The Observer Effect

Writers as observers, changers of reality…a well written post for sure.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

080317 mug shotBy Shelley Blanton-Stroud

I watch and record unobtrusively from a hard leather chair just behind them, invisible in my middle age, which I believe I have turned into an advantage.

They look like they’re thirty, like college acquaintances, graduated maybe in 2008, into the great recession, re-gathering at this brick Denver hotel for a wedding weekend, I guess, making up for lost time, re-introducing themselves. I’ve done okay. All of us have. Haven’t we?

I focus on one pair, seated awkwardly close on a low, cow-hide sofa. One is bunch-muscled, compact, thickly side-parted. I write that he is wearing a speckled ivory, v-necked sweater over a white tee and dark blue jeans, with heavy black glasses, and that he’s nodding earnestly.

I write that the man at his side is lanky, his knees jutting up higher than his belt on that sofa built more for looking at than sitting on…

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How to Get Professional PR Help on an Indie Budget

Good information for the newbie writer!

black CATastrophy

Every successful writer has a publicist. Book publicists navigate the media and work on the branding aspect of a book, so authors can focus on what they do best.

Without a publicist, many writers find themselves distracted from their craft to write press releases, hassle the media, and find opportunities for publicity on their own.

Naturally, many begin to look for quick, cheap fixes to remedy their situation. But there is no such thing – not without sacrificing the quality of your book and its chance in the market.

When it comes to public relations, you must be willing to spend at least one of two things: time or money. If you have more time than money, here’s how you can get professional PR assistance for your brand.

Invest in Social Media

Creating a social media account on any platform is free. Because of this, many indie authors think of social…

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It’s Almost August 13th!

You’ll want to check this out – having a PR team for an indie author could very well mean the difference between languishing in obscurity and hitting the best seller’s lists :-).

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In Defense of Platform

A frank description of what a writer’s “platform” really is these days. Definitely opened our eyes here at Nowata Press.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

He’s got 11.5K followers

I heard it yesterday, and I’ve heard it before. At conferences. In workshops. In podcast interviews. Always from a reasonably famous, multiply published writer. The workshop leader. The big visiting cheese.

“Don’t even think about platform.”
“Don’t worry about platform.”
“F*ck platform.”

I know they genuinely want what’s best for their students. They want us to focus on words, not clicks. Want us to make great work before thinking about the market, not let what’s selling this week influence the book of our heart.

They are wrong.

They are näive, out-of-touch, factually incorrect and a little bit condescending. Darling little writers–first make a book! Don’t put the cart before the horse!

Of course we want to write a good book. That’s why we paid to take your class. But you know why else we paid to be here? Because we’re hoping (mostly in vain) that…

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Opening Lines

Definitely good advice and brought a smile as well. Looking forward to trying a few of these out 🙂

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

So, you’re going to a writing conference! Workshops! Readings! Panels! Networking! Networking! Lots of networking! Mingling! Socializing! Bonding! Casual chatting through which lifelong writer friendships are forged! INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION AUGHLH JHJKGJKFGHFDGHAKJ–

Hang on, let me just breathe for a minute, and get off this ledge.

OK. Whew.

Perhaps, like me, you are a mewling, soft-skinned introvert hiding in a shiny I-talk-to-people-professionally-and-I’m-great-at-it shell. But somehow, our work has been found adequate, our check has been cashed, and we are at a writing conference. With group meals. Receptions. Post-reading cocktail hours. Casual gatherings. Late-night lounge time. A few days or a week full of priceless opportunities to open our mouths only to alternate feet.

Fear not. Brevity is here for you. Simply print this handy list of conference conversation openers, tuck it in the back of your name tag, and you’re ready for any writing-related exchange between humans. Just approach any writer…

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August/September 2017 Writing Contests

Great ways to get your work out into the world – if you enter any of these contests, pop back and let us know how things turn out!

Rachel Poli

Writing contests for August and September 2017AUGUST 2017

Genre: Flash Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Blue Earth Review
Deadline: August 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: $500

Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Miracles and More
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Entry Fee: N/A
Prize: $200

Genre: Non-Fiction
Theme: Stories of Redemption
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Entry Fee: N/A
Prize: $200

Genre: Fiction
Theme: Very Short (flash)
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: First – $2,000

Genre: Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Entry Fee:$21
Prize: First – $3,000

September 2017

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: My Crazy Family
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: September 5, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

Genre: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, or Poetry
Theme: None
Website: Still: The Journal
Deadline: September 9, 2017
Entry Fee: $12
Prize: First – $200

Genre: Essay
Theme: None

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What the hell is a ‘hybrid author’?

As you continue on the path to publication…fun post with pertinent information.

The Cat's Write

Yes, of course I poached Chuck Wendig’s brilliance from his article of the exact same name. But, to my credit, I did change my title slightly to reflect my amazing originality.

In a similar fashion to Wendig (God I am a poacher today), when I first came across the term ‘hybrid author’ I pictured something a little less than normal. For me, it was a science fiction writer with wings, a thick outer armour, an extra set of hands and the ability to never sleep. And I don’t know, maybe yellow eyes and vivid green dragon scales.

Realising my interpretation might be a tad fantastical, I sat down and did a bit of critical and creative reasoning (a.k.a terribleminds via google) and figured out that hybrid authors are pretty f—– brilliant.  Not only have they figured out that the publishing industry is changing at a rapid pace, but they have taken steps to…

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