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Giveaway Winners and Big Thanks!

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Dear Readers…

Thank you for celebrating DearEditor.com’s new look with me! I’m pleased to announce the winners of the two giveaways, randomly selected via Rafflecopter: Wendy BooydeGraaff for the picture book manuscript edit, and Janice Yuwiler for the partial edit of her novel. Deep thanks to you all for your support and enthusiasm. I’m glad you’re finding the new look inviting and navigation-friendly, and promise to do my best to continue sharing useful, clear answers to your questions about the craft and business of writing.

Happy writing!
The Editor

A New Look, with Edit Giveaways to Celebrate!

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Dear Readers…

Welcome to DearEditor.com’s new look! Fresh face, easier navigation, same great features:

>> answers to your questions about the craft and business of writing
>> Revision Week Archive with 25+ revision-focused interviews of award-winning, bestselling authors
>> Guest Editor posts by experts and authors
>> 2 ways to quickly find more about the topic that interests you most — Search icon and Categories bar
>> comments section for adding your insights or asking for more
>> featured flashback posts at the bottom of the page *NEW*

Mobile users will find all these features with a simple tap of the Menu icon or a flick of your scrolling thumb.

Please celebrate this redesign with me by entering one or both of the two drawings below for a free picture book edit or a free partial edit of your novel manuscript. It’s my of saying thank you for visiting, and enjoy your stay. And of course, tap Write the Editor to send me your burning questions because I’m here to help!

Happy writing!
The Editor

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ALERT: “Free Partial Edit” Giveaway!

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Dear Readers…

It’s been too long since DearEditor.com held a giveaway, so it’s ON! This week, The Editor is giving away a FREE EDIT OF THE FIRST 40 PAGES OF YOUR FICTION MANUSCRIPT. Entry deadline:  April 20, 2018, midnight.

This giveaway is open to any novelist of MG, YA, NA, or fiction for adults in any genre. The winner will be announced on April 22, here and on DearEditor.com’s Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages.

Read on to enter via Rafflecopter…

 

 

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re: Winner! Thank You for Celebrating 20 Years With Me

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Dear Readers…

It’s a privilege to be able to celebrate my 20th anniversary by giving back to the community that embraced me on Day One. I’m happy to announce the winner of last week’s “Free Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway: Julie Falatko.

Happy writing!
The Editor

On my first day as an editorial assistant with Harcourt Children’s Books, the managing editor walked me down the hall to view an art show of newly arrived paintings for a picture book then in production. I stood among a bustling crowd of editors, designers, production people, marketing gurus, and inventory, financial, legal, and support staff—all of whom had dedicated their careers and personal passions to creating entertaining and enlightening books for children—and it hit me: I’d found my people. I discovered that day what I’ve come to love about the writers and producers of children’s books: They are a true community that cheers, collaborates, and works its knuckles to the bones in support of literature for young readers.”

That’s how I described my first day in children’s publishing for my acknowledgments in Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. That pivotal day was twenty yours ago this month. Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me.

Alert! Winner of “Free Picture Book Manuscript Edit” Giveaway

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Dear Readers…

Thank you for helping me celebrate my 20th year in publishing. Later this week I’ll post another giveaway, but today is all about the winner of last week’s “Free Picture Book Manuscript” Edit giveaway: Manju Howard.

Happy writing!
The Editor

To be a part of creating stories for children is an amazing privilege…

Each thing she learned became part of herself, to be used over and over in new adventures.” — Gypsy, Kate Seredy, 1951, from What the Doormouse Said: Lessons for Grown-ups from Children’s Books

I hope you’ll join me later this week for a second giveaway. The party continues!

Giveaway Winner announced

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Dear Readers…

Thank you for celebrating my good news with me. WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION was a pleasure to write, and I’m pleased that the San Diego Book Award committee finds it worthy of their honor. I’m especially thrilled to have heard from so many of you that it’s been a useful addition to your writing life. Mission accomplished! And now for the winner of the Free Full Manuscript Edit giveaway: Congratulations, Serene Heiner!

Happy writing to all!
The Editor

I’ve sent Serene an email and look forward to hearing about her project. I send the rest of us into the new week with a powerful statement from this month’s SCBWI Summer Conference:

“Surround yourself with people who are going to cheer you on.” –Kwame Alexander, Newbery Medalist

Hear, hear!

ALERT: Free Full Manuscript Edit giveaway!

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Dear Readers…

You know I love to celebrate milestones and good news by paying it forward. This week I’m celebrating WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION winning a San Diego Book Award by giving away a FREE FULL MANUSCRIPT EDIT. Read today’s announcement post for details and the Rafflecopter entry form.

Good luck!
The Editor

This Free Full Manuscript Edit giveaway is for picture book writers or any novelist—of MG, YA, NA, or Adult fiction—who has a completed manuscript of 110,000 words or less. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. The contest is open to entries August 10, 2015 – August 14, 2015. I’ll announce the winner August 15, 2015, here on this blog and on DearEditor.com’s Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages. [NOTE: If you’re viewing this on your desktop or laptop, use the scroll bar at the right to see the full Rafflecopter entry instructions for the Facebook and Twitter extra entry options, which have two steps. Mobile devices DO show the full entry form for those options. For the next DearEditor.com giveaway, I’ll have a redesigned page to avoid such issues. Thanks!]

Happy writing!
The Editor

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Thank You, and See You in a Week!

in Giveaways/New Adult Fiction/WNAF Virtual Book Launch by

Dear Readers…

Thank you for joining me to celebrate the publication of Writing New Adult Fiction, and congratulations to Devanie on winning yesterday’s grand finale Full Manuscript Edit giveaway. We’ll take week off from DearEditor.com updates in your inbox, then I’ll be back with the regular Q-and-A—starting with a writer who wants to know what makes “bestsellers that begin with backstory, like The Fault in Our Stars,” work in an age when in media res is the magic phrase.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Writing New Adult Fiction

Foreword by Sylvia Day

“For the writer who wants to become a new adult author, or the new adult author who seeks to enrich her craftsmanship and stand out from the herd.”Tammara Webber, New York Times best-selling author of Easy and Breakable

WritingNewAdultFictionA guide for writers of New Adult fiction, featuring essential information and techniques for creating engaging stories featuring 18- to 25-year-old protagonists against the backdrop of the new adult experience. Includes advice on self-publishing in the NA marketplace and self-marketing. Find insights from best-selling NA authors as well as editors and agents.

WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION Launch Week, Grand Finale: Free Full Manuscript Edit Giveaway

in Giveaways/New Adult Fiction/WNAF Virtual Book Launch by

Dear Readers…

It’s here—the final day of Writing New Adult Fiction Launch Week. Today, a few words of thanks and the grand finale giveaway: a Free Full Manuscript Edit.

Good luck!
The Editor

*Scroll down to enter the “Free Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway. Congratulations to the winner of yesterday’s free critique giveaway, Beth Hull!

Sylvia DayIn picking up Writing New Adult Fiction, you, too, are turning to a new page in your writing career…. Take what you learn in the pages that follow, then adapt the knowledge to suit your story and style. Let the information work for you. Learn the rules so you can break them. You will lead your New Adult characters on a similar journey of discovery and adaptation. It’s a path we can all relate to, which is why the genre resonates with so many readers, regardless of age or background.”–Sylvia Day, from her foreword for Writing New Adult Fiction

Tammara WebberThis book is more than a marketing guide, more than a writing manual, more than a compilation of stories about successful authors. For the writer who wants to become a new adult author, or the new adult author who seeks to enrich her craftsmanship and stand out from the herd, this book has an abundance of information.Tammara Webber, from the cover of Writing New Adult Fiction

I thank Sylvia and Tammara for believing in my efforts to help NA writers, and everyone who contributed illuminating sidebar features to the book, like cover designer Robin Ludwig, who talks about book covers in her feature “Author Branding Through Cover Design.” And Marsal Lyon Literary Agency’s Kevan Lyon, who explains how an agent knows when she’s got something special in her hands in her feature “What It Means to Look for ‘Fresh’.” And author Alana Albertson, who walks us through the creation of an audiobook in her feature “Beyond the Book: Creating Your Own Audiobook.” I’m honored that these experts are helping me extend this book beyond the writing process so it can help writers through every phase of publishing.

These other authors, agents, editors, and industry insiders also allowed me to pick their brains and then pepper their wisdoms throughout the book: Jennifer L. Armentrout (writing NA fiction as J. Lynn), Amanda Bergeron, Carrie Butler, Jill Corcoran, Jaycee DeLorenzo, Kristina DeMichele, Stacey Donaghy, Karen Grove, Juliana Haygert, L.G. Kelso, Summer Lane, Trisha Leigh (writing NA fiction as Lyla Payne), Molly McAdams, Jen McConnel, Sara Megibow, Lynn Rush (also writing as Resse Monroe), Victoria H. Smith, Brooklyn Skye, Nicole Steinhaus, Denise Grover Swank, Suzie Townsend, Dan Weiss, and E.J. Wesley.

My thanks to you, too, for joining my week-long celebration. I hope you found some useful insights. To blow the final horn on this party, I’m giving away a full manuscript edit. It’s open to any novelist—of YA, NA, or Adult fiction—who has a completed manuscript of 110,000 words or less. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow, here and on DearEditor.com’s Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages.

Happy writing!
The Editor

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WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION Launch Week, Day 4: Revising in the Speed-Driven NA Market

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Dear Readers…

Here we are at Day 4 of Writing New Adult Fiction Launch Week. Today, the last “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway and advice for revising your NA manuscript. Tomorrow, the grand finale “Free Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway….

Happy reading!
The Editor

*Scroll down to enter today’s “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway. Congratulations to yesterday’s winner, Whitney Sostarich!

The revision part of the process takes longer than the initial writing. The writing usually comes very quickly, then the revision will take two to three times longer than the first draft.” –Sylvia Day, international bestselling author and former president of Romance Writers of America, from Writing New Adult Fiction

NA writers feel great pressure to publish fast. Readers clamoring for the next book in your series, market opportunities feeling so “now, now, now!”, self-publishing technology reducing production cycles to nanoseconds, and other NA authors cranking out book after book after book so shouldn’t you be, too?

No. Take a breath. Now blow that frenzied feeling out of your body and take control. Refuse to be pushed into going out as fast as you can with the quickest story you can write. Publishing success isn’t measured in how fast you go from idea to publication—it’s measured in readers so satisfied with the reading experience you crafted that they want to share it with their friends and then buy more. Those readers would prefer you take longer to write a great next book than publish just-okay stuff fast. Do you want to see 3-star reviews of your books that say, “It was okay, but it felt rushed,” or do you want 4- and 5-star reviews that say, “I loved it and you will, too!”? Allow yourself the extra time you need to revise. Don’t let outside forces determine when you say, “Done!”

And I’m not just talking line tweaks. I mean evaluating the entire manuscript—scenes, character arcs, all of it—and committing to fixing any weaknesses you identify. Revision is a powerful writing tool. Every spring DearEditor.com dedicates a week to interviews with prolific award-winners and bestsellers to examine their revision processes. Click here to hear how 19 writers with 500+ books between them tackle revision and still publish voluminously.

So of course I wrote a big ol’ chapter about revising for Writing New Adult Fiction, keeping NA needs in mind. Here are two important elements you can assess when it’s time to evaluate your NA manuscript for revision:

  • Check your settings for NA appeal and freshness: 60% of Americans go straight to college from high school. If you’ve got a campus setting, have you set the scenes in uncommon campus spaces to make the familiar feel fresh? Get your characters out of the campus beer garden and into the on-campus bowling alley, with all the noises, weird lighting, and interruptions that come with that. Instead of meeting the hot guy in the class doorway, have Mr. Hottie offer your gal a ride to her car in a crowded parking structure so he can get a space. Parking was the bane of my college experience, so I muted my parents’ warnings about getting into cars with strangers. Sound like a new adult risk-taker to you? Did you work your setting against your new adult’s concerns and social mindset? How about her work spaces and party places? Does your new adult’s living space reflect this transitory time of life? Does her new “home” force her to face things she thought she’d left behind with Mom and Dad? Do your setting choices expose deep truths about your characters and make them as comfortable or uncomfortable as you need them to be?
  • Confirm that you have new adult undertones: Does your NA protagonist have high expectations for herself that don’t always match reality? Is she experimental, does she take risks? Is she working on self-accountability? Is your character still assessing her Life Plan or has she settled into it? Have you challenged that commitment, putting the screws to her thumbs so that she truly examines the box she’s building for herself? Did you get in there and rock her stability? No fiction writer should let their character stand on solid ground for long—problems beget conflict and pressured choices, conflict and pressured choices beget further problems—but it’s especially true for your NA fiction because new adults are in such a hypersensitive, unstable state.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter today’s “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway. NA, YA, Adult… any fiction WIP is okay. (And you’re still eligible for the Friday Full MS edit giveaway, too.) Good luck!

 

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WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION Launch Week, Day 3: NA Lit and Multiple Points of View

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Dear Readers…

Welcome to Day 3 of Writing New Adult Fiction Launch Week. Today, a “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway, advice for deciding if your NA fiction should have multiple narrators, tips for smooth POV switching, and a peek at author Molly McAdams’s efforts to coax a voice from a new narrator in Book Two of her bestselling Taking Chances series.

Hope you find it informative!
The Editor

*Scroll down to enter today’s giveaway. Congratulation’s to yesterday’s winner, Kimberly Durtschi!

Using multiple narrators to tell your story from different points of view is a popular and fun storytelling device in New Adult literature. Multiple POVs are great for injecting conflict by having two characters report the same event differently (with neither one lying!), for causing conflict by having two characters process the same event to different ends and requiring different actions, for allowing readers to connect intimately with multiple characters, for working in information that a single narrator couldn’t know, and for providing alternate insights or opinions. But there are risks if you mishandle your multiple POVs. Switching from character to character can distract or jolt your readers or stutter your story’s momentum. Or, your efforts to connect readers with multiple characters can overwhelm those readers—and you. You may use multiple narrators in a single book, or you can switch narrators from book to book within a series.

Molly McAdams, the author of the New Adult contemporary romance series Taking Chances and Forgiving Lies, weighs in on the challenge of making sure a sequel with a new POV covers new ground in her Writing New Adult Fiction special feature “Author Insight: Giving Chase a Voice”:

molly mcadams taking chances“The times when I was mirroring Taking Chances [book 1], Chase was difficult—he’d hide in the background, and I could picture him smirking at me, saying, ‘This isn’t my story.’ But the second I’d veer away into the parts we hadn’t seen before, the parts that made  Stealing Harper [book 2] so different, it was as if I’d been holding him back while he’d been screaming at me to tell his story, and now that I’d started, there was no stopping until it was all out. He finally had a voice, and he was using it.”

As Molly’s experience makes clear, switching narrators is most powerful when each narrator can contribute something new to the story—new insights, information, or opinions—rather than simply offer a second voice. This is especially important if you’re covering scenes that readers already witnessed through another narrator (“mirroring”). The switching should add depth, not just pages. Otherwise you’re just rehashing the same scene, making the POV shifts feel repetitive rather than revelatory.

Are multiple POVs right for your NA lit? No device should be used just because it’s popular; plenty of great NAs use single POV. When considering your story’s POV, ask yourself…

  • Who is the best character(s) to tell this story?
  • What will an additional perspective add to the story? Can I show readers what’s going on in the other character’s head through his actions, body language, dialogue, and choices instead?
  • Can each character consistently bring new information to the story to make the switching rewarding for readers?
  • Do my readers need to know what’s going on in that other character’s mind? In real life, we can’t know exactly what’s going on in our closest friends’ heads. Miscommunication stems from that blind spot, and miscommunication is a novelist’s friend.

If you decide that multiple narrators are best for your NA fiction, go for it! Here are tips for smooth, strategic POV shifts…

  • Give the narrators vastly different voices and outlooks on life.
  • Trade narrators at scene or chapter breaks rather than mid-scene, reducing jolts or pacing stutters.
  • Be consistent about switching, establishing a rhythm or pattern that you can strategically break for powerful dramatic deviation.
  • Use the switching as a tension-increasing device, timing some switches to create cliffhangars as you temporarily deny readers the information, insights, or reactions they crave.
  • Clarify the switches. You could write one narrative in present tense, another in past; use first person (I, me) for one, and third person (he, she, they) for the other; or use the narrators’ names as the chapter titles.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect mix of POV strategies for your NA lit. A few days of experimentation pay off big time when you end up with the perfect balance for your story.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter today’s “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway. NA, YA, Adult… any fiction WIP is okay. (And you’re still eligible for the Friday Full MS edit giveaway, too.) Good luck!

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WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION Launch Week, Day 1: NA Fiction v. YA Fiction – What’s the Diff?

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Dear Readers…

Thank you for joining me for Writing New Adult Fiction Launch Week. Today, a “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway and my answer to the question, “What the difference between YA, Mature YA, and NA?”

Enjoy!
The Editor

*Scroll down to enter today’s giveaway.

I’ll kick the week off with a quick compare-and-contrast of Young Adult and New Adult fiction. The new adult experience differs from the teen experience in important ways, influencing the narrative sensibility of each category and the actions and reactions of their characters.

Young Adult fiction features characters aged 12-18, covering a broad range of emotional, social, and intellectual development. It’s the 17- and 18-year-olds who figure into the YA v. NA discussion. Developmentally, these teens have begun looking outward as they try to find their places in the world and realize that their actions have consequences in the grander scheme of life. However, their dearth of experience affects their decision-making and perspective, contributing to the youthfulness, or lack of sophistication, that marks YA’s narrative sensibility. Even intelligent older teens who can think deeply about the world lack the emotional or practical tools to fix what’s broken, or the wisdom necessary to accurately diagnose a problem in the first place. In YA fiction, teens judge (often erroneously) then act based on that judgement (often not considering all ramifications). When they see that they messed up—which they will, because that’s where we get our conflicts and character growth—they must then react. Our goal as novelists is to push them through the judge-act-react sequence to the new level of maturity or enlightenment that comes with their triumph. We start them on their path of wisdom attainment that will kick into full gear during new adulthood. This time of life is often about the desperate desire for freedom to run their own lives and about learning how to cope, survive, overcome.

Mature YA is a label that distinguishes YA stories featuring those older teens and having explicit content. That graphic content isn’t enough to roll it over into the NA category because these young people are still struggling to process their world from the teen perspective I just described. And it’s not a matter of the issues explored—plenty of general YA fiction explores sexual attacks, drugs, murders, and similarly intense (“dark”) topics or themes, and many cover teen sexual experiences. Because these stories still deal with the teen experience, they are YA not NA. The “mature” distinction tips off readers that the sex isn’t merely alluded to or handled off-scene but rather written of in more explicit terms. This cut-and-dried definition blurs a bit when characters are still young but already in the new adult mindset I describe below. When determining whether your story is Mature YA or NA, consider your protagonist’s emotional and social levels, not just their intellect or life circumstances. It’s helpful to decide this before you craft the story so you can sculpt your character’s experience with your desired reader in mind.

New Adult fiction features characters aged 18-25 that have the independent life they yearned for and are in a “Now what?” phase. The NA experience ranges from leaving parents (or adult oversight) all the way up to first forays into careers. Leading a self-responsible life means new social circles, transitive living situations, new schools, jobs, and adventures. In essence, it’s a time of change and instability—and that means stress. Stress, of course, means conflict, which is fiction gold. Their high expectations and personal optimism often clash with reality. In continuing the self-identity establishment they began in their teen years, they explore, experiment, take risks, and start formulating their Life Plans—and keep reassessing those plans. There’s time later, in full adulthood, to settle into a Life Plan and get married and have kids. Society grants them this time of self-focus and these young people often embrace it with intensity that brings its own problems. The human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25, hindering new adults’ decision-making, risk-taking, and peer pressure issues. New adults often look back on the traumas they survived in their teen years and realize that surviving wasn’t enough—it’s time to accept and move on. And they look for meaningful love relationships, usually involving sex because, hey, it’s their time to experiment, they’ve got access to willing partners, and no one is monitoring them anymore. Many readers expect explicit love scenes. That said, there’s also a growing call for romance that is emotionally rich but not necessarily explicit. New adults aren’t looking for Mr/s. Right yet, but they are looking for deep connections, and that’s where NA romance storylines get their emotional power.

NA fiction is dominated by contemporary romance stories, but since the new adult experience can be explored in any circumstance, NA lit includes genres like paranormal, fantasy, thriller, mystery, historical … any genre that NA authors and readers desire. Just as YA is more than teen angst in high school, NA is more than love and lust at college. Both YA and NA explore what it means to grow and thrive among the universal concerns and perspectives of distinct life stages.

On the difference between the two, Entangled Embrace Editorial Director Karen Grove says, “New Adult is not just age or sex, it’s an underlying theme of finding one’s place in the adult world.” Karen and editor Nicole Steinhaus are vocal advocates for NA literature, and generously co-authored a featured segment for Writing New Adult Fiction. “The viewpoint must be youthful and without the benefit of years of experience, yet old enough to have developed a stronger sense of identity and responsibility than a teen. After all, these protagonists are experiencing many of these things for the first time.”

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter today’s “Free 1st 20 Pages Critique” giveaway. NA, YA, Adult… any fiction WIP is okay. (And you’re still eligible for the Friday Full MS edit giveaway, too.) Good luck!

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NEWSFLASH! Free Edit Giveaways During Launch Week Aug 25-29

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Dear Readers…

I encourage writers to celebrate their writing milestones. Today my new book Writing New Adult Fiction releases and I’m celebrating with a week of daily “Partial Edit” giveaways and a grand finale “Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway starting Monday. I’ll also share tips for crafting riveting New Adult Fiction, some of the sidebar wisdoms contributed to the book by bestselling NA authors, editors, agents, and cover designers, and other fun stuff like that. Join me for this 5-day virtual book launch August 25-29. And if you’re free, stop by #NAlitchat tonight on Twitter 9pmEST to talk all things NA.

Party time!
The Editor

Writing New Adult Fiction

Foreword by Sylvia Day

“For the writer who wants to become a new adult author, or the new adult author who seeks to enrich her craftsmanship and stand out from the herd.”Tammara Webber, New York Times best-selling author of Easy and Breakable

WritingNewAdultFictionA guide for writers of New Adult fiction, featuring essential information and techniques for creating engaging stories featuring 18- to 25-year-old protagonists against the backdrop of the new adult experience. Includes advice on self-publishing in the NA marketplace and self-marketing. Find insights from best-selling NA authors as well as editors and agents.

Newsflash: Giveaway Winner!

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Dear Readers…

I’m pleased to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway—a free full manuscript edit—celebrating the completion of my final draft of Writing and Selling New Adult Fiction: Irene Latham, with her middle grade contemporary survival fiction.

Congratulations to Irene, and happy writing to all!

The Editor

Thank you all for helping this writer celebrate my milestone. Please return tomorrow for a new question-and-answer with a Guest Editor, and do plan on entering the daily giveaways during DearEditor.com’s annual Revision Week at the end of April. In meantime, some words that may help you think about your story’s opening a little differently, from one of my favorite editors, Arthur Levine of Arthur A. Levine Books:

“I think of first pages as a first date. We’re at the stage of a relationship when it’s all promise. Establish a spark for the beginning, and a trust. The foundation for a good relationship.”

ALERT: Free FULL MANUSCRIPT Edit Giveaway!

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Dear Readers…

The Editor believes the path to publication should be as full of celebration as it is of hard work. Therefore, to celebrate finishing the final draft of her new craft book, Writing and Selling New Adult Fiction, the Editor is giving away a FREE EDIT of a full fiction manuscript. Entry deadline: March 22, 2014. Read on for rules….

 

Rules for the giveaway of the FREE edit of the your full fiction manuscript:

  1. Your manuscript must be FICTION of ANY GENRE for ANY AGE GROUP, including picture books.
  2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE and no longer than 80,000 words. (Do not submit any ms pages unless notified by the Editor that you have won the giveaway.)
  3. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
  4. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, March 22, 2014, PST
  5. Winner will be randomly selected using Randomizer.org and announced on March 24, 2014, on DearEditor.com and on the DearEditor.com Facebook and Google+ pages, and the winner will be notified directly via email.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” tab on this blog or by clicking here. Type “Free Manuscript Edit Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the TITLE of your manuscript, YOUR FULL NAME, and the genre/category (i.e., “fantasy/YA”). DO NOT send your manuscript or any portion of it. (If you have any difficulty with the contact tab, send an email entry directly to the-editor@deareditor.com.)

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” tab on DearEditor.com and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, genre/category, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

Disclaimer: The Editor does not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!

Newsflash: Another Free Critique Giveaway Winner!

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Dear Readers…

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the FREE CRITIQUE Giveaway celebrating Steven M. Booth’s debut YA fantasy DARK TALISMAN: Mara Bushansky, with her YA novel. I’ll be sending you an email, Mara.

Happy writing to all!
The Editor

Thank you all for helping me celebrate Steven M. Booth’s debut novel. It’s a great book and I’m proud to have been a part of his blog tour—and super pleased to have been able to offer you all not only a free critique opportunity but also a shot at the Kindle Fire HD Steve gave away.

I’ll see you on Monday with a new question-and-answer post about NaNoWriMo. In meantime, some words for mulling from one of my favorite writers of all time, Karen Cushman, who turned me into a word-fumbling, grateful wreck of a fan when she agreed to share tips about creating characters in my book Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies:

“Be curious. Be aware. Be open.”

Newsflash: Free Critique and Free Kindle Giveaways with Steven M. Booth Interview

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Dear Readers…

We’re back already with another FREE 10-PAGE CRITIQUE giveaway. Plus, my guest today is raffling off a FREE KINDLE FIRE HD and an e-reader copy of his fantasy debut, Dark Talisman. Read the full post for my interview with Steven M. Booth and entry details.

The Editor

 (Please use blue scroll bar to read this full post.)

WOW doesn’t even do this book justice. This book is everything you want and expect from your favorite fantasy books, but usually don’t get. Dark Elf, Altira, is fierce, strong, determined, and feisty!”
San Francisco Book Review

I concur with the San Francisco Book Review‘s reaction to Steven M. Booth’s debut Dark Talisman, the first installment of the Guardian Chronicles. Steve’s story is a wonderful read, lush, taut, and laced with wit. The adventure starts with thievery and rapidly evolves into a spirited quagmire of hostile alliances, heroes made and broken, and an enemy so powerful he commands creatures made of the air itself. In the eye of that storm is the ninja-like dark elf Altira, a cross between the irrepressible Lyra from The Golden Compass and the cold-blooded comic-book assassin Elektra. Altira walks through walls, she is one with the shadows, and her ego is rivaled in size only by the chip on her shoulder. Thief, rebel, outcast, orphan—Altira is a dark elf with a darker attitude . . . and the fate of millions in her deadly hands.

Today I interview Steve about characters and revision. After the interview you’ll find entry instructions for my FREE 10-PAGE CRITIQUE giveaway and Steve’s KINDLE FIRE HD/signed book giveaway.

Good luck!
The Editor

TE: Dark Talisman isn’t the first story you set in the lush world of Salustra, but it’s the first to publication. What was it like to have a secondary character stop the action and demand her own book – and first place out of the chute?

SB: Honestly, I feared for my life. When Altira tells you to do something, while absently picking at a nail with a wickedly-pointed dagger, I’ve found it’s generally a good idea to do as she says — if you want to keep on living. 🙂

Seriously though, it was fun, and actually more of a business than an artistic decision. I really enjoy writing Altira. I think she’s an outlet for some sort of pent-up, sarcastic reservoir inside my psyche. And I knew the moment I wrote the first chapter that she would be much more marketable than Therin and the creatures in Emerald Guardian. So, it only made sense to put her first, and of course the book was a prequel, and it had to be placed there anyway.

Reviewers are raving about the unlikely friendship between the fiercely self-focused dark elf Altira and the spirited dwarf Tyke, who latches firmly to Altira despite her efforts to ditch him. You’ve said you deliberately challenged fantasy tropes with Tyke. Will you explain this?

It’s true; everyone loves Tyke. And it’s not surprising, really — he’s very likable. In Dark Talisman, he’s one of the most accessible characters. In my opinion, Dwarves have been treated rather poorly in Fantasy, over the years. The archetypical Dwarf is short, ugly, hairy, stupid, slothful, and overly concerned with digging for wealth. They end up, in many books, as nothing more than comic relief. I decided the time had come to ‘turn the tables’ for them. In the Guardian Chronicles, my Dwarves are the polar opposite of what I just described. They are still short, but are solid muscle and immensely strong, fast, probably the single deadliest race in the world, wicked-smart, and the best magic users short of the Guardians.

Tyke’s name is not an accident — it’s a ‘Red Herring’ designed to lull the reader into the tacit assumption that he’s a dullard when quite the opposite is actually true. He’s not intimidated by Altira one bit because he knows that in spite of her prowess with ‘sildars’, she basically could never harm him in a fight.

Do your stories change substantially during revision?

I’m laughing right now. That’s like asking if the temperature changes in Alaska. Stories that do not change during revision aren’t really stories; they are random assemblages of words bearing little resemblance to art. When I was writing Dark Talisman, at the very beginning I took the story in a completely different direction, we realized we needed Tyke, and I threw out roughly two-thirds of the manuscript and started over. The result was a thousand times better.

I see on writing blogs from time to time that authors have ‘finished their book’ because they have completed the first draft. When you have the first draft, you are 10% done with your book. The rest is revision. Books aren’t ‘written’ into existence, they are revised. Revision is the life blood of literary excellence. Writing is a synergistic process requiring more than one person. You cannot truly write solo. Period.

What advise do you have for other writers as they embark on the revision phase?

First, the single most important characteristic that a successful author must possess is patience. Excellence in craft, inspiration, brilliance, flair, everything else pales to insignificance next to it. Without it you will never succeed.

Next, be excited! Your work is about to ascend to the next level. Embrace revision, it is the nectar of excellence. Use it to turn the mediocre into the magnificent! Think of it as the gateway to future success.

Finally, choose your editor carefully. Never choose an equal. Always choose a master. Thus you learn. Thus the final result will exceed the sum of the parts!

To enter DearEditor.com’s giveaway for a FREE critique of the first 10-pages of your novel (any genre/category), simply click here or email your name and ms genre to the-editor@deareditor.com with the subject line “giveaway entry” by midnight November 13. (Do not submit any of your manuscript.) To enter Steve’s raffle for the free Kindle Fire HD and an ereader copy of Dark Talisman, use the Rafflecopter entry form below by midnight November 13.

Good luck!

Newsflash: FREE CRITIQUE Giveaway Winner!

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the FREE CRITIQUE Giveaway: Deb DiTomaso, with her historical/paranormal YA “Shoddy Girl”. I’ll be sending you an email, Deb.

Happy writing to all!
The Editor

Thank you all for helping me celebrate the midpoint deadline milestone for my upcoming craft book Writing the ‘New Adult’ Novel. Keep an eye on DearEditor.com in the next couple of weeks, because I’ve got ANOTHER GIVEAWAY planned for a blog tour stop by Steven M. Booth, author of the fantastic debut YA fantasy Dark Talisman. I love Steven’s book and couldn’t resist making a party out of its release.

I’ll see you on Monday with a new question-and-answer post. In meantime, some advice for mulling from editor Arthur A. Levine, VP & Publisher of Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books:

“Great writers use anticipation more often than surprise.”

 

Newsflash: FREE CRITIQUE giveaway!

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

Anyone who’s followed DearEditor.com for long knows that the Editor believes the path to final manuscript should be as full of celebration as it is of hard work. Therefore, to celebrate meeting her deadline for the first half of her new craft book, Writing the ‘New Adult’ Novel, the Editor is giving away a FREE CRITIQUE OF THE FIRST 10 PAGES OF YOUR FICTION MANUSCRIPT. Entry deadline: November 7, 2013. Read on for rules….

Use the blue scroll bar on the right to scroll down for complete rules and entry instructions for the giveaway of the FREE CRITIQUE* of the first 10 pages of your fiction manuscript. NOTE: DO NOT SUBMIT ANY MS PAGES. Please only submit the info specified below in the body of your entry:

  1. Your manuscript must be FICTION of ANY GENRE for ANY AGE GROUP (general, sci fi, romance, steam punk . . . you get the idea; no non-fiction like how-to’s or memoirs—as fictional as those may seem; and sorry, no children’s picture books this time). Your manuscript can be for adults, new adults, or young readers (YA or MG).
  2. The FIRST 10 PAGES of your manuscript must be COMPLETE. No word count limit for those pages, but they do have to be 12-pt font, double-spaced, per industry standard. (Do not submit those pages unless notified by the Editor that you have won the giveaway.)
  3. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
  4. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, November 7, 2013, PST.
  5. Winner will be randomly selected using Randomizer.org and announced on November 8, 2013, on DearEditor.com and on the DearEditor.com Facebook and Google+ pages, and the winner will be notified directly via email.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of the blog or by clicking here. Type “Free Critique Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the TITLE of your manuscript, YOUR FULL NAME, and the genre/category (i.e., “fantasy/YA”). DO NOT send your manuscript or any portion of it. (If you have any difficulty with the contact button, send an email entry directly to the-editor@deareditor.com.)

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of DearEditor.com and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, genre/category, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*In a “critique,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript sample’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), concept, and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

Disclaimer: The Editor does not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!

Newsflash: FREE EDIT Giveaway Winner!

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Dear Readers…

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the FREE EDIT Giveaway celebrating Annemarie O’Brien‘s debut novel, Lara’s Gift: Ann Jacobus Kordahl, with her YA Romancing the Dark in the City of Light. I’ll be sending you an email, Ann.

Happy writing to all!
The Editor

Thank you all for helping me celebrate Annemarie’s debut. Lara’s Gift really is a great story, so do check it out.

And keep coming back to DearEditor.com. Regular question-and-answer posts will resume tomorrow, and more Free Edit Giveaways are already planned.

Now for some words from Philip Pullman to ease you into your next writing session:

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

FREE EDIT Giveaway to Celebrate Annemarie O’Brien’s Debut, Lara’s Gift

in Giveaways/Teen/Middle Grade Fiction by

Dear Readers…

I’m thrilled today to host Annemarie O’Brien, DearEditor.com’s first Free Edit giveaway winner ever, whose debut MG novel LARA’S GIFT pubs this week. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one way to celebrate that: with another FREE EDIT giveaway! Read my interview with Annemarie about her journey from idea to publication, then enter the giveaway for a free substantive edit of your fiction manuscript (novels up to 80,000 words; picture book mss ok). Good luck!

The Editor

Annemarie O’Brien has an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches creative writing courses at UC Berkeley Extension, Stanford Continuing Studies, Pixar, and DreamWorks, as well as edits children’s books for Room to Read which advocates literacy in developing countries. Lara’s Gift is her debut middle grade novel.

LarasGift“Powerful and engrossing!” – Kirkus starred review
In 1914 Russia, Lara is being groomed by her father to be the next kennel steward for the Count’s borzoi dogs unless her mother bears a son. But Lara’s visions, suppressed by her father, suggest she has a special bond with the dogs. [book trailer]

Annemarie, I’m curious about your publication experience as well as the actual writing of Lara’s Gift. How did you connect with your agent?
Author and friend Varian Johnson introduced me to Sarah Davies at the 2009 Los Angeles SCBWI National Conference. He thought she would be a good fit for me and my manuscript, LARA’S GIFT. Sarah and I chatted and it didn’t take long before I was charmed by her lovely British accent. More importantly, I felt in my gut that Sarah was the right agent for me. What I like best about Sarah is that she’s a great communicator and responds to my emails and questions almost immediately! She is equally as strong and comfortable on the editorial side of publishing as she is on the business end. She is consummate professional and cares about all of her writers.

What was it like to get the offer from your editor?
It was a dream come true!

About ten years before I submitted my manuscript to Knopf editor Erin Clarke, my college roommate, Amy Myer, gave me a tour of Random House and showed me a room filled floor to ceiling with Knopf books. As I drooled over all the titles, I said, “I would love to get published by Knopf.” My friend responded with, “Yeah, you and everybody else!” She meant no harm by these words. She was absolutely right, but it didn’t stop me from dreaming.

Years later when I was preparing my Vermont College of Fine Arts critical thesis on the function of prologues, I was most impressed with the prologue in THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak and contacted his editor, Erin Clarke, for an interview. She was so helpful and quick to respond to my emails that I had a strong feeling she would be great to work with. So when Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop director Nancy Sondel heard I couldn’t participate in her YA master class workshop, I told her I would come if she brought in Erin Clarke. Well, Nancy delivered and that was how I got the opportunity to have Erin read the opening chapter of LARA’S GIFT. She liked it and invited me to submit the full manuscript. It was painful waiting for a response, but when the good news came I was beyond thrilled!
 
You have two borzoi, and your debut novel is about borzoi. What is it about that breed of dog that connects with you?
Annemarie author photoIt was by accident that I discovered borzoi. When I graduated with an MBA in international business and landed a job in Russia, I decided I would get a true Russian dog. I figured there was no dog more Russian than a borzoi so I set out to find one. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but eventually I was gifted a puppy. Her name was Dasha and she was the most amazing dog. She was not only a great companion, but she opened so many doors for me. It’s because of her that LARA’S GIFT exists. That’s the kind of impression she had on me! One so strong a book came out of it!!

Lara’s Gift is set in Imperial Russia. What was involved in researching that time and place?
I spent about ten years of my life living and working in Russia and its neighboring countries so I have a good deal of knowledge about its history, language, and culture. I also have read numerous books on its history and literature.

One book in particular that helped me better understand life on the country estates in Russia breeding borzoi dogs was OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI by Joseph B. Thomas about his travels in the early 1900s in search of the perfect borzoi in Russia to bring back to the United States. In his book, a wolf hunt was described.

Smith College Russian Professor Alexander Woronzoff-Dashkoff also inspired the story behind LARA’S GIFT from the questions he couldn’t answer when I learned about his connection to the famous Woronzova kennel. It is his family that started the Woronzova kennel that is cited in OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI as being one of the top three. The other two were Gatchina, owned by Tsar Nicholas, and Perchino, owned by the Grand Duke Nicolai.

I also had numerous readers—including Russian historians, borzoi historians, and writers—read my story to help me strengthen the writing and the accuracy. One such opportunity was with YOU, Deborah, when you offered a free manuscript critique when you launched your blog, DearEditor.com. That was a terrific experience! (Readers, if you’re a writer and have a manuscript you’re looking to improve, I highly recommend Deborah. She’ll see where your story needs help and articulate a good game plan to get you going. I assign her WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES to my students at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Pixar.”)

What was it like to revise with an editor post-contract?
My big fear was that I would have to do a major revision of my story. For good or bad, I was relieved when Erin told me that she didn’t think LARA’S GIFT needed any major revisions. We primarily worked on tightening some scenes by cutting and by expanding others to tap into the emotion of the moment. She also had me change the ending a bit to one that is now much stronger than the original one I submitted to her. I have a tendency to want to protect my characters and Erin saw to it that Lara would struggle more.

I agreed with all of her suggestions and feel they made the story stronger. So I’m very grateful to Erin for her keen eye and respectful manner in asking for changes. She also let me keep the original title, DANCE WITH BORZOI, as well as Lara’s original name (Bohdana) up until the very end. It was really quite clever of her to hold off on these requested changes because it didn’t distract me from the real revision work that was needed on the story.

What’s next for you?
I am working on the companion novel to LARA’S GIFT. The working title is FROM RUSSIA WITH DASHA. It is set primarily in the Gorbachev era in both Northampton, Massachusetts, and Moscow, Russia, and told from two points of view.

Enter to win copies of Lara’s Gift and hear more from Annemarie at these stops on her blog tour:
Fido and Friend, Fiction Notes, Kissing the Earth, Quirk and Quill, Simple Saturday, Coffee with a Canine, Dog Reads, World Reads, Children’s Literature Network, Word Spelunking, Random Acts of Reading, The Hiding Spot, Beth Fish Reads

I’m giving away a FREE Substantive Edit* of one fiction manuscript. I can’t get Rafflecopter to work with my site format yet, so for this contest here are the rules and ways to enter:

  1. Your manuscript can be of ANY FICTION GENRE or FICTION CATEGORY (for adults or children, including picture books).
  2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.
  3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 80,000 WORDS.
  4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
  5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, August 11, 2013, PST.
  6. Winner will be randomly selected using Randomizer.org and announced on August 12, 2013, on DearEditor.com and on the DearEditor.com Facebook and Google+ pages, and the winner will be notified directly via email.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of the blog or by clicking here. Type “Free Edit Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the TITLE of your manuscript and YOUR FULL NAME. DO NOT send your manuscript or any portion of it. (If you have any difficulty with the contact button, send an email entry directly to the-editor@deareditor.com.)

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of DearEditor.com and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*In a “Substantive Edit,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

Disclaimer: The Editor does not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!

NEWSFLASH: The Free Picture Book Edit Giveaway Winner…

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one FREE EDIT of a picture book manuscript is over. Early this morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winner: JULIE SEGAL WALTERS, with her picture book manuscript Hello, Broccoli! I look forward to working Julie and my favorite green vegetable.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway celebrating my first picture book, Letters to Santa!

More giveaways to come, I promise. In the meantime, I’ll continue serving up answers and suggestions to your questions about the craft of writing and the publishing industry. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a nugget of picture book wisdom from my Guest Editor, award-winning picture book illustrator and all-around nice guy Stacy Innerst.

NEWSFLASH: “Free Full Picture Book Edit” Giveaway

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

The Editor believes writers should celebrate every milestone—and she’s got a milestone to celebrate with you. Her first picture book, Letters to Santa, has just published and she’s feting it by giving away a FREE edit of a picture book manuscript up to 2,000 words. Deadline: December 4, 2012. Read the full post for rules….

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the release of the Editor’s picture book Letters to Santa, marking the 100th anniversary of the USPS’s Letters to Santa program, the Editor is giving away a free edit* of one picture book manuscript. Scroll down using the blue sidebar on the right for all the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be a PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT (target audience ages 3 to 8), text only.

2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.

3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 2,000 WORDS.

4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, December 4, 2012, PST.

6. Winner will be randomly selected using Randomizer.org and announced on December 5, 2012, on DearEditor.com and on the DearEditor.com Facebook and Google+ pages, and the winner will be notified directly via email.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of the blog or by clicking here. Type “Free Picture Book Edit Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the TITLE of your manuscript and YOUR FULL NAME. DO NOT send your manuscript or any portion of it. (If you have any difficulty with the contact button, send an email entry directly to dear-editor@hotmail.com.) *If you do not want your title announced, please use an alternate working title.*

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of DearEditor.com and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*The edit may be a line-by-line “Line Edit” or a “Substantive Edit” in which the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, age appropriateness, and delivery of background information, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript.

Disclaimer: The Editor does not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

Happy writing!

The Editor

re: Free Giveaway of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies & Guest Post by The Editor

in General fiction/Giveaways/Uncategorized by

Dear Readers…

Laura Howard of the blog Finding Bliss has just posted a free giveaway of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies to go along with a guest post by The Editor. To learn about “chunking” your revision as well as the details of the giveaway, visit ow.ly/dLkfr.

Good luck!

“Revision can be daunting. . . . Why not give your brain a break by breaking your task into focused chunks? With this approach, you’d pick a writing element, say plot, and ignore everything but that. Working Big Picture chunks to small detail chunks rather than page by page, you’d focus not on revising the story but on honing single elements. Gone is that scattered, overwhelmed feeling.”

To read The Editor’s full guest post “Chunking Your Revision,” pop over to Finding Bliss. Don’t forget to enter the book giveaway!

NEWS: The FREE EDIT Giveaway Winner…

in Giveaways/News by

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one FREE EDIT of a full manuscript is over. Early this morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winner: IAN T. HEALY, with his spoofy space opera Starf*cker. I look forward to working with Ian, who is already making his mark in the superhero fiction category.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway celebrating the end of the summer writing season!

There will be more giveaways to come—after all, there’s still a slew of holidays ahead of us this year, and what better way to celebrate holidays than free edit giveaways.

 

Newsflash: A DearEditor.com FREE EDIT Giveaway

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the end of the summer writing season, the Editor is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of a manuscript up to 80,000 words. Deadline: August 28, 2012. Read on for rules….

Summer is winding down, kids are heading back to school, and writers across the land are taking stock of their summer writing. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our transition into the next writing season than giving away a free Substantive Edit* of one fiction or nonfiction manuscript. Here are the rules:

  1. Your manuscript can be of ANY GENRE or CATEGORY (for adults or children, fiction or non-fiction), including picture books.
  2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.
  3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 80,000 WORDS.
  4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
  5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, August 28, 2012, PST.
  6. Winner will be randomly selected using Randomizer.org and announced on August 29, 2012, on DearEditor.com and on the DearEditor.com Facebook page, and the winner will be notified directly via email.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of the blog or by clicking here. Type “Free Edit Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the TITLE of your manuscript and YOUR FULL NAME. DO NOT send your manuscript or any portion of it. (If you have any difficulty with the contact button, send an email entry directly to dear-editor@hotmail.com.)

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of DearEditor.com and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*In a “Substantive Edit,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

Disclaimer: The Editor does not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!

 

Welcome to DearEditor.com’s 2012 Revision Week!

in Creative Process/Giveaways/Revision Week by

Dear Readers…

This week DearEditor.com brings together eight prolific, bestselling, award-winning authors for a week of revision tips, insights, and stories from the trenches. Learn from writers who turn first drafts into lauded books every day—and enter the daily drawings for Free Partial Edits and the grand prize Full Manuscript Edit giveaway.

*Giveaway directions will be posted each with the interviews, starting tomorrow.

Welcome to a week of free edit giveaways (directions to be posted each day starting tomorrow) and revision advice and insights like these…

Cynthia Leitich Smith, bestselling YA gothic novelist, picture book writer, short story writer, and popular children’s lit blogger: “Back when every novel I wrote was wholly new, I used to write a “discovery draft” wherein, after some prewriting, I plunged in and wrote a full story (with a beginning, middle, and end—say, 35,000 to 60,000 words) to get to know my protagonists, their goals and their world. When I was done, I would print it. Read it. Toss it. And delete the file.”

Kathleen Krull, author of more than 60 books, especially picture books and biographies for young readers: “When I get to the point of taking out commas and putting them back in again, I feel ready to send it off.”

R.L. LaFevers, author of the 13 novels for young people, including the popular middle grade series Theodosia Throckmorton and Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist, and now the forthcoming His Fair Assassin YA trilogy: “There is a point where you aren’t necessarily making it better—just making it different. Or so I try to tell myself.”

Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, and Theo Baker, popular chapter book collaborators: “[With collaborations] you have to be very flexible in your negotiations so both parties come away feeling ownership of the final draft, and also very sensitive not to make it a critique of your partner’s talents but a decision of what works best at any given moment in the manuscript.”

Mark A. Clements, horror/suspense author, screenwriter, and prolific ghostwriter: “I never share even slightly rough material and I don’t seek out advice on how to ‘fix’ something. I don’t believe in writing by committee.”

Nathan Bransford, top blogger and former literary agent-turned-author of the Jacob Wonderbar middle grade books: “I was a very hands-on agent. I always thought it was important to make sure the manuscript was as good as possible before going out to editors.”

rachel caineUPDATE: The Editor is honored to add a BONUS interview – Rachel Caine! Rachel is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including the YA series The Morganville Vampires, the Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season series.

 

Thank you for joining us. Tomorrow, Cynthia Leitich Smith pulls back the curtain on the revision process…

News: eBook Winner; Free Online Workshop with the Editor

in Giveaways/News/Teen/Middle Grade Fiction by

Dear Readers…

DearEditor.com is happy to announce the winner of the How to Promote Your Children’s Book eBook Giveaway, along with details about a free online YA Fiction workshop with The Editor.

Free online YA Fiction workshop with The Editor: Feb 21, 22, & 23 on the Institute of Children’s Literature website. The drop-in Q&A-format workshop takes place on the ICL’s message board, which anyone can read (no registration required). If you want to post a question, you do need to register (for FREE) by sending email to jan.fields@forums.institutechildrenslit.com with the username you want. Check out the ICL’s Guest Speaker archives while you’re there.

How to Promote Your Children’s Books eBook Giveaway winner: Julie K.

For more chances to win How to Promote Your Children’s Books, visit other stops on Katie Davis’s blog tour:

Also, check out Katie’s podcast “Promoting Your Book” (with a guest appearance by The Editor). Episode description here: http://katiedavis.com/how-to-promote-your-book/. Or click here to hear it directly.

 

Blog Tour: Katie Davis on Promoting Books (Book Giveaway!)

in Giveaways/News/Picture Books/Promotion by

Dear Readers…

Author/illustrator Katie Davis is a tireless promoter whose 9 children’s books have sold over 250,000 copies. Today at DearEditor.com she’s sharing what she’s learned about promoting—and she’s giving away a free download of her new eBook How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller.

What I love about Katie Davis is how she can make even hard work fun. This attitude is on full display in her new eBook How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller, 30 chapters of practical advice about things like plotting your strategy, using social media, growing your mailing list, and using videos in ways beyond book trailers. I edited the book (disclaimer!), so I know there’s great info in it, from Katie as well as the 60 authors she interviewed for the book. Katie visited DearEditor.com as a Guest Editor last year to sort out the benefits of podcasting versus adding video to your website. Today she answers readers’ questions (and my own) about promoting books. At the end of the Q&A are instructions for entering a drawing for A FREE PDF DOWNLOAD OF HER BOOK.

Katie, you’ve got a lot of on-going promo tools such as your weekly podcasts. When you have a new book coming out, how far ahead of your pub date do you start book-specific promoting?

My mind can wander, imagine, plan and think of specifics while I’m finishing up the art (not the writing—I can only think of the story when I’m writing). With Little Chicken’s Big Day, every time I had a new idea, I added it to The List. Then once I turn in the art I can pay attention to that list, anywhere between 18 months to a year before the book comes out.

How do you balance your writing and promoting time?

Last year I did not do well on the balance thing! So far this year I am getting up early, doing a little social media action over coffee, and then I turn everything off and write in the mornings until lunch. After lunch I do other kinds of things, like my podcast or email answering, blog writing, etc.

Will the promotional strategies in your book work for novels, too?

Actually, it would work for any kind of book—including adult books. And in fact, the basic principles would work for any kind of promotion, though the examples are specific to children’s books.

And now a few questions from DearEditor.com readers…

I love your trailer for Little Chicken’s Big Day! What’s one effective way to use a trailer? —Anonymous picture book writer

One? Just one? Sorry. Can’t do that! Here are many things to do with your great book trailer:

  • Upload it to YouTube (you can use up to four different titles in order to upload four times, broadening your reach)
  • embed on your site
  • upload to other video sites like teachertube.com, booktrailersforall.com, and kidlitbooktrailers.ning.com/video
  • include the YouTube URL in your signature
  • create a QR code and include it on your business card
  • enter it in trailer competitions like the Moby or SLJ Trailee Award contests

Does it make sense to send free promo copies directly to teachers, as a contribution to their classroom libraries?BrickToyNut, MG fantasy writer

It would certainly be nice of you! It makes sense if you want to thank a particularly supportive or helpful teacher. However, if your goal is to generate word of mouth in the teaching community, I’d recommend holding a giveaway. Then tweet, blog, and Facebooking it to teachers would be far more effective. If your goal is to generate sales, it might be better to send support materials to tempt them to use the book in the classroom. You could do other things to be helpful, like offer “value added” services to make it worthwhile to purchase your book. Offering a free Skype Q&A to the class after they do an author study would be a great example of that. To connect with teachers for this kind of promotion, check out http://skypeanauthor.wetpaint.com/ or http://www.katemessner.com/authors-who-skype-with-classes-book-clubs-for-free/.

How important is it to create a teacher’s resource guide to go along with the book?BrickToyNut

It depends on the target age of your reader. Picture books should have activities or puzzles, or anything that extends the impact and value of your book. Middle grade and young adult novels should absolutely have a resource guide. You can offer it as a digital download on your site and other sites that sell your book, and if you have it printed you can make it available at book fairs, festivals, and school visits. I have one for a middle grade novel I wrote that did not do well, but I’m glad I have it because the teachers I’ve given it to love it!

Out of the many suggestions you have on how to promote a book, which one would you say has the highest success rate?Kurt Chambers, YA fantasy writer (whose first novel, Truth Teller, pubbed last week!) 

Congrats on your debut!

Genuine reciprocity is the best way to live online. It’s the thing I emphasize most in How to Promote Your Children’s Book. That means:

  • give before you get
  • support others
  • follow blogs not because you hope they’ll review your book but because you like what they have to say
  • engage in your community and connect

What does that look like?

  •  Tweet someone’s blog post because you like it
  •  Tell others about a great site
  •  Blog about something that will help other people

I wanted to make this tour worth it for anyone who would help me so I bribed enticed my hosts to join in the fun work by gifting them their own copy of the book. There is also promotion for them because they’re each linked on every blog I’m visiting, as well as on my own site. As hokey as it sounds, the thing that works best for me is to always try to give more than I get. It feels good to help others and if it feels good, you’ll be more likely to keep up with your promotional efforts, too.

How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller: PDF / For kindle / For Nook /For iPad, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Follow Katie’s blog tour for more promo insights & giveaways:

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post by midnight Wednesday, Feb 8, to be included in the random drawing for a free pdf edition of How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller. Winner to be announced Thursday, Feb 9.

Katie Davis has published nine books and appears monthly on the ABC affiliate show, Good Morning Connecticut, recommending great books for kids. She produces Brain Burps About Books, a podcast about kidlit, a blog and monthly newsletter. Katie has volunteered in a maximum-security prison teaching Writing for Children and over the last dozen years has presented at schools and writing conferences. She’s a 2010 Cybils judge and has also judged the Golden Kite, smartwriters.com, and Frontiers in Writing awards. Recently Katie was selected to be on the Honorary Advisory Board for the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a literacy-based charity. For more about Katie and her book, go to www.KatieDavis.com.

NEWSFLASH: “First 20 Pages Critique Giveaway” Winner

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

We have a winner for the giveaway of the free critique of the first 20 pages of a fiction manuscript. Read on for the winner….

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for a free critique of the first 20 pages of a fiction manuscript is over. This morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winner:

Barbara Meyers Underhill, with her MG manuscript The Beatles Fan.

WAIT, THE GIVING ISN’T OVER! Two e-book editions of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies are being given away today at The Writing Nut. Click over and enter: http://bit.ly/p7NXAz

Thanks for celebrating the premier of my book trailer with me.

Happy writing!
The Editor

 

Re: “Free First 20 Pages Critique” Giveaway!

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

The Editor is celebrating the premier of her book trailer for WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES by giving away a FREE CRITIQUE OF THE FIRST 20 PAGES OF YOUR FICTION MANUSCRIPT. See the book trailer and get the full rules today on DearEditor.com.

Dear Readers…

Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies has a book trailer—and I’m celebrating with a “Free First 20 Pages Critique” giveaway! Check out the nifty trailer then use the blue bar on the right to scroll down for the giveaway rules.

Now for the giveaway rules:

  1. Your manuscript must be FICTION of ANY GENRE (general, sci fi, romance, steam punk . . . you get the idea; no non-fiction like how-to’s or memoirs—as fictional as those may seem; and sorry, no children’s picture books this time). Your manuscript can be for adults or young readers (YA or MG).
  2. The FIRST 20 PAGES of your manuscript must be COMPLETE.
  3. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
  4. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, October 20, 2011, PST.
  5. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on October 21, 2011, in the DearEditor.com comments section and on the DearEditor.com Facebook page, and the winner will be notified directly via email.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of the blog or by clicking this link. Type “Free First 20 Pages Critique” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the TITLE of your manuscript, the GENRE, the CATEGORY (adult, YA, or MG) and YOUR FULL NAME. (If you have any difficulty with the contact button, send an email entry directly to dear-editor@hotmail.com.)

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of DearEditor.com and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

Disclaimer: The Editor does not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!
The Editor

Newsflash: Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies Virtual Book Launch

in Giveaways/WYAFFD Virtual Book Launch by

Dear Readers…

My new book Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies hits stores July 5, and I’m hoping you can help me spread the word about my 7-day virtual book launch June 29-July 5 on DearEditor.com.

Daily giveaways, free downloads, excerpts from the book… read my full post for more.

7-Day Virtual Book Launch!

To celebrate the publication of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, from June 29-July 5 here on DearEditor.com, I’m featuring daily “Free First Chapter Critique” giveaways, free downloads, excerpts from the book, and profiles of the 13 amazing authors, editors, and agents who so generously contributed sidebars to the book. As the grand finale, I’m giving away a “Free Full Manuscript Edit” on the final day.

The book itself is filled with great features, including:

  • tips for targeting an audience, finding an angle that’ll make the story stand out, and writing a killer hook
  • an extensive chapter on self-marketing to help writers move boldly into the realm of self-promotion
  • techniques and exercises to shape plot, create teen-friendly characters, develop a convincingly youthful voice, write natural dialogue, and use setting to illuminate characters and plot
  • 13 National Book Award winners and finalists, Newbery medalists and honorees, and other award-winning luminaries sharing their insights in sidebars
  • self-editing tools to transform a first draft into a strong submission-ready final draft
  • insider tips for finding the right agent and/or editor and preparing a stand-out submission package
  • answers to common book contract questions
  • advice on self-publishing for YA writers

Above all, I aim to guide writers in developing a style that appeals to young readers. Finding one’s own voice and style is especially important to me.

I’m really proud of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies. Writers of all levels will get a lot out of it—and have fun along the way. I sure had fun writing it.

Shout-outs via social media, your blog, email to friends, posts in your writers forums… any mention you could give the book and the launch would be hugely appreciated. You can send the curious to:

Thanks ever so much!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: The FREE EDIT Giveaway Winner

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

We have a winner for the giveaway for the FREE substantive edit of one fiction manuscript. Read on for the winner….

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one free edit of a fiction manuscript is over. This morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winning entry. It’s my pleasure to announce the winner: ELIZABETH WESTRA, with her middle grade manuscript The Gold Watch. I look forward to working with Elizabeth and learning what’s up with that shiny timepiece.

Thanks, everyone, for celebrating with me! There’ll be more giveaways to come, including a multi-day virtual book launch extravaganza when Writing Young Fiction for Dummies pubs in July. Daily giveaways, interviews with contributors, free downloads . . . I plan to make it fun for all. For now, I’ll be back with a question-and-answer post on Tuesday.

Happy writing!

The Editor

re: 1st DearEditor.com Free Edit Giveaway Winner Gets Book Deal

in Giveaways by

Dear Editor…

I just wanted to let you and anyone else following know that my MG historical fiction novel, DANCE WITH BORZOIS (that you read and edited) was sold to Erin Clarke at Knopf. Thank you, DEB, for all of your great comments!!!! DANCE WITH BORZOIS is expected out spring of 2013.
Cheers,
Annemarie O’Brien

Dear Annemarie…

Congratulations!!!!! This manuscript was the winner of my first Free Edit Giveaway on this site, which means you revised the novel, got an agent, and got a book deal in less than a year. You rocked it, girl! I love your story, too. For the rest of my readers, introducing DANCE WITH BORZOIS:

Set in Imperial Russia and pitched as Marley and Me meets Dr. Zhivago, DANCE WITH BORZOIS is about a girl raised in the family tradition to become the Count’s next kennel steward, breeding borzois hunting dogs worthy of the Tsar, until the birth of a baby brother supplants her, when she must trust her unique gift and reveal the truth about her visions to save the special dog she raised from birth and finally achieve her true destiny.

Keep us posted on the pub date and I’ll announce it here so we can all celebrate. (You know how much I love celebrating!) I’ll also be sending you my copy for an autograph.

Readers, the current FREE EDIT Giveaway’s deadline is tomorrow night, midnight April 22, 2011. If you haven’t already entered, click here for instructions about doing so.

Happy Writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: a DearEditor.com “FREE Fiction Edit” Giveaway

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the completion of her final manuscript for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, the Editor is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of one fiction manuscript for adults or young readers. Deadline: April 21, 2011. Read on for rules….

Dear Readers…

You’ve been on the Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies journey with me, so you should be a part of its milestone celebrations—and there’s cause to celebrate now. On Monday I received word from my editor that the manuscript is now final and moving on to production: “You’re done!” I celebrated with my family by treating them to a night of grand desserts; I celebrate with you by giving away a free Substantive Edit* of one fiction manuscript. Yes, this one is open to young adult fiction AND fiction for grown-ups. Scroll down using the sidebar on the right for all the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be FICTION FOR ADULTS or YOUNG ADULT OR MIDDLE GRADE FICTION (no picture books), ANY GENRE (general, sci fi, romance, steam punk . . . you get the idea; no non-fiction like how-to’s or memoirs, as fictional as those may seem).

2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.

3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 80,000 WORDS.

4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, APRIL 21, 2011, PST.

6. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on APRIL 22, 2011.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of this blog. Type “Dummies Celebration Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include TITLE of manuscript, YA or MG or ADULT, WORD COUNT, and YOUR FULL NAME. (If you have any difficulty with the contact button, send an email entry directly to dear-editor@hotmail.com.)

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title, YA or MG or ADULT, word count, and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of this blog and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, YA or MG or ADULT, word count, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion. Disclaimer: I do not share or in any other way use your contact information; it’s collected solely for winner contact purposes at the end of the giveaway.

*In a “Substantive Edit,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

Okey-dokey, that covers it. After the giveaway I’ll announce the winner and then get back to answering great reader questions, featuring great guest editor posts, and planning a whopping virtual book launch for the Dummies book. Seriously, the launch will be big: multiple days filled with daily giveaways, features, and free downloads. More on that as the July 5, 2011, pub date nears.

Happy writing!

The Editor

 



News: Dummies, Revision Workshop, FREE EDIT Giveaway

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

I’ve got great news about Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, a revision workshop, and a FREE EDIT GIVEAWAY. Read on for the details…

Dear Readers…

On Monday I received an email from my editor for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies saying, “You’re done!” All the words and periods are in place and the manuscript is now moving into production, headed for pub date July 5, 2011. This means three things:

1. It’s time for a new Free Edit Giveaway
Because that’s how I like to celebrate (well, that and chocolate). Check DearEditor.com on Friday (4/15/11) for the giveaway details.

2. My editorial hiatus is over
I am officially picking up my red pen again. You can read more about what and how I edit on this page or you can print this pdf which describes my services.

3. Announcing a revision workshop
Registration is open for the Cottonwood Intensive Revision Workshop, to be held May 21, 2011, in Cottonwood, CA (17 miles south of Redding, CA, and approx. 2 hours from Sacramento). I’ll be teaching at the event, which is dedicated to helping children’s book writers revise their young adult novels and picture books. The 1-day workshop is hosted by SCBWI’s California North/Central chapter, with Edgar Mystery Award nominee author Charlie Price and award-winning picture book illustrator, art director, designer, and educator Dr. Mira Reisberg filling out the faculty. For more information or to register (deadline May 1, 2011), contact scbwicanorthcentral@gmail.com, go to the conference website, or click here to view the conference flyer.

Okay, that covers this news break. Off now to get ready for the Free Edit Giveaway….

Happy writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: The Free MG/YA Edit Giveaway Winner

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

We have a winner for the YA Dummies Celebration giveaway for the FREE MG/YA EDIT. Read on for the winner….

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one free edit of a MG/YA manuscript is over. This morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winning entry. It’s my pleasure to announce the winner: LAURA CHESTERSON, with her middle grade manuscript Rebel Magic. I look forward to working with Laura and learning what’s so rebellious about her hocus pocus.

Thanks, everyone, for celebrating with me! There’ll be more giveaways to come—after all, I still need to celebrate the Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies publication, and my National Book Award win and my Nobel Prize in Literature…. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Tomorrow, I’ll post a question-and-answer about a not-so-sneaky but really-darned-useful way to know what editors are buying and from whom . . . and sometimes for how much.

Happy writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: a DearEditor.com Giveaway – a FREE YA/MG EDIT

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the completion of her manuscript for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, the Editor is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of one YA or MG fiction manuscript. Deadline: January 31, 2011. Read on for rules….

Dear Readers…

I always urge writers to celebrate when they complete a draft because that’s a really big deal, and today I’m taking my own advice: I just sent the manuscript for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies to my editor and I’m celebrating with everyone by giving away a free Substantive Edit* of one Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction manuscript. Here are the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be YOUNG ADULT OR MIDDLE GRADE FICTION.

2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.

3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 80,000 WORDS.

4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, JANUARY 31, 2011, PST.

6. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on February 1, 2011.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to DearEditor.com using the “Write to The Editor” button at the top of this blog. Type “YA Dummies Celebration Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include TITLE of manuscript, YA or MG, WORD COUNT, and YOUR FULL NAME.

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. DearEditor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title, YA or MG, word count, and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of this blog and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to DearEditor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, YA or MG, word count, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*In a “Substantive Edit,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

So how’s that for a celebration? Well, that and a big order of something chocolate. See’s Candies, here I come. Par-TAY!

Happy writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: The Free Picture Book Edit Giveaway Winner

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

We have a winner for the six-month anniversary giveaway for the FREE PICTURE BOOK EDIT. Read on for the winner….

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one free edit of a picture book manuscript is over. This morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winning entry. It’s my pleasure to announce the winner: JENNIFER CARSON, with her picture book manuscript Stinking Beauty. I look forward to spending time with Jennifer and finding out what’s so smelly about Beauty.

Thanks so much to everyone for a fun first six months! I love sharing what I’ve learned in the book biz trenches, and your questions keep me on my toes.  Keep ‘em coming, along with your tips, thoughts, and anecdotes in the comments section. Learning from others’ experience is what this website is about. And hey, if you’ve got a hankering to call me with a question, author Katie Davis is offering that chance: You can call her toll free number 888-522-1929 and leave a message with a question that I can answer through her podcast “Brain Burps About Books,” which we’ll be taping in November. I’ll post an update when that podcast is available for listening. Tomorrow, I’ll post a question-and-answer about reality TV stars and the YA fiction market. As they say in the boob tube biz, stay tuned….

Happy writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH!: a Dear-Editor.com Giveaway – a FREE picture book edit!

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

By popular request, to celebrate the six-month anniversary of Dear-Editor.com, the Editor is giving away a FREE EDIT of one picture book manuscript. Deadline: October 10, 2010. Read on for rules….

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the six-month anniversary of Dear-Editor.com (woo-hoo!), the Editor is giving away a free edit* of one picture book manuscript. Scroll down using the blue sidebar on the right for all the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be a PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT (target audience ages 3 to 8), text only.

2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.

3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 2,000 WORDS.

4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, OCTOBER 10, 2010, PST.

6. Winner will be randomly selected.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to Dear-Editor.com using the “Write to Dear Editor” button at the top of this blog. Type “6-Month Anniversary Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include TITLE of manuscript, WORD COUNT, and YOUR FULL NAME.

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. Dear-Editor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title, word count, and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of this blog and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to Dear-Editor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your Twitter address or your Facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, word count, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion. The winner will be chosen randomly, using www.Random.org.

*The edit may be a line-by-line “Line Edit” or a “Substantive Edit” in which the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, age appropriateness, and delivery of background information, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript.

As promised, friends, this one’s for picture book manuscripts. Thanks to everyone for a fun first six months!

Happy writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: The Free YA/MG Edit Giveaway Winner

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

We have a winner for the one-month anniversary giveaway for the FREE Substantive Edit of one YA or MG fiction manuscript. Read on for the winner….

Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one free substantive edit of a YA/MG novel is over. This morning I used Randomizer.org to select the winning entry. It’s my pleasure to announce the winner: Annemarie O’Brien, with her upper middle grade novel Dance with Borzois. I’m looking forward to digging in with Annemarie… and dancing with Borzois!

Thank you for your amazing encouragement and enthusiasm during Dear-Editor.com’s inaugural month. I will strive to keep the site informative yet fun as we navigate the winding road that leads from idea to publication. Keep those questions coming, and chime in with your tips, thoughts, and anecdotes in the comments section. As I tell my triplets all the time, the more, the merrier.

Happy writing!

The Editor

NEWSFLASH: a Dear-Editor.com Giveaway – a Free YA/MG Edit!

in Giveaways by

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the one-month anniversary of Dear-Editor.com, the Editor is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of one YA or MG fiction manuscript. Deadline: April 14, 2010. Read on for rules….

Dear Readers…

To celebrate the one-month anniversary of Dear-Editor.com, the Editor is giving away a free Substantive Edit* of one Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction manuscript. Here are the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be YOUNG ADULT OR MIDDLE GRADE FICTION.

2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.

3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 85,000 WORDS.

4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, APRIL 14, 2010, PST.

6. Winner will be randomly selected.

TO ENTER:

One entry –  SEND EMAIL to Dear-Editor.com using the “Write to Dear Editor” button at the top of this blog. Type “1st Month Anniversary Giveaway” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include TITLE of manuscript, YA or MG, WORD COUNT, and YOUR FULL NAME.

Bonus entry – SUBSCRIBE. Dear-Editor.com subscribers get a bonus entry by sending a second email with “Subscriber’s Bonus Giveaway Entry” in the subject line and your title, YA or MG, word count, and full name in the body. (Note: the Editor will verify!) Not a subscriber yet? Then subscribe now by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of this blog and then email your second entry.

Extra bonus entries – SPREAD THE WORD. Blog, tweet, or otherwise electronically tell others about this giveaway to get additional entries. Send an email to Dear-Editor.com with “I Spread the Word!” in the subject line, and in the body include a link to your blog post or your twitter address or your facebook wall or whatever social media you used to spread the word. Don’t send screen-shots; attachments won’t be accepted. Include your title, YA or MG, word count, and full name in the body. Spread the word more than once? Then send an “I Spread the Word!” email for each one!

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be disqualified, at the Editor’s discretion.

*In a “Substantive Edit,” the author receives general feedback about the manuscript’s overall pacing, organization, narrative voice, plot development/narrative arc, characterization, point of view, setting, delivery of background information, adult sensibility (children’s books only), and the synchronicity of age-appropriate subject matter with target audience, as the Editor determines appropriate and necessary after reviewing the entire manuscript. It is not a word-by-word, line-by-line “Line Edit.”

So there you have it—an anniversary, a giveaway, a bunch of rules, and even some italicized fine print. Sounds like a party to me!

Happy writing!

The Editor

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