Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Contests & Competitions

Colorado Review: Nelligan Prize
Deadline: March 14, 2018
Entry Fee: $15
Cash Prize: $2,000
http://nelliganprize.colostate.edu for more info

Bellingham Review: Literary Awards
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Entry Fee: $20
Cash Prize: $1,000
http://www.bhreview.org/contest-submissions-guidelines for more info

Sonora Review
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Entry Fee: $15
Cash Prize: $1,000
http://www.sonorareview.com for more info

Washington College
Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellowship
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Cash Prize: $20,000
http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu for more info

The Writer's Center
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Cash Prize: $500
http://www.writer.org for more info

James Jones Literary Society: First Novel Fellowship
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Entry Fee: $30
Cash Prize: $10,000
http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/1159.asp for more info

Diamonds in the Desert Contest
Deadline: March 16, 2018
Entry Fee: $25 for members, $30 nonmembers
Cash Prize: Agent & Editor review
http://desertroserwa.org/desert-diamonds for more info

Happy Submitting!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Willow Kate

 The Struve family tucked their sweet baby, Willow Kate, into bed unaware it would be the last time. The cause was undetermined, SIDS. Still grieving, they've made it their mission to shield other families from this heartbreak. Their goal is to bring  awareness to SIDS and raise funds that in turn, will help gift Owlet Smart Socks monitoring system to families with little ones in order to help keep our babies safe.
 Lash Out Lash & Brow Bar are raffling a free brow microblading session (worth $650). To participate,  donate at least $25. Bonus entry if you repost/share via blog, Facebook or Instagram.
I cannot imagine the grief...and I cannot image the strength of character it would take to turn heartbreak into hope.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lonely or Lovely?

Most say writing is a lonely endeavor (say that to my cat), but does it have to be? It's true that only your hands can type your story but what about the rest of the process? 

Noone is great at everything, even in publishing. 
You might be a master of dialogue but fall a little short on scenery or that quiet writer in the corner of the conference might be a master of characterization. Conceptual edits are my love but the nitty gritty of punctuation are nails on the chalkboard.

How do can we, in the lonely field of writing, weave our strengths with others?

Take Inventory
What are your strengths and weaknesses (be brutally honest)?
If you're not sure what you've conquered and what you've neglected, join a critique group or submit to contests. Listen to the feedback, especially the repetitive suggestions.

Go Fishing
How do we find authors who have mastered your weaknesses?
Join a local writers group, extend your hand to other writers at conferences, join online writers groups...in short, reach out. And ask for help. There's no shame in humble requests.

Lonely writing is not. There's a bond that happens between authors as we share the most intimate thoughts with each other. Because of my literary journey, I've secured lifelong friends. Strangers have become family as ideas blossom and prejudices fall away. 

And that, my fellow writers, is how we change the world, a few words at a time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Strength of the Olive Branch

Choosing the olive branch to surround the words Kind Girls Make Strong Women was deliberate and intentional. Most believe the olive branch to be a symbol of peace, but there is greater depth in the symbol.

Long before modern civilization heralded the olive tree's healing properties and long before the olive branch represented war torn countries the tree became sacred by its own strength. Not only drought resistant and adaptable to even the rockiest soil, a single tree can live for thousands of years through limb cutting or limb transferring. In other words, no matter how destitute its foundation or how many times it's cut, the tree will live on.

Much like truth.
Much like kindness.
And very much like powerful peace.

I've witnessed a growing chasm between civility and tyranny within my own family. To say it's heart breaking would be a massive understatement. Everything I am and everything I try to teach my girls, is to be kind and strong. My little (immediate) family discuss politics, religion and even taboo subjects like mental health. We are far from perfect but I pray that Damon and I have created a safe place to question. The exact opposite of what my extended family has become.

Shouting opinions and brow beating under the guise of "educating" has become the norm. Dismissing the ideas and feelings of others by saying "they're young" or they're ______ (insert any label).

The most terrifying part is this isn't new. Any time there is an "us" and there is a "them" we wade into dangerous waters. I cannot save the world but I can nourish my roots, have them cling to the rocky soil. I can take heart that my children will leave my home and spread their peaceful strength out to the world, transferring their strength to others, like the olive tree.

For those interested in why it's dangerous to draw the line between old/young, Christian/Nonchristian, American/NonAmerican, Republican/Democrat...
Click here, or here, or even here

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

We Need You

Dear Writers,

We, as in Writers of Kern, need you. Change is on the horizon and we'd like your input. Mark your calendars for April 7th and join us for a strategy meeting. We'll discuss WOK's future both in leadership and direction.

For questions or additional information, please click here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Spread the Love

Last year my daughters launched Kind Girls Make Strong Women both on Facebook and Instagram. They sold clothes and charms (without profit) to help spread the message. They appeared on the news both locally and in other hot pockets across the country. Their reach has spread as far as London but here, they've deepened their service. They've appeared and spoken at school districts, cleaned parks and much more.

Once a quarter, they host a donation drive to feed the hungry. 
This Saturday (February 17th, 2018) from 10 am. to 2 p.m. they'll be collecting non perishable food for their Spread the Love Donation Drive. And, like always, they are offering free tacos to boot. They've spent countless hours organizing and marketing this event. If you're able, please stop on by. There will be prizes for donors and local booths from our sponsors.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Query Camp Recap

Fifteen fearless writers signed up for our first webinar of the year but due to a glitch, our recorded video is unavailable. Have no fear, I’ve jotted down the basics.

Query Breakdown:
This is a letter we, as authors, send to an editor or an agent for publication. It absolutely must include the following components.

1. Agent
2. Pitch
3. Bio

Address your query to one agent, not an agency. Do your homework (and show your homework, I’m querying you because…)
Don’t forget to follow that particular agent’s submission guidelines.

It’s a clever summary without the ending—only the tension. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. 
A pitch is like a skirt, long enough to cover the basics but short enough to get attention.

This is not a memoir, this is a bio to show you’re the real deal. Don’t over or undersell your work (or yourself). Remember, this is a job interview. You wouldn’t show up in pajamas nor would you show up in a tux. Be calm, be confident and keep it simple.

Tips: Your writing should stand out, not the actual query. Don’t use atypical font. Stick with 12 point size. Keep it to roughly 250 words total.

If you’re feeling nervous, then you’re doing something right.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Dan McGuire Blog Challenge

Give a shout-out to these ambitious writers. They’ve accepted the Dan McGuire Challenge. 


1. Publish 26 posts on your blog by May 6th (twice a week for 13 weeks if you break it down)
2. Comment or like (on Facebook) at least three other blog posts (see list below)
3. Take a deep breath. You only need to write a few sentences, not a nove

Yours Truly,

Isabella Tagore passioncruit.com

***if your blog address is incorrect, please let me know ASAP***