Did You Know? “Chekov’s Gun” Must Go Off

Anton Chekov was an acclaimed Russian playwright and short-story author. He was also famous for the writing concept of “Chekov’s Gun.”  Read the full post »

4 Small Presses Across the Pond Accept Unagented Submissions

Four small publishers in the U.K. welcome unpublished, unagented manuscripts in a variety of genres. Their websites don’t prohibit submissions from writers outside the U.K., but if you live in another country, it’s prudent to mention it in your query. Check out their submission guidelines below. Read the full post »

Top 8 Benefits of Attending the San Francisco Writers Conference

San Francisco hosts one of the biggest writers’ conferences in the U.S. (Photo by Cindy Fazzi, February 2018.)

Unlike Tony Bennett’s famous song, I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco. I met new friends and found renewed hope while attending the 2018 San Francisco Writers Conference (SFWC). The event offers many benefits. Let me focus on the top eight advantages. Read the full post »

Arts Agencies & Library Services Face Defunding (Again)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are facing defunding under the Trump administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. The proposal will also eliminate a substantial amount dedicated to America’s libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act. Read the full post »

Forest Avenue Press Open to Unagented Submissions for One Month

Fiction Sign-CindyFazziPicForest Avenue Press will accept unagented, unsolicited submissions from Feb. 14 to March 14, 2018.  The Portland, Oregon-based publisher is seeking literary fiction. Read the full post »

Newly Launched Staunch Book Prize Reflects #MeToo Movement

In the wake of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment, a new book prize is seeking thrillers in which “no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped, or murdered.” Submit your manuscript to the Staunch Book Prize, the writing contest for our times.  Read the full post »

Best of 2017: “Baby Driver” & “Lady Bird” Offer a Fresh Take on Old Tropes

Image courtesy of people.com.

Film Review: “Baby Driver,” directed by Edgar Wright, 2017; “Lady Bird,” directed by Greta Gerwig, 2017

In 2017, two films featuring young protagonists broke the mold to give same old same old tropes a fresh take. In “Baby Driver,” the creative use of music made it an extraordinary heist film, while the unlikely focus of “Lady Bird” on mother-daughter relationship set it apart from other coming-of-age movies. The two films are among the best and most original of last year’s crop of films. Read the full post »

Best-Selling Author Shares 4 Things Your Novel’s First Page Must Have

Photo courtesy of Visual Hunt.

The first thing a reader of a novel wants to know is the main character, according to best-selling suspense author Hank Phillippi Ryan.  If you’re writing a novel, she said your opening page must have these four important things. Read the full post »

Forget about Snowflake—it’s time for “Up Lit” and Other New Words

We need “up lit” books as an antidote to so much negativity in politics.

Snowflake is last year’s cliché, while Brexit is so 2016.  It’s time for a fresh batch of new words, or at least newly repurposed words. Read the full post »

Neither Predictive nor Prescriptive, “The Bestseller Code” is Anything But

Book Review: “The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel” by Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers, published by St. Martin’s Press, 2016

We’ve all read about studies that made us scratch our heads—research results that told us things we already knew, such as a healthy diet is key to living longer and people who exercise are in better shape than couch potatoes. “The Bestseller Code” is one of those studies. Read the full post »