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June’s free 100-word competition is now…. open!

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words EXcluding title) and submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

Hello everyone. Yes, May’s theme of ‘comic’ is now closed but June’s is now open with the theme of ‘German’, used in any way you like.

The theme for July is ‘strangers on a train’ which of course you can start work on but don’t send them to me until July 1st at the earliest.

And remember, you can send up to three stories per month (individually or at the same time). It’s worth doing because some people have missed out because of errors (usually not 100 words exactly) in the only entry they send so they are immediately disqualified. This happened again last month. <sigh>

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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May’s 100-word FREE competition is open… ‘a comic story’

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words EXcluding title) and submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

Hello everyone. Yes, April’s theme of ‘fool’ is now closed but May’s is now open with the theme of ‘comic’, used in any way you like, e.g. a funny story, a story featuring a comic (person or magazine)… however the theme strikes you.

The theme for June is ‘German’ which of course you can start work on but don’t send them to me until June 1st at the earliest.

And remember, you can send up to three stories per month (individually or at the same time). It’s worth doing because some people have missed out because of errors (usually not 100 words exactly) in the only entry they send so they are immediately disqualified. This happened again (with a few stories) in March. <sigh>

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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March’s 100-word FREE competition is open… Norman’s bunny!

baby-2004382_640Hello everyone. Yes, February’s theme of classical music is closed but March’s is now open and the theme for this month is ‘Norman’s bunny’, used in any way you like. Why did I choose this? I have no idea. It just came to me… as things often do. You can have a lot of fun this one.

The theme for April is ‘fool’ which of course you can start work on but don’t send them to me until April 1st at the earliest.  And remember, you can send up to three stories per month (individually or at the same time). It’s worth doing because some people have missed out because of errors (usually not 100 words exactly) in the only entry they send so they are immediately disqualified.

There are lots of rules so please read the 100-word competition page carefully but the two most important are:

  1. Your story must stick to the theme (which varies each month).
  2. Your story must be no longer or no shorter than 100 words. This excludes the title which can be as long or as short as you like. Any stories of less than or greater than 100 words will be disqualified so please check before submitting. Hyphenated words (e.g. well-known) count as one word so 99-word stories because of a hyphenated word will be disqualified. This may sound harsh but it’s then fair on everyone. Also bullet points do not count as words so do not include them in your word count. Neither do ellipses (e.g. ‘and… we’ counts as two words), ages, e.g. ‘a two-year-old child’ also counts as one word (according to Word, which is what I use).

And the prizes?

Good luck and I look forward to reading your stories.

 

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Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest

Hello everyone. I have received the following information regarding an end-April contest. I will put the details on this blog’s Competitions page but in the meantime…

TITLE: Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest
FINAL CLOSING DATE: 11:59 P.M. April 30th 2017 (US Central time)
ENTRY FEE: $15
ENTRY FEE for submitting up to three pieces (Best Short Story and Best Essay categories), except for POETRY category where up to three submissions are accepted for $15.
GENERAL CRITERIA of the competition: https://hourglass.submittable.com/ .
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: www.hourglassonline.org
PAST CONTEST (results, etc.): https://hourglassonline.org/pastcontest/
CONTACT: contest {at} hourglassonline.org or editors {at} hourglassonline.org

At the confluence of the West and the East, Bosnian based, Hourglass Literary Magazine proudly announces its second international writing competition for:

Best Short Story
Best Poem
Best Essay

The jury: Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox.

AWARDS:
1. The Winning Entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. Authors of winning entries will receive printed copy of the Hourglass Literary Magazine No. 2.

2. The jury has the right to give a special prize (US$ 500 for entry in each category).
3. Special prize of the Literature and Latte – Scrivener Award – consisting of the one licensed software solutions “Scrivener” and US$250.
4. Special prize of The Literary Encyclopedia – an online reference work for English-language readers interested in broad literary and cultural matters – consisting of one 2-year subscriptions and one 1-year subscriptions to LE for shortlisted authors.
5. Editorial staff and board members will take under consideration shortlisted works (not awarded a prize) for publication in the second issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. The selected works will be FINANCIALLY compensated.

The competition is international and is open to all authors writing in English or any of the BCMS languages (comprising Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin.) There are no theme, or genre limitations and boundaries. Work must be original and unpublished. One author can compete in all categories, for all three awards respectively. Limited multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous submissions)

Short story: should not exceed 7000 words or be less than 700 words. Entry fee: $15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three pieces).

Poetry: Poems should not have more than 3500 words. WRITERS CAN SUBMIT UP TO THREE POEMS/SONGS. Entry fee: $15 USD.

Essays: Essays should not exceed 9000 words or be less than 1000 words. Entry fee: 15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three papers).

We accept submissions via online “submission tool”: http://hourglass.submittable.com/ .

To stay updated, please follow our Social Media pages: Facebook (www.facebook.com/hourglassliterarymagazine), Twitter (www.twitter.com/hourglasslm) and LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/company/hourglass-literary-magazine/). Alternatively, subscribe to our monthly newsletter – http://hourglassonline.org/news-press/.

FIRST ISSUE AVAILABLE VIA: https://www.hourglassonline.org/store or via Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Hourglass-Literary-Magazine-Various-Authors/dp/1542487072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487636662&sr=8-1&keywords=hourglass+literary+magazine)

(Important) Editors’ Note (optionally)

Hourglass Literary Magazine strives – and this is our manifesto’s core – to mix voices in one polyphonic structure, i.e. to connect writers who write in English, whether as native English speakers or international, with authors who write in what it used to be one language – Serbo-Croatian. With that being said, Hourglass Literary Magazine’s Issue No.1 featured authors are Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Irish short-story writer and David Albahari. Praised by many, academics, writers and (common) readers, Hourglass Literary Magazine – thanks to Ms Mirjana Miočinović and Pascale Delpech – gained exclusive rights to be the first to print Danilo Kiš’s unpublished works in English, including interviews, essays and short stories. After Mark Thompson’s (who is also contributor of the first issue), “Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kiš” and book edited by Susan Sontag “Homo Poeticus: Essays and Interviews”, collection that introduced Danilo Kis to a wider, global audience, we are the third literary venture, and the first literary journal to continue rich saga about Danilo Kis.
For us – writing competition is essential! WE FEEL that our effort in scavenging works in three categories (Best Short Story, Best Essay and Best Poem) would be insufficient. That is exactly why we pursuit, why we solicit contributions from widely recognised authors and finally why we simultaneously challenge ourselves seeking and exploring various editorial methods and models. Hourglass Literary Magazine is staffed mostly by writers. Therefore, for us, publishing literary magazine is creative process – every syllable counts, every word counts.

Our “manifesto” can be found here: http://hourglassonline.org/about/.

 

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Guest post: How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Book by Heather Green

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of marketing is brought to you by Heather Green.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Book

You don’t have to have a big marketing budget or a large publishing house behind you to promote your book and increase your sales. You can run your own marketing campaign with a shoestring budget – and even no budget – and watch your sales grow.

Social media is a fantastic tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs, including self-published or struggling authors. You can use it to spread the word about your book, potentially even garnering viral attention. Best of all: It’s free.

Here are a few simple ways you can use social media to promote your book and increase sales:

Create Multiple Profiles

Fans and followers use social media to advertise their tastes and preferences for their own friends and followers. They may want to “like” you as an author, or they may only be interested in one or a few of your books. Give them every opportunity to engage with you and your work in a way that they choose by creating multiple profiles: One for yourself as an author and one for each of your books.

Multiple profiles will also help you to focus your marketing efforts and to differentiate your promotions for each group of fans.

Share Previews

When you have a new book coming out, you can leverage social media to share previews to get fans excited to buy the full work. You can share sample chapters or passages, or you can even create a “trailer” for your book on YouTube and then share it through your other social media channels.

The key is to have a captive audience of fans and followers before you start posting these previews. Otherwise, you’ll be sharing them with a ghost audience…

Host Contests and Giveaways

Everyone likes to get something for free, and contests and giveaways are a great way to get people excited about your book. There are a number of ways you can use social media and contests to promote your book:

  • Offer a free copy of your book to a random person who has “liked” your page or shared it.
  • Offer free copies of your book to anyone who reviews it on their blog, including a free copy to give to one of their readers.
  • Offer a free gift with your book to a random person who becomes your follower, shares your book on their blog, and so on.

You can think of dozens of varieties on this basic premise. The key is to reward your readers but to also encourage them to spread the word about your book.

Provide Opportunities for Sharing

Don’t forget the “social” part of social media when you start using it to promote your book. Give your fans plenty of opportunities to share your content with their own friends and followers.

Include sharing buttons within the content of your book – such as “like it” or “tweet this” buttons at the end of each chapter or on your footers – and include Facebook comment forms right in the chapters. Readers will be more compelled to act when they are in the process of reading your book. Take advantage of that momentum to get them to spread the word.

Build Relationships

Social media isn’t all about instant gratification. A large part of what makes social media marketing successful is building relationships. You should be putting in the work to connect with your fans and followers whether you have a new book to promote or not. You will encourage long-term relationships that will help you form a loyal reader base.

This will make it much easier to promote any new books you have in the future.

Social media is a valuable tool for authors looking to promote themselves and their work. Social media has only grown in popularity, and it provides authors a great way to connect with millions of potential readers. Use these strategies for promoting your book on social media, and you are sure to see your sales increase.

That was great (especially as I could tick some of the boxes). Thank you, Heather!

Heather Green is a Christian mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice about online nursing guides and online lpn program.

***

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with romance author RC Bonitz – the five hundred and twenty-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 

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