Writer’s Market — A Good Read

Thank you everyone who posted get well wishes.  With my new format, I’m not automatically sent an email to let me know you posted anything.  Will have to check my settings for sure.

Meanwhile, I’d like to share some of the reading done while recuperating.  Yes, I dipped into a few stories because there’s nothing like a visit to other times and places when you don’t want to be where you are at the moment.  But I also took a good dive into my latest Writer’s Market edition.

To be honest, I will never make enough money to pay off the many volumes of this book I’ve purchased over the years.  Even when the books were so expensive I had to save for months to get them, I “invested” in these lists of publishers, magazines, and thoughts of “what freelancers should charge” for their work.  It was a regular accompaniment to my magazine subscription.

Picture of Writer's Market 2015

Information and Inspiration–a writer’s best companions.

Writer’s Market and Writer’s Digest magazine have been good friends for me since my early twenties.  I’ve read success stories and how-to’s, I’ve managed personal marketing and built career plans.  But mostly, Writer’s Market and the annual list of freelance writing opportunities have allowed me the most important element of being human–they have helped me dream.

Each time I flip to a section of magazines I’m interested in, there are great ideas that pop out at me.  Here’s one I liked:

Kaleidoscope — This magazine was listed under the subject of “Disabilities” (note: not under “Differently Abled”).  The magazine is 75% freelance written. Okay, that gets the hope up right there.  They want nonfiction, fiction, and poetry–a rarity in today’s publishing marketplace.  And they pay for work with real cash (not complimentary author copies).  That is so good!  The best part of an entry like this is the TIPS.  Not every magazine listed will have this, but the editor of Kaleidoscope was thoughtful and generous enough to do that.  She wants “thought-provoking subject matter, and in general, a mature grasp of the art of story-telling.  Writers should avoid using offensive language and always put the person before the disability.”

So what would I write about, given this little bit of information?  I keyed in on the final phrase and here are some ideas:

  • Getting Into Life’s Game — too many people with physical or mental challenges are left out of the game of life, but I know there are those who jump in no matter what.  I could tell stories of people who enter dance competitions, join sports teams, and generally make the most of the lives they have–even with their challenges.
  • Advocacy for the disabled in today’s world.  I could explore how children’s educational and physical needs are being met, and find out the best ways to support a full lifestyle for everyone.
  • Profile of organizations in Colorado that support people with physical, emotional, and  mental challenges.  There are a few near me, and I’d be excited to know more about them.

And that’s the real key.  Writer’s Market is full of opportunity IF you have a passion for the subjects they reveal.

And Writer’s Market is only the first step.  Next I’ll need to do an in-depth visit to the Kaleidoscope website, acquire a copy of the publication, review the advertisers, look for the media kit and generally dig in to see if I fit this community.  All this may take about an hour of work.  But before I do that work, I’ll think of all the stories I could write…everything begins with a dream and a vision.  Hoping your visions take you where you want to go this week.

Daisy Update: Publishers Weekly Review, New Cover Art & More …

Publishing is such an exciting adventure! I’m thrilled to update you on Daisy’s progress.  After some of your feedback, Faith on the Rocks has an updated cover, Publishers Weekly has weighed in on the content, and Writer’s Digest has indicated they’ll be doing an article on yours truly. Wow! Can you tell I’m ecstatic?  Here are the details:

Publishers Weekly

PW is one of the “big four” in the book review business, according to Slate Magazine.  “It plays Coke to Kirkus’ Pepsi” said author Adelle Waldman in an article about the book review business.  To get a good review from PW is a big step in promoting your book.  Here is the quote I received via my publisher yesterday:

Publishers Weekly Review 4/5/13
This title publishes JUNE 2013
. . . entertaining first novel . . . Gabe, the single father of one of Daisy’s special-needs students, lends some romantic interest . . . cozy fans will look forward to seeing more of Daisy.
If you’d like to see the whole write-up please visit this portion of the Publishers Weekly site.

Another Review – Joan Johnston

For those of you familiar with Joan Johnston, New York Times best-selling author of such books as Wyoming Bride, A Stranger’s Game, and Outcast, this prolific and generous writer agreed to read my book.  Here is her review statement:
“Malik shows great promise as a debut novelist.    Her characters are fun and quirky, and I kept chuckling right through to the end.  A great read!”

Edited Faith on the Rocks Cover

I think the final straw was when a religious zealot thought I was “one of them” and handed me a save-the-world kind of flyer.  I’ve passed on your cover comments about Faith on the Rocks not conveying the mystery portion of the story, and my publishers at Five Star Publishing, bless their hearts, responded.  Hope you like the edits:

Writer’s Digest Mention

I’ve subscribed to Writer’s Digest since 1979 or so. When I was younger I read about how subscribing to WD had helped many an aspiring author get into print.  Today, WD has a section called “Breaking In” for first novelists.  My picture and book will be a part of this section in the July/August issue, thanks to editor Chuck Sambuchino.  Whoo Hoo! I think this fulfills a huge dream I’ve had since I bought my first WD book, “Magazine Writing Today” by Jerome E. Kelley.  I can still see that book sitting on the shelf at The University of Michigan’s bookstore, “The Cellar.”  It took a few paychecks to save enough extra funds to invest the $9.95 for my dream to take really off.  Even before that, I’d bought WD magazines off and on for years, and submitted children’s stories (without success) while I lived in England.
Today, fame and fortune may not quite yet be mine, but there is a big part of the “dream-fulfilled” feeling to my life.  And thanks to you, your feedback, and your support, the dream lives on. I’m on chapter 24 of Sliced Vegetarian and plan to finish the first draft of this book in June.

What I’ve Learned

For those of you who aspire to writing, keep going.  I’ve been dabbling with this craft since I wrote the Weed Tree Camp Newsletter and edited Vaughn Elementary’s monthly “newspaper” in the mid 1960’s.  If I can do this, so can you.
Writing is a craft worth learning, a voice worth letting out to the world, a dream worth pursuing. and a hope for tomorrow. As human beings, we have been given the gift of story, and it is up to each of us to tell our own portion of that story.
Have a great writing day.