February 22, 2011

Young Writers Unite!

I am totally psyched! After my wonderful experience with the teen critique group last year, I leaped at the chance to lead a new library program for young writers.

Beginning in March, aspiring young writers ages 12 to 20 will meet twice a month to learn about and discuss writing. We’re tailoring the program to the group’s preferences by asking each participant to choose the types of writing in which they are interested. With approximately 28 genres and five writing types to entice them, these young writers should be able to pursue their chosen craft. We’ll also talk about Voice, POV, Plot, Format, and Length in addition to any other subjects the group chooses. To keep the program interesting and not too much like school, we plan to host guest writers and individuals from the industry, have some round table story-writing, and play with writing exercises.

Young published authors are becoming more common, following in the footsteps of such familiar names as Louisa May Alcott (age 17, Flower Fables, 1854), Mary Shelley (age 19, Frankenstein, 1818), Anne Frank (age 13-17, Diary of a Young Girl, 1947), and S.E. Hinton (age 16, The Outsiders, 1967). In the twenty-first century, we’ve seen Christopher Paolini rise to fame at age 18 with his best-seller, Eragon; Valerie Gribben was 16 when she wrote Fairytale; an original vampire novel, In the Forests of the Night (Den of Shadows) was written by 13-year-old Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

Publishing success is possible for anyone willing to work for it, and I’m thrilled to be holding the door open for our community’s aspiring young writers!

Join this exciting program on March 12 and 26 at 2 p.m. at the John McIntire Library in Zanesville, Ohio. If you have questions, just contact either me [writerone (at) newconcordpress (dot) com] or the library reference department.

Will YOU be the next hot new debut author?

February 7, 2011

Is Self Publishing the Easy Way Out?

by Toni Leland

Never let anyone tell you that publishing your own book is an easy way to do it, or a "last resort". Self-publishing is anything but easy and, in today's publishing economy, "last resort" could be "only resort."

In a post last month, I asked if writers knew if their book was ready to see print, whether traditional or not. Following my own advice, I just finished reading through my "finished" YA manuscript for the SIXTH time. Yes, I wanted to skip this last read--I'm really tired of the story. But knowing that any time an author touches a manuscript, even to adjust a word, or change a line, that action provides the opportunity to mess it up!

Yes, I found seven typos.

Writers have access to a ton of good, expert advice, so why not take advantage of it? The hard work that writing and getting published entails is certainly made easier by solid, dependable information.

I subscribe to the Author Marketing Experts newsletter, a marvelous goodie basket of advice and tips for anyone trying to sell books--self-published or not. Penny Sansivieri wrote a great article last week about self-publishing and protecting oneself from getting scammed. She offers 13 tips for protecting yourself.

For example: " #4--Promises, promises: don't believe the hype. Yes, we are all selling services, but there is only so much that a publisher can promise you. They can promise you a finished book. Beyond that, it's a lot of hard work and a little luck."

Well said! Read the whole article HEREBetter yet, check out the website and FaceBook. Sign up for the newsletter. 

You won't be sorry.

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