Ready. Set. Write! Check-in

Hello all! I'm checking in today for Ready. Set. Write! My summer goals are posted here, if you missed my post last week. If you'd like to participate in Ready. Set. Write, you can find out more information on Jamie Morrow's blog. Below are my answers for the check-in questions.

1. How I did on last week's goals.

Mediocre. I read a lot (especially submissions wise) and exercised, but revisions could have been better.

2. My goals for this week:

  • Identify ALL my scenes so I can address what needs to stay and what needs to be cut. 
  • Rewrite my first chapter.
  • Read more Black Fox Literary Magazine submissions.
  • Exercise at least 3 times. 

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I honestly didn't revise as much as I wanted. And I'm really just identifying/analyzing scenes at the moment.

4. The biggest challenge(s) I faced this week.

TIME. Always time.

5. Something I love about my WIP.

My protagonist. Even when I get frustrated with the story, she keeps speaking to me. She won't let me rest until I get her story right.

Goals: The Ready Set Write Challenge

Hello all! As writers, we can sometimes be intimidated by our seemingly endless to-do lists. That may be the very reason why I've been avoiding revisions on my novel. There is some work to do and to be honest, it seems daunting. Enter Ready. Set. Write. Some wonderful writers created this lovely accountability system for the summer to hold us all accountable! You can find the details on Katy Upperman's blog. Ready. Set. Write. started two weeks ago, but I'm joining in on the fun (it's week 3) and this will be my first official week. Better late than never, right? You can also follow the hashtag on Twitter: #RSWrite. And if you're not on Twitter and your're a writer, what are you waiting for?

My goals for the summer:

1. FINISH revisions on my YA contemporary (this will be the fourth draft) and be ready to restart my query process.

2. Read at least 3 books (preferably YA novels or poetry collections).

3. Write at least one new short story and five poems.

4. Finish planning Writer's Atelier events for through August.

5. Exercise at least 3 times a week.

6. Finish reading Black Fox submissions and get the summer issue published!

Now, who is with me?

March 2015 Reading List

I'm still keeping track of my reading every month. Here's what I read in March:

2 published books:

Shhh by Mathieu Cailler
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

2 client manuscripts

9 academic essays for clients

40 student papers

Examining the Scriptures (daily text, March 1-31)

5 Chapters from They Say, I Say by Gerald Graff & Cathy Birkenstein

4 classic short stories that I'm too lazy to list

3 classic poems that I'm also too lazy to list


"Children's Sales Soared in 2014" (Publishers Weekly)

"Third-Party Queriers or 'Agent-agents,' and Sapsuckers" (Agent, Jennifer Laughran)

"Top Ten Grammar Myths" (Grammar Girl)

"Emperor Franzen Twitter Account Suspended" (Washington Post)

"On the Radar: An Ember in the Ashes" (Publishers Weekly)

"A Lifetime of Student Debt?" By Robin Wilson (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

"Family Guy and Freud" By Antonia Peacocke

"Income Inequality: Too Big to Ignore" By Robert H. Frank (The New York Times)

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World - March 30, 2015

Hello all! It has been a very busy month in terms of both writing and editing. BUT I could not let the month go by without at least one opportunities post. I hope that you are still finding the motivation to get your work out there in the world. If not, what are you waiting for? 


1. Dămfīno Press is pleased to announce its first annual “Afternoonified” Poetry Chapbook Contest. Entry fee: $15.00. Deadline: April 30, 2015.

2. Autumn House Press is now accepting submissions for their 2015 full-length manuscript contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Each winner receives publication and $2,500. Entry fee: $30. Postmark deadline: June 30, 2015

Calls for Submissions:

1. RESTLESS is accepting short stories, poems, visual art, photography, or hybrid work for their Pride Month category on Submittable. They are also looking for novella-length stories and epic poems to serialize.

2. Backbone Press is currently accepting chapbook submissions. Please submit 20-30 pages of poetry.

3. Lime Hawk seeks original short fiction for their spring issue. Submissions are accepted year-round.

4. Gingko Tree Review invites submissions of up to six poems/short prose pieces or a single longer work of up to 6,000 words. Deadline: May 1, 2015.

5. Compass Literary Journal is currently accepting submissions that focus on various interpretations of loss.  As this is their first issue, they are particularly interested in hearing from new and emerging writers. Deadline: April 15, 2015.


1. The Associates of the Boston Public Library is currently accepting applications for its twelfth Children’s Writer-in-Residence. The program was created to provide an emerging children's author with the financial support and quiet space needed to complete one literary work. Eligible projects include fiction, nonfiction, a script, or poetry intended for children or young adults. The fellowship provides a $20,000 stipend and an office at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square from September 2015 through May 2016. Applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2015.

As always, Black Fox Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art and photography. Happy Writing!

February Reading

I got the idea from one of my Twitter writer pals, (Evelyn Alfred) to keep track of the things that I'm reading each month. This list may not be fully inclusive, because there were times when I felt too tired to write down what I read. Some items also don't have links for this very reason, or because they were read in print. In any event, this activity has taught me that I shouldn't feel bad about not fulfilling my Goodreads reading challenges! I won't ever beat myself up again. This doesn't even include Tweets or Facebook posts. (Ha!) I am looking forward to compiling everything at the end of the year to see just how much reading I do (outside of published books). Below is a list of everything I've read for the month of February. Disclaimer: I am attempting to learn all sides of publishing, hence all the publishing articles!

2 client manuscripts (one novel, one nonfiction book)

10 client papers (academic)

10 Black Fox Submissions (I'll get better, I promise!)

8 classic short stories (as review for teaching purposes)

Examining the Daily Scriptures February 1-28

I Made the Mistake of Starting a Small Press and So Can You by Spencer Madsen (The Toast)

So You Want to Start Your Own Micro-Press? Center for Fiction

A Guide for New Literary Publishers (CLMP)

Lessons I've Learned Starting a Micropress by Roxane Gay (HTML Giant)

Why Small Publishers Fail by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

How to Create, Register, and List Your New Publishing Company by Joel Friedlander 

Should I Start My Own Publishing Company? By Jillian Beegsma

Anatomy of a Small Press Company By James Roy Daley
Books of the Dead Press

Bookstores and Getting Into Them (Starting a Small Press Publisher) 
Devoted Love Press 

How to Find Out Everything You Need to Know About Self-Publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard

How Self Published Books Are Made: Start to Finish (Part I) by Catherine Ryan Howard

How Self Published Books Are Made: Start to Finish (Part II) by Catherine Ryan Howard

Self Printed Preview #3: The Minefield That is Self-Published Cover Design
By Catherine Ryan Howard

Self Printed Preview #4: What Does the Dream Book Look Like? By Catherine Ryan Howard

The Pros and Cons of Publishing with a Small Publisher by Robert Lee Brewer
Writers Digest 

Guest Post: On Writing Realistic, Flawed Parents in YA by Bryan Bliss

"Progressive Walmart. Really." By Sebastian Mallaby

"Don't Blame the Eater" by David Zinczenko

"In Defense of Cheering" By Jennie Yabroff

"Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter" By Tom Bissell

6 chapters in the book The Say, I Say (in preparation for teaching)

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World - February 16, 2015

Hello all! It's been a while since I have blogged about opportunities, but I'm trying to get better. I've been focusing a lot on my own writing, Black Fox Literary Magazine and my company, Writer's Atelier! It's been stressful, but very much worth it. I plan to keep blogging about opportunities, as I still believe in the mission. When I started this blog, I wanted writers to understand that there are tons of literary opportunities out there and while you're waiting on decisions for that novel (or even working on it), you can submit your work to various contests and magazines. It's good practice! Here are the latest opportunities. Don't be afraid. Get your work out there!


1. Gotham Writers' 91-Word Memoir Contest. Deadline: February 20, 2015

2. Sable Books is accepting submissions for their 2015 February Chapbook Contest. Entry fee is $25. No solid deadline. Check their website for updates. 

3. Iron Horse Literary Review is accepting submissions for their annual Single-Author Competition. This year, they are seeking to publish a prose chapbook composed of either stories or essays. Roxane Gay will judge. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: February 28th, 2015.

4. Cave Canem Poetry Prize: All unpublished, original collections of poems written in English by black writers of African descent who have not had a full-length book of poetry published by a professional press are eligible. (Authors of chapbooks and self-published books with a maximum print run of 500 may apply.) Entry fee is $15. Deadline: March 9, 2015

5. The Moon City Poetry Award is for an original, full-length collection of poetry composed in English by a single or collaborative author. Entry fee is $25. Deadline is May 1, 2015

6. The Southeast Review is accepting submissions for its 2015 contests in three categories: Narrative Nonfiction Contest, judged by Bob Shacochis; Gearhart Poetry Contest, judged by David Kirby; World's Best Short-Short Story Contest, judged by Robert Olen Butler. Entry fee is $16. Deadline: March 15, 2015.

Calls for Submissions:

1. Lunch Ticket is accepting submissions of fiction, flash fiction, poetry, writing for young people, & visual art for its summer/fall issue.
Deadline: April 30, 2015.

2. Canyon Voices is accepting fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and scripts until March 1, 2015.

3. The New Sound: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature is accepting submissions of short fiction, poetry, essays, drama, art and book reviews until May 1, 2015.

4. This Dark Matter, an online magazine devoted to dark fiction, is seeking fiction and poetry with an edge for the Black Friday Fiction feature. Submissions can include short stories, flash fiction, or poetry of any kind as long as there is some element of horror, wickedness, or mystery included. Submissions accepted on a rolling basis.

As always, Black Fox Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art and photography. Happy Writing!

Latest Issue (#11) of Black Fox Literary Magazine

Hello all! The Winter Issue (#11) of Black Fox Literary Magazine is now available! Pam, Marquita and I are so proud of this issue. Not only is the cover beautiful, but we have a lot of diversity within the stories and poems selected. Thanks to our contributors and readers for their continued support! Read it on the BFLM site or purchase the print copyHappy reading!

Features work by: Sonja Condit, Dawn Fuller, Mandy Brown, Amy Castillo, Geenie Yourshaw, Carolyn Elias, Nathaniel Sverlow, Francine Witte, Suzanne Rae Deshchidn, Kiana Donae, Byron Beynon, Gabe Russo, Allison Thorpe, Brad Garber, Doug Van Hooser, Zvi A. Sesling, Caty-Scarlett Coleman, Daniel von der Embse, Shannon Fox, David Haight, Willow Becker, Aiden Thomas, Eva Langston ‘Pemi Aguda and David Klugman. Cover Artist: Judi Calhoun. 


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