Friday, January 27, 2012

Do You Have the New Market Guide?



This week I received my copy of The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012. When it arrives in my mailbox, it reminds me that it is a new year. Forget the writing mistakes of the past and start anew.
This book of 550-plus pages is a wealth of information on the writing markets in the Christian publishing field. It is divided into four sections: book and periodical publishers, specialty markets and helps for writers. In the last section you will find listings of editorial services, agents, contests and writers’ groups. You can also sign up to receive the guide automatically each year and freeze the current price (does not include postage).
Sally Stuart expertly compiled this book for over 25 years. It is now owned and produced by Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.
In the introduction, we read that there are 384 book publishers and 582 periodicals listed in the new guide. So, set aside some time, make a cup of tea, say a prayer for guidance, and look for new writing possibilities.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Splickety: A New Magazine



      
Today I welcome Ben Erlichman to my blog. He is the Executive Editor of the newly launched, Splickety Magazine. Welcome!

What is Splickety Magazine and what is your role?

We at Splickety Magazine (http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/324163) believe it is the premier source for high-quality flash fiction in the United States. We are an imprint of Written World Communications (see next question), a publisher based in Colorado Springs. Each quarterly issue we present compelling flash fiction of 1,000 words or less from best-selling authors and new writers, and everyone in between. Our readers include devoted working professionals, frazzled stay-at-home parents, youths with short attention spans, and anyone else who loves short fiction. If you wish you had more time to read, try Splickety–you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to take in your fiction in smaller bites.
Each issue also features an established, usually best-selling author. Our first issue's featured author is Brandilyn Collins, who graciously allowed us to reprint the introduction to her phenomenal book Over the Edge (http://amzn.to/udyZgq). We also have agreements from authors like James L. Rubart, Robert Liparulo, Eric Wilson, Tosca Lee, and Mary DeMuth to submit stories as featured authors for future issues of the magazine.
I'm the executive editor, which means that I'm responsible for obtaining, selecting, and editing submissions for Splickety, as well as overseeing the imprint as a whole.

Give us some background on Written World Communications.

Written World Communications (WWC) (written-world.com) was founded only a few years ago by Kristine Pratt and Dale Hansen to give more writers a chance to be published, especially those whose books don’t quite "fit" in either the secular or Christian markets, but instead land somewhere in between. To date, we have more than ten imprints, most of which feature both magazine and book lines. Our most recognizable publications are:


We have also published a few books since our inception, including Bliss (http://amzn.to/xI88ow), which was a finalist for the 2011 Next Generation Indie Award for Humor. We also published An Uncommon Crusade (http://amzn.to/wiWUhM) which won the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the category of Religious Fiction. We recently published two new books: New Blood: The Calling of the Blood (http://amzn.to/yqOaEt) and Stinky Stevens: The Plight of the One-Armed Barbie (http://amzn.to/x7Alta).

Are you a paying publication?

Splickety is a paying publication. For our first issue we based our payment on word count (i.e. 700 words = $7.00) for one-time rights. I hope to be able to increase that rate now that we have an issue out and I have a better grasp of how everything works.
How can one submit to Splickety?


Submitting to Splickety is easy. All you have to do is follow our submission guidelines (see the answer to the next question for details) and email me directly at splickety.wwc@gmail.com.

What type of stories are you looking for and where can one find guidelines?
You can find submission guidelines here:
http://bit.ly/qtgMId. As far as types of stories, at this point I will not turn anything down solely based on its genre. If you read our first issue you'll find romance, contemporary, women's fiction, speculative fiction, horror/action-adventure, and suspense. I guess I would prefer if the Christian message in the story isn't very overt, but other than that, I'm pretty flexible. In short, I'm open to just about anything as long as it is well-written and compelling. If it doesn't hold my attention, though, then I won't publish it.

Is there any wiggle room on the word count parameters for Splickety submissions?

Actually, not much. I want to keep the magazine's size consistent, so I'm maintaining those standards for the time being. That means that I can't accept submissions of over 1,000 words. The exception to this rule is when I receive stories from our issue's featured author(s). They get more flex because they're helping the magazine get more exposure by submitting, as they can put it out to their readers as something they should consider.


Is Splickety accepting submissions for novels, novellas, or collections of short stories?
Unfortunately we aren't at this time. Splickety is primarily a flash fiction imprint in magazine form. While we may accept submissions for the above types of work in the future, we are focusing on developing the magazine for the time being. Those interested in submitting other works can look at the WWC website for more information on who to contact, or if you can't figure that out, send me a quick note with the genre and a 25-word (or less) hook for the story and I'll get it to the right person within the organization.
How did Splickety come about?

I came up with the idea for Splickety Magazine this past summer, because I noticed a hole in the publishing industry, as well as a void in what WWC offered its readers. Perhaps I'm just ignorant, but I haven't found any mainstream flash fiction publications that showcase authors who write from a Christian worldview. So, I contacted Kristine Pratt, the CEO of WWC, and asked her if I could start the magazine through WWC. To my surprise, she not only said yes, but she also gave me a budget and equipped me to actually create the magazine.

Describe the publishing process for your first issue of Splickety.

I started by putting the word out that I needed submissions, through all of my connections and channels I’ve made by attending the annual ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference. (I actually handed out business cards to authors to try to get them to submit). All in all, I managed to come up with more than enough submissions to choose from. I picked out the ones I thought would fit our first magazine (and give us a nice variety), and then I edited them.

I have my own layout person who assisted with creating Splickety's logo and the layout/design of the magazine. I sent him the stories, the author bios and pictures, and he put them together so they made sense. We had plenty of snags the first time through, but in the end we came up with a fantastic magazine that is getting some great reviews (nothing official yet) from our readers.

Do any staff members of WWC attend conferences where writers can meet them?

We most certainly do! I know of at least two WWC editors (myself included) who will be attending the Write to Publish Conference (www.writetopublish.com) in Wheaton, Illinois as faculty this year. I will also be attending the annual ACFW Conference (www.acfw.com/conference) as an attendee, but I will certainly spend time talking about Splickety as well while I'm there. I may also be attending an ACFW chapter conference in the Indiana/Ohio area in the summer, but that's still up in the air. You can reach me any time at: splickety.wwc@gmail.com.


If you have a question for Ben, please leave a comment and he will respond to you.

Thanks, Ben, for stopping by.










 
 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Remember Pen and Paper?



      For Christmas one of my friends gave me a beautiful journal with a mauve cover. I love to rub my hand across it, because it feels so soft to the touch. Another friend gave me some pens I told her I liked. The two gifts were a perfect match for a writer. Of course, this isn’t the first journal they have bought me, as they have given me some beautiful ones over the years, and I tell them I can never have too many!
I have started writing in the new journal, even though I feel I haven’t gotten myself into a routine of writing at my computer for the new year. So, my point for this post is don’t beat yourself up for NOT being at your computer, but begin by taking your pen and paper, and just write the old-fashioned way.
            I was in high school when I realized I enjoyed writing. That realization came about because I started journaling. I think that was the beginning of the blank books being readily available. My father used to laugh when I bought one, because there was “nothing” inside. I wrote about my life, my dreams and one time I kept what I called a “Travel Journal” when my family went to Florida for a summer vacation. I still have that one and well, many of my journals. I guess I did a lot of “honing” of my writing in those early books.
            Write about your frustrations with your writing, what you want to write, what you would like your life to look like, if you didn’t have the dreaded “day job”. If a scene comes to your mind for a novel or screenplay, write it down, because there are no rules for your journal. And you don’t have to show it to your critique group, unless you want to.
            Do you journal? Have you kept them over the years?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Choose Your Writers' Conference

One of my goals for 2012 is to hone my writing skills. If this is one of yours, one way to do this is to attend a writers' conference. At a conference you can learn new skills, meet other writers and hear about the latest trends in the publishing market. Try to attend a conference that has a faculty of editors from publishing companies and magazines, plus literary agents. There should also be freelance writers on the staff, who are writing in the field and can share their expertise.
I am on the staff of Write-to-Publish, a Christian writers' conference, held every summer in Wheaton, Illinois on the campus of Wheaton College (although not affiliated with the school). This year the conference will be May 30 – June 2. If you live in the Midwest this might be the conference for you. If you live in another area, check the ones near you. If you are interested in a specific area of writing, such as fiction, you might check out the American Christian Fiction Writers who hold a conference each September in various locations, this year in Dallas.
Write-to-Publish 2011


A conference does cost you something. In addition to the registration and travel expenses, there is the time away from work and family. But, I have found a conference to be more than worth the sacrifice.
At most conferences you will have the opportunity to meet with book or magazine editors and pitch an idea for their house. Since most publishing houses do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, this is a rare occasion for you to meet face-to-face with company reps.
You will also have the opportunity to meet fellow writers. You can talk unashamedly about your work for hours without seeing eyes glaze over, which we see in the faces of our friends and family, who don’t “get us."
As you begin your year, are you considering a conference? If, so, which one are you attending?