Archive for March, 2009

WD Editors Intensive Revisited

Here’s a link nice blog post about our recent editors intensive event. This writer was one that I had a chance to meet with, his story was a very eerie psychedelic science fiction piece that had some great potential.

http://lystrawrote.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/writers-digest-editors-intensive/#comment-5

It’s great to hear some nice feedback about the event. I think all of the writers I talked to seemed to find it very valuable. Stay tuned for news about our next one, which will be in June: http://writersdigest.com/events

Thank You for Not Nominating Our Books

Here’s an awards we’re glad none of our books won: Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. This year’s winner is The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais. The shortlist included Curbside Consultation of the Colon, The Large Sieve and Its Applications, Strip and Knit With Style (the author’s comment in the article is insightful), and Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring.

Past (dis)honorees include:

  • Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Nude Mice
  • Versailles: The View From Sweden
  • Weeds in a Changing World
  • Reusing Old Graves
  • People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What To Do About It
  • Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers
  • A Pictorial Book of Tongue Coatings
  • Waterproofing Your Child
  • Cheese Problems Solved

I’m really trying to pick a favorite, but I just don’t think I can. Perhaps we’ll keep this list as inspiration for our next titling meeting.

The Spirit of Giving

It all started with President Obama, it seems, though of course, community service and donating — time, money, food, etc.– has been around for much longer than his presidential run. But giving seems to be in the air, and I have to say that I like what I’ve been seeing. It’s not so much on the formal level, though we’re having our annual Fine Arts Fund drive right now, and that’s a worthy cause– I volunteer for them in another capacity, as well, and it’s made me a bit more aware of all the arts programs we have in this community.

But it seems to be affecting individuals the world over, which is why I was heartened to see several of my friends give to another friend struggling to make her rent this month. This all happened online, and yeah, donating money to “strangers” on the internet does have its pitfalls, but it highlights a few things for me, most of which is how the words “strangers” and “friends” and “community” have been redefined in the 21st Century.

Servicing and helping out our communities work on both the local and the global scale, and I love being part of it. The Cincinnati Mini-marathon and heartwalk is this Sunday and I and my sister will be part of it. I’m supporting my local community as well, and the pledges I received? Came from such diverse places as Britain and Italy, among others.

If you’re local to Cincy, come out and support Harry’s Helpers; I’ll be one of them, and cheer everyone on, and if you know someone walking, pledge them.

Or if you prefer, you can always pledge money to the Fine Arts Fund. Trust me, it’s worth your dime.

WD Editors Intensive

This past weekend I participated in a writing workshop at our offices here in Cincinnati. Writers from all over the country came to participate in workshops and panels hosted by editors from the staff of Writer’s Digest. Topics covered everything from writing techniques to strategies for getting published to using social networking to promote your writing.

I participated in a panel about “Why We Quit Reading.” Which was dedicated to discussing the common pitfalls that writers fall into when sending their work to editors. We covered reasons why as editors, we might stop reading a submission and reject it. Some of the most common reasons are when writers try to explain too much backstory through dialogue, shift point of view too often or use POV incorrectly, fail to set up a conflict and a plot soon enough, or when the pacing or the structure of the story causes confusion or boredom.

edintensestraws1Writers discuss their work in one on one sessions with WD editors.
One days of the workshop was dedicated to one on one sessions between writers and editors. I had a chance to read several manuscripts and meet with writers to discuss their ideas and offer suggestions for improvement.

Overall, I read a lot of things with some real potential. All the writers who attended seemed to enjoy the event and find it helpful. I wish everyone who attended the best of luck with their projects and encourage everyone to check out our next Editor’s Intensive event which is scheduled for June (more info to come).

Delayed Gratification

z2053_mailmeart

I started work here as an editor last June: My nine-month-eversary is next Monday. And finally, finally, finally this week the first book I’ve worked on start to finish is in stores. Mail Me Art. In a fast-paced world, waiting this long for a finished product seems strange, but, alas good things often take time. I’ve seen the book (it’s gorgeous). I have copy here at work. I’ve seen it on Amazon and BN.com. But I’ve been eagerly waiting to see it in a real store so I can buy a cup of coffee before I face it out on the shelf.

Today I braved the Kenwood lunch traffic to go to Barnes and Noble. I perused the Graphic Design shelf, scanning A, B, C, D, Di Lieto. Nothing. So I headed to the desk. The helpful associate looked it up. “We don’t carry it. It looks like I can order it for you.” I looked at her, disinterested. “None of our stores in the area carry it.” Oh! Unacceptable! I thanked her and left.

So my delayed gratification is further delayed. I’m on a quest. I will see Mail Me Art in a store. According to Borders.com it’s “likely in store” at several area locations; I’ve always liked Borders better anyway. I’ll keep you posted.