Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 23, 2016

After the Contract, then What?


"If our readers don't like the first line then they'll never read the second."-Richard Peck

Signing with a publisher, that’s a big, gargantuan, colossal deal for a writer. It’s woohoo, chocolate-dance time. So what’s next? The answer depends on the editor and the manuscript. The editor is enthusiastic or the contract would not have been offered, but a writer may sometimes question the degree of enthusiasm when receiving the notes for a rewrite.
My two latest books were produced by two different publishers. FORTY WINKS, a bedtime picture book, required a minimal amount of revision. The first line, the hardest part of a book to write, didn’t resonate with the editor so I had to rewrite it, along with a few other tweaks. Within several exchanges guided by the editor, the book grew in complexity and the word choice upped the rhythm of the narrative.

My latest chapter book, THE RIDDLERS, required not a mere tune-up but a major overhall. The last five chapters were a no-go, so I wrote a brand new ending, all at the suggestion and guidance of my editor. One secondary character now has a minor role, and the relationship between the girl and her grandfather, who slowly succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease, became the primary focus of the book, making it a more emotionally satisfying story.

I respect and appreciate profession feedback. With both of these books, I’ve experience true collaborative editorial relationships, and with each, my writer wings widened. After all, my editors and I want the same thing: a polished manuscript.

Call for submissions for Young Writers:

Forest for the Trees. For submissions, enter Submission – Fiction, Submission – CNFSubmission – Poetry, or Submission – Art in the subject line. If you are a writer between the ages of 13 and 19, please indicate that you are submitting your work for publication in the Leaves section of FFTT. You may also want to include information about any awards you have won or encouragements you have been given by your teachers. If you are a writer over the age of 19, please indicate in the body of your email that you are submitting your work for publication in the Branches category.

Submission text should be attached as a Word or compatible document which is titled Your Name – Poems – or whatever your title or genre may be.For Poetry, you may submit up to 5 poems in a single document.
For Fiction and Creative Nonfiction, you may submit one piece that is up to 6,000 words, or three flash pieces that do not exceed 1,000 words each. All three should be in a single document.
Call for submissions for Adult Writers:

Stories about Teachers and Teaching. There isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t owe something to a teacher. They are the unheralded heroes of society. Tell us your stories about the great teachers who changed your life. And if you’re a teacher, tell us about the kids who changed yours, who motivated you to keep on teaching, who showed you that it was all worth it. We’d love to share your best advice with other teachers as well—what works, what doesn’t, how you stay enthusiastic about your jobs. What advice do you have for your colleagues? Tell us the funny stories too—we know you have lots of those. The deadline date for story and poem submissions has been extended to October 30, 2016. Deadline: October 30, 2016 

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 40+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK.

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