Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – 8 Tips for Submitting to Writing Contests

January 14, 2021
mandyevebarnett


There are a multitude of writing competitions available, whether locally or internationally. When submitting to a competition there are a few common ground rules to adhere to.

Tip #1: Be clear on your goals before entering any contest. Why do you want to enter in the first place?

Tip #2: Follow the rules and submission guidelines – each contest is different. This includes keeping to the submission deadline. ( A day earlier is best)

Tip #3: Proofread – this is absolutely vital. Make sure you read and re-read your entry before submitting.

Tip #4: Enter writing that is appropriate for the contests’ stated theme or topic. Familiarize yourself with the press or journal hosting the contest. Take note of their style and content.

Tip #5: Enter numerous contests to improve your chances of winning.

Tip #6: Don’t ignore lesser well-known contests, it could mean winning it gains you exposure and connections for your writing career. And of course, there is always the prize money! Not only does submitting to a range of contests maximize the likelihood that you may win, but it is a great way to improve and expand your writing skills.

Tip #7: Exploit your genre, your niche when researching the range of contests, there are always specialized creative writing contests out there that suit your style. Make the most of the opportunity to showcase your writing.

Tip #8: Create a story with an emotional impact, and topic. Make it memorable, new, fresh and focus on clarity. Choose a brilliant first line and action. Give your character a goal, a choice and ensure there is a change of personality, status or situation. And above all nail the ending.

Do you have any tips for entering contests? Care to share?

A Happy New Year and My Blog Schedule for 2021

December 29, 2020
mandyevebarnett


As many of you know, I commit to a blog schedule at the end of each year for the up coming year. In 2021, my twice weekly posts will continue to be divided between writing topics and delving into my books and writing life for my readers.

I hope you will find the content interesting, enlightening and fun. I will post every Tuesday and Thursday each week as follows:

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday

Stories behind my published books and also from works in progress.

First pages

Update on events I will be attending – if possible physically, if not virtually in 2021

Glimpses at my current writing project.

Sharing short stories or poem’s I have written from prompts or workshops.

Character Interviews

My book reviews

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday

Special Interviews with authors from Creative Edge

Writing Tips

Writing contests

Literary Birthdays

Author Toolbox – once a month

Monthly Author Interviews (please sign up for one – first Thursday of every month.)

I will continue with my monthly newsletter, so please sign up when prompted. I hope we can develop a great relationship with this new venture – Sneek Peeks & Glimpses. Thank you in anticipation.

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – 8 Writing Tips for the Holiday Season

December 17, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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Writing Tips:

Holiday’s tend to reek havoc on our writing schedule with visitors or visiting, meal preparations, and traveling but with COVID restrictions in place, we need to find alternative ways to share the seasons celebrations. That is also true for our writing time. Here are a few tricks to help you continue writing throughout the festive season.

  1. Keep track of the number of words you write instead of how long you wrote.
  2. Set a reasonable word count goal in small pockets of time even if it is only 100 words at a time.
  3. Relax your normal rigorous writing timetable – take time to chill, enjoy and also use it to observe. There may be a ‘scene’ that could help your current work in progress. People watching is fun too.
  4. Wake up earlier (or stay up later) than usual to ensure that you spend some time writing. If you have the option utilize the guest room to ‘hide’ yourself for a while.
  5. Don’t feel guilty about not writing – we all need down time.
  6. Test out a scene with family or friends to get feedback.
  7. Connect with a supporter for encouragement.
  8. Create a writing plan around your activities. 

Above all stay safe, stay well and write.

Wordsmith Collective Thursday – Author Blog Statistics & Growth

December 3, 2020
mandyevebarnett


Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

I don’t normally track my blog statistics but it was interesting to see how my blog has grown over the last nine years. From a tentative start to promote my first children’s book, Rumble’s First Scare, to currently connecting with my readers and the reading community ,as well as engaging and supporting the writing community, it has been a fascinating journey.

Through trail and error, I have found that posting twice a week is the most popular for my readership. As you know this year, I split the two weekly posts so they are specifically aimed at readers on Tuesday’s and writers on Thursday’s. This has proven very popular. Looking at the growth of my blog, the statistics speak for themselves.

First years stats: 2011 views 1424, visitors 0 posts 37

Last years stats 2019 views 14830 visitors 10640 posts 108

It has been a steep learning curve, and continues to be! I know there are things I should be doing, but with full time work, writing, publishing and promoting my books, as well as ‘normal life stuff’ there are never enough hours in the day. However, I am compiling a strategy to improve all aspects of my writing business, so watch this space.

For me the best part of having this blog is connecting with people from all over the world. It is so neat to see my flag map. I truly reach a global community.

In this time of COVID, we need connection and a blog is a way to gain that. Whether you post weekly, monthly or less frequently, you are reaching out to others. Stay safe, stay well.

I would love to know:

How did you start your blog?

How often do your post?

Do you have any tips for new and established bloggers?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – 10 Tips To Overcome Being Disheartened With Your Writing

November 18, 2020
mandyevebarnett


We have all felt disheartened as writers. It can manifest itself in a variety of forms. Lack of impetus, illness, stress, unrealistic comparisons, self expectations or stumbling over a particular section in a writing project. Some call it writers block. In truth it is just life.

Firstly, don’t beat yourself up, you are not alone. Every writer, whether novice or any of the top 100 authors, have doubts about what they are writing. We question ourselves – is it good enough, over and over. This can only spiral us downward into self-doubt. There are ways to give yourself a pick you up. I hope these help.

1. Focus on enjoying telling your stories. Do it to the best of your ability.

2. Remember you are building an inventory of your writing but also learning your craft.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

3. Lessen your expectations, don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes, we all want a certain quality to our work, but with patience it will come. There is no quick fix.

4. Don’t compare another writer’s finished work against your in process drafts. You have no idea how many changes they made.

5. Remember you get to rule over your own creative process. You choose, shape, mold, and create whatever you want.

6, Your words will, in time, sway minds, move hearts, and touch the lives of dozens of people you will never meet in person.

7. Your words, your stories are your legacy.

8. Do not take rejection personally. Think of it as a learning tool.

9. Take a long-term view of your writing career – no-one is ever an overnight success.

10. Participate in supportive writer groups. Share your work with encouraging friends.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

What have you found works for you when you are feeling disheartened?

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