Kristen Lamb

Why Every Writer Needs to Be on Twitter

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

I’m still on my summer guest posting travels around the internet (you’ll see more posts here at the home base starting again in September), and I didn’t want you to miss my latest. This past week I visited Kristen Lamb’s blog to talk about my favorite social media site–Twitter.

Twitter often gets a bad rap by people who don’t understand it, misunderstand it as full of spam and celebrity stalkers, or don’t know how to use it to its full potential to build an author platform. When used correctly, though, Twitter can be one of the best tools for meeting new readers and increasing traffic to your blog. Not to mention, it’s fun!

Don’t believe me? Well, let me prove it to you then. I have seven reasons why I think every writer should be using Twitter.

I am also starting to plan out my WANA International classes for the next year, as well as what topics I might cover here during the remainder of 2013, so if there’s something you want me to post about or if there’s a particular subject you want me to teach a webinar on, please leave me a message in the comments below!

How Well Do You Understand Showing and Telling?

Spock from Star Trek

Spock says it would be illogical not to sign up.

I’ve been traveling around the internet again, and I didn’t want you to miss the guest posts I’ve done on showing and telling.

How Star Trek Helps Us with Showing Rather than Telling at Kristen Lamb’s blog

How to Include the Five Senses Without Falling into the Telling Trap at Janice Hardy’s blog

I hope you enjoy them. (And both of them have a special bonus code where you can get 15% off my upcoming webinar on Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction.)

If you haven’t yet signed up for my newsletter where I tell you about upcoming classes, books, discount codes, and freebies, now is a good time to do it. If all goes according to schedule, I’ll have some very exciting things coming out starting next month and my newsletter readers will get a chance to read them for free in exchange for a review!


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How to Write a Killer Pitch

Writing a book is easy…at least when compared to what we need to do after we finish. We had 50,000 to 100,000 words to write our novel, and now we have to condense that down into a couple of paragraphs for an agent pitch, query letter, Amazon description, or back cover copy.

It feels unfair. Mean really. After all, if we’d wanted to write something short, we would have written a short story.

But it’s not as scary as you might think if you break it down into a formula. If formula sounds too scientific, then think of it as baking cookies and this is your secret recipe to cookies a pitch that will make anyone’s mouth water.

Click here to read the rest of this post.

(This is a guest post I did for Kristen Lamb’s blog on Friday, but I loved it so much that I didn’t want to risk you missing it.)

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Are Online Writers’ Conferences the Way of the Future?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

I know I said I’d talk to you today about when you should tell rather than show, but I had to interrupt our regular schedule for a special announcement instead.

WANACon Online Writers' Conference

Yesterday Kristen Lamb announced the first ever WANACon, a completely online writers’ conference. While I don’t think online conferences will ever replace offline conferences any more than I think ebooks will ever completely replace paper books, I do think we’ll see more and more online conferences in the coming years.

The reason is simple—we can attend from the comfort of our own homes.

No Need for Travel

If you’re a parent or you work a full-time job, you can’t always leave for three days to a week to attend a conference.

And a lot of us can’t afford the airfare, hotel, and other related travel expenses that come with an out-of-town conference.

Lower Conference Registration Costs

I’ve paid from $400 to more than $1000 just to register for regular conferences. Because online conferences don’t require their instructors to travel to the site of the conference, they don’t need to charge as much to attendees. WANACon is $125 to attend both days, and $75 if you only want to attend one day.

Flexibility for Attendees

For most conferences, you have to be at a session to benefit from the teaching. If you miss it, you’ll have to pay extra to buy the recording. With online conferences, a limited-time recording of the sessions is often included as part of the conference fee. This means you can “attend” even if you have to be at work when the session you desperately want is running or if you get called away by the needs of your kids.

If you’re a jeans and pony tail kind of girl (…or guy) like me, you’ll appreciate not having to pull out your dress clothes and try to figure out a magical way to keep them from getting so wrinkled in your suitcase that you look like a hobo. (If anyone happens to know the trick to wrinkle-free travel, please tell me in the comments.)

Aren’t There Drawbacks to An Online Conference?

Certainly. One of the biggest benefits of conferences (aside from the teaching) is the chance to pitch to agents and network with other writers and industry professionals.

Networking will always be tricky, but with today’s technology, online conferences can handle “in-person” agent pitches as well as an offline conference. (And, in fact, WANACon is doing just that. You can sign up for one-on-one agent pitch sessions.)

For more on WANACon, and on the creative ways they’ve found to allow attendees to network (including a pajama party on Sunday morning), make sure you read Kristen’s post “And Now for Something Completely Different! Redefining the Writing Conference.”
You can see the complete schedule for WANACon 2013 here. On Friday morning (Day 1), I’ll be teaching Twitter: Ten Essentials Every Writer Needs to Know.

Click here to register for both days.
Click here to register for Day 1.
Click here to register for Day 2.

How do you feel about the idea of an online writers’ conference? Will they ever fully replace offline conferences? And are you planning to attend WANACon?

I’d love to have you sign up to receive my posts by email. All you need to do is enter your email address below and hit the “Follow” button. You can also join me on my Facebook page.

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December 10 Grab Bag

I used to love candy grab bags growing up. You never knew what goodies were going to be inside, but you knew they were going to be good. Like the posts you can find at these links . . .

For Writers

5 Types of Platform and Which Is Right for You? – Jeff Goins explains five different “voices” or “tones” your platform can take and what personality types are best suited for each.

When Grammar Elements Go Out Drinking – The ladies at Edittorent made me laugh out loud. If you don’t get the joke, make sure you hire an editor before trying to publish your book.

Is Your Novel a Spineless Weakling? – A story can succeed or fail based on the antagonist. Yet another great post from Kristen Lamb on how to make sure your novel has the backbone it needs to survive. 

For Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Lovers

Rules to Survive a Horror Movie – You’ll be chuckling and nodding your head over these tips by Liz Schulte on how to survive if you ever find yourself in a horror movie. Many thanks to Jessica O’Neal for hosting this guest post. And because no horror movie is complete without a sequel, go by Liz Schulte’s Bat Country for How to Survive a Horror Movie Part 2.

The Characters of Harry Potter: Neville – The latest instalment in Jessica O’Neal’s series on the characters of Harry Potter doesn’t disappoint as she tackles one of my favorites. Neville’s innate humility and surprising bravery immediately drew me to him. Find out why else Jess thinks he’s one of the most well-developed characters in the books.

The Hunger Games: Team Peeta vs. Team Gale – Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project pits the two men in Katniss Everdeen’s life against each other. While I didn’t care about Twilight and picking sides, I’m Team Peeta all the way in this one.

The Meaning of Life

Confessions of a Hoarder – On her blog Of Martians and Marshmallows, Lynette M. Burrows comes clean on her personal hoarding obsession. It’ll make you take a fresh look at your own house.

Learning to #EpicFail . . . with Style – Kristen Lamb shares how failure can actually be a good thing if we learn how to use it to our advantage.

The Grinch Is Pregnant -The never-disappointing Myndi Shafer makes an extraordinarily good case that The Grinch is actually pregnant. Yes, even though he’s a boy.

From My Co-Writer Lisa Hall-Wilson at Through the Fire

Why I Hate Christmas – Not everyone loves Christmas and sometimes that’s okay. What matters is what you do with it.

Mermaids Off the Port Bow – Could the myths about mermaids have originated from a real society?

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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