www – Wednesday – South Georgia Writer’s Guild

3

www – Wednesday
South Georgia Writer’s Guild

Today I wanted to share another organization I’m a part of. It is call South Georgia Writer’s Guild. (SGWG)sgwg-logo-final

SGWG was formed by a handful of writers who all live in South Georgia. (Bet you never who have guessed that, right! *laughing*) We write from all different genres and have all different experiences. But that what makes this organization so amazing!

We have found that we can pull from each other and grow.
Over the past few years we’ve gone from a handful to almost 100 members.
We meet two times a month and have video meetings too.
There are writers from kidlit to romance to sci-fi to fantasy to gamers to (fill in the blank)!
We have hobbiest to intermediate to experienced. Indie and traditional.

YOU NAME IT!

Feel free to check out the South Georgia Writer’s Guild website and join the group, if you like!

Are you a member in a great group? Let us know who they are!

Until next time…
Happy writing!
~t


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7 Reasons WHY You Should Attend a Conference

7ReasonsWhyYouShouldAttendaConference7 Reasons WHY You Should
Attend a Conference

I’m sure you’ve been hearing about people going to conferences lately.  😉 There are some really great ones out there. Of course there are some ho-hum ones too. So why should you give it a go? I decided to sit down and list my reasons for attending conferences…

  1. people.svg.medpeople.svg.medpeople.svg.med   My tribe!!!
    Yes, this is my first reasoning. This is where I have found that I fit in. That I belong. These people “GET” me! They know the struggles. They can offer insight. They can sympathize with me and give me a good swift kick to help me continue on.
  2. brain   Gain knowledge
    The sessions you attend are wonderful. Most conferences offer different sessions at the same time. This way you can pick and choose according to your experience level and needs.
  3. girl_and_boy.svg.med   Make connections
    There are editors, art directors, agents, and professionals who present during these sessions. What better way can you think of to get your foot in the door than a one-on-one contact?
  4. network-md   Network
    Here you will meet other writers, illustrators, bloggers, marketers, and on and on. These may be the people who help spread your word around when the time comes. These are also the ones that you don’t mind sharing about. They have interesting things to say and can help others on their way.
  5. grin_smiley_emotion_icon_emoticon.svg.med   Gain confidence
    Attending a conference is a great shot in the arm. You feel more secure in yourself. You are inspired to take on your current project or a new one. You may even find that you were able to help someone out. Or perhaps someone helped you over a hurdle.
  6. 12262023431084949520rg1024_Graphs.svg.med Present
    If you have enough experience, you can offer to present at a conference too. This is a great way to get your name out. You can also offer your services. There are people who know how to write a query well, or critque, or maybe how to market.  😉
  7. open_book.svg.medpen_01.svg.med   Book sales
    Conferences offer the opportunity for their attendees to have their books available for purchase during the event. Some will even host a “signing hour”. There may be some stipulations though. Always check with the guidelines.

There are many, many more reasons.  😀   These are the ones that really stuck out to me.

What’s yours?

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What conferences have you attended lately
What are some other reasons why you attend?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – NEW Writing Contest… #FicFest

#FicFest

Marketing Monday –
NEW Writing Contest…
#FicFest

There’s a NEW Writing Contest on the horizon. AND this one is for everyone. When I say everyone, I mean… E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E!

Picture Books… check_mark.svg.med

Mid Grade…        check_mark.svg.med

Young Adult…   check_mark.svg.med

Adult…                check_mark.svg.med

It’s called #FicFest. It’s getting some shout outs across social media.

What is #FicFest?

#FicFest is an online writer’s contest which helps put manuscripts in front of literary agents. This contest, unlike most, is open to manuscripts in ALL genres (including those usually excluded such as Paranormal Romance or Erotica) in the categories of Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult.

#FicFest mentors are structured into fifteen (15) teams. Each category that I listed has three teams. Each team is comprised of a team leader, and two (2) team members. Once the submissions open, each team will choose three (3) finalist manuscripts and one (1) alternate manuscript to advance to the agent round. This means that an equal number of manuscripts for each category will move to the agent round, guaranteeing that one category does NOT overpower another when it comes time for the agents.

45 manuscripts total move to the agent round, with 15 manuscripts being held as alternates in case one of the main finalists drops out of the contest for any reason. This is one of the things we stress in promoting #FicFest because most contests are overrun with Young Adult. In many contests, they may advance 40 manuscripts to the agent round, but the problem lies in the fact that 30 of that 40 are all Young Adult. That won’t happen with #FicFest.

Nine manuscripts from each category will make their appearance in the agent round. No more, no less. NINE each. Let me stress this one more time. In the agent round, you will have 9 Picture Books, 9 Middle Grade, 9 Young Adult, 9 New Adult, and 9 Adult. Everyone gets a fair chance.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Have I got your attention now???

Tiffany Hoffmann is the brains behind this contest. All I can say is… WOW! She is a great leader and I can’t wait to see the entries.  😀  Did I mention I’m a #FicFest PB Mentor!!!!

Keep a look out on her website  and blog  for updates, the AGENT ANNOUNCEMENT, and so much more!

Here are some SAVE THE DATE dates to be on the look out for:

  • March 20, 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST
    Guidelines & Theme Reveal
    (Host Blog)
  • March 27, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST
    Meet the Team Leads & Their Members!
    (Team Lead Blogs & Host Blog)
  • April 3, 2016 @ 6:00 PM EST
    Agent List Announced
    (Host Blog)
  • April 17, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST – 10:00 PM EST
    Q & A with Team Leads & Host
    (Twitter – Using #FicFest)
  • April 24, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – April 25, 2016 @ 11:59 PM EST
    SUBMISSION
  • April 26, 2016 – May 3, 2016
    Teams will chose their finalists/alternate
  • May 4, 2016 @ 10:00 AM EST
    Finalists/Alternate Reveal
    (Team Leads Blogs)
  • May 5, 2016 – June 30, 2016
    Revisions
  • July 8, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – July 14, 2014 @ 11:59 PM EST
    Agent Round

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you think about #FicFest?
Are YOU planning to enter?
If you are, which category will yours be?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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www(dot)Wednesday – #BLTBF

#BLTBF

www(dot)Wednesday –
#BLTBF

Today I wanted to highlight something very close to my heart…

The of reading!

I live in South Georgia, USA, where the literacy rate is not as high as the national level. As a writer, it breaks my heart. As a reader, I really don’t understand it. I mean, I {{{LOVE}}}} BOOKS! Why doesn’t everyone???

I know, people struggle with language, reading, misconceptions. People get discouraged, downhearted, and want to give up. BUT I am a firm believer in words being power.

So I decided to try and make a difference in my own community. In 2012, I started a book festival. Books Love & Taters Book Festival to be precise. WHY? Well, I hold it during my towns major festival of The Georgia Sweet Potato Festival. This accomplishes the need to advertise and crowd draw. My little town goes from 4,000 to 10,000+ during that weekend! 8-o  Amazing!  I invite local and state authors to come set up to sell their books, meet the public, have their picture taken, and answer questions people may have.

So far the response has been amazing. Last year, there were six authors (including me) within two booth spaces. This year??? Well, I’m going to need more booth space! I have had about 10 that are hoping to be there!!!!

It is an awesome way for authors to get their name out there, meet other authors, and have fun for the day.

AND this is my FIFTH YEAR! Major milestone!!! If you are in South Georgia, I hope you can make it and say hello!

***If you would like to help support BLTBF you can go to the website and donate***

Thanks everyone!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Do you have any events in your area to help promote literacy?
What other ways can you help spread the word to read?
Do you know of any other websites you would like to see featured?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Why #BLTBF

image

WHY #BLTBF

Well, here it is. The eve of the 4th Annual Books Love & Taters Book Festival. The tents are up. The tables are set. I’ll be getting up early tomorrow and finishing up the little details before the other authors get here
I’m excited and nervous. Excited, because I get to see some of my really good writing friends. Nervous, because I want everyone to have a great day and feel like the super stars I see them as.

WHY did I start the #BLTBF?
I saw a need to promote literacy. The closest used book store from my town is 30 minutes away. The closest regular book store is an hour and a half. Book festivals? Three hours away any way you travel.
The literacy level in my area is worse than the state’s average, which isn’t good either. I look around and see people who struggle with reading. I wanted them to feel comfortable with words. I wanted to get people excited about literacy.
In 2012, I decided to put together a small festival and hold it within a larger festival. My town, Ocilla, Georgia, hosts the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival every year on the last Saturday of October. A group of authors came. We had a blast! Sold books. Answered questions. Had selfies taken with the public. I decided to do it again and again and this year is Year Four!

I think it makes a difference. People are beginning to notice the festival. The local newspaper, The Ocilla Star, gives #BLTBF a great shout out too.

If you are in Ocilla tomorrow, look for the yellow MEET THE AUTHORS banner. Step in and say hello. I’d love to meet you!

Until next time,

Happy Writing
~t

#BLTBF – Meet Tracey M. Cox

BLT-logo#BLTBF – Meet Tracey M. Cox

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce the authors who will be at Book Love & Taters Book Festival on October 31st.

Last up is me – Tracey M. Cox.

Q:   What genres do you enjoy writing in?
Tracey: I love to write picture books. I like to think of myself as a 4 1/2 year old that refuses to grow up.

Q:   Can you tell us a little about your books?
Tracey:  I have eight picture books out now.

  1. Shaping Up the Year – teaches shapes and holidays found on the American calendar.
  2. Ribbert’s Way Home – Allows readers to see the main character to overcome his fear of moving and other fears.
  3. Liddil Gets Her Light – Allows readers to see the main character take on a problem, create short term goals and build on them to reach her long term goal.
  4. Just the Thing to Be – Allows readers to see our two main characters see how embracing yourself and what you are good at is the best thing you can do. 
  5. Angels Do That – Encourages readers to see the little miracles that occur in our every day life.
  6. Arachnabet – An alphabet book on spiders and some of their common traits.
  7. The Children at the Playground – Encourages readers to get out and play, exercise, and eat healthy.
  8. Clare’s Christmas Wish – Allows readers to see the point of view of two children, one better off than the other, and how both learn that to give of themselves is the best present one can receive. 

Q:   What made you decide to pursue writing professionally?

Tracey:   I have always enjoyed writing and creating stories. My papa use to tell me some of his own when I was little. In school, I always had great grades when it came to creative writing. But I never thought of taking it further, until one January night in 2000. My older two wanted me to tell them a story before they went to bed. Son#2 was asleep before the story ended. But Son#1 stayed awake til the very end. When it was over, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mom, THAT would make a cool book.”. He went to sleep. Me? I thought, “Why not?” and went to my computer and typed in how to become a children’s writer. I haven’t looked back. 

Q:   What others genre(s) or subject(s) would you like to write?
Tracey:   I would like to try my hand a mg or ya. I have a few mss that are collecting dust. Maybe I will get back to them.

Q:   If you could meet one author, who would you choose and why?
Tracey:   Hands down — EVE BUNTING! She a wonderful writer and a complete inspiration to me. She is one of those writers that can write any thing and write it well. She can write cross genre from picture book to mid grade to young adult. She has written across topics too, from butterflies to homelessness to racism. I hope to accomplish at least half as much as her. 

For those of you who may not know, The Books Love & Taters Book Festival takes place during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival in Ocilla, Georgia. This is my little town and it’s a big to-do around here. 😀 Every year, we take on a different theme. This year “There’s No Place Like Home” (The Wizard of OZ) was chosen.
Q:   Who is your favorite Wizard of OZ character and why?
Tracey:   The witch.  She is a complex character. She is suffering, because of the loss of her sister. She feels as if she is being wronged. After all her sister’s killer is rewarded with shoes. And she doesn’t even have the respect of her people. Still she carries on.

Q:   Whose qualities do you like the most and why:

Tinman – Heart
Lion – Bravery
Scarecrow – Brains
Dorothy – Dreamer
Tracey:   I like Dorothy. She shows people to look beyond what lies in front of them. To dream and to never give up.

Thanks bunches!

ABOUT   TRACEY M. COX:

Tracey2

 

Tracey M. Cox lives in Ocilla, Georgia. She is an author and loves to be involved in the KidLit community. After looking around her community, she realized the need to get people excited about reading. That was when the idea of starting a book festival came to her. Tracey is the founder/director of the Books Love & Taters Book Festival. She is also in the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Within that organization she is the Local Liaison for South Georgia and webmaster for the Southern Breeze region. She is also a KidLit.TV team member and enjoys promoting literacy whenever she can.

Books5

SHOW SOME LINKY LOVE:

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Please visit the Books Love & Taters Book Festival website. AND if you are in the Ocilla, Georgia area, stop by October 31st. You’ll find all of us at the “MEET THE AUTHORS” booth.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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#BLTBF – Meet Janie Hopwood

BLT-logo#BLTBF – Meet Janie Hopwood

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce the authors who will be at Book Love & Taters Book Festival on October 31st.

Fifth up is Janie Hopwood.

Me:   Hi Janie. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Me:   What genres do you enjoy writing in?
Janie: I like to write poetry, Historical fiction, fiction, and children’s stories.

Me:   Can you tell us a little about your books?
Janie:  First book, Beck House, began as a non-fiction group of stories concerning my Grandmother’s boarding house.  At the time, I had three relatives that had either lived in the house or eaten there on a regular basis.  As I questioned them, I realized I was getting three versions of the same story so I decided to make the book fiction and add stories, include stories that did not occur in the Beck House. Beck House is a collection of short stories.  One of the stories concerned a young boy abandoned by his parents.  The first part of this story is true according to tapes in which my Aunt Sybil talks about the boy; how he came to live with them and why he left.  She mentions that he had visited Rena as a man but nothing more.  I fell in love with this courageous lad and decided to invent him a life history.  The Forever Child is about surviving in spite of and sometimes because of what life throws at you.

Me:   What made you decide to pursue writing professionally?
Janie:   I have no idea.  Someone told me that I needed to get Beck House published and I did.

Me:   What others genre(s) or subject(s) would you like to write?
Janie:   I want to write a mystery novel, I have one started but have bogged down, and have an idea for another more contemporary story.

Me:   If you could meet one author, who would you choose and why?
Janie:   Pat Conroy, my two favorite books are Beach Music and To Kill  a Mockingbird.  Love Conroy”s ability to tell seven stories in one book and to keep it all together.

Me:   For those of you who may not know, The Books Love & Taters Book Festival takes place during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival in Ocilla, Georgia. This is my little town and it’s a big to-do around here. 😀 Every year, we take on a different theme. This year “There’s No Place Like Home” (The Wizard of OZ) was chosen.
My question to you is, who is your favorite Wizard of OZ character and why?
Janie:   The wizard.  He took an awful situation, turned it into a great situation and still knew when to leave.

Me:   Whose qualities do you like the most and why:

Tinman – Heart
Lion – Bravery
Scarecrow – Brains
Dorothy – Dreamer
Janie:   I like Dorothy for not only her dreaming but her courage, brains, and heart.

Me: Thanks bunches, Janie!

ABOUT JANIE HOPWOOD:

image

Janie Hopwood was born in Americus Georgia in 1943.  The family moved to Macon Georgia shortly thereafter and Mrs. Hopwood attended the public schools of Macon, graduating with honors in 1961.  She attended Georgia Southern College majoring in physical education and health.  Upon graduation from college, Mrs. Hopwood was offered a graduate assistants position while she worked on her MST degree.  Once the degree was finished, she accepted a teaching and coaching position in the Dekalb County School system where she taught physical education and coached girls basketball and tennis.  After one year, she was offered a teaching position with Georgia Southern and taught there for two years after which, she married and moved to Monroe Georgia.  She also taught in Waycross Georgia where both of her daughters were born, and Lawrenceville Georgia.  After a divorce she moved her family to Tifton Georgia.  Here she met and married Jerry Hopwood.  She retired from teaching in 1997 and currently spends her time writing, working in the community and spending time with husband, children, and grandchildren. Mrs. Hopwood published her first novel Beck House in 2009.  Followed by an offshoot novel The Forever Child in 2014.

SHOW SOME LINKY LOVE:

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Please visit the Books Love & Taters Book Festival website. AND if you are in the Ocilla, Georgia area, stop by October 31st. You’ll find all of us at the “MEET THE AUTHORS” booth.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
* Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Easy, peasy buttons found below.
* Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my
Newsletter sign up page.
ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHomecoverart LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 A8x150 The Children At the Playground