Contact - Magic Words Editorial Services
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CONTACT MAGIC WORDS

Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?
— J.R.R. Tolkien

Let’s Get Started

I’m excited that you’re interested in working together! To get your project started, I’d like to know more about what you’re writing and where you are in the process so I can see whether our journey together will be rewarding for both of us. After you complete the application form below, I’ll be in touch to follow up with a FREE trial edit and to learn more about your book.

If you have a general question or just want to chat, there’s no need to slay this entire beast of a form! Just send me an email: shawna@magicwordsediting.com
What is the #1 driver of writer's block? FEAR. 😬

Here's a unique hack to try the next time FEAR has you blocked from writing:

Lie down. 🛌🏻

Write 50 words. ✍🏻

That's it—just 50.

Why does this work?

LYING DOWN TELLS YOU TO RELAX
Why do you always get the best ideas right before you fall asleep? Because your body is relaxed and your mind is free to roam. Reclining tells your body to enter this imaginative and free-flowing state.

50 WORDS IS A MINI GOAL
Fifty words is easy, manageable. And yet, having that small goal in mind while you relax keeps you focused and in the moment.

Bonus: It's not that easy on your body to write while reclining—you need frequent breaks to rest your arms and shoulders. This in turn allows you to think through your next sentence, and the one after that.

Give it a shot and let me know how it works!
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 #indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indieauthorcommunity #aspiringauthorsofig
I feel attacked by this. 🤣🤣🤣

(My name is Shawna, in case you didn't know. 😝 )

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#bookeditorneeded #indieauthorsunite #indieauthorcommunity #indieauthortips #aspiringindieauthors #supportindieauthors #editorslife #aspiringauthorsofig #fantasyauthors #amwritingscifi #authorsofinsta #aspiringwriter #authorgram #iamwriting #writingcommunityofig #aspiringauthor #indieauthorsofinstagram #newauthor #writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #amediting #editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
Query letters have to do a lot of heavy lifting in not many words. (Some recommendations say to keep the main body of a QL to 300 words or less, yikes!) 

So make sure you answer the most important questions in that short space to give an agent the fullest overview of your book possible:

WHAT IS THE STORY ABOUT?
Don't just describe the themes of the book—give a succinct, impactful overview of the plot combined with the next two questions (character + conflict/stakes). Use these two or three sentences to hook the agent into wanting to know more.

WHO IS THE MAIN CHARACTER? WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT THEM?
Show the reader who your main protagonist is, what he or she wants, and why readers will care about him or her.

WHAT IS THE MAIN CONFLICT? WHAT ARE THE STAKES?
Answer what makes the plot of the book and its characters interesting and read-worthy. Give them the edge-of-your-seat reason someone would want to pick up the book: the main conflict and stakes.

WHAT IS THE WORD COUNT/GENRE?
Now that the heavy lifting of crafting the hook is done, don't forget the housekeeping! Include your word count and genre. And remember the title!

WHO ARE YOU AS THE AUTHOR?
Finally, tell the agent who you are and what makes you the perfect person to tell this story. Describe your background, interests, awards, writing experience—anything that might make you an attractive fit for their lineup.
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#queryletters #amquerying #publishing #querying #editingtips #editing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity
"The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words." — William H. Gass

Welcome to June, magic writer! It's time to practice some some of that sweet word alchemy. 🧙🏻‍♀✨
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#indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #wordcountgoals #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. — Joseph Campbell

Remembering all today who have given their lives. May we never forget their memory. 💐
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#memorialday #memorialdayweekend #usa #america #memorial #memories #thankyou #remember #neverforget
Q for the weekend: Is it okay to mention real-life company names in a book or story? Will I get in legal trouble if I do?

A: Yes, it's probably okay to use real-life company names. But there are some caveats to that.

If you're mentioning a company name in passing and in a positive or neutral way, you more than likely have nothing to worry about, legally or otherwise. Pro tip: Take care to make sure the company name is spelled right, especially if it's a trademark. (A good copyeditor will look it up for you and flag it if your usage doesn't conform to the company's trademark.)

If you're drawing negative attention to a company in any way, even in fiction, it's probably best to create an entirely fictionalized name to stand in for the real one to avoid any legal hot water.

Whether you're using a real-life company name negatively or positively, consider the shelf life of your book. Company names come and go, and if your book references an old name, it might risk dating your story.

*****

Got questions for a professional editor about writing, editing, or book publishing? Send me a DM, and I'll answer it in an upcoming Q&A!
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#editingtips #editing #publishing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting
Magic writers, let's talk about what makes us feel creative. 

Do you have a favorite space you like to write in? Is it full of things that inspire you or that relate to your book in some way? 

I find with my current WIP I'm more likely to get into the right headspace when I light a certain candle that smells like a gloomy forest (a setting in my book) or have mementos around me that are meaningful to my MC. As Grant Faulkner says in Pep Talks for Writers: ". . . talismans have the power to transport me elsewhere, to invite me to leap into my imagination." Agreed!

What are some of your writing talismans? What do your writing spaces look like? Show them off in the comments!
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#creativity #editing #publishing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer
CONGRATULATIONS to client Christina K. Glover on the publication of her debut novel, The Switchboard! 🤩🥳🎉

This story is one that will crawl inside your head and never let go—in the absolute best way. Read this description and tell me you don't wanna rush right out and snag a copy 😉:

FOR MAGIC. FOR MEMORY. FOR EACH OTHER.

Mortal mage Henley Yu has enough to worry about between the storms caused by broken magic and his strained relationship with his father. He’s trying to keep his head above water, but when he finds a stranger hiding in his kitchen cabinets he’s forced to reconsider his priorities.

Chief Operator Kittinger has overseen the flow of magic for centuries, but he’s no fighter. Betrayed by his protectors in their quest to gain control of the magic, he’s running for his life when he makes Henley his accomplice. Kit might lose his new ally if Henley finds out that Kit’s secrets go deeper than the magic itself.

Together they’ll venture into the Between, where magic connects worlds, to fight an army of officers ready to finish what they started when Kit fled the scene. For Kit, failure means death. For Henley, it means losing the memory of the only person who gives him purpose. Henley won’t let anyone interfere before he finds out what that means for their future together.

He’ll save Kit. He'll save the magic—or he won’t be the only one who dies trying.

GET YOUR COPY HERE: https://tinyurl.com/bdtmr3nv
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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstagramfollowtrain #bookstack
Thinking of doing some writing this weekend? Here's a challenge for you:

💡 Take a scene you're struggling to get just right and write a version of it from a different character's point of view.

👉🏻 You might be surprised at what comes out when you get another perspective on the action and dialogue.

If you complete this challenge, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
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#writingchallenge #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer
GUMS time! (That's grammar, usage, and mechanics.) Have you heard the term "split infinitive"? Wonder if you're splitting your infinitives in your writing? 

You probably are—but that's okay! 

A split infinitive is formed when an adverb or other word is placed between TO and a verb. Example:

to boldly go <-- "boldly" is the adverb, "go" is the verb

Are split infinitives wrong? Nope. Their banishment is a “zombie rule.” They’re fine, especially in fiction. Sometimes splitting the infinitive even aids clarity.

So "boldly go" right ahead and split them. You have my permission. 😎😎😎
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#bookeditorneeded #selfpublishedauthor #wordcountgoals  #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader
Indie authors, self-publishing isn't "failure" and you are not "failed authors." /end rant

(Are you on Threads? Lots of great conversations happening around publishing and writing over there!)
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#indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indieauthorcommunity #aspiringauthorsofig
Few things are as frightening to an aspiring author who wants to traditionally publish as the agent pitch. But those precious few minutes face-to-face with a real, live literary agent could be the door that opens to your dreams.

If you're getting ready to pitch agents at an upcoming writers conference, here are a few tips that might help it go smoothly:

PREPARE YOUR PITCH
Come up with your pitch ahead of time so you know what you're going to say when the big moment arrives. Write it down on an index card and rehearse it.

RESEARCH THE AGENTS
Research the agents who will be at the conference: the genres they represent, what stories they're looking for, who they've repped in the past. This will help you zero in on the agents most likely to want your book so you don't waste your time pitching to the wrong person.

ASK QUESTIONS
Look at the pitch as a learning opportunity as well as a chance to sell your story. Get a list of questions together to ask if an agent gives you constructive feedback on your story or pitch. 

GET YOUR M/S IN SHAPE
Make sure your manuscript is ready to go if an agent likes what she hears and wants to read more.

BREATHE!
Above all else, remember to breathe. Inhale, exhale. The pitch session is not a make or break moment for your book or you as a writer. Pull out all your usual tricks for handling nerves and have fun!
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#querying #pitchinganagent #writercon #writingconference #pitmad
Magic writer, are you a perfectionist when you write? Do you stare out the window for hours as you try to find the exact "right" word, only to give up in frustration?

Boy, I sure do. It's one of the major ways writer's block shows up for me.

This can be especially debilitating in a first draft, the draft where the story overall reveals itself to you. Perfectionism around words and phrases can put up a road block to that story flow.

To get things moving again, try this:

GIVE YOUSELF PERMISSION TO WRITE "BADLY"
If you have to create a formal permission slip for this, go for it: "I, Magic Writer, give myself permission to suck at writing right now and just get the story down."

ADD A PLACEMARKER TO COME BACK TO
When you get the urge to stop writing and conjure the "perfect word," insert a specific phrase like "In other words . . ." and keep going. Later, you can search for that phrase to revise with the "perfect" wordsmithing.

CONSIDER A SPECIAL APP
Consider using The Most Dangerous Writing App. Set up a timed writing session, and if you stop typing for more than a few seconds, all your text will disappear. If you’re desperate to stop overthinking everything you write, it’s sure to get the job done!

Let me know how it goes! Or if you've tried one of these tactics, let me know how it worked for you in the comments below.
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#writersblock #perfectionism #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig
An FAQ I see from indie authors over and over: What kind of editing do I need?? 🤔

If you have a final draft of a manuscript, you probably know the next step in your publishing journey is editing. But—what level? Developmental, substantive, copy, line, structural . . . there are so many different editing types, and a few even have different names depending on the editor! (And, it's all just proofreading, right? Er, no.)

To help you figure out what level of editing your story needs, I've created a quiz on my website to walk you through them all. Answer a few questions about where you are in your publishing journey, and the results at the end will tell you what level is most appropriate for your manuscript at that stage.

TAKE THE QUIZ HERE: www.magicwordsediting.com/quiz/

Or click the link in my bio. 😎🤓
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#editingtips #editing #publishing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting
"Spring is the time of plans and projects."—Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Happy May! What plans and projects do you have going on this month, magic writer? 💐🌞✍🏻

Let's get after them!
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#selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #indieauthorcommunity #wordcountgoals #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife  #iamwriting
Had an amazing time at the Unbound Book Festival @unboundbookfestival in Columbia, Missouri, last weekend!

Emily St. John Mandel was the keynote speaker, I got to meet Matt Bell and Sequoia Nagamatsu (two of my favorite authors), and sat in on craft workshops over novel structure and endings.

My head was buzzing with ideas all the way home! Definitely going back next year.

PHOTO DUMP:
1. The Unbound Book Festival, April 18-21, 2024, Columbia, Missouri

2. Emily St. John Mandel, keynote speaker, signed my copy of Station Eleven.

3. Matt Bell was a panelist, and gave me the *best* signature on my well-loved copy of Refuse to Be Done (if you follow me, you know I use this book *a lot*).

4. Caroline Leavitt, author of Days of Wonder, gave an amazing workshop on structuring a novel.

5. Mark Cecil, podcast host of The Thoughtful Bro and author of Bunyan & Henry, gave an excellent and entertaining workshop on novel endings.

6. Saw a book I proofread for Tor in the local bookshop @skylarkbookshop. Always a thrill!

7. Came away with additions to my TBR pile!

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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstack #bookeditorneeded #amediting #amrevising #bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader #unboundbookfestival #columbiamissouri #bookfestival #authorsofinstagram #editorslife #writerslife #amwriting #indieauthorsofinstagram #authorslife
. . . and I use every one! 😎🤓

#bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader #editorslife #bookeditorneeded #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #indieauthors #writersofinstagram
Today's writing challenge comes from Refuse to Be Done by Matt Bell:

If you're stuck wallowing in a plot that goes nowhere or writing scenes that all sound the same, Bell suggests taking a step back to write four test scenes outside of your outline or current story flow.

First, select a point in your plot and/or a certain character.

Then write one each of the following scenes around that plot point/character:

💡 Discovery - show a character learning about or discovering something

💡 Complication - introduce a complication to a character's goals or the story outline

💡 Reversal - reverse an existing complication

💡 Resolution - resolve a conflict/complication in your story

Your goal here isn't to write four awesome scenes that make it into your book—it's simply to get your writing moving again. You'll end up with several thousand words that might help you discover something surprising about your story or characters. And  it just might get you out of that rut.

If you try this challenge, let me know how it goes in the comments. 👇🏻

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#writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram
HOW DO YOU PUNCTUATE DIALOGUE QUOTED IN OTHER DIALOGUE? 🤔😬

When a character quotes an exact line of dialogue from another character, how is that punctuated? It's not as tricky as you might think.

Here's a quick tip from The Chicago Manual of Style:

13.30: Quotations and “quotes within quotes”

Quoted words, phrases, and sentences run into the text are enclosed in double quotation marks. Single quotation marks enclose quotations within quotations.

EXAMPLE:
“His exact words were, ‘I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy.’” (Note the placement of the final single quote: it goes *outside* the period. For question marks/exclamation points, it goes *inside*.)

Now you know! 😎
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips
Please hold for the next available operator 🤪 …
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#editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
Psst! Hey, magic writer. Do you have writer's block?

Ugh. Me too! Here's something I've found that helps:

Try relocating. As in, actually moving your physical body to a new spot.

A change of scenery might be what you need. If you usually write indoors, go to the park. If you normally churn out the words in a coffee shop, try a quiet corner in the library. Write on the sofa? Move to a different room of your house.

Writing in new location introduces a different energy to your surroundings, which might help get YOUR energy and creativity flowing more freely as well.

If you try it, and it works, let me know in the comments below!
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#writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig
Q. What are "alpha readers"? Why do I need them?

A. Alpha readers are, generally, the very first readers of your book. They usually read a first or unpolished draft to help you catch early mistakes with plot, characters, or setting, and can give you much-needed inspiration to continue drafting or revising if you feel stuck.

Alpha readers can be anyone: editors, family members (although they might not give you unbiased feedback!), other writers, critique partners. The best alpha readers know something about craft to the point that they can give you targeted feedback, know how to offer constructive criticism, can look beyond the flaws of a first draft—like spelling and punctuation errors—and have the time and energy to read your story and comment on it.

How many alpha readers should you have? Typically, a small number (3–5) works best, but have as many as you need to work out any particular problems or stuck places.

Over to you: Have you ever used alpha readers? What was your experience like? Did they help? Let me know in the comments below!
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#editingtips #editing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors
NOW ACCEPTING WAITLIST SIGNUPS! 🥳🎉🤩

If you're the type who loves to plan ahead, or you have a fall publishing schedule, sign up now to get on my Quarter 3 (August, September) waitlist for the following services:

👉🏻 line editing
👉🏻 copy editing
👉🏻 story assessments
👉🏻 query assessments and editing

Waitlist members are contacted on a first come, first served rolling basis. As of today, all spots are taken for July, but openings remain for August and September.

Add your name here --->

🎯 Visit this link: www.magicwordsediting.com OR
💌 Send me a DM OR
🙋🏻 Click the link in my bio

*Got a smaller project? I might be able to work you in before my next opening. Let's talk!
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#bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader #writingtips #writingtipsandtricks #indiesareworthit #indiepublishingcommunity #amediting #amrevising
“Drink some coffee. Listen to some birds. Feel the breeze. Give love into the world and receive it in return. Now open the little box inside your heart marked RIGHTEOUS FURY and let the tornado captured inside take you, carry you, and return you to the fight once more.”—Chuck Wendig, You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton

HAPPY APRIL! 🌻💐🌞🌪
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#indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
CONGRATS!! You've finished writing your first draft. So . . . what's next??

I've had quite a few eager-beaver first-time authors come to me in the last weeks wanting to rush straight from first draft to "proofreading."

No. Slow waaaay down there, skippy.

Writing is a marathon, not a sprint, and I can guarantee that as good as your draft is, it's nowhere near ready to be a book.

There are a few steps in the middle that you really shouldn't skip if you want to sell a quality product.

👉🏻 REVISE AND REWRITE
At the absolute very least, you need to revise and rewrite your draft. Your first draft isn't ready for prime time, and your second or even your third might not be, either. This takes as long as it takes. Sorry/not sorry.

👉🏻 ALPHA/BETA READERS*
Next is to get some eyes on that story. Find some readers typical of those you want to sell your eventual book to; have them give feedback. It will be eye-opening, I assure you.  Go back to step one: revise.

👉🏻 DEV EDIT/MANUSCRIPT EVAL*
Consider getting a professional editor's opinion of the story. They'll give you targeted feedback and suggestions for problems beta readers miss or can't define. Go back to step one: revise.

👉🏻 LINE EDIT
Hurrah, now that you are absolutely 100% done with revision, you can finally start the process of what first-timers typically call "proofreading": editing the actual sentences and words. A line edit massages the syntax, style, and flow of your sentences to make sure they make sense to a reader.

👉🏻 COPYEDIT
This can sometimes be done in conjunction with the line edit. A copyedit checks grammar, mechanics, spelling, character traits, timelines, facts, and other nuts and bolts concerns.

👉🏻 PROOFREAD
After you've formatted, typeset, and designed the book's interior, you're ready for actual proofreading. This is one last check for errors in the page proofs before you publish.

*Beta readers can sometimes come after a dev edit. You don't necessarily need both alpha and beta readers, but it's a good idea.

***

Now you know! Questions? Let me know in the comments.

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#amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader
Mwahahaha . . . all your secret spelling weaknesses belong to meeeeee . . . 😉😆

J/K I only use my powers for good. 🤩
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#indieauthorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinsta #amediting #editingmeme #writingmeme #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter
WHO vs. WHOM: Come jump in the deep water with me, magic writer, and learn when to use “who” and when to use “whom.” It’s easier than you think with this trick.

💡 WHO
"Who" is used as the subject of a sentence.

>>> Example: Who wrote the letter? <<<

💡 WHOM
"Whom" is used as the object of a verb or preposition.

>>> Example: For whom was the letter intended? <<<

⭐ THE TRICK:
One neat trick you can use to figure out when to use one or the other is to invert the sentence and substitute a different pronoun: he/she, him/her, or they/them.*

>>> Who wrote the letter? <<<
THEY wrote the letter. HE wrote the letter. SHE wrote the letter. 

Him, her, or them don't work in this sentence, so we choose "who."

>>> For whom was the letter intended? <<<
The letter was intended for HIM. The letter was intended for HIM. The letter was intended for HER.

He, she, and they don't work in this sentence. So "whom" is correct. (Note the M on the end: them/whom, him/whom, her/ . . . er, trust me on that one.)

📣 *BUT!
Caveat time. In speaking and modern everyday usage, “who” is often used in place of “whom.”

>>> Who is the letter intended for? <<<
>>> Who did you say is calling? <<<

Can’t remember which one to use? Don’t want to sound like a 19th-century grammarian?

Use "who." It’s okay. Really. Even Shakespeare did it. 😎
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips #freelanceeditors #bookeditor
It's spring! It's spring! Hooray! 🐇💐🍃 🌞

Happy equinox, magic writer. Hope you have a magical season, full of new projects, growth as a writer, and sunny days of dreaming up stories.
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#spring #springequinox #spring2024 #springishere #sunnydaysahead #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting
Q: Where can I find legitimate writing workshops that will actually help me become a better writer?

A: By "help me become a better writer" I'm going to assume that what you're looking for is a workshop that offers: 

👉🏻 deep, constructive feedback on YOUR writing; 
👉🏻 instruction from writers who've found success in the field and/or themselves are excellent writers; 
👉🏻 and, perhaps, effective exercises you can apply to your own writing.

Because a combination of the above is what will get you from where you are now as a writer to where you want to be. Quickly. 😉
 
So here are four highly regarded writing workshop providers that fit the bill:

🌟 Iowa Summer Writing Festival
Affiliated with the University of Iowa's world-renowned writing program, the festival offers in-person weekend and weeklong writing workshops on a variety of topics during June and July. You have to travel to Iowa City for the summer classes, but there are a few online workshops in April and May available if you hurry.

🌟 Gotham Writers Workshop
Or just "Gotham"—it's that well-known. The workshops have produced National Book Award winners, NY Times bestselling authors, and an Emmy-winning TV writer. Their classes are offered online and in person, and classes are anywhere from 6–10 weeks . They also list day-long intensives if you're in a real hurry.

🌟 GrubStreet
A nonprofit creative writing center based in Boston, GrubStreet is known for its multiweek and even year-long intensive, membership-based programs. Those puppies aren't for the faint of heart! But they also offer writing workshops for beginning and intermediate writers. Online and in person. Scholarships are available.

🌟 Hugo House
Coming out of Seattle, Hugo House leans more "community arts center" than those listed above, but they still provide online and in-person writing workshops on anything from poetry to memoir to fiction. Lots of speculative fiction classes on tap here!

***

I'm signed up for a couple of workshops in the Iowa festival this summer. Maybe I'll see you there! 

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#writingworkshops #workshops #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity
CAN YOU SPOT THIS EDITING CONUNDRUM? How would you edit this sentence? 🤔

"I wanted to sit in the comfy chair with a cup of coffee in my pajamas and peck away at a keyboard."

Let me know in the comments what you'd do to fix the issue in this sentence, and see what I'd do as a professional editor. 😉
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#bookeditorneeded #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #wordcountgoals
IT'S HAPPENED AGAIN! I've seen more social media posts lately from authors who have been burned by less than professional—even scammy—"editors" and "book coaches." It doesn't have to be this way! 

Vet. Your. Service. Providers. Here's how:

GOOGLE THEM
Not just their business name (a well-known editor/book coach scammer changes their business name when the heat gets, well, hot) but also their actual name. Like this --> "Shawna Hampton" (with the quotation marks so the results show you the right person). Also search their name on TikTok, Facebook, and other social media to see what comes up.

CONTACT REFERENCES
Ask them for references. If they give you any, contact them. If they don't? 🚩🚩🚩

CHECK FOR PRO MEMBERSHIPS
Ask them what professional associations they belong to (Editorial Freelancers, ACES, others). If they give you one or more, go to the association's website and search for their name in the directory. (This same well-known book coach scammer lies about being an EFA member. A quick directory search proves otherwise.)

ASK THEM QUESTIONS
What editing training do you have? Do you offer sample edits? What exactly will I get in my edit? Do you offer a contract? (If so, read it carefully!) Look for any 🚩🚩🚩 in their answers and TRUST. YOUR. GUT.

BONUS
Writer Beware (www.writerbeware.com) exposes writing-related scams and has entries about well-known editor and book coach scammers. 👀👀👀 Give them a visit to see if the person you're thinking of hiring is included.
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#editing #publishing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram
Here's a super fun writing challenge for you:

If you've got a sticky plot point that you can't get moving, try keeping a dream journal for a week or two. See what situations pop up in your dreams that you can adapt to your WIP.

Give it a try, and if you have great results, come back here and post in the comments. Or if you've had a go at this in the past, let me know below—maybe you'll inspire someone!
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#writingchallenge #dreams #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity
"When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze." —William Wordsworth

Spring is nearly here! I see daffodils popping up everywhere I go. When I come across these "hosts of golden daffodils," I always think of this poem, one of the first I really studied deeply in high school English class.

And I always wonder if Wordsworth could have known how powerful his words would be, even centuries later. 

Keep writing those words. You never know how deeply they'll affect someone, or for how long.
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#iamwriting #writingcommunityofig #aspiringauthor #indieauthorsofinstagram #newauthor #writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #wordcountgoals #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
Congrats to client Tori Weed @toriweed on the release of her stunning debut novel, The Weight of Wishes! 

I was thrilled to do a Style Tune-Up (line edit) of this amazing epic fae fantasy. Check it out:

"If dreams can come true, it is vital to remember that nightmares, well, they exist too.

Seren was only four when the Stellean king killed her mother. Sixteen years his servant, Seren understands her place in his cruel court: Stay quiet. Stay out of trouble. And most importantly, stay alive.

But now, the Fae king wants her dead too, and there is only one way to stop him.

Thrust into a challenge not undertaken for centuries, Seren must navigate trials more dangerous and twisted than she could ever imagine.

With the fate of her kingdom hanging in the balance, can Seren defy the odds and uncover the truth about her past?

The clock is ticking. The gods are watching."

Put this one on your list! Get it at: https://t.ly/3gINs

Or click the link in my bio ---->

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#writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram
We've all been there: WRITER'S BLOCK!

That awful feeling when you sit down to write and nothing comes out. That sound of goals swirling down the drain. That certainty that you'll never be able to write another word again.

Yeah. It's happened to me, too.

Over the years, I've developed a few ways to help myself get unstuck, and I plan on sharing as many as I can in the coming months—along with some I've learned from other writers.

This month, here's a solid go to: FREEWRITING

With freewriting, you put aside any plans or outlines or goals, put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard), set a timer, and just . . . write. Anything that comes to mind. Even if it's simply, "I can't think of anything to write," over and over.

Don't worry about what comes out. Don't worry about grammar, or spelling, or "correctness" of any kind.

Simply write words.

You might be surprised to find that eventually, the dam breaks and what you end up writing resembles a scene or a chapter in your WIP. Or you solve a sticky plot point or character motivation.

Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you!
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#writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #wordcountgoals #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
QUICK EDITING TIP: Quotations and "quotes within quotes"

Magic writer, if you have a line of dialogue where a character quotes another character's speech, how do you punctuate that? I'll show you!

From The Chicago Manual of Style: Quoted words, phrases, and sentences . . . are enclosed in double quotation marks. Single quotation marks enclose quotations within quotations; 

"Wait!" Henry exclaimed. "Mr. Jones said, in his words, to 'stay off his lawn if you know what's good for you.'" <--- note the single quotation marks around the words Mr. Jones spoke; also note they come A F T E R the period

Easy-peasey.
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips #freelanceeditors #bookeditor
Asking the really important questions here . . .
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#editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
If you sell your book on Amazon, you N E E D to have a great book description. It's more important than you might think for capturing reader interest (and 💰). Here are some tips for making it a superstar sales tool from the great book The Amazon Author Formula by Penny C. Sansevieri:

🎯 KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don't write a long, complex synopsis of the entire story. Reading large chunks of text makes people tired (and more likely to click away). Concentrate on the important and most exciting parts of the book, and make them snappy.

🎯 MAKE IT SCANNABLE
Break up your text into short paragraphs and do what you can to help reader eyes scan it: add bullets, bolding, headings, or other formatting to highlight the good stuff.

🎯 INCLUDE KEYWORDS
You know those keywords you've researched to help readers find your book on Amazon? (You HAVE done the research, right?) Put them in the book description.

🎯 MENTION REVIEWS/AWARDS
If you've won awards for your writing, put them in. If you've gotten reviews of your book from big-name folks (or even not so big name), put them in. (Use a portion, not the whole thing.)

🎯 PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD
Don't put up a book description full of errors and typos. If you wouldn't put out a book without editing, don't do the same for your sales page. Proofread carefully, or hire an editor to look over ALL your marketing materials.

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Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments, or give it a like and share! 👍🏻🙌🏻

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#bookmarketing #marketingyourbook #marketyourbook #sellyourbook
WHAT I'M READING: Dreaming on the Page by Tzivia Gover. 

Magic writer, do you have interesting, epic dreams?

From the time I was a wee young'un, I've had the most amazing, twisty, cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs dreams. When I describe them to people, they always say, "You should write that as a story!" Believe me, I've tried. They never stick around long enough to get them down on paper.

Enter this amazing book! Gover has written a supercharged manual for vivid dreamers-turned-writers who want to mine their nightly mind movies for the good stuff.

LIKES: Right off the bat, Gover has a section of tips for remembering your dreams that I found super helpful, followed by steps for setting up your dream-writing practice so it's most effective. Then, the bulk of the book consists of exercises and writing prompts for mining your dream journaling for the good stuff to turn it into poems and stories. I loved this structure. Working my way through the prompts and her gentle guidance has been (ahem) eye-opening. I've learned so much about how I write AND how I tick. The last third offers some guidance for packing your dream stories up for publication, which I know will be helpful when I get to that point, and for creating what the author calls "dream circles": writing groups centered around dream writing.

DISLIKES: None! This was a superb book in every way, from the content to the interior design to the cover. Even the paper it's printed on was beautiful.

Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠 (out of 5)

Friend, have you ever written a story based on a dream? I'd love to know about it in the comments below. If not, and you're intrigued by the idea, pick up this book to get you started!
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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstagramfollowtrain #bookstack  #indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #writingadvice
Q: Where do I find literary agents to query?

A: If you're ready to begin your querying journey for your book and need to find agents, the first place I recommend you look is Query Tracker. It's a huge database of literary agents and allows you to search on multiple criteria. Not only that, though, it also offers tools to help you track what queries you've sent and to whom, replies to your queries, status of your queries, and much more.

Other resources include:

👉🏻 Manuscript Wishlist: Also a search engine for agents, MSWL allows agents to post the types of books they're interested in to help you tailor your targeting.

👉🏻 Publishers Marketplace: PM is THE industry news source. This is a good stop to research agents and see the recent deals they've made, which might help you put together that important comps list.

👉🏻 Guide to Literary Agents: Don't discount this iconic guide from Writer's Digest. Available in print and e-book formats, this is a giant list of agents and the agencies they work for, plus what genres they represent. Although it can get out of date quickly, it could be a great fallback in your agent-research toolbox.

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And if you need help getting your query letter and synopsis in shape before sending it to agents, my Query Cleanup service might be helpful. It's a read and critique of your querying materials, plus a line edit of the revision. Click the 🌍 in my bio or send a 📩 for more info.
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