04 April 2018

Are you prepared for RevPit 2018?

Whether you're just hearing about the Revise & Resub (#RevPit) Contest for the first time in 2018 or joined us last year, this post is meant to help you decide whether you'll be ready to submit on April 21st and, if so, what you should do to prepare.

But before I launch into it, it's worth mentioning this: You don't need to be a contestant in order to benefit from the amazingly supportive and enthusiastic RevPit community. Even if you decide not to submit this April, you can still join the party: ask questions, favorite, retweet, shake your pom-poms for your friends, find a critique partner, and learn from the editors' #AskEditor and #tenqueries tweets by following @ReviseResub and tuning in to the #RevPit hashtag on Twitter.

03 April 2018

Interview on Write Through the Roof


Last week I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Madeleine D'Este on her podcast, Write Through the Roof, wherein we talked about writing, editing, and RevPit (among other things). To find out about "the beverage triangle," my advice for processing both praise and criticism of one's writing, and a strategy for reading for craft, head on over to Madeleine's site and give this episode a listen!

12 March 2018

RevPit 2018!

I'm thrilled to be a participating editor again in this year's Revise & Resub (#RevPit) Contest!

For those who are unfamiliar with this contest, it's a chance for authors who are querying or getting ready to query their novels to win 5 weeks of editing with a professional editor. There is no submission fee, and all the editors volunteer their time and expertise. The feedback we got last year was intensely gratifying: those who followed the Twitter feed, whether they submitted to the contest or no, learned a ton about writing and querying and were able to improve their query letters and opening pages as a result. As an added bonus, many came away from the experience with new writer friends and critique partners. Regardless of whether you're thinking of submitting, I highly encourage you to learn more about the contest at reviseresub.com. Submissions open April 21st.

This is my fourth time participating in a contest like this (P2P16 twice in 2016 and RevPit last year), and by now I have my approach to selecting and working with authors pretty well nailed down. Since the editors' processes tend to be of interest to authors submitting to the contest - both to get a sense of how much work is involved for us and to learn what to expect - in this post I'll give you a peek into my own process. Please note that each of us editors take a different approach; unless otherwise noted, what I am about to divulge pertains to me alone.

19 January 2018

Podcast episode on self-publishing

I'm featured in a podcast! MUCH EXCITE!

Last month I recorded a (very long) podcast episode about self-publishing with r. r. campbell, creator of the Writescast podcast. (His debut novel, Accounting for it All is coming out later this year, btw, and I cannot wait!) In this episode I downloaded pretty much everything I've learned about self-publishing over the last 5 years, from distribution platforms and ISBNs to psyching yourself up for the long game and why you'd ever want to offer your book for free. Rather than edit out some of the juicy bits, campbell decided to split our conversation into two episodes, and GUESS WHAT! Part I went live today!


So if you're thinking about self-publishing or you've decided to self-publish and are wondering, What now? - this episode is for you. It's roughly 44 minutes long, perfect for a meal break or a wind-down at the end of the day. (Even better: my voice doesn't sound as horrible in this recording as in normally sounds to me. Gotta celebrate small victories.)

I hope you enjoy this episode!

Jan. 26, 2018 UPDATE: Part Two is now available!

26 October 2017

Writing vs storytelling

It should not have come as a surprise. After all, it had been ages since I'd had a similar epiphany about academic writing. Because my high school teachers and undergrad professors had almost only ever marked errors in style and mechanics (word choice, the use of "I", spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.), I'd gotten the mistaken impression that a good paper was an error-free paper written in an academic style, but in reality my grades were based on the ideas I frequently failed to adequately develop. This made my undergraduate years as an English major incredibly confusing: despite being a strong writer, able to clearly communicate with few copy editing errors, my grades rarely rose above a B.

More than a decade later, I found myself once again confused. Despite having spent the better part of the last twenty years working on my writing, I had four self-published novels that weren't selling well. The reviews said the writing was good, but people weren't falling in love with my characters and world the way I had. Something was missing. Something was wrong.

It should not have come as a revelation, but it did. 

Being a good writer is not the same thing as being a good storyteller.