The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

  • One reason that I love Midge Raymond’s latest writing prompt is that the story I’m drafting right now actually began with the working title, “Mistake.” (It may return to that title, too, but for now it’s got another name.)
  • Coming soon in The Writer: my review of Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little, by Christopher Johnson. Curious about this book? You can win one of 20 free copies via Goodreads! Enter by July 16 (U.S. addresses only).
  • The Story Prize blog is featuring a series of posts (mini-essays and Q&As) with the authors of collections that have been submitted for the 2011 prize. These posts make for great and thoughtful reading. See, for instance, Charles Baxter’s response to the question “What do you think a good short story collection should deliver?”.
  • I’ll be mentioning this again on my other blog, but I’m delighted to learn that poet and professor Rick Chess has joined the team over on Good Letters, the blog of the literary journal Image, which prides itself on presenting “the best writing and artwork that is informed by—or grapples with—religious faith.”
  • Basic guidelines for social media etiquette, courtesy of Robert Lee Brewer.
  • Friday Find for Writers: Social Media Resources

    Yesterday, I spent a wonderful afternoon at the Manhattanville College Summer Writers’ Week. My task was to deliver a presentation on “Social Media Strategies for Writers.” To complement the presentation (and to acknowledge the resources I’d found most helpful in constructing it), I prepared a handout (light on blogging/author website resources, since other sessions were tackling those areas). Keep reading if you want to take a look at the resources I shared. (more…)

    The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

  • Charging admission for bookstore events. What say you?
  • On The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Arts & Academe blog, Elise Blackwell spotlights independent presses.
  • Natalie Wexler wonders if characters must be likable.
  • Unsure about connecting with editors on social media? Consider this.
  • In a similar vein, check out these sensible tips from Kelly James-Enger on how not to make a freelance friend.
  • Nice shout-out from the NewPages.com blog re: a new literary journal, Adanna. (I have a poem in the inaugural issue.)
  • Until tomorrow, everyone can access all contents of the Publishers Weekly Fall Announcements issue (excellent for book reviewers seeking a heads-up on new titles).
  • And once again on a related note: Coffee House Press has a lot to share about its “Fall Fiction Preview, BEA Recap, and Fall Fiction Galley Giveaway.”
  • Friday Find: Social Media Tips from Shelley Hitz

    When I give a presentation on social media strategies for writers at the Manhattanville College Summer Writers Week next Thursday, I’ll be citing lots of online resources that I’ve found helpful. Among them: a free 10-day e-course, “Social Media in Just 15 Minutes a Day,” from Shelley Hitz (also known as the Self Publishing Coach). True, even 15 minutes a day can really add up if you utilize all of the social media platforms (15 minutes for Facebook+15 minutes for Twitter+15 minutes for LinkedIn, etc.). But that worry aside, the e-course provides quick, clear, and common-sense guidance. Scroll down this page to sign up.

    Have a great weekend, and see you back here on Monday!

    The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

  • Author Ellen Meeropol asks: “How is a blog like a Tupperware party?”
  • Fab post on book promotion from Randy Susan Meyers for Beyond the Margins.
  • Ever wondered how much an editor should charge?
  • Attention, freelancers (especially newbies)! Carol Tice shows you how to “Avoid Hassles with a Writer’s Basic Assignment Checklist.
  • Joe Ponepinto suggests that when we need writing prompts, we should head to Home Depot.
  • Natalie Wexler considers “how much freedom should a writer exercise in playing around with historical fact.”
  • Poet Kelli Russell Agodon explains why she has a Facebook page (and why other authors, poets, and writers should have them, too. (Have you seen mine?)
  • Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Seeking Suggestions

    Three weeks from today, I’ll be presenting a session on “Social Media Strategies for Writers” at the Manhattanville College Summer Writers’ Week. (I’ll be using a hard-earned vacation day from my day job to do this, and that’s always a sacrifice, so I’m especially eager to make sure that the session adds something valuable to the conference attendees’ experience and leaves me feeling as though I’ve lived up to my own high standards, too.)

    The conference director and I have agreed that at least part of the session will focus on the virtual book tour that I planned for my short-story collection, Quiet Americans, and how social media contributed to its success. But I also want to provide an overview of “social media” (starting with a decent definition of the term itself).

    I have 90 minutes, total, so there’s no way that I’m going to be able to provide individualized, detailed how-tos for each and every form of social media that’s out there. But I do hope to hit the key tools and techniques (you can bet that Facebook and Twitter will be among them).

    I’d appreciate some guidance from all of you practicing writers out there:

    1. How do you define “social media”?
    2. How have you created your own “social media strategies”? Any resources that you’ve found especially helpful?
    3. What do you consider to be social media’s most significant benefits for writers? (Speak only for yourself, if you wish, or opine more generally.)
    4. What do you consider to be social media’s most significant pitfalls for writers? (Again, please feel free to share a general impression or speak directly from your experience.)
    5. Which social media sites that are specifically for writers do you frequent? What appeals to you about said site(s)?

    I’d love to incorporate your advice in my presentation–I’ll cite you by your name if you leave it.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!