Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sensory Description: Sight/Calls for Submissions

In describing what a character sees, color, texture, and movement are essential. One of the best ways to frame descriptive scenes is to be observant to the things around you. Keep a notebook to jot down ideas. If you’re at the mall, notice how people walk, shop, and communicate. Write notes about similar situations in which you will place your characters. If a boy is at a bus stop, observe and make notes about kids waiting for the bus and how they act. Writing notes will make you more conscious of observing others and you can refer to the notes when writing the scene.

Describing a scene through the sense of sight places the reader inside the scene. This allows the reader to “see” what’s happening and gives color to the mountains or bloom to the flowers. Seeing “the cat” is a visual detail, but the detail can be improved upon with “the calico cat.” Instantly, the reader can visualize a specific color of cat.

Did the rain plummet in a blurry haze or did fat raindrops splatter one at a time on the sidewalk? How did people and animals react to the rain?

Pump up you writing with the sense of sight and your readers will know not only where things are but what those things look like.

Call for submissions for adult writers:
WOLFoundation Prose Competition. "WOLFoundation runs an annual competition looking for the best non-technical, English language writing on any subject related to environmental issues. Entries will be judged by the members of our Advisory Board. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $1,500. A further $500 will be awarded to the second placed entry. The shortlisted entries will be published as a book of collected essays." NB: "Entries should be written in prose in the English language. You can submit essays or short stories, factual commentary or fiction - whichever way and whichever writing style you choose to communicate your ideas. Just make it compelling." (Thanks to Adrienne R. Scanlan,, for pointing me to this competition.)
Deadline: September 30, 2012
Details at

Call for submissions for young writers:
STARSONGS is a magazine for kids by kids ages 9-19. Our tag line is "voices of the future" and our goal is to inspire youth. Starsongs accepts original short stories, poetry, essays, photography, and art work by young people in the above mentioned age group. Full manuscript accepted from youth. Our next issue will focus on veterans, orphans, and loss. Each issue of Starsongs contains a mentoring article about writing submitted by an adult writer. If interested in writing for this feature, please query your idea first. Starsongs also features an interview with an extraordinary young person, which is usually conducted via email by Starsongs staff. We are always open to referrals of youth who have accomplished an extraordinary goal at a young age or impacted their community in some positive manner. For guidelines and further information about Starsongs, go to or contact Executive Editor Patti Shene at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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