Springs Writers provides a FREE conference-quality workshop the first Monday of each month (except December, July & August) from 6:00–7:45 pm, Woodmen/Academy Hobby Lobby Classroom Room [against back wall behind "Employee Only" double doors], 6950 North Academy, Colorado Springs, 80918

Monday, November 17, 2008

Writing Opportunities

Christmas Miracles

Cecil Murphy and Marley Gibson have contracted a book project with St. Martin's Press for a late 2009 release. They are seeking true stories that took place at Christmas. They must revolve around that special time of year. They prefer first-person narratives. This is an excellent opportunity to see your writing in a book with other outstanding authors. You must follow these guidelines:

• Deadline for stories is December 24, 2008.
• All entries must be double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, Word document.
• Stories may run from 900 to 1,300 words. They will not consider longer pieces.
• They will edit all stories they accept so that they have a unified voice.
• Your name will be listed with your story and you'll have a four-line information/resume paragraph at the end of the book.
• Every story must have a positive solution that results from a miracle through events or timing at the Christmas season.
• Every story must have a positive application. That is, you must tell us what you learned from that miracle or how it changed your life.
• You may send an original or a reprint. (If a reprint, please tell us where it was published and assure us that you own the reprint rights.)
If they accept your story, you will retain rights. You'll also receive a $50 honorarium and a free copy of the book when it is released in October 2009. They will offer special discounts for contributors who wish to buy additional books and will send that information to you. Click here to submit your story online.

Short Story and Poetry Contest

The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves to express his or her innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful art of poetry or to write a short story that is worth telling everyone! Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes.

Deadline: December 31, 2008. Winners announced on January 31, 2009

Genre: Poetry and Short Story

Prizes: Poetry Contest First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125. Third Prize: $50.Short Story Writing Contest First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100.

Details: Write an original poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed. And/or write an original short story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, creative writing fiction or non-fiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, must be typed or neatly hand printed. Multiple poetry and short story entries accepted. Writing Contest entry fee: $10 per short story. Poetry Contest entry fee: $5 per poem. Click here for more details.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ACT ONE Program Brings Hollywood to Colorado Springs, CO

Do You Have a Story to Tell?

Each year, thousands of hopefuls flock to Hollywood, dreaming of making it big in the film and television business. This January, a Hollywood-based training program for writers and executives celebrates its 10th Anniversary Year by presenting Act One Training for Hollywood Seminar in Colorado Springs, CO. The seminar, scheduled for January 30-31, 2009, is an intensive weekend program designed to train aspiring writers and producers who are serious about their Christian faith and eager to learn more about how to create culture that respects and enriches a global audience.

This Conference Welcomes Professional and Aspiring Writers, Entrepreneurs, Producers, Entertainment Executives

Act One's ALL-INCLUSIVE Weekend Seminar will be held at the spectacular Glen Eyrie Castle. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, CO, sits a Christian conference and retreat center unlike any other. In addition to keynotes given by Dr. Linda Seger, world-renowned author and script consultant, participants will study the Hollywood storytelling process, from story development to pitching, to the craft of producing spiritually engaging entertainment that is commercially appealing. Writing track participants will learn practical lessons on writing outlines and treatments, on creating compelling characters and stories and on the basics of screenwriting format. Those choosing the business track will cover lessons on the marketplace and commercial creativity and how to option materials.

  • Other topics to be discussed during the conference include:
  • Finding Your Story: Choosing the right stories, understanding genre and what makes your story stand out from the others.
  • The Big Structure Lecture: An overview of the basic three-act structure, illustrated through a breakdown of an epic motion picture.
  • Breaking Into the Business: A frank dialog between workshop participants and our faculty about the business of show business, what it takes to make it as a professional and as a Christian in Hollywood, and next steps for those who believe God is calling them to an entertainment industry career.

In addition to the Seminar, Act One will be hosting a Hollywood Insider Panel and Discussion from 7-10pm on Friday, January 30. Open to the public, the event will feature a presentation on the activity of the church in Hollywood, a keynote address from a high profile Hollywood professional about the challenges of working on the front lines of the culture, and a Hollywood Insider Panel, which will be a provocative, no-holds-barred Q&A about life and work in the world's most influential mission field.

  • Date: Friday, January 30, 2009. 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, January 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Location: Glen Eyrie Castle and Conference Center, 3820 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904

  • Early Bird Registration: $265: includes study materials, meals (Fri. dinner, Sat. breakfast, lunch & dinner) and Hollywood Insider Event
  • $415: includes study materials, meals (Fri. dinner, Sat. breakfast, lunch & dinner, Sun. breakfast), 2 nights stay (Fri. & Sat.) and Hollywood Insider Event. Limited rooms are available.
  • Prices after December 22: $285 & $435
  • For more details, log on to Act One.

Act One, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that has trained Christians of all denominations for careers in mainstream film and television for the past ten years. Stressing artistry, excellence, professionalism, and Christian spirituality, Act One prepares students to pursue careers marked by personal integrity and professional excellence, in writers rooms, on sets, and in studio and network offices. The end goal is not to produce explicitly religious entertainment, but movie and TV projects that respect and serve the global audience, combining mastery of craft with great depth and meaning. Over ten years, Act One has amassed a vast alumni network of writers, producers, directors and entertainment executives who are dedicated to producing excellent work for a global audience.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Free E-Book for Fiction Writers

"Packed full of fine analysis, solid advice, and thoughtful reflection on the state of contemporary publishing. It's further distinguished by more common sense than any book of its type that I have ever read. A treasure." — Dean Koontz, author of Intensity

The Donald Maass Literary Agency (DMLA) in New York City is a literary agency for professional novelists. Author of Writing the Breakout Novel: Winning Advice from a Top Agent and His Bestselling Client,
Donald Maass's pioneering work and writing about the development of fiction careers has made DMLA a leading agency for fiction writers. His agency represents more than 100 novelists and sells more than 100 novels every year to leading publishers in the U.S. and overseas.

Maass is offering the FREE 268 page e-book, The Career Novelist: A Literary Agent Offers Strategies for Success. He writes about—

Chapter 1: The Dream

Chapter 2: The Reality

Chapter 3: Pitching Errors

Chapter 4: Choosing an Agent

Chapter 5: More on Choosing an Agent

Chapter 6: The Marketing Game: How I Sell Novels

Chapter 7: Strategy Session I: Breaking In

Chapter 8: A Tour of the Genres

Chapter 9: Crossover Novels

Chapter 10: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Chapter 11: Self-Promotion or Self-Delusion?

Chapter 12: Strategy Session II: Midcareer Damage Control

Chapter 13: The Bottom Line: Storytelling

Chapter 14: Collaborations

Chapter 15: Packagers and Work-for-Hire

Chapter 16: contracts and Income

Chapter 17: Electronic Rights: Power Source or Static

Chapter 18: Strategy Session III: Managing Success

Chapter 19: Staying Alive in the Land of the Giants

Chapter 20: The Economy and Publishing

Ed Gorman, Mystery Scene, says this e-book is "...an indispensable volume for all libraries, and for anyone interested in learning about the world of publishing."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Submit Your Stories

Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort are great places to submit your stories. To read their writer's guidelines, click on these links: Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort. Here are their upcoming needs and deadlines.

The Golf Book: Chicken Soup for the Soul and Golf Digest are excited to announce a new book for golfers, edited by Max Adler of Golf Digest. Golf is a sport of passion and obsession like none other. We are looking for true personal stories that reflect what the game means to you. Think of the best stories you've told at the 19th hole and share them.

Deadline: December 1, 2008

A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II: Oh, how we humans love our canine companions -- for so many reasons and in so many ways that one Cup of Comfort collection of uplifting dog stories just wasn't enough. So we're giving all you dog-loving writers another opportunity to share your personal stories of canine comfort with a growing legion of dog-loving readers. This volume will feature both serious and humorous anecdotal stories covering a wide range of topics and perspectives and varying breeds of dogs. We do NOT want sad stories about a dog's illness, injury, or death, though we will consider stories that weave a beloved pet's illness or death into an otherwise positive story. The story should focus on the dog's remarkable attributes and/or actions as well as on the special relationship between the dog and his/her human(s).

Deadline: December 15, 2008

Extraordinary Teens: Teenagers can do the most amazing and positive things. They can overcome obstacles and make wonderful contributions to the world. Do you know a teenager who has made a difference? Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories about these terrific teens.

Deadline: December 31, 2008

College Campus Chronicles: Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for true stories and poems about your experiences in college, whether you are in college now, or a recent graduate. Stories about everything from leaving home, to classes, to roommates, to personal growth, to funny moments, to travel abroad...anything you have done in college that you would like to share with other college students.

Deadline: December 31, 2008

What I Learned From The Dog: Chicken Soup for the Soul wants heartwarming and humorous stories about what we learned from our companions and best friends.

Deadline: January 31, 2009

What I Learned From The Cat: Chicken Soup for the Soul wants heartwarming and humorous stories about what we learned from our feline family members.

Deadline: January 31, 2009

A Cup of Comfort for the Grieving Heart: When a loved one passes away, comfort is often fleeting and hard to come by. Yet, even a small comfort, like a personal story of how someone has faced a similar loss, does help to ease the sorrow. This volume will feature uplifting personal stories that reveal the special relationships and extraordinary experiences shared by the deceased and his/her loved one(s) immediately before, during, and after the loved one's passing; it will also includes stories about the internal and external processes by which one deals with and heals from the loss of a loved one. The stories will vary with regard to subject matter, circumstances of death, and the relationship of the author to the individual who has passed away. The book will not include eulogies, profiles/memoirs of people who have passed away, or clinical depictions of death and dying.

Deadline: February 1, 2009

A Cup of Comfort for Fathers: The connection between father and child can be as deep as the ocean, as strong as a mountain, and as uplifting as fresh air. For all its rewards, though, fatherhood is not without its challenges. And for all the gifts dads bring to their kids' lives, dads sometimes falter and fumble. Yet, the father-child bond forms, holds, and grows. A Cup of Comfort for Fathers will feature inspiring and insight true stories about the life-defining and life-enriching relationships and experiences shared by fathers and their children. These personal essays will be of varying topics and tones (heartwarming, humorous, poignant, provocative, etc.); about fathers and children of all ages and varying circumstances; and written by fathers, daughters, and sons.

Deadline: March 1, 2009

Tough Economic Times: We are all going through difficult times right now, some with more dire consequences than others. Chicken Soup for the Soul would like to know what changes you are making in your lives that reflect the times. Are you downsizing, making do with less, discovering new joy in a simpler life? These stories will give you, our readers, inspiration and insight into how others are coping.

Deadline: March 31, 2009

Our Best and Brightest (soldiers and veterans): Chicken Soup for the Soul wants amazing collection of stories from soldiers who defend and protect our country – both active and retired – and from their families who make sacrifices when their loved ones are far away.

Deadline: March 31, 2009

Not Really Retired: Chicken Soup for the Soul wants humorous and fun stories from those who are actively enjoying their "senior years!" Tell about your new careers, your volunteer work, your sports, your travels, and those things you always wanted to do that you are finally doing.

Deadline: June 30, 2009

Dysfunctional Families: Chicken Soup for the Soul wants serious or hilarious, oh so true stories will touch your heart and make you see that even in the most difficult situations, other families are not all that different from your own. Share your stories with others who may realize we all have the same in-laws, siblings, parents, etc. Submit under your real name, but rest assured we expect most of you to use pen names for publication and change the names of family members to protect the innocent (or guilty!).

Deadline: June 30, 2009

Endurance Sports (run,cycle,swim):Whether you are a triathlete, a duathlete, or you just love to swim, run, or cycle, Chicken Soup for the Soul wants to hear about your sports, your races, and how endurance sports fit into your life, whether you are an amateur, a student athlete, or a pro.

Deadline: June 30, 2009

Teachers: We have all had that one teacher who has made a difference in our lives. And teachers, remember that one student who made you know why you decided to be a teacher and who you will never forget? Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories from both teachers and students that will tell that unforgettable story.

Deadline: June 30, 2009

Thanks Dad: Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories of thanks from "children" of all ages about their dads. These stories of innumerable joys and challenges will touch your heart, make you laugh, inspire you and remind you that it doesn't matter how old you are, the job of a parent never ends.

Deadline: June 30, 2009

Thanks Mom: Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories of thanks from "children" of all ages about their moms. These stories of innumerable joys and challenges will touch your heart, make you laugh, inspire you and remind you that it doesn't matter how old you are, the job of a parent never ends.

Deadline: June 30, 2009

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Writing Contests

Franklin-Christoph Poetry Contest

Deadline: November 30, 2008

Genre: Poetry

Prizes: They will award $2500 in total prizes, including the $1000 cash grand prize. 10 Merit Award Winners will receive $150 writing instruments.

Details: Original, unpublished poem of any theme. Limit of 2 entries per contestant. Entries should not exceed 100 lines each.

Scribophile Novel Writing Contest

Deadline: November 30, 2008

Genre: Books

Prizes: First prize: $50 Amazon.com gift card. Second prize: $25 Amazon.com gift card

Details: Your entry must be the first chapter (up to 4,000 words) or first 4,000 words of a piece of long fiction. Your entry doesn't have to be a chapter, but it should not exceed 4,000 words.

The Writer's Digest 9th Annual Short Short Story Competition

Deadline: December 1, 2008.

Genre: Fiction.

Prizes: First Place: $3,000. The First-Place winner has the option of a FREE "Best Seller Publishing Package" from Trafford Publishing, a leading provider of book-publishing services. Second Place: $1,500. Third Place: $500. Fourth Through Tenth Place: $100. Eleventh Through Twenty-Fifth Place: $50 gift certificate for Writer's Digest Books.

Details: They're looking for fiction that's bold, brilliant...but brief. Send your best in 1,500 words or fewer.

Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards

Deadline: December 1, 2008

Genre: Poetry

Prizes: A total of $3,000 in prize money will be awarded to winners in 1st place, 2nd place, and honorable mention categories.

Details: This contest awards cash prizes for poems on the Jewish experience. 1 - 3 original, unpublished poems of no more than ten pages.

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Deadline: December 7, 2008

For: Full-time US college undergraduates

Genre: Nonfiction

Prizes: $5000, $2500, $1500 and 2 honorable mentions $500.

Details: 3000–4000 word essays.

The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest is an annual competition designed to challenge college students to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today's complex world. Students are encouraged to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues and are rational arguments for ethical action. This year's suggested topics are:

  • What does your own experience tell you about the relationship between politics and ethics and, in particular, what could be done to make politics more ethical?
  • Articulate with clarity an ethical issue you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself.
  • Carefully examine the ethical aspects or implications of a major literary work, a film or a significant piece of art.
  • Clearly analyze the relationship between religion and ethics in today's world.
  • How does a recent political or cultural event shed light on the ethics of rebellion/revolution?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Accomplish Your Writing Goals

Write a Novel in a Month

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Not a Fiction Writer?

  • Set your own writing goal.
  • Blog every day.
  • Write 50,000 words on your nonfiction book.
  • Write a nonfiction book proposal.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. In 2007, over 100,000 individuals participated in NaNoWriMo. More than 15,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline. For details, log on to http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Too Busy to Write for a Solid Month? Try One Week Each Month

Try Book-In-A-Week (BIW). Their motto? BIC HOK TAM means butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly. One week each month, you write like crazy. Then edit the other three weeks.
BIW connects writers through a list created at Yahoo. You decide your own writing goals, and then submit them to the list the week prior to BIW. During BIW, writers write as much as they can and post their daily totals to the list. They schedule each month's writing week a year in advance. Some writers participate every month. Others only participate a few times a year.