Category Archives: Writing Organizations

News and information about Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and other writing organizations.

Book Country Welcomes Authonomy Members

Posted by August 26th, 2015

Narrative_NonFictionWe were saddened to hear about the closure of the Authonomy writing community. Operated by HarperCollins UK since 2008, writers from all over world have really enjoyed using the site and the careers it has launched have been inspiring to watch. According to the Authonomy blog, the site will officially close on September 30, 2015.

Many writers are members of both Book Country and Authonomy. In the past week, we’ve seen even more former “Authonomites” join our ranks, many introducing themselves on this discussion thread started by member Katie O’Rourke (Katie78). It’s been wonderful to meet all these new folks and welcome them into our community! Continue reading

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Book Country at the PNWA 2015 Conference

Posted by July 14th, 2015

Book Country is headed to Seattle for the PNWA 2015 Conference at the end of this week! PNWA stands for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, a fantastic community and professional organization for writers. You might remember that I exhibited and presented at the 2013 PNWA Conference (it was my first conference with Book Country!) and I had a fantastic time meeting Book Country members, shopping for new writing guides, and picking up writing wisdom from the fabulous crop of writers hosted by the conference.

At PNWA 2015, you can find me at the Book Country table in the Exhibition Hall on Friday and Saturday. I’ll also be doing the following presentations:

  • “Treat Your Book Like a Start Up” (Friday, July 17 @ 12-1:30pm, Emerald Ballroom D)
  • “The Author Platform: Social Media Dos and Don’ts” with Andrea Dunlop, Book Country member and director of social media and marketing at Girl Friday Productions (Saturday, July 18 @10-11:30am, Emerald Ballroom E)

The full schedule for sessions at PNWA 2015 is here.

Will you be at PNWA 2015? Be sure and let us know on the discussion boards!

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Ask a Literary Agent: Amy Cloughley Answers Your Questions

Posted by July 13th, 2015

Amy CloughleyPlease welcome literary agent Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron & Associates to the blog today! Amy’s in the market to acquire the following types of books: Historical; Literary; Mainstream; Mystery and Suspense (all types but NO paranormal); Thriller (legal, grounded, psychological); Women’s Fiction; Adult Nonfiction (pop culture and humor, sports, narrative, memoir–travel). Like Book Country, Amy will be at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference at the end of this week. If you’ll also be at #PNWA15, you’ll be able to find Amy at the Agent Forum on Friday, July 17, at 10:00am, and at Power Pitch Sessions A, D, & E on Friday and Saturday.

When do you need an agent?  How do you know when you are ready as a writer to take this step? – Claire Count

There are a variety of great options for publishing your work, but if your goal is to be traditionally published, your odds of success increase quite a bit if you work with a qualified agent. Although many small/mid-sized publishers will consider unagented work, most of the larger houses will not, and the publishers who do often give priority to agented submissions.

You will know you are ready to take this step when your manuscript (or book proposal for nonfiction) is your best, most polished work. Although an agent will often provide some feedback to clients, an agent is typically looking to take on projects/clients who are as close to ready for the marketplace as possible. So be sure to do your research and due diligence. What is the typical word count for your genre? Is your POV clear and consistent? Are your main characters fully developed? Is your pacing appropriate for your genre? Did you have quality beta readers provide feedback? Did you identify a few current comparable titles to include in your query? There are numerous websites such as WritersDigest or here at BookCountry, as well as countless books and classes, that cover how to prepare your manuscript for publication. Applying this information will help your manuscript get an agent’s attention. Continue reading

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Book Country at ThrillerFest and PitchFest

Posted by July 7th, 2015

Headed to ThrillerFest X this week? So is Book Country!

ThrillerFestCome visit the Book Country table on Thursday, July 9th, between 2-5:30pm on the Ballroom Level of the Grand Hyatt NYC. We’re going to be tabling during the PitchFest event, where hundreds of thriller writers will giving their 3-minute novel pitch to dozens of agents.

ThrillerFest is the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers, a writers’ organization that represents professional thriller writers from around the world. Continue reading

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Book Country at the Muse and the Marketplace 2015

Posted by April 29th, 2015

The Muse and the Marketplace 2015 Conference websiteWill you be at Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace 2015 Conference this weekend (Friday, May 1, 2015-Sunday, May 3, 2015)? Book Country is proud to be a Muse sponsor this year, and we’ll be hanging out in the exhibition area all weekend long, meeting writers and chatting about how Book Country can help them meet their writing and publishing goals. In fact, all Muse attendees are getting a free copy of our white paper, “Treat Your Book Like a Start-Up: Use Feedback to Successfully Write and Publish Your Book.” Give it a read and stop by the Book Country table to get specialized one-on-one advice for how to apply this advice to your book.

We’re also really excited about this session we are hosting on Friday afternoon. The details are below. We hope to see you there!

Treat Your Book Like a Start Up: Use Online Feedback to Successfully Write and Publish Your Book with Stace Budzko and Lucy Silag

Friday, May 1 – 3:45-5:00pm – Cabot Room Continue reading

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“There is always a reason to not give up.” Interview with Aisha Saeed, Author of WRITTEN IN THE STARS

Posted by April 22nd, 2015

Interview with Aisha Saeed, Author of WRITTEN IN THE STARSAisha Saeed is the author of WRITTEN IN THE STARS, which is published by Nancy Paulsen Books. Aisha is also co-founder and Vice President of Strategy of We Need Diverse Books. In WRITTEN IN THE STARS, Naila, a smart Pakistani-American high school senior, is forced into an arranged marriage by her own parents. I was stunned by the trials Naila had to face. In our interview, Aisha shares what the hardest chapter was for her to write, the specific technique she used to query agents, and what has surprised her most since joining the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. 

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Janet Umenta: Did you draw from any real-life conversations while writing WRITTEN IN THE STARS?

Aisha Saeed: I definitely drew from real-life experiences while writing WRITTEN IN THE STARS. Growing up, I had childhood friends who were coerced and pressured into marriages they would not have chosen for themselves. While my novel is entirely fictional, those stories always stayed with me and served as the inspiration for my novel. Continue reading

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Q&A with Stephanie Chandler, Founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association

Posted by April 15th, 2015

Q&A with Stephanie Chandler, Founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors AssociationStephanie Chandler is the founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association, a marketing community for writers. The 5th Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference begins May 6th, and the keynote speaker will be Julia Cameron, author of THE ARTIST’S WAY. Participants can attend live sessions by telephone or Skype. Stephanie shares why she started the Nonfiction Authors Association and her experience being a self-published author.

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Lucy Silag: First off, what is the Nonfiction Authors Association and why did you start it?

Stephanie Chandler: The Nonfiction Authors Association is a marketing community for trail-blazing writers! I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. When I quit my corporate job in 2003, I opened a 2,800 square-foot bookstore in Sacramento and planned to write novels in the back office. (When you’ve wanted to write your whole life, you naturally assume that a novel is the way to go.) But it turned out I didn’t have a knack for fiction, so I wrote my first nonfiction book (a business start-up guide) and was astonished by how much I loved writing nonfiction.

I began attending writers’ conferences and eventually started speaking at them as my author career took off. I noticed that nonfiction authors were largely neglected at these events. We didn’t quite fit in with the fiction writers and had different needs and approaches. So I launched the Nonfiction Writers Conference in 2010—an event conducted entirely online. I had no idea if it would catch on, but it did. Each year our attendees kept asking how they could keep the momentum going, so I finally answered them by launching the Nonfiction Authors Association in 2012. We needed our own community and now we have one with over 8,500 members and growing every day. Continue reading

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The ASJA Conference: Why It’s a Must for Me by Laura Laing

Posted by April 8th, 2015

The ASJA Conference: Why It’s a Must for Me by Laura Laing

The American Society of Journalists and Authors will host its 44th annual conference from April 30th to May 2nd in NYC. Writers from across the country will attend 50+ informative sessions; one-on-one meetings with editors, agents, and publishers; three pitch slams; networking events and a keynote speech by bestselling author Jennifer Finney Boylan. Laura Laing, a freelance writer, shares why the ASJA conference is a crucial investment in her career. This post was originally published on the ASJA website on February 18, 2015. 

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My family knows not to schedule anything for the last weekend in April each year. For the last five years, I’ve spent those days at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City at the ASJA annual conference.

It’s not easy to rearrange my work and family schedules. And I could spend the money on something else. But it’s worth it—every single time. These days I don’t even question the decision. And here’s why. Continue reading

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#TwitterFiction Festival 2015: Submit Story Ideas!

Posted by March 10th, 2015

TFF logoAre you an old-fashioned storyteller with a newfangled Twitter habit? If so, you won’t want to miss this awesome new writing opportunity: #TwitterFiction Festival 2015!

A project of Penguin Random House, the Association of American Publishers, and Twitter, #TwitterFiction Festival will take place from May 11-15, 2015. The idea is that during this time, writers from all over the world will live-stream unique and original stories to the “Twitterverse.” An incredible lineup of 22 authors–from Margaret Atwood to Jackie Collins to Eric Jerome Dickey–have been tapped to tweet new writing during the festival. Writers like you are encouraged to join the fun and tweet your own stories, too, using the hashtag #TwitterFiction.

But that’s not all! The organizers of #TwitterFiction Festival are looking for a crop of talented emerging writers to submit original story ideas in advance of the festival. Select submissions will receive featured placement during the festival. This is a great way for writers to experiment with storytelling devices, widen their author platform, and connect with writers and readers from all over the world. The deadline for submitting ideas is March 30, 2015. Submit here! Continue reading

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Apply to the 2015 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship Program!

Posted by January 14th, 2015

NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship

Center for Fiction

Attention NYC writers! The Center for Fiction is hosting the 2015 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship Program. Nine fellows will each receive a $4,000 grant, the opportunity to meet with agents, free admission to all Center for Fiction events for one year among other great benefits. Sara Batkie, Awards and Programs Manager for the Center, shares how the fellowship program helps writers and the success past fellows have achieved. The deadline to apply to the 2015 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship Program is January 31, 2015.

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Janet Umenta: For a writer, what are the advantages of living in NYC?

Sara Batkie: I’d say that the biggest advantage by far for writers in NYC is the literary community here. It’s not just that many great writers make their home in the city or that so many MFA programs are here; it’s that there’s always something literary going on. Almost any night of the week you can go out and find great readings at bookstores and event spaces like The Center, where you can hear from and meet your favorite authors or discover a new, exciting voice. While a large part of being a writer is sitting in a room and getting the work done, equally important I think is going out into the wider world and meeting the other people who are doing the same work you are, getting to know them and what they’re writing too. Often a writer will find his or her first great supporters, and eventually lifelong friends, this way. There are other great cities where this happens obviously, but New York has sheer volume on its side.

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