Today’s Writing Advice from around the Web

Today my inbox is full of bloggers who are on the ball.



Like they all collaborated in some underground writer bloggy meeting and bounced ideas off each other


until they decided, Hey. Let’s all give practical advice today which shall inspire the words right out of our unsuspecting followers.

Today subscriptions are on target, people. Hitting straight to the writer heart.

(I was going to include a Boromir GIF, but it’s too soon.)

I link to three of them after the jump. Go read ’em.

Continue reading

Year 28 Creative Goals

Jackie Lea Sommers posted twelve creative goals at the beginning of the year and just updated her followers on how she’s been doing on them (Spoiler: She’s killing it). Can you believe 2015 is already a quarter of the way through?

I loved her idea and that she did a visual post.

April is my birthday month, and I have a couple traditions I try to do yearly:

  1. Celebrate both our birthdays by doing something Shakespearean
  2. Visit the zoo to see the baby animals
  3. Create New Year’s Resolutions

I’m turning 27, so this will be my 28th year. Here are my creative goals:

Creative Goals 28th Year

From top left:

  1. Brainstorm 6 New Ideas—Novel, graphic novel, and picture book ideas that I haven’t already started drafting
  2. Launch Newsletter in Summer—I have so many blogs I had to create a new one just to curate what’s going on each month. When it launches, you can follow that one rather than following me on all the different platforms. Simplicity and organization!
  3. Launch YouTube Channel—I am really excited about this. Frequency of vlogs will be low as long as I have toddlers in the house, but each one will be packed full of goodness and giveaways!
  4. Vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Captain and I were going to go for our 5th anniversary last year, but we had to cancel for his brother’s wedding. (Totally worth postponing for!) I’m really hoping we can get away this summer. We haven’t had a break in 4 years.
  5. Outline Second Graphic Novel—This is my Middle Grade novel, which I have to wait to start until I hear back on a writing grant I just applied for.
  6. Attend AWP 2015—I’ll cross this off the list next weekend! Very excited to attend. I’ll be live-tweeting my experience (@larathelark) and tweeting the advice and tips I gather (@laraedits).
  7. Tour the Awesome Indie Comic Shops of the Twin Cities—I need to network with fellow comics geeks. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!
  8. Blog Weekly About Books—This is an eventual goal I’ll be working up to. Right now it’s monthly.
  9. Complete Graphic Novel Adaptation—I’m adapting a classic novel into a complete graphic novel to keep practicing the form.
  10. Join Comics Experience—This is a community for comics creators. Again, I have to wait to hear back from the grant before I can join (if I want it paid for)
  11. Host my First Writing Contest—Check out 70Pit, coming the first week of July!
  12. Secure Writing Time—In other words, I need to finalize a preschool for my 4-year-old and find regular, reliable part-time childcare for my toddler.

April–July Pitching Opportunities 2015


This page will be updated as I find contests without entrance fees taking place April–July 2015. This will also be my last seasonal roundup, since I’ve found other contest lists which are updated regularly: Carissa Taylor’s list of contests, updated each year; the contests hosted by Adventures in YA Publishing, open for MG–NA manuscripts; KIDLIT 411’s contests for writers and illustrators of children’s literature; and Sub It Club’s Contest Roundups.

April–July Pitching Opportunities:

  • Nest Pitch (April 1)
  • PitchSlam (April 3)
  • Query Kombat (May 22)
  • PitMad (June 4)
  • SFFpit (June 18)
  • Pitch to Publication (June 29)
  • 70pit (July 1)

Know of any others? Comment below!

Nest Pitch

For: MG-Adult

Submission Date: April 1st

Submission Package: 35-word pitch, Easter Egg question, first 300 words (see blog for specifics)

Entries: More details will be released March 23rd/24th on the Nest Pitch blog.

Winners: 40 will be chosen and mentored.

Twitter: Cheer each other on using the #NestPitch2015 hashtag.


For: MG-Adult

Submission Date: April 3rd

Submission Package: 35-word pitch, first 250 words (see blog for specifics)

Entries: Unlimited within submission window

Winners: Slush readers provide feedback on the 35-word pitch (round one) and the first 250 (round two). In round three, anyone can enter, and the hosts each pick 8 entries for an agent round.

Twitter: Cheer each other on using the #PitchSlam hashtag.

Query Kombat

For: MG, YA, NA, and Adult genres, excluding erotica

Submission Date: May 22nd

Submission Package: query, first 250 words (see blog for specifics)

Entries: 200

Winners: 64 entries will be chosen to compete, bracket-style. Final four are reviewed by agents.

Twitter: Root for your favorite entries using the #QueryKombat hashtag.

#PitMad Twitter Contest

For: PB, MG, YA, NA, A

Submission Date: June 4

Submission Package: Variety of Twitter Pitches (see my guide here)

Entries: unlimited during submission window

Winners: A “favorite” from a legitimate agent or publisher is a request to query. Each agent participating will give specific instructions for submitting requested material.

Twitter: Pitch party open to all complete manuscripts


For: PB, MG, YA, NA, A

Submission Date: June 18th

Submission Package: Variety of Twitter Pitches (see my guide here) including sub-genre (see that guide here)

Entries: unlimited during submission window

Winners: A “favorite” from a legitimate agent or publisher is a request to query. Each agent participating will give specific instructions for submitting requested material.

Twitter: Tweet your pitch in 140 characters or fewer on Twitter, during the submission window. Use hashtag #SFFpit and include sub-genre and age (see blog for more info).

#Pitch to Publication

For: MG–A

Submission Date: June 29th–July 3rd

Submission Package: Query, first 5 pages, personality questionnaire, 5 choices of freelance editors

Entries: unlimited during submission window

Winners: Each writer will submit to 5 freelance editors. Each editor (including me!) will choose one manuscript to critique. After the editor critiques the manuscript, it will be submitted for the agent round. Agents can reject or offer representation upon requesting full, critiqued and revised manuscripts. After the agent round, the writer has the option to participate in a small press round, in which publishers can make requests.

Twitter: Cheer each other on or ask questions using #PitchToPublication


For: PB, MG, YA, NA, A

Submission Date: July 1st

Submission Package: code name, novel’s intended audience, 7-word character description, 70th page (see blog for more info)

Entries: unlimited

Winners: Top 7 entries from each audience category will be featured HERE, on Write Edit Repeat, for agent perusal. More hosts are possible, and I’m sure there will be giveaways. Contact me if you’d like to be a slush reader!

Twitter: We’ll have a week-long party from July 1st–7th using #70pit.

#pg70pit—A New Kind of Pitching Contest!

Note: due to some nasty spam hijacking the #70Pit hashtag on Twitter, please use BOTH #pg70pit and #contest in your tweets, and when searching for tweets, enter “#pg70pit #contest -click -watch -video -movie -followers” into the search bar. Then save that search. Hopefully that will eliminate spam!

This July I’m hosting a new type of contest and pitching opportunity for writers with complete, polished novels (Middle Grade, YA, or NA/Adult) in any genre except erotica.

What makes 70-pit different?

  • No 35-word pitch, no query, no first page.
  • Age categories are submitted on different days and will be given equal attention.

Find out more about this contest on the #70pit page.

You have until July, so get those manuscripts critiqued, read by beta readers, and revised.




Interested in co-hosting or reading through the slush? Contact me on Twitter. To be considered, you must be agented, have prior experience working with a literary agency, or have a degree in English, writing, or literature. You’ll need to read through all slush entries and choose seven titles from each category to post on your blog.

Stay tuned for more information! I also hope to host a GRAPHIC NOVEL contest later in the year.