Tag Archives: Inspiration

2018 Minnesota Writing Workshop

The 2018 Minnesota Writing Workshop is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (150 total). This workshop is a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in St. Paul, MN on February 17, 2018.

Agents and editors confirmed to be in attendance and/or available to pitch are:

For information on how to enroll and where to stay, go here. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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2018 Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship

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The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators will open for applications to the Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship. The mentorship was established in memory of picture book author Laura Crawford.

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This year’s mentor will be author Julia Durango, who will help with one picture book manuscript for a six month period.

Julia Durango

In order to apply, you must be a SCBWI member with an application dated between December 1-7, 2017. Applicants must never have had a picture book traditionally published. For complete details, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction.

TV Tropes and Fictional Novels

Have you ever heard an agent or editor say “I’ve seen this trope before” or “this is an old trope”. What does it mean? In storytelling, a trope can be described as shortcuts for describing situations an author can reasonably assume the audience will recognize. But does this mean all tropes are bad? No. It’s up to the author to put a creative spin on an old trope so the audience doesn’t tire of the situation. Or at best, this is to say they have to bring something new to the table regarding the trope.

We not only see tropes in books, but also movies. A few months ago, I learned of a cool website called TV Tropes. It seems like a great place to help authors recognize tropes they might think isn’t one. And if you don’t write, it’s kind of fun poking around anyway. The main tropes have been indexed by Genre, Media, Narrative, and Topical. But there are 36 other categories to peruse.

So if you’re a writer, check this sight out and put a fresh twist on a well known trope! I dare you.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Inspiration from Writer’s Rejections

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Rejection hurts no matter who or what you do, but if you’re going to be a writer you’d better develop some thick skin. While there are circumstances of instant acceptance and overnight fame, it’s rare. Writers get rejected a LOT.

First it starts with the manuscript. Writers send their book babies on submission to agents and get a lot of “not right for me” form rejections. If they’re lucky enough to land an agent, eventually the manuscript will go on submission to publishers. And sorry folks, that’s not an instant deal just because they have an agent. Publishers reject agents too. And even after a publisher picks up a novel, the fans can reject the story. For example, The Great Gatsby didn’t become famous until soldiers of World War II wrote home about the story, of which the government had sent to them to have something to read.

Writing is a lot of belief in the story and that it deserves to be told. They hold onto the dream that one day an agent and publisher will agree. They don’t let rejections allow them to quit. After all, giving up is the sure way to not succeed.

But all those rejections keep piling up! And from the dark corners of a writer’s mind, they hear “you’re a fraud” and “stop already”. So I offer encouragement. Not everyone succeeded their first try. Heck, many famous authors took years to get published. Here are a few to inspire writers to keep pushing forward.

  • John Grisham: A Time to Kill was rejected by 16 publishers.
  • James Patterson: Rejected by more than a dozen publishers.
  • J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishing houses.
  • William Faulkner: Sanctuary was said couldn’t be published.
  • Nicholas Sparks: The Notebook was turned down by 24 literary agencies.
  • Louisa May Alcott: The author of Little Women had been told to stick to teaching.
  • Margaret Mitchell: Gone With The Wind faced 38 rejections.
  • Frank Herbert: After 20 rejections, Dune was finally published.
  • Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Soul had 134 rejections.
  • Kathryn Stockett: The Help author got rejected at least 61 times.

And sometimes it just takes years!

  • Alex Haley: After writing daily for EIGHT years, the Roots author found success.
  • Gertrude Stein: Submitted poems for TWENTY-TWO years before one got pubbed.
  • Elizabeth Jolly: Wrote about 30 years before her first publication.

So, as you can see, successful writing takes perseverance. And while there are success stories of writers who self publish, that’s a story for another day. For now, I hope this is enough encouragement for writers today!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Writing Retreat in Venice, Italy

Writing Retreat in Venice, Italy!

The Pink Panged writing retreat in Venice is for women only during June 11-15, 2017. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next novel, this might be the spot. The retreat is filled with adventure, culture, art, shopping, restaurants, and history. During Pink Panged writing retreat in Venice authors will:

  • Express themselves through the written word
  • Experience Venice’s age-old beauty
  • Immerse themselves in Italian culture
  • Participate in Pink Pangea’s interactive workshops
  • Connect with participants from all over the world
  • Feel emotionally refreshed and physically rejuvenated

If you’re wanting to visit this scenic place and write your novel, hurry because seats are filling fast! And enjoy your writing vacation.

P. D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Author Mentor Match is Open for Subs

Author Mentor Match is open for submissions. This event matches aspiring writers with agented authors to hone their completed manuscripts. There is no agent round or contest aspect, but a focus on building lasting relationships. Mentors will help writers revise their manuscript before querying, give advice and tips on agents, and support through the process.

This is a big deal in the writerly world because paying for editing can be extremely expensive! At first glance, the website seems like it may only be for young adult stories, but upon further reading it is clearly for YA & MG. If you’re interested in submitting, go check out the mentors involved (and get a load of their books) . Be sure to view the guidelines and submit before 11:59pm PT on April 23, 2017.

As Always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst

Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Winning Writers

Winning Writers is sponsoring the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest , which ends April 1, 2017. This contest seeks today’s best humorous poems. There isn’t a fee to enter, and even better, it’s for published or unpublished work! That’s right, even if the authors works was already published, it’s still eligible.

The judges will award a first prize of $1,000 and a second prize of $250. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $100 each. The top 12 entries will be published online. To enter, submit a funny poem of no more than 250 lines. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Himalayan Writing Retreats

Want to whisk away to the Himalayan mountains for inspiration while writing your next novel? Then sign up for one of the Himalayan Writing Retreats, or one of the writing weeks (depending on your level of expertise). There is instruction, exercises, fireside chats, long walks, and writerly chats.

If you are looking for advise or simply inspiration for your next book, be sure to check out the Himalayan Writing Retreats/Weeks event calendar. They have more than one to enroll during the year 2017. Have fun and happy writing!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

10 Minutes With An Expert via Manuscript Academy

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If you’ve ever wanted to sit down with an agent or editor? Well now you can! Manuscript Academy has put together a day for authors to chat with the professional’s of the publishing world called 10 Minutes With An Expert. The time can be used to:

  • Pitch your project
  • Get instant feedback on your query or first page
  • Ask about your unique publishing situation
  • Ask any publishing question!

Meetings last 10 minutes and are first come first served. The cost for this invaluable access is $49 (US). To make the most of your time, have your questions ready. And have fun learning!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Write Away Greece Writing Retreat

Who’s up for another retreat to stimulate the writerly mind? Then you’ll want to check out Write Away Greece in Paros, Greece! Spring session is April 22-29, 2017 and has limited places remaining. If you can’t make this session, no worries. There will be a summer session June 4-14, 2017. Yes, two opportunities to attend a place of inspiration.

Spend the time writing your latest WIP in workshops and mentoring sessions. Mingle with other authors, talk over group dinners, and chat on the weekend social occasions. Of course, you can also purchase extras such as tour of Paros, boat trip to neighboring island of Antiparos, horseback riding, guided hikes, yoga, private massages, and private boat tours. For more information, or to see all the Write Away Retreats in different countries, go to Write Away Europe website.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.