#MashUpMondays

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Mash up Mondays are back! Whatever is trending in the writing scene whether it be a writing competition, conference, tech ish or a celebrity new release I got you covered. If you know of anything delicious enough to dish about put them in the comments pleaz and thank you.

Well here we go!

Husband and Wife Duo Writes a Chikdren’s Book

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Pop diva Mariah Carey and her black version of Ryan Seacrest husband Nick Cannon will be releasing a children’s novel this fall. It will be a remix to the old school version of 12 Days of Christmas with the main characters being their own children Roc and Roe. That’s all their giving out about it but I’m sure more info is around the block.

Writing Contest for Teens

Author Donna Labermeier is hosting a writing contest just for teens to encourage literacy. I love the whole concept of improving literacy. I also love that opportunities like this gives aspiring young writers a chance to perfect their craft early because not many things was available when I was younger. But anywho..

Fight for Teen Literacy will award 6 winners with prize money for themselves as well as their school library. Teenagers must read the author’s book then react to it by writing a song, making a film or any creative way. Go on The Healers Trilogy Facebook page by Feb. 16th to enter. Good luck.

Annual Competition Getting in High Gear

Another legendary contest is getting underway. It’s the Annual Competition from Writers Digest. Genres being accepted are: inspirational writing, memoirs, magazine feature article, genre short story, literacy short story, poetry, stage play, television/movie scripts and children’s/YA fiction.

Enter by either online or print the form out. The early bird deadline is May 5th. A grand prize winner will receive a lot of ish including: $3000, meeting with editors/agents, paid trip to WD conference, a year subscription to WD eBooks and a thirty minute consultation with Chuck Sambuchino.

Did I miss anything?

Peace and luv!

Posted from none other than your favorite writer’s favorite writer Ms Talia

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Street Lit is Heating Up My Charts Again

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To my new readers I started out writing street lit before it hit the stores and before I knew what it really was. It was what I saw in my own neighborhood. Then life happened and I stopped writing altogether. Once I started my passion again I began to read it again I had a huge wake up call. Street lit had become garbage. Bad repetition, cliches, terrible editing and so on laced these so called street lit books and I denounced street lit out of my life and challenged myself to write other genres which I enjoy by the way. I didn’t even want to touch a book. As a writer I didn’t understand how in the hell these books were coming out, it was making us real writers look bad as hell. Something changed. I started reading street lit again because I saw so many people talk about it and I was back hooked again. I have been even motivated enough to wanna write a street lit novel again. I’ve been having a concept in my head for the last two weeks and I am thinking about writing it during next month’s NaNoWriMo event. I have to first finish Dear Daddy. I will let you know the details later but a bish is geeked up about this. Have you read any street lit lately? Holla at me if you have so I can check it out. Peace and luv!

Posted from none other than your favorite writer’s favorite writer Ms Talia

Is having powerful beginning really that important?

Seasoned (or experienced whichever you prefer) authors give advice all of the time. That’s good for us other writers that inhales advice so we can be better. Some of my favorite bit of advice I have picked up along the way are:

1. Show, don’t tell
2. Use the five senses in each scene
3. Only use dialogue when it will push the story along

A common piece of advice I’ve noticed writers use is always have a strong beginning. It is great advice don’t get me wrong but is it really that important?

When is it appropriate?

Genre novels such as thrillers, mysteries, horror and espionage are the best to use the strong beginning tip. These genres usually are fast paced so a powerful start is needed.

So when is it necessary?

Romance is one of the first genres that comes to mind. There is no point in having an in your face beginning to a romantic story. Chic lit or erotica neither.

Pressure opens the door for more mistakes

Ok so you have it engrained in your mind to bring it on the beginning, you struggle, lose sleep, and maybe pull a few strands of hair out or grow a few grey hairs over trying to get that perfect start. There are consequences to putting all of your eggs in the beginning basket.

You’ve put so much in the beginning you have no more energy for the rest of the novel. You have to leave some tricks in the bag. Make your reader salvitate through the whole thing not just the first chapter. It will take some serious discipline to not put all the fireworks at the beginning but you can do it.

There is that temptation to add fireworks that doesn’t even fit with the story. Say you are doing a romance. The female is in a country looking for love but she doesn’t speak their language. In the opening scene there is a natural disaster, her place has been robbed, her father back home suffers a heart attack and her aunt is pregnant. Now what in the world does that have to do with her finding love? Not a damn thang in my book.

What are some of the things that agents cringe when reading terrible novels? Some I don’t understand why but hey, everyone has their quirks. Here are 10 things that just gets under literary agents’ skin:

1. Opening scenes that are dreams. Why is this a problem? If it correlates with the story then it should be there.

2. Sci-fi novels that has lengthy landscape description. I read a story that had this problem and by the time I was through with the scene I had forgotten what I was reading.

3. Prologues. A lot of agents/ publishers have a problem with this but again if it is appropriate for the story then include it. I’ve read a lot of novels who do and do it successfully.

4. Endless character description. Aw yes, I really don’t need to know that Bobby has a mole on the inside of his nose. Eeww, TMI!

5. Characters doing nothing. If the first sentence to a novel reads, Joanne sat and stared in her mirror for three hours would you continue? Please stop lying.

6. Cliche openings. The moon shown bright in the dark sky. Um, been there, read that.

7. Telling not showing. It took me a long time to grasp this one. Let me give you an example. Which sentence is more interesting?

Tiffany was mad after finding out her man cheated on her.

or,

Tiffany took all of Steven’s clothes and threw them onto the street including the black lace boyshorts the other woman left in her bed.

See the difference? Sometimes showing is a hell of a lot better than telling.

8. Narrator introducing themself. When would this be needed anyway?

9. Too perfect characters. If your character can do no wrong they fail to be relatable. Even in fiction people are flawed.

10. Great descriptive character who is irrelevant. You wasted all that time on a character that is not even a key player? Prepare for irritated readers.

Now that you know better, please take heed and do better!

Posted from none other than your favorite writer’s favorite writer Ms Talia

2012 Goodreads Choice Awards

It’s voting season and I’m not talking about the Presidential election but the Goodreads Choice Awards. The voting has started. Yours truly is not on the list but I’m for sure there are some great stories to vote on so show them some luv at http://www.goodreads.com, we writers gotta stick together! This will run until Nov. 10th then the semifinal round is from Nov. 12-17th followed by the final round Nov. 19th thru the 27th. You will have to visit the site for all the lucky contestants because there is a lot however I will give you the categories.

Fiction
Paranormal Fantasy
Memoir & Biography
Humor
YA Fiction
Mystery/Thriller
Science Fiction
History & Biography
Graphic Novels & Comics
YA Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Poetry
Romance
Nonfiction
Fantasy
Food & Cookbooks
Middle Grade & Children’s
Horror
Goodreads Authors
Picture Books

Good luck to all contestants!

Peace and luv!

Calling All Independent Authors

I came across a resourceful site the other day called greenleafbookgroup.com

Annette Gordon-Reed announcing the five 2010 N...

Annette Gordon-Reed announcing the five 2010 National Book Critics Circle finalists in nonfiction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

go check it out if you haven’t heard of it yet. Until then check out these upcoming awards for independent writers thanks to Green Leaf:

  • National Book Awards gives $10,000 to one writer in each category (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, YA). Writers can only apply thru their publisher. Deadline is June 15th
  • Narrative Prize gives $4,000 to a new or emerging writer in short stories, novel excerpts poem, one-act plays, graphic stories or literary nonfiction. Deadline will be June 15th
  • Discover Great New Writers, hosted by B&N is giving awards to debuting writers making under 10,000 units ($10,000). Similar to the National Book Awards the writer can only go thru their publisher. Deadline is June 28th.
  • The Bard Fiction Prize gives nice award to fiction writers under 39 years old. Winner becomes writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester meaning they will give one public lecture to the students.
  • National Outdoor Book Awards recognizes the best outdoor writing. Applications will be available starting in June and the deadline is in August. Genres allowed are history, literature, children, nature, natural history, instructional, adventure guidebook, design and outdoor classic.

Good luck!

Peace and luv!

What’s Your Fantasy?

Harper-Collins Offices. Harper-Collins Offices...

Harper-Collins Offices. Harper-Collins Offices at Bishopbriggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the height of a sudden interest in erotica a new imprint has been born. Mischief is all about erotica and erotic romance eBooks. It is a part of the Harper Collins family and it is giving erotic fans a deeper glimpse into sexual fantasies. This is an eBook publishing house. Each month Mischief will release original erotic ebooks. Femdom, Girl-Girl, Guy-Guy, Menage, Greedy Girl, Kinky, Discipline, Female Submission, Historical, Paranormal and Erotic Romance are the genres Mischief are interested in.

These eBooks can be viewed on your iPad, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and Sony Reader.

How can you get on with Mischief? All inquiries need to be thru email. They want stories that are modern and original. Send a short paragraph explaining what your manuscript is about (novellas should begin with an erotic situation). Include first chapter and 2 other random chapters. Send all to Adam.Nevill@harpercollins.co.uk. It should take a week to get a response and a full response within 3 months.

Mischief will NOT represent novels that are random short stories, general fiction with no erotic content, sex scenes involving under 18 year old, acts causing physical damage, tragedy or anguish, incest, sex with animals or bondage.

I suggest you do your homework before submitting. Visit Mischiefbooks.com for full submission guidelines.

Peace and luv!

Should The African American Section Die?

Legacy Museum of African American Historylogo

Image via Wikipedia

Hear me out before you start sucking your teeth and jumping to conclusions and assuming I am racist against my own people. I have a logical argument to this.

When I decided to really take this writing craft seriously I would walk into book stores, head straigt to the African American section and sit Indian style in front of it. I would imagine my name printed in a nice ass font, lifted slightly off the cover so I could rub my hand across and know that this is the real deal and not a dream. Yep that was what I did in my spare time besides writing.

Now fast forward to the present. I read an article recently about the African American book sections and should they exist or can we integrate with the ‘others’.

If you think about it, this is just another example of segregation. We’re (cause I do consider myself a bona fide writer) separated from everyone else. It’s very rare you will see a black writer intermingling outside of that section unless they are a celebrity. Why is that? Maybe it’s different in other spots but in good ole country ass Fort Wayne, Indiana we are segregated. Our libraries are integrated though. Are we not good enough to play with the others?

One of the arguments with this is some readers have walked out of a bookstore because they could not find the African American section. Now that is just plain laziness if you ask me and nine levels of foolishness. It really isn’t that deep.

My opinion is that African American writers are being recognized as legit writers more. We have a long way to go still but I think now we should be in our respectable sections (whatever genre we are writing about) just like everybody else.

Do you care whether our section is pulled?

I’m still gone write regardless if there is a section for us or not; this is a God-given talent and I will not accept anything but success out of this. Change is consistent. We got ourselves in the door now lets break this glass ceiling and make bigger moves!

Peace and luv!