Nancy's Books

Sunday, November 25, 2012

From Idea to Story, Part VI/Calls for Submissions

This article is part of a series.

When you get an idea, write it down immediately. Keep a notebook handy for that purpose. If you overhear an interesting phrase or an unusual use of a word, add it to the notebook and allow a character to think those thoughts or use the phrase in dialog to add distinctive voice to your story. Story ideas pop up around us all the time. Make a habit to listen and look for possible plot ideas or interesting characters traits. You never know who will say or do something to make you think, laugh, wonder, or tease your imagination.

When describing a setting use photos to get an idea of a house or area or sketch your imagined locale. Having a visual layout of an area in which you see trees, stream, and animals roaming around makes the words will flow much easier. 

Research the subject of the story so interesting facts can add to the realism. Readers enjoy learning something new or being surprised with a tidbit of information.

Create a problem for the character and plot the story so the character must solve the problem on his/her own.

Don’t rush the story. Like seeds, stories take time to bloom.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Ashland Creek Press is currently accepting submissions of novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections on the themes of travel, the environment, ecology, and wildlife — above all, we’re looking for exceptional, well-written, engaging stories. As you’ll see from our new and forthcoming titles, we are open to many genres (young adult, mystery, literary fiction) as long as the stories are relevant to the themes listed above. At this time, however, we are not reading submissions for children’s books.

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for young writers:

Pomegranate Words Teen Writing 2012 Collection. Pomegranate Words will be producing a print publication early next year showcasing the best teen writing we can find! Will you be one of our featured writers?

Submission Guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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