Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For Writers

Be Your Own Book Doctor--Great revision checklist from Janice Hardy.

Strange Chemistry Unagented Submissions--All YA genres. Deadline is October 31.

30 Writing Tips from Famous Authors

Ernest Hemingway

Friday, September 6, 2013

Write Tight

One of the most effective ways to tighten your writing is to eliminate thought verbs and sense verbs--the little filter words that provide an extra layer between your character and the reader. Sometimes these words are necessary, but most of the time cutting them will strengthen your writing, making it less wordy and less passive, without changing the meaning.

Here's a list of some of the culprits: felt, think, know, understand, realize, believe, want, remember, imagine, desire, wonder, watch, look, see, hear, listen, notice, spot, figure, seem.

Also watch out for these empty words: start to, begin to, that, just, really, well.

Quick example:
Change: I watched the girl start to walk across the room.
To: The girl walked across the room.
Or even better: The girl crossed the room.

If you can cut a word/phrase without changing the meaning, you should cut it. Check out this great post by Cheryl Klein for more examples.

And if you can't simply cut the thought verb because it's the only verb in the sentence (something like, "I felt happy"), the sentence should probably be revised anyway. Writers are always told to show instead of tell, and unpacking the sentence as Chuck Palahniuk describes in this post is a great way to do that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For Book Lovers

17 problems only book lovers will understand. Click here.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Nice Surprise

Click here to see the winners of the August Mystery Agent contest on Operation Awesome. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Contest Update

Check out the winners of the Teen Eyes Editorial contest. Here, here and here. A nice surprise for a Monday. :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Awesome Opportunities for Writers

3 teen editors on 3 blogs with 3 prizes. 
Submit your logline, query and first page for the chance to win critiques from three teen editors. Click here for details. Submissions end August 7.

Free online conference for YA and MG writers from August 13-14. Forums are already open for critiques and more. Click here and here for details. 

WriteOnCon/Reading Room Aspiring Writers’ Competition
Submit the first 500 words of your MG/YA/NA novel for the chance to win $1000. Click here for details. Submissions end August 16.

Quirk Books "Looking For Love" Fiction Contest
Submit your novel-length unconventional love story for the chance to win $10,000 and publication by Quirk Books. Click here for details. Deadline is October 1.

Giant Giveaway on YA Highway

Click here for the chance to win ARCs, books, critiques and more from YA Highway as they celebrate their 4th anniversary.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss

By Stephanie Perkins

Anna has the perfect life in Atlantaloyal best friend, awesome job at a movie theater (her dream is to be a film critic), and things are finally heating up with her long-time crush. But her father takes it all away when he sends her to a boarding school in Paris. She expects a miserable senior year, but she's quickly embraced by a group of quirky friends, including Etienne St. Clair. A boy who is utterly charmingand absolutely taken. Knowing she and St. Clair can never be more than friends, Anna does her best to squash her growing feelings. But in the most romantic city in the world, her chance for love may not be as far away as she thinks.

Reading this book felt like devouring a piece of rich dark chocolate—it's delicious and irresistible. It will make you fall in love with Paris. And it will make you fall in love with love. Charming characters, beautiful setting, perfect pacing. I adored it.