cookbooks, and graphic novels.

As always, go to the agency's website before sending your query. See which publishing houses they have worked with, what type of books they have represented. And don't forget to do a google search on the agency (and agent) to check for other authors' experiences.

ALWAYS check submission requirements before sending your query. Requirements may change, and agents may close their lists.

Note: For many more agents looking for writers see: Agents Seeking Clients
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Hilary Harwell of KT Literary

About Hilary: Hilary joined the KT Literary team to support office operations and assist with queries and manuscripts, and now acts as Associate Agent with clients of her own. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a degree in Anthropology and went on to work in the back office of a major Swiss Investment Bank for eight years before deciding to trade numbers for letters. When not reading or editing or writing stories of her own, Hilary likes to hike the Rockies with her family and dreams of one day owning her own horses.

What she is seeking: Middle grade and young adult fiction.

How to submit: Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to Hilary at hilaryquery@ktliterary.com. The subject line of your email should include the word “Query” along with the title of your manuscript. Queries should not contain attachments.
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Julie Dinneen of D4EO

About Julie: After years of editorial work, professional writing of many descriptions and an internship at The Bent Agency, Julie joined D4EO Literary as an agent in 2017 to build her own list of upmarket fiction.

What she is seeking: Literary fiction, commercial fiction, women’s fiction, romance, and select memoir. She will consider high-concept YA with blockbuster potential, psychologically complex horror, and female-centric thrillers. In these categories, she is looking for select projects with storytelling that won’t let go.

How to submit: To query, please send a query letter and the first ten pages in the body of the email to jdinneen.submissions@gmail.com. Response time is between ten minutes and four weeks.

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Shaheen Qureshi of Capital Talent Agency

About Shaheen: "I have worked in publishing and editing for the past five years. As the former managing editor of Tadween Publishing, a Middle East academic press, I facilitated the publication of a political cartoon book and a collection of interviews with Iraqi activists. Before being promoted as literary agent, I assisted Capital Talent Agency’s senior literary agent Cynthia Kane with reading and editing manuscripts. I also teach writing workshops and volunteer in public schools in Washington, DC as a writing mentor and tutor. I received my B.A. at Bard College where I was awarded the Wilton Moore Lockwood prize in creative writing, and have published poetry in Bard Papers and Sukoon Magazine. As a growing literary agency in Washington, CTA will provide me with a strong platform to represent authors, and I’m looking forward to getting to work on behalf of interesting writers and their works."

What she is seeking: Literary fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on historical fiction and narrative nonfiction, as well as memoirs, cookbooks, and graphic novels. "I am particularly interested in character-driven stories that give voice to the underrepresented and marginalized. Books that challenge the status quo and examine race, class, food, gender, colonialism, or history in a new light always grab my attention."

How to Submit: Submissions should be sent to literary.submissions@capitaltalentagency.com. For fiction and nonfiction submissions, send a query letter in the body of your e-mail. Attachments will not be opened. Response within six weeks.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

22 Young Adult Publishers Accepting Manuscripts - No agent required

Young adult literature did not exist when I was growing up. There were children's books and books for adults, but there were no books specifically aimed at teens.

Since that dark period in our literary history, young adults (aka teenagers) have gained the power of the purse, and they want to read about themselves - their growing pains, their first forays into sexual (mis)adventure, love, friendship, and struggles with identity. These themes are the mainstays of young adult literature.

Perhaps not surprisingly, adults enjoy reading young adult literature almost as much as teenagers. YA literature, especially contemporary YA lit, is often humorous, snappy, and less demanding than many books geared to the adult market. (If adult literature were translated into music, it would be classical. And YA literature would be pop.)

For over 150 publishers looking for writers - no agent required - see: Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

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Albert Whitman & Company


Albert Whitman & Company has been publishing award-winning children’s books since 1919. They have since expanded to include YA literature. Albert Whitman’s special interest titles address subjects such as disease, bullying, and disabilities.

Submissions: Albert Whitman and Company currently has an open submissions policy. They read and review unagented manuscripts and proposals for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. Email submissions only. Note: They will not review any submissions that do not follow their submission guidelines.

Blaze

Blaze is a new publishing venture started by Krystal Wade. "Krystal is on a mission to introduce readers to Books with Heart. They might be fantasy, contemporary, horror, or any genre really, but they’ll all have heart and a message waiting for readers to discover. At Blaze, we’re not looking for any particular genre. We’re looking for a message woven into the words of a well-written, young adult or middle grade novel. Your message can be inspiring, moving, sad, or make people change the way they view others around them. If you choose to package that up in a fantasy, horror, or sci-fi, so be it!"

Submissions: Manuscripts must be between 55,000 and 120,000 words. Send a query letter, first three chapters of manuscript (pasted in body of email), a couple sentences about the message your book contains, short Author Bio or experience and contact information. Read their submission guidelines here.

Cedar Fort

Cedar Fort is an established house that publishes over 120 books a year. Their books are available nationally through major distribution companies including Ingram Content Group, Baker & Taylor, and ReaderLink as well as through major retail corporations like Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sam’s Club, and Indigo in Canada. Cedar Fort is active in selling foreign language rights, and they attend the Frankfurt Book Fair every year to present their frontlist titles internationally.

Submissions: Cedar Fort accepts all manuscript submissions through Submittable. "Your submission is reviewed not just for its content, but as a business venture to which the publisher contributes significant capital investment. Your ability to actively support the promotion of your work and brand in the market is an important consideration during the process. Please include any audience or following you have built for your name or brand and on what platforms, if applicable." Read their guidelines here.

Charlesbridge Teen

Charlesbridge Teen is a new imprint of  Charlesbridge, a well known Watertown, Mass-based publisher of children's books. Fiction titles include lively, plot-driven stories with strong, engaging characters. Charlesbridge books are distributed by Penguin Random House. They are actively seeking debut authors.

Submissions may be sent via email to YAsubs@charlesbridge.com. Please send a detailed plot synopsis, a chapter outline, and three chapters of text. Read guidelines here.

Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books publishes an eclectic mixture of traditional and innovative children's books for children of all ages. They are looking for projects that have a unique bent. 

Submissions: Projects for older children should be submitted by query letter, synopsis, and three sample chapters. Snail mail only. See guidelines HERE.

Chronicle Books, Children's
680 Second Street
San Francisco, California 94107


Clarion

Clarion is an imprint of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Division. They have published a number of award-winning books and serials in all genres. HMH is one the the "Big 5" publishers.

Submissions: Your manuscript should be typed and submitted via mail. (They do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax.) Read their submission guidelines here.

Clean Teen

Clean Teen publishes books that are rated according to violence, language, romance, and drugs/alcohol. They don't believe in censorship, but they do want their readers to be informed.

Submissions: They are seeking YA (young adult) or NA (new adult) novels that are between 50,000 and 110,000 words. While they accept stand-alone books, their ideal submission would be the first two books in a series or a novel with a novella that is a prequel to the novel. Genres that they are specifically seeking include the following: horror, mystery, witches, fortune teller, psychic, magician, historical, escapism. When you submit to Clean Teen Publishing, your title may also be considered for one of their other imprints. This includes their new digital-first imprint— CTP Pulse. Read their guidelines here.

Curiosity Quills

Curiosity Quills Press is a publisher of hard-hitting dark sci-fi, speculative fiction, and paranormal works aimed at adults, young adults, and new adults. Refreshingly, they have a very detailed FAQs page that answers every question an author could have, including royalty rates, editorial process, length of time before publication. (Very few publishers offer this crucial information up front.)

Submissions: They are seeking sci-fi, fantasy, romance, horror, historical fiction, magical realism, and more. (Consult their Acquisitions Editors page for more detail.) Read their submission guidelines here.

Desert Breeze

Desert Breeze Publishing is a publisher of non-erotic romance fiction in a variety of sub-genres, as well as mainstream women's fiction either with or without romantic elements. They also publish both Christian romance and Christian women's fiction, and a variety of young adult and new adult fiction. In those books categorized as romance, romance should be the prevailing theme of your manuscript, not romantic elements.

Submissions: They are seeking manuscripts from novella length (between 25,000 and 35,000 words approximately) to super novel length (exceeding 100,000 words), with a preference for novels between 55,000 and 80,000 words. They accept queries on book series, and will consider a series concept when at least one book is completed, a second novel is at least partially complete, and the series has been thoroughly formulated. They are seeking to expand Sci Fi Rom/Futuristic Romance/Speculative Fiction Romance genres. Read their submission requirements here.

Dial Books

Dial Books for Young Readers is a hardcover division publishing approximately 70 titles per year for children of all ages, from preschool through young adult. It is currently a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Submissions: Dial accepts a maximum of 10 pages.When submitting a portion of a longer work, please provide an accompanying cover letter that briefly describes your manuscript's plot, genre (i.e. YA novel), the intended age group, and your publishing credits, if any. Regular mail only. Read guidelines here.

Entangled Press

Entangled Press' young adult imprint, Entangled Teen publishes "swoon-worthy" romance in the following subgenres: contemporary, suspense, sci-fi, historical, paranormal and fantasy. (They require at least a romantic subplot.) Entangled’s titles are distributed by Macmillan, one of the largest book distributors in the world. Their royalties are generous. Digital-first releases receive up to 35% of cover price, while print royalties begin at 7.5% of cover price. When releasing simultaneously in print via brick and mortar bookstores, ebook royalties are 20% of cover price.

Submissions: Manuscripts should feature 16-19 year old protagonists. Length: 70k to 120k words in length for all genres, except contemporary romance, which they prefer remain under 90k. Read guidelines here.

Flux

Flux is an imprint of North Star Editions, a Minnesota-based house specializing in trade fiction. Flux specializes in "alternative voices." The editors believe that young adult novels are a "point of view," not a reading level.

Submissions: In addition to a query, and three chapters, Flux requires 3-5 comparative books published within the last 5 years with an explanation of how your book both ties into a trend in the Young Adult genre and offers something unique. Read their submission guidelines here.

Holiday House

Holiday House specializes in hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction for ages four and up.

Submissions: Holiday House only responds if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please send the entire manuscript. All submissions should be directed to the Editorial Department, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. They do not accept submissions by email or fax. Read their guidelines here.

Hot Key Books

Hot Key Books (UK) publishes original and thought-provoking novels for teens and young adults. If you would like to submit your work for consideration please send your full manuscript along with a full synopsis to enquiries@bonnierzaffre.co.uk. They prefer Word and PDF files if possible and please note that we can only accept electronic submissions. "We read everything we’re sent but due to the high volume of submissions we receive we are only able to get back to writers we are interested in pursuing. Good luck!"

Read their guidelines here.

Ink Road

Ink Road is a new young adult imprint of Black & White Publishing, an established Scottish publisher with over 300 books in print across a variety of genres. Their books are distributed through GBS. Publishers Group UK (PGUK) provides sales representation. Seeking: Contemporary YA. Read submission guidelines here.

Jo Fletcher Books

Jo Fletcher Books (UK), part of the Quercus family, publishes science fiction, fantasy and horror, including all subgenres. "JFB authors are writing critically acclaimed, award-winning and unputdownable novels right across the fantastical spectrum, encompassing everything from crime to literary fiction. If you love chunky, engrossing epic fantasy or fast-paced dystopian thrillers, alternate history or paranormal romance, far-future SF or mythic fantasy, spine-chilling horror or heroic fantasy, you’ll them all here: just step through the portal into the wonderful worlds of Jo Fletcher Books."

Submissions: Jo Fletcher considers YA, but only if it can be classed as YA/Adult crossover. Previously self-published books are accepted, as long as the author is willing to let all rights revert to JF on signing a contract. See their guidelines here.

Jolly Fish Press

Jolly Fish Press is an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc., based in Minnesota. They publish trade fiction and select nonfiction books in the national and international market. Right now they are seeking middle grade and young adult titles in science fiction and fantasy with an epic and visual scope; thrillers with strong, carefully crafted characters and a unique voice; and unconventional love stories.

See their submission guidelines here.

Pajama Press

Pajama Press publishes picture books—both for the very young and for school-aged readers, as well as early chapter books, novels for middle grade readers, and contemporary or historical fiction for young adults aged 12+. Pajama Press is looking for manuscripts from authors of diverse backgrounds. Stories about immigrants are of special interest.

See their submission guidelines here.

Polis Books

Polis Books is an independent publishing company actively seeking new and established authors. They are currently acquiring titles in a wide variety of genres. While Polis primarily publishes books for adults, they also publish young adult novels.

Submissions: Novel-length submissions should be a minimum of 60,000 words. They only respond if interested. See their submission guidelines here.

Quirk Books

Quirk Books is a Philadelphia-based company that publishes just 25 books per year. Their titles are distributed through Random House. They are always on the lookout for "strikingly unconventional manuscripts and book proposals. A well-written novel with an off-the-wall editorial premise? That’s Quirk. A playful cookbook or craft book with cool photography or crazy illustrations? That’s Quirk, too. We publish across a broad range of categories—always with the goal of delivering innovative books to discerning readers. Put more simply, we publish books that are smart, original, cool, and fun."

Read submission guidelines here.

Skypony Press

Sky Pony Press is the children's book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. They publish picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction and nonfiction. "We’re open to any genre and style, and we’re always looking for something new and different. We love original concepts, fresh voices, and writing that knocks us off our feet."

See their submission guidelines here.

Tor Teen

Tor Teen is an imprint of Tor/Forge, which is an imprint of Macmillan. Tor is one of the top sci-fi/fantasy publishers in the world, but they also publish general fiction for young adults. Since Tor Teen launched in 2003, they have published fiction by Cory Doctorow, Brandon Sanderson, Kendare Blake, David Lubar, Veronica Rossi, Susan Dennard, and Kristen Simmons, among others.

Submissions: Tor's guidelines are quite detailed. Make sure you follow them to the letter, otherwise your submission will not be read. See their submission guidelines here.

Page Street Publishers

Page Street publishers, located in Salem, Mass, is one of the fastest growing publishers in the US. They have recently launched a children’s program, headed by a 20-year children’s book publishing veteran. This program includes picture books as well as young adult titles for ages 12 and up. Page Street titles are distributed by the Macmillan sales team: a Big Five publisher. Their books can be found in every major retailer and most independents, as well as in mass merchandisers like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s, and special sales accounts such as West Elm and Crate & Barrel, and occasionally QVC, Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.

How to submit:  Please label your submission YA and state the title of your manuscript in the subject line of your email. Include a query (1-2 pages) with the first three chapters of your manuscript in the body of your email. Your query must contain: 1) a book synopsis that includes your novel's pitch, word count, and classification (literary, historical, fantasy, mystery, etc); and 2) an author bio that describes your occupation, publishing history, social media presence, and any other relevant information that pertains to your manuscript (including any endorsements, if applicable). If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note this in your author bio. All submissions must be edited and proofread. Ideally, your manuscript's length is 60-90K words and your protagonist is 15-18 years old.

Read full guidelines HERE.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

When Can a Publisher Terminate Your Contract?

"Sue me, sue me, what can you do me?"
The recent lawsuit brought by Milo Yiannopoulos against Simon & Schuster brings up an interesting question: Can a publisher simply terminate a contract at will?

Before I answer that question, here is some of the background to the Milo Yiannopoulos case.

Late last year, a Simon & Schuster imprint, Threshold, offered Milo Yiannopoulos a $250,000 advance for his book Dangerous. Yiannapoulos was editor of Breitbart Tech and had gained a reputation as a notorious right-wing "troll." His racist, misogynist, and generally over-the-top statements were outrageous enough that he became "cool." (Twitter did not think Milo was "cool." Yiannopoulos was banned for hate speech after his racist tirade against Ghostbusters actress, Leslie Jones.)

Yiannopoulos' bad behavior, if anything, made him more attractive to S&S, which was willing to pay a quarter of a million dollars for the opportunity to publish his book. There was some pushback however, as one reviewer announced he would not review the book once it was published, and bookstores said they would not carry it. (That, by the way, is not a violation of the First Amendment; it is the operation of the free market. Nobody is obligated to review or sell a book.) What made S&S think twice was Yiannopoulos' public endorsement of pedophilia between underage boys and men. Conservatives immediately dropped Yiannopoulos, and his contract with S&S was canceled shortly thereafter.

Not to be outdone, Yiannopoulos, sued S&S for breach of contract six months later. In the interim, he self-published his book, which sold 18,000 copies the first week. (Yiannopoulos' publicist said the book had sold 100,000 copies the first week, but all independent sales tracking sources disagree.)

This brings us back to the question: When can a publisher terminate a contract? The answer is: It depends on what is in the contract.

All publishing contracts contain a clause that specifies the circumstances under which a contract may be terminated by the publisher. These may include Acts of God (a hurricane wipes out your publisher's headquarters), buy-outs (a larger company purchases your publisher), failure to deliver a manuscript as promised, legal liability (plagiarism, possibility of lawsuit), and any other reason that a publisher might decide at the publisher's discretion. Publishing houses also claim the right of discretionary termination for an "unsatisfactory" manuscript, the definition of "unsatisfactory" being left entirely to the publisher. In that case, the publisher may terminate and demand all or part of the advance.

Can Yiannopolous win his lawsuit? Probably not. S&S returned all rights to Yiannopoulos and let him keep $80,000 of his advance. (An advance is not paid out all at once, but in stages. The second of those stages would have been acceptance of the manuscript, which did not happen.) A further problem for Yiannopoulos is that one of those discretionary termination clauses was included in his contract. Once you sign on the dotted line, especially if you keep your advance and accept a reversion of rights, it's hard to have your day in court, especially if that day is, as S&S put it, “a meritless publicity stunt.”

You can read more about the suit here: S&S Asks Court to Dismiss Yiannopoulos Suit

Thursday, August 3, 2017

2 Pitch Contests in August

Pitching your book is the most important aspect of getting representation. A query letter is essentially a pitch. It contains a brief summary of the plot, a "hook" to get the agent interested, and comparative titles, to let the agent know that your book already has a market. You can also pitch your book in person during a conference that includes pitch sessions to agents.

If you can't make it to a conference, and are getting the cold shoulder on your queries, you may want to consider entering a virtual pitch fest. These can take a number of forms, from simple tweets that pitch your book's central idea, to longer excerpts.

The most popular of these virtual pitch fests is Pitch Wars. Every year, writers submit their query and first chapter of their manuscripts to four mentors in their age category, who then choose one writer as a "mentee." The mentors help their chosen writers create a compelling pitch, as well as assisting them with their manuscripts. The advantage of Pitch Wars, or any pitch fest, is that agents are alerted, and dozens will be waiting for the upcoming pitches in the genres they are seeking.

Entering a virtual pitch fest costs nothing, so you have nothing to lose by participating. Even if you don't "win," pitch fests are a golden opportunity to hone your pitch.

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Pitch Wars

August 2 - August 6, 2017

Fiction only

Pitch Wars is a contest in which published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for the agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit his or her writer’s pitch for the contest and his or her query letter for submitting to agents.Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to four mentors who best fit their work. Mentors read all their applications and one mentee is chosen by each mentor or set of co-mentors, and together, mentee and mentor spend two months revising the manuscript and pitch.

You can find the mentor who best fits your work on the site. Mentors are categorized according to the age group (not genre): Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, Adult. Read the bios of the mentors in your age group, and make a list of the ones that either write in your genre, or who share a common interest or background. Narrow those down to four.

From August 2 - 6, submit your query (follow instructions on the site for your query) and first page to those four mentors.  After mentors read all their applications, one mentee (writer) is chosen by each mentor or set of co-mentors. Writers spend the next two months revising the manuscript and pitch with their mentor. In November first chapters are posted for agents to view. Last year more than 50 authors were offered representation.

Submissions can be made HERE. (Follow the instructions! You will only get one chance to enter!)
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Pitch America

August 30 - September 3, 2017

#PitchAmérica was created by Laura Pohl to focus on submissions and books produced by Latino voices. "Latinxs being such a large population and so diverse themselves, we’re often grouped in a single place. We have white, black, hispanic, native and Asian Latinxs, and I’d like to open a space where we can welcome all as well as have more discussions about diversity, coming from a different culture, and what it means to be Latinx."

This contest will feature the first 500 words and the 35-word pitch of completed and polished manuscripts written by Latinos. Please keep it in mind that this exclusively for Latino writers.

The entries will be open on midnight August 30th, until 11:59 pm of the 3rd of September. Read their submission guidelines here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

34 Calls for Submissions in August 2017 - Paying markets

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County fountain
There are nearly three dozen calls for submissions in August.

Every genre and every form is welcome! All are paying markets. There are no submission fees.

Many of these journals have recurring calls for submissions, so if you miss this window, you can always submit during the next reading period.

For more literary journals seeking submissions and to get a jump on next month's open calls see: Paying Markets.
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GeometryGenres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. No genre work. Payment: Between $10-$50 for poetry, and 1-3 cents per word for fiction and nonfiction. Deadline: August 1, 2017.

KaleidoscopeGenre: Disability-themed nonfiction, fiction, poetry. "We accept the work of writers with and without disabilities; however the work of a writer without a disability must focus on some aspect of disability." Payment: $10- $100. Deadline: August 1, 2017.

The Food of My People AnthologyRestrictions: Canadian writers only. Genre: Food-themed speculative fiction. Please include recipe! Payment: 5 cents/word. Deadline: August 1, 2017.

The First LineGenre: Poetry, nonfiction, short story beginning with "Frank Rooney had been the manager of the Shop & Save for thirty-eight years, and he wasn't retiring anytime soon." Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars). Deadline: August 1, 2017.

Skirt! MagazineGenre: Personal essays. Theme: Stories about the physical; body and mind, health and happiness. Payment: $200 per piece. Deadline: August 1, 2017.

Bright Wall/Dark RoomTheme: David Lynch. Genre: Essays, criticism, poetry, reportage, interviews, and short humor pieces. Payment: $25 per story. Deadline: August 1, 2017.

Body Parts Magazine: Issue #9: Nothing but Witches, Bitches! Genre: Speculative fiction short stories on theme of witches. "All witches, all the time! Permutations of witchery, magick, crones, warlocks and familiars from fairy tale baddies to black or white magic, witch doctors, and the merely misunderstood. Personal power, communion with spirits and the dead, spells, trickery, solitude and a visionary third eye with a window on the fates." Payment: Not specified. Deadline: August 1, 2017.

The Heart of a Devil Anthology Call: Horror and Dark Fantasy Villains AnthologyGenre: Short stories. "For this anthology, we want glimpses into the world of those we love to hate. Monsters, demons, murderers, etc. Are they as evil as they seem? What made them do those horrible things? What was their breaking point? A broader take on the fairy tale villains anthology. " Word Count: 500-10,500. Payment: One half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Reprints: $10 max.  Deadline: August 10, 2017.

Alien Dimensions. Genre: Speculative fiction. "Set it in space, in the far future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens helping to solve a pseudo-scientific problem.” Payment: $10.00. Length: 3500-5,000 words. Deadline: August 10, 2017.

Fire, Demons, Dragons and Djinns AnthologyGenre: Speculative fiction. "We want to explore the many facets of this beautifully furious element and the creatures associated with it so Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns will be filled with stories about every kind of fiery creature you can imagine, not only those listed in the subtitle. We’re looking for phoenixes, ifrits, salamanders, lava monsters and fiery beasts no one has ever heard of before. And of course this anthology will not be complete without at least one demon, dragon, and djinn!" Payment: $50 (CAD). Deadline: August 15, 2017.

AFTERMATH: Explorations of Loss & Grief AnthologyGenres: Poetry, personal essays, fiction about the consequences of grief. Payment: Fiction and nonfiction, 6 cents/word. Poetry, $35. Deadline: August 15, 2017.

Gehenna & Hinnom: “Year’s Best Transhuman SF” Anthology. Genre: Speculative fiction. "We are seeking stories for this anthology that properly portray the technological evolution of humans, be it cybernetics, immortality granted through means of science, transcendence of AI into consciousness, the AI singularity and its impact on humanity, the assimilation of human and machine, and anything else you could think of that would fall into Transhumanism." Payment: .003 Cents per Word. $5 minimum and $25 maximum payments. Deadline: August 15, 2017.

SQ Magazine. Genre: Speculative fiction. Theme: Rebellion. Length: 1,000 to 5,000 words. Payment: 1c per word to a ceiling of $75. Minimum of US$15.00 per story. Deadline: August 15, 2017.

Ruminate. Ruminate welcomes submissions that both subtly and overtly engages faith from all the world religions. Genre: Fiction. Payment: $15/400 words for prose. Deadline: August 20, 2017.

Autumn's Harvest Anthology Call: Autumn Fantasy AnthologyGenre: Short stories. "We are primarily wanting fantasy and dark fantasy settings focusing on an Autumn theme. While we will consider modern/futuristic stories, we want the focus to be on the nature of Autumn and magic/fantasy elements inspired by it." Word Count: 500-10,500. Payment: One half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Reprints: $10 max.  Deadline: August 25, 2017.

Spark AnthologyGenre: Short stories. Theme: Picture Perfect. Payment: 2 cents/word. Deadline: August 25, 2017.

Cricket: Faces. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction for children. Theme: Basketball. Payment: Up to 25 cents per word for stories and articles, and $3 per line for poetry, $75 for activities. Deadline: August 25, 2017.

BriarpatchGenre: Nonfiction "writing and artwork on a wide range of topics, including current events, grassroots activism, electoral politics, economic justice, ecology, labour, food security, gender equity, indigenous struggles, international solidarity, and other issues of political importance." Payment: $75 - $225. Deadline: August 29, 2017.

Triskaidekaphilia: TransformedGenre: Speculative short stories. "We are seeking romantic and heated stories that delve into the different challenges all shifters face while navigating the mysterious paths of love and forbidden attraction." Payment: $10. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Chicken Soup for the SoulGenre: True story. Themes: Stories of Redemption and Miracles and More. Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

FreefallGenre: Fiction and poetry by Canadian writers. Payment: $10.00 per page. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Qu Literary MagazineGenres: Fiction, essays, poetry. Payment: $100 per prose piece, $50 per poem. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Tech Edge MagazineGenre: Nonfiction articles on Communicating Success. Payment: $50-$125 per article. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Strange ConstellationsGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $30 per piece. Deadline: August 31, 2017. Accepts reprints.

Baby BugGenre: Poems, stories, fingerplay for children aged 6 months to 3 years. Theme: I did it myself! Payment: Up to 25 cents/word. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

The New QuarterlyRestrictions: Canadian writers only. Genre: Poetry, nonfiction and short fiction. Payment: $250 for fiction and nonfiction, $40 for prose. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Alberta Fishing GuideGenre: Nonfiction. "The Alberta Fishing Guide Magazine is an annual magazine devoted to fishing in the province of Alberta. It provides up–to-date  information regarding fish species, size and catchability by waterbody, along with access hints, angling pressure, forage and hatches, and other pertinent information Alberta anglers want to know. " Payment: $350 - $500. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Normal Deviation: AnthologyGenre: Short story inspired by photo (see photo on site). Payment: £10.00/story plus contributor e-copy. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Stairs in the Woods. Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Claudius Speaks. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry on theme of “Fever.” Payment: Essays / Creative Non Fiction: $30, Art: $15, Poetry: $10. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Twelfth Planet Press: Mother of Invention Anthology. Genre: Speculative fiction on theme of AI. "We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary?" Payment: US$0.06 per word. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Nous. Genre: Short stories, poetry, nonfiction. "The upcoming ninth issue of NOUS will be all about “Home” touching issues like homelessness, cultural diversity and belonging. By taking part in the Manchester Sleepout we want to support this local charity by raising money for the Booth Centre in town and continue the discussion about how we live together in our society." Payment: "Complimentary fee." Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Pen and Ink: Transformed Anthology. Genre: Speculative fiction. "We are seeking romantic and heated stories that delve into the different challenges all shifters face while navigating the mysterious paths of love and forbidden attraction." Payment: $10 USD and a paperback copy of the anthology. Deadline: August 31, 2017.

Hamilton Review of BooksRestrictions: Canadian writers only. Genre: Reviews of new or forthcoming titles and essays. Payment: Reviews: $50.00; Essays: $75.00. Deadline?: There doesn't appear to be a deadline.
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