Tag Archives: essay


For anyone who needs a laugh about all those “good” rejections they’ve been getting, check out this blog post.



Writers know that they have to help readers suspend their disbelief. It’s also critical that viewers watching a film do the same. This interview comes from the corporate world but if you read it with your author’s eye, you’ll find some great advice.

–Present your story in their context. That is, connect with readers where they are, not from your lofty position as all-seeing author. Use concrete details to evoke emotions, paint images and usher  readers into the fictional world.

–Be curious. Ask questions. What if the plot twists here? Why does this character act that way? Where does this one plot point happen? When in his life does the major turning point come? How can the character grow, change, develop?

–Weaknesses are irrelevant. Focus more on your strengths. That doesn’t mean ignore the weaknesses; just don’t get so hung up on them you forget your strengths.

New Trends

No one doubts that electronic devices have dramatically changed the face of publishing today. For years, doomsayers brayed that print would shrivel and blow away. I’ve always held that the new devices would generate shifts but that print would still be alive centuries from now.

In particular, the bad-news prophets claimed that tablets, cell phones and ereaders were all supposed to suck subscribers from print versions of newspapers and magazines. For a time, that appeared to happen.

Now, however, there’s a big shift. Esubscribers are generating new and stronger sources of income for magazines and newspapers. This article presents yet another new way for readers to access their favorite journals…by paying MORE for the eversions than for print.

Oprah’s Next Big Thing

The Oprah Channel has struggled since day one to reach the numbers it had hoped for. Part of the reason is that Oprah doesn’t show up in much of the programming. Another very real issue is simple oversaturation…the channel can’t offer the same thing all the time.

She’s trying a reboot by building on this interview with Armstrong. The struggle she’s facing is just a reminder that even the biggest celebrities can’t market just anything…and they can’t rely on their name along. Quality must always come first.

Takeaway: Know your audience and what they want. When you deliver it, you’ll automatically provide quality content.

Writing as a Business

Very good overview article on thinking about your writing career. When the time is right, my clients and I discuss the business aspects of writing. This ranges from our first contact when they’re wondering whether their work is marketable to considering their audience’s needs during editing or rewriting. When the final product is done, we then discuss market trends that will impact their choice of agents and publishers.

Publishing is a business and, as the author, you must consider yourself the CEO of your book. From start to finish—the germ of a book idea to publication (and beyond)—you must take charge. If you make good business decisions, you will surely experience greater success. If not, then, you could be one of the nearly 78 percent of authors who fail.

Workshop: Query Letters in NC

Writing the Perfect Query Letter with Laine Cunningham, presented by Alice Osborn

Location: Center for Excellence, 3803-B Computer Dr. Suite 106, Raleigh, NC 27609

Saturday, March 9     Time:  1:30-4:30pm

Fee:  $55 (Early Bird till March 1st)/$75 after

Registration: Click here  

Your query letter is every bit as important as the opening pages of your novel. It’s your first opportunity to show your writing skills to a prospective agent or editor. Make it count! Make it shine! A good query letter should make that editor and agent want to read your material…and it should grab their hearts in the thirty seconds or so they give each query in their pile. In this class, publishing consultant and owner of the Writer’s Resource Laine Cunningham will discuss the three important elements to inject into your query so you can get published. Fiction and nonfiction authors writing books, stories or articles will benefit from this class.

Laine Cunningham’s clients consistently garner attention from the nation’s top publishers and agents. Several of her clients’ books have been shopped around Hollywood and have received film options. She has been quoted on CNN MoneyMedia Bistro, and The Writer Magazine for her opinion on the end of the Harry Potter series, the “Oprah Effect,” and Sarah Palin’s ghostwriter. She has presented workshops and lectures for The Loft, the nation’s largest independent literary organization; the National Writer’s Union; The Writer’s Workshop in Asheville and writing conferences across the country.