Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

June 1, 2011

Submitting a Manuscript for Publication resource

With so many writers wanting advice on sending out their work, here are some more resources to consult when submitting a manuscript for publication or to an agent or a competition.

The Queensland Writers Centre website include tips on writing a synopsis, covering letter  and pitching to publishers in downloadable pdf files.

Queensland Writers Centre on Synopsis writing

Queensland Writers Centre Resources page for additional advice on submitting manuscripts to publishers.

Preditors and Editors has advice on writing a very brief synopsis with samples at

http://pred-ed.com/pesynop.htm

May 26, 2011

Writing a Successful Synopsis.

 The very idea of writing a Synopsis can make a novelist shudder.

The Synopsis Scream

Compacting a full length work or a collection of stories or poems into a page or two to pitch to a publisher is an art in itself.

Synopsis head-scratching

Very few examples of successful synopses are available and the advice that is there can be conflicting. One excellent book is ‘A Decent Proposal’ by Rhonda Whitton, she shows step by step how to put together a book proposal that will impress publishers. It not only allows the writer to assemble a ‘decent proposal’ but also makes the writer really think about the different aspects of publishing a book. By going through the steps to create a book proposal, the writer has also had to answer various questions about their manuscript which makes them better prepared for the publishing process. I know, I’ve used it myself. However, it does only lightly touch on exactly how to write the dreaded synopsis.

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Varuna newsletter March 2011 also has some advice. 

Author! Author! Blog 

This blog is written in a very accessible way and gives tips on How to Write a really good Synopsis.  Practical advice dished up with humour from the point of view of an editor and agency screener. Much of it is written tongue in cheek, nevertheless there is sound advice in there. It’s a UK blog but still relevant, especially if you are thinking of submitting work to the UK. Though, as I mentioned earlier, some of it conflicts with the advice given in ‘A Decent Proposal’ which is aimed at Australian authors.

The Author! Author! blog has loads of links to other pages with advice on book proposals, pitching a story, formatting and submitting a manuscript, editing as well as writing techniques.

Some of the advice that is on offer recommends chapter by chapter summaries, others say summaries should be avoided or that the chapters and scenes should be described rather than summarised. Some suggest writing a synopsis along the lines of a jacket blurb; others advise against it.

Most agree, though, that formatting should be in the style of a manuscript, with indented paragraphs and 1.5 line spacing; 2.5cm margins; 12 pt font. A running head with author name, book title and page numbers should be shown on each page (though the first page is optional). The book title and author name and the word ‘synopsis’ should appear at the beginning.

Successful Synopsis!

Have you written a successful synopsis?

Would you care to share it as an example?

Have you found some practical and sound advice about writing a successful synopsis?

Many writers are looking for advice, tips, templates or examples that will give them a strategy for writing their synopsis. Let us know what you think.

February 21, 2011

Season of Inspiration ~ Writers’ Centre ~ Picture Book ~ Flash Film

Season of Inspiration online writing course

The next season will run from June 21 – August 23, 2011.

Helen Whitehead and I will again be running the course in our private Season of Inspiration online course space

We are taking enquiries now and bookings on the website.


NSW Writers’ Centre at Rozelle on Saturday 26th February

I’m looking forward to a day meeting authors  and discussing how to develop their manuscripts further towards publication.

The day was booked out some time ago but another is scheduled for Saturday 23rd July though you may need to book early. For more information go to The NSW Writers’ Centre website.


Ships in the Field

Susanne Gervay never ceases to amaze me with her creativity. Her latest is a children’s picture book Ships in the Fieldwhich she is currently editing for forthcoming publication by Ford St in October this year. She is thrilled that Anna Pignataro is illustrator. Susanne’s “Jack” books are such gems, fast paced prose that leaps off the page, endearing quirky characters and language that is vigorous, vivid yet accessible to young readers. The black & white illustrations by Cathy Wilcox capture the whimsy and the quirkiness beautifully.


Storytelling

The Hughenden Hotel has bi-monthly Storytelling over Devonshire Tea for those who want to tell stories and those who enjoy listening. I’ve been along myself and it’s a very entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

Storytelling and other events at The Hughenden


Can you write 250 words of fiction that would make a great 60 seconds of film?

Bridport’s Film Festival Flash Film

Closes: 20 March 2011. Turn short stories into film. 250 words of fiction. 60 seconds of film. Flash Film is your chance to go from Page to Screen, with your own film adaptation. Download Guidelines for entering this exciting competition. Bridport Film Festival runs from 13 – 17 April 2011.

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