Archive for December, 2008

Three Recommendations for your New Year Career

There are three people who were instrumental to my 2008 success, whom I have not yet thanked, so I thought I’d do it publicly.

Mark Bennington!

Last May, this photographer extraordinaire came to Portland from L.A. and took my headshots. He took hundreds and let me have all of the best on a CD. I was thrilled with the results and have referred many friends since. If you are in the L.A. or Portland, OR area, and want to connect with a great headshot photographer, please contact Mark via his website:

Burton Haun!

Burton is the designer who created my new Writer Mama Riffs blog banner and badges. I can’t tell you how much more I enjoy my blog since he spiffed it up! Everyone seems to love it. And the best part is, even though Burton lives near me, he can work with you by phone and e-mail to create unique (and inexpensive) banner and badge designs for your blog too. I’ve been promising this referral for a long time (I was waiting for Burton to move into his new home). Now here it is! (Click on “design” to see his samples.)

Paul Sninchak!

Paul is responsible for creating my book video for Get Known Before the Book Deal (with a little help from me on the voice-over).

What??? You haven’t seen it? Well, by all means, let me post it here:

I think Paul’s work speaks for itself. And you would not believe his prices! I’ll let you discuss them with him. Contact him at:

You can view all of Paul’s videos here.

These are my top recommendations for 2008, folks. I hope you will take advantage of them. In addition, all three of these folks are just great guys!

2009 Writers on the Rise E-zine Columnists

I’m very pleased to announce the 2009 Writers on the Rise e-zine columnists. Please help me welcome them:

Christina 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.

Introducing Laura Bridgwater: Our newest Writers on the Rise Columnist

laura-bridgwaterLaura will cover a topic I’ve wanted to explore for a long time: writing for the radio. Be sure to subscribe now to Writers on the Rise, so you won’t miss a single issue.

If you need a little holiday cheer, tune in to Laura Bridgwater’s second KUNC commentary. Hear why the Bridgwaters keep their Christmas tree under wraps.

“The Leaning Tree of Tchotchke” will air Monday morning, Dec. 21, at 6:35am and 8:35am on KUNC 91.5 FM.

You can catch it at a later time by going to

Welcome, Laura!

Kristin Bair O’Keeffe a Contributor to the 2009 Bylines Calendar

2009 Bylines CalendarNot your ordinary daytimer, Bylines 2009 Calendar is chock full of inspiration, humor and passion. Just the sort of thing aspiring and working writers need to read on a daily basis to keep the creative juices flowing and the angst at bay.

This year there are writers featured from 29 states and 5 foreign countries. The calendar is $13.95.

Top 10 Reasons to BUY the BYLINES CALENDAR!

1. It’s the perfect gift for any writer! Give a Bylines Calendar for Christmas, birthdays, or for any occasion at all, and rack up the brownie points. (You’ll need them later, when they’re famous and you’re trying to bargain your way out of having your youthful indiscretions included in their memoirs.)

2. It’s a writing motivator. Stop listening to inner doubts, and reinforce the positive muse inside. Read a story each week, which gives tips on how other writers have overcome obstacles and achieved success. Look through their eyes into the daily happenings in a writer’s life.

3. It makes a great writing log. Jot down your writing-related accomplishments each day, such as: “finished chapter four”; “sent out query on toy museum to XYZ magazine”; “wrote poem about eyelashes”; “installed new computer printer,” etc. When you flip back through the pages later, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished during the year.

4. Celebrate! Use Bylines to find writing-related holidays, such as Biographer’s Day, National Columnist’s Day, Young People’s Poetry Week, or even Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month (shouldn’t that be every month?). Look up the date of your next writer’s group meeting, and find a literary reason to celebrate, such as a famous author’s birthday.

5. Keep Track of Deadlines. Use Bylines to write down your DEADLINES, in capital letters, in Red Ink!

6. Keep focused on the goal. Do you want to finish your book this year? Send out 100 queries? Write one magazine article per month? Start a weekly column? Research 15 new markets for your poems? Enter 10 contests? Jot down your writing goals for the year in Bylines, on the page provided. Then do something daily, weekly, and monthly to achieve them.

7. When the IRS comes knocking. Show them your Bylines calendar, where you’ve written your daily log, as evidence to show that yes, you are a real writer, and absolutely, you really do write regularly.

8. Jog that Memory. Went to a conference, but forgot the name of that great speaker? Or met a writer at the conference with the same interests as you, but misplaced her email address? Use the conference pages in Bylines to jot down highlights of the weekend, such as new places to query, great new websites, and contact names and addresses. Later, you’ll always know where to find them.

9. Expand your horizons. Learn about 52 hard-working writers who overcame obstacles, gave up procrastination, and kept their rears in their chairs and fingers on their keyboards. Read about their resulting successes in many fields of writing. We provide their email addresses and link to their websites, so you can buy their books, read their articles, contact them to be speakers at meetings and follow their careers.

10. Hey, I’m a writer, too! Support the 53rd writer in the calendar, too, the one “behind the scenes.” (O.K., you may not think much of this reason. But look at the other nine.)

Here’s the website for ordering:

A Round of Applause for our 2008 Contributors

Managing Editor
“Beyond What You Know”
Sage Cohen is the author of Writing the Life Poetic, forthcoming from Writer’s Digest Books, and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. Her poetry and essays appear in journals and anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Writers, Oregon Literary Review, Greater Good and VoiceCatcher. In 2006, she won first prize in the Ghost Road Press annual poetry contest. Sage holds an MA in creative writing from New York University where she was awarded a New York Times Foundation fellowship. Sage teaches Poetry for the People and Personal Essays that Get Published.

Lori Russell

Lori Russell is an award-winning writer who has had the pleasure to work with several great editors in her 17 years as a freelancer. She is a contributing editor to Columbia Gorge Magazine and has been a regular contributor to Ruralite for more than a decade. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the country and her short fiction and poetry has been published in several journals and anthologies. Lori recently completed her first novel, Light on Windy River.


Christina KatzWriting and Publishing The Short Stuff
Especially For Moms (But Not Only for Moms)!
Class Begins on January 14th
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. Now includes markets!
Cost: $199.00.
Register at

Abigail GreenPersonal Essays that Get Published with Abigail Green
Class Begins on January 14th
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: $199.00

Register at

Christina KatzPlatform Building 101: Discover your Specialty
(Formerly “Targeting Your Best Writing Markets”)
Class Begins on January 14th

Prerequisites: None

Identifying your writing specialty is one of the trickiest and most necessary steps in launching a writing career today. This class will help you find your best audiences, cultivate your expertise, manage your ideas, develop marketing skills, claim your path, serve editors and become portfolio-minded. You’ll learn how to become the professional you’ve always wanted to be and, most importantly, how to take your writing career more seriously.
Cost: $199.00.
Register at

Christina KatzCraft A Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal
Winter Class Begins on January 14th
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor
Most writers underestimate the comprehensiveness needed in a book proposal that will garner the interest of agents and editors. They also mistake the definition of platform and importance of alining 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 have a short, tight proposal that will impress agents and editors is to start now!
Cost: $299.00 [Priority to former students]
Register at

Today is Wendy Burt Thomas’ Amazon Spike Day!

Happy Monday, writers! I’m very pleased to share information about Wendy Burt Thomas’ Amazon Spike Day news with you. If you’ve been reading Writers on the Rise for any length of time, then you are already familiar with the reliable, helpful advice that Wendy Burt Thomas has been sharing over the years as part of her “Ask Wendy” Column.

I hope you will join me in purchasing Wendy’s new book, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters on Monday, December 1st. I’ve already made my purchase and I’m encouraging everyone I know to join me.

I’ve taken the liberty of pasting Wendy’s letter here:

Dear Friends,

Have you ever thought of making money from your writing? Perhaps you’ve got an idea for a novel or nonfiction book. Or maybe you’ve got some magazine articles swirling around in your head. If you (or someone you know) would like to know how to sell your work, I invite you to buy my new book, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters on December 1.

The 30+ samples of good and bad queries walk writers through the “must-have” and “don’t-even-think-about-it” points with a balance of clear instruction, examples and humor. Where similar query books just tell you to write a hook – it gives insight into what makes a good opening paragraph for an article, novel or nonfiction query. There are special considerations for book queries by genre (from Romance and Mystery to Speculative and Thriller – plus everything in between) and the FAQs come straight from the author’s experience as a writer, author, magazine editor and book copyeditor. The “what editors / agents / publishers like” and “what editors / agents / publishers don’t like” are incredible resources, offering a look into water coolers throughout the publishing industry. Plus, it’s funny.

Why December 1? It’s my official “Amazon Spike Day,” where I attempt to bump my book up the rankings. The better my book sells before its December 5 release date, the more often Amazon will recommend it to shoppers and the more likely bookstores will order extra copies.

Here’s a link to check out the book:

So what’s in it for you (besides knowing you helped an old friend!)? Everyone who orders The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters from Amazon on December 1 receives:

1. My free e-book, “3 Years of Ask Wendy; Your Freelance Writing Questions Answered” (a $9.95 value!) – featuring Q & As on everything from how to sell greeting card copy and fillers to making money from personal essays and short stories. (This e-book is compiled from my “Ask Wendy” column for Writers On The Rise, one of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s Top 100 Web sites for Writers.)

2. A chance to win one of 6 books:
o Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz (author of Writer Mama and founder of Writers On The Rise,
o Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (
o Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick by Wendy Burt and Erin Kindberg (our second book in the Hip Chick series)
o A Christmas Dozen; Christmas Stories to Warm the Heart by Steve Burt (award-winning writer and author of 12 books)**
o Odd Lot; Stories to Chill the Heart by Steve Burt (winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award; winner of 6 Honorable Mentions for Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror; Honorable Mention Best Horror Book by ForeWord Magazine and Honorable Mention Best Genre Fiction from Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards)**
o Oddest Yet; Even More Stores to Chill the Heart (Bram Stoker Winner!)**
**Steve Burt is not only my dad and mentor, but also an award-winning author. In fact, he won the Bram Stoker Award, the highest honor in horror writing!

3. One winner will receive a free email or phone consultation and editorial feedback on the topic of their choice: writing for magazines, novel queries, greeting cards, nonfiction book proposals, freelancing for a living, etc.

Just order the book from Amazon (there’s a link to Amazon through on Monday, December 1 and email me your receipt. I’ll email you the e-book and enter your name in the drawing!

Please don’t feel obligated to buy the book. But if you choose to, let me say “thank you” in advance!

All my best,

Wendy Burt-Thomas

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  • This Blog Moving to 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: And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
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December 2008

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