If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Conferences and Contests

Sisters in Crime and all its multiple groups offer so much support and useful advice. This weekend I’ll attend the New England Sisters in Crime Crimebake conference. The panels, master classes, and the guests of honor consistently interest and surprise. I look forward to seeing again writers and members of SinC I don’t see often. Mystery Writers of America also sponsors Crimebake but my daily contact with writing groups comes through Sisters in Crime.

I’ve frequently found the advice and information in Guppy emails useful. Recently an email suggested checking out Writers Village that offers contests four times a year. People visiting the site can read for free stories written by winners and runners up in the contests of 2010 and 2011. Winners came from the US and Australia as well as from the UK where the site originates.

Several of the winning stories and runners up held my attention and involved me emotionally. The stories I stopped reading belonged 37426sometimes to a genre I rarely read or portrayed a protagonist too fantastic for my taste.

Winners collect $400. The judges set out their criteria for picking a winner. Even if writers don’t win, they receive feedback.

The site also offers a mini course on how to win writing contests for profit. The course suggests ways of finding contests and criteria a writer can use to judge the contests they find. A writer needs to check out the fee to prize ratio and the spread of prizes. Contests to avoid have promoters without writing credentials, you’ve never heard of the judges or the judges aren’t named, the text at the contest site shows evidence of poor writing, previous winners aren’t show-cased, or, if the winners are show-cased, you can’t understand how the stories won. A writer should avoid a contest that tries to sell another service or product, such as inclusion in an anthology. Maybe the prize isn’t much financially but perhaps the winner is offered a three-month residency or the opportunity to attend a well-known weekend conference.

Apparently there are writers who re-edit the same story to enter different contests and prosper using this method. I think I’d prefer to write a new story, although all that editing could be good for my writing.

Entering a contest presents a challenge beyond submitting to a magazine. The contest criteria offer the writer a clear focus and goal. I plan to look into the world of contests. Several I’ve already reviewed offer feedback on entries and that is always welcome.

snow_road-winter_smallWinter is a season to write and the Crimebake conference and the possibilities offered by writing contests urge me to dig deeper and create.


Warren Bull said...

I rarely enter contests that require an entry fee. Partly because I'm cheap and party because some contests charge major fees and offer minimal prizes, which feels like a rip off. However. contests provide great motivation and often my non-winning entries get published elsewhere. Conferences are a great way to "talk shop" with other people who debate the virtues or a semi-colon versus a comma.

E. B. Davis said...

I agree with Warren. Sometimes writing contests are just a way for a site to build their coffers, so I won't enter ones that have an entrance fee. If my WIP doesn't fly with agents or publishers, I'm planning on entering it in the most pretigious contest I can find. If I win or get close to the top, I consider it confirmation of my writing abilities and a good advertisement for me.

As far as conferences are concerned, I know meeting others in the industry through conferences is important. Problem is, I'm a lousy talker. I think querying in the written form will be better for me than trying to put on a minute summary of my book-which I'll ball up, sputter and fall flat.

Pauline Alldred said...

The Writing Village site emphasizes how to look at fees and whether paying the fee is worthwhile or a rip off. One of the biggest rip offs I've seen in contests is the site that is putting out an anthology that the contestant has to buy to see his/her work in print at an exorbitant cost.
I'm often tongue-tied at conferences, Elaine. Even as I hear myself pitch, I know I'm doign a bad job. As the saying goes, practice, practice.