Why Do I Only Get Queries From Dudes?

getting book reviews, Self publishing, self publishing book review, how to get my book reviewed, how to get book reviews, female writers reviews, review women writers

Feature image from TIMEWALKERII

So, I review books.

My details are on a number of different websites, including this one, outlining how indie authors and writers can get in contact with me about reviewing their work.  Authors send me queries, which include details of their novels, and they ask me if I would be interested in reviewing their work.  I say yes to as many reviews as I can.

I receive one or two requests each day.  Many of these I turn down due to time restrictions or a disinterest in the blurb of the book.  But I read every request, consider it and respond.  I have a REVIEW POLICY that helps me choose the books I will consider for review.

I decided that I would always give preference to Indie Australian Female writers as that is my community, and you need to support your own.  The only thing is, they never write to me – Ever.  Since I started receiving queries for book reviews I have only ever been contacted by male writers. Continue reading

11 Tips for First Timers at The National Writers Conference

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Feature image from FLICKR

The National Writers Conference is on again and I’ll be returning for my sophomore year as a Festival Blogging Partner.  Last year I received a crash course in how to attend a writers conference.  Much of what took place over those two days in Melbourne happened fast and took me by surprise.

This year I’m going to be prepared.

2014 I went online to buy tickets to the weekend events only to realise I had brought tickets to something called The National Writers Conference instead.  I quickly checked the program again.  I was fairly certain I’d brought the right tickets, but part of me had no idea what was going on.  I was excited and a little over whelmed.  Had I chosen the right events?  What was I going to miss out on?

I started to FOLLOW The Emerging Writers Fest on Facebook and Twitter.  The social media feed moved quickly and I felt like I was already behind.  Everyone was chatting among themselves and laughing at each others jokes, #ewf14 #amwriting #hashtag #paythewriters #amazingbabes.

In the weeks before the festival opened, I had articles, reviews, event details, and program outlines all opened in multiple tabs in Google Chrome.  Each night I carefully saved them all by closing my laptop without shutting my browser down.  I was convinced I had to read them all before I flew to Melbourne.

I became panicked. ‘I haven’t written a book, I’m not even an emerging writer yet.  I need to head to the Unemerging Writers Festival.’  Needless to say there was a little bit of insecurity creeping in.

Below are a few tips for first timers to the Conference so nobody makes the same mistakes I did.  Hopefully you’ll ease into your first National Writers Conference far better than I did.

11 tips for first timers at this years festival

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Susie Mander, An Interview

Susie Mander, Bird of Chaos, Harpies Curse

 

australian authors, young authors, female writer, female writer australian, Susie ManderMeet Susie Mander, a Sydney based writer who from her earliest memories has been writing and telling stories as she walked round and round a huge date palm in her back yard.  In just one year this incredible lady has released her first novel and given birth to her first child.

She wrote her first novel (seven pages long) somewhere around the age of ten and by the time she started high school she had already accumulated a pile of rejection letters from publishers.  But it was not a direct path to the release of her first novel.

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s of Teaching, Susie Mander has found herself in a number of different careers, Teaching English, designing a mobile phone app and getting involved in running a tech start up, before finally realising that writing was the only thing that was going to make her truly happy.

 After being released on the 10th of August, just under fifty days before her daughter was born, Bird of Chaos; Book one in the Harpies Curse, has already been downloaded hundreds of times.

As Mander gets to work on Book Two, Manuscrapped caught up with this new mother and Emerging Writer to find out which was harder; giving birth or publishing a book? Continue reading

How to Enter a Short Story Competition

entering a short story, emerging writers

Below you find a fool-proof, fail-safe and realistic-approach to entering a Short Story Competition.  By following these Six Easy Steps and you too can enter any Short Story Competition of your choosing.  If you do not already have a Short Story Competition in mind, read this article from Australian Writing Opportunities first – Enjoy and Good luck to you.

Step One

Decide to Enter the Competition.  This is the most crucial step in the process.  Once you have decided to enter the competition (Any competition of your choosing will be fine) you can start to brainstorm a few ideas and look back through your old work.  You may find something in a discarded draft that could be manipulated and worked into a winning entry.  You may also choose to start from scratch.  I personally prefer starting from scratch as this creates a situation of the most extreme stress, beginning from nothing, and allows you to truly channel a maximum of adrenaline for the next five steps. Continue reading

Pitching Your Work for Publication #pitchbitch

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#pitchbitch

Have you heard about Pitch, Bitch?  I first saw a tweet that contained the hashtag #pitchbitch at the Emerging Writers Festival 2014.  It was an interview with Estelle Tang for Kill Your Darlings about an initiative to promote and encourage women to pitch their work for publication.

Since reading about Pitch, Bitch online, I’ve discovered a lot of publishers and editors are getting involved too.  The pitch, bitch tumblr has great interviews with editors on what not to do.  They are encouraging women to stop everything and sit down for one day a month to work on their pitches, bitches.

What is it?

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Your first rejection?

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Feature image from MANUSCRAPPED

By Jacob Henwood.

What changes after your first rejection?

Lots of stuff. It is harrowing. It is literally one of the hardest literary things you are ever going to experience. It is like eating carob, but it never ends.   Everything you ever submit ever again gets automatically rejected. Forever. You just get the one go.

No-one ever tells you that until it’s too late.

No.  It is not like eating carob at all. It’s fine. It’s better than fine. It’s really good!

There are lots of reasons why it is good: you can learn about your writing; you get to practice the submission process; and you get the chance to make it better.

I got some fantastic feedback from people who felt absolutely no obligation to make me feel better about myself and in all likelihood were not involved in my upbringing. Maybe they were; the process was anonymous.

The best part though was that the moment the submission went through a wall collapsed. Not a real one. Submitting stories does not compromise the structural integrity of buildings. Imagine if it did. That would be bad. Luckily, it was a metaphorical wall. I had never noticed it before, but when it was gone a lot of things started to make sense.

What I realised as I stood amongst the debris was that it really didn’t matter if I got rejected. Lots of writers have been rejected. That isn’t news. It doesn’t matter to me and my writing. It will change my writing, because everything should change my writing.

It doesn’t mean that the story I am trying to tell isn’t a story worth telling. It means that I haven’t conveyed that yet.  Perhaps I don’t have the skills, or the experience to do that yet. No biggie. I’ll keep going. I will learn, redraft, and submit again.  I will probably be rejected again. When that happens, I will keep going.

There is a question that you should ask yourself. Why do you write? I write because I love the process, and I love books, and I love telling stories. I cannot think of anything that I would rather do with my time. When I look at that story now, I can see very clearly that I gnawed at the story instead of polishing it. That is a good thing, because now I get to make it better. I get to go back to what I love doing, and make it tighter, and make it cleaner, and make it with the best words with which I am able. Words are the wizard’s bananas, and writing them is the complete opposite of eating carob.

What is Holding You Back?

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“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”  ― C. JoyBell C.

A Fear of Success.

Have you ever heard of this?  Apparently I have it.  I was sitting around last night doing a funny test online, when I suddenly found out that I have a fear of Success.  The following is my result.

Your Result:

Fear of Success

You’re fairly confident in your abilities, but you balk at the pressure of maintaining success once you have it. You know that your achievements will breed higher expectations, and you worry that you won’t be able to meet them. You may even be experiencing what psychologists call impostor syndrome, the fear that those around you will discover you’re not really as talented or competent as they think. People who fear success often credit their achievements to circumstances rather than to their talent and other assets. The key for these people is to accept responsibility for their accomplishments.

 It turns out a fear of success is more complicated and difficult to cure than a fear of failure.

Being a failure is easy.  When you fail, everyone is nice to you, even if they think you’re stupid.  Failing is comfortable.  Your life will not change in any way if you try something new and fail.  When you fail, everything will stays the same.  Everyone rallies around the person who can’t get his or her shit together.  When you are successful, people watch you, wait for you to trip up, scrutinize your spelling and no one will worry about you.  Successful people essentially get left out of the community circle.  Successful people are the ones who are called upon to help others, give advice, money, information, time, services for free…

I have these ideas about success that I have just made up -Pooof! – From nowhere!  Yes, I defiantly have a fear of Success, as you can see.  I made all of that up.  I don’t know what it is like to be successful and I won’t know until I get over this stupid little fear I have.  I am worried about I know nothing about.  A fear of success is far worse than a fear of failure.

‘Procrastination is the fear of success.’ Chinese fortune cookie

These are the Fears

I will have to out-do my success with more success?  Once you get successful you need to remain that success, right?  Of course – So if this next project works, then I am going to have to come up with another better project after that or I’ll be just like Harper Lee and everyone will think my more famous and more consistently successful friend wrote my dam book for me.

Successful people are exposed, criticized? Successful people are often in the public eye or being recognised for great things they have done.  Successful people are the ones that everyone else wants to bring down.   You have done it yourself.  I have.  I have looked at a successful person and been certain that I would have made a far better outfit choice or I would have stood differently. ‘How did she pick that dress I’m mean really?

Success will transform me into someone else?  My friends wont like me anymore because I will be different.  I am scared of becoming someone else – My partner fell in love with me when I was a very unorganized, slightly alcoholic, Art School student who never finished any paintings.  He loves me for who I am right now – Not who I will be when I am successful…Ekk

When there is any kind of change, there is always a fear of loosing who you are and what you have.  Instead os thinking as a change as a moving away from yourself, try to think of a change as you gaining more of yourself.  Image you are adding onto your personality, your skills, your achievements – not away from who you are.  You will still be the same person, just with new skills.

The truth is that being successful is probably easier than you think – For starters, you will have more money (If you haven’t picked it up already, I am talking about ‘Career Success’ not relationships or family crap)

If you can get by with not much money, as you have been so so long (as a writer I am guessing)  then think of how easy it will become once you start getting paid more or get publishing in heaps of journals.  J.K Rowling said it very well in her interview with Oprah.  Once she became a successful writer, she realised that she could throw money are her writing problems.  It was a relief for her to realise that she did not have to put up with writing at her kitchen table amidst the noise and mess of her home life.

So what can you do?

The Cure to A Fear of Success – Oprah –

Many of my clients find this simple exercise helpful: Think of a recent success—say, a new account that you won. Now make a list of the skills and qualities you drew on to win it—determination, intelligence, creativity, charm.… (If you’re struggling, ask a friend for help; others can often see your assets more clearly than you can.) Make this exercise a habit each time something goes well at work. Once you begin to see your strengths in action every day, you will recognize that you are, in fact, well-equipped to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.

If none of that works – Just remember that you are only brave when you are doing something that scares the shit out of you.  Life is too short for first world problems …

Today I applied for a Real Job!

Applying for real writing jobs, writing jobs, Meghan Brewster, the emerging writer

Applying for real writing jobs, writing jobs, Meghan Brewster, the emerging writerA few days ago I applied to write for an online art journal.  In my application I had to fill out a form about myself, summarise my career so far and send an example of my work.  The easiest part of this application was the word summarise, as my career is so limited, no summary was needed.

While I was in Singapore last week I wrote an article about an exhibition I saw at Dempsey Hill.  When I read over the article yesterday I saw all of my mistakes and errors.  I cringed.

I almost didn’t apply because I was so scared and did not feel like I was good enough to actually do the job.  Now that I look over my application, it is clear that there is no way I will get the position.  And yet I hope.

I really want this job.  It would be fantastic.  If I am successful, I will start writing exhibition reviews for the online Art journal straight away.  I will also get paid for my work!!  All I have to do now is wait for a response.

Oh, this is hard.  I have taken myself out for lunch, partially to distract myself and partially reward myself for being brave enough to apply.  At least I have somewhere nice to sit and wait and a sandwich to keep me company.

Emerging Writers becoming Professional Writers

This article is about helping Emerging Writers become Professional Writers.  Actually that is what the whole website is about.  Hmm.  Well, I will be more specific.  This article is about earning cash.

I have seen it too many times.  Sell-out-syndrome.  It was everywhere at Art school.  I remember a general rule that if you made money from being an Artist and selling your work, then you were commercial, unauthentic and a sell out.  I don’t believe it.  I think earning money from writing is great.

I am currently earning a little money from my writing.  I am working on an article at the moment for an Art review website in Singapore.  Yes, I am in Singapore right now.

It is a great feeling to put together an article, read it through, send it off, get some feedback and make the changes.  It is wonderful to know you are going to get paid for the work you’re doing and a great feeling to know it is about to be published.   I got this job because I applied directly through their website when I found out I was going to be in Singapore.

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 3.26.12 PMThis is a site aimed at writers who would like to make money as a Freelance writer.  Carol has been Freelancing since 2005 and has documented the whole process in detail on her Blog.  There is a lot of information here about the facts and figures of writing, how to really earn money and where to go for work.  Also lots of advice about content writing and blogging.

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 4.50.41 PMGreat advice for Australian writers looking to take their writing to the next level.  It is fantastic cause all the content is aimed at Emerging Writers and every one is on the same page.  The main event is held in Melbourne every year, but there is a traveling road show you might be able to catch around Australia somewhere.  The location of the roadshow is always changing.

How much to writers earn?  Emerging Writers advice, Emerging writers blog

Click to read full pay rate article

These two sites are great!  They are directed right at Emerging writers.  They understand that Emerging Writers need access to all sorts of resources, from inspiration, interviews with writers, upcoming events, and this great article I found on Rates of pay for Writers.  It can be so hard to know what you can ask for as an Emerging writer – when it comes to earning cash from your words.

make money writingMaking money as a blogger is hard.  Yes making money from blogging is very hard.  But not impossible.  I have loved reading this blog when I have felt lost or overwhelmed about the huge wasteland of the internet.  Problogger was a huge help when it came to Amazon and deciding about advertising for the blogs I edit.

The Write LifeI am only new to this website, but I already like what I see.  There is not as much repetition on this site as others you might find.  Their content covers blogging, financing, managing working from home as well as writing software that you may not be aware of yet.

 

 

IMG_0493Meghan Brewster is a Blogger, Freelance writer and general spinner of Fiction. She is the founder and editor of The Emerging Writers Diary, as well as Itp & Me, a website dedicated to managing the rare platelet disorder, ITP. To learn more about Meghan Brewster follow this link. By making purchases through links on this website you are helping to support a young emerging writer. Thank you.

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Criticism; And what to do with it

Receiving criticism, emerging writers diary, writingCriticism.  I always knew it was coming.  Every writer, every writing book and everyone tried to prepare me for it.  I have been writing full time for about a year now.  I have been posting content on this, and another site regularly for a long time.  Mostly I have received quite positive feedback, but nothing could prepare me for the wave of nausea and doubt that puled the floor from under me, when I posted an particular article a little while ago.

Over the last year I have learnt a great deal and have loved watching my skills progress – slowly but surely.  I am proud of how far I have come and I am excited for the future… But when I received messages like this one – I had to wonder ‘What the hell was I doing?’ 

Nothing can prepare you for the first time you put your work out there and you receive a barrage of negative, or should I say ‘constructive criticism’.  Logically you know how to handle it, but emotionally and physically, you can’t help reacting.

Receiving Criticism, emerging writers, The emerging writers diary

From Reddit

You might be thinking this comment is is not that bad.  Well, there was a lot more than this. This comment was the best of it.

What is the worst part in all of this, is that they are right!  I am wondering if I am just not good enough to be a writer.

So what do you do with Criticism?
  1. Receiving Critcism, emerging writers, the emerging writers diaryFirstly you need to make two columns on a blank piece of paper, for sorting out your criticism into two categories
  2. Title those two categories as follows – Bullshit Hater Nonsense – & – Helpful Tips Just Worded Badly

After the initial shock, or receiving criticism, start to sort through it.  Which catagory does it fall into?  It is just Bullshit Hater Nonsense?  Or is there a Helpful Tip in there that has just been worded very badly?  Either it is wrong – and you can fuck them off – or it is right and you have the chance to learn, change and improve.

Because of the messages I received about my grammar, I went straight to the shops and brought the little Green Grammar Book and started to read it.  Wow, I still have so much to learn about writing, but that’s ok.

Why Criticism is Great!

Having your writing criticised is the best thing that can happen to you.  It means you’re a writer.  Every writing student will go through this at one point or another.  It is a right of passage through to the other side – Professional writing.  

  1. You are brave enough to put your writing out there.
  2. You are working as a writer.
  3. People are engaged enough in reading your work to respond to it.
  4. You are engaged enough with your audience to hear any criticisms.
  5. You have the chance to learn something fantastic from it.
  6. You have the chance to reaffirm your writing style and your voice.
  7. You are more advanced than every other person claiming to be a writer that has never shared a single word.
  8. You might not know everything on earth – Who Cares!!

I have since gone back and read over all of the other criticisms I received.  I read them over and over again until they did not have any power anymore.  Some where helpful and I have learned from them.  Others I have already forgotten.

If you have got any great words of encouragement to emerging writers we would love to here from you.

 

 

IMG_0493Meghan Brewster is a Blogger, Freelance writer and general spinner of Fiction. She is the founder and editor of The Emerging Writers Diary, as well as Itp & Me, a website dedicated to managing the rare platelet disorder, ITP. To learn more about Meghan Brewster follow this link. By making purchases through links on this website you are helping to support a young emerging writer. Thank you.

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