Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Wordsmith Collective Thursday – Writing Group Back Out in the World

March 31, 2022
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Last Saturday, was the first time my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County attended an in-person event since the pandemic started. In conjunction with Recreation, Parks & Culture the event gave residents the opportunity to try sports and discover the multiple cultural organizations within the county.

As a writing group, we always encourage all ages to delve into the delights of the written word and explore their imaginations. We promoted our annual children’s writing contest, which has a deadline of 30th April, 2022. It is a great opportunity for young people to enter their stories and have it published in a ‘real’ book.

We had many visitors to our table and several took the contest details home with them to begin their story entries. I’m looking forward to reading all the entries and the expressions of imagination from the clues.

I also attended the AGM for the Arts and Culture Council last night. Meeting with other people passionate about the creative arts and exchanging ideas and views is always a treat.

The next big event on my calendar is a Spring writers conference (virtual) on 23rd April. Registration is required via the website: http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com Details so far are:

What is on your writing calendar?

Wordsmith’s Creative Thursday – Creative versus Freelance Writing

March 17, 2022
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Photo by Andrea Davis on Pexels.com

When I initially, made the decision to branch out into freelance writing after a couple of paid gigs, I had no idea how it would affect my writing style. Obviously, it was interesting, but also gave it me another avenue to learn my writing skill.

When I write creatively, I am in control of what happens, where the story leads when I write and ultimately when I finish. However, with freelance projects I quickly learned to accommodate another person’s viewpoint, requirements and adhere to a deadline. Fulfilling another person’s vision for their project is about asking questions – lots of questions and then reiterating them to ensure you are both on the same wavelength. Among my past projects, I have written new bio’s, edited manuscripts, created blog and social media posts, written articles and information leaflets, mentoring and ghost written a hybrid marketing book to name a few.

Through this business I have gain experience and knowledge from each project, which allows me to hone my skill. I have also gained valuable insights into other styles of writing, which in turn have assisted me in my creative writing. You may think that cannot be the case, but all writing teaches us something. It can be as simple as writing to a deadline or writing to a specific style or tone to align with current literature or media. It also gives me great backstories for future characters, who work in environments I am writing and learning about so a win-win situation.

Have you broaden your writing into freelance? What has your experience been like?

You can find my freelance website, testimonials etc. here:

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Utilizing Your Writer in Residence

January 27, 2022
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I have once again taken advantage of our local Writer in Residence program hosted by my library. Last week, I attended a virtual presentation entitled Writing Three Dimensional Characters That Sing. It was a highly informational session. As writers we are always learning and taking the time to learn is essential in improving our writing craft.

There was an extra bonus to this year’s writer in residence as she is an acquaintance and a great writer and writing community advocate. Rayanne Haines is the author of seven books, including three poetry collections. Her artistic practice focuses on projects that look to redeem and empower women’s narratives. In addition to her writing, teaching, and festival work, she also produces/curates intersectional feminist poetry films and panels with authors across Canada. Her current work focuses on mental health and intergenerational female trauma.

Having the opportunity to access a writing mentor and their free services through this program enables local writers to gain insight into their work. The program services include individual manuscript consultations, public readings and talks, information on the publishing process and networking with the writing community.

Do you have a similar program where you live?

What devices, programs and events do you use to learn your craft?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Back-list Promotion – A Necessary Task

September 30, 2021
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Promoting a back list can be frustrating, if a little boring, as we naturally want to concentrate on our latest shiny novel. However, all our books are worthy of attention for as long as they are available for sale. There are several ways to keep the back list titles fresh and you can actually utilize the change in seasons to plan it.

Firstly, can you categorize your books by season. Look at the season the narrative is set within or it’s genre and use that as your starting point.

  1. Summer: romance/vacation adventures/a beach read/contemporary summer town story.
  2. Spring: a character’s new life/moving to a new town, school or college.
  3. Fall: chilly horror/mystery/monsters and Halloween.
  4. Winter: isolation/struggles of survival/Xmas romance.

I think you get the idea.

Here are some other ways to keep the older titles fresh.

  1. Do a live reading (if restrictions allow) or read on any social media site or streaming site.
  2. Upgrade the cover.
  3. Revise the content – new edit, additional information, add book club questions and new reviews.
  4. Write a prequel.
  5. Arrange guest blog posts centering on the back-list book(s).
  6. Create a readers guide for book clubs.
  7. Use niche topics to promote.
  8. Utilize a podcast interview to promote all your books.
  9. Request new reviews.
  10. Offer a sale price.

What methods do you use to keep your older books fresh and saleable?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – National Read A Book Day & Stephen King at Bloody Scotland Festival

September 7, 2021
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Although, this celebration was yesterday, any day is ‘read a book day’ – won’t you agree? I thought it would be fun to see what kind of reader you are. My reading habits are eclectic across many genres (I write that way too), so I think the closest is extrovert reader for me.

Please put your answer in the comments.

I have booked my ticket for a virtual interview hosted by Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival of Stephen King, as you all know he is my ultimate writing hero. I am so excited for this event, not just because it’s Stephen but also because I am in the midst of writing a crime trilogy.

Stephen King and Linwood Barclay (online) Saturday 18th September from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm BST

Who is your literary hero?

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