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Building a community of writers

Building a community of writers

Building a writing communityA couple years ago I moved from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. (What can I say, I like Portlands!) But despite the identical names, they’re very different cities. I’d been in Oregon for a decade, spent much of that time immersed in the various writing and music scenes, made good friends, and felt well-supported within those communities. Then suddenly I’m in this new place on the other side of the continent with no literary connections — and having to use GPS to get around town too. Ugh!

So I’ve done a lot of thinking over the past two years about literary community, what it means to build or join a community of writers, and why it’s crucial to be a part of such a community. I’ve also done a lot of reaching out; I’ve attended many readings; I’ve joined a writing group that meets monthly; and what do you know, slowly but surely I’ve become a part of a new community of Maine writers that I turn to for mentorship, feedback, or just to grab a drink and talk about books we love.

The solitude that people often experience when they move to a new town can be great for writing. You can be a lot more productive when your social options are limited. But at some point every writer craves that sense of community, or what Daryl Rothman calls a “literary network of resources, opportunity and mutual support which can help take your writing and publishing dreams to the next level.”

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How to “blog a book” and become a successful author (an interview with Nina Amir)

Nina Amir, author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, helps writers combine their passion and purpose so they can create works that positively impact the world.

In this interview, Nina provides tips on how to turn your blog into a book, how to position yourself as an expert, and how to build your writing career upon an inspired foundation. 

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6 things you need to know about book award contests

6 things you need to know about book award contests

6 things authors should know about book award contestsJames Ventrillo is the president of Readers’ Favorite, which runs one of the most popular book award contests online. Here are some of his tips to help you pick quality contests and help you aim for the gold.

Why should I enter a book award contest?

Entering a book award contest is not only about recognition, but the advertising benefits of that recognition. Entering a book contest is like paying to run an ad about your book. You need to look at how much it will cost and what your potential advertising return is. Book Award Contests–good ones–have a significant return for the money. If you are honored with an award, then all of your advertising can be enhanced with an impressive award seal and the words “award-winning book.” You will also have forever earned the title of award-winning author. This type of recognition goes a long way, and is probably the single greatest advertising enhancement one can obtain for their book, except for maybe an endorsement from a celebrity.

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Web tips for authors: the HostBaby roundup

Web tips for authors: the HostBaby roundup

Website tips for authors

Best-practices to smarten-up your online book marketing

Every week on The HostBaby Blog, we post new web and social media tips for artists. You’ll learn how to grow your email list, how to get readers to interact with your online content, how to draft newsletters that convert to sales, how to optimize your site for search, and more.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping tabs on the HostBaby Blog…

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

1. Introducing the new slideshow theme from HostBaby
2. Ten free website background images for spring

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3 tips to writing better action scenes

3 tips to writing better action scenes

Writing action scenesI recently finished Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels, a historical fiction about the Battle of Gettysburg, a book which General Norman Schwarzkopf has called “the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read.”

The Killer Angels is what first stirred Ken Burns’ interest in the Civil War, and it’s even cited as the original inspiration for Joss Whedon’s Firefly series (according to Wikipedia).

It took me three days to read those 350 pages — very fast reading for me — and the whole experience felt a little something like this passage from the book:

In the presence of real tragedy you feel neither pain nor joy nor hatred, only a sense of enormous space and time suspended, the great doors open to black eternity, the rising across the terrible field of that last enormous, unanswerable question.

It was a haunting novel about great and terrible events, about clashing armies and clashing ideals, about the tension between the past and the future. Afterwards I spent days trying to figure out how a narrative which relies so heavily upon action could end up ringing such meditative and philosophical notes.

Here’s what I came up with, and I list them here as possible devices you might employ in your own writing:

1. SKIP the action

Some of the most effective writing about physical conflict…

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What does a style of writing LOOK like?

What does a style of writing LOOK like?

Ghostwriting
Styles of writing

Passive writing, active writing, figurative writing, ghostwriting, etc.

Ever wondered what these different styles of writing LOOK like?

Well, we don’t really know. But Grant Snider of Incidental Comics has come up with a funny cartoon that should entertain you while you ponder the differences.

Here’s today’s entry from Incidental Comics:

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Amazon offers eReader trade-in credit

Amazon offers eReader trade-in credit

 

Amazon's eReader trade-in credit

How to get a new Kindle at a big discount

Do you own an older Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Sony device?

Amazon will now give you a $20 credit towards a number of new Kindle devices (not the Kindle Fire, though) if you trade in your old eReader.

Add that $20 credit to the trade-in value of your old eReader and you can get a new Kindle device at quite a discount.

Details are HERE.

As TeleRead says:

The cynical part of me wonders if the timing of this promotion isn’t intended to lure Sony readers into the Amazon fold since the Sony Reader store officially closed yesterday. However, no matter the reason, this might be a good time to look for an old reader and think about trading it in.

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Save $200 on custom-printed books

Save $200 on custom-printed books

Custom book printing

Think premium-quality printed books are priced out of your range? Think again.

BookBaby makes the highest-quality printed books around. We’re so confident in our quality that we offer the strongest guarantee in the short-run book publishing industry — you’ll pay nothing if you’re not 100% delighted with the quality of your books.

And now, thanks to this amazing deal, our printed books are more affordable than ever. You can save $200 when you buy 250 or more printed books through the end of April. This offer is good for any of our trim sizes, cover options, and binding styles.

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Advice that every young writer needs to hear…

Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, says there are three rules every writer needs to follow…

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