Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 by Jacqueline Seewald

Many magazines and newspapers offer a column on recommended summer reading at this time of the year. For a good number of people, vacation provides a welcome chance to catch up on their reading.

The July 11/18, 2016 issue of TIME, for instance, carries three interesting articles on books for summer reading. They include novels, biographies, memoirs—books that span 240 years of history.

One novel in particular is spotlighted: HOMECOMING by Yaa Gyasi, who was inspired to write a novel that begins in Ghana, the home of her birth. It’s an account of slavery stretched over eight generations and two continents. The book got a seven figure advance for the 26-year-old first time novelist. A feminist version of ROOTS perhaps?

Two new books speculate on Melville’s love life. A new novel entitled MONTEREY BAY uses John Steinbeck as a character.

What book(s) do you want to read this summer?
Any book that you would particularly recommend to other readers?

 If you are an author, do you have a book out that you wish to recommend to readers? Your thoughts and comments welcome!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tips for Successful Holiday Writing by Jacqueline Seewald

Holidays represent a great opportunity for writing a nonfiction piece as well as providing setting for a short story or even a novel.

Most nonfiction publications favor holiday submissions, Christmas being the most popular. They love these "evergreen" articles. However, tip number one, make certain to follow the guidelines. Usually magazines and anthologies will give you submission deadlines. Don’t submit either before or after them. It’s an automatic rejection.

Second, if there are no guidelines provided, plan to submit at least six months in advance of the particular holiday--with some publications, even earlier. If you happen to write horror fiction, for instance, October is a great month for publication. However, stories need to be submitted months earlier. Novels are different, of course. But even if you’re self-publishing, you need to figure out how much time is required. You don’t want your Christmas story published on July 4th.

Third, make certain that the reference to the holiday appears both in the submission/query letter as well as the subject line if you’re e-mailing. Editors need the info upfront.

Here is a short story market that specifically wants holiday writing:
King’s River Life which, although not a paying market, publishes numerous holiday mystery stories and gives exposure in the form of publicity:

 Are there any holidays you particularly like to read or write about?