Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Week Two: The Rejection Project

Stats for Week Two:

Queries Sent: 0
Query Responses: 1
Queries Rejected: 0
Agent Referrals: 1 

Overall Stats: 
Queries Sent: 8
Query Responses: 4
Queries Rejected: 2
Agent Referrals: 2

With half of the agents responding and two referring me to colleagues, it's time to do a little inventory. Our rejection rate is 25%, referral rate at 25%. 

It's not exactly good news, but neither is it bad. At this point we know we have something interesting but not out of this world - if agents were clamoring for longer submissions, then I'd stop reworking the pitch. 
This would be the time to reach out and get some help (for the sake of the Rejection Project, I won't call in favors from the publishing community).

But I will regroup. I'll print off the pitch and rework. 
I'll send it to my critique group or read it out loud or join another online writing community.  But no matter what, I'll continue to polish the pitch until we get those longer requests (when it's up to the quality of the writing, not the query).

Sunday, February 24, 2019

You Know What I "Meme"!

There are few things I love more than laughing, even if I'm laughing at myself. Writers Memes are hands-down, my all time favorite and let's be honest, sarcasm is my love language.
 Successful comedy is reality with a twist, and when you think about it, so is writing. Blockbuster novels become that way because they resonate with readers. They portray humanity in a different light (regardless of the genre).
Laughter is easy to forget when you're surrounded by blank pages and endless writer's block but maybe, just maybe comedy is your cure. A little sarcasm never hurt anyone. 
For more writers memes, click here for my Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Week One: The Rejection Project

Stats for Week One:

Queries Sent: 8
Queries Responses: 3
Queries Rejected: 2
Agent Referrals: 1

I was a little shocked that within a week I heard back from three agencies, including an agent referral. With three responses all but one was a rejection form letter. 

These are both good and bad. Good because they're efficient and I can easily move on. 
Bad because I have no feedback other than, "thanks but no thanks." 

If the rejections keep piling in (and hearing nothing is a rejection as well, not every agency replies) then I'll need to tweak the pitch.

Stay tuned, the Rejection Project is just getting started!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Mark Your Calendars

This Thursday (February 21, 2019 at 6 p.m. PST), 
join Esther Hatch & Yours Truly for a free online hour of guidance and giveaways. 

Click here to join.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Kindness In Action

This beautiful soul raised enough money to pay for Adam Berg's hotel stay. We had offered him a room but he was already donating his time and fees. This kid wanted to make sure he was comfortable.
 Her organization helps non profit raise money and/or awareness. Over the past few years, she and her sisters have dedicated countless hours to help those in need.

 She's not quite through with Writers of Kern; she's still planning on using the proceeds from her merchandise to help with the spring conference.

She can't help herself. If she finds a need, she'll do everything in her power to fill it. Follow her on Instagram and/or Facebook under Kind Girls Make Strong Women.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Rejection Project

I just got off the phone with an author friend. She (along with a few other writers) have been in a tightly knit group where we critique, edit and cry with each other. She received some incredibly harsh news and in her frustration she said, "I wish I wasn't the only one who was rejected."

Rejection, no matter how hard we try, tends to feel a little personal. It can make us feel unwanted. Alone.

But does it have to be? Rejection is a rite of passage, a stepping stone (sometimes many, many, many stepping stones).

With that in mind, I'm starting the Rejection Project.

I'm going to submit an unedited query (I kind of feel like it's cheating if I have my editor/writing friends help me) to agents and editors that I don't know. There will be "insider" help.

It'll just be me, a query and a finished manuscript.

And here's the best part. I'm going to share the ups, the downs...the stagnant moments when self doubt threatens to keep me paralyzed. So next time, when you're feeling heaviness of rejection, remember you're not alone.

Please, join me. We don't have to be alone in our literary endeavors.

Monday, February 11, 2019


One of my favorite authors is hosting an online Facebook Q&A session with yours truly. 
Join Esther and me for a night full of giveways, laughter and learning.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Writers of Kern February Message

I recently overheard a group of men talking about the Chinese Zodiac predictions for 2019. According to these men, this year is set to be the year of money, love and career. They went on planning how they were going to spend their increase in fortune.

While optimism is a worthy trait, there’s more to achieving success than hoping and dreaming—especially in the subjective world of publishing. Positive thinking is an incredible tool that can  sustain us during darker moments, when rejections are pouring in and our confidence is in shambles. But that’s where the benefit begins and ends.

Work—I know, work is a four letter word, pun intended—work is a one way road toward success. Networking might give us a lift, speeding the process. Education, either through conferences or traditional classes can help us along, give us direction. But no amount of wishing will catapult you on a bestseller’s list.

The only thing is work. And work (in our publishing world) is writing. It sounds trivial. Maybe even a tad silly.

But we are authors and we need to write.

This is the reason we do Museful Moments at our meetings. This is why we sponsor the Good Pitch, Bad Pitch at our Spring Conference. This is why we accept the BlogChallenge.

We can’t become better writers if we don’t write. Whether you’re just starting out and can barely put two words together, write.

Join our Blog Challenge. Join our critique groups. Join us—and write.

—Clarissa Kae

Quick Tip

Here's a few quick tips for the Dan McGuire Blog Challenge:

1) Don't stress. It's supposed to be challenging (hence, the name) but not overwhelming.

Some weeks you'll have four entries while other weeks you'll have zero. The end goal is 26 entries. It doesn't matter how you get there.

2) Post a picture. This isn't just for the readers, it's for you. It'll help keep your entry focused.

3) Be honest. I'm human. You're human. We're all human. The funny, the quirky and even the hurtful make for great blog fodder.

To make it easier on readers, I've posted the most current list here (and keep it updated) but bloggers can also post their link on the Facebook Event page here. Many bloggers are posting on the Writers of Kern Facebook page as well. It doesn't matter where you post (although it appears that most authors are checking the blog post than Facebook). 

Monday, February 4, 2019

And we're off!

It's week one of our Dan McGuire Blog Challenge!

For the next few months each of our bloggers will be posting a total of twenty six entries and visiting their fellow challengers' sites.

Here's a list of our challengers...

Judy Salamacha
Sandy Moffett
Mark Castro

If you'd like to join in, email with your name and blog link.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Top Five Contests Coming Up!

Line your walls with rejections and successes with the five following competitions...

Working Class Writers: Deadline February 28, 2019
Cash Prize: Grant of $1,000

Desert Rose RWA Contest: Deadline March 15, 2019
Finalists receive agent & editor feedback (2018's contest had 15+ request for full manuscripts by judging agents/editors).

Pacific Northwest Writer's Association Literary Contest: Deadline March 22, 2019
Winners picked by agents & editors from PNWA's conference (cash prize range $150-$600)

Write a Script: Deadline April 30, 2019
Cash Prize: $100

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award: Deadline August 2019
Cash Prize: (UK) $1,000

To submit a contest for the blog, email