She is presenting a two-part workshop at Carnegie-Stout Public Library for NaNoWriMo with helpful tips on how to prepare your writing for publication and navigate the world of publishing. The next session will be on Monday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m. If you missed the first session, we’ve put together a brief summary of her presentation for you!
Beginning Writing for Publication with Mary Potter Kenyon
Carnegie-Stout Public Library, November 3rd, 2014
Before You Write
- Why do you want to write?
- What interests you about writing?
- What type or types of writing could you imagine yourself doing?
- Relatable life events: life experiences many people share
- Less relatable/common life events: life experiences unique to you
- Your passions
- Your passionate dislikes
- Learning opportunities: situations that gave you an opportunity for growth and understanding
- The first paragraph of your writing should catch your readers’ interest and grab their attention, which is described as the “hook” in writing terms.
- Consider your audience how can you shape your story to their taste and interests? Reading the sorts of things you want to write will help you to learn about your reading audience.
- If you plan to submit a piece of your writing for publication be sure to follow the submission guidelines exactly!
- Write every day. It takes time to hone your craft. Bring a notepad with you everywhere you go to take advantage of every free moment. Keep a notebook by your bed. With practice, your skills will inevitably improve.
- Learn to revise. Remember that you can’t edit nothing. Get something down on paper. That is one of the main objectives in participating in NaNoWriMo. You have to write a first draft before you can polish a final draft. Don’t get too attached to your first draft. After editing it will probably look very different.
- If you have an emotional reaction as you write, that is a good sign that your readers will too.
- Be stubborn. Be determined.
- Make yourself and your writing visible. Writing shorter pieces for magazines, anthologies, newspapers, and newsletters is a great starting point with a lower time commitment than a full manuscript.
- Build your reputation: demonstrate your skills, abilities, and that there is an audience for what you create.
- Even if it’s a small piece, having your name in print can be a real confidence boost.
- Have a social media presence.
- Be persistent the only way to avoid rejection is to never send anything out. Rejection doesn’t mean your writing is horrible, it just means it isn’t what that publisher was looking for. Remember it is their opinion, but your story.
- Writing is a craft, but publishing is a business. Know how to pitch your work: can you describe it in 2-4 sentences? Do you have your hook? Convey your enthusiasm about your topic or story!