Power Through


I figured this picture would be fitting for everything that is going on. We are over it and we want our lives back to normal.  This is only temporarily and I belive that things will get better. If you are home from work like me, keep a routine going. My day today consists of writing a novel that I need to finish and taking some time out to read. I’m currntly reading two books right now The Richest Man of Babylon by George Clason and Novebmer 9th by Colleen Hoover. My grandmother alwahys said, ” the mind is a terrible thing to waste.”


Keep powering through! Delayed does not mean denied. Whatever you want to do in life whether it is a goal, dream, for work, etc it will happen. Keep the faith. It will be worth the wait. As I take the time to encourage my readers, I’m also speaking for myself. I’m home for 2 weeks with pnemonia that is clearing up nicely thanks to faith, prayer and medicine. I’ve always had a weak immune system from being born premature so I am staying inside and taking precautions. But, I will not let that stop me. Life is still be lived! I’m doing the things I love the most, read, write and watch YouTube videos on budgeting and financing.

I’m Getting To The Money

Organized Finance

With everything that is going on money is at the forefront. Take the time you need to make arrangements in your budget if you have one. If not, my budget jounral is a personal journal for you to organize your finances and start that budget. But, if here are some tips to do at home right now to free up any extra cash you may need.

I have been doing a challenge for myself where I save any money that I have on hand and wasn’t using. It’s been about 4 weeks and I have saved about $350 in cash. Of course I didn’t know this was going to happen, but I’m glad that I am prepared. I am the type of person to always think ahead and not just live in the now.  Some people have a different approach and want to spend their money because they worked hard for it, and that is their choice. Follow to the beat of your own drum.

  1.  Pay Only The Minumum Or Put Payments on Hold – With the virus and things still being do, don’t make an extra payment just yet. Just pay your minimum balance on ALL of your bills and that extra payment, put it in savings or just keep it in your account.  Or if you are able see if you can stop payments altogether until things are somewhat back to normal.
  2. Call Companies- There are many companies that are putting payments on hold and providing free services while the pandemic is going on. I.E, Comcast, Electric, Internet and even cell phone bills. Now, just because you don’t have to pay it right now does not mean you get a FREE MONTH.
  3. Shop From Home First – Depending on your circumstances if you are quarentined in the house or not, first go through your pantry and take inventory of what you have. Shop from home first and make a meal plan so when you do go shopping or have someone go for you, you will know exactly what you need.
  4. Buy In Bulk (If You Can) – There are stores such as BJ’s, Sam’s Club, or even Costco where you can buy meats and other groceries in bulk in order to have more for times like this. If you do not have a membership to any of these places, it’s okay. Buy the family pack of meals and seperate them. Leg quarters are VERY CHEAP and you can get like 10 pouds for like $4. Take them home, clean them, and cut them in half and you have double the amount of food. Now, I know food is scarce in the grocery store, but don’t stock up too much, be mindful of those who may still need to buy groceries and can’t come at the moment.
  5. Stay Safe – If it is not mandatory to go out, please don’t. I know some people still have to work and if you do please be careful. Take all the safety measures that you can during this time.


Outlining Your Novel 2.0

Outlining Your Novel

Writer's Write

Like any writer, this is a step in the process where it gets real. By this times character profiles should have been done, the plot sketched out on many different post it notes or a notebook. This is the part where your desk or writing area looks a mess with so many different ideas and levels to your story. Writers outline in many ways. Some do not use an outline at all. Whatever way you fancy, outlining or sorting your ideas is a must. Depending on what of novel you are writing, research is very important and some research can take months or even years to sort through. For example, imagine writing a crime fiction novel. You may have old case files, have suspects to figure out, and more.


When it comes to outlining, think of it as telling a story from the beginning, middle and the end. Or for screenwriters this Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3, but take things step by step. Ask yourself these questions: How do I want the story to start? What will the main character do in the beginning of the story? Is he/she being dramatic? Is the character going to talk in a narrative tone or third person? Check out this example of how an outline can go.

  1. Main Character
  • Who is it? ( Give me a full fabricated name)
  • Zodiac Sign
  • Mannerisms ( is he/she shy? Smooth and charismatic? A Jerk?)
  • Where does his story start? (High school, middle school, College?)
  • What made him the main character the way he/she is? (Pain, addiction, broken heart)
  • Add other characters, friends, parents, situations and incidents. Give them names, descriptions, complexions, mannerisms and characteristic. Be specific.
  1. Family Life
  • Does the main character have siblings?
  • What was his household like? Day to day routine?
  • Parents accepting of he/she? Did he feel like the black sheep? Got along with everyone?
  • Talk about parents were they good parents? Bad parents?
  1. Personality of Main Character
  • Did he get along with his peers?
  • Have a best friend?
  • Popular/Unpopular
  • What did he like to do for fun?
  1. Plot
  • What happens that shifts the main characters life/lifestyle? What made it hard?
  • Explain in detail, how he was feeling while his life was changing
  • What makes the transition of a innocent child to an adult?
  • Is the main character married? Have kids? What is that structure like while he’s going through what he is?
  1. Final Result Or Ending
  • What is the main character taking away from this?
  • How has he/she learned?
  • Does the good outweigh the bad depending on the situation?
  • What would you like to see for an ending?



I’ve attached some blog posts that will help you get starting with the writing process once you are ready. Included are other example outlines and more notes as well. I’ve put them in order of the writing when you get started. I hope this article and the other examples I have provided help you go far with your writing! NanowriMo is coming soon ( National Novel Writing Month) and I hope you guys that are writers will participate.




  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/back-to-basics-character-profile/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/the-power-of-the-plot/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/why-is-it-so-hard-to-choose-names-for-your-characters/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/is-it-okay-to-use-a-pseudonym/



  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/i-want-to-turn-my-book-into-a-movie-how-should-i-do-that/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/my-gift-to-you-signatory-agent-list-for-writers/



  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/creating-the-ending-of-your-story/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/are-word-counts-really-that-important/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/my-book-is-completed-now-what/


  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/my-book-is-completed-now-what/




My Life Will Forever Be Changed


Happy Sunday Readers! I hope that this day has you well with good spirits. I wanted to talk about something that is personal. I share a lot of my life with my readers often so why stop now? I really enjoy blogging and I appreciate all of my readers who take the time to read my blogs or even if you don’t read it.  Lately I have been feeling down about my recent diagnosis. I was at the doctor’s office complaining about how I’m always cold. I knew that I had low iron and I thought he would just prescribe me iron pills and send me on my way. Boy, was I wrong! Instead my doctor did blood work.  I knew that heart disease and diabetes ran in my family on both sides, but I thought it could never happen to me. I went home that day and rested. I went to work the next day and checked my phone. I saw that I had a voicemail. As I checked it, my doctor said for me to call him. Now, in my mind I’m like, ” Oh it’s no big deal, I have low iron, I already know that.”

I called him back on my break and it said the words that I thought I would never hear. ” Krystol you tested positive for Type2 Diabetes.” All I heard was diabetes in my mind. I blanked out of everything else that he said. My first instinct was to cry, because I thought this never happened to me. Sure, I know I’m overweight but diabetes?! This all seemed like a nightmare.


Immediately I was prescribed medicine that I had to start taking right away. I was so disappointed in myself. I knew i needed to loose weight, but now I really have to shed the pounds. When i hung up my phone, I felt so upset. I wanted to go home from work, but I didn’t. I know that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with diet and exercise, but to know that I have it. It’s a real downfall. My parents instantly supported my lifestyle change that I have to endure. My mother is so over protective of what I eat now. Before I didn’t eat breakfast a lot and now I have to eat meals all the time. I went to the doctor the other day and I’m down 2 pounds, lol. I know it does not seem like a lot, but I’m so proud. I have been more active and trying to eat better. I still have my Chinese food cravings, but I’m making better choices.


I know that I have to fight this chronic disease. I’m going to loose all of the weight that I can in order to give rid of this. My grandmother may she rest in peace, had type 1 diabetes and I would HATE that she had to give herself a needle. I am determined to NOT go that route. I never saw the signs. I often had headaches which I thought was due to my menstrual cycle coming due and that I was always thirsty because I did not have a lot of water in my system. Boy, was I wrong! I’m telling my story to the readers who may suffer from the same symptoms that I had and did not know. Please take care of yourself and your body. Do not end up like me. I am glad I have to take just a pill, but I still am diabetic none the less. After finding out of my diagnosis about 2 weeks ago, I feel sad about it. I’m making it seem to others that I am fine, but I’m really not. I mean, having to make sure I eat properly and having to workout is a tough pill to swallow. I hate working out, lol. Well, I take that back, I hate doing it alone. But, I will get there. I’m so obsessed now with what I’m eating making sure it’s better choices and drinking plenty of water. I’m eating more vegetables and have quit drinking sodas all together. My work out regime is playing my wii with the dance games, lol. I do that three times a week. My doctor wants me to workout five days a week, but that is hard being as though I work a crazy schedule as it is. I have to beat this thing. I can’t let it defeat me or take over my life. I will defeat it. I’m going to sign up for the gym with one of my co-workers. We are going to work out together. I’m happy about that. Again, I want to thank my readers for being supportive of everything in my life, the good and the bad.

More Information on Type 2 Diabetes: 

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and was once known as adult onset diabetes. However, in recent years, the rate of type 2 diagnoses in children has been growing.

Type 2 diabetes usually starts as insulin resistance. Cells stop responding properly to insulin and sugar is unable to get from the blood into the cells. Over time, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin to keep blood sugars in the normal range and the body becomes progressively less able to regulate blood sugar.

Many people with diabetes can manage their blood sugar with diet and exercise, especially if they lose weight (if they are overweight). If not, medications to help control blood sugar are available.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often preventable. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

sedentary lifestyle
older age
family history of diabetes
history of gestational diabetes
race or ethnicity
You can greatly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by keeping your weight in its ideal range and exercising regularly. If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, talk to your doctor about how to lower your risk for progressing to type 2 diabetes

Other Types of Diabetes
Pregnant women are at risk of gestational diabetes, characterized by high blood sugar levels that are associated with pregnancy. This form of diabetes usually resolves or goes away after a woman gives birth. However, she must carefully control her blood sugar during pregnancy to reduce the risk of possible complications. Women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.

Certain diseases and genetic conditions can also cause other types of diabetes. However, these types of diabetes are rare.

Long-Term Outlook for People with Type 2 Diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes significantly increases your risk of long-term health problems and even death. According to the CDC, the death rate for people with type 2 diabetes is twice as high as that of people the same age people without diabetes. In addition, diabetes increases your risk of conditions such as:

heart disease
high blood pressure
eye disease, including blindness
kidney disease
nervous system damage
dental problems
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure (CDC) and amputations among adults.

Fortunately, most of the complications of type 2 diabetes are preventable. Keeping your blood sugar under control can prevent serious complications. This requires a lifelong commitment to staying healthy, including:

eating well
maintaining a healthy weight
taking medications, as prescribed by your doctor



I’m Married To My Writing, But I’m Having an Affair With Life


Hey Readers! I hope you all had a great work week. For me, I’m kind of feeling a little conflicted. See, ever since I learned that I was a writer, it was something I could not live without. In some ways, I still can’t. In some way, I write everyday. Whether it’s a tweet, Facebook or in my journal. I am aiming to blog more and plan on working on my w.i.p’s, but I’m having an affair with life. What do I mean? Well, life is something that everyone lives and must do. There are so many components that come with life such as working, school, children, and the oh-so-fun responsibilities. In life we do what we have to do at times instead of what we want to do. Although writing is my baby, life has other plans. My process is to have room for both without making the other left out. Writers, do you ever have this problem? If so, how do you intertwine the two?


This is how I feel right now without my hubby ( writing). I feel like I’m neglecting him so much! While at work there are so many ideas going through my mind for screenplays, novels, TV shows, jobs, research, etc. It’s like my mind moves a mile a minute. Yesterday, when I got home from work I just got in my bed and rested. I couldn’t help but think out loud, ” I should be writing”, but my body had other plans. After all, I did work 8-8:45 three nights straight! I even dreamed about writing. When it gets THAT serious, it’s time to regroup and do what I love, write. Be with my significant other while we make magic! Today, I had a meeting with a production company that is interested in my TV show treatments. The meeting went well, but I need to do more research on the company before I make my decision. My point is, when he asked me about my treatments, I got so excited, my face lit-up as I talked about my writing. As I smiled while talking to the man, I felt content and happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I want to pursue writing full-time, I mean if I could, I would, but I have to work to maintain a roof over my head. You know? When I am able to write for a living, I will. As I said before, my goals change slightly, but they are obtainable. To be a researcher and to still write for a living as well. So, what is one to do when you are cheating on your spouse with life? Go to counseling! LOL…Just kidding. Seriously, I think developing a system and making time to write will work best. It’s hard for me at times because I work 12-9 three days a week and 8-5 the other two. By the time the weekend comes, I want to sleep and just do the things I couldn’t during the week. Wash clothes, grocery shopping, etc.

PhD Image

Man! This research class is no joke! I tell you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but it’s very time consuming. I know school is suppose to be, but the reading is crazy! I have 3 books for this class and I’m like ugh…I’m too tired to read, lol. Skimming is my best friend is quarter. I’m doing very well in the class though. Next quarter, I will be taking Quantitative class and Lifespan Develop. Pray for me, I heard the quantitative class is hard as heck! I’m not good with numbers at all. This is why I decided to do a qualitative study for my dissertation. Here is my topic of study: Let me know what you guys think. If you so happen to know anyone who would be interested in being apart of my research study, let me know! Or just share this post, thanks!

Draft Title: Sex Addiction: What happens after diagnosis

Research Problem: Most people who continuously cheat or commit adultery (once they have been caught), say that they have a sex addiction. Is it really an addiction or do they just enjoy the thrill of being with someone else?

Research question: Spouse Perspectives to Describe Perceptions After Sex Addiction Diagnosis
How can spouses describe perceptions after sex addiction diagnosis?

3-5 Keywords
Sex Addict
Sex Addiction
Sexual Gratification

Scope of Study: To determine if the spouse/significant other who is diagnosed will stay with their mate and to determine if the other spouse will try and save the relationship after diagnosis. Will the mate without the addiction ever be enough for the one diagnosed?

I think this topic is so interesting. Why did I choose this topic? Well, I had a friend tell me that they were diagnosed with a sex addiction. I was really intrigued. I notice that this type of addiction is one that is not discussed openly often. I have started reading articles about the topic. I’m excited to start my dissertation and find out more about sex addiction.

Blog Roll: Characters Count

Good evening, readers! 

Good evening

I know that I am late today on the blog, but I have good reason. Today, I was doing a google chat with some writer friends and I had a meeting as well. But, I am here now and I come with gifts! I will be positing some good stuff in about a few minutes.

Blog Roll 


My friend A. Wrighton invited me to be apart of this blog roll. I must say, this is my first one. I am very excited to be apart of it. There are also other bloggers that are apart of this blog roll, too. Be sure to check them out and show them so love. Follow them, they are great also!

What is your favorite part about writing characters? 

Let’s see. Well, I would say to give them personalities. For me, I love doing character profiles. I love to give a character something different. Maybe a character trait or even a flaw. I love to bring to life their minds. Sometimes I sit in my room and laugh at my characters. Especially, if there is an arguing scene.

What is the hardest thing you have to do when creating a character? What is the easiest? 

This is hard. Let’s see. The hardest thing to do is to create someone that isn’t like me. For example, to create a mean character is hard, because I am the nicest person once you get to know me. It’s really hard to create men because I am a women. But, it is also fun too! It can be very funny, if I am writing a sex scene. The easiest part of creating a character is giving them good dialogue. I feel that dialogue is one of my strengths.

Who is your favorite character that you have written? 

My favorite character would have to be Joy from my YA novel Tears of Joy.  Joy is a young girl who was going through a tough time. Her mother has a serious illness and she’s in love with a boy that her father does not approve of. This character is my favorite because as I was writing the book, Joy started to tell her own story.

Who is one character that you wish you had written?

I wish I had written about an assassin that kills sexual predators. I know that maybe a little raw, but hey, I was asked the question, lol.

Is there a character type that intimidates you? 

Yes! I hate male characters that swear they know everything. For example, I was recently reading about a politician who was running for office. He just knew it all! I was annoyed to death, lol.

Is there a character type that you’re really good at? 

I think I am good at writing about strong women. I am a strong woman so I love to write with strong female leads. After all, women run the world anyway! Well, at least Beyonce thinks so.

Best tip/trick you’ve learned while writing characters? 

This one is going to be funny. But, it helps me to have puppets and say the dialogue along with the different voices that I think they will sound like. I know it is really funny, but it helps because no one will do a table read with me. I am able to catch mistakes like this too!

Blog Roster 


1. A. Wrighton – genre-bending novelist, screenwriter, and creative evil genius (one of them anyway, let’s not forget who’s blog you are on 🙂

2. Lisa Bilbrey– romance novelist aka a boss!

3. Leslie Conzatti– the upstream writer

4. Writing Stuff– where the marsette things are


Creating The Ending To Your Story

Good morning, readers! 

Good am

As a writer, we spend so much time outlining and preparing to write and we can get overwhelmed. At least,  I know that I do. I am trying different approaches to write better and faster. I am going to make a set-time of when to write and just go with the flow. I find that writing a certain amount of words a day will not only aggravate me, but it will also get me upset if I did not achieve that word count for the day. So, you have your outline done to the best of your ability, now what?

Time to get writing…


Pace yourself. Take a few deep breaths before you get into that comfy spot. For me it is my bed. I know that may sound crazy, but I love being in bed with my laptop writing. Right now, next to me, I have a notebook, my kindle, earphones, a pen and my cell phone. I know clutter, much? Oh well, it’s my bed and I am the only one that sleeps in it. For now, anyway! Haha! Get all of your writing snacks and drinks handy. Minimize Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn just for an hour. If you have to play much, get the playlist ready. For me, I use spottily and I have anything from Phill Collins to Tyrese on my playlist. Yes, I LOVE music when writing sometimes. Now, that it’s time to write start writing. Your outline should be so detailed enough that you will be excited to write your story. I used to have my outlines look like this:

Chapter 1 

Kendall finds out that her father really isn’t her father. 

I would write the scene from that. No, good! Do not do this, guys!! Well, if it works for you, go for it. But, now after reading this book, I do things differently.


I now outline by new scene, which characters are in it and what is going to happen.


New Scene:

Characters: Kendell, Jeff, and Chloe

Kendell finds out that her father isn’t who he says he is. (Have her relive a memory and play it out). Chloe will already know the secret and give her back story as to why. Jeff makes a big fuss and argues with Chloe about her running her mouth. 

Now, with me adding more then just a sentence, I can now read this paragraph and play it out in my head. By me playing it out in my head, I can now make this scene a well in-depth one with some twist and and turns. Don’t get it twisted, writer, your book WILL start to write itself. The outline is just a blueprint of what you want to happen. It does not always happen that way. Trust me!

The End is near…

Scared Face

When you are feeling your book come to a close whether it’s a sequel or not, this can go really great or really bad. I noticed in my writing that I would rush the ending, just to have a finished product. Don’t do this!!! Instead, let the ending flow gradually so that you can determine if there is a book two or not. If there is then of course you may leave a cliffhanger, or end it on a note where it can be or may not be a sequel.

For example: In my book Through Her Eyes, I had the character live happily ever after. Usually when happily ever after is in a story, it  is the end. But, often-times people want to know what happens now. That’s when you tell the story from the same characters POV ( Point of View) or you tell it from another character in the story. This my friend can make or break your book! 

Whether your ending is coming along smoothly or there are some bumps in the road, do not fret. Take your time and let the ending end itself!

Opportunities for Writers: April and May 2014 Re-blog

I’ve been so busy with my other writing projects but today I will have THREE blogs for you. I’m following some blogs and when I read and comment them if I want to re-blog I prefer to do it this way. Please feel free to follow the blog below as well. This has a lot of great opportunities for writers and for the next couple of months! Enjoy and please share!

 Opportunities for Writers April and May 2014

Please check the relevant websites for full terms and conditions, and don’t forget that entry fees are applicable in some cases.

The Danish Centre for Writers and Translators
is offering four-week residencies to published authors. Four international authors and eight to ten Danish authors (four at a time) will be selected. This working residency is available to authors who have had at least two books of fiction or poetry published. Applications close 1 April.

Ninth Letter
is accepting submissions of fiction and poetry from students currently enrolled in a creative writing program for a special online edition to be published in Spring 2014. Submissions close 1 April.

Neil Shepard Prizes in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction
are offered by literary magazine Green Mountain Review. The first prize winners in each genre will receive US$500 and publication. All entries will be considered for publication. Closes 1 April.

The Sherwood Anderson Foundation Grants
for emerging writers offers up to US$20,000 to a person who has written at least one but no more than two published books of fiction. NB: an entry fee of $100 in payable. Applications must arrive postmarked no later than 1 April.

Enizagam Literary Awards in Poetry and Fiction
will award two prizes of US$1000 and publication. Poets should submit 3 to 5 poems totalling no more than 10 pages; short stories may be up to 6000 words. Entries close 1 April.

Pennsylvania State University Resident Poet and Drama/Screenwriter
The Penn State Altoona English Program is taking applications for a one-semester teaching residency in poetry and drama/screenwriting. The residency is designed to offer an emerging writer substantial time to write and offers a salary of US$10,000 in return for teaching one general education level introduction to creative writing workshop during the Fall 2014 semester (25 August – 19 December). Review of applications will begin on 1 April and will continue until the position is filled.

Thresholds International Short Story Forum Feature Writing Competition
welcomes entries is two categories: ‘Author Profile’, exploring the life, writings and influence of a single short story writer, and ‘We Recommend’, personal recommendations of a collection, anthology, group of short stories or a single short story. First prize is £500 and there are two runners-up prizes of £100. Entries close 2 April.

The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing 
is for unpublished manuscripts by writers from Australia and New Zealand. The winner receives AUD$10,000 and a publishing contract with Text Publishing. Entries close 4 April.

Jeffrey Eugenides
will be presenting a free lecture on creative writing at Columbia University in New York on 9 April. The lecture is open to the public and is part of a regular series that brings distinguished writers to Columbia for original talks on literary craft.

The Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship
is offered by the International Women’s Media Foundation. The selected journalist will be from anywhere in the world and whose previous work in print, broadcast, or digital media has focused on human rights and social justice reporting. This seven month-long program will take her to Boston and New York to study at MIT’s Center for International Studies and work for U.S. media outlets including The Boston Globe and The New York Times. Applications close 11 April.

The Writers’ Couch
invites writers to pitch feature film projects. To apply you must have completed a feature-length screenplay for the project you wish to pitch; be over the age of 18; live in the UK; and not have literary representation. Applications for the April round close on the 14th.

The Nick Darke Award
celebrates the best writing for stage, screen and radio, awarding the winner £6000 to allow them to complete their script. It is open to all writers aged over 16. The first submission stage involves outlining an idea in the form of a 25 word or less pitch, followed by an outline for the story idea in 750 words, suggesting character, plot and structure. Applicants are asked to also submit 20 pages that represent their writing, either in the form of a new or existing piece. Entries close 14 April.

The 2nd Annual ScreamCraft Horror Script Contest
is open for entries. First place prize is US$2000 cash and a phone consultation with writer-director Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose). The early bird deadline is 15 April, with entries closing on 1 June.

The Waterman Fund Essay Contest
has a theme centred on the value and identity of wilderness fifty years after the Wilderness Act of 1964. Personal, scientific, adventure, or memoir essays, as well as any and all combinations within the nonfiction genre, are highly encouraged. Entries close 15 April.

Tin House
is accepting submissions for its Fall 2014 issue with the theme ‘tribes’. They are looking for fiction, poetry, non-fiction and interviews that address the issue of tribalism. This may include the creation of ad-hoc families and communities; tribes formed via class, race, and geography, or via art, music, and sport; life after exclusion from a tribe; tribalism and conflict; post-colonial tribes and virtual tribes. Submissions close 15 April.

MacDowell Colony Fellowships
support residences of up to eight weeks for writers and other artists. Located in New Hampshire, studios, room and board are provided. Applications for Fall 2014 residences (1 October to 31 January) close on 15 April.

Event Magazine’s Non-Fiction Contest
is open to creative non-fiction up to 5000 words in length. There isUS$1500 prize money available in addition to the regular publication payment. The $34.95 entry fee includes a 1-year subscription. Entries close 15 April.

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition
is being offered for the first time in 2014 and will be judged by bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith. First prize is £300 and a trip to the Edinburgh Festival. A maximum of 500 entries will be accepted and so writers are encouraged to submit their work as soon as possible. The final entry deadline is 16 April.

The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony
offers Summer Fellowships for fiction, nonfiction and poetry writers during the second half of 2014 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Five applicants (one from the State of Utah) will be chosen for this in-residence program. Each successful Fellow’s award will cover full tuition and housing for the entire three week period of residency. Applications close 18 April.

Bristol Short Story Prize
is an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished writers. A total of twenty entries will be published in the prize’s seventh anthology. Cash prizes are also awarded for first, second and third place. Entries close 30 April. The 2013 Anthology eBook is available here.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay and Teleplay competitions
are open to writers from all countries. All 2014 semifinalists and finalists will be included in the annual Producers Book, distributed to over 400 agents, managers, producers, and other industry professionals. The general entry deadline is 30 April, with late entries accepted until 31 May.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
is open to original short stories and essays on any theme. The winner in each category receives US$3000 and there are a total of 10 minor prizes of $100. Entries should be maximum of 6000 words. Closes 30 April.

Late Night Library
is now accepting submissions for the 2014 Debut-litzer Prizes in the categories of fiction and poetry. Winners will receive US $1000 and a featured appearance on Late Night Conversation. Debut books first published in North America between 1 January and 31 December 2013 are eligible to enter. Entries must be postmarked by 30 April.

The RSL Brookleaze Grants for Writers
are open to novelists, short story writers, poets or playwrights. The judges are particularly interested in applications from writers who wish to buy time away from their normal lives – who need to take sabbaticals from their jobs, for example, or who need to travel abroad for the purpose of research. A total of £5000 will be available; this may be awarded either as two grants of £2500 or one grant of £5000. Applications close 30 April.

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships
in the amount of US$25,800 each will be awarded to five young American poets. Entrants must be US citizens and aged between 21 and 31. Applications close 30 April.

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
awards up to five fellowships of US$35,000 each year. This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship. All entrants must be aged over 18.The regular entry deadline is 10 April, with late entries accepted until 1 May.

Southwest Review’s David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction
is only open to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, either a novel or collection of stories. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Southwest Review. Stories can be up to 8000 words in length and all entries will be considered for publication. The deadline for entries is 1 May.

Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
is open to writers outside Australia for the first time in 2014. A total of AUD$8000 will be awarded with prizes for first, second and third place. Entries must be a single-authored short story of between 2000 and 5000 words, written in English. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August. Entries close 1 May.

The CBS Diversity Institute’s Writers Mentoring Program
aims is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. The program is held in Los Angeles but writers do not need to be American residents to apply (there are no travel grants or subsidies though). Applications close 1 May.

Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading
publishes one story a week and reopens for submissions on 1 May. Previously unpublished fiction ranging in length from 2,000 to 10,000 words will be considered and each contributor is paid US$300.

Litro Magazine
publishes short fiction, flash/micro fiction, nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, travel narratives, etc), and original artwork (photographs, illustrations, paintings, etc) based on the designated monthly theme. Works translated into English are also welcome. The theme for the May issue is augmented reality.

Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize
awards $2500 and publication by the Kent State University Press to a poet who has not previously had a collection published. Entrants should submit 50 – 70 pages of poetry. Closes 1 May.

The Walt Disney Studios’ Feature Writers Program
is a paid one year residency housed in Disney’s live-action production group that provides up-and-coming feature writers with development and mentorship opportunities. Submissions close 5 May.

The Linda Bromberg Award for Prose Poetry 
is for a single prose poem. The winner recevies a first prize of US$500, publication and broadcast on public radio; honourable mention poems may also be considered for publication and broadcast. Entries close 5 May.

The Guardian’s Creative Writing Weekend with MJ Hyland
is aimed at serious writers who have either studied creative writing before, received positive feedback from a publisher or agent, or been committed to writing regularly for at least two years. The course takes place at the University of Salford (Salford, UK) on 10 and 11 May.

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
is dedicated to recognising and supporting the work of emerging writers whose fiction has not yet achieved success. Entries must be less than 3500 words and the competition is open to writers based anywhere is the world. The winner receives US$1500 and publication. The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition first ran in 1981; entries for the 2014 prize close on 15 May (discounted entry available before 1 May).

Spokane Prize for Short Fiction
is open to book-length manuscripts of stories. Manuscripts must include at least three short stories and be no less than 98 pages. There is no maximum page count and stories may have been previously published in journals, anthologies or limited edition volumes. The winner receives US$2000 and publication of their manuscript by Willow Springs Editions. Entries close 15 May.

The Scotland Writing Residency
is located in Brora, a coastal village in the east of Sutherland in the Highland area of Scotland. The writer resides, for one week during summer or fall, in a furnished and recently renovated, traditional croft cottage, containing three-bedrooms. There is no cash prize. Applications close 15 May.

The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans
is a creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel and is hosted by The Iowa Review. Writing can be in any genre and about any subject matter. The prize is $1000 and publication in the Spring 2015 issue of The Iowa Review

Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools
is a free, open online course presented by the European Journalism Centre. Instructors include Simon Rogers, Data Editor at Twitter and former editor of the Guardian’s award-winning Datablog, and Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication of Arizona State University and 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner. The program commences on 19 May and continues until 31 July.

The Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program
aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship. Grants are given in five project types: articles, blogs, books, new and alternative media, and short-form writing. Applications open on 16 April and close on 21 May.

Emerging Writers Getaway Contest for Unpublished Writers of Crime Novels
is open to writers who have not yet published a book and have completed a crime novel manuscript  (mystery, suspense, thriller). Submissions should consist of the opening of the novel (up to 5000 words) and a synopsis (up to 500 words.) First prize is a 5-day residency (tuition and lodging) at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ MFA program on Whidbey Island, Washington (travel, meals and expenses not included), a critique from and possible representation by a literary agent, and US$300 cash Entries close 23 May.

Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story Competition
is open to all English-speaking writers aged 16 or over. First prize is £500 and at least five finalists will receive £100. All prizewinners will also be published in a Fiction Desk anthology. Fiction Desk advises that ’ghost story’ can mean a lot of different things, from an encounter with an actual phantom to more unusual paranormal phenomena and unexplained events. All types are welcome and writers are free to experiment. Entries close 30 May.

NBCUniversal’s Writers on the Verge
is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. They are looking for writers who are ‘almost there’ but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills.  The program consists of two weekly night classes to be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA. Applications close 30 May.

The Baltimore Review’s Summer Contest
has the theme ‘How To’. Three winners will be selected from among all entries. There is a 3000 word limit for fiction and creative non-fiction, and one to three poems can be included per entry. All entries considered for publication. Closes 31 May.

Yeovil Literary Prize
is open to aspiring writers from around the world. There are categories for novel, short story and poetry, as well as a local writer award. Writing in all genres is welcomed and entries close 31 May.

Harvard Review
publishes short fiction, poetry, essays, drama, and book reviews. Writers at all stages of their careers are invited to submit their work; however, the editors warn they can only publish a very small fraction of the material the receive. The reading period runs until 31 May.

Creative Nonfiction
is seeking new work for an upcoming issue dedicated to memoir. The magazine’s editors will award US$1000 for Best Essay and $500 for Runner-up. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. Submissions close 31 May.

The Warner Bros Writers’ Workshop
is for new writers looking to start and further their career in the world of television. Graduates include Terrance Winter (Boardwalk Empire), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl) and Felicia Henderson (Soul Food). Applications close 31 May.

One Story
is a literary magazine that contains, simply, one story. Approximately every three-four weeks, subscribers are sent One Story in the mail, or on their digital devices.Submissions are open between 1 September and 31 May. Stories must be between 3,000 and 8,000 words and can be in any style on any subject.

The Frome Short Story Competition
is an international competition open to all unpublished and published writers. Stories on any theme of between 1000 and 2200 words are invited. The guest judge is Lesley Pearse and entries close 31 May.

The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
is one of Australia’s richest and the most prestigious awards for an unpublished manuscript. The winner receives publication by Allen & Unwin, with an advance against royalties plus prize money totalling AUD $20,000. Entrants must be aged under 35 and previous recipients include Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and Gillian Mears. Entries close 31 May.

The Florida Review
publishes fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, graphic narrative, interviews, and book reviews. There is no word or page limit, though they prefer prose that is between 3 and 25 manuscript pages. The Florida Review’s reading period is August through May, although subscribers’ submissions will be read year-round.

Cold Mountain Review 
publishes poetry, creative non-fiction, interviews with creative writers, fiction and art. Submissions are read between August and May each year.

The Quotable
is a quarterly print and online publication. Submissions for their 14th issue on the theme ’danger’ open on 1 April and close on 1 June. They are seeking flash fiction (up to 1000 words), short fiction (up to 3000 words), and creative non-fiction (up to 3000 words), as well as poetry and art.

The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
is accepting submissions for its third annual edition. The theme is the creative process. The journal accepts submissions of poetry, creative non-fiction, short fiction, original artwork, and/or photography related to the theme. Submissions close 1 June.

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
is a Hong Kong-based journal dedicated to publishing quality poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, drama, and reviews written in English, as well as photography and art. It has a strong focus on Asian-themed creative work or work done by Asian writers and artists. It also publishes emerging writers around the world. Submissions are currently open for CHA’s September 2014 issue.

Tincture Journal
is seeking scripts of plays or screenplays that stand on their own as text. Script length is flexible, but it must be engaging as pure text. They recommend no more than 15,000 words. Fiction and creative non-fiction submissions are also being considered.

Literary Agent Jita Fumich
of New York-based agency Folio Literary Management is accepting submissions. Her interests include urban fantasy, paranormal romance, commercial fiction, and narrative non-fiction particularly memoirs, history and pop culture.

Tailwinds Press
a new New York City-based independent press specialising in high-quality fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature by new and emerging writers, is accepting submissions for its inaugural 2015-2016 season. Submissions should be electronically and be accompanied by a brief description of the work and the audience for which it is intended.

Pan Macmillan Australia’s Manuscript Monday
accepts unsolicited manuscript submissions between 10am and 4pm AEST on the first Monday of every month. Types of works they are looking for include commercial fiction, children’s books and young adult, literary fiction and non-fiction. Interested authors should send the first 100 pages of their manuscript together with a synopsis of up to 300 words. Manuscripts will be read within three months.

Salt Publishing
is open to submissions for a new ‘Modern Dreams’ series – a digital-only development of the Salt Modern Fiction list. The series will be for 20,000–30,000 word novellas that deal explicitly with the lives of young people in modern Britain and the USA.

Amtrak Residencies for Writers
are designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program

Bloomsbury Spark
is a new digital imprint from Bloomsbury Publishing dedicated to publishing fiction eBooks for teen, YA, and new adult readers. They are interested in many genres including romance, contemporary, dystopian, paranormal, sci-fi, mystery and thriller. They are currently accepting manuscripts between 25,000 and 60,000 words.

is looking for previously unpublished flash-fiction of up to 1000 words in length. The stories may be in any genre, but must have been written in response to one of the images from their Pinterest Boards.

Alternative Book Press
is a publishing company established in October 2012 by Columbia University and Cornell University graduates. They are currently accepting submissions of both fiction and non-fiction. Writers are asked to provide a 400 word synopsis and no more than 5 pages of their manuscript.

Digital Storytelling
is an open, online course from the University of Mary Washington that anyone can join at anytime as an open participant. The course describes itself as ‘part storytelling workshop, part technology training, and, most importantly, part critical interrogation of the digital landscape that is ever increasingly mediating how we communicate with one another.’

The Fog Horn 
publishes four fictional short stories each month. Submissions should be between 1200 words and 8500 words and can be from a range of genres including comedy, adventure, sci-fi, romance, historical fiction and horror. The writers of all published stories are paid US$1000 for their work.

For more writing-related news and links, follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

20 Rules For A Writer by Stephen King








In one of my favorite Stephen King interviews, for The Atlantic, he talks at length about the vital importance of a good opening line. “There are all sorts of theories,” he says, “it’s a tricky thing.” “But there’s one thing” he’s sure about: “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.” King’s discussion of opening lines is compelling because of his dual focus as an avid reader and a prodigious writer of fiction—he doesn’t lose sight of either perspective:

We’ve talked so much about the reader, but you can’t forget that the opening line is important to the writer, too. To the person who’s actually boots-on-the-ground. Because it’s not just the reader’s way in, it’s the writer’s way in also, and you’ve got to find a doorway that fits us both.

This is excellent advice. As you orient your reader, so you orient yourself, pointing your work in the direction it needs to go. Now King admits that he doesn’t think much about the opening line as he writes, in a first draft, at least. That perfectly crafted and inviting opening sentence is something that emerges in revision, which can be where the bulk of a writer’s work happens.

Revision in the second draft, “one of them, anyway,” may “necessitate some big changes” says King in his 2000 memoir slash writing guide On Writing. And yet, it is an essential process, and one that “hardly ever fails.” Below, we bring you King’s top twenty rules from On Writing. About half of these relate directly to revision. The other half cover the intangibles—attitude, discipline, work habits. A number of these suggestions reliably pop up in every writer’s guide. But quite a few of them were born of Stephen King’s many decades of trial and error and—writes the Barnes & Noble book blog—“over 350 million copies” sold, “like them or loathe them.”

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that arenot the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.