Thursday, August 27, 2015

Congratulations to Award Winner!

Three cheers for Shaku Rajagopal! Her new book, Song of the Mountains is the Bronze Award Winner for best Memoir in the Colorado Independent Book Publishers contest!

Learn more about Shaku's journey here:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thanks to Writers's Relief for allowing me to share this with you:

With the distractions and excitement of summer's waning days,  Writer’s Relief invites you to free your mind! Read what they have to say about the process of freewriting. It is a great way to focus on your writing even when you don't know where to start, or don't have much time.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, an author’s submission service that has been helping creative writers make submissions since 1994. Their work is highly recommended in the writing community, and there are TONS of freebies, publishing leads, and writers resources on their website. Check it out!

Friday, August 21, 2015

An unusual literary award outcome

AWP Award Series Creative Nonfiction Prize

"Even with our best efforts, our work is not always deemed successful. This year, our judge for Creative Nonfiction, Lia Purpura, did not select a winner for the competition. Because we know such a decision is unpopular, I am writing to explain why this is an outcome that AWP allows in the adjudication of our awards.

"The Award Series guidelines have stated—ever since the inception of the Series in 1975—that the judge makes the final decision and no award is given if the judge finds no manuscript that merits the award. Every entrant agrees to this and other terms before submitting works into the competition via Submittable.

"The outcome of no winner has occurred several times in the 40-year history of the series." 
A reminder that even our best work may not be seen as such by others. So goes the world of the working writer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Neil Gaiman on writing

Neil Gaimon
 “The secret to writing is just to write. Write every day. Never stop writing. Write on every surface you see; write on people on the street. When the cops come to arrest you, write on the cops. Write on the police car. Write on the judge. I’m in jail forever now, and the prison cell walls are completely covered with my writing, and I keep writing on the writing I wrote. That’s my method.”

 Gaimon and five other writers will help you lighten up and make your writing a joy.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Still writing?

Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing on writing:

"I write in order to discover what I don’t yet know. To peel back the layers and see what has been previously hidden from view. I don’t choose the form this discovery takes. When I have tried to force the form, it turns around and bites me. And so I have learned to pay attention to what the work itself wants to be. If we’re quiet, the work announces itself. When it makes itself known, we had best pay attention."

Above excerpt from her Facebook post 7/11/15.
We all know how it feels to have dozens of writing ideas floating above our pen, or on our screen.
Read the full post if this feels familiar to you, as it does to me.

Helen Gallagher

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Is it time to fire Kindle?

Open the book or I won't get paid for writing it!
Amazon announced a new way to pay authors for Kindle book sales... Based on pages read. So you better start writing great books and bigger books if you want to earn more than a few pennies.

Direct quote from Amazon site:

Beginning July 1, 2015, we'll switch from paying Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) royalties based on qualified borrows, to paying based on the number of pages read. We're making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you'll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it.

Royalty payments under the new program

As with our current approach, we'll continue to set a KDP Select Global Fund each month. Under the new payment method, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read instead of their share of total qualified borrows.

Read more if you wish. And consider the challenges ahead, as we ask people to turn pages, not just store books on their device. If they don't read it, you don't get royalties!!!

If you are the optimist who finds something good about this, please add a comment below to enlighten the rest of us.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Survey Says... Come on Chicago!

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 2, 2015-- (NASDAQ: AMZN)— today announced its fifth annual list of the Most Well-Read Cities in America – just in time for summer reading season. The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format from April 2014 to April 2015, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 500,000 residents.

The Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities are:

1. Seattle, Wash.                     11. Charlotte, N.C.
2. Portland, Ore. 12. Baltimore, Md.
3. Las Vegas, Nev. 13. San Diego, Calif.
4. Tucson, Ariz. 14. Houston, Texas
5. Washington, D.C. 15. Indianapolis, Ind.
6. Austin, Texas 16. San Jose, Calif.
7. San Francisco, Calif. 17. Jacksonville, Fla.
8. Albuquerque, N.M. 18. San Antonio, Texas
9. Denver, Colo. 19. Nashville, Tenn.
10. Louisville, Ky. 20. Chicago, Ill.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Power of a Podcast

Authors, don't overlook podcasts to expand visibility. See below for a seven-minute interview by Richard J. Lang, discussing his book, Patient Confidential: Tips and Advice to Keep You Safe As You Navigate the Healthcare System.

Click to Listen:

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Book of Life on Proust...

Marcel Proust was an early 20th-century French writer responsible for what is officially the longest novel in the world: A la recherche du temps perdu – which has 1,267,069 words in it; double those in War and Peace. It was immediately recognised to be a masterpiece, ranked by many as the greatest novel of the century, or simply of all time. 

The book was published in French in seven volumes over 14 years:
Du côté de chez Swann, 1913
À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, 1919
Le Côté de Guermantes, 1920
Sodome et Gomorrhe, 1922
La Prisonnière, 1923
Albertine disparue, 1925
Le Temps retrouvé, 1927

It was immediately recognised to be a masterpiece, ranked by many as the greatest novel of the century, or simply of all time. What makes it so special is that it isn’t just a novel in the straight narrative sense. It is a work that intersperses genius-level descriptions of people and places with a whole philosophy of life.
The clue is in the title:
À  la recherche du temps perdu
In Search of Lost Time

Full story and photos here:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Health-related poetry contest

Poetry Contest Calls for Pieces Related to Health

From the Michael J. Fox Foundation:

April is National Poetry Month, as well as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. A special contest from the journal Health Affairs gives the lyrically inclined in our community a chance to participate in both themes at once by sharing experiences through poetry.
Health Affairs explains:

We are holding a poetry contest from March 26 to April 22, 2015, looking for well-crafted poems that touch on topics related to health and health policy. Three winning poems will be announced at the end of April. Winners will receive a $500 prize, publication in Health Affairs, and two copies of the issue containing the winning poem.
Poems can address any health topic, not just Parkinson’s, and must be written in English. Visit the Health Affairs blog for further submission guidelines.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Poets & Writers comes to Chicago

P&W Live Logo


Poets & Writers Live is coming to Chicago!

Spend a Saturday with us at Instituto Cervantes as we explore the writer's journey from inspiration to publication.  

We'll kick things off with a "poetry keynote" by acclaimed poet Li-Young Lee, followed by panel discussions on resources for writers in Chicago; how to prepare the perfect pitch to agents, editors, and other publishing professionals; plus craft talks with poet Roger Reeves, novelist Edward Kelsey Moore, and essayist Jenny Boully; and live-lit performances by Megan Stielstra, Parneshia Jones, and Lindsay Hunter.  

A reading and discussion with Chicago literary icons Stuart Dybek and Marc Kelly Smith is sure to be a highlight of the program. 
In the mid-day time slot, participants have the option of attending a panel led by Debra Englander, the author of our popular column The Savvy Self-Publisher, or selecting one of three small group sessions led by Jeff Kleinman, Renée Zuckerbrot, or Don Share. Kleinman and Zuckerbrot are both New York City-based literary agents; Share is the editor of Poetry magazine. Each of the small sessions is limited to 15 participants and offered on a first-come first-served basis for an additional charge of $25.

We'll finish the day with a Literary Mixer: a chance to meet others, compare notes, and enjoy a glass of wine with your fellow writers. Register today to take advantage of the special Early Bird price of just $60.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Lit Mag Resource

Enjoy the new launch of Literary Hub, "a single, trusted, daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life," created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature
Sign up for free at

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Another succcessful five-year mark

Congratulations to Lois Roelof, celebrating the five-year mark on her marvelous blog.

Enjoy a stop at and see the variety of witty, poignant, informative and funny material she writes.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Patient Confidential

Patient Confidential

Happy to see a client's book zoom into the top 100 in his category!   Congratulations to Rich Lang, author of Patient Confidential.

·         Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
*   #99 in Books > Business & Money > Insurance > Health

Essential reading for your first and every hospital/doctor interaction.