Friday, August 06, 2010

Email from a fellow writer with excellent information and advice.

Hello all,

Several of us have book-length manuscripts that are virtually finished. At our meetings I keep wondering why none of them have been published already. If they have been submitted without success to at least one agent or editor, there must be some small (and easily corrected?) flaw or lack that keeps them from the big time.

My "Writer" (September issue), which came in the mail yesterday, contains a special section on how to get your material market-ready, titled "SELL YOUR WORK." Articles therein refer to specifics for nonfiction (books, articles, essays, etc.) and for fiction (novels, short stories, and children's books).

Another article, by an editor, defines a "small press" and describes what small presses look for. And as a preface to a listing of seven micro presses currently seeking authors, there is a short article on what is a "boutique" or a "micro" press.

This issue contains other good stuff I haven't described. Check it out.

The following is for all but Margaret, who does not need it (but she is welcome to read what follows).

As we know, Margaret has taken writing courses at UC Davis Extension in Sacramento. She has tried to explain how valuable they are to her. For the rest of us, if you are interested and you want more information, UC Davis offers a free info session on the evening of September 1st, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. It covers their writing coursework, their certificate program, and their Tomales Bay Workshops.

For further information, go to:

The first page that comes up should show a link for the free info session near the top, under HIGHLIGHTS. If you click on that link, you will see a page with full details on that session, and a button to click to enroll in it.

If you scroll down toward the bottom of that first page, there is a link for the Tomales Bay Workshops page, where you can learn more or download a brochure (PDF). If you want to sign up, go to the top left of that page and, under COURSES, click on the link for Writing, then on that page find the link under COURSE TITLE for the Tomales Bay Workshops.

Note that, when you read this, one or both of those offerings may be nearing capacity, so time is of the essence if you are at all interested.

I note also that two of the writing courses have as a required text the book Making Shapely Fiction, by Jerome Stern. I do not know this book but I suspect that whether or not one takes a UC Davis writing course, this book may be useful in honing our craft. Margaret, do you have that book? Does anyone else know this book?

Best regards,

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