How to write a shorter, better, more publishable story

shorter story

You’ve probably noticed that most publications these days have a pretty tight word count. It can be quite challenging to find a place to send your 7,800-word story. Hell, it’s hard to even find a place that wants to publish something over 3,000 words. Stories with no homes This leaves me with a lot of … Continue reading How to write a shorter, better, more publishable story

5 Signs You Shouldn’t Submit Your Work to a Publication

warning signs

Finding the right place to send your work can be a challenge, especially if you want to avoid getting a big stack of rejections. But finding a place that will accept your work is only half the battle. Acceptance might seem like the ultimate goal, but you also want to make sure the acceptance is … Continue reading 5 Signs You Shouldn’t Submit Your Work to a Publication

Top Ten Reasons You Keep Getting Rejected

rejection

Rejection sucks. But no one ever said writing would be all fun and games. If you’re a writer, you’ve probably had your fair share of rejections. While we’re usually able to bounce back quickly and submit again, sometimes it’s important to reflect on why we’re getting rejected. If you’re used to getting a big fat … Continue reading Top Ten Reasons You Keep Getting Rejected

The Truth About “In-Progress” in Submittable: Everything the Impatient Writer Needs to Know

work in progress

Writers can be an antsy and impatient bunch, especially when they are waiting to hear back regarding a submission. Since most of us are submitting our work through Submittable now, things are both better and worse than they used to be. They’re better because we can see the status of our submission. They’re worse because … Continue reading The Truth About “In-Progress” in Submittable: Everything the Impatient Writer Needs to Know

When a Good Idea Isn’t a Good Story

All stories can be broken down into two core components: 1. The idea 2. The execution The idea, also sometimes referred to as the premise, is often where a story begins. Rarely does a writer sit down with absolutely no idea and end up with a brilliant story after pounding aimlessly at the keyboard. Every … Continue reading When a Good Idea Isn’t a Good Story

Playing the Submissions Game: A Guide to Guidelines

If you're planning to submit anything to a literary magazine or publisher, it’s essential to play by their rules. Some publishers claim to receive ten thousand submissions per month. While you may think that adding a unique touch is necessary to make your manuscript stand out, your deviation from the guidelines will more likely result … Continue reading Playing the Submissions Game: A Guide to Guidelines

What Should I Blog About? 5 Tips for Picking a Topic People Will Actually Read

what to write about

Whether you just started a blog or have been at it for years, a question that probably haunts you on a regular basis is, “What should I blog about?” It’s not always an easy question. While you sometimes have tons of ideas on your mind, other times you struggle to find something to say—especially something … Continue reading What Should I Blog About? 5 Tips for Picking a Topic People Will Actually Read

If, When, and How to Respond to Emails from Editors

responding to editors

Nothing elicits more fear and excitement for a writer than seeing a new email from an editor sitting in their inbox. These emails can bring us great news, bad news, or even something in between. Will it be a rejection? An acceptance? A restraining order requesting you never submit again? Just seeing the unread email … Continue reading If, When, and How to Respond to Emails from Editors

The complete guide to handling comments on your blog

blog comments

Like most bloggers in the universe, most of my posts don’t get many real comments. The average post seems to get one or two comments from humans (along with hundreds of spam comments). Maybe one in a dozen posts receives a handful of thoughtful responses. On a rare occasion, I’ll write something that resonates enough … Continue reading The complete guide to handling comments on your blog

Why your first sentence should be the best and how to craft a killer opening line

opening line

Everyone knows the best way to start a novel or a story is with a killer opening line. You need something that hooks the reader and immediately sets whatever mood you’re trying to set. It should be your best sentence. In fact, what follows doesn’t really matter that much because you’ve done such a good … Continue reading Why your first sentence should be the best and how to craft a killer opening line