Have I driven everyone nutzoid changing the background on the site? Should it be purple, mauve, gold, blue? (I think I’m nesting–or procrastinating; I’m working on the last chapter of my 2nd book.)
So it’s been a while since we dipped into the WU mailbox. Here are a few of our most recent and valuable letters.
Diane Holmes wrote in to tell us about her new site:
Pitch University is a site (no cost) where writers can go to learn in-person pitching from experts, agents, and editors.
Instead of asking other writers (who are either naturals, which isn’t helpful in teaching us, or are not salespeople and are just repeating what they’ve heard), it’s time for us to learn from the experts who make their living at this.
Let’s ask the literary agents and editors who must sway an often jaded audience to say YES. Let’s talk to marketing experts who LOVE what they do and are filled with passion about pitching.
If you follow marketing topics in general, you know we’ve entered the era of building relationships with our audiences (target markets) and “telling them stories” that lead to sales. Marketing and writing are linked in a very philosophical way.
So what we will be doing at Pitch University is learning how to Speak Our Story, the story of our books. This is the key to meeting ordinary people and turning them into our readers. Even if the ordinary people are agents and editors.
Seems like a site to watch, no?
Editor Dave King wrote to say:
I’ve just set up a fan page for Self-Editing for Fiction Writers on Facebook. I thought it might be worth a mention somewhere on WU.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is one of our favorite books. You can find its fan page on Facebook HERE.
Speaking of Facebook, author Catherine McKenzie who runs the “I bet we can make these books best sellers” page, just added The Last Will of Moira Leahy to the group’s official reading list (w00t!). Once the list reaches 3k members, she’s going to do a 30-book giveaway, so click to join if you’re interested. Catherine also has a new novel out, Arranged, which is a great, twisty read. Highly recommended.
Back to mail…
Geoff Kravitz wrote to say:
I was recently visiting writerunboxed.com and wanted to introduce you to FoldingStory, a social storytelling game that can help writers tune their craft and earn them a loyal following of readers, one line at a time.
Authors seeking inspiration can read stories others have written or create a new story and see where it leads. A touch of writer’s block? The FoldingStory environment forces you to write now and ask questions later. As a bonus, writers will be building a network of followers who enjoy reading their work.
FoldingStory is simple: you have 4 minutes and 180 characters to add a line (a fold) to a story. The twist is you only see the previous fold; the rest of the story is hidden until you submit your fold. 1 minute to learn and 4 minutes to write a line. So the real question is, what are you doing for the next 5 minutes?
Check them out at FoldingStory.com
Another new site with a similar concept is the London-based Open Story Board. Christian Weinmayr wrote to say:
OpenStoryBoard works according to a simple principle: A creative writer starts the first chapter of a new fiction story. While chapter by chapter is being published, everyone on the web can join in, branch off and take the story into a new direction. The result is a ‘tree’ of stories from one beginning towards multiple endings, touching on various genres and styles. Besides this intriguing collaborative approach, authors can also launch a classic story, which they structure and carry through all on their own–from the beginning till the end. In both cases, published chapters can be reviewed by a community of fiction fans, discussed and rated directly on the site or via integrated social media. This ultimately brings to light talented authors and quality works of fiction
Joanna wrote to us in September (gasp, I know, dusty mail) to say that she had a site in the works, not yet up and running. It is now.
Given that your site is meant to help writers, I thought you might be interested in telling your readers about a new site we’re about to launch called Page99Test.com, which also helps writers (published or not). Perhaps you’ve heard of us? We’re brand new, but the Guardian just wrote about us today, and GalleyCat and Suite101 have also written about us recently.
Just yesterday, I received a note from Backspace, a forum for writers I can’t recommend highly enough, announcing that their 2011 conference is scheduled for May 26th through the 28th in NYC. WU’s own Donald Maass will be at the conference on the 28th for an “all-day Writing the Breakout Novel workshop!” Learn more about it HERE.
Another note in just under wire. Scott Berkun wrote:
Your readers might like this video I made: it’s a time lapsed capture of writing 1000 words, with commentary on what I’m trying to do as I do it.
It’s not genre fiction, so not strictly on topic, but I made it to help people learn what a pro writer looks like while they’re working.
I enjoyed Scott’s video, especially what he had to say about writer’s block around minute four. Definitely worth a click.
How about you? Any news you’d like to share? Sales or other milestones? Favorite writerly links? The floor is yours.
Me, I’m going to write that last chapter now. Unless I decide to see how WU looks in green…
Photo courtesy Flickr’s CarbonNYC