Monday, May 28, 2018

Author Etiquette: Remember the Mouse

During a recent collaboration, I heard a few veteran authors and agents bemoan the loss of social etiquette within the publishing world. It's easy to overlook, I am in fact writing this blog alone and you, dear reader, are most likely reading this, alone. Reading, writing and editing can be lonely but that doesn't mean we kick social graces to the curb.

Remember the Mouse
Authors are intimate creatures, we pen our emotions/dreams and expect validation not criticism. 
We are writers, visionaries, dreamers...we are second only to God (yes, I had a client say this to me).

In reality, our masterpiece needs to be buffed and chipped until we uncover our little diamond in the rough. We need our editors. We need our critiques.
It's hard on the ego and tough on the pride. It's easy to dismiss a critique or belittle critique members but remember, they are future published authors. It's better to have a friend than a foe in this cozy industry. 

If you hire a professional editor and do not agree with his/her edits, be careful and speak kindly. Many editors are also on acquisition boards (those lovely people who decide if you will be published or not) and they are not required to disclose this information. 
If you speak ill of an editor/agent/author, chances are, they will hear it and you will pay the price.
Remember the fable, it was the lion who ended up needing the mouse, not the other way around.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Shannon the Soldier

Thanks to the internet, not much is hidden. I was one of many who stood shoulder to shoulder with Shannon Hale (well, my shoulder, her elbow) during the Storymakers Conference in early May. She's not only a bestselling author several times over but a woman of character. She's a soldier for inclusion, regardless of where you or I stand. 

During Storymakers Conference, we experienced an aggressive stance against harassment. No other conference posted a policy at registration, during general meetings and in emails leading up to the event. Every notice encouraged contact, whether it be via phone, email or face to face. We, not just women but authors in general, were safe and embolden to "see something, say something." 

And yet, just an hour north of that same area, is a completely different story. Shannon Hale is at the center of a raging media storm. Ever the advocate, Shannon Hale privately expressed concern to FanX, formerly Salt Lake's Comic Con, about the safety of women regarding a particularly celebrated male author with predatory tendencies.

Sadly, Bryan Brandenburg, the director of FanX, responded with a dismissal "I've been sensitive to these issues...before it became trendy with #metoo" and told Shannon to "sit this one out."

Let's just say it escalated from there and Bryan tweeted an edited version of his emails along with Shannon's personal contact information. Unwittingly, his tweet united the dozens of other women being dismissed by FanX in the exact same fashion. 

Shannon was not alone, she was just the loudest voice. Her entire message was "listen to women, believe women." Because of her, the entire publishing world is listening. Thank you Shannon for your strength and advocacy.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Finish Line is in Sight

Over the past few months, we've learned and loved every post of our Dan McGuire Blog Challengers. Each blogger will be honored at the Annual WOK Honors for their completion and dedication (tickets still available).

Our blog challenge is one of many membership perks Writers of Kern provides (critique groups, writing contests, WOK imprint...). For more information on joining our ranks, click here.