Archive for December, 2013

Five Ways to Share Creativity This Holiday Season

December 23, 2013

Seasons Greetings from Oxford University!

Liz’s Artful Prompts:

1. If you are giving gifts this holiday, remember your local independent bookstore, music and art stores. Give imaginatively inspired gifts to everyone on your list.

2. Make time for an artist date. Take yourself and your loved ones to a dance performance, play, art museum, and musical concert.

3. MAKE a present for your loved ones. Homemade is the BEST ever.

4. Joining together with family and friends? Sing together, share poems, and discuss everyone’s creative goals for the next year.

5. Take photos of people and animals at your gathering. Use your inventiveness in your style of presentation of the photos for the participants.

Happy Holidays from me to you!

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Revision Techniques for Students!

December 23, 2013

Winter Wordplay: Revision Results
4:30-6:00 p.m. at The Storyteller Bookstore, Lafayette, CA
Ages 9-up

Submit up to a 10- page story (double-spaced, 12 pt. font) or stand-alone chapter by January 11.

Students will receive a portfolio with copies of each of the stories to discuss and edit. We will focus on various elements of the revision process and work toward sculpting a story into a final draft.

$30/each class or $75/series

January 18: Shaping Characters

February 1: Developing Themes

February 8: Refining Language

Questions and help with registration: wordplayworkshop@hotmail.com

December 21, 2013

Apologies!  I’ve written the last couple of posts to this blog and non-techie me has pushed the incorrect button.  I THOUGHT I saved my edits of the posts, but I didn’t.  Ugh.  And I’ve been doing this blog for HOW long?

Just goes to prove that I’ve been rushing too much, as usual. 

Hope you take time to enjoy this month and don’t do as I do, but do as I say!

How One Girl Promotes Change Through Writing – You Can Too!

December 21, 2013

Thanks to Rich Freedman of the (Vallejo) Times-Herald, word has spread about a youngster who channeled her anger into writing.

Diagnosed with leukemia this past year, ten-year-old Monica Romo wrote an essay detailing how “Wonder Woman” (Monica!) would rid Vallejo, in Northern California, of hate and evil. In her City Hall appearance, 125 people shared her hope. Receiving a Solano Hero’s Certificate, Monika received a Solano Hero’s Certificate.

Congratulations, Monika!

Writing Prompts:

1. Use your passionate feelings about an issue to inspire art or writing. How will you choose to express yourself? Which cause incites your emotions?

2. Pretend you are a superhero. Write a graphic novel or comic strip expressing your passion for change.

How Poetry Inspires Writers and Artists

December 18, 2013

Quote for today: “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Fritz Perls

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From the book, Poems of Sleep and Dreams Everyman’s Library, 2004, Richard Wilbur’s “Walking to Sleep” holds a truth that speaks to falling asleep and creative pursuits:

“Step off assuredly into the black of your mind. Something will come to you.” 

Writers and artists! Present an open mind without fear. 

Trust your imagination. 

Writing Prompt:  Open a book of poetry at random.  Which poem stares back at you?  Read it slowly, soaking up the words.  Which line speaks to you?  Let that line become your muse for the day.  Create your work inspired by the meaning of the poem’s powerful words. 

Teens Get Published Now!

December 10, 2013

One Teen Story is a literary magazine for young adult readers of every age. Each issue will feature one amazing short story about the teen experience.

Contest submission will be accepted from May 1st to June 30th, 2014.

One Teen Story will consider original, unpublished fiction written by teens ages 14 – 19. We are interested in great fiction of any genre — literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories and horror. What’s in a great short story? Interesting characters, a unique voice, and of course, a beginning, middle and end.

The winning story will be published in the May 2014 issue
. Contest winners will receive $500, 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work, and a 28″ X 20″ poster of the cover featuring their story. The winner will also have an opportunity to edit his/her story for publication with a One Teen Story editor.

*To enter, you must be between the ages of 15 and 19 as of May 31, 2013.

Short stories should be between 1500 – 4000 words and be the writer’s own original, unpublished work.

Previously published stories and stories forthcoming at other publications cannot be considered.

No entry form or fee is required.

Only one submission per person.

One Teen Story reserves the right to publish the story in the form we choose. A parent must sign a consent form for One Teen Story to publish the names of the winner and honorable mentions on our website.

You must submit through our online Submission Manager.

Questions? Visit oneteenstory.com for more information.

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YARN
is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry and essays for Young Adult readers, written by writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices . . . including teens!

YARN is of particular interest to and for young adult readers, 14 years and up. We have no restrictions for authors (fogies over the age of 18 write YA too) and no genre restrictions. (if you’ve got a story set in 2060, bring it on!) We only ask that the writing you submit be original and publishable, with some literary merit. (In other words, if you’ve written a slasher thriller with lots of smooching and slaying, we recommend sending it to Hollywood and not to us.) Send us only your very best.

Submit online to the email address appropriate to your genre. For information on how to do this, visit yareview.net/

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And finally, for your holiday entertainment, this video promoting books and bookstores by Arthur A. Levine, an editor at Scholastic:

Get Your Memoir Published by Simon and Schuster!

December 8, 2013

Are you born before December 31, 1964? A resident of the United States? Want to have Simon and Schuster publish your memoir? The Huffington Post and AARP are offering a memoir contest NOW! Entries may be submitted through February 15, 2014.

Upload a synopsis and the first 5,000 words of your memoir written in English.

Entries must be written by the entrant and cannot have been previously published in any manner. Entries should include entrant’s name, date of birth, mailing address, email address and telephone number. Limit one per person.

Entries may be posted on the Contest Website after being submitted. Having an Initial Entry posted on the Contest Website does not constitute that the Initial Entry has met the submission requirements listed in these Official Rules.

Judges will select ten finalists based equally on originality, appeal, and the power of the storytelling.

Confirmed Finalists will be required to submit their original memoir by 11:59 pm ET on June 15, 2014. Memoirs must be 20,000-50,000 words in length and in English. Memoirs must be written by the entrant and cannot have been previously published in any manner.

Memoirs will be judged based equally on originality, appeal, and the power of the storytelling. One Grand Prize Winner will be selected.

One Grand Prize Winner will
(1) receive $5,000;
(2) receive a book publishing contract with S&S for publication of Winner’s Memoir in hardcover, trade paperback or ebook format (in S&S’s sole discretion). The approximate retail value of the book publishing contract is a book advance of no less than $5,000;
(3) be featured in The Huffington Post online site; and
(4) have an excerpt of the winning memoir printed in AARP The Magazine and posted on AARP’s online website. All components of prize, including but not limited to, publication, online feature, and excerpt publication are in Sponsors’ sole discretion.

For Contest results, send a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to: AARP & Huff/Post 50 Memoir Contest Winner’s List Request, 601 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20049. Requests for the winner’s list must be received by December 31, 2014.

Or visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/22/memoir-contest-rules_n_4317794.html

Are You Writing a Novel? Or Should it be a Short Story?

December 5, 2013

I love this writing advice from Elizabeth Sims in her recent Writer’s Digest article, “Miscalculations & Missteps.”

In both children’s and adult writing contests, I’ve read many short stories that try to become novels, and writing that someone identifies as a novel but it REALLY should be a short story. How to tell if your characters/theme/plot is suitable for which genre?

“Take two unrelated heart-clutching moments, or two unrelated story points, or even two unrelated characters, and challenge yourself to come up with a way to link them.”

Do you have enough complexity to hold a reader’s interest for a novel? This exercise will help you discover the layers or depth you need for a longer work of fiction.

Holidays Zap Your Writing Time? Discover How to Write during December

December 5, 2013

Looking for the perfect gift for Aunt Edna, Uncle Irving and your mother? Search no more!

Write individual poems, stories or create personal art work for your friends and relatives. A gift made especially for the recipient will be long-appreciated.

In my circle of friends, K crochets me beautiful scarves; W makes jewelry. My son oil paints and takes photographs.

Which creative endeavor will you choose for each person on your list?

**Another creative idea for the people on your list: an autographed copy of an author’s book. If you can’t attend the author’s talk or book signing, find contact information on the web and ask if the author will sign a label for your recipent.

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Visit this site for a definition of modern authors!

http://nyti.ms/IegLmn