How To Pinpoint Your #Strengths As A #Writer (And Make The Most Of Them!)

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Melanie V. Logan

As a writer, you’re constantly honing your craft—reading widely, seeking feedback, and considering the constructive criticism of others. Part of this process is learning how to recognize your own writing strengths. But it’s not always easy to judge yourself objectively, so Writer’s Relief has put together five ways to recognize the areas in which you truly shine:

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Facing rejection from Agents: Remember No means No!

Confessions of a published author

I was ready to submit and had researched various literary agency websites. My covering letter, synopsis and manuscript were polished and ready to go. I felt a sense of euphoria when I actually posted that A4 envelope off or clicked ‘send’ on the messages I sent. There was nothing to do but wait for the positive replies to come in!

Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. You see rejection may be presented in many different forms, but they all the mean the same thing: No means No!

Let me run you through the different forms of literary rejection. Please note that these are actual replies and not ones I’ve made up.

I can’t be bothered replying to you ‘No’:

This is where the agent doesn’t even bother getting back to you. They may have read your work or may not have. For all you know there is…

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photo: Caro Wallis Sweet Sorrow via photopin (license)

#MondayMotivation: #Encouragement for Every Dreamer

It starts with a dream.

Add faith,
and it becomes a belief.
Add action,
and it becomes a part of life.
Add perseverance,
and it becomes a goal in sight.
Add patience and time,
and it ends
with a dream come true.

– Doe Zantamata

From Slush Pile to #Editor’s Desk: Build Urgency From the Beginning

Ever hear the saying “you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression“?  This age-old advice applies to just about anything – books included.  So to hook the reader, the opening has to be attention-grabbing, and the momentum of interest should continue throughout the story.

In part two of Manuela Williams’ series From Slush Pile to Editor’s Desk, an editor’s perspective on building urgency is given.

Manuela Williams

While you can’t predict exactly what an editor will or will not like, there are a couple things you can do to ensure that your story has a fighting chance when you submit it to a literary magazine (and won’t cause anyone to scream and/or tear their hair out in frustration).

This is PART 2 of a multi-post series. For PART 1, click here.

Build Urgency From The Beginning

Lack of urgency is the number one reason why I turn down stories. The prose might be beautiful, but I can’t be sold on that alone. Your story needs to open with a bang and keep me hooked from sentence one.

If your story starts out with two characters discussing the weather, then I probably won’t read on (unless they’re talking about sharknados). Another pet peeve of mine: when a story starts off with a description of scenery. While this can…

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From Slush Pile to #Editor’s Desk: Submit A Story That Stands Out

In part one of Manuela Williams’ series From Slush Pile to Editor’s Desk, an editor provides helpful observations to make our stories unique.

Manuela Williams

Let’s say you’re the editor of a literary magazine. You have ten submissions to review before lunch, a looming press deadline and, on top of everything else, a full time job. What kind of stories do you want to read? The ones with typos, poor formatting, and a nonexistent plot? Or the ones with a compelling beginning, memorable characters, and prose that shines?

Simply put, editors are busy people. From managing the business side of their magazines to reviewing submissions, they have a lot on their plates. As a writer, your job is to make the editor forget about everything but your story.

While you can’t predict exactly what an editor will or will not like, there are a couple things you can do to ensure that your story has a fighting chance when you submit to a literary magazine (and won’t cause anyone to scream and/or tear their hair…

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Building Your #Writer’s #Brand – Sound Advice from E. Denise Billups

Writing can be easy…and hard.  The easy part is jotting down all the wonderful story ideas that float in our heads.  The harder part comes with editing and getting the finish product before the masses. Knowing what to do or how to do it can be frustrating.  But with great advice on brand building from fellow writers like E. Denise Billups, how can we ever fail.

E. Denise Billups, Writer

Indie authors are jack-of-all-trades. Not only are they writers, but also promoters and marketers of their finished product. This for most writers is difficult and for some an afterthought. Before you finish your book, you should have a well-defined marketing plan established and the first step is to create a mission statement.

In simple terms, a mission statement is short, concise sentence or paragraph describing your business and purpose (who you are, what you do, and your purpose or goals). This single statement is your marketing message, disseminating your brand, and the writer’s guide to reaching his/her ultimate goals.

Most people believe a mission statement is for major corporations or nonprofit organizations but for anyone building a brand whether you’re a painter, architect or writer, a mission statement is a crucial piece to crafting your image. For indie or traditionally published authors, a mission statement conveys your passion, your expertise, and…

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#Suicide Prevention: When Life Hurts Too Much

Hard to believe it’s been eight months since the original post, and more have succumbed by their own hand.  Life is tough.  I admit that.  It doesn’t have to end on a sour note.

If you or a loved one is contemplating suicide, please reach out.  Help is available.

Melanie V. Logan

Financial Woes * Illness or Pain * Loss of a Loved One * Bullying * Loneliness * Family or RelationshipIssues * Holiday Depression * Veteran PTSD * Overwhelmed with Life.

These are just a few reasons that some choose to end their lives.  They are our spouses, friends, neighbors, or even people who attend our church.  Each encounter, they may appear no different from any other occasion.

But the fact is so many people are in an indescribable pain that those of us around them have no clue about.  It’s after the time bomb goes off,

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