One Writer’s Journey

July 25, 2014

Call for Manuscripts: Spellbound

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:44 am
Tags: ,

Call for SubmissionsI posted a call for manuscripts from Spellbound back in May but this is a new call.  Note that this speculative ficiton magazine reads only for one theme at a time.  This means that if you want to submit for a theme other than the “current” reading period, you need to wait.

Upcoming themes and the dates for reading are:

  • Winter 2014: Elementals: Reading Period July 1 – September 30, 2014
  • Spring 2015: Knights, Rogues & Other Adventurers: Reading Period October 1 – December 31
  • Summer 2015: Transformations: Reading Period January 1 – March 31, 2015
  • Fall 2015: The Undead: Reading Period April 1 – June 30, 2015
  • Winter 2015: Lost Cities: Reading Period July 1 – September 30, 2015
  • Spring 2016: Kappas, Kelpies & Other Fresh Water Creatures: Reading Period October 1 – December 31, 2015
  • Summer 2016: Untied We Stand: Magical Friendships: Reading Period January 1 – March 31, 2016
  • Fall 2016: Liminal Beings (Centaurs, Nagas, Satyrs, etc.): Reading Period April 1 – June 30, 2016
  • Winter 2016: Deadly Beasties (Manticores, Chimeras, Basilisks, etc.): Reading Period July 1 – September 30, 2016

Raechel Henderson, fiction editor, wants protagonists who actively resolve story problems and conflicts.  Word length up to 2500 words.

Marcie Tentchoff, poetry editor, wants short poetry, whether free verse or traditional, with elements of speculative fiction. Length 8-36 lines.

Payment: 2.5 cents/word for stories, $10-$20 for poems.

Deadline:  June 30.

Read complete guidelines here.


July 24, 2014

Unsolicited Manuscripts: There are publishers who still take them

UnagentedDo you think that you need to find an agent because no worthwhile book publishers take unsolicited manuscripts?  Think again.  These are just some of the publishers who take submissions from authors.

Arbordale:  This publisher used to be Sylvan Dell.  Check out their amazing science themed books.

Boyds Mills Press:  An educational publisher of poetry, picture books, middle grade fiction and nonfiction.

Charlesbridge:  Accepts unsolicited but wants an exclusive submission for a period of time.  Several of my friends have picture books with Charlesbridge.

Chronicle Books:  Not only does Chronicle take unsolicited, they take e-submissions.

Creston Books:  Rotten Pumpkin is my favorite Creston Book.  Be sure to check this publisher out.

Eerdmans: This is admittedly one of my dream publishers — I simply adore so many of their picture books.

Arthur A. Levine:  Scholastic may be a tough nut to crack, cut this imprint takes unsolicited work.  Read their guidelines and check out their catalogue.

Philomel Books:  Not all Penguin imprints accept submissions but the SCBWI Market Guide details how to submit to this particular imprint.

Albert Whitman:  This is another favorite.  Note:  They are taking e-mail, not snail mail, submissions.

Workman Publishing:  This publisher has several imprints and publishes both children’s and adult titles.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but these ten publishers are enough to keep most authors busy — be sure to research each publisher before you submit your work.  This isn’t to say that at some point in your career you won’t want an agent, but if you don’t have one you can still market your own work.


July 23, 2014

Call for Manuscripts: Shiloh Kidz

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:35 am
Tags: , , ,

Call for SubmissionsHere is another fairly new imprint looking for work.  Shiloh Kidz is an imprint of Barbour Publishing.  I didn’t see specific guidelines on the site for Shiloh Kidz but Barbour is accepting manuscripts.  The first list will debut in November 2014.

The news that I read on Writing was that the imprint will feature books for readers ages 3 – 12 in a variety of formats and media.  This Christian imprint plans to publish religious novels, scripture-based stories, Bible reference, and fiction stories.

Kelly McIntosh is the Vice President of Editorial.

Check out the site and the tone of their books if you think that you have something suitable.




July 22, 2014

Grammar Basics

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:38 am

And, for a bit of levity, an absolutely hilarious grammar lesson, Wierd Al style.

I simply refuse to admit which rules I have difficulty remembering.


July 21, 2014

Call for Submissions: Redleaf Lane

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:26 am
Tags: , ,

Call for SubmissionsRedleaf Lane is a new imprint committed to producing high quality children’s picture books.

Check this one out carefully before submitting because what they want is very specialized in terms of setting.  All of the books they publish take place in “group care” settings.  They never use the term but I’m assuming here that they mean day care or various after care programs.  The stories not only take place in this particular setting, the situations revolve around situations that are likely to come up in this setting.

Redleaf Lane is a part of the larger publisher, Redleaf Press.

If you have a manuscript that fits what they are publishing, you can find their address on their site.  Submission information is “coming soon.”  Good luck sending in your work!





July 18, 2014

SCBWI Podcasts: A Great Educational Opportunity for Members

Podcast boxVery few of us can afford to attend all the great conferences out there, but the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) has another great benefit free to members — a series of educational pod casts.  So far there are four SCBWI Conversations posted.

Episode 1: Melissa Manlove

SCBWI talks with Chronicle Books editor Melissa Manlove about picture books, mythology, poetry and the power of the spoken word.  Curious about the life and work of a picture book editor?  That’s in here too!


Episode 2: Matt de la Peña

I heard Matt speak at our own Missouri conference so I’m eager to hear this Conversation with the author the young adult novels Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican White Boy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, and The Living.

Episode 3: Arthur A. Levine

In this conversation, Lin Oliver talks with the vice president and publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc.  This one is sure to be exciting because Levine has connected with several of his authors through SCBWI.


Episode 4: Laurie Halse Anderson 

Join this New York Times best-selling children’s book author as she discusses her writing path and diversity in chlidren’s literature.  She is the author of Speak and Chains, both National Book Award finalists.


All you have to do is sign into the site and then click on this link to hear one of these great sessions.  You can also down load them to save and listen at your leisure.  Thanks to SCBWI you can listen and learn today.


July 17, 2014

Educational Packagers: The Steps in the Writing Process

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:29 am
Tags: ,

One of my sources.

Last Monday, I finished submitted my rewrites for the Ancient Maya book I wrote for Abdo, through Red Line Editorial.  For those of you who are interested in writing for an educational packager, here are the steps.

  1. Apply.  If you want to write for an educational series, you need to apply to write for a publisher or a packager.  I applied with Red Line because I know three authors who write for them.  I prepared my resume and samples and a cover letter. I emphasized my nonfiction writing and my background in academia.  I did the last because I wanted to make sure they understood that I know what academic primary sources are and I’m not afraid to use them.
  2. Wait.  After you apply, they have to match you up with an assignment.  I had to wait about 4 months.
  3. Invitation.  Some packagers may call writers, but I got an email from an editorial assistant.  Would I be interested in writing a book on an ancient culture.  If so, pick one of these.
  4. Research, Part 1.  Before I responsed, I wanted to make sure that I could get the research done FAST.  I did a Google Scholar search on several of the cultures.  I searched the books at my local library.  I also did a library database search.  Fortunately, one of my top two choices had tons of sources.  Because of this, it became my first choice although I sent them my top 4.  Why 4?  I wanted to make it easy for them in case I asked for the same culture as an author they already worked with regularly.
  5. Research.  Part 2.  Next I had to prep chapter 1 and an outline.  Obviously, I couldn’t do this without any research so I gave myself five days to gather as much as possible and read enough of the secondary sources and the abstracts to do an outline.
  6. Write!   The whole thing needed to be done in 6 weeks.  I wrote chapter 1 and the outline and submitted them.  But I didn’t stop.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get comments back so I roughed out another two chapters.  The changes they wanted were minimal so I ignored them for the chapters I had already written and encorporated the in chapters 4-9.
  7. Rewrite Twice.  After drafting the whole manuscript, I made the changes they asked for, based on chapter 1 and the outline, in the first three chapters.  Then I worked through the end, started back and the beginning and worked through it all again.
  8. Critique.  I didn’t have time to run this by my critique group, but I did get my husband to read it.  He’s a business geek but that was good.  He hadn’t read everything I had on the Maya.  He pointed out several places my text might be misunderstood and places he had questions.
  9. Rewrite Again.  Yep.  I went through it again based on his comments and reading it outloud.  Yep.  The whole 14,500 words.  Out loud.
  10. Submit.  Then I sent it off and waited.  And waited.  It was only about a month but it felt like forever.
  11. Rewrite Yet Again.  They one wanted me to expand 6 sidebars so I know I got off really easy.  I got these done in about a week and sent just this text back in.

Through the course of this process, I worked with one editorial assistant and 2 editors.  For their part, they ran my manuscript past one or more experts and then sent a rewrite request.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell expert suggestions for editor suggestions so I’m not sure how much was one and how much the other.  To find out what questions you should ask yourself before applying to do this kind of work, see my blog post today on the Muffin.

Would I do it again?  You bet.  But hopefully not until my son goes back to school in August!



July 16, 2014

Reading Like a Writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:40 am

SeeingI don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect that writers read differently from normal people.  I am using “normal” in the way that my husband and son use it to mean nonwriters, lesser mortals, mundanes.

Last week, I listened to the audiobook of The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks.  I should probably note here that I am not a huge Sparks fan.  I’m not even a small Sparks fan.  I used to read his books until I figured out how they worked.  You know what I mean — you have character X and character Y and it looks like everything stands against them but…

I’m not sure how I became aware of The Best of Me but the opening setting — an oil platform on fire — seemed particularly un-Sparks which is part of what motivated me to read it.

Anyway, I was listening to this as I moved around the house doing various cleaning tasks prior to the arrival of my critique group.  I had just popped cd 8, the last cd, into the player.  The guy and girl have just seperated — again.  Will they find a way to come back to each other?  (IE will she make up her blooming mind?)  Or will something keep them apart.  Then her son is an a car accident. . .

“Oh, hell no!  That is not what you’re going to do!”

Do normal people argue with the cd?  Maybe?  Maybe not.  But here I was telling it off.  “You will not …”

If this had been a print book, I would have flipped to the end.  If I was right, which I was, I would have quit reading.  As it was, I had to listen to the rest of the disk to find out.

I admit it.  I like happy endings.  If it can’t be happy, I want it to be satisfying.  Either way, I DO NOT want to see it coming.  Not with over 10% of the book yet to go.

Am I the only writer who has this problem when I read?  Please tell me I’m not!


July 15, 2014

Agents: New Agents Seek Authors

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:38 am
Tags: ,

Call for SubmissionsL. Perkins Literary has recently hired two new agents to expand the types of manuscripts represented by the agency.

Leon Husock, hired as an Associate Agent, seeks speculative fiction of all kinds, young adult and middle grade novels.  Before joining L. Perkins, he was an Associate Agent at Anderson Literary Management

Rachel Brooks, Junior Agent, reps romance, young and new adult fiction as well as select picture books. Before joining the L. Perkins, she apprenticed with Louise Fury.

Interested? Check out the announcement in its entirety.  Click here for the agent bios from the agency web site.



July 14, 2014

Call for Manuscripts: Triptych Tales

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:27 am

Call for SubmissionsStrictly speaking, this isn’t a YA market but it looks like a market that would appeal to young adults, so . . .

Triptych Tales has put out a call for manuscripts.  They are looking for:

Stories between 2,000 and 6,000 words.

Stories set in the present or the near future.  And set on Earth.

Mainstream, fantasy and science fiction.

NO space opera or high fantasy.


Payment of $100 per story for first world print and electronic rights. $50 for reprints as long as not on the web.

Will publish a twelve-story anthology/year so keep right until this occurs.  At that time, all rights revert back to author with the understanding that stories subsequently published elsewhere will include a credit for Triptych Tales.

See their complete guidelines for the e-mail address for submissions.


Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Blog at


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers

%d bloggers like this: