Archive for December, 2009

This Blog Moving to ChristinaKatz.com as of December 30, 2009…

We’re moving!

Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years.

I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time.

However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be.

Please come and find me at my new digs: http://christinakatz.com.

And while we’re both thinking of it, would you please update your blog links to http://christinakatz.com?

2010 is going to be an exciting adventure.

I’d love to hear what you think of my new blog. Meet me over there, okay?

Reasons to Write: Write to Heal

By Christina KatzChristina Katz
Are you in pain? Are you confused about what you want in life? Or, even if you know what you want, are you unable to express it? If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, then you might want to consider writing to heal before you begin writing for publication.
 
When you write with the intention to heal, amazing growth can occur that creates a ripple effect of good in your life. Writing to heal will clear the way for the writing to get published down the road. Think of it as a kind of spring cleaning, clearing of the decks, preparing of the soil, or any other words that help you remember how writing to heal can lay the foundation that you can then build a solid writing career upon.
 
And if you are already in the midst of your writing career and find yourself standing on shaky or uncomfortable ground, writing to heal can help restore balance and a feeling of wholeness. When the stakes are high and you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s not a bad idea to restore a little faith in yourself. That’s exactly what writing to heal does.
 
I am no stranger to writing to heal. I spent several years after I completed my coursework at Columbia College Chicago just writing to repair my own cracked foundation. Then several years later, I switched gears and began writing for publication. Naturally, the latter went a lot better than it would have had I not spent years focused on filling notebooks with every thought, complaint, fear and worry.
 
Have I been perfectly neurosis-free ever since? Of course not. But those years of self-inquiry freed me from the perfectionism prison that I had, unwittingly, been living inside. They loosened the chokehold that my perceptions of other people had on me. And they allowed me to just be myself in a more authentic and integrated way.
 
Of course, none of these changes happened quickly. They all occurred gradually and continue to unfold even when I don’t devote the lion’s share of my energy to writing to heal. That’s because the payoff of writing to heal has long-term benefits. There were things I learned during those years that I will never forget.
 
I don’t believe that there is any perfect opportunity for writing to heal; you just have to make time for it the best you can. But I do believe that if you need to heal but avoid it, your unhappiness will create roadblocks to your success. So don’t be ashamed if you feel like perhaps you need to put writing for publication aside, and focus your energy on writing to heal instead.
 
If you are unsure, just ask yourself a couple of questions like those I began this piece with. Do you know what kind of prisons you are living inside? Do you know how to write your way out? If not, I recommend devoting time and energy to the process on a regular basis if you feel that writing to heal might benefit you. Best of luck on your writing-to-heal journey! Here are some books that can help you get started:
 
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
 
Writing Down the Bones by Nathalie Goldberg
 
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
 
How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything by Cheri Huber
 
Your Heart’s Desire by Sonia Choquette
 
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

 
 

Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina KatzChristina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country. Her new website is located at christinakatz.com.

Christina’s Calendar

GIGS:
Digital Book World
New York, NY
January 26 – 27
Panelist: “Get Noticed! Earn Attention for Every Book”
More info

Private Workshop: Power Up Your Platform for the Internet Age
Sunday, February 28th
Location: TBA
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Cost for 3-hour workshop: $75.00
Increase your visibility and influence based on your personal strengths and balancing offline and online strategies.
E-mail me to get on the list

The Associated Writing Programs Conference
April 7 – 10
Denver, Colorado
The Colorado Convention Center
More info

The American Society of Journalists & Authors Writer’s Conference
April 24-25
NYC, NY
More info

Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference
April 29 – May 1
Embassy Suites Hotel
Oklahoma City, OK
More info

The Northwest Author Series: Third Season!

2009-2010 Northwest Author Series

Next up: Amber Keyser on How to Use a Critique Group to Enhance Your Writing on January 24th.
More info

Writing for Radio: Radio-Related Websites to Bookmark

Laura BridgwaterBy Laura Bridgwater
Like a doctor checking up regularly on a patient, I, too, have regular rounds. But in my case, as a freelance writer I’m checking up on the Internet to read about new developments in the world of radio.
 
So to wrap up this year’s last “Writing for Radio” column, here’s a list of my favorite radio-related websites that are part of my Internet rounds. These websites will keep you primed for writing for radio for the rest of 2009 and into 2010.
 
1. British Broadcasting Company’s International Radio (BBC) /
 
What is it? The largest broadcasting corporation in the world.
 
Why browse it? Because BBC Radio takes submissions for its radio dramas and situation comedies.
 
2. National Public Radio (NPR) 
 
What is it?  A not-for-profit organization that reaches 27.5 million Americans each week.
Why browse it? Because NPR seems to be surviving the economic downturn and adapting to new media. Read about it in the Fast Company article Will NPR Save the News? 
 
3. Transom 
What is it? A showcase and workshop for new public radio.
Why browse it? Great information on topics ranging from radio equipment to “Beginnings”, a section of personal essays about starting in radio.
 
4. Current 
 
What is it? A newspaper and website about public TV and radio in the United States.
 
Why browse it? Truly all things public radio and public television.
 
5. PoynterOnline  
 
What is it? The online portal for the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists.
 
Why browse it? In addition to the latest news about the news, this site has information about radio journalism. Go to the search box on the homepage, type ‘radio,’ and start reading.
 
6. Mediabistro  
 
What is it? A website for a variety of creatives, from editors and writers to television, film, and radio professionals.
 
Why browse it? Practical advice about the business-side of being creative, such as How to Pitch pages. Some content is free; other content requires a subscription.
 
What is it? A not-for-profit storytelling organization.
 
Why browse it? Because it’s fun. And because The Moth Radio Hour takes pitches.
 
8. Your favorite radio station’s website
 
Why browse it? Whether you are currently writing for radio or hope to one day, reading your favorite radio station’s website will keep you informed on a variety of topics, from finding a new call for submissions to getting ideas about what you might want to write.
 
The Internet can be a huge time sink (think YouTube videos of the Keyboard Cat), but it can also be valuable. Click through the above websites and bookmark the ones that seem useful for you (most Internet browsers have a bookmark feature). Then the next time you sit down to surf the net, you’ll avoid the virtual rabbit holes during your Internet rounds. 
 
Laura Bridgwater is a freelance writer, teacher, and radio commentator. In 2008 she won first place for humorous personal essay writing in the National Federation of Press Women contest. Her humorous essays have been published in numerous parenting magazines and Funny Times, as well as being broadcast on public radio. To listen to her radio commentary visit KUNC.

Classes Begin in January!

Writing and Publishing The Short Stuff
Especially For Moms (But Not Only for Moms!)
With Christina Katz
NEW:
Now includes both regional and national markets!
Class Begins January 13th
Prerequisites: None
Finally, a writing workshop that fits into the busy lives of moms! You will learn how to create short, easy-to-write articles-a skill that will make it easier to move up to longer, more time-consuming articles when you’re ready. Try your pen at tips, fillers, short interviews, list articles, how-tos, and short personal essays-all within six weeks.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at www.christinakatz.com

Personal Essays that Get Published
With Abigail Green

Class Begins January 13th
Prerequisites: None
The popularity of reality shows, blogs, and tell-all books proves that it pays to get personal these days. Whether you want to write introspective essays, short humor pieces, or first-person reported stories, your life is a goldmine of rich material that all kinds of publications are pining for. Personal Essays that Get Published will teach you how to get your personal experiences down on the page and get them published. Students will learn how to find ideas, hone their voice, craft solid leads and endings, reslant their work for different markets, and submit their essays for publication.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at www.christinakatz.com

Updated and Improved!
Turn Your Specialty Into Course Curriculum
With Christina Katz

Class Begins on January 13th
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor. Recommended before CSNBP.
I bet you have worked long and hard to discover your specialty, narrow the focus of your expertise, and build your credibility, so shouldn’t you also develop a course curriculum that you can use as the starting point for years of teaching and learning from your students? I have been doing this for eight years and in this six-week class, I will share all of the insights I have learned so you can create your own class, including strategies for cultivating a following of students who succeed. This is probably the most important class I teach because it helps writers develop curriculum they can use to create multiple income streams.
Cost: $399
Register at www.christinakatz.com

Coming Classes:

Pitching Practice: Write Six Queries in Six Weeks
With Christina Katz

Class Begins May 12th
Prerequisites: WPSS with published clips or permission from the instructor.
In this writing class, pitching is all you do. Each week, you will study a successful writer’s query and create your own list of steps to follow. You will receive a three-page worksheet weekly, which will provide helpful ideas and checklists to help you systematize your query writing process and increase your productivity.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at www.christinakatz.com

Updated and Improved!
Craft A Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal
With Christina Katz

Class Begins on March 3rd
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor.
Most writers underestimate the comprehensiveness needed to craft a saleable book proposal that will garner the interest of agents and editors. They also mistake the definition of platform and importance of aligning their proposal to a solid track record. A two-time author, Christina has helped hundreds of nonfiction writers succeed over the past seven years. Now she’s making her proposal-writing advice available in a six-week e-mail course to aspiring authors who want to nail the proposal the first time around. The best way to craft a short, tight proposal that will impress agents and editors is with the help of a seasoned professional.
Cost: $399.00
Register at www.christinakatz.com

The Scoop on Writing Profile Articles: To Submission and Beyond

By Lori RussellLori Russell
You’ve researched and interviewed, polished and proofed. Your profile article is finally ready to submit. Or is it?
 
Professionalism is in the details. Make sure yours measure up. Before you hit the send button, make sure that your manuscript and your email note to your editor reflect the professional writer that you are.
 
Start by rechecking the publication’s writer’s guidelines and any notes or emails from your editor. Is your document in the style and form requested? If you are sending photos, are you using the preferred method and file type? Have you spelled the editor’s name and publication correctly and used his/her correct title in your email? Do you need to submit additional information to get paid? In a brief email note to which I attach my manuscript, I always thank the editor for the opportunity to write for the publication and include a brief “contact me if there is anything else you need” line at the end.
 
No matter how well written and insightful your profile article is, your editor may contact you with additional questions or requested changes. Despite whether you agree or disagree with the request, take notes during the phone call. Reread the email. Then, follow your editor’s instructions as literally as possible. 
Do not change things that were not mentioned or spin out a completely new draft-unless the editor requests it. Even if you are already on to your next writing project, get the changes back to your editor as quickly as possible. 
 
Before you move on to your next query or assignment, be sure to thank the subject of your profile if you have not already. If you are able, let her know when the article is expected to appear in print.
 
Your subject has given you time and the opportunity to write about her. Do a good job and she will welcome the opportunity to speak with you again. Remember, your subject can act as an “expert” if you reslant your topic in the future as a how-to, list or feature article. An anecdote that she shared in the interview may not make it into the profile you are writing today, but it may make a great lede for a profile for another publication. 
 
Make sure to keep a printed copy of your submitted article (with any changes your editor requested) as well as an electronic backup copy. I keep all my notes, drafts, etc. together in a file on my computer, on a flash drive, and in a manila folder in my file cabinet so that I can refer to them for future articles and for tax purposes.
 
Once your article is published, put a copy in your article folder and in your “clips” file. If the publication has an online presence, ask how you can link to the site or request a PDF version of the article. Published clips are a great addition to your portfolio and an essential piece of your marketing toolkit when approaching new editors with a query.
 
Lori Russell has written profiles about people, their passions and their places for more than a decade. Her nonfiction articles have been published online and in magazines and newspapers around the country. She is a contributing editor for Columbia Gorge Magazine, a regular contributor to Ruralite Magazine and has co-written the “In the Spotlight’ column for WOTR for the past two years. She is currently enjoying a writing residency teaching memoir writing to high school students through Columbia Gorge Arts in Education, an organization that brings professional writers and artists to the public schools.

 

Christina’s Calendar

SPRING GIGS:

The Associated Writing Programs Conference
April 7 – 10
Denver, Colorado
The Colorado Convention Center
More info

The American Society of Journalists & Authors Writer’s Conference
April 24-25
NYC, NY
More info

Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference
April 29 – May 1
Embassy Suites Hotel
Oklahoma City, OK
More info

Getting Your Poems on the Page: Choose Your Speaker’s Vantage Point

Sage CohenBy Sage Cohen
One of the trickiest-and most liberating-aspects of poetry is that there is no Gold Standard against which we measure its worth. Without this standard, it can also be difficult to evaluate when a poem is finished. Because each poem is trying to accomplish something different, it is up to us to decide when the poem has arrived. This is not easy to do, even when one has been writing for decades; but it sure is satisfying to practice!
 
The important thing to remember about revision is that it is a process by which we become better acquainted with the poem and push it farther toward its own potential. In the revision stage, we revisit and may reinvent the choices we’ve already made with language, image, voice, music, line, rhythm and rhyme.
 
The tricky balance involves wildly experimenting with what might be possible in a poem-beyond what we first laid down on the page-without losing the integrity of idea or emotion that brought us to the poem in the first place. This is a skill that develops over time through experience and largely by feel. If it seems like you’re groping around in the dark when revising, welcome to the club!
 
The process of revising poems is unique for each poet; and often, each poem has its own, unprecedented trajectory. I’ve had a few “whole cloth” poems arrive nearly perfectly complete in one contiguous swoosh of pen to paper. And I have other poems that have taken me more than 15 years to finish. More typically, I work on a poem for a few weeks or months. Sometimes, I think a poem is finished; and years later, it proves me wrong, demanding a new final verse or line structure or title.
 
For the purposes of establishing a revising practice, I recommend that you divide writing and editing into two completely separate acts that happen at two different sittings, preferably on different days. The goal of this checks-and-balances system is to give yourself the space to let it rip when you’re writing without fearing interference from your inner editor. Don’t worry: if it’s bad now, it will still be bad next week; you can fix it then.
 
Once you feel you’ve exhausted every last drop of poetic possibility in the writing of the first draft, or any time you get stuck and don’t know where to go next, put your poem aside for a while. The next time you return to it, you’ll be wearing your editor hat. 
 
 
In my experience, time is the greatest of editors. The longer a poem sits untouched, the more likely you are to have a sense of how to proceed when you sit down to revise.
 
Don’t know where to start with your revisions? Try asking yourself the following questions: 
  • What is most alive in your poem? Underline the line(s), word(s), phrase(s), stanza(s) that seem to be the kindling feeding the fire of this poem so you can easily reference what’s working well throughout the revision process. 
  • Is there exposition at the beginning or summary information at the end that is not serving the poem and could be trimmed?
  • Who is speaking? What would the poem be like if told from a different speaker? (For example, if a poem is about an experience shared by a mother and daughter, told by the daughter, try telling it by the mother.)
  • Where is language weak and flabby? How can you give it more energy and muscle? Can passive verbs become active? Can modifiers be cut? Should “dropped” be changed to “plummeted”?
  • Verb tense: What would your poem be like in a different tense than it was written? Even if it happened in the past, try the present; and vice versa. See what gives it the most power and energy.
  • Does the shape of the poem (line length, stanza breaks, white space) mirror the emotion and rhythm of its content? Should it?
  • Are punctuation and capitalization consistent?
  • Is there good music of repeating sounds throughout the poem?
  • Does each line break create the desired interest, pause, movement, and focus on key moments or words?
  • Is the title serving the poem? How can the title take the poem further?

Remember that no one but you knows the best way to craft your poem. Have fun, be willing to experiment, and know that you’ll learn a little more about revision each time you try.
 

Writing the Life Poetic by Sage CohenSage Cohen is the author of Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry (Writers Digest Books, 2009) and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. An award-winning poet, she writes three monthly columns about the craft and business of writing and serves as Poetry Editor for VoiceCatcher 4. Her poetry and essays appear in journals and anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Writers, The Oregonian, Oregon Literary Review, Greater Good and VoiceCatcher. Sage holds an MA in creative writing from New York University, co-hosts a monthly reading series at Barnes & Noble and teaches the online class Poetry for the People. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and awarded a Soapstone residency. To learn more, visit www.writingthelifepoetic.com
 

New Classes Begin January: Invest In Your Writing Career Today

Writing and Publishing The Short Stuff
Especially For Moms (But Not Only for Moms!)
With Christina Katz
NEW:
Now includes both regional and national markets!
Class Begins January 13th
Prerequisites: None
Finally, a writing workshop that fits into the busy lives of moms! You will learn how to create short, easy-to-write articles-a skill that will make it easier to move up to longer, more time-consuming articles when you’re ready. Try your pen at tips, fillers, short interviews, list articles, how-tos, and short personal essays-all within six weeks.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at www.christinakatz.com

Personal Essays that Get Published
With Abigail Green

Class Begins January 13th
Prerequisites: None
The popularity of reality shows, blogs, and tell-all books proves that it pays to get personal these days. Whether you want to write introspective essays, short humor pieces, or first-person reported stories, your life is a goldmine of rich material that all kinds of publications are pining for. Personal Essays that Get Published will teach you how to get your personal experiences down on the page and get them published. Students will learn how to find ideas, hone their voice, craft solid leads and endings, reslant their work for different markets, and submit their essays for publication.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at www.christinakatz.com

Updated and Improved!
Turn Your Specialty Into Course Curriculum
With Christina Katz

Class Begins on January 13th
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor. Recommended before CSNBP.
I bet you have worked long and hard to discover your specialty, narrow the focus of your expertise, and build your credibility, so shouldn’t you also develop a course curriculum that you can use as the starting point for years of teaching and learning from your students? I have been doing this for eight years and in this six-week class, I will share all of the insights I have learned so you can create your own class, including strategies for cultivating a following of students who succeed. This is probably the most important class I teach because it helps writers develop curriculum they can use to create multiple income streams.
Cost: $399
Register at www.christinakatz.com

Coming Classes:

Pitching Practice: Write Six Queries in Six Weeks
With Christina Katz

Class Begins May 12th
Prerequisites: WPSS with published clips or permission from the instructor.
In this writing class, pitching is all you do. Each week, you will study a successful writer’s query and create your own list of steps to follow. You will receive a three-page worksheet weekly, which will provide helpful ideas and checklists to help you systematize your query writing process and increase your productivity.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at www.christinakatz.com

Updated and Improved!
Craft A Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal
With Christina Katz
Class Begins on March 3rd
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor.
Most writers underestimate the comprehensiveness needed to craft a saleable book proposal that will garner the interest of agents and editors. They also mistake the definition of platform and importance of aligning their proposal to a solid track record. A two-time author, Christina has helped hundreds of nonfiction writers succeed over the past seven years. Now she’s making her proposal-writing advice available in a six-week e-mail course to aspiring authors who want to nail the proposal the first time around. The best way to craft a short, tight proposal that will impress agents and editors is with the help of a seasoned professional.
Cost: $399.00
Register at www.christinakatz.com

The Fiction Writing Workshop: Where To Publish Your Work

By Kristin Bair O’KeeffeKristin Bair O'Keeffe
 
Congratulations, writers! You’ve had a great year of writing fiction. Your work has sprouted, blossomed, and is ready to be enjoyed by readers everywhere. To get you ready for 2010, I decided to wrap up this year with a list of markets for your fiction. I’ve included a little something for everyone, so get busy and get your work out there.*
 
Short Fiction – Print Literary Magazines
1.     The Indiana Review  Publishes two issues a year (May and November); publishes 6-10 stories per issue.
 
2.     Alaska Quarterly Review  Publishes two issues a year.
 
3.     Alimentum: the literature of food  The print journal publishes two issues a year (winter and summer); also features an online serving.
 
4.     THEMA  Publishes three issues a year.
 
5.     Tin House  Publishes four issues a year; also offers an online sampling.
 
 
Short Fiction – Online Literary Magazines
1.     Anderbo  Continuously updated.
 
2.     Narrative Magazine  Continuously updated; lots of contests.
 
3.     Flatmancrooked  Online with an annual “best of” print anthology.
 
4.     The Adirondack Review  Quarterly issues with an “evolving issue” on the website.
 
5.    Guernica A magazine of art and ideas.
 
 
Novels
 
1.     Narrative Magazine  Publishes book-length works for serialization; electronic submissions only.
 
2.     James Jones First Novel Fellowship Contest  Deadline will be around March 1, 2010 (date TBA); award of $10,000.
 
3.     The 2010 Autumn House Fiction Contest The winner will receive book publication, $1,000 advance against royalties, and a $1,500 travel grant to participate in the 2009 Autumn House Master Authors Series in Pittsburgh; deadline is June 30, 2010.
 
*Always read the submission guidelines of every publication to which you submit.
 
  
October 2007 Family Fun MagazineKristin Bair O’Keeffe’s debut novel, Thirsty, will be published by Swallow Press in 2009. Since moving to Shanghai, China, in 2006, Kristin has been chronicling her adventures (and misadventures) in her blog, “Shanghai Adventures of a Trailing Spouse.” Her essays and articles have appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Baltimore Review, San Diego Family Magazine, and The Gettysburg Review. She teaches fiction and nonfiction writing and is the curator of Out Loud! The Shanghai Writers Literary Salon. To learn more, visit www.kristinbairokeeffe.com.

 


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  • This Blog Moving to ChristinaKatz.com as of December 30, 2009… December 27, 2009
    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: http://christinakatz.com. And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
    The Writer Mama

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