Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Know Your Audience, Part 1

In a recent post, I discussed writing to meet the needs and wants of a target audience. One of the most effective ways to target an audience with writing is to talk with members of a particular age group and simply ask what they like to read. Feedback is literary gold because the answers are authentic. Whether you talk with one or many, enjoy a friendly discussion on types of reading material and topics. The need of one may be the need of many. 

Knowing you audience is the key to the voice of the piece. Does an eight-year-old protagonist sound like an eight-year-old? If the answer is no, further revision is necessary. Imagine you were in an automobile accident. The way the character relates the details should be different according to the person s/he is talking with. If the character is talking to the police, a more serious tone would work. If telling friends, more humor may be expected. In fact, the character may brag to friends that he darted into traffic and tell the police that he stumbled.  

Either way, the character should mirror the actions/reactions and speech of a child the same age. The first question to ask is Who is reading or listening to this book? Adapt the content accordingly.  

Call for submissions for Adult Writers

Writing for Animals Nonfiction Anthology. Ashland Creek Press is currently accepting nonfiction submissions for a new anthology, Writing for Animals: An anthology for writers and instructors to educate and inspire.

From Franz Kafka’s Report to the Academy to Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, animals have played a central role in literature. Increasingly, writers are playing a central role in advancing awareness of animal issues through the written word.

And yet little has been written about the process of writing about animals—from crafting point of view to voice. Writers who hope to raise awareness face many questions and choices in their work, from how to educate without being didactic to how to develop animals as characters for an audience that still views them as ingredients. We hope to address these issues and more with a new collection of articles, by writers and for writers—but most of all, for the animals.

We seek articles from authors and educators about the process of writing about animals in literature.* Our focus is on including a mix of instructional and inspirational articles to help readers not only improve their work but be inspired to keep at it. Articles may be previously published and should not exceed 10,000 words.

The deadline is January 3, 2017. Accepted submissions will receive a stipend of $100 plus a copy of the finished book upon publication.

Submission guidelines at

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