Monday, May 30, 2016

26 Calls for Submissions in June 2016 - Paying Markets

Here are 26 calls for submissions in June. All are paying markets.

Genres include speculative fiction, horror, personal essays, poetry, steampunk, children's literature, and nonfiction articles. Some of these calls are for themed issues, so make sure you read the full guidelines before submitting.

Note: I post calls for submissions during the last week of every month. But if you want to get a jump on upcoming calls, you can find a list of sites that regularly post submission calls (paying and non-paying markets) on Calls for Submissions.


Horrors of Hudson Valley

"We want original, supernatural horror stories set within the Hudson Valley Region within the State of New York (please note that New York City is NOT considered a part of the Hudson Valley). The time period for your story is up to you–past, present, future, alternate history–but it must take place whole or in part within the Hudson Valley. Hudson Valley is a real place, with a real history, so please respect the reality of the setting."

Genre: Supernatural horror

Payment: $25 per story

Deadline: June 1, 2016

Theories of HER

Genres: Poetry, stream-of-consciousness, flash fiction, micro non-fiction (in various forms including essays/opinion pieces and personal anecdotes), and visual art on what it means to BE, admire, and/or interact, etc with women and/or girls.

Payment: .025/word for flash fiction/non-fiction, excerpts etc.

Deadline: June 1, 2016

Steampunk Universe

Your story should take place in a non-Western culture, stories that take place in the diverse cultures of Central/South America, Asia, and Africa. This call for submissions is aimed particularly at marginalized writers, especially those who are identify as members of a minority, LGBTQ, or living with exceptionality.

Genre: Steampunk

Payment: .06/word

Deadline: June 1, 2016


Guardian Angel Kids Magazine

Theme: Pets with disabilities

Genre: Stories, articles, poems for children ages 2 -12

Payment: .03/word

Deadline: June 1, 2016


Arc Magazine

Theme: “Art In The End Times”

Genre: Poetry

Payment: $50 a page

Deadline: June 1, 2016


NonBinary Review

NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue's theme. We invite authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature and be featured on our cover. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting)

Theme: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Genre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction

Payment: 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 per poem

Deadline: June 1, 2016


Tech Edge Magazine

Theme: Teaching Complex Thinking

Genre: Nonfiction articles for educators

Payment: $50-$125 per article

Deadline: June 1, 2016


Goblin Fruit

"We want poetry that we can call "of the fantastical", poetry that treats mythic, surreal, fantasy and folkloric themes, or approaches other themes in a fantastical way. Re-write a fairytale, ponder an old story, consider history from an unusual perspective — really, it's up to you, so long as the fantastical element is there. Since what qualifies as "the fantastical" is easily debatable, however, here's what we're not interested in: science fiction poetry (it's not you, it's us), horror for horror's sake, and poetry that's self-consciously gothic."

Genre: Poetry

Payment: $15

Deadline: June 1, 2016


Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation

"The anthology will focus on times of environmental crisis and the people inhabiting these tipping points, fighting to effect change and seek solutions, even if it’s already too late. But these are times of hope, not just disaster! Turn your lens to those crucial moments in a world’s history when great change can be made by the right people with the right tools. Remember: hope can spark in even the grimmest of situations."

Genre: Speculative fiction

Payment: 6 cents USD per word for original fiction, and poetry. Reprints are paid a flat rate of $50 for stories under 2000 words and $100 for stories over 2000 words. Please include a complete publication history for reprint submissions.

Deadline: June 4, 2016


DOA III — Extreme Horror Anthology

Genre: Horror

Payment: 5 cents per word

Deadline: June 6, 2016


Between Worlds

Genre: Speculative fiction short stories and flash fiction. Stories must in some way feature the idea of portals between alternate worlds.

Payment: £5 per short story. Payment will be made via PayPal upon publication.

Deadline: June 7, 2016


Third Flatiron: "Keystone Chronicles" Anthology

"A keystone is a central stone at the summit of an arch locking the whole together. It's something on which other things depend for support, the heart or core of something, the crux, or central principle. Anything keystone is fine, be it keystone species, pipelines, cops, beer, or ski resorts, as long as it's speculative fiction."

Genre: Speculative fiction

Payment: 6 cents per word (SFWA professional rate)

Deadline: June 15, 2016


The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts

Genre: Fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction "if they are compressed in some way"

Payment: $50

Deadline: June 15, 2016


Enter the Apocalypse

Genre: Speculative fiction about the start and / or middle of any type apocalypse

Payment: $0.01-0.08 per word (averaging close to $0.03 per word)

Deadline: June 15, 2016


Inside The Bell Jar

Inside The Bell Jar is a quarterly journal accepting poetry, short stories and flash fiction of absolutely any genre. The only real requirement we have is that your piece is related to mental illness in some way; through a character, the general theme, something about the setting – you decide.

Genre: Any

Payment: 5 pounds

Deadline: June 15, 2016

Eye to the Telescope 21, the Male Perspective

"The Science Fiction Poetry Association is no stranger to gender and sexuality politics. In 2012, Stephen M. Wilson edited our LGBTQ issue. More recently, in 2015, Anastasia Andersen edited our All-Women’s issue. We are also in the discussion stages for a gender issue. For our next issue, our ongoing exploration of gender and sexuality through the lens of SF poetry addresses the male perspective. This issue—guest-edited by Marge Simon, a woman—will explore the male perspective through SF poems written by men and male-identifying persons, and male-persona poems written by anyone."

Genre: Speculative poetry

Payment: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25

Deadline: June 15, 2016


Grub Street Grackle

Genre: Humorous fiction, poetry, satire

Payment: Between $30 and $50/piece

Deadline: June 16, 2016


Duality and Doppelgangers

"Send us your terrible twosomes: distorted mirrors, shape-shifters, uncanny similarities, life-stealing doppelgangers. What might you find in a reflection? A perfect copy? Sometimes you might only understand a thing by looking at what it is not. Duality might mean pitting two opposite but equal forces against one another—and not just good/evil or light/dark!"

Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry.

Payment: Fiction: up to 10¢ per word, Nonfiction: up to 25¢ per word, Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum

Deadline: June 20, 2016

Accepts reprints.


Sanguine Press Anthology: Transitions & Awakenings

Theme: I Regret Nothing.Your story must feature a predominantly POC cast to be considered.

Genres: Sci-fi, Fantasy, or Horror (no poetry, please)

Payment: .10/word for the first 1,000 words, .05/word for the next 5,000 words and .03/word after that

Deadline: June 30, 2016


BLACK POWER: The Superhero Anthology

Genre: Speculative fiction. The main character in your story must be Black or of Afrikan descent. The character can be from the continent of Afrika or anywhere in the Diaspora.

Length: 1500-10000 words. This is firm.

Payment: $25.00 per story

Deadline: June 30, 2016



Genre: Poetry

Payment: $25/page

Deadline: June 30, 2016


The Threepenny Review

Genre: Poetry, fiction, non-fiction

Payment: $400 per story or article, $200 per poem or Table Talk piece

Deadline: June 30, 2016


Chicken Soup for the Soul

Theme: Stories about Teachers and Teaching. ‘Tell us your stories about the great teachers who changed your life. And if you’re a teacher, tell us about the kids who changed yours, who motivated you to keep on teaching, who showed you that it was all worth it. We’d love to share your best advice with other teachers as well—what works, what doesn’t, how you stay enthusiastic about your jobs. What advice do you have for your colleagues? Tell us the funny stories too—we know you have lots of those.’

Genre: Non-fiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: June 30, 2016


Chicken Soup for the Soul

Theme: Blended Families. "Are you part of a blended family, enjoying stepchildren, stepsiblings, etc.? Blending two families after a second marriage can be a real joy… and sometimes a challenge too. Tell us about your own blended families. How did you make it work? What advice do you have for other families? We are looking for true stories about all aspects of blending families—stories that will make us laugh and cry, nod our heads in recognition, and give us great advice. Tell us about your kids if you’re a parent, your parents if you’re a kid, your pets, whatever you think would enlighten and entertain someone else in the same situation."

Genre: Non-fiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Theme: Curvy & Confident. ‘Women come in all shapes and sizes. We’re all beautiful and the key is to be fit and healthy within the body type that we were issued at birth. Our new book is all about body image, self-esteem, and feeling comfortable within our own skins.’

Genre: Non-fiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: June 30, 2016



Genres: Fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction up to 3,000 words

Payment: $1,000 for a short story or an essay; $250 for a short short or a poem, $250 for online publication

Deadline: June 30, 2016


New Zenith Magazine

Genres: Any up to 3,000 words. Flash fiction up to 400 words, based on prompt: “I woke up and found myself …”

Payment: Prose/poetry: All works 250 or less words will receive $5.00. Works of 251 words or more will receive $0.02 per word.

Deadline: June 30, 2016


Restrictions: Meanjin accepts submissions from outside of Australia, but they publish a majority of work from Australian or Australia-based writers.

Genre: Poetry (charges fee for all other submissions)

Payment: $50 per poem

Deadline: June 30, 2016


Theme: Unmarked graves

Genre: Horror (no poetry)

Payment: Pay rates for original stories: $25.00 Pay rate for reprinted stories: $7.00.

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Accepts reprints.


Manawaker Studio: Starward Tales

Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Reinterpretations and retellings of legends, myths, and fairytales

Payment: $2 per accepted poem, $2 per 1k words ($1 minimum.) for accepted fiction ($3 per page for graphic narrative fiction)

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

33 Writing Contests in June 2016 - No Entry Fees

Jonathan Wolstenholme
There are tons of great free writing contests in June. All genres and forms are included, from poetry to short fiction, to essays and full length-works. A few come with substantial prizes and international recognition.

Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to read the full guidelines before submitting.

Good luck!

Note: I post a list of free upcoming contests the last week of every month. But if you want to get a jump on contests, the tab "Free Contests" is regularly updated. Be sure to check there for future as well as past contests - many are held annually.


Amy Awards. Poets & Writers presents the Amy Award each year to recognize promising women poets, age 30 and under, living in the New York City metropolitan area or on Long Island. Winners receive a modest honorarium and give a reading in New York City. The award was established in 1995 by Paula Trachtman and Edward Butscher of East Hampton, New York, in memory of Ms. Trachtman's daughter, Amy Rothholz, an actor and poet. Genre: Poetry. Deadline: June 1, 2016.

Singapore Poetry ContestGenre: Poetry. The poem may be about any aspect of Singapore. Prize: 1st Prize $100. 2nd Prize $50, 3rd Prize $20; all winners will be published online. Deadline: June 1, 2016.

Governor General's Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada. Genre: The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature (Text), Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: June 1, 2016. Read guidelines HERE.

Fraser Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. International. Genre: Essay. Topic: Topic: Small change – Big impact: Improving quality of life one policy change at a time. Prizes: $500 - $1500. Deadline: June 1, 2016.

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors. Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation's history. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction, Essay, Photography, Interview with a Warrior. Prize: $250 and publication. Deadline: June 1, 2016 (postmarked)

The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans. This creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. The contest is open to veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter. Prizes: First place: $1,000 plus publication in the Spring 2017 issue of The Iowa Review. Second place: $750. Three runners-up: $500 each. Deadline: June 1, 2016.

RBC Taylor PrizeRestrictions: Open to citizens or residents of Canada. Must be published author. Genre: Literary nonfiction. Prize: $25,000 (CAN). Deadline: June 5, 2016 for books published between April 2 and May 29, 2016.

Hiett Prize in the Humanities. The Hiett Prize in the Humanities is an annual award aimed at identifying candidates who are in the early stages of careers devoted to the humanities and whose work shows extraordinary promise and has a significant public component related to contemporary culture.  Restrictions: All applicants must reside in the United States. Prize: $50,000. Deadline: June 10, 2016.

IUPUI Poetry ContestRestrictions: High school age students. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300. 2nd Prize $200, 3rd Prize $100. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Bard Fiction PrizeGenre: Published fiction book. Prize: $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: Books published between May 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016 must be received on or before June 15, 2016.

Norton Writer's Prize. Sponsored by W.W. Norton & Company. "The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered." Genres: Creative Nonfiction, Scholarly Essay. Prize: $1,500. Two runner-up prizes of $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingRestrictions: Titles must be published in Canada between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Self-published books are not eligible. Genre: A book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. Prize: Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500. Deadline: June 15: For books published between January 1, 2016 and June 14, 2016.

Words and BrushesGenre: Fiction inspired by artwork. Prize: $300 top prize. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: English translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose originally written in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish by a Scandinavian author born after 1800. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction/Warren Hollister Prize for Oz NonfictionGenre: Short Fiction, Art & Creative Nonfiction. All work must be related to the world of Oz. Prize: $100 in each genre. 2nd Prize $50 in each genre. Deadline: June 15, 2016 (electronic submissions only).

Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young PeopleRestrictions: Open to people 25 years of age or less. Genre: Essay (max 700 words). Theme: "Education to Build a Better Future for All." Prize: 1st US$840, 2nd US$420. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Vermont Studio Center – Full Fellowship Awards. The Vermont Studio Center offers 54 fellowships; open to anyone in the world. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Towson University Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: Open to Maryland writers. Genre: Book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, drama or imaginative non-fiction. The work must have been published within the three years prior to the year of nomination or must be scheduled for publication
within the year in which nominated. Self-published works will not be considered. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing ContestRestrictions: Author must be a Maryland resident or a student at a Maryland 2- or 4-year college.Genre: Speculative fiction short story. Prize: 1st place is $250, 2nd place is $100, 3rd place is $50. Deadline: June 17, 2016.

Writer's Center Emerging Writer Fellowship. "We welcome submissions from writers of all genres, backgrounds, and experiences in the following genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Emerging Writer Fellows will be featured at The Writer’s Center as part of a special celebration and reading. Fellows living within a 250-mile radius of the center in Bethesda, MD will receive a $250 honorarium, and all others will receive $500." Deadline: June 17, 2016.

A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing ContestTheme: Summer Job. Length: 1,000 words minimum; 5,000 words maximum. Prize: $35 - $50 Amazon gift card. Deadline: June 21, 2016.

Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Utah writers. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $1,000 top prizes for book-length manuscripts of novels, creative nonfiction & history, collection of poetry or short stories, and juvenile book; $300 top prizes for individual poems, short stories, and personal essays. 2nd Prize $500 for the book-length categories, $150 for poetry. Deadline: June 24, 2016.

Oregon Literary Fellowships. Fellowships of $3,000 each are given annually to Oregon writers to initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. One Women Writers Fellowship and one Writer of Color Fellowship of $3,000 each are also given annually. Submit three copies of up to 15 pages of poetry or 25 pages of prose with the required entry from. Deadline: June 25, 2016.

Costa Book AwardsRestrictions: Prize is for books first published in the UK or Ireland by authors who have lived in the UK or Ireland for at least six months of each of the preceding three years. Books must be published between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of the current year. Self-published works not allowed. Genre: Five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. Prize: £30,000.00 across all genres. 5,000 pounds in each category (poetry, novel, first novel, biography, children's book). Deadline: June 29, 2016.

Blue Mountain Poetry Card Contest. "Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write." Prize: First prize $300. Second prize $150. Third prize $30. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook PrizeGenre: One long poem or a collection of poems. Prize: $500, 25 printed copies of chapbook, and publishing contract with sponsor. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestRestrictions: Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment and at least 5,000 copies (or 5,000 hits for online publication). Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror.  17,000 words max. Prize: $1,000 1st Prize awarded each quarter; one of those winners also receives the $5,000 annual "Golden Pen Award" grand prize. 2nd Prize $750, 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Drue Heinz Literature PrizeRestrictions: The award is open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. Online and self-publication does not count toward this requirement. Genre: A manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Prize: $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Best New Writing (Gover Story Prize)Genre: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Works of short prose must be less than 10,000 words, previously unpublished. Prize: $250.00. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Eden Mills Teen Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to Canadian teens. Genre: Poetry. This year’s theme: Roads and Journeys.  Prize: 2 $50 prizes, 2 $25 prizes. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Bacopa Literary ReviewGenres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry. Prizes: First ($200) and Runner-Up ($160) prizes in each genre. All published will receive $20 and a copy of the print journal. After publication, Bacopa 2016 will be promoted online. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Judith Khan Memorial Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Restrictions: The goal of the award is to support artists who either live in or originate from Pakistan. As long as you self-identify as a Pakistani artist, an artist originating from Pakistan, or with roots in Pakistan, you are eligible to participate. Prize: $250.  Deadline: June 30, 2016.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

44 Fabulous Writers' Conferences in June 2016

June is bustin' out all over! This month features a truly impressive number of conferences stretching from coast to coast.

Writing conferences offer so much to writers - master classes, opportunities to talk to authors, pitch sessions with agents, as well as workshops covering every aspect of writing and publishing. In addition, you get to share experiences with other writers - in the flesh! (Nothing beats actual face-to-face contact.) If you can find the time to attend a conference, you won't regret it.

Note: For a month-by-month listing of conferences, as well as how to find upcoming conferences in your area, see Writing Conferences. Many of these are offered annually, so if you missed a conference you'd like to attend, you can always plan to attend next year.


Iowa Summer Writing Festival. June - July, 2016, Iowa City. Featuring 138 workshops with 60 instructors. Registrations for weeklong and weekend workshops are accepted on a first-come first-served basis. Class size is limited to twelve. It is a good idea to register early.

Bear River Writers’ Conference. June 2 - June 6, 2016: Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, discussions, nature walks, and time to write. The faculty includes poets Stephen Dunn, Laura Kasischke, Jamaal May, and Richard Tillinghast; fiction writers Nami Mun, Antonya Nelson, and Thisbe Nissen; and creative nonfiction writers Jerry Dennis, Thomas Lynch, and Sue William Silverman. Conference is full.

Clarksville Writers Conference. June 2-3, 2016, Clarksville, TN. Two days of writing workshops and presentations, a keynote banquet with the authors, and manuscript consultations.

Books-in-Progress Writers Conference, June 2-4, 2016, Lexington, KY. The conference will offer craft & business workshops led by authors Silas House, A.J. Verdelle, Marcia Thornton Jones, Writer’s Digest editor Jessica Strawser, and more.  Enjoy small break-out sessions & personal attention. Topics include place, character, revision, marketing your book, children’s literature, and more. The Carnegie Books-in-Progress Conference also offers participants the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their book ideas to literary agents from New York City. Other optional add-ons include a pre-conference retreat on June 2 and one-on-one mini-sessions with bibliotherapist Alison Courtney.

Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. June 2-5, 2016, Chautauqua, New York. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, panel discussions, individual conferences with faculty members, open mics, and time to write. The faculty includes poets Stephen Dunn and Dorianne Laux; fiction writers Derek Green and Pamela Painter; and creative nonfiction writers Philip Gerard and Nancy McCabe. The cost of tuition is $475. The fee for lodging in the nearby Athenaeum Hotel, which includes meals, ranges from $343 for college students to $537 for a private room. Registration deadline is May 31.

River Teeth Nonfiction Conference. June 3 - 6, 2016: Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. Individual manuscript consultations, seminars, readings, open mics, and book signings. Participating creative nonfiction writers include Jill Christman, Steven Church, Valerie Due, Steven Harvey, Kate Hopper, Sonya Huber, Joe Mackall, Ana Maria Spagna, Cheryl Strayed, Ginny Taylor, Jerald Walker, and Sarah M. Wells.

Shore Thing Writing Getaway: A One Day Retreat for Poets and Writers. June 4, 2016, Atlantic City, NJ. "Join us for this boardwalk-inspired getaway, designed for writers of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Trigger your imagination and compose new work that will surprise and please you. Spend the day immersed in the literary life: discussing writing, doing your own writing and sharing some of your new drafts." Faculty: Peter E. Murphy. Cost: $80.

The Cleveland Writing Workshop. June 4, 2016, Cleveland, OH. A full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference. "One day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome." Attending agents: Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary); Moe Ferrera (BookEnds); Mallory Brown (TriadaUS); Vicki Selvaggio (Jennifer De Chiara Literary); Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary); and Fred Tribuzzo (The Rudy Agency).

Indiana University Writers’ Conference. June 4 - 8, 2016, Indiana University in Bloomington. The conference features workshops in poetry and fiction, as well as craft classes, readings, and panels for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The faculty includes poets Gabrielle Calvocoressi and Amelia Martens; fiction writers Dana Johnson and Salvatore Scibona; and nonfiction writers David Crabb and Walton Muyumba. The cost of the conference is $375, or $625 with a workshop. Lodging and meals are not included; lodging is available in campus dormitories and in the campus hotel. The registration fee is $30; general registration is first come, first served. To attend a workshop, submit 8 to 10 pages of poetry or 15 to 25 pages of prose; admissions are made on a rolling basis.

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 5–10, 2016, Santa Barbara, Calif. "Every summer, writers in many genres from around the world gather to participate in a magical week of intensive work focused on story, voice, craft, marketing, and networking with fellow writers and publishing professionals."

Algonkian Retreat for Aspiring Commercial Novel Authors, Short Fiction Writers and Memoirists, June 8 - 12, 2016. Algonkian Park, Virginia. "You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our writer mentors, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer. You discuss with us ahead of time via the Algonkian Writer Retreat Application the goals you wish to accomplish, and we'll work with you to make it happen. Do you desire a review of your short stories or flash fiction? A line edit? Do you wish to discuss the reality of the current fiction market, your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a few sample chapters? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer?"

Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium. June 10 - 11, 2016, Richlands, Virginia. Focus: Autobiography/Memoir, Children's, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing. Cost: Before May 22, 2016, $60/2 days includes continental breakfasts, Saturday luncheon. Optional college credit available. After May 22, 2016, $70.

68th Annual Philadelphia Writers' Conference. June 10 - 12, 2016, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Features workshops, contests and awards, critique and feedback sessions, and agent and editor speed dates. Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Horror, Journalism, Marketing, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Young Adult.

West Virginia Writers Conference. June 10 - 12, 2016, Ripley, West Virginia. Author readings, contests and sharing your love of writing with others.

The 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference. June 10 - 12, 2016, New Rochelle NY. This conference is designed for writers, illustrators, publishers, editors, designers, educators and students of publishing and graphic design courses. Cost: $425 early registration; $470 standard registration

Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. June 10 - 12, 2016, Cumberland Gap, TN. Ed McClanahan is the guest writer-in-residence, keynote speaker is Georgia author Mary Hood, fiction instructors are George Singleton and Crystal Wilkinson, poetry instructors are Jesse Graves and Rose McLarney, and nonfiction instructor Jeremy B. Jones. Interesting presentations, panels, readings, music and more.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. June 10 - 13, 2016, Truchas, New Mexico. The conference features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes editor Jeff Shotts (Graywolf Press) and poets and editors Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison, Hilda Raz, Martha Rhodes, and Ellen Doré Watson. The cost of the conference is $1,375, which includes lodging and meals. Using the online submission system, submit a brief bio and three to four poems.

Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference. June 10 - 14, 2016, Homer, Alaska. Faculty: Natasha Trethewey, Keynoter; Miriam Altshuler, Dan Beachy-Quick,Richard Chiappone, Jennine Capo Crucet,Alison Deming, Lew Goodman, Forrest Gander, Richard Hoffman,Erin Coughlin Hollowell,Sarah Leavitt, Frank Soos, Nancy Lord,Jane Rosenman, Sherry Simpso. Costs: $375 ($325 early bird by 5/2). Includes luncheons, opening dinner; manuscript review $65. Post-conference workshop $400

Colgate Writers’ Conference. June 12-18, 2016, Hamilton, New York. Morning craft talks & workshops. Individual consultation with workshop instructor in the afternoon. Late afternoon participant readings and talks on publishing, storytelling. Evening readings by instructors & guests. Late night social events. "Bring a story, a book in progress, some poems, or a novel, and work with us on developing narrative strategies, verse techniques, and methods of research. Members of the publishing profession will also be here to discuss marketplace tactics." Retreat application deadline: May 18, 2016.

Fine Arts Work Center Summer Workshops (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction). June 12 - August 26, 2016, Provincetown, Massachusetts. The faculty includes poets Richard Blanco, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Natalie Diaz, Nick Flynn, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Marie Howe, Ada Limón, John Murillo, Eileen Myles, Gregory Pardlo, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Robert Pinksy, and Alan Shapiro; fiction writers Julia Glass, Pam Houston, Fanny Howe, Naomi Jackson, Reif Larsen, Benjamin Percy, Salvatore Scibona, and Justin Torres; and creative nonfiction writers Brian Turner, Stephen Elliott, Eric Fair, Lacy M. Johnson, Ariel Levy, and Dani Shapiro. Tuition ranges from $600 to $725.

Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop. June 12 - 17, 2016, Roanoke, Virginia. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft seminars, individual conferences with faculty members, and readings. The faculty includes poets Thorpe Moeckel and Emilia Phillips; fiction writers Laura Benedict, Pinckney Benedict, Sarah Bowlin, Fred Leebron, and Daniel Mueller; creative nonfiction writer James McKean; and agent Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management). The cost of tuition is $795.

Interlochen Writer’s Retreat. June 13 - 16, 2016, Interlochen, Michigan. The retreat features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft talks, readings, time to write, one-on-one manuscript consultations, and a dinner. The retreat also offers a practicum on June 17 that includes additional consultations, lectures, and panel discussions on publishing. The faculty includes poet Michael Delp, fiction writers John Mauk and Mary Kay Zuravleff, and nonfiction writer Mardi Jo Link. Participating writers include poet-in-residence Fleda Brown; and fiction and nonfiction writer-in-residence Anne-Marie Oomen. The cost of the conference is $495; the cost of the June 17 practicum is an additional $45 (or $115 to include a one-on-one consultation). Lodging and meals are not included; lodging on campus is available for discounted rates. Registration is first come, first served.

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. June 13 - 17, 2016, Sandy, Utah. Offers one-, two-, three- and five-day workshops. Morning workshops devoted to individual work; afternoon talks on market, craft, publication; chats w/ editors and agents; keynote; book signing. For those interested, specialized workshops--Boot Camp and Full-Novel classes. Single day programs as well.

Minneapolis Young Writers Workshop. June 14 - 16, 2016, Minneapolis, Minnesota. For young writers ages 13-19. Program Focus: Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult. Faculty: Ally Condie, Jay Asher, Jennifer Nielsen, Jonathan Friesen, Jacqueline West, Serena Chase. Cost: $300 for workshop. Evening keynote addresses are free and open to the public. Registration closes June 5.

Writers at Work Conference. June 15-19, 2016, Alta, Utah. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft lectures, panel discussions, hikes, and time to write. The faculty includes poet Tarfia Faizullah, fiction writer Peter Ho Davies, and nonfiction writer Kerry Howley. Consultation faculty includes poet Sara Eliza Johnson, fiction writer Morris Collins, and creative nonfiction writer David Stuart MacLean. The cost of the conference is $730, which includes tuition and all meals. Individual consultations with an agent or editor are available for an additional $50. Lodging is available at the Alta Lodge, and ranges from a total of $115 for a shared dorm to $285 for a private room. Registration deadline is June 3.

Wesleyan Writers Conference. June 15 - 19, 2016, Middletown, CT. The conference offers workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as master classes, craft sessions, panel discussions, readings, lectures, and manuscript consultations with agents and editors. The faculty includes poet Honor Moore; fiction writers Amy Bloom, Alexander Chee, Michael Reynolds, and Roxana Robinson; nonfiction writers William Finnegan, Lis Harris, and Hirsh Sawhney; translator Ann Goldstein; and publishers Johnny Temple (Akashic Books) and Pamela Dorman (Pamela Dorman Books). Tuition is $850. The conference also offers a one-day program on June 18 for $225, which includes lunch and dinner. Lodging is available on and off campus; on-campus housing is $50 per night or $170 for four nights. A meal plan for the full conference is available for $275. Scholarships and teaching fellowships are available; submit a writing sample of any length, a letter of interest, and résumé by March 18. To register for a manuscript consultation, submit 10 poems or up to 35 pages of prose by May 13. For general registration, submit a nonrefundable $100 deposit. Registration is first come, first served.

Algonkian Writer Conference–New York City Pitch. June 16 - 19, 2016, Ripley-Grier Studios in New York City. The conference offers workshops on writing and selling fiction and creative nonfiction manuscripts, as well as agent pitch sessions. The faculty includes fiction writers Susan Breen, Ann Garvin, and Michael Neff; editors Caitlin Alexander, Ibrahim Ahmad, Adrienne Avila, Tom Colgan, and Dana Isaacson; and agents Paula Munier and Katharine Sands. The cost of the conference is $795 until June 10, and $895 thereafter. Submit a bio and a brief manuscript synopsis.

Poetry at the Frost Farm. June 17 - 19, 2016, Derry, New Hampshire. The retreat offers workshops, readings, and one-on-one consultations for formalist poets. "Join a small community of people at the historic Robert Frost Farm learning, reading and writing formal poetry with contemporary award-winning poets. Choose your focus from a series of offerings designed to provide tools for beginning poets as well as perfect the mastery of published poets."

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, June 17 - 19, 2016, West Coast Writers Conferences presents a full weekend of panels, workshops and presentations by educators, noted speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing.

Get Published Conference. June 18, 2016, Bozeman, Montana. This conference is devoted to book writing, marketing and getting published. This year topics include Self Publishing Q&As.

Institute for Young Writers. June 18 - 26, 2016, Amherst, MA. For high school students. Daily workshops in poetry, fiction, & nonfiction; interactive craft sessions that include discussions & writing exercises; evening readings by faculty & writers-in-residence. Faculty 2016: Heather Christle, Chris Dombrowski, Arthur Flowers, Amelia Gray, Noy Holland, Mitchell S. Jackson, Paul Lisicky, Eileen Myles, Emily Pettit, Zachary Schomburg, Evie Schockley, Betsy Wheeler, Dara Wier, Joy Williams, Matthew Zapruder. Costs: Adults: $1,500; Young Writers: $1,700; Young Writers includes 3 meals/day. Adult includes lunches, welcome & farewell dinners. Scholarships available.

Kenyon Review Writers Workshops. June 18 - July 3, 2016, Gambier, Ohio. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction led by an accomplished faculty. Genre workshops (Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, and Poetry) are held for three hours each morning. (See individual workshops for dates.)

Aspen Summer Words. June 19-24, 2016, Aspen, Colorado. Workshops, panels, and readings in fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as opportunities to meet with agents and editors. "Aspen Summer Words is the Rocky Mountain gateway to the literary world. Recognized as one of the country’s pre-eminent literary conferences, Summer Words welcomes visitors and locals alike to celebrate writing and writers in Aspen for a week each June. The exceptional faculty and awe-inspiring mountain scenery combine to make this a writing retreat like no other."

Juniper Summer Writing Institute. June 19 - 26, 2016, Amherst, MA.The program offers readings, craft seminars, manuscript consultations, as well as workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The faculty includes poets Heather Christle, Emily Pettit, Zachary Schomburg, and Evie Shockley; fiction writers Noy Holland, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Joy Williams; and creative nonfiction writer Paul Lisicky. Writers-in-residence include poets Chris Dombrowski, Eileen Myles, Betsy Wheeler, Dara Wier, and Matthew Zapruder; and fiction writers Arthur Flowers and Amelia Gray. Tuition is $1,500, which includes some meals; dorm lodging is available for $45 per night. Manuscript consultations are available for an additional $150.

Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. June 20-26, 2016, Bemidji, Minnesota. Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing. Faculty: Mark Doty, David Gessner - Creative Nonfiction. Tayari Jones - Fiction. Aimee Nezhukumatathil - Poetry. Matt de la Peña - YA Fiction. Joni Tevis - Creative Nonfiction. This conference is full.

Western Writers of America Convention. June 21-25, 2015, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Children's, Fiction, Marketing, Non-fiction, Publishing, Young Adult. History presentations at the convention include Buffalo Soldiers, the Alamo, Comanche Indians, and frontier ranch women. Other sessions will take place related to the craft of writing, book marketing, and research sources and techniques.

Jackson Hole Writers Conference, June 23 - 25, 2016, Jackson Hole, WY. You will have ample opportunity to share your work with a distinguished faculty as well as writers from Massachusetts to Florida, from Texas to Washington.Serious writers pour into Jackson Hole each June looking for a fresh, but critical eye on their work. This event usually has at least 4 agents to pitch.

DRC Conference Faculty & Workshops 2016. June 23 - 25, 2016, Davenport, Iowa. Daily workshops, critiques, pitches, evening events, keynote. Workshop topics include Monetize Your Writing, Writing the Great Mystery, Short Short Fiction and Nonfiction, and more. Faculty: C. Hope Clark, Kathleen Rooney, Felicia Schneiderhan, Brittany Cavallaro, & Ryan R. Collins.
Costs: $240 ($210 early bird) for entire conference, critiques $35, pitches $25, College dorm lodging $42 per night. Pricing for less than full conference available

North Carolina Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Residency. June 23 - 26, 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as a presentation and readings. The faculty includes poet Morri Creech, fiction writer Sarah Creech, and creative nonfiction writer Cynthia Lewis. The cost of the residency is $650 ($550 for NCWN members), which includes tuition and shared lodging; the cost is $550 ($400 for NCWN members) for commuters.

Chuckanut Writers Conference. June 24 - 25, 2016. Bellingham, Washington. Writers conference that includes speakers, panels, breakout sessions, authors' readings, reception with authors, pitch sessions with literary agents, book signings, open mic for attendees. Autobiography/Memoir, Children's, Fiction, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing. 

Writing Popular Fiction Workshop. June 24 - 26, 2016, Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Workshops on writing, editing & pitching; guest speaker presentations. Faculty: Guest Agent Kimberly Brower, Guest Agent Eric Ruben, Guest Editor Diana M. Pho, Guest Author Daniel José Older.

The Writers’ League of Texas 2016 Agents & Editors Conference. June 24–26, 2016, Austin, Tex. The conference features panels, lectures, networking opportunities, and receptions. Individual manuscript consultations with agents or editors are available. Participating agents include Ethan Bassoff (Lippincott Massie McQuilkin), Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Brick House Literary Agents), Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Jessica Papin (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management), and Michelle Tessler (Tessler Literary Agency). Participating editors include Michelle Howry (Simon & Schuster) and Jodi Warshaw (Amazon Publishing). The cost of the conference is $398 for Writers League members, and $449 for non-members through March 28; $429 for members and $489 for non-members from March 29 through May 23; and $469 for members and $509 for non-members thereafter and on-site. Meals are included. Lodging is available in the conference hotel for discounted rates.

Annual Conference on Creative Writing at Pacific. June 24–26, 2016, Stockton, California. Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy. Agents and editors will be available for pitch sessions.

Publish & Promote Your Book Conference. June 25, 2016, Bronxville, New York. "If you’re ready to find an agent and present your book to the marketplace, come join our community of educators, writers, agents, editors, and publishers at a one day conference designed to help you succeed in your publishing ventures."

Green Mountain Writers Conference. June 27 - July 1, 2016, Chittenden, Vermont. The program features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as one-on-one consultations, lectures, publishing discussions, and readings. The faculty includes poets Kevin Pilkington and Verandah Porche; fiction writers Jon Clinch, Ethel Rohan, and Elizabeth Rosner; and creative nonfiction writers Chuck Clarino and Yvonne Daley. Tuition is $575 before May 15 and $600 thereafter.

Rutgers-Camden Summer Writers’ Conference. June 27 - July 7, 2016, Camden, New Jersey. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft classes, agent and editor presentations, readings, and walking tours. The faculty includes poets J. T. Barbarese, Phillis Levin, Patrick Rosal, Lisa Sewell, and Tom Sleigh; fiction writers Pam Jenoff, Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Chinelo Okparanta, Daniel Torday, and Lisa Zeidner; nonfiction writers Ada Calhoun, Robin Hemley, and James Marcus; and editor Tom Mayer of W. W. Norton. The cost of the conference is $750. Lodging is available at area hotels and in campus dormitories. Deadline: Submit 4 to 8 pages of poetry, or 7 to 17 pages of prose by June 3.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

10 Tips for How to Throw a Successful Book Launch Party

Jonathan Wolstenholme
Publishing a book is a big accomplishment, so why not throw a party? After all, you hold a party to celebrate your birth, and, frankly, writing your book took more effort. (Your mother probably has a different perspective on your birth. Just FYI.)

Basically, a book launch party is a book signing/reading with the added benefit of being fun - and newsworthy. A book launch party is an ideal opportunity for promotion, so don't waste it! The release of a book, especially a book by a local author, is considered news, which means you can get press coverage. It is also a great way to meet your fans, make new ones, and to connect with people who share your interests.

Tips on making your launch party a success

1) Plan ahead. Like all events, a launch party requires planning. Where will you hold it? Who will you invite? How will you advertise it? All of these considerations require planning at least three months prior to the release of your book.

2) Pick an appropriate venue. Bookstores are great places to hold launch parties, but there may be more appropriate venues, depending on what you've written. For example, if you've written a book for children, you may want to hold your launch in a children's museum. Libraries can also serve as good places for a launch party, particularly in larger cities. Consider a restaurant if you've written a cookbook, or a recreational supply store if you've written about the great outdoors. (One of the advantages to holding a launch party in a store is that they may be willing to carry your book.) Make sure to contact your venue several months in advance.

3) Advertise. Once you've picked a date and a location, contact local media. Ideally, you should send a press release. You can also call the appropriate editor (e.g. local news). Don't forget to list the event in your local media (newspapers, TV, radio). Do this well in advance. News media have submission deadlines that are often two months or more in advance of an event.

4) Invite friends and family to spread the word. Facebook is your friend. Tell everyone on all your social media about the party - even if they live in Zanzibar. Getting the word out is important, because it creates buzz.

5) Send invitations. This is a party! Send invitations to everyone you know, and to a lot of people you don't. Anyone who you think might be interested should be invited - that includes other local authors, publishers, and people who are involved in professions related to your topic. Invite local educators if your book is for children; invite health care professionals if you've written about health (or illness); invite local coaches or athletes if you've written about sports. A party is the perfect way for people of like mind to mingle. They will have a good time talking to one another, and you will make some contacts.

6) Prepare an EVENT. If the venue allows food, make sure you have something tasty for people to eat. And don't forget the music. If you've written a children's book, have some activities planned for children. Part of the event is your reading, so make sure there are chairs for people to sit on.

7) Dress to impress. On this occasion you are the belle (or beau) of the ball. Wear something memorable, and in keeping with your genre. (If you've written a thriller, sure, go for black. Otherwise, something that makes you look authoritative and/or friendly.) Anything that makes you stand out in a crowd will do. You will be photographed!!

8) Don't forget your books! If you are reading in a bookstore, they will prepare a display. But in non-traditional venues you may have to make your own. Make sure you have plenty of books on hand. It doesn't hurt to think about how you are going to sign them before you actually pick up your pen. (Enjoy! is good for fiction.)

9) Piggy-back. If there is another large event being planned, it may be worthwhile to approach them with the idea of combining forces. This will help you cut costs and save a lot of work.

10) After the party. Make sure you take lots of photos (and videos) to post on your website. Tell the whole world about your successful launch!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Slow Shopping: Getting Your Book Into Retail Store Libraries

The more time you spend in a store, the more likely it is you will buy something.

Seems like common sense, right? But retailers are just beginning to realize they can sell a lot more by slowing down shoppers, and giving them a "shopping experience."

Last October, the Wall Street Journal ran an article, The Slower You Shop, the More You Spend, in which they explored this new trend in shopping, dubbed (unsurprisingly) "slow shopping." (We can thank God for small favors - at least they didn't call it "slopping.") According to the WSJ, “slow shopping” is part of a “leisurely and enriching experience that’s not overtly focused on buying something.” It's also a great way to get shoppers to come back. People are inclined to repeat pleasant experiences.

Retail stores are employing all kinds of "experiences" designed to make shoppers hang around: Origins offers free mini-facials, Urban Outfitters hosts concerts and art events, and the Austin Whole Foods has been known hire roving mariachi bands. But one of the best ways to slow shoppers down is to get them to sit down and read.

To that end, some stores are adding libraries - comfy nooks where shoppers can sit down and leaf through a good book. New York's Club Monaco on Fifth Avenue features, among other things, a library where shoppers can read about the Flatiron district. 

How to get your book into retail store libraries

If you want to get your book into retail store libraries, the first thing to do is go slow shopping yourself. Scout out which stores might  be amenable to adding a comfy chair or two for shoppers to sit down and read. You may even discover that some stores in your area already have libraries.

If you think your book would be a good fit, and if the store is not national, contact the store's manager. If the store is a chain, contact the Chief Marketing Officer. Some of the CMOs named in the Wall Street Journal article are Michael Moore, the CMO for Lowes, John Nehas at Club Monaco, Oona McCullough at Urban Outfitters, and Pamela Hoffman at Origins.

If the retailer doesn't have a library, you may be able to help them start one. Make a list of some titles (yours included, of course), explain how they relate to the store's theme, and why shoppers would be interested in reading them. Mention the Wall Street Journal article, as well as other stores that are using slow shopping techniques to increase sales.

It works

Years ago, I knew a writer who wrote a humorous little book about back-seat driving. The book wasn't selling well, so he loaded a number of copies into his car, and drove to the regional headquarters of a national restaurant chain that featured an attractive gift shop. The CMO was impressed by the book (and also by the gumption of the writer), so he ordered copies for all the restaurants in the region.

Sometimes, that's all it takes. A little gumption, a good argument - and imagination. Don't let the idea that only bookstores can sell books hold you back. If you've written something outdoorsy, approach a camping store. Children's clothing outlets are great if you've written a children's book. And, of course, gaming and computer stores are perfect for speculative fiction.

At the risk of using an already over-used cliché -  "think outside the box."

Retail details

In general, retailers don't order large quantities. You can expect orders from a few books to a dozen. The amount of discount you offer depends on the size of the order. (Deep discounts should not be offered unless the retailer orders books in large quantities and pays up front.) Sometimes, retailers insist on consignment, which is fine if the store is local and you can pick up the books if they don't sell. In other circumstances, especially if you have to ship the books, the retailer should pay up front. Whether you decide to offer a returns policy is up to you.

Here are some helpful articles that will give you a greater understanding of how non-traditional marketing works:

Success for Your Book – in Non-Traditional Markets

Beyond the Bookstore: Holding Book Events in Non-Traditional Venues

How is Trade Marketing Different from Non-bookstore Marketing?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

8 Ways to Use Goodreads to Promote Your Book

Updated 4/4/23

Goodreads is one of the most powerful social networks for authors looking to connect with readers. At 85 million members, it is the world’s largest site for book recommendations, with readers adding 30,000 reviews to the site every day. What's more, those reviews get syndicated and appear on Google books, USA Today, the Los Angeles Public Library, WorldCat, Better World Books and other locations.

As an author, you are probably wondering how you can make use of this popular site.

1. First sign up for an account. This is easy. Just go to and enter your name, email address, and password. You can also sign up for an account with Facebook. 

2. Second, open an author account. To do this, search for yourself and click on your published author name. The author name is listed below the title of your book in the search results. If you do not find your book in the database of published works, see who can join.
Clicking on your name takes you to your basic author profile page. This page has your name at the top and "author profile" to the right of your name. This page is part of their database of books and authors and is separate from your member profile page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click "Is this you? Let us know." to send a request to join the Author Program.

3. Set up your author profile. Your profile is very important. Anyone who is interested in reading your books (or reviews) will check you out, so make sure your photo is appealing and your bio informative. You can also add a link to your website, and videos.

4. Add your blog. As a Goodreads author, you can add your blog to the site. Your blog posts will automatically appear on your author profile when you publish them. Conversely, you can also simply write a blog on Goodreads.

5. Events. If you are doing a book signing, giving a talk, or presenting at a conference you can promote your event on Goodreads. Events appear on your profile.

6. Post reviews. Posting reviews is the best way to gain followers. People join Goodreads to share what they are reading and, based on those recommendations, find new books. As a writer, you have a unique advantage, not just because you understand the inner workings of composition, but because you can WRITE. Turn that talent to writing about what you are reading, especially books you have found most enjoyable. 

7. Ads. Goodreads offers paid ads. The click through rate is fairly low (.05%), but unlike Google Adwords, the people who frequent Goodreads are actually interested in buying books. The low cost of their ads combined with the huge number of readers make Goodreads an advertising platform that may be worthwhile. Learn more about Goodreads ads HERE.

8. Giveaways. Historically, authors and publishers have been allowed to post giveaways on Goodreads for physical books only. But Goodreads has announced that it is now open to Kindle giveaways. (Learn more HERE.) Goodreads will charge a fee of $119 for Kindle (and print) giveaways. Publishers and authors will set the time period for the promotion, however, unlike print giveaways, Goodreads will select winners and see to it they receive their books. The limit for giveaway books - print or Kindle -  is 100.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Power of Preorders

Mark Coker is the founder and CEO of Smashwords, and he knows his business. Last November he wrote an article for Publisher's Weekly explaining in detail how pre-orders can help increase sales for self-published authors.

If you are self-publishing, pre-orders are a must. Not only do they help generate buzz about your book, they serve as a vital promotional tool. There is little point lining up advance reviews if readers who are fired up about your book can't place an order. With pre-orders, readers can respond to an immediate call to action, and you don't have to wait to see if your marketing campaign is working.

All of the major self-publishing platforms currently offer pre-orders as part of their packages. But before you schedule pre-orders, you need to have all your ducks lined up in a row. Have you assembled a list of reviewers? Is your book cover finished? Do you have promotional materials (back cover copy) ready? Are your friends, colleagues, family members alerted? (Don't be afraid to get on the phone.)

There is no substitute for careful planning.

How Indie Authors Can Use Preorders to Crack the Bestseller Lists


Imagine you could press a magic button that would make your next book launch more successful. The magic button is the e-book preorder, which gives indie authors a sales and marketing advantage.

Over the last 12 months, nearly two-thirds of the top 200 bestsellers distributed by Smashwords originated as pre-orders. This statistic is all the more impressive when you consider that only one in eight books published at Smashwords during this period was listed as a preorder.

A preorder is an advance listing of your e-book at major retailers that allows your reader to reserve a copy of your book up to 12 months before the release date. When the book is officially released, the customer’s credit card is charged and the book appears in her device’s library.

Although preorders are standard practice for traditional publishers, most self-published authors don’t yet know how to take advantage of them. Let’s fix that problem right now.

Five Big Benefits of E-book Preorders

1. More effective advance marketing of your book: Most authors use Facebook and other social media to communicate with readers about works in progress. By providing a preorder link every time you share news about your upcoming releases, you can capture readers’ orders when you have their greatest interest and attention.

2. Preorders signal commitment: When you establish a pre-order, you’re making a commitment to deliver a book to your readers. This signal of commitment is especially valuable if you write series. A preorder on a series makes the entire series more desirable to readers because it shows that you’re continuing to support the series.

3. Simultaneous release at multiple retailers: A preorder gives all retailers time to process your book in advance of the sale date so that they’re ready to release your book on the same day. Readers appreciate simultaneous releases.

4. Preorders help your superfans review first: Your biggest fans are more likely to reserve a preorder. This means that when your book goes on sale, readers who already love your work will be the first to receive the book and the first to leave reviews. These positive reviews will drive the next wave of purchases after release.

5. Fast track to bestseller lists: At iBooks and Kobo, all orders you accumulate leading up to your release date are credited toward your first day’s sales rank. This can cause your book to spike higher in the bestseller lists on release day, which increases the visibility and desirability of your title, leading to more sales. Amazon does not credit your accumulated orders toward your first day’s sale rank, which means that preorders will actually cannibalize your first day’s sales rank. For this reason, some indie authors forgo the preorder at Amazon and simply upload on release day so they can concentrate more sales on day one. However, an Amazon preorder may still make sense for you given the other benefits stated above.

As with all tools, those who know how to wield the tool will do the best with it.

Five Preorder Best Practices

1. List the preorder as early as possible: Look at your publishing calendar for the next 12 months, and get everything up on preorder now. At Smashwords, you can upload your preorder up to 12 months in advance, and you can adjust the date later if needed.

2. You can list the preorder before the book is finished: In June, Smashwords announced assetless preorders, also known as “metadata-only” preorders. With an assetless preorder, we can establish your preorder at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo before the book is finished. All you need is the basic metadata: the title, the description, the price, and the categorization. Some authors even choose to establish preorders without cover designs so they can turn the cover reveal into a separate preorder marketing event days or weeks later.

3. Promote direct hyperlinks: Once your book is up for preorder, share direct hyperlinks to your preorder listing at each retailer. This puts your readers one click away from reserving your book at their favorite retailers.

4. Leverage your other books to promote your preorder:

After your preorder is listed at the retailers, update the back matter of your other e-books to promote the preorder. Consider running price promotions on your other e-books, including free promotions, so you can use the increased readership to drive more readers to the preorder.

5. Plan an aggressive multiweek marketing campaign:

When you do a preorder, spread your book launch activities throughout the duration of the preorder period so that you’re building buzz in support of your book release every week.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

3 New Agents Seeking Clients NOW - Fantasy, Scifi, YA, Romance, Literary Fiction and more

Updated 5/23/21

Here are three new agents actively seeking clients. Kelly Peterson is looking for MG, YA, NA, and adult fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, historical fiction, and romance. Amanda Jain is seeking historical fiction (in all genres), women’s / book club / upmarket fiction, romance, mysteries, and narrative nonfiction in the areas of social history, archaeology, art history, and material culture. She is also interested in select young adult and middle grade projects with unique hooks and a strong voice. Alexandra Weiss is looking for fiction in all categories and select nonfiction.

Remember to check the agency guidelines before submitting. Agents may switch agencies or close their lists.

For a comprehensive list of dozens of agents looking for clients, see: Agents Seeking Clients

Kelly Peterson of Rees Agency


About Kelly: Kelly Peterson is a West Chester University graduate with a B.S.Ed in English and Literature. She worked as a Junior Literary Agent for two years before moving to Rees Literary Agency, continuing to champion her authors and the manuscripts she loves.

What she is seeking: Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies..

How to submit: She accepts queries via querymanager


Amanda Jain of BookEnds Literary Agency

About Amanda: After earning a BA in English, Amanda worked in the trade department at W.W. Norton for seven years before leaving to pursue graduate studies. She graduated in 2011 with a MA in the history of decorative arts. Amanda then joined Inklings Literary in 2014, first as Michelle’s assistant. She is now building her client list. Find her on Twitter.

What she is seeking: Amanda currently reps adult romance, mystery, upmarket fiction, and science fiction & fantasy, with a special emphasis on historical fiction in all genres. She also represents narrative nonfiction, especially projects exploring the literary world, art history, material culture, archaeology, food history, social history, and popular science. She loves projects with a strong sense of place and those that create a completely immersive world. She is particularly interested in books that add something important to the conversation, that explore stories we haven’t yet heard, and that introduce new voices to our reading experience

How to submit: To query Amanda, go to


Alexandra Weiss of Azantian Literary Agency

About Alexandra: Alexandra Weiss joined the world of publishing in 2016, as an associate agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. In 2021, she joined Azantian Literary Agency where she represents fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and select adult nonfiction. She holds a BFA in creative writing and publishing from Columbia College Chicago and has written for Bustle and Buzzfeed, among others. She regularly volunteers with literary organizations and has a soft spot for working with young readers. When she isn't reading or writing, she's probably baking up a storm or snuggling with her cat.

What she is seeking: "Please send me your early reader, MG, and YA graphic novel proposals! I'm actively seeking contemporary projects but am open to all genres. Some recent favorites include THIS WAS OUR PACT, SEANCE TEA PARTY and GO WITH THE FLOW. I'd also love to see some nonfiction graphic novels that cover fascinating topics. 

I love heartfelt, funny, and whimsical picture books. If you have a clever concept that's never been done before or provides a fresh twist on a classic tale (such as PRINCE AND KNIGHT), please send it my way. I'm also eagerly searching for picture books books that introduce STEAM concepts and make complex topics approachable (and fun!) for young readers. I'm also interested in representing more author/illustrators. I enjoy a lot of different styles but generally lean toward art that's unique, bold, and playful.

I adore all types of adventurous, smart, and out-of-the-box chapter and middle-grade books. Silly schemes! Fantastic friendships! Ambitious adventures! If it has magic, science, or time travel, I'm all in. I'm also a big fan of contemporary middle grade that pulls at your heartstrings (think I'LL SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS and SONG FOR A WHALE). I'm particularly interested in finding more middle grade that isn't afraid to explore the complicated emotions and challenges preteens face today.

I'm most drawn to contemporary, light science fiction and fantasy, as well as magical realism in YA. I'm looking for strong, distinct, and diverse voices that authentically capture the coming-of-age experience. I'm a fan of angsty characters and stories that explore difficult situations, but I'd also love to see more lighthearted and fluffy romcoms. I'm also interested in YA stories that take place outside of the US or feature mythology from non-western cultures.

Currently, I'm seeking nonfiction proposals from scientists and experts in their field. Some topics I'm interested in include global warming, space exploration, and mental heath. I'm also open to unique gift books that bring something new to the table.

Across the board, I'm dedicated to representing marginalized creators and diverse stories. I'm actively seeking BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, genderfluid, neurodiverse, and disabled voices for all ages and genres."

How to submit: Use their submission form.
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