“I Am Judge of Writing for Children in Carteret Writers’ Contest” by Joan Y. Edwards
I am honored. Carteret Writers’ board member, Susanne Bunch, invited me to be a judge of the Writing for Children submissions for their 2019 contest.
Here is information about them:
Founded in 1983, Carteret Writers holds monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of the month September through April at Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant and Pub, 425 Front Street, Beaufort, NC.
Born in 1983, Carteret Writers is a charitable, non-profit organization with three goals:
Promote the art of writing
Cultivate camaraderie among writers
Collaborate with other organizations to foster an understanding and appreciation of writing and writers
From now until March 13, 2019, they are sponsoring a writing contest that is open to anyone interested in submitting. Submissions must be mailed or delivered in person at one of our monthly luncheon meetings. Submissions are accepted for the categories of flash fiction, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children. In May they present the contest winners with prizes at an awards dinner.
Although their monthly meetings are open to all, becoming a member helps them host speakers.
Membership is open to all writers, whether you’re interested in being published or just write for the fun of it. Membership entitles you to a free copy of Shoal, their annual literary journal and a subscription to their newsletter. It gives you discounts on contest and workshop fees. Membership also allows you to join one of their small critique groups or start a new one.
Their members include published and not-yet-published authors including, but not limited to:
Fiction (flash fiction, short story, novel, children’s literature, romance, fantasy, and science fiction)
Nonfiction (regional, historical, folklore, journalism, memoir, technical, and business)
“Melanie Robertson-King’s Books Have a Great Sense of Place” Interview by Joan Y. Edwards
I am excited and honored to have as a guest on my blog, author, Melanie Robertson-King! Welcome, Melanie.
Hello, Joan. It’s fun to be here. I want to give away a free e-copy of one of my featured books (winner’s choice)to one of your readers. (Winner of Giveaway below interview)
How exciting! My readers will love that.
I can’t wait to meet them. I hope they’ll ask questions.
They ask good questions. I know they’ll love learning about you and your great books. So let’s get started.
A. Name three biographical facts that have made you successful.
My Scottish descent. The Scots can be a stubborn lot and don’t like to give up. I don’t either.
I have an active imagination and can spin a story around almost anything.
My love of travel and being able to visit the locations where my books have been set (so far).
B. Name three biographical facts that hardly anyone knows about you.
I met Princess Anne at the orphanage in Scotland where my father was raised.
My first grandson was born the year I turned 40.
My husband and I renewed our wedding vows for our 25th wedding anniversary in the church at the orphanage in Scotland where my father was raised.
C. What person or event started your interest in becoming a published author?
I had the idea of being a published author from the time I was a teenager, but nothing ever became of it. Years later, I was writing short stories and sharing them with my co-workers who thought they were quite good.
One, in particular, found an ad for a creative writing course and gave it to me. I pondered it for a while because it was costly, but eventually signed up. My instructor was amazing and found something in my writing. At the end of the course, he told me I could write a cracker of a novel. After many re-writes, the first edition of A Shadow in the Past (my debut novel), was contracted to 4RV Publishing.
D.What has given you the greatest feeling of satisfaction and pride?
Holding my debut novel for the very first time, followed by my first sale. I still get that same feeling with every book I’ve written since then.
E. What is a quote that keeps you going?
I have no idea who said it but because I’m determined, I would have to say it’s “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again”… or similar.
F. What are your goals as a writer?
Write and publish the best books I can.
I’d like to hit #1 in one of the categories my books are listed in. I’ve snuck into the top 100 a couple of times, but didn’t stay there long.
Making the New York Times or USA Today bestseller lists, although these lofty goals are lower on my list now.
G. What are your strategies for success?
Hard work and perseverance.
H.What are three essentials for marketing your books?
I have to admit, my online marketing has slipped lately. You can’t go out there with a megaphone and yell, buy my book.
I’ve made book poster adverts with quotes and star rankings of my books.
I’m a vendor at the local farmers’ market, as well as many other events throughout the year where I get to engage face-to-face with prospective and returning customers. It’s hard work but I love the social aspect.
I. Do you use free software to create your book trailers?
Yes. I’ve only made two trailers (so far). The first one I created was a couple of years after the first edition of A Shadow in the Past was released. One of my author friends in Scotland had made a couple for her crime novels, so I thought, why not? I used Windows Movie Maker to create it and once I had it the way I wanted, I put it on YouTube.
When Windows 10 came out, the Movie Maker was no longer available so I had to find something else to use. I discovered through a google search, you can make videos with the Windows Photos App.
I haven’t used it yet, but Apple has an app called iMovie. I thought I would have to download it from the app store, but it was already loaded on my MacBook Air. iMovie has a function specifically for trailers. I might do another one for YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYSand see which one does the best job.
J. What are three reasons why you are glad you decided to self-publish your books?
I’m a control freak, so I love being in control of all aspects of the publishing process.
I write in different genres. With a traditional publisher, you get pigeon-holed into one and it’s hard to break out of that shell.
If I decide I want to change the cover or edit the interior content, I can. I’ve changed the cover for the e-book version of YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS. The original cover wasn’t working.
K. What are three ingredients of every good novel? What is a good book or online resource to teach writers how to put these ingredients in a book?
To me, a good book has to have a strong plot. Something to keep me turning the pages. It also has to have likeable characters. I want to be able to close my eyes and envision the location and the physical appearances of the people on those pages.
I can recommend a few books/resources. First of all, Stephen King’s book On Writing. Excellent.
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have an excellent collection of thesauruses. The Urban Setting, Rural Setting, Positive Traits, Negative Traits, Emotion, Emotional Wound. They’re also blogging various occupations on their website. https://writershelpingwriters.net/
L. You do a great job of creating a sense of place in your books, how did you get started doing that? What sites do you recommend to help writers put the right description into their novels?
The absolute best way of creating a sense of place is to travel to the location where you’re going to set your book. Take lots of pictures and if you have a small sound recording device, get some audio clips. If that’s not possible, research the area thoroughly before writing. Google street views is a great way to navigate around a foreign location. And of course, the thesauruses I mentioned above.
M. Would you please share examples of a sense of place from your books?
My current work-in-progress is the second book in my “It Happened” series. It’s called It Happened in Gastown. For those who might not know, Gastown is an area in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The lead characters are Hilary Dunbar (a Vancouver uniformed police officer) and Erik Layne (a heroin addict and brother of Serenity Layne from It Happened on Dufferin Terrace).
I’m struggling some with this book because of its ‘darker’ side. I have almost zero knowledge of what I’m writing about. I’ve googled and googled, and my Emotional Wound, and Urban Places thesaurus have helped me along the way.
“Preparation is the Key to Success for a Conference” by Joan Y. Edwards
I have attended many SCBWI conferences and a few other writing conferences and workshops in person and others online. Here are a few key ways to prepare for a conference that you will attend in person. I wrote this with writers and illustrators in mind. However, I believe most of the ideas would be beneficial and could be adapted to anyone attending a conference in any profession. It’s in 3 parts: before the conference, during the conference, and after the conference. I hope that by attending a conference, you’ll learn a new skill or marketing technique that inspires you to reach your goals. Preparation is the key to success at a conference.
Before the Conference
What skill do you most want to improve? Attend the workshops that will help you improve that skill.
Visit the webpages of at least three of the presenters that interest you. If they have a website, read the about me. Check out their books at your local library or on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
If you have specific questions for presenters, write them down on 3×5 cards and ask them at the conference during the workshops. If you don’t get a chance to ask them in person, most handouts or websites give contact information so you can write and ask them later.
Get business cards with your name, address, phone number, email address, website, and blog. Many people put an image and link to their published books on the back. Use www.VistaPrint.com, www.Gotprint.com, or local print shop. You can also create business cards on your computer.
Giveaways – Get postcards printed with your best illustrations or of your book covers with a selling pitch for them at www.VistaPrint.com, www.gotprint.com, or your local printer. You can also make bookmarks by hand or on your computer.
Buy a new spiral notebook with a bright colorful design or a composition book with a black and white cover. This way all of your notes are in one place. You can put it in front of your computer when you get home, and transfer your handwritten notes to your computer. You can add information from handouts by scanning them into your computer, or by typing what you want to remember from the handouts.
Buy two pens that are dependable and write just the way you like a pen to write. Put them in your pocketbook to take with you.
Write a pitch for three of your manuscripts. Print out your pitches on 3×5 cards, 4×6 inch cards, or plain 8.5 x 11 printing paper. Carry two copies of each pitch with you to the conference. Put one copy in a folder and the other in your pocketbook. Practice giving your pitch in front of a mirror. Use eye contact. Memorize it.
Take comfortable clothing to wear in your favorite colors to keep your spirits high. Take a sweater or blazer, in case the air conditioning is too cool for your inner thermostat. If you’re hot, you can take off the blazer. A good work attire for writers/illustrators is a pair of jeans, a shirt, and a blazer. Linda Rohrbough says that you want the editors to think you just left your computer to meet with them. Be comfortable. If you feel better being all dressed up, dress up. It’s important for you to be comfortable and feel distinguished.
Check your laptop, iPad, or iPhone. Charge its battery. Purchase a portable disc drive or flash drive. Most of them are USB port compatible. Copy your full manuscripts of the Works in Progress and other pertinent information you may need for the conference to a portable drive. If you use Dropbox, you can put your manuscripts in it on your main computer. Add the Dropbox app to your iPad or other electronic device. You can see your manuscript from all devices. Check it out before you leave home.
At the Conference
Take notes using your new spiral notebook or composition book or take notes on your laptop or other device. 2.Hand out business cards.
Hand out business cards to everyone with whom you talk. Ask for their business cards, too. This will give you resources to check after the conference. The more you do this, the more comfortable and natural it will be for you. Make a goal of handing out at least 10-30 cards and getting an equal number in exchange. 3.Talk to people sitting beside you in a workshop.
Do you feel lonely and out of touch with people? Talk to the people who sit beside you in the workshops. Exchange names, email addresses, and business cards with them. Here are possible questions to start your conversation:
“What are you writing?”
“Are you in writing group? Is it online or face-to-face?”
“How do you find time to write (illustrate)?”
“Do you (draw) write best in the morning or at night?” 4. If you meet a publisher or agent, ask them questions about themselves and their projects.
If you happen to meet an agent or editor in the elevator or at lunch, remember he/she is human, like you. Ask one of these questions or one of your own:
“What is your favorite project right now?”
“How do you know when a book is right for you?”
“What’s your advice for writers(illustrators)?” 5. Be ready to answer questions about your writing with a pitch.
After your question for an editor or agent, there is a great possibility he/she will ask you, “What kind of writing do you do?” This is a perfect lead in for your pitch. Hold your head high. Look the editor/agent in the eye. Pretend he’s your best friend and tell him your pitch. 6. Take a short walk for exercise in between sessions. 7. Get plenty of sleep. 8. Eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Drink plenty of water. This will keep you alert and focused. 9. Enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can. 10. List twenty things for which you are thankful each morning before you get out of bed. 11. Thank the presenters and the organizers
Tell the presenters and organizers what you liked about the conference. Make suggestions for improvements. 12. If you a book inspires you at the workshop, buy it or ask for it at your public library.
After the Conference
1. Sleep, if you’re tired.
Accept yourself and others as you are. Focus on what you want. Be thankful for what you have. Be grateful for where you are. Put the fun back into your writing.
2. After you’ve rested, read and organize your notes from each workshop.
Edit your notes and add information from your handouts. You can scan pertinent information from the handouts into your computer. Write at least three major things you learned from each workshop. You can write down more details if you want.
3. Make a top ten list of things that you learned at the overall conference.
4. Write/Revise Your Writing/Illustrating Goals
After this information soaks into your mind, body, and spirit, write/revise three writing/illustrating goals using the skills and information you learned. (Be patient with yourself.)
5. Writing Skill/Genre Goals
a) Read ten books in your chosen genre and three books on the craft of writing and/or illustrating.
b) Revise your favorite manuscript and submit it to an editor or agent.
6. Marketing Goals
a) Learn a new technology.
b) Submit manuscripts/sample illustrations to different agents and/or editors often.
c) Join my Pub Subbers Yahoo Group, a group to encourage you to submit your manuscript/portfolio often (monthly if possible). To join, write me and tell me why you would like to join at email@example.com. Members post successes, ask other members for help. etc. Members receive automated reminders for the weekly steps to get your work ready for submission.
d) Prepare a book presentation for schools/organization.
e) Prepare a proposal to present a workshop for a writing conference.
f) Prepare a pitch for a manuscript. Go from a page summary and then focus on the words to hook readers. Keep shortening your pitch: 200-100-50-25 words. The ultimate goal is a pitch that is 140 characters long (approximately 25 words) that fits in Twitter. If you have all these different lengths, you will have a pitch to use in your cover letter, proposal, and for the rave blurbs for the back cover of your book. Your pitch is the magnetic tool that will entice people to buy your book.
g) Prepare a post card, business card, bookmark, signature for email to promote you and your writing. Use your book titles and pitch blurbs.
7. Networking Goals
a) Create a website and/or blog.
b) Join a critique group that focuses on genres you write or illustrate.
c) Give book presentations/workshops for schools and organizations
d) Create an author/illustrator page on Facebook and post news of your publishing journey.
e) Create a Twitter Account. Twitter your blog posts and your publishing news.
f) Visit the website of three people who shared a business card with you. Email them. Here are possible points to include in your email. Remind them of how you enjoyed talking with them. Thank them for sharing a resource. Congratulate them on their manuscript or book. Compliment them for being brave if they read their story at open mike. Thank them for giving you a new way to look at a problem.
g) Make a list of your followers on Facebook and Twitter. When you get your book published, they will be helpful in spreading the word about your book. Interact with at least 25 of them on a regular basis.
I wish you much success at your next conference. I know you will discover that preparation is definitely the key to your success at a conference.
Thank you for reading my blog. Each time you read one of my articles, you honor me. I hope your success is better than you ever imagined.
Results of Giveaway:
Four people left a comment on this blog post before Midnight, October 16, 2018:
Linda Andersen Gutheil left a comment, but asked not to be entered in this contest. So that left the following 3 people in this contest.
Random.org chose number 3. Therefore, Shawn Simon won.
Congratulations!!! Shawn Simon, please let me know which book you would prefer: Flip Flap Floodle,Joan’s Elder Care Guide, or 80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzle for Year B.
I had a Facebook Comment Plugin (software for comments), but the comments kept disappearing. So I copied them into the comments below. I’ve uninstalled the Facebook Comment Plugin. Sorry for any confusion or problem this may have caused you.
The regular comments should work now. All you have to do is sign your name. I added where you can sign in with WordPress, Google Plus, Facebook, or Twitter to leave a comment. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have problems leaving a comment. Thank you very much.
Never Give Up Live with Enthusiasm Do Something Fun for You TODAY!!! Celebrate Each Step You Take
“80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B-New Release” by Joan Y. Edwards
I am excited to announce the release of my latest book: 80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B. Perfect for Grades 4-8. It has puzzles for each Sunday of the Year, including Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B contains puzzles with short devotionals and solutions for Grades 4-8. There is one puzzle for each Sunday of the liturgical year and a few extra.
Church leaders, teachers, and parents use them for church bulletins, Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, and home Bible Study.
Each puzzle is based on a particular Gospel scripture and has a short devotional. The puzzles are page 1-80. The solutions begin on page 81 with four solutions on each page. The book is 8.5 x 11 inches.
Buyer’s License. I hereby give permission to any person who purchases a copy of 80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year Bto print as many copies of each puzzles as he/she needs for personal, classroom, or church use.
I dedicated this book to God and His Children. I first created Gospel-Based puzzles and devotionals in 2002. In caring for my mother, sometimes she wasn’t able to get to church. I thought children who might not get to church might want to work these puzzles online or print them out at home. I am very thankful that Father Thomas Meehan agreed to let me add them to the website of St. John Neumann Catholic Church website in Charlotte, North Carolina. That inspired me to take a course and I set up my own website to put the puzzles and devotionals there.
I added short devotionals in 2005 to make them more meaningful. In 2018 I began putting these puzzles in book format to make them more convenient and hopefully reach a bigger audience. I hope you enjoy working these puzzles.
Hearing from you makes me smile. I appreciate your reviews because they let me and others know what you like or don’t like. Your opinions matter.
My middle school students request these crossword puzzles every week in Sunday School. They also like the corresponding word search puzzles to build their word bank. They even ask for more puzzles to keep them busy during school breaks. No one complains about students asking for more Bible study.
…Pamela Bryson, Ph.D.
I have used Joan’s crosswords from time to time in our parish newsletter. They are very useful and informative and cover the entire liturgical year.
…Ken Chang On – St. Anthony’s Parish
Petit Valley, Trinidad & Tobago
Joan Y. Edwards is author/illustrator of Flip Flap Floodle, humorous folktale about a happy little duck who never gives up on his song. She is author of 4RV Publishing’s Joan’s Elder Care Guide packed with practical caregiving ideas. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Carl.
You are a child of God. He loves you very much!
Never Give Up! JoanY.Edwards email@example.com
Winner of Giveaway
Three people left a comment on this post before midnight September 16, 2018:
Linda Andersen Comment
Thank you very much for giving life to my blog! Random.org chose Number 3.
Therefore, the choice of a free paperback copy of Flip Flap Floodle,Joan’s Elder CareGuide, or80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B goes to Linda Andersen. Congratulations, Linda. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your choice.
On June 7, 2018 I had a new exhilarating experience! Park Road Books called and asked for 16 more copies of Joan’s Elder Care Guide for a customer! 16 copies…16 copies…16 copies!
Here’s a picture of me with the 16 copies of the book
and of John Osborne with Park Road Books accepting the copies!
I was so excited that the roof came off our house and I went flying through the air. Thank you, Park Road Books for believing in me and Joan’s Elder Care Guide.
Thank you to the customer who ordered 16 copies to give to participants at a workshop for caregivers! May God give them all the help they need!
A couple of weeks later, Pat Mayhew, the lady who bought the 16 copies emailed me. She and Nina Arten, coordinators for the “Parenting Your Parents” workshop invited me to be a presenter! Oh my goodness!
Of course, I said, “YES. It would be an honor to be a presenter for the workshop.”
I am super excited. I am a featured author on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Arts on the Ridge, Literary Festival at the Century House, 170 S Dogwood Ave in Ridgeway, SC from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. I’ll do readings from Flip Flap Floodle and Joan’s Elder Care Guide at 10:45 am. I will be able to answer a few questions, too. I hope you’ll stop by if you’re in the area. I’ll have copies of both books for sale. I’ll be happy to autograph them for you. I’d love to see your smiling face. 11 other authors (bios below) will be there on Saturday to greet you, too. Come join us for a great time. Free parking is available in the Cotton Yard. Ridgeway merchants will be offering show specials throughout the town. The 12th Annual Arts on the Ridge Art Show & Sale will be held on May 4th and 5th in downtown Ridgeway, SC. This year’s theme “Opening Doors to the Arts and Beauty of Small Town Life” has inspired yarnbombing of 15 downtown objects, a Literary Festival with a gallery of 12 published authors, a juried photography, juried plein air painting and open art show & sale featuring cash prizes. “We are so wealthy,” explained event Chair, Phyllis Gutierrez. “Our community is so blessed with a treasure chest of talented painters, sculptors, photographers, and artists that it is easy to overlook the large number of published authors that live here among us. This year we are excited to be including and celebrating the literary side of art with a gallery of 12 published authors who will be available for book signings and one-on-one discussions of their craft.” The St. Stephen’s Art and Fiber Guild will be covering trees, lampposts, benches, road signs, rocking chairs and more with colorful yarn craft in an effort to make a statement regarding how important arts and crafts are to the community. Friday evening, May 4th from 6 to 8 p.m., visitors are invited to preview the art exhibition and sale and vote for the People’s Choice award. A juried photography show and sale and a juried plein air painting show and sale are on exhibit along with the open art categories both Friday evening and all day on Saturday at the Century House. Vendors featuring hand crafted items will be located on the Century House grounds.
This event is over.
Saturday, May 5 events will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with performances by students from Geiger Elementary School. At 10:20 visitors can enjoy a presentation by Doug and Louise Ruff, members of the Go Forth Ridgeway Chapter of the Institute for Cultural Communication.
The Literary Festival will kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday with authors scheduled to be on hand from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Century House. The Authors Gallery includes published authors Johnny Bloodworth, Tim Conroy, Lisa Anne Cullen, Joan Y. Edwards, Mike Long III, James D. McCallister, Beaty Miller, Betty Parker, Tom Poland, Raegan Teller, Marv Ward and Millie West. The authors will also be public speakers for our “Meet Me On The Porch” feature at these scheduled times: Ward 10:30am, Edwards 10:45am, Conroy 11:00am, Teller 11:15am, Bloodworth 11:30am, Parker 11:45am, Long 12:00 noon, Cullen 12:15pm, West 12:30pm, McCallister 12:45pm, Miller 1:00pm and Poland 1:15pm. Here are bios of Featured Authors:
JOHNNY BLOODWORTH says, “We Southerners are more a product of our place and time than other aspects of our being. I am a storyteller, and when I tell a story, I need to connect to place and time. My roots are Georgia, but South Carolina is home. My places are Columbia where I grew up and worked, and the Cedar Creek community near Blythewood where my wife Sandra and I have lived for forty-five years. Before writing Gift, my story telling consisted of turning an incident or a joke into a tale about friends or family. Gift added discipline to the creative process.”www.deedspublishing.com/bloodworth/
TIM CONROYis a former special education teacher, school administrator, and vice president of the South Carolina Autism Society. His poetry, essays, and fiction have been published in literary journals, magazines, and compilations, including Fall Lines, University of Georgia Press, Auntie Bellum, Jasper, Blue Mountain Review, and Marked by Water. In 2017, Muddy Ford Press published his first book of poetry, Theologies of Terrain, edited by Ed Madden, poet laureate of the City of Columbia. A founding board member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center established in his brother’s honor, Conroy lives and writes in Columbia.www.southerncollectiveexperience.com/tim-conroy/
LISA ANNE CULLENis the author or editor of eight children’s books and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing for children and pairs this passion with her love of illustration, art, photography, and screenwriting. Cullen has won awards for her artistic and written works and finds pure joy in connecting with the natural world. Her author-illustrated, picture book folktales Little Orange Honey Hood and Three Wild Pigs are being released through the University of South Carolina Press/Young Palmetto Books spring and fall of 2018.www.lisaannecullen.com/
JOAN Y. EDWARDSis the author/illustrator of folktale Flip Flap Floodle, a happy little duck who never gives up on his song even in Mr. Fox’s belly. She is author of 4RV Publishing’s Joan’s Elder Care Guide. It is full of practical hints and resources to promote healing and make care-giving easier. She has a Master of Arts in Education and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Charlotte Writers Club. She and her husband, Carl watch humorous mysteries, like Columbo and Monk. They relax at the beach and in the mountains. Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up!www.joanyedwards.com/
MCKENDREE R. (Mike) LONG IIIis a retired soldier with two combat tours and the author of several Western novels: Brodie, Higher Ground, Dog Soldier Moon, and No Good Like It Is. His awards include the Parachutist Badge and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He and his wife Mary have two married daughters, four grandchildren, and four great-grands. He holds a BS in Business Administration and is also a retired financial consultant. He’s a member of Western Writers of America, South Carolina Writers Association, and SERTOMA.www.mckendreelong.com/
JAMES D. McCALLISTER, besides working as a media archivist, newspaper columnist, small business owner and educator, is the author of numerous academic and magazine publications. His fiction efforts are highlighted by a short story collection and four novels including his latest, Dogs of Parsons Hollow (Mind Harvest Press, 2018). Along with a number of awards for short fiction, McCallister’s upcoming novel Dixiana (2019) was a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom award. A lifelong South Carolinian, McCallister resides in West Columbia, SC, with his wife Jenn and their beloved brood of cats, muses all.www.jamesdmccallister.com/
BEATY MILLERbroke the Mennonite tradition of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and continued her education past eighth grade and graduated from high school—the first to do so in her family. At nineteen years of age, she accepted the position to teach at a parochial school. Later, she resumed a full-time job as a secretary. After a promotion to the office manager, Miller started classes at Reading Area Community College and earned an Associate Degree to become a registered nurse. She began a twenty-year geriatrics career, ending as a Personal Care Home Administrator. After Miller and her husband relocated to Rock Hill, she wrote her memoir, My Last Name is Grace.www.waterfallsofgrace.org/
BETTY PARKERis a professional speaker, author, and trainer. In 2006, she started Sharper Development Solutions, Inc., a training and development company specializing in leadership skills training and coaching. Betty is a regular guest host on WLXC-FM’s “N Touch” community affairs program and is often sought out as a speaker for conferences and events. She is at work on her next book, Defeating Goliath: A Lesson in Solving People Problems. Parker is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) through the Association for Talent Development and a Certified Professional Coach.www.thesharpersolution.com/
TOM POLAND, a Southern writer, has works appearing in magazines throughout the South. Among his recent books are Classic Carolina Road Trips From Columbia, Georgialina, A Southland, As We Knew It, and Reflections of South Carolina, Vol. II. Swamp Gravy, Georgia’s Official Folk Life Drama, staged his play, Solid Ground. Poland writes a weekly column for newspapers and journals about the South, its people, traditions, lifestyle, and changing culture and speaks to groups across South Carolina and Georgia. He’s the editor of “Shrimp, Collards & Grits,” a Lowcountry lifestyle magazine. His new book, South Carolina Country Roads, will be released April 16, 2018. Tom lives in Columbia, South Carolina.www.tompoland.net/
RAEGAN TELLER is the award-winning author of the Enid Blackwell series. Murder in Madden (Pondhawk Press, 2016) was her debut novel, followed by The Last Sale (2018). Both mystery novels were inspired by real-life cold cases in Columbia, where she lives with her husband and two cats. Teller writes about small town intrigue, family secrets, and tales of murder, and uses fiction to bring closure where there was none in real-life. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Queens University, Charlotte, and a member of Sisters in Crime, South Carolina Writers Association, and Charlotte Writers Club. More info atwww.RaeganTeller.com
MARV WARD, “Reverend,” a blues and Americana singer, songwriter, and guitarist, has performed throughout the United States with some of the most well-known musical artists. Listed in An Encyclopedia of South Carolina Jazz and Blues Musicians, Ward writes poetry with the same passion with which he composes his songs. His latest collection “One Lone Minstrel,” represents some earlier work, as well as recent efforts. A native of Lorton, Virginia, Ward lives in Columbia, South Carolina, and has two sons. He previously served in the United States Naval Reserve and has worked in broadcast and educational television throughout North and South Carolina.www.marvward.com/index.html
MILLIE WEST is a South Carolina history buff who has spent countless hours exploring the rich historical vestiges of her home state. She is the author of two novels, The Cast Net and Catherine’s Cross. In 2018, a second novel in The Cast Net trilogy, Of Sun and Rain will be released. Millie has also written three screenplays, an adaptation of her novel Catherine’s Cross, and Amelia Was Here! Her third screenplay, Dr. Portia, chronicles the life of Dr. Portia Lubchenco, the first female graduate of the NC Medical College. West is an University of South Carolina graduate and resides with her family near Columbia. More info atwww.milliewestauthor.com
I’d love to hear from you. Click comment below and scroll down.
“Engage Readers with a Lively Long Bio ” by Joan Y. Edwards
I wrote Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries. I’m sure you may ask, “What about the bio for the back of my book? What about the bio for my website? ” Today I explain ways to engage readers with a lively long bio section on the back of your book known as: About the Author. With some books this information is inside the cover, or in a page near the end of the book. It may also be the About the Author page on your website.
Write a draft biography. Brainstorm and list every single detail you can think of that makes you proud to be you. What helped you write your book?
Part A Professional photo of you. Make sure it is 300 resolution so it shows up clearly.
Part B About the Author for Nonfiction
If you wrote a nonfiction book, put appropriate information that helps readers realize that you are definitely qualified to write this book.
Past Professional, Business, or Work experience
Current Profession or Business (Membership in Professional organizations, like SCBWI, RWA)
Education – List this only if it proves you are qualified to write this book
Part C About the Author for Fiction/Nonfiction
Special Recognition, Accomplishments, and Awards (Brag humbly)
Publications: Titles of Books, Title of Series, Names of Magazines that published your work
Live with husband, wife, children, pets
Where you live
Hobbies and special interests
What you love to do when you’re not working
Your favorite charity and why
Personal Experiences that make you the best one to write this book (research)
Contact information: website, email address, phone number
Dave Chesson states: “The general consensus on word count is aim for 75 words, but definitely don’t go above 150.” If you have a whole page in a book for your bio or you want to give more information about you on your website or blog, here is an idea for formatting your draft. Make your long bio two or three paragraphs. Begin with most powerful bit of information about you. Something spectacular to capture the interest of the reader. A hook.
Make the first paragraph 3-5 lines. Start with an eye-opening statement…the most powerful bit of information about you and your book(s). Write something spectacular to capture the interest of the reader. A hook.
Five to seven lines is a good length for the main paragraph in a bio. You don’t want all paragraphs this long. Vary the length if you’re using more than 3 paragraphs.
One to three lines for last paragraph
BIOS TO STUDY
Below are bios from Amazon, bios from author’s websites, and bios from BookBrowse.com for you to study. Four bios of authors on Amazon: Hoda Kotbauthor of I’ve Loved You Forever. Amazon author information.
Hoda Kotb is the Daytime Emmy Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, and duPont-Columbia Award-winning Today show co-anchor and Dateline NBCcorrespondent. Hoda is the author of two adult New York Times bestselling books, including Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee. Of all her accomplishments, her proudest moment is the adoption of a baby girl, Haley Joy, in February 2017. She lives in New York City with her boyfriend, Joel Schiffman. James Patterson author of All American Murder, Amazon author information. James Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at twenty-four college and universities. He has also donated millions of dollars to independent bookstores and school libraries. Sophie Kinsella, Author of Surprise Me. Amazon author information.
Sophie Kinsellais the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life. She lives between London and the country. Danielle Steel, Author of Fall from Grace. Amazon author bio. Danielle Steelhas been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels in print. Her many international bestsellers include The Mistress, The Award, Rushing Waters, Magic, Blue, Undercover, Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s books, Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.
Book Browse.com Bio Examples
Book Browse.comhas many examples of Author Biographies. Most of them are short bios, but a few are long. Bios from Author’s Websites Most of the following examples of author biographies are too long for the back of the book or for the inside flap of the cover of a book. By studying them you will gain ideas for your author bio. Print them out. If it is too crowded with information, cross out the non-essential parts. Err on the side of brevity and keep the interest of the reader.
Examples of Author Biographies from their websites.
See what you think. Search for your favorite author’s bio. It’ll give you hints as what to include.
I hope this information inspires you and encourages you to enjoy sharing what makes you tick with your audience…your readers. Enjoy being an author. There is no one like you. Resources about writing your author bio:
Never Give Up Thank you for reading this blog. If you’ve read her books, Joan would appreciate a book review on Amazon! Flip Flap Floodle, Will his song save Flip from Mr. Fox? Joan’s Elder Care GuideA guide to give caregivers and elders the help they need to never give up.
Thank you for reading Joan’s blog. She’d love to hear from you. Click below and scroll down to the bottom and tell her what you think or leave a link to your long bio.
Hurray for you! You have a finished manuscript! Now, you can get ready to submit your manuscript to a publisher or an agent. Here are seven steps I recommend you go through before you submit your manuscript. Seven Steps Before You Submit Your Manuscript
Write a pitch/logline/summary for your manuscript.
Get your manuscript critiqued by a critique partner or a critique group, chapter by chapter. If you have the funds, pay a professional editor. Ask for titles of books he has edited in your manuscript’s genre. Make sure you like what he’s done with other books in your genre. Remember that someone who does an outstanding job of editing picture books might not do as well with romance novels.
When you feel that your manuscript is the best you can do at this particular time with the knowledge and skills you have, submit it to a publisher or agent who accepts unsolicited manuscripts.
Find a publisher or agent who accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Read their guidelines.
Write a query or cover letter. If your manuscript is non-fiction, write a proposal, too.
Follow the submission guidelines for the chosen publisher or agent.
a. Write a query letter (no manuscript included) b. Write a cover letter to accompany your manuscript
c. Write a proposal if it’s a nonfiction book.
7. Submit according to the guidelines of the chosen publisher or agent
a. Snail Mail – U.S. Postal Service b. Email c. Submission form on website
Good luck! Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!
Never Give Up
Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of one of my books. I appreciate your confidence and support. May many good things happen to you because of your kindness to me. Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox? Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders never give up
“Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries” by Joan Y. Edwards Sandra Warren, one of my loyal followers asked me to write a blog about what to put in the bio section of a query letter to a literary agent. It could also be used for the bio inside a cover letter to an editor. Heather Hummel at Huffington Post advises you to read your bio aloud after you write them. Wonderful advice. Chuck Sambuchino says a bio is more important for a non-fiction work. Editors and Agents want to know your personal credentials. Why are you qualified to write this book? Give facts to support the sentence: I am the best person to write this book. Make your 3 sentence bio sound professional. Write it in the first person. Use only three or four sentences. Cover the three power areas listed below:
1.Personal Interest and Experience
I am the best person to write this book.
Tell why you wrote this book. Tell about your personal interests and experience in this particular field related to the subject of the manuscript or article you are submitting.
Your book is about biking: Tell about your interest in biking and places you biked. Don’t tell about where you’ve traveled by boat or by airplane. It’s not related to biking.
If your book is about a certain community, tell how you know about this community. If you lived there, mention that.
I qualify to write this book because I have expert skills and knowledge in this subject that I attained through extensive research, experience, education, or occupation.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular field…to become an expert. If you study for 8 hours each day, your 10,000 hours would be up in 1,250 days or about 3.5 years. So I believe if you study a subject for 3.5 years, you probably know a great deal about it.
Explain your skills and knowledge of the subject of your manuscript. Tell your main job, training, education, degree, published article, short story, or novel related to the subject.
If it’s about business marketing, mentioning a Master’s Degree in Business is a great idea.
If your book is about teaching and you’ve never taught or taken classes, why would people want to read what you’ve written?
3. Formal Awards and Other Achievements
The best reason I qualify to write this book.
Showcase your formal achievements related to the subject of your manuscript. If you have many achievements, highlight your best accomplishment.
Ginny Wiehardt gives samples from published and unpublished writers. Nancy, a university instructor helped students improve their 3 sentence bios in her class. I found these helpful.
I found 18 resources to help you study the short bio to include to power pack your bio in your query to a prospective agent. If you put the subject of your book and your draft 3 sentence bio, I’ll be glad to give you ideas to improve your bio in my reply. Other readers may give you their opinions, too, if you like.
When you write a blog post, it has an area where you put keywords, buzzwords, topics in your post.
In my blog posts, I may put as few as three keywords. They say you shouldn’t use more than 15 keywords. Your keywords probably fit into categories. However, you would usually designate one or two keywords to use with hashtags.
Hashtag is the symbol #. For this post, I made only one hashtag. Here are the keywords: #hashtags, keywords, marketing, where to put hashtags, and more traffic. You can find them listed at the end of this blog post.
Twitter uses the number symbol beside a word to denote it as the keyword in a Twitter feed (post). Other social media show these hashtags, too.
In your future blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter posts you might want to add the hashtag symbol to one or two of the most important keywords. It may lead more traffic your way. Andrew Hutchinson explains that TrackMaven did a study of 65,000 posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and found that Tweets using more than two hashtags see a significant drop in engagement whereas Instagram seems to handle more words with hashtags. Maddy Osman says that whenever a user adds a hashtag to a post, it’s indexed by the social network and becomes searchable by other users. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, it takes them to a page listing all posts with that same hashtag. If a keyword picks up enough followers, it may become “trending.”
The following three websites will help you find relevant hashtags for the main topics or categories in your posts. You can check different hashtags to see if others are already following it:
Choose to add a filter, then type # followed by text or emoji in the Caption field (example: #flower)
If you want to add a hashtag to a post you’ve already uploaded, edit the caption or include your hashtag in a comment on your photo.
Where do you add Hashtags on Facebook?
On Facebook, add a hashtag to the end of your post. To make a hashtag, write # (the number sign – sometimes called the pound sign) along with a topic or phrase and add it to the end of your post. It makes it a clickable link to other posts from you and your friends on Facebook. For example: I just saw the cutest puppy! #dogs
Thank you to the two people left comments on this blog before midnight Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
Carol Federlin Baldwin
Random.org chose number two therefore, Carol Baldwin won the paperback copy of Children’s Writer’s Word Book (1992) by Alijandra Mogilner. Congratulations, Carol. Please send me your snail mail address and I will mail it to you. I appreciate your reading my blog and leaving a comment. You make me smile.