Archive for the 'Dear Fellow Writers' Category



Dear Fellow Writers (October 2008)

I’m sniffling.  I’ve heard from lots of folks this fall who have had it much worse. Luckily I roasted a chicken on Sunday, so I’m simmering chicken broth as I type this.

Mmmm. Smells good.

And now I have a sweet little kitten on my lap. Her name is Eva. She’s the one I wish I could keep (this week). But we’re a little heavy on pets right now, so in all likelihood Eva and her sister, Sadie, and her brothers, Sampson and Sterling, will go to the pet store in two weeks, as planned.

No doubt I won’t be the only one sniffling about that. But we’ll keep the mama cat, after all. (Did you hear that sound? It sounded like “Ka-ching!” coming from a mile away at our vet’s office. Yes, I’m sure I heard it.)

While our home becomes a little less full, two Writers on the Rise editor-columnists are welcoming babies into their lives.

Sage Cohen gave birth to Theodore (Theo) Robertson Luchs-Cohen. He was born Wednesday, September 17 at 11:40 a.m. weighing 8 lbs, 14 oz and measuring 20.5 inches long.

And Kristin Bair O’Keeffee and her husband Andrew traveled from Shanghai to Vietnam (actually from Maine to Shanghai to Vietnam but that’s another story) to pick up their long-awaited daughter, Tulliver (Tully) Quinn Loan O’Keeffe. She is beautiful.

You can read up on both moms’ adventures (and misadventures) on their respective blogs:

Meet Theo

&

Shanghai Adventures of a Trailing Spouse

Please join me in congratulating both families!

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz
Editor and Publisher

Dear Fellow Writers, (September 2008 Issue archive)

Today, on her third day of first grade, my daughter Samantha woke up and said:

“I don’t want to go to school today.”

I was momentarily stumped, although I assured her that she was indeed going to school today and started making her breakfast.

And then it dawned on me…first grade is harder than Kindergarten. A lot harder. My daughter is now in school for a full day for the first time, after two years of half-days because we didn’t feel she was ready for a full day. (She wasn’t.)

Apparently, she’s still not quite ready. But then again, I kept letting her play with friends after school this week, even though I was concerned that she might get overtired. And now here she was exhausted by only the third day of school..and not wanting to go.

Doink. Silly, mama. First grade isn’t going to change to accomodate Samantha’s need for more down time. Her schedule after school needs to change so she can handle first grade. She needs to come home after school and rest and regroup, so she can be ready for the next day.

So today she will come home and rest and play quietly without playmates. Then we’ll plan some playdates for the weekend instead of right after school. And when and if she has some extra energy after school, we’ll find outlets for it. But not until she does.

So much of writing for publicaiton requires this kind of energy management. The work is often harder than we expect. There is more of it than we expect. And the amount of time we have to work to reach a satisfactory level of quality is often longer than we expect.

Working harder and longer than we are used to takes energy. Our job as writers is to figure out where that energy is going to come from.

I shared in The Writer Mama e-zine that I’ve accomplished a lot over the past six-and-a-half years since my daughter was born. People ask me all the time how I do it. I guess I have learned to manage my energy over the years. Not perfectly, but perhaps productively. I wish the same for you!

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz
Editor and Publisher

Dear Fellow Writers (July/August 2008),

Are you lighting some fireworks under your writing career? For me, summer has always been a good time to create excitement about my work. And this summer is no exception. Read on for lots of news.

"Dear Christina" Podcast with Christina KatzCheck out “Dear Christina” my first podcast
The first one might be a little bumpy but they will definitely get better. One thing is certain, I will not run out of my former student’s success stories any time soon. They just keep rolling in! So I thought, why not feature them in a series of short podcasts? And now I am. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me.

The Writer Mama ScholarshipJuly 20th: Deadline for Applications for the Fall Writer Mama Scholarship
The next available Writer Mama Scholarship is coming up for the August 20th Writing & Publishing The Short Stuff Class.
Applications will only be accepted from Saturday, July 12th – Sunday, July 20th. One full scholarship will be granted with a value of $199.00. The scholarship application will be posted on Friday, July 11th in the Writer Mama Riffs Blog. Please feel free to post the badge in your blog or e-zine with a link to the Writer Mama blog so others can take advantage of this opportunity. (If you are planning on signing up for an August class, I wouldn’t dally. They are filling up!)


Writer Mama Back to School Giveaway BadgeSeptember 1 – 30: The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway
This giveaway was a huge success last year. You don’t have to be a mama, just a writer. This year we’ll have more books to give away and more thought-provoking career questions for you to answer to qualify to win. Participants last year commented on how much they learned both from answering the questions as well as from each other. Don’t miss it! Please share the WM Back to School Giveaway badge with all your friends
with a link to the Writer Mama blog!

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineSeptember 22: Get Known Before the Book Deal Amazon spike on the first day of Fall
Order Get Known Before the Book Deal from Amazon on the Autumn Equinox and receive a great platform-development freebie! Details coming in the September issue. Please mark your calendar and tell all your friends. (More about why authors do stuff like this in September too, in case you are curious.)

October 22: Publication Date for Get Known Before the Book Deal
Lots of books talk about what to do once you become an author. No other books go into as much depth about how to position yourself to become an author before you have a book and even before you have a book deal! If you are local, I’ll be speaking at the Wilsonville Public Library on November 16th. I’ll also  be speaking about at the Willamette Writers Monthly Meeting in Portland on Tuesday, December 2nd. Final tour dates TBA in The Writer Mama blog.)

Purchase Writer Mama, Get Free MarketsPurchase Writer Mama & Receive a Free List of Markets
But wait! Before we move on to my second book, Writer Mama is still selling strong. In fact, I  appreciate all the word-of mouth you  can put behind it, whether that means suggesting Writer Mama to your friends, your writing association, your writing conference bookseller or your local library. For the months of July and August only, there are two ways to get the list of free markets (because I know many of you own Writer Mama already): you can either purchase the book and e-mail me a copy of the receipt or you can  act on any of the word-of-mouth suggestions above. Let me know that you have helped spread the word and that you already own Writer Mama, and I’ll send you the list of markets. Send all request e-mails on this topic to writermama2@earthlink.net.

The Maternal is PoliticalThat’s enough about me. Shooting off some fireworks of her own lately, columnist Gigi Rosenberg is now writing for Parenting Magazine, among other national publicaitons. She has also been recently published in the Seal Press Anthology, The Maternal is Political, Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change, edited by Shari MacDonald Strong. Congratulations, Gigi! (You can order a copy of the book by clicking on it.)

Cindy Hudson will have some exciting news about her writing career in September. And don’t forget, former columnist Abigail Green, now a columnist over at The Writer Mama e-zine, has stepped up to teach Personal Essays That Get Published. Abby is a skillful and widely published essayist and I know that anyone who takes her class is going to be so glad they did. (More info below or stop by Abby’s blog Diary of a New Mom.)

There is a time to go into your cave and get your work done and then there is a time to crank up the excitement factor and reach out to others. Are you cranking up some excitement for your writing career? I sure hope so! If not, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of summer left.

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz
Editor and Publisher

P.S. You can always refer back to the Writers on the Rise blog, where these articles will be archived over the course of the upcoming month.
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Dear Fellow Writers (June 2008),

It’s June. Hooray! We’ve almost reached the half-way point of the year.

This month is the perfect time to assess how you are progressing on your annual goals, rechart your course to achieve those ever-elusive goals and celebrate what you have already accomplished.

As for me, let’s just say it’s been an extremely busy year so far. I’ve been pouring heart and guts into my second book, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (October 2008 Writer’s Digest Books).

Writing is hard work, for me, but publicizing and promoting my books feels more expansive and gives me a chance to share the value I’ve worked so hard to create with others. So I know what I’m going to be doing this summer. An online presence revamp, including a much overdue website makeover for writersontherise.com.

Sharing my hard work with others gives me a chance to celebrate. And when you share your work with others I hope you will celebrate too. What are we celebrating? Our hard work, our commitment to our topic, our service to our readers, and the synergy that occurs when the writing finally ends up in the reader’s hands (or on the reader’s screen, as the case may be).

Since I haven’t had a lot of time this year to sit around and pat myself on the back, I plan to set aside some time this month to do just that. It’s a job every writer really needs to do for herself. I can’t wait to re-connect with writer friends, to catch up on all that we are celebrating so far this year and to spend some quality down time with my family.

What are you celebrating? I hope it’s something satisfying.

One of our contributors is celebrating a major milestone. Columnist and editor, Kristin Bair O’Keeffe is cheerfully expecting with her husband Andrew over in Shanghai, China. You can follow their adoption journey over at Kristin’s blog, Shanghai Adventures of a Trailing Spouse.
Congratulations to the O’Keeffe family!

In further WOTR news, former columnist Abigail Green (who is now a columnist over at The Writer Mama e-zine has stepped up to teach Personal Essays That Get Published. Of course, we have many excellent essayists who write for WOTR. I asked Abby to teach this class because she had a real knack for helping students as a former TA for my Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff class. Abby is a skillful and widely published essayist and I know that anyone who takes her class is going to be so glad they did. (More info below or stop by Abby’s blog Diary of a New Mom.)

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz

Editor and Publisher

Writers on the Rise

P.S. If you have a special writer mama in your life, feel free to swing by my blog for some great gift ideas for moms who love to write. And I hope you’ll consider my first book, Writer Mama, too.

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Dear Fellow Writers,

May is the month to honor mothers. That means celebrating the mothers among us (that’s Wendy, Tiffani, Lori, Cindy, Gigi, Hope and me), the mothers-to-be (that’s Sage!), the dog moms (that’s Sue, Sage, Wendy and me — those are just the ones I know off the top of my head!) and the folks who have mothers (that’s all of us or we wouldn’t be here). And I have not even mentioned all of the moms who are yet to come, the former dog moms, and those who voluntarily mother others.

I would also like to give a shout-out to the single moms, the moms of children with special needs, the moms with special needs, and any moms who have been hit by hard times lately.

I’d like to give a wave to my mother–Hi Mom!–who was a big influence on me as a writer when I was growing up. She tooks us to the library, was always reading herself (and therefore set a great example), and she and my dad always made sure we had the very best educations hard-earned money could buy. My mom has a great vocabulary and surely helped me excel in language arts and later English classes. (I was one of the few kids in school who was crazy about the weekly Worldly Wise workbook.)

Did your mother influence you as a writer? If so, how?

Every day that I’m a mom, I appreciate all the little (and big) things my mother did for me. (Not to mention the things she didn‘t do for me and made me do for myself.)

Happy Mother’s Day diverse mamas everywhere!

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz
Editor and Publisher

P.S. If you have a special writer mama in your life, feel free to swing by my blog for some great gift ideas for moms who love to write. And I hope you’ll consider my first book, Writer Mama, too.

Dear Fellow Writers (April 2008 Issue)

Christina KatzTime to spring forward!

What are you doing this Spring that’s new and different for your writing career?

Once the Spring cleaning is done and the taxes are paid and everyone has had a ball over Spring break, there’s only one thing left on the list. And that’s to start something new that energizes you and helps bring your writing career to the next level.

I’m cooperating by announcing a new blog, “Christina Katz Recommends.”

If you’ve been a longtime subscriber, I bet you’ll recognize some of the names over there. If the success of other writers inspires you, you will definitely want to check it out.

If you are a former student of mine and you are interested in writing book reviews (typically books on or about writing or writers that you procure for free as “a review copy”) for this site, please contact me at writersontherise@earthlink.net and let me know.

I often receive requests to write for my zines, but columnist selections are made by September of each year for the entire next year. So review-writing is a great way to get your pen in the door, so to speak.

In further news, Managing Editor Sage Cohen is expanding her class offerings to include Personal Essays That Get Published. I’m pleased that Writers on the Rise now offers a total of seven classes.

SEVEN! Count ’em:

1. Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff
2. Targeting Your Best Writing Markets
3. Pitching Practice
4. Platform Building Basics for Writers
5. Craft a Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal
6. Poetry for the People
7. Personal Essays That Get Published

You can learn all about them over at the good ol’ classes page.

What other types of classes would you like to see offered through Writers on the Rise?

Please e-mail me at writersontherise@earthlink.net and let me know.

And finally, if you live in Oregon, you might be interested to learn about the Northwest Author Series that I created and host in Wilsonville, Oregon. It’s not new, but I feel like we’ve finally hit our stride, so I’m starting to shout it from the rooftops just a little bit more. You can sign up to get on that newsletter list at:

http://northwestauthorseries.wordpress.com/

Hope everyone has a new win-win-win project to launch this spring!

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz
Editor and Publisher

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Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, is working on her second book for Writer’s Digest Books, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform. She has also written over two hundred articles for magazines, newspapers, and online publications and has appeared on “Good Morning America.” Christina is a popular writing instructor who has taught hundreds of writers over the past seven years. She blogs daily at The Writer Mama Riffs and is publisher and editor of two zines, Writers on the Rise and The Writer Mama. More at http://www.thewritermama.com/.

March Your Writing Career Around

Dear Fellow Writers,

“March!” It’s not a word I’m unfamilar with.

As a writer, I ask my words to march their way onto the page time and time again. Although, sometimes they are about as willing as toddlers and then I have to cajole them instead.

(Personally, I prefer it when they march.)

As a business woman, I often ask myself to march. March to the post office and get the mail. March to the store and get more paper and pens. March to the bank and deposit some money.

(Okay, that last one is really not so hard. But getting myself to march to the beat of the IRS, well, let’s just say…I’m always happy when that particular job is done.)

As an author, I march myself at all sorts of different paces for different aspects of my role. In one hat, I’m marching as a speaker. In another, I’m marching as a workshop leader. In another, I’m marching as an administrator.

As a teacher, I march my students around so they can tackle assignments and make their deadlines. This suits the taskmaster in me just fine. And most of them actually appreciate it.

March is the name of this month and it’s a helpful word, not one we should shirk from because of a military connotation or because it isn’t politically correct.

It sure comes in handy on a Spring day, when the sun is shining and the birds are twittering and the last thing I want to do is march on over to my computer, march some words across the page, march some tasks off my to-do list, march my face out into the world, march my students into more consistent writers, and then–finally!– march myself out the door, grabbing my daughter and my dogs on the way, and marching out into the sun-shiny day.

Or whatever is left of it.

Wishing you a very March-y month!

In the writing-for-publication spirit,

Christina Katz
Editor and Publisher

P.S.
You can always refer back to everything you read here in the Writers on the Rise blog, where these articles will archived over the course of the upcoming month.
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Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, is working on her second book for Writer’s Digest Books, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform. She has also written over two hundred articles for magazines, newspapers, and online publications and has appeared on “Good Morning America.” Christina is a popular writing instructor who has taught hundreds of writers over the past seven years. She blogs daily at The Writer Mama Riffs and is publisher and editor of two zines, Writers on the Rise and The Writer Mama. More at http://www.thewritermama.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, […]
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