Tag: Aspiring Authors

Romance Is Not Dead Writing Competition

Posted August 13, 2010 by Holly in Discussions, Reviews | 0 Comments

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a published romance writer? Well, now may be your chance to make that dream a reality. Mills and Boon will be hosting a writing competition in September. Check out the details at romanceisnotdead.com.

At Mills & Boon, we believe that there’s a romance in everyone – and we want yours! Have you ever dreamed of becoming a published author and writing your way into readers’ hearts? Well, this is your chance!

What is New Voices?

In September 2010 we launch a global search for fresh writing talent to join Mills & Boon’s galaxy of romantic fiction stars.
A celebration of romance, New Voices will put entrants through their romantic fiction paces – and we want you to have your say every step of the way!
The winner of the competition will win some fantastic prizes, including publication of the winning entry by Mills & Boon and a Mills & Boon editor for a year!

 Good luck! Click here for a full list of contest rules and regulations.

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Authors: University Student Needs Manuscript to Edit

Posted March 20, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

We recently received an email from Julia, a student currently working toward an editing certificate from the University of Washington’s extension program. She’s taking a class this semester that requires her to fully edit a manuscript. Authors, if you’re interested in possibly having your MS pre-edited, see below:

Hi, I’m an editing student and I need a project to edit in April. I would love to work with an author on her current or completed manuscript. Let me explain more below.

So, I’m looking for an author, published or not, to allow me to edit her work. While I edit, I will communicate with the author, asking questions, querying, getting a general sense of your audience and personal voice. Because this is a practicum, I would need communication back from the author, responding to my edits. And obviously, I’m editing for free, because it’s an internship of sorts. Contact is juliaulshafer at yahoo dot com.

I’m currently in the Editing Certificate through the University of Washington’s extension program, and taking an optional “career development practicum” this next quarter. In this class, I edit a project and learn to work with authors and other level editors in a practical environment. I would like to find a manuscript of my own to work on; that would make the whole experience more complete for me, I think.

I don’t have complete details of the class yet, but I was hoping to get a feel for the response on this. If there are lots of authors looking for a free (!) edit, I can refer to other classmates. Please know that I will respect your rights as an author; I am not looking to mooch your prose – I want to practice editing on something real and tangible.

Thanks for your time – and please keep writing amazing stories so I can glom!
Julia Ulshafer

You would, of course, want to discuss a confidentiality agreement and verify the legitimacy, but this may be a good opportunity for both student and author if all checks out.

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Queryfail Day on Twitter

Posted March 5, 2009 by Holly in Discussions, News | 5 Comments

Today, several editors and agents are posting their queries in real time. I’ve been following along and while I’ve been highly amused by many of the things these extremely informative people are saying fail, I’m also learning quite a bit about what they look for. Not that it matters to me, since I’m not an aspiring author. But for those of you who are (or who have already been published) you might want to go check it out.

Here’s a list of just a few of the editors and agents playing along:

Agent Colleen Lindsay
Editor Angela James (Samhain Publishing)
Publisher Renee Ting (Shen’s Books)
Agent Lauren MacLeod
Agent Greg Daniel
Agent Kate Schafer Testerman
Agent Matt Wagner
Agency Intern Sarah “JJ” Jae-Jones

You can follow along by doing a search on Twitter for the tag #queryfail, or you can follow along using sites like monittor.com or TweetGrid.com

Some examples:

From Colleen Lindsay:

Four paragraphs about your former career as a technical writer. Not one sentence about plot of book. #queryfail

From Tracy Marchini:

“I hope you don’t mind that I found your personal email address…” #queryfail on multiple levels

From Angela James:

absolutely nothing about the book in the query letter. Nothing. One paragraph, five sentences and I know nothing about the book. #queryfail

read more here.

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Attn Writers: Mills & Boon FEEL THE HEAT Writing Competition!

Posted August 19, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

We occasionally see notices about writing competitions here and there around the web. Sometimes on an author blog, sometimes on a publisher website, sometimes from other romance reader blogs. As a reader, I like knowing what publishers are working on and will have in store for me later. As one of the authors of a reader blog, I like sharing the news with other readers and also aspiring writers. Today’s announcement comes to you courtesy of I Heart Presents.


The FEEL THE HEAT writing competition!

Do you have a fresh, vibrant, sassy voice and a passion for sexy alpha heroes? Can you write sparky dialogue, create great sensual tension and hot love-scenes?

If so, then we want to hear from you!


Email your first chapter and synopsis of a Modern Heat novel to: feeltheheat@hmb.co.uk by 15th September 2008.

The WINNER receives an editor for a year!

TWO RUNNERS-UP will be given critiques of their first chapter entries and an editorial telephone consultation!

The winner will be announced October 1st 2008.

The Modern Heat guidelines can be found at Writing Contest: Mills & Boon Modern Heat Writing Guidelines and editor Joanne Carr has asked some of her existing Modern Heat authors to blog throughout this period to share writing tips and their experiences.

If you look through the I Heart Presents archives (particularly for November and December 2007) you will find many useful tips and guidelines that are relevant for this competition.

And now for the serious part!


• Your entry must be aimed at Modern Heat
• Your entry must NOT have been submitted previously to Harlequin Mills & Boon
• Only ONE entry per person
• Submissions received after the closing date will NOT be assessed!
• More detailed legal rules will be posted at a later date.

Feel the Heat! Get the attention of an editor and win an editor for a year!


For additional information about this writing competition, click here. Official rules can be found here.

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Chat with Acquiring Editor Deb Werksman Today!

Posted May 20, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Are you an aspiring author? Are you a published author? Are you a non-author that’s always wanted to ask an editor a question?

Well, today is your lucky day. Deb Werksman is an Acquiring Editor for Sourcebooks Casablanca. She is answering your questions today and is going telling you how to pitch your book (among other things). Here’s a little of what she has to say:

First of all, I’m acquiring all the time, in all subgenres. So don’t try to “time” the market. As we all know, the subgenres in the romance category cycle, and as a subgenre gets overpublished, that subgenre starts to decline. But I believe that doesn’t mean the readership has gone away; it means there’s too much competition and now you have to stand out in the category even more. So the “hook” is really, really important. (So is knowing/understanding your reader really well.)

The “hook” is a 2-3 sentence (basically 30 seconds or less) articulation of what the book is, that will make someone want to read it. The “hook” should distinguish the book from all the other books that are out there. It’s essential at every point in the selling process. I use it at the editorial meeting where I pitch your book and recommend that we publish it, our salespeople use it when they present the book to the buyers, the booksellers use it to sell it to the reader.

Check out the rest of what she has to say and ask your questions here. I should mention that for non-writers (like me, for example), she’s not offering to make you a writer. If only…

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