Tuesday, 24 March 2015

#writetip : Joining a writing group / community

Talking from experience now, going at it alone as a writer is a recipe for writers block. You hit many stumble blocks as you try to develop your story. Some of these stumble blocks being plot holes, character inconsistencies and just the plain old "I-ran-out-of-ideas" dilemma.
I found that when I joined an author group I was not the only writer experiencing these problems. In fact they are pretty common. The great thing about the writing community is the support. Authors, whether they be established or just starting out, will help you to the best of their ability. You quickly learn so much more about the writing world than if you went at it alone. And the the great thing is nobody judges you. We all were newbies at a stage.

Why not learn from others' experiences?

There are some great author groups on Facebook, the links I will post below and under the 'Interesting Links' tab.

Authors Critique Group -- Facebook
Writers' Group -- Facebook
Authors and Book Lovers Discuss -- Facebook
Creative Writers' Forum -- Facebook

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Our responsibility as authors

Gutenberg's printing press necessitated the spread of literacy during a period when only the rich and fortunate could afford expensive texts. Roughly 500 years on and one would think illiteracy is a thing of the past, yet this is not so.

Around the world the rate of illiteracy is still startling, it is not limited to Third World countries, although illiteracy seem to be more prevalent there. My own father is not exempt. At age 73 he still struggles to read, but he tries, even though his efforts are heartbreaking...and I am ashamed to admit, annoying at times, because like so many others I take the gift of literacy for granted.

As authors, creators of content, weavers of fantasy and romance I feel we have a personal responsibility to help eradicate illiteracy. In today's world one cannot survive without the ability to read. The internet, the paper, the books we write and even our shopping requires us to be literate. There is not one activity in our normal lives that doesn't require us to read. So should we not ensure that others can go about their daily lives without having to guess by the picture on the package if the product in their hands are soap or fabric softener? Could you imagine living in a world  when you are so utterly shut out and blinded?

As authors, we should do something. After all it would be to our benefit as well. Higher rates of literacy means more potential readers.  Throwing money at the problem is out of the question. Money cannot solve a problem, especially when the problem so desperately requires human involvement and commitment.

I feel it is time we as authors give back. Either through our time or by providing free resources. Even if you just donate one book to a child in need, or raise awareness for a reading campaign in your area. It is the small efforts that eventually make big changes.

Let's make illiteracy a thing of the past by paying it forward.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Publisher Open to Submission: Asimov's Science Fiction

Click HERE to go directly to the page

Below find some information from their web page.

Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine is an established market for science fiction stories. Asimov’s pays 8-10 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words, and 8-8.5 cents per word for longer material. (Works between 7500 and approximately 10,000 words by authors who make more than 8 cents a word for short stories will receive a flat rate that will be no less than payment would be for a shorter story.) We seldom buy stories shorter than 1,000 words or longer than 20,000 words, and we don’t serialize novels. We pay $1 a line for poetry, which should not exceed 40 lines. We buy First English Language serial rights plus certain non-exclusive rights explained in our contract. We do not publish reprints, and we do not accept “simultaneous submissions” (stories sent at the same time to a publication other than Asimov’s). Asimov’s will consider material submitted by any writer, previously published or not. We’ve bought some of our best stories from people who have never sold a story before.

In general, we’re looking for “character oriented” stories, those in which the characters, rather than the science, provide the main focus for the reader’s interest. Serious, thoughtful, yet accessible fiction will constitute the majority of our purchases, but there’s always room for the humorous as well. SF dominates the fiction published in the magazine, but we also publish borderline fantasy, slipstream, and surreal fiction. No sword & Sorcery, please. Neither are we interested in explicit sex or violence. A good overview would be to consider that all fiction is written to examine or illuminate some aspect of human existence, but that in science fiction the backdrop you work against is the size of the Universe.