Tag Archives: Novel

2018 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition 

Minotaur Books (Macmillan) and Mystery Writers of America are sponsoring the First Crime Novel Competition. This contest is open to writer’s age 18 and older, who has never been published or under contract to be published with a novel. The submitted manuscript must involve murder or another serious crime or crimes at the heart of the story. The winner will be offered a standard form author’s agreement and a $10,000 advance against future royalties. Submissions must be received by 11:59pm EST on January 12, 2018. For complete rules, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger 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.

Revise & Resub Contest

If you haven’t heard, the Revise & Resub contest is newly created for writers looking to win a complete and free editing of their manuscript. Although their main goal is to help authors polish their stories, they’ll showcase the winners finished projects on the website and agents are welcome to attend! So, spread the word.

Because the Pitch To Publication editors found themselves with open availability because P2P got postponed, they created this contest to still give writers the opportunity to win edits. Yay! The submission window opens April 7, 2017 at noon EDT and closes April 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT.

You can visit the site for a complete list of editors. To learn the submission guidelines, go here. As always, good luck!

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


Review (sort of): Suffer the Children by John Saul

Confession: I had never read a John Saul novel until a co-worker named Kendall offered to swap books. He gave me SUFFER THE CHILDREN, which apparently was John’s debut novel as his writerly-self. (He had published approximately ten other books under a pen name of S. Steinberg prior to the 1977 debut.)

Suffer the ChildrenAfter reading the prologue, I almost stopped reading the story completely. It was hard to swallow reading about a young girl being molested and murdered by her father. I seriously wondered what the hell Kendall had given me! I like creepy stuff (ghosts, vampires, weird creatures, and whatnot)but not morbid things like this. Yet, I pushed myself to read. Kendall had listened to me rant about the things I like and the things I write, so I should trust his judgment. Right?

So as I kept reading and learned indeed there was a ghost, and boy was that ghost evil! But I had hope for those that came in contact with the creepy ghoul that possessed another child, but the end of the novel was shattering. (I won’t spoil.) The end was a bit gruesome and I’m more of a suggestive kind of gal than detailed with killings in my writings. And that’s how I prefer to read too.

Now, as a writer, I often hear my peers and beta’s say to stay in the main character’s voice. And this story…oh my gosh! After I had counted ELEVEN point of view’s from different characters, I stopped counting. It made my head hurt. Seriously! But was the story told well? Yes, yes it still was. I kept turning the page to find out what happened next. I had a clear sense of place, as though I was along side the characters. I wanted to shout out and say, “No, don’t listen to her!” John Saul pulled me into his story regardless of my frustrations, and I suppose this is why he is a New York Times Best Seller.

I look forward to reading a more recent John Saul novel to see if his style is the same. And thanks Kendall for sharing your read with me!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction



Sure, the process is as slow as molasses running down an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. But one word a day will get you closer to your goal of a completed manuscript. Do I mean only type one word a day for life? I may have some rocks loose inside my noggin but I do know how to count! This process may be okay if you are writing books for children, but it isn’t practical for a novel of 70,000 words. It will take 191 years to write and I am not immortal.

So, what do I mean? On the days you believe you’ve no time to write at all, sit and write one word. Yes, one word. It will do two things.

1) Give a sense of progress for your manuscript.
2) Get you closer to finishing.

It sounds silly, but make it a goal. Actually, make it a writer’s pledge. Repeat after me: “If I can’t write for hours, I’m going to write at least one word.” There. We can swap spit and shake hands. We have formed a writer’s virtual pact to complete our manuscripts.

What is amazing, you may find it difficult to write only one word. Usually, a complete sentence gets structured, maybe even two. We do this because we are writers. It’s in our blood.

Now, let’s presume most days you will write two sentences at an average of fourteen words per sentence. You could finish the novel in approximately seven years. And if you only write one word on some of those days, you could still finish in approximately ten years. It’s a goal that’s more feasible than 191 years! (Thank goodness we don’t need to be bitten by a vampire to continue writing. However, I’m not objecting if you know one.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want to write a novel in one month. Well, I wasn’t speaking to James Patterson. This is a good rule to follow for those who work another day job…maybe two day jobs! If you are breathing, you can write. Jot what you can, when you can. If it takes longer to get there, it’s better to complete your manuscript ten years from now than never at all. Don’t hide behind you’ve no time.

And there you have it…one word a day CAN get you closer to your goal. Just don’t be a noodlehead about it.

P.D. Pabst
Writer of YA and Blogger