So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Mainstreet Rag Publishing is going strong

Often I receive news that one of our western NC writers has published a book with Mainstreet Rag Publishing Company.

Today I checked out the website and found recommendations for submitting to contests. I think the judges' comments are excellent and could be of help to all of us who enter our poems or our poetry books in competitions. 

MainStreet Rag Publishing Company has been publishing the print magazine, The Main Street Rag, uninterrupted since 1996. Among its features are poetry, short fiction, photography, essays, interviews, reviews, and commentary. I was honored to have a couple of my poems published in the literary journal some years ago.

If we subscribe to the Mainstreet Rag magazine, our fees for submission to contests are discounted. I feel safe recommending Main Street Rag because they have been around a long time, and M. Scott Douglass, Publisher/Managing Editor is well-known and employs excellent editors and judges for his contests.  Read more at :

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Submit Your Writing and Learn to Market Yourself and Your Work

Yesterday we held a panel discussion at our local library in Hayesville, NC. The subject was publishing and marketing your writing. 

We hear so many people say they have written a book but don't know what to do next. On the panel yesterday we heard from an author who has a regional agent who has been extremely involved in helping him with publishing his four novels. Two were published by a Memphis press, BelleBridge Books.


We heard from an author who travels far and wide to festivals, speaking events and other places where she finds the audience for her young adult books. She knows her audience and has done her research. 

One panelist was the owner of a small press that helps authors self-publish their books. As he said, it isn't as easy as one might think to publish your own book. He helps people with design, typesetting, covers and all the details many new writers would not know.

I spoke about my interview with Scott Douglas and Kevin Watson, owners of two small presses, Main Street Rag and Press 53 and what is expected of the writer once the book is ready to sell.

Our attendees were enthusiastic and had so many questions we ran out of time before we could complete the program.  Our handouts included some writing resources. I have a few of them below.

New Pages - find publications -

Writers Market   

Poets Market


 Poets and Writers Magazine

Main Street Rag Publishing -
Press 53 - 

Literary  Journal - The Journal of Kentucky Studies.  No fee to submit

The Write Life   -  - author Deanna Klingel writes clean books with a moral theme for children. Grandparents love them. She loves writing them.  Old Mountain Press. Author Tom Davis publishes anthologies with poetry and flash fiction or memoir. In a hurry to publish your book? Tom will help you get the book out in a short time. 

Wally Avett - author of four novels based on true events in Appalachia. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mini-Writers Retreat

Today is Sunday, and I am looking at the most beautiful mountain scene, golden and orange leaves on big trees guide my eyes out to Grandfather Mountain miles away. Fog has wrapped us all morning in its haunting stillness, but now the distant sky pales with wisps of clouds skimming the ridge. 

We three are not here to hike or tour the region. We have come to write, to share writing ideas, to submerge ourselves in all things “writing.” We stopped for church, for me to go to the grocery store and to the pet shop. I purchased a sweater for my puppy, Lexie. She is not a cold weather dog. The pink sweater in extra, extra small fits her and she is like a kid at Christmas. Nothing could have made this little dog happier than to put on her a warm sweater.

My good friends, authors, Deanna Klingel and Miriam Jones Bradley, joined me this weekend for time away from home and a mini-writing retreat. I always learn so much from these two women of widely varied ages and I hope they learn something from me.

Deanna Klingel

Deanna astounds me with her in-depth research for each of her novels. The next book will be a fictional history of Chief McIntosh of the Creek Indian tribe. She was asked to write this book by a historical society so that children could learn about this fascinating man of the 19th Century.

Deanna has a way of writing about youngsters that made me ask, “How do you get into a fourteen year old boy’s head like that?”
She responded, “I raised four sons.”  I then learned she also raised two more boys who were not her biological sons, along with three girls.

Deanna’s award winning Avery series, Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’s Crossroad, about a boy who lived during the Civil War have been quite popular with middle grade kids.

I read her novel, Cracks in the Ice, a wonderfully told tale of a young girl who hopes to become a professional skater. Once again, Deanna Klingel delved into all things related to the life of this character, including uncovering what life as the niece of a mobster would be like. Yes, the heroine grows up with body guards driving her to school.  

Some more of Deanna’s books are: Bread Upon the Water, Rock and a Hard Place; a Lithuanian Love Story, The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, the Little Beth Series: Beth’s Birds, Beth’s Backyard friends, Amanda and the Lazy Garden Fairy. Coming soon are Walker Hound of  Park Avenue and Blue-Eyed Doll. Visit her website to order these books.

Miriam Jones Bradley

Miriam Jones Bradley, is author of children’s books as well as a collection of her columns published in the Newberry Observer titled, You Ain’t From Here, Are You?. This book is a gentle but humorous observation of what a new person in the community sees and hears from the good people who greet her. Miriam writes for young adults as well as for older adults who want to leave a legacy. Check out her website to order her books.

She is also author of a mystery series, The Double Cousins Mysteries, for 7 – 13 year old readers. I picked her mind as to how she comes up with a mystery. She takes tidbits of fact and weaves that into a plot that moves along taking the reader with it.

Miriam and Deanna don’t stand still. Miriam wonders how she is going to continue to manage her school presentations, book signings, blogging and writing another book this year as well as working as a nurse two days a week. Both women travel all over the country speaking and signing their books.

Miriam is originally from the western plains and Deanna lived longest in Atlanta where she and her husband raised their children. Now she lives in Sapphire, NC. Miriam lives in Hendersonville.

 Both busy writers are dedicated to their craft and both have active writing businesses. Both have husbands who are supportive and helpful behind the scenes. I heard high praise for both David and Bruce this weekend. 

We look forward to doing this again and hope others will join us either in the mountains or at the beach. Having time to share ideas, ask questions, and discuss publishing and online media is not a luxury but a necessity for those of us who are serious about publishing our work.

My readers, have you ever attended a writers' retreat? How many people were present? Did you enjoy it?

 Other posts on this blog you might enjoy:
Coffee with the Poets and Writers

Sunday, February 8, 2015

All We Need to Know about Publishing and Marketing from Tara Lynne

Today is February 4,  2015. 
I am in Asheville, NC in a comfortable motel that did  not spray Febreeze or any air freshener in my room. Thank you, Comfort Inn  Biltmore West Asheville.

This  afternoon, Carol Crawford, poet, writer, editor and director of the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference, joined me for a trip here to attend a workshop for writers on publishing and marketing by Tara Lynne Groth. Tara Lynne was scheduled to teach at Writers' Circle on Saturday, but we had to cancel for  lack of interest. I am so sorry you all missed this opportunity.

This young woman gave us three hours chock full of valuable information for anyone who wants to publish  -- traditionally or by  going the  self-publishing route. As we all know, writing a book, publishing a book, is only the beginning of being successful as a writer. Writers must educate themselves on how to get the word out to the public that a book is for sale and why the public should purchase it and read it. 
Tara Lynne Groth teaches about publishing and marketing in Asheville
 Tara Lynne knows her stuff. Although she told us she would send us the text on the slides, I found myself taking tons of  notes as she revealed more and more simple and necessary methods for publicizing writing.

Whether we write poetry or prose, the knowledge we need to successfully market ourselves and  our books was discussed in this workshop. I like that she explained ways to keep from spending too much time online, yet use our time efficiently when we are there. 
I enjoyed, so much, having time with my friend, Carol, to talk writing and catch up on what is new in our lives. I hope to do more things such as this with my friends this year. Want to join me on a writer trip?

Blue Ridge Writers' Conference, April 10-11, 2015

Paula Canup, writer, journalist and former English teacher, will present a workshop on Grammar at Writers Circle,  Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10 - 12:00.
Fee: $25.00 - Schedule page

Monday, August 25, 2014

New class begins September 11 with Carol Crawford

Thursdays, September 11 and September 18, 10 - 1:00 p.m.
Fee: $30
Your Next Submission:  Write it, Fix it, Send it!
In this two-session class you will complete a nonfiction story of at least 1000 words.  In the first session you will write a 200-word story idea and a 500-word dialogue exercise.  You will plan your scenes for the rest of the story and look at ways to increase the story’s audience reach.  The second session will be devoted to group critique and a discussion of research, finishing and revision guidelines.  Students should come to the second class with a finished, revised story and a target market.   

Carol Crawford is a writer, poet and editor. She is Program Coordinator for the annual Blue Ridge Writers' Conference in Blue Ridge, GA. Her work is widely published in literary journals. Her business is Carol Crawford Editing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Self Pub, Traditional or Small Press?

Recently I spoke at a writers conference and the subject of how to publish is always the first thing novice authors ask. Which is best? Self-publish or go the traditional route?
In this article, Robert Brewer discusses the other alternative which I would recommend to anyone who has a manuscript ready to submit. Try a small press.

I like that a small press is not limited to a three month window for selling the book as are the major publishers. The process of marketing by a small press goes on and on, unlimited. Of course, the author has to be doing his part to promote the book as well.
Brewer says that when asked about the top advantage small presses offer to authors, Erika Goldman, publisher and editorial director of Bellevue Literary Press, says, “Tender, loving care.”

The book's cover and design is accomplished with the cooperation of the author and the small press.
“I work directly on each book, designing it along with the author to produce something that a reader will want to purchase, as well as an object that best fits how the author wants their writings to be displayed,” says Geoffrey Gatza, founder, editor and publisher of BlazeVOX [books].

Brewer's poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems was published by Press 53. When he visited and taught at Writers Circle last year, he spoke highly of his editor and all the folks at Press 53, a North Carolina company.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hurry if you want your book published on paper

If you have always wanted to see your name on a published book, I mean one you can hold, one with a hard or soft back, you had better hurry. Read this post from the White Cross blog. Very interesting.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Panel on Publishing Appreciated by a Good Audience

Many thanks to Kathryn Magendie, Nadine Justice, and Maren Mitchell for being our panelists today at Moss Library in Hayesville, NC where we had a good sized group of interested folks who learned far more than they thought they would, I'm sure.

Our thanks to Mary Fonda and her assistant, Judy, who helped me set up the room and close up. I had thought we'd be out by four O'clock, but our audience continued to talk with our panelists and each other until five o'clock. 

Thanks to Jim Davis who helped me load my car. I hope to see Jim online with a blog one day. These events are wonderful ways to meet new writers and those who want to be writers but are still working up the courage to take a class or admit they really are writers, just not openly yet. 

I was delighted to meet Lise, a blogger friend, who lives north of us above Sylva. Visit her delightful blog. She will have a book out one day. 

Kathryn, Nadine, and Maren showed the generosity I have come to expect from most writers. They shared their experiences from publishing and marketing, and I know their words helped those who sat in the chairs and took notes. 

Perhaps we can do something like this again next year.

Maren O. Mitchell is author of Beat Chronic Pain;An Insider's Guide
Nadine Justice is author of a memoir, I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter But I Cain't Sang.
Kathryn Magendie is author of five novels, including the Grace series, and a novella. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

We have Carol Crawford to help us with our memoir, essay, short story

Carol Crawford, writer and poet, mother and wife,
Director of the Blue Ridge Writers Conference, will teach at Writers Circle on July 9, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
I hope all of you within driving distance of Writers Circle in Hayesville, NC will take the opportunity to be with us when Carol Crawford teaches a class for prose writers, fiction and non-fiction, that will help us prepare our manuscript for submitting to a journal or anthology, and that will give our work the best chance to be selected for publication.

Big Picture Revision
Never mind the commas – there are often bigger things to think about when you finish a first draft and begin the work of revision.  
In this workshop we will take a piece you have written and look at it with fresh eyes, finding its natural trajectory and structure.  We will clarify what’s confusing and emphasize what’s strong, so that you can write the story you want to write. 
"Please bring a short (1000 word) essay, story or excerpt for us to work on during the class."

 Carol's essays, fiction and poetry have been published in the Concho River Review, the Chattahoochee Review, the Southern Humanities Review, the Journal of Appalachian Studies, and others.  She is director of FLAG Adult Education and volunteer coordinator for the annual Blue Ridge Writers' Conference.  Carol is a graduate of Baylor University, and a native of Texas, but she lives in the north Georgia mountains now.

This is our first time to have Carol teach at Writers Circle, but I hope it won't be the last. While we seem to have a large number of poets as instructors, we want to also hold classes for non-poets or those, like me, who write both poetry and prose.

Register by calling 828-389-4441 to reserve your place, or mail your check for $30.00 to Writers Circle 581 Chatuge Lane, Hayesville, NC 28904

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bobbie Christmas provides good resources for writers

Bobbie Christmas sends a fine newsletter and I share it with my readers and friends -- not all of the newsletter, but a small part.
Go here to sign up and have it delivered to your Inbox.

Until we publish a book, we pay no attention to something like an ISBN. Learn more about it from Bobbie Christmas.

Terminology Writers Should Know

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Be sure not to call it an ISBN number, because the word "number" would be redundant. An ISBN is a numeric book identifier that aids booksellers and buyers in finding a specific edition of a specific book. Since January 2007, ISBNs have contained thirteen digits, but up to that date, America used a 10-digit system.

Publishers and self-publishers in the United States buy their ISBNs
from R. R. Bowker.

In my endeavor to help writers reach their goals I often list sites or books I have found helpful to me and my students at Writers Circle.  I have found Bobbie Christmas' books and her newsletter to be among the best resources. Reach her at the addresses below::

Zebra Communications
230 Deerchase Drive
Woodstock, GA 30188
Follow my "Write In Style" creative-writing blog at 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Party for Nadine Justice at Writers Circle

Writers Circle studio was filled with joy, encouragement and congratulations for Nadine Justice, author of I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang, her memoir on the theme of perseverance and belief in one's self. 
Nadine read a couple of excerpts from the book, answered questions, and talked about how she came to write the book. Friends from her writing group in Georgia as well as friends from her first class with me, at Tri-County Community College, were on hand to honor Nadine on her published book. Several Netwest members came and met the new author.  

Nadine Justice stands beside the cake with the photo cover of her book. It was too pretty to cut, but we finally made the first slice.

Linda Smith, Vicki Dumsford, Ash Rothlein, Liz Rothlein, Maren Mitchell

On left Ash Rothlein and on right, Idell Shook


Glenda, Ash and Liz Rothlein, Ginny W

from left, Staci Bell, Linda Smith, Joan Howard and Ginny  Walsh

A very big thank you to Staci and Ginny for all there help, and to Joan Howard.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Try to find an agent, or not?

Yes, I am a fan of agents, but it depends on your goals,
experience, knowledge base, and desires whether you use one
or not. No, they aren't easy to land, but having one can 
improve your odds . . . depends on what you're gambling on.
                                        ----  C.  Hope Clark


Hope Clark has an in-depth article in her latest newsletter. Click on the link below to read more.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Upcoming Classes at Writers Circle

Robert S. King Saturday, March 17, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

How to Prepare Your Poetry Book for Submission or Printing

Course Description: To put a good poetry book together, it doesn't take an engineering degree, but it takes a high degree of patience and time. First, you will discover how to determine the market and publishing venue most appropriate for your book. With that information you will learn the mechanics of preparing a book manuscript for self-publishing or for submission to a publisher. In addition, you will learn how to edit and arrange the book's contents to make it coherent and a good read.

Robert Kimsey – Saturday, April 21, 10:00 – 1:00
The Power of the Small Poem: Boiling down your ideas to find those magic and powerful moments that become the essence of the Imagist poem.

Scott Owens teaches in May at Writers Circle. He will have two new collections of poetry published in 2012. For One Who Knows How to Own Land, a collection of poems about growing up in rural South Carolina, was runner-up in the Future Cycle Press Book Competition and will be published by Future Cycle in March. Shadows Trail Them Home creates what poet and critic Ron Moran calls a novel in poems. Shadows Trail Them Home will be published by Clemson University Press in October.

Estelle Rice – Wednesday, July 18, 10:00 – 1:00

Writing from the Spirit Within. All of us have treasures stored within our memories that can jumpstart the writing process. Some of these memories are so deeply hidden that we are surprised when they come to the surface. We will investigate nature, people, places and things to discover their essence. This technique will bring depth to our writing whether poetry or prose.

Mary Michelle Keller, a seasoned genealogist and published writer.
                       Wednesdays, August 22 and 29, and September 5, 10:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Bones to Flesh –Genealogy and writing class
Michelle Keller, will be teaching a class on finding your ancestors and how to write their stories. The class will be an introduction to genealogy, how to do the research and where to look, not only for the obvious, but those details that will give life to the person you are writing about. Our ancestors were remarkable people. Their stories are waiting to be written so that they will not be forgotten. You do not need to know who they are to join this class; we will find them.

All handouts will be included in the fee. For information call Michelle Keller (706) 896-1899 or (706) 835- 9025 cell

Rosemary Royston

 Send it Out, Now!
Saturday, August 25, 10:00 – 1:00, 2012

Audience: Intermediate to Advanced poets who’ve published in a print journal or online (anthologies do not count).
What to Bring:

1) The print journal and/or a printout of your work in the online journal, web address included.

2) 3-5 poems that you are ready to submit.

3) Envelopes and stamps.

Purpose of the Class: You will leave with at least one new journal to which you can submit your finished poems, along with a resource list of journals and websites that are helpful to the publishing poet. The class facilitator will lead a discussion on how to ascertain what a particular journal is looking for, which contests are worthy of your time and money, and the in’s and out’s of good practice in submitting. This will be a discussion-based class, with time set aside to read at least one of your poems to

Ronda Birtha – September Class

Self-publishing Using Amazon's CreateSpace

We will discuss how and why it may be useful, how it has benefited authors, and how cost-effective it may be, as it has a "built-in" advertising infrastructure. Discussion on E-books.

Fees for all classes: $25.00 paid to Writers Circle. Email for more information.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thursday, December 1, will be the final class for the present Creative Writing course.
We will hold a two hour class 10:00a.m.  - 12:00 on non-fiction, memoir writing, and from noon until 2:00 p.m. we will discuss publishing - all kinds - all ways - and the pitfalls to be aware of in self publishing.
If you are not already enrolled in this course, but would like to attend either or both classes on December 1, please email for registration info.

Writers Circle will not hold classes again until next spring.
Join me at Tri-County Community College for a seven week writing course in April, 2012. Gosh, can it be as close as it seems?

We will have another great season of writing courses next year. Check with us so you don't miss anything.
You can contact me at with any questions.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Business of Writing

Writing, submitting,  publishing, marketing, writing, submitting, publishing, marketing, on and on it goes.That is the writing business. I'm not sure I'm cut out for the business.
I love to write - poetry, non-fiction, fiction, in my journal, letters, articles - but submitting my work is WORK.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all we had to do was write? That is what many of us do - we just write. We don't even revise. We just write and keep our writing to ourselves.
That is so, so easy. I have tons of writing I've done over the years. I have notebooks filled with stories I've forgotten, some are non-fiction pieces and some are short stories. I still have a poem I wrote in high school. My teacher, Miss Feagan, wanted me to submit it to a magazine. But, even then, I didn't want to do the business of writing.
I think I understand those writers and poets who died and then became famous. They did it the easy way. Emily Dickinson had the joy of writing, but she left behind all the business of writing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I have added a new blog to our sidebar. Check out Judy Goldman's

The first post I read is filled with advice for anyone who is writing a book and hopes to publish one day.
Learn about agents, query letters, and more.
Are you working on a novel, a memoir, a book of short stories?
Tell us about your book.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How Quickly Can an Editor Say NO?

As I tell my students, rejections are a normal part of writing and we must not take them personally. And, if an editor actually comments on your submission, that is a reason to rejoice.

For several weeks I've worked on an essay for an anthology. The deadline for my submission was November 30. I researched, revised, and sent my essay to my good friend, Ellen, who edited and returned it to me.

She was extremely helpful. I made the changes she suggested. She wanted me to write a more powerful ending and so did I.

While I mulled over my last paragraph, I found I had a fractured vertebrae in my back, visited my sister in the hospital and took dinner to her husband who is recovering from back surgery. That was down in Roswell, GA.

I was about to give up on this essay, feeling I had more important things on my mind. I came home from Atlanta on November 30. It was late in the evening when I decided to try to write an ending that was worthy of my subject, ageism in the writing world.

I hit Send on my computer about 12:20 a.m., and my essay was on its way through cyberspace. I went to bed.
On December 1, I began my doctor's prescription - rest, rest, rest and pain meds every four to six hours.

I opened my e-mail after lunch and there it was. A reply from the editor of the anthology. Wow, I thought. This was fast. They must really like my piece.

But no. My essay was rejected. They had so many submissions and had to divide up the topics, etc. and mine did not make it.

I do believe that was the quickest rejection I have ever received. I wonder if it was even read, but I thanked the editor for reading my work and will take her suggestion to send it out again.

Since I began submitting 15 years ago, my work has been published in about 75 different publications, some journals publish more than one poem or essay. I have my file of rejections and acceptances. I go back and read them occasionally. I have received rejections consisting of one sentence, and I've received rejections written by hand. I've received suggestions on how to improve my poem or essay, but I've never received a rejection or an acceptance within fourteen hours of submitting.

Today's technology - is this a blessing or a curse? I had to laugh.

Have you ever received an acceptance or a rejection that fast?

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