You’re a writer, too? Hooray! I always love meeting other writers.
Writing can be both fulfilling and challenging. I do a select amount of editing and coaching to support other writers. For professional feedback on your work, feel free to email me for my rates.
I love to share with other writers about some of the resources that have helped me:
1.) Keep writing. While my first manuscript was circulating at various houses, I wrote two more novels in that genre, then an historical novel, and then a mom-lit. It was my fifth completed manuscript that was the first to sell. I didn’t give up on my original “baby” – but editors often look for writers with more than one book in them.
2.) Keep learning. Join local writers’ groups, critique groups, guilds, on-line loops, etc. You’ll hear which editors are looking for your genre. You’ll find people to swap honest feedback, share chocolate as the rejections letters arrive, and remind you why you’re putting yourself through this.
3.) Keep reading. Read books in your genre. Read books you admire. Read books that stretch you. Read books on your craft. A small list of books that have helped me is listed below.
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King
- Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas
- Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit by Elizabeth Lyon
- Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain
- Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
- Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins
- Write His Answers by Marlene Bagnull
- A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction
- And of course, writer’s market guides and blogs
- One such online resource is Randy Ingermanson’s web site
4.) Keep making friends. Writer’s conferences are a huge investment, but a precious key to getting that publishing door unlocked. Editors who won’t take unsolicited manuscripts will consider your proposal if they’ve met you at a conference. I met many of my critique partners at writers’ conferences. I met authors who gave me insights. I met my agent at a writers’ conference. And yes, I DO recommend trying to find an agent, because getting in the door as a new writer is increasingly difficult.
Here’s a list of some of the larger conferences that you might want to look into. Each has a different emphasis, but you’re sure to find one that will be helpful.
- American Christian Fiction Writers Conference
- Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference
- Glorietta Christian Writers Conference
- Colorado/Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conferences
- Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference
- Write to Publish
- Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing
- American Christian Writers Conferences– Smaller conferences in a variety of locales. A less expensive way to test the waters.
More Resources for Writers:
American Christian Fiction Writers – a warm and generous group. Membership includes monthly courses, annual contests, discussion loops on all genres, and many other benefits. http://www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com
Advanced Fiction Writing – a free monthly newsletter created by Randy Ingermanson with info on craft, marketing, author interviews, and other great info. http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com
Steve Laube – Literary agent, with unique experience and insights into the CBA market. http://www.stevelaube.com
You Know You’re a Writer If:
1. You stop random strangers to tell them about your plot ideas
2. You believe that jail time is an appropriate punishment for misuse of the apostrophe
3. You participate in four different online critique groups simultaneously
4. You wake in the middle of the night with a brilliant line of dialogue and get up to write it down
5. People change tables in a restaurant because they notice you were writing down their conversation word for word
6. When you go grocery shopping you notice things one of your characters would like – and put it in your cart
7. You write a post-it note to one of your characters and leave it on the kitchen table to remind her of something she needs to do in her next chapter. (Okay, I confess. I did this one. My husband says it’s okay for me to write notes to my characters, as long as they don’t start writing notes to me)
8. There is no such thing as a “quick trip” to a bookstore
9. You wish you could find a perfume with the scent of printer ink
10. One minute you’re convinced that every word you write is dreck and the next minute you’re sure your manuscript has the makings of a best seller
11. Your car is rear-ended and your first thought is what metaphor you would use to describe the sound
12. You bring a notebook to your child’s piano recital and jot a scene while the other kids are playing
13. You walk by the book aisle in Target and burst into tears because your heart has such a powerful yearning to see your stories on a book shelf one day
14. A police car with sirens blaring drives into a scene you’re writing – and you didn’t see it coming
15. You get paid for telling people what the voices in your head are saying.