Writing Southern Style

Last weekend in Birmingham, Alabama at the SCBWI’s Southern Breeze Conference, Molli Nickell–a publishing coach and former Time-Life editor (www.getpublishednow.com), presented a Marketing Intensive Workshop which I attended. And it was indeed a WORKshop. With her spirited and fun style, she guided us through a whole day. She helped us take apart our stories. We pared them down to the bones, looking for the GOAL, the OBSTACLE, and the RESOLUTION. Then we wrote a sentence for each–this, Molli told us, should be the opening paragraph of our query letter for an agent or editor.

Molli says a writer has only 20 seconds to catch an editor or agent’s eye in a query letter. Short and to the point–but highlighting the author’s unique voice.
Here’s an example of the technique using the fairy tale CINDERELLA as an example:
An overworked, beguiling young lady wants to attend an elaborate party to be hosted by the local prince, who is on the lookout for a princess-to-be. Her three evil and ugly step-sisters team up with their manipulating mom to keep her stranded by the chimney side on the night of the gala. The petite-footed young lady wastes no time joining forces with her enchanting fairy godmother and makes it to the ball in style, sporting the shiniest slippers in the kingdom. 
Stripping a story down to its skeleton isn’t always easy. You may think you need a fairy godmother to perform magic like that, but you don’t. You just need some practice…and maybe a pair of super shiny shoes.
Check back in the next few days for more Birmingham highlights.

Muse It Up

Today I’m offering a review of Lea Schizas’ book, ASSAULTING A WRITER’S THINKING, as well as the opportunity to receive the Ebook FREE! Look for the details following the review.


In this humorous motivational how-to Ebook for beginning (or reluctant) writers, Lea Schizas—award-winning author and editor—tells it like it is. No holds barred. She de-mystifies the writing life and provides real insights into the profession.

· Chapter 1: Explains many of the “roller coaster” ups and downs inherent for those who choose to weld the pen.
· Chapter 2: Offers numerous suggestions for seeing story ideas everywhere—even in a dresser drawer. A great bonus in this chapter, especially for children authors, is a list of questions which helps the writer enter back into the childhood mode.
· Chapter 3: Provides tips on finding a critique group and emphasizes the importance of doing so.
· Chapter 4: Advises writers to use research material to create more than one story and submit stories and articles to various magazines and publishers to increase market presence.
· Chapter 5: Encourages writers to keep plugging away despite rejections and failures—to keep believing.
· Chapter 6: Reiterates the need for writers to be as professional as possible by setting (and meeting) goals, maintaining a writing schedule, networking, and following publishers’ guidelines.
· Chapter 7: Emphasizes the rallying cry to “Keep at it!”
· Chapter 8: Lists a variety of links for writing-related associations, agents, editors, publishing houses, and much more.
· Bonus Chapter from her full-length book on writing: Muse It Up. If this first chapter is any indication, the book must be jam-packed with hands-on helps and encouragement for beginning authors. This one chapter alone provides a wealth of suggestions to motivate any reluctant writer.

Here is more information on Lea Schizas:

Author of the award-winning Young Adult Fantasy Novel

Co-author & Editor of THE MUSE ON WRITING
http://leaschizasauthor.tripod.com Email: museitupeditor@yahoo.ca

Lea Schizas is an award-winning author/editor, a short story competition winner,
living in Montreal with her husband Jimmy and their five children. She describes herself
as “finally woke up after a 23-year self-induced coma taking care of the family, and
re-discovered my passion for writing.”

She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of two Writer’s Digest 101 Top Writing
Sites of 2005 & 2006 and recipients of the Preditors and Editors Most Useful Writing
Sites Award: Apollo’s Lyre, an online writer’s Zine: http://www.apollos-lyre.com and
the online writing critique community The MuseItUp Club,

-Founder of The Muse Online Writers Conference,
-Founder of The Muse Marquee, http://themusemarquee.tripod.com
-Founder of The Muse Book Reviews, http://themusebookreviews.tripod.com
-Co-founder of Coffee Cramp eZine http://coffeecrampmagazine.tripod.com
-Reviewer for the award-winning site AllBooksReviews.com
-copy editor for Double Dragon Publishing

You can read more of Lea’s bio and accomplishments at: http://leaschizaseditor.tripod.com/

To receive your FREE copy of ASSAULTING A WRITER’S THINKING, send me an email via the Contact section here on my website.