Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The new year brings new beginnings. This is a good time for writers to reflect on habits and activities that worked well in the past and on changes that can promote writing careers. As Dolly Parton said, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

Dolly’s words ring true with writing, also. If we want to grab a publishing contract we have to put up with some rain: schedule time to write, accept rejection, revise manuscripts, and other tasks that come with the deal.

Life interrupts. The interruptions are often and major. It’s easy for me to find reasons not to write or revise. The floors need to be swept. Laundry is piled up. I’m hungry. I don’t know where to go in the story. How can I make the character more interesting? I’m hungry. The dog wants out. The dog wants in. I’m hungry. [I think I see a pattern here.]

Our minds fill with guilt for not doing this or that. Or is that guilt a way to avoid sitting in a chair and writing. I can invent excuses for not writing as easily as grabbing another bite of that chocolate bar that keeps me jumping out of the chair. Writing is not easy and it will never be easy. Let’s face it: writing is hard work and I love nothing more than avoiding hard work. BUT, and there always seems to be a “but,” we have to keep the butt in the chair if we expect to get a contract. So here’s to butts in chairs and a prosperous new year of writing.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

GENEii Family History Writing Contest. Cash prizes for family history or local history articles, published or unpublished. Note that "subjects need not relate to California or the United States."

Deadline: December 31, 2012

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for young writers:

Relate Magazine. Pay: Varies The mission is to inspire teen girls to pursue their dreams with confidence and to teach them to be an example for others in their speech, life, love, faith and purity. Topics include design, entertainment, the future in terms of college and jobs, beauty, faith, life, quizzes. Average article is between 650 and 1,600 words in length although longer work will be considered. Sidebar information is also encouraged, as well as graphics, including illustrations, and photographs. Feature Article (around 1,800 words): $350-$700 General Article (around 800 words): $150-$200.

Submission guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. I always enjoy your posts. Thanks for the Dolly Parton quote. It's a great reminder. Have a happy and prosperous new year.

  2. Thanks, Rosi. May 2013 be a productive year of writing for you.