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


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


Screenwriting Basics

Everything you know about script writing needs to be thrown out the window.

I read an article on Writer’s Digest written by Michael Ferris who has been doing scripts for a minute and knows what he is talking about. The original article is lengthy but informative and I highly suggest you read it all especially if you are planning to get into screenwriting. Read the original here.

For formatting Mr. Ferris states every paragraph should be less than three lines. Write in visual perspective, describe what can be seen not heard and lastly make sure it is in present tense form.

On dialogue keep 95% of it three lines or less. Understand that the meaning of a character’s style is knowing their core not about what designer they have on or in other words what is their motivation?

White Space. I had no idea what this was to be honest. However he says the more white space there is the better! This means take out lines you can’t hear or see (show not tell remember that rule?), anything that doesn’t move the story along or anything about the characters that do not add depth to their state of mind.

Again the article was helpful so I strongly suggest you read it, bookmark it or whatever.

Peace and luv!

Got Your Outline Done?

One more day and NaNoWriMo will be on and poppin’! Are you excited? Intimidated? Pulling out your hair? Ok I’m exaggerating slightly. A week ago I gave you advice on how to prepare for the 30 day event and one of them was writing a nice outline to prevent from getting writer’s block. Did you listen? I’m doing the finishing touches as we speak. Mine will be a psychological thriller and yes I will be also finishing Dear Daddy. Lotta work but I’m excited and up for the challenge.

Excuse me ahead of time for the lack of posts next month, you understand why. The ones I do post will be sneak peeks of my novel to quench your thirsts and for me to get feedback.

For those, like me who is doing this for the first time visit http://www.writersdigest.com for writing resources because they will have weekly prompts to help you along on this journey and future literary works.

Nov. 1-2 Creativity/Idea
Nov. 5-9 Story Structure/plotting
Nov. 12-16 Character
Nov. 26-30 Endings/Revisions

Good luck everybody and see you on the other side!

Peace and luv!

Writer’s Digest West Conference and Pitch Slam

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘It never rains in Southern California!’

Ok I am seriously aging myself right about now and that song has nothing to do with this post I just thought I’d share that line from a classic song with you.

Back to the topic at hand – Writer’s Digest. October 19th thru the 21st (are you marking your calendars yet? Let me give you a sec to do that…). Alright so on those days in sunny Hollywood, California in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Spa Writer’s Digest will host the West Conference. WD is such a great source for getting tips, critiques done, updates on workshops and conferences along with tutorial information. I highly recommend it if you haven’t been going to the site. Their conferences are the same just in person!

I know, I know you want to know the price. If you register before or on July 19th which is today you will only have to pay $845. For an individual full conference it’s $495, the Saturday only option is $375 and the whole kitten and caboodle will cost you $945. I suggest you register early. Go to the website to get the full scoop.

Another event to watch out for is the Pitch Slam. The concept is similar to speed dating. For 90 minutes a room full of agents will be at your disposal. Here’s the catch tho, you will only get three minutes with each one! The first 90 seconds will be spent describing your work and why it will be successful. The second set of 90 seconds will allow the agent to critique the pitch. Your mission if you choose to accept it is to get the agent’s business card before your pitch self destructs. Ok maybe the latter is extreme but you do need to get that card! Digest as many pitch books and blog info as you can so you will be ready. Good luck!

Peace and luv!

Create Powerful Imagery In Your Writing

To me I measure how great a book is by how lost in the story I become; also if I am thinking about the characters after finishing the book as though they were real people then the book did its job. So as an author how can you create that affect for your readers? My best friend (in my head) Writer’s Digest have given me some good tips that you can use today. I will be expecting my check in the mail for these awesome tips I’m about to give you. Here you go:

  1. Paint the image you are trying to portray in small bites. Never stop the story to describe something your readers don’t need to be confused.
  2. Incorporate images in action. For example She pointed at a looming hulk.
  3. See the story thru the character’s eyes and hear their surroundings thru their ears not as you the writer.
  4. Use the tiny but telling details, for exampleA spider’s web tugged at her face.
  5. Choose action bearing verbs such as cushioned, absorbed, etc.
  6. Choose action bearing nonverbs
  7. Invent fresh viewpoints. For example She climbed blindly.
  8. Create an image without saying so.A fresh breeze chilled her skin.

Go use these before they disappear in the many dark compartments in your head.

Peace and luv!

What About That Nonfiction Proposal?

I remember declaring that I would never write a non-fiction book. But for the last year and a half I’ve had an itch to create a non fiction book for us ladies.

With a non fiction book tho is there a difference when writing a proposal than fiction? Hell yeah! With both you have to know what you’re talking about but with non fiction you really have to know what the hell you are writing about. How can you land a bomb ass non fiction proposal? Let Writer’s Digest tell you.

Hook – people have the attention span of a net so hook the receiver quick or the slush pile you go!

Market Overview – this is not the time to brag about your book being the ish. It’s called humility people! Just tell who your target audience is and prove why it’s needed.

Author bio – let them know what your expertise is as well as your platform.

Competitive Analysis – list resources that already target that market.

Marketing Plan – this is the most important part; talk about what you will hustle to do today not sell some

Fiction Stacks

Fiction Stacks (Photo credit: chelmsfordpubliclibrary)

pipe dreams. Instead of ‘I plan to register a domain and start a blog for my book’ put ‘Within 3 months of launch my blog on ______ already attracts 5000 visits per month.

Outline – write short descriptions for every chapter

Sample Chapter

Putting it all together – this is a overview of the topic

Good luck with it and don’t pull your hair trying to write it.

Peace and luv!

Write It Your Way

Have a short story that you’ve been keeping a secret or one that is too short to publish? Grab it, dust the cobwebs off and spruce it up (in that damn order) because Writer’s Digest is hosting a ‘write it your way’ competition.

Any genre (fiction or non) is accepted long as it is 1200 words or less. It only costs $5 to enter. The winner will receive free entry into next month’s contest, promotion for the story and $25 to spend at Writer’s Digest.

I always believe that one of the best ways to get your name out is to participate in contests. Writer’s Digest is an excellent source to start that journey. Visit the link for more contests! Deadline is July 15th.

Peace and luv!