Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jennifer Weiner's Reading Tip for Novelists

        From time to time I like to check out various writers' websites for the following reasons:
            1. I want to see what they are up to (what they are working on 
                now, what they've written)
            2. If they offer any advice to aspiring writers (and by aspiring I
                mean unpublished)
            3. And this one's lame but, their websites give me hope that
                some day I will have my own website with a list of all the
                books I have published, and maybe even offer advice to

       So, with that being said, I stumbled onto Jennifer Weiner's page and she actually offered some pretty helpful tips for writers who want to be published novelists. One of the most helpful points she made was to read! It sounds so obvious to most writers, but believe it or not, I've talked to writers that don't read. Ms. Weiner stated that we should read anything we can get our hands on. She said that if someone tells you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you're doing research. I never thought about it that way. My creative writing teachers always told me that you have to start to read like a writer. Now I finally get that concept! I find that when I read, I am studying the dialogue, analyzing the characters and plot structure, questioning whether the point of view works or not. When I read now, I take away so much more than just a good story. Ms. Weiner also suggested reading the news paper. I didn't realize how much inspiration could be drawn from picking up the New York Times and reading a couple of articles. At the moment I am on a "reading high," and I am taking Ms. Weiner's advice and reading everything I can get my hands on.
     Thanks to Jennifer Weiner, I will sometimes shine the spotlight on authors who offer great advice. Check out Jennifer Weiner's website for the rest of her tips on how to become a novelist and for a list of books she's written so far.

Here's a link to her tips:

     Do you read like a writer? What do you read to draw inspiration? Do you think writers should read everything they can get their hands on?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Opportunites in the Great Big Literary World!

Yes, it's back. And yes, I have a good stuff to share!

1. Writer's Digest One Sentence Story Contest
    I am thrilled about Writer's Digest One Sentence Contest! Basically when you click the link it takes you to the contest page where you are asked to write the opening sentence of a story based on a picture. You have absolutely no excuse to not enter this contest because it is not time consuming and as far as I can see, it's FREE! They will be choosing 10 winners who will be published in the September 2010 "Big Ten" issue of Writer's Digest! The Deadline for this contest is approaching! Enter by MAY 14, 2010

2. The Wag's Revue Summer 2010 Contest
    I stumbled across this on-line only literary quarterly of fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews on the website for the Paris Review. They have a  Summer contest going on right now. The first prize is $1000, second prize is for $500, and third prize is for $100! The contest ends May 31, 2010.

3. Narrative Magazine Spring 2010 Writing Contest
    I have always loved Narrative Magazine, and here is yet another one of their many contests. They accept all types of writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic stories, photo essays, etc.). However, I suggest checking the website to make sure they will accept your work. First prize wins $3250, Second prize wins $1500, third prize wins $750, and ten finalists will win $100. All entries will be considered for publication. Entry fee is $20. Contest ends July 31, 2010.

For more information about any of the contests click the links above. Now get going! Happy Writing :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How Do You Handle Rejection?

  Hi all! It has been quite some time! Unfortunately life gets in the way, and I haven't been able to blog. BUT....I'm back in the game. I just thought I'd touch on the topic of rejection. I recently applied for an internship at a well known magazine and got turned down. I made it to what I would call "level 2" (after reviewing my resume and cover letter they gave me an assignment). I was so close. If I had gotten that internship, it would have been a big deal (to me anyway). It could have been GREAT for my career. I put everything I had into the assignment, but it fell short. I got an email a week later stating that the "competition was fierce" and they were going to have to pass. I was disappointed.
    I thought about all the jobs in the past that I had been rejected from. Then i realized I was rejected from those jobs because there was always a better opportunity waiting for me. Right after I graduated college I was in a slump. I couldn't find a job. I had been promised a job with the department where I worked as a student assistant. They kept stalling, and giving me the run around, so I finally just gave up and started looking for other jobs. I applied at a particular store in the mall (that shall remain nameless!) and they rejected me! I could not believe a retail store would reject a college graduate! I even had a good interview, if I don't say so myself! Then I came across an ad for a receptionist in a law firm. I interviewed and in a matter of two days I got the job. It's not the most glamorous job, but it's one of the best jobs I've ever had. I have more responsibility than I did when I started, I have gotten two raises, and my boss is flexible with my grad school schedule (and the people I work with are fantastic).
     I didn't get that internship because I am convinced that something bigger and better will come along. This can be applied to writing as well! If you get rejected, don't let it get you down. Maybe something much more fabulous is in store for you! :) How do you handle rejection?