Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 14, 2016

To Editor, with Love

February. Love is in the air.

How important is it to love the words you write? If you’re a writer, you want your readers to love your characters, but first, you must love those literary protagonists. Create interesting characters, even the antagonists. Have fun watching them grow in depth and complexity. Developing interesting characters is like meeting new people: some become friends, some mere acquaintances, and others you might prefer to avoid.  
Interesting characters have flaws, just like the people we are and those we meet. Flaws and weaknesses lead to poor decision making and that leads to strong plots. Readers identify with character frailties and build hopes that the character will overcome the obstacles and succeed.
We begin manuscripts in love with the idea of the story. As the manuscripts progresses and becomes difficult to write—the place where I am now with a dual biography—the sweetness turns a little sour, the fun evaporates, and I’m left wondering what happened to the love. It's still February, after all.
Today, I’m going for the gusto. I’m going to play with the words and have fun. The worst that can happen is that I delete every word, but at least I’ve had fun. I’m going to reignite my passion for the story, reach out and try to grab some of the love February floats, and spread it throughout my manuscript—my Valentine gift to me.
Call for submissions for Young Writers

Rookie is an American online magazine created by fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson in 2011, then aged just 15, with Jane Pratt (founding editor of Sassy) and Ira Glass (This American Life) among its many high-profile supporters. The site has monthly themed content, with updates three times every weekday, and once a day on weekends, and every school year the editors compile the best from the site into a printed yearbook  There are no restrictions on the age of contributors and all written pieces should be at least 800 words long (except poems). Rookie’s April 2015 theme is ‘Both Sides Now’.

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for Adult Writers

Brilliant Flash Fiction is all about having fun. The editor is looking for stories that are fun to read, and that are maybe even amazing. Springtime Fiction Writing Contest
Theme: The Future

Word limit: 500 – 750 words, excluding title
Deadline: MARCH 15, 2016
Submission guidelines at

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