Tag Archives: witing

Advice for aspiring writers:

“Read, read, and read some more! Make sure you read a wide variety of stories: fantasy stories teach you about making up completely new worlds, crime-solving stories teach you about handling a complicated plot, stories with lots of characters teach you how to describe relationships. Also, write as many stories as you can, even if no one else reads them. And remember that the best inspiration comes from what’s around you.” —Erin Hunter

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Consider writing for The Path, a literary magazine

The Path
The Path to Publication Group publishes the literary publication – The Path. You are invited to submit short stories, essays, novellas, book reviews and poems for inclusion in the semi-annual issues.
The theme for this issue is “A Can of Worms”. Please consult our website for the most current information: http://www.pathtopublication.net and http://www.thepathmagazine.com. Past contributors will receive a call for submissions by e-mail, automatically.
1) Short stories and essays – over 2500 words
2) Poetry – 1 page

Please polish your manuscripts to the best of your ability and, of course, have someone else edit your work before sending to Path to Publication. Do not format your work: no page numbers, no headers or footers, no footnotes, no paragraph indentations (skip a line for paragraph spacing). Manuscripts must be submitted in Microsoft Word or RTF form. Font: Times New Roman – size 12. All submissions must be submitted electronically, as e-mail attachments, to: mjnickum@thepathmagazine.com.

Deadline for submission: October 31, 2015

All rights are retained by the author, and there will be no compensation for accepted work at this time*.

*Because we are staffed by volunteers, we can only compensate our writers in exposure to our audience. Our columnists enjoy great publicity for their own blogs, books, websites, and projects. Many find great reward in doing something good for the world of literature and literacy. You may also purchase add space to further promote your work.

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Volunteer Readers/Editors Needed

Saguaro Books, LLC
Be the first to read and edit new middle grade and young adult fiction by emerging authors. Low pressure—read and react. Ideal for individuals still in college or at home with children or family, looking to add experience within the industry to their resume. Also perfect for new or emerging writers looking to learn about the industry.
Please indicate your strengths and background: Must be able to use MSWord with the ‘Track Changes” and “Comment” features. BA/BS in English or Creative Writing a BIG plus. If you have published books or magazine articles, that is also a plus. Visit http://www.saguarobooks.com

Contact: Ms. Mary Nickum, CEO, mjnickum@saguarobooks.com

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Welcome to our Guest Blog #1


Jeannie Ewing

It baffles me that I’ve received recent accolades from friends and family regarding my authorship. Somehow people think authors are set apart from “the rest” of society, but quite the contrary is true. What differentiates between a superb author who becomes published and a wanna-be writer? Perseverance, patience, and practice.
Most people don’t realize that published authors have to endure countless hours of “blood, sweat, and tears” before the finalized version of their manuscript is available for purchase. It’s not an easy endeavor; in fact, it’s probably one of the toughest experiences I’ve endured in my life so far – minus giving birth to a child with a rare craniofacial condition.
Writing for publication takes dedication and persistence, especially during setbacks and rejections. Some writers take years before their work becomes publicly known, and that is why perseverance is such a critical virtue for a successfully published writer. If you can stick through your frustrations, discouragement, lulls, fine-tuned editing, and prepare yourself for a long road ahead, you probably have the grit to become a published writer.
This virtue coincides with perseverance. Writing takes a lot of time. To reach a goal of publication, writers truthfully will need to make many sacrifices. I’ve had to turn down social invitations that I’d otherwise attend with friends so that I can work on my manuscript. It’s disappointing but necessary at times, especially when one has set a goal.
With anything in life, patience tempers that innate impulsivity for instant gratification. The flames of zeal in our hearts are tamed into quiet embers that burn steadily but without as much exertion. Patience creates endurance necessary for renunciation.
Writing can be a chore at times. It isn’t all pleasantries. It’s intense and monumental. Many people in your life may not understand your dedication, but it’s crucial that you do not give up and stay the course.
I began writing from a young age. It was very informal at first – juvenile diaries with locks and eventually journals – but I wrote something every day. To me, this is the most significant aspect of transitioning from a half-hearted hopeful writer to a serious published author. It’s the practice of writing that makes one good at writing.
There are days I’d rather be doing anything but writing, like reading or watching a movie. But there is a particular interior discipline that nudges me to continue. If I can relate the need for practice with my ultimate goal (publication), then all of the hard work becomes meaningful.
I’m a firm believer that everyone has a story. Yes, it’s true that some of us are naturally gifted writers, while others struggle. But that doesn’t mean your story has less value than someone else’s. I think personal anecdotes are the most powerful teaching forces available to our modern culture. Subjectivity can be shaky, but when life experience is substantiated by research or objective spiritual Truth, then it is potent and potentially life-changing.
Maybe that is what your story will do for someone else – change his or her life. So begin by writing (uncensored) every day, and perhaps you, too, will become a published author one day.
Text Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.
Image Copyright 2015 “Chalkboard” by 742680 on Pixabay.

About the Author

Jeannie Ewing is a writer, speaker, and grief recovery coach. She is the co-author of Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers. Jeannie was featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition and Tony Agnesi’s radio show Finding God’s Grace. She offers her insight from a counselor’s perspective into a variety of topics, including grief, spirituality, and parenting children with special needs. Jeannie resides in northern Indiana with her husband and two daughters, both of whom have special needs. For more information on her professional services, please visit her websites lovealonecreates.com or fromgrief2grace.com.

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Saguaro Books

I manage a new publishing company, Saguaro Books, publishing middle grade and young adult fiction by first-time authors. Please send queries with first three chapters to mjnickum@saguarobooks.com. visit our website at http://www.saguarobooks.com/

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Guide for a Good Manuscript Critique

Guide for a Good Manuscript Critique
Posted on August 18, 2012 by Joan Y. Edwards

How can you give a good manuscript critique? When you critique a manuscript, you want to do a good job. You want the writer to be able to tell easily what you think. You want to give them both ways to correct and ways to enhance the manuscript. Here are ways that will guide you and insure you give a good critique.
When you critique a manuscript, make your notes stand out:
• Put in blue text at least three Blue Ribbon passages or highlight in blue – my name for words, sentences, phrases, paragraphs, or scenes that are especially well-written. In this particular manuscript, these parts win First Prize – the Blue Ribbon.
• Put in red text, highlight in yellow, and/or cross out words you believe should be deleted .
• Use a different color font for your remarks from the one the writer used.
• Use all caps for your input. WHAT A STRONG BEGINNING!
• Note punctuation and grammar errors.
• Point out where the writer needs to show, not tell. SHOW, DON’T TELL.
• Write questions in the manuscript when you think of them.
• Or do your own thing. Be creative.
Write the following questions at the beginning of the manuscript you’re about to critique. It will help you focus on the story’s strengths, as well as give the author places that need enrichment. If you’re the author, ask yourself these questions about one of your own manuscripts.
23 Questions for a Critique
After reading a manuscript, answer these questions.
1. What does the main character want?
2. What was he willing to do to get it?
3. What kept the main character from getting what he wanted?
4. Does he get what he wants? How?
5. What are the mistakes that the main character makes?
6. What are his flaws? (He’s got to have flaws.)
7. What is the lowest point in the story?
8. Did the main character change? How?
9. What does the main character learn about life from his experiences in this story?
10. Do you know what each main character wants?
11. Does each main character have a distinct voice of his own?
12. Can you tell when a different character is talking?
13. What do you want to know that the writer is not telling you?
14. Does it make sense? If not, note in the manuscript which parts that don’t make sense.
15. Does the main character face his conflict or run away?
16. Does the main character save himself by human means or is he saved with unbelievable circumstances that seems like magic?
17. Mark where writer needs to show, don’t tell.
18. Can you write a short summary of the story? Do it.
19. What are three main errorsmain punctuation and grammar errorsfor the author to correct?
20. Point out any pet words that the author uses over and over again? A thesaurus might have other words to use in place of them.
21. What are three Blue Ribbon passages?
22. What questions come to mind as you read the manuscript?
23. After reading the story, can you write a short (25-100 word) summary? Do so. If not, tell the parts of the story that are missing.
I wish you great success in your writing career. Thanks for reading this blog post. I am honored by your presence here. Please leave a message in the comment area. I’d love to hear your ideas on how to give a good critique.
Never Give Up!
Joan Y. Edwards

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The Path


Issue # 1 has received a 5 star rating on Goodreads!

Submissions for the third issue of THE PATH are requested. The theme for the next issue is “potpouri,” in other words, there is no specific theme. Please refer to the submission guidelines at www.thepathmagazine.com  when developing your manuscript. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2012.


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