Write On! Online May Meeting Replay

The May Write On Online Meeting featured freelance writer and Blog Talk Radio host J Blair Brown. If you missed the show you can listen here.

According to J Blair Brown, it’s imperative for writers to (at least) do these three things to advance your career:
1. Identify your audience. Otherwise you’re ‘writing just to write,’ which isn’t of benefit to many. By identifying your audience, your writing becomes more focused and the quality is improved.
2. Strategize! Your business cannot grow to its potential without a definite strategy in place.
3. Strive to benefit others. In this scenario everyone wins! By focusing on people outside of yourself, you will attract people to you and get more clients/readers. This is essential for  any successful business.

For more of Juice’s tips, listen to the show.

Listen to J Blair Brown’s interview with me on her Blog Talk Radio show.

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Remember, post your June Goals to be entered in a drawing to win an iscript.

Read the May Write On! Newsletter.

3rd Annual Query Contest

In our continuing effort to help writers jump-start their careers, Write On Online is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Write On! Query Contest.

There will be four categories … and four winners: Fiction Book, Non-Fiction Book, Screenplay, and Teleplay Query.

Winners in the Fiction and Non-Fiction Book categories will have their queries read by Los Angeles literary agent Amy Wilder Drake, BJ Robbins Literary Agency.

The winner the Screenplay category will have his or her query letter read by Los Angeles literary agent David Boxerbaum of APA.

The winner the Teleplay category will have his or her query letter read by John Martini, producer at BBC Worldwide Productions.

Each of the four winners will choose one of the following books from Michael Wiese Productions as their prize:

1. Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath by Linda Seger

2. So You’re A Creative Genius … Now What? by Carl King

3. The Script Selling Game- 2nd edition: A Hollywood Insider’s Look at Getting Your Script Sold and Produced by Kathie Fong Yoneda

4. You’re Funny: Turn Your Sense of Humor Into a Lucrative New Career by D.B. Gilles

Submission Guidelines:
- There is no fee to enter this contest
- Email your query to Debra@WriteOnOnline.com by Tuesday, May 31
- Queries should be 1 page
- No attachments; paste text in the body of the email
- Include name, email address, address, phone number, and category at the top of your submission
- By submitting, you are agreeing to join the Write On! email list

Winners will be announced on Monday, June 6, on Write On! Online, and in the June Write On! Newsletter.

Submit your query today!

Write On! Online – April Contest

Write On! April Challenge: Challenge Yourself: It’s April! Whether you plan to write a screenplay in a month for Script Frenzy, take the Poem-A-Day Challenge for National Poetry Month, or come up with something spectacular and ongoing to do during the month of April, you can win just for declaring Your April Challenge! Four winners will be chosen at random to receive a book thanks to Michael Wiese Productions. For prizes, details, and to post the way in which you will Challenge Yourself in April, go here. Remember to check in throughout and at the end of the month.

On the Air

On the Air:

On Tuesday, the interviewer, became the interviewee. Listen to my BlogTalkRadio interview on Livin’ the Dream! with J Blair Brown.

Also, on Wednesday, March 16, I joined Karen Worden and David Branin to interview Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way, The Vein of Gold, The Right to Write) on a special episode of Film Courage with Karen Worden & David Branin on LA Talk Radio. Listen to the podcast here.

Write On! Online – March Meeting

If you missed the March Write On! Meeting on Blog Talk Radio with guest Mark Coker, Smashwords, you can listen here.

Listen to internet radio with WriteOnOnline on Blog Talk Radio

Read Mark Coker’s Write On! guest column: The Five Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success.

During the show, Mark added an additional “secret.” Pay close attention to the ebook cover.

An ebook cover should:
- Look professional
- Be visually pleasing
- Look good as a thumbnail image
- Be a visual representation of what you are offering
- Augment the readers enjoyment of your book

For more insight from Mark, listen to the show.

Mark Coker is the founder of Smashwords, a leading ebook publishing and distribution platform. The free service helps over 14,000 authors around the world publish and distribute over 35,000 original ebooks. Coker is the author of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book), the Smashwords Style Guide (how to create an ebook), and Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wild and wacky world of daytime television soap operas.

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Remember, post your Goals for April to be entered in a drawing to win an iscript.

Read the March Write On! Newsletter.

The next meeting will be on April 13 on Blog Talk Radio.

Happy Writing! Write On!

Peter Shankman on PRWeb

On Wednesday, February 23, Peter Shankman, Help A Reporter, did a webinar on PRWeb: Peter Shankman’s BIG Publicity Ideas For Small Business Success.

Peter, who I interviewed when he was in Los Angeles last year, impressed upon his audience the importance of good writing. He had lot of amazing information, and I tweeted to find out everyone’s favorite tip. Here’s what you said:

@WebiMax WebiMax
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline @PeterShankman Follow “trends” in the media! Thanks Pete #SEO #WebiMax

@MelRothermel Melissa Rothermel
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline My favorite quote was: “Social media is brevity; brevity is good writing. … Learn to freaking write!”

@lindybartell Lindy Bartell
@WriteOnOnline Best tip from @PeterShankman – That creativity wins with SoMe strategy i.e. funeral home on Twitter #whowouldhavethought

@lesleyridge lesley ridge
@WriteOnOnline loved that @PeterShankman validated my gut feelings about pitching and being upfront with people.

@lepah Matt Farnell
I learnt that ET is not the same as PT time #imissedit “RT @WriteOnOnline: best tip learned today on @PeterShankman webinar on #PRWeb?”

@jennihilton Jenni Hilton
No sub. for good writing RT @petershankman @WriteOnOnline: What was the best tip you learned today on the @PeterShankman webinar on #PRWeb?

@PRisUs Michelle Garrett
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline I can never hear enough of your pitching tips! And liked how you stressed the importance of strong writing.

@CocoHobo Lady Carolyn Grey
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline The best tip was hearing that good #writing matters. As a #writer, that’s like hearing I matter!

@tenistazurita Patricia Zurita
@WriteOnOnline looking for business ideas in new places/publications I know nothing about.

@NancyD68 Nancy Davis
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline @PeterShankman Best tip today – Bad writing will KILL your business!

@THEsteveobrien Steve O’Brien
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline @PeterShankman Brevity – and asking potential customers how they prefer to receive their info

@lizkupcha Liz O’Rourke Kupcha
@petershankman @WriteOnOnline The basic anatomy of a pitch was a great takeaway. #prweb

And my Tweets and RTs:

RT AVwriter (Linda Seid Frembes)
Make your customers feel like they can “cut the line.” (Great nightclub ref from @petershankman) #prweb

@Petershankman “When you are pitching, you are asking a reporter to do you a favor” #prweb

@PeterShankman – tweeting and talking – great example of engaging the audience during a webinar #prweb

@PeterShankman social media is brevity, brevity is good writing. nothing will destroy your business quicker than bad writing #PRweb

@PeterShankman “Social Media requires that you write better.” #PRWeb

RT radiofreegeorgy Georgy Cohen
What’s worse than ADHD? ADOS – Attention deficit–ooh, shiny. #prweb @petershankman

Love how much time @PeterShankman with the limited attention span spent talking about the importance of writing! #PRWeb

“PR Foreplay – ask any woman, there’s a difference between foreplay and wasting my time” – @PeterShankman on #PRWeb

Hi @PeterShankman Great hearing you on #PRWeb today. Thanks for a fabulous webinar!

Write On Online – February Meeting

If you missed the February Write On! Meeting on Blog Talk Radio with guest screenwriter/consultant Annie Lower, you can listen here.

Listen to internet radio with WriteOnOnline on Blog Talk Radio

Annie Lower’s top 3 tips from the show:

1. Give yourself permission to write crap… not just permission to write crap, but to embrace the crap.

2. Rid yourself of the burden of perfection. It’s paralyzing – you’ll never live up to it. Release it. Love the imperfections – they are diamonds in the rough.

3. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and yet again, rewrite. Did I say rewrite? REWRITE.

And the links Anne mentioned:

http://www.blakesnyder.com/2011/02/04/the-beats-go-on/

http://www.blakesnyder.com/2010/01/25/stc-beats-inglourious-basterds/

http://www.screenwriterunknown.com/screenwriting-observations/screenwriting-structure-is-all-around-me

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Remember, post your Goals for March to be entered in a drawing to win an iscript.

Also, enter the February Challenge: Favorite Screenplay. Submit your 200- to 400-word essay about your Favorite Screenplay in the body of an email to Debra@WriteOnOnline.com by Monday, February 28. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 8, on Write On! Online, and in the March Write On! Newsletter.

The next meeting will be on March 9 on Blog Talk Radio

Happy Writing! Write On!

February Contest – Write On! Favorite Screenplay Challenge

It’s Award Season! Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced this year’s Oscar nominations. Here are the Best Original and Adapted Screenplay nominees:

Best Original Screenplay
Another Year – Screenplay by Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception – Screenplay by Christopher Nolan
The Kids are All Right – Screenplay by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – Screenplay by David Seidler

Best Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours – Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network
– Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 – Screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit – Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

What was your Favorite Screenplay from last year? Why? Write it up, 200 to 400 words, and enter the February Challenge!

Thanks to Michael Wiese Productions, we will have 4 winners. Each will choose one of the following books from MWP as their prize:

2. Story Line by Jennifer Grisanti

Submit your 200- to 400-word essay about your Favorite Screenplay in the body of an email to Debra@WriteOnOnline.com by Monday, February 28. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 8, on Write On! Online, and in the March Write On! Newsletter.

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Please note: I will send an email confirmation within a few days of receiving a submission. If you submit and do not hear from me, please message me on Facebook, Twitter, or send an email to my alternate address. Thanks!

Ready, Set, Blog!

The hardest part of blogging is getting started!

Many see blogging as time-consuming, and spend more time procrastinating than they would have spent blogging. If you are prepared – if you have a vision, a mission, and do your homework beforehand – blogging will be a cinch.

1. Name your blog. Is it a personal blog? A blog to promote your writing? Your business? Brainstorm at least 10 names, preferably 15 to 20. Pick a name that you will be happy with as well as a tag-line/mission statement! Choose your favorite headshot—it’s very important for readers to see your face—and a logo and/or book cover if you have one. (Don’t have a logo? Find some clip art to use until you can have a more professional version designed for you.) You want text and graphics that people will identify with you. “Branding” is key.

2. Determine content. What are you going to blog about? What types of articles? Are you going to write essays and interviews? Or use your blog for news and showcasing your products and services? There are no wrong answers. Just get a sense of what you want your blog/website to be.

3. Decide on a production schedule. How long will your blog posts be? Posts that are 300 to 500 words are certainly acceptable, and anything over 1,000 words should be broken up with bullets and bold text. How often will you blog? Start with once or twice a week. A big part of the blogging-overwhelm is that people think they should blog every day. Ideally, yes. Or mostly. But eventually. Daily blogging is something you can build up to if you’d like, but consistent blogging – a new post every Tuesday and Thursday – is even more important.

Now that you’ve figured out the what of your blog, go to WordPress.com or Blogger.com, and sign up. Whichever site you choose, will walk you through the set-up process.

Remember, you can always add content to your site, change the layout, upgrade to a custom theme, add new pages, get a customized url. These are enhancements. The most important part of starting a blog is to actually start.

January Meeting on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to the  January Write On! Meeting on Blog Talk Radio. Michele Wallerstein, author of MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career, answered member questions about finding an agent.

Listen to internet radio with WriteOnOnline on Blog Talk Radio

Some advice from Michele Wallerstein from the show:

- If you can’t move to California, find events, conferences, and film festivals, etc., in your area, so you can meet people and network

- At the beginning of your career focus on one genre and have three good scripts ready to go in order to get an agent/secure a writing job. Once you are a name, you can venture into different genres.

- As long as your agent is working for you, keep him/her. And be nice and respectful your agent’s time.

- Start with a small agency. Once you’ve made it, the big agencies will try and steal you. If you are happy with your agent, stay.

- If you write screenplays and novels, you may to keep them separate, and have a different agent for each.

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Remember, post your Goals for February and Goals for 2011 on the website, as well as your Accomplishments from 2010.

Also, enter the January Challenge: Excuses. Submit your 200- to 400-word Excuses in the body of an email to Debra@WriteOnOnline.com by Monday, January 31. Please also include your name and the type of writing you do along with your submission. For prize info and more information, go to Write On! Online.

The next meeting will be on February 9 on Blog Talk Radio.

Happy Writing! Write On!