Free Contest For Unpublished Authors Of Women’s Fiction

DearLuckyAgent24

I don’t know any more than this — but how could I not pass along this information? Did you know I was a contest fiend before I was published, or that I met my first agent when he chose my novel’s opening as a winner in one of them? When I was on my first round of queries, those contest wins (I didn’t mention the losses) were part of my bio. I don’t know if it helped, but to me, it meant I put myself out there.

Click this link and check it all out. You have until February 9th!

DEAR LUCKY AGENT CONTEST FOR WOMEN’S FICTION

Go for it! And if you do, let me know!

Amy xo

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Intro & Info: Women’s Fiction Writers Association

WFWAlogoToday I’d like to introduce Amy Impellizzeri, my friend (she drove more than two hours with her three kids to come to my book launch in Philadelphia), and the president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA). 

WFWA is an international membership organization, not just a Facebook group (although there is one) or a Twitter feed (there’s one of those too). This is a professional organization that not only offers camaraderie but provides information and education to its members (in addition to an amazing annual retreat), all of whom are writers of women’s fiction, or, are agents, editors, and publishing professionals who work with women’s fiction authors and their books. 

The reason I’m featuring WFWA today is because I realized that many writers don’t know about it! Woe is me! Can’t let that be! 

Please check out WFWA — there are plenty of links to the organization’s page below. And if you have any questions, just post them in the comments. Or tell us why YOU love WFWA.  

Just to clarify (pretend this is the fine print), while I am a member of WFWA, this blog is mine, mine, all mine and not affiliated with the organization. Even as the founder of this blog which is dedicated to women’s fiction and its authors, I am thrilled to be part of (though not in charge of, lol) a professional organization with a complementary mission! 

Amy xo

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Author Interview: Best-selling Author Kate Hilton Says If You Want To Write About Women’s Lives, Tell The Truth

US cover The Hole in the MiddleHappy U.S. publication to my friend, Kate Hilton! The Hole In The Middle grew out of questions Kate asked herself about her own life — isn’t that so often the case with women’s fiction authors?

Today Kate shares with us what it’s like to self-publish, have the book picked up by a Canadian publisher, and then sold in the U.S!  Plus, some heartfelt advice for writers. 

Please welcome Kate to WFW! And share you thoughts about her covers (or anything else) in the comments!

Amy xo

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Guest Post: Do Readers Cross The Romance/Women’s Fiction Line? By Laura Drake

Thumbnail CoverWhat do my readers want from me? In today’s publishing climate, we’re often afraid to give something new a try, afraid of losing our readers, our followers, our mojo even. Sometimes our publishers are afraid as well, using the word “brand” to help us shape our new books. Staying within genre makes sense, but it’s not always possible. Especially when we have a story we want to tell that falls outside certain industry parameters. (I have a few floating around myself.)

Today we have with us, Laura Drake, multi-published, award-winning, romance author whose first women’s fiction title is releasing today! She wonders if fans of her romance novels will read her women’s fiction. Will the new readers she acquires with this book pop over and give her romance novels a try? Below, Laura shares with us her excitement and her fears for her new journey. She’s also sharing an short excerpt. 

Please welcome Laura Drake to WFW! And tell us what you think, in the comments.

Amy xo

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Guest Post: How Author Sharon Maas Navigated The Pathways Of Publishing

winniecoverHappy New Year! We’re kicking off 2016 with post by multi-published author Sharon Maass, about her publishing journey. Publishing nowadays looks different to everyone. It’s different for everyone. Even authors on the same path encounter different rough patches, different times of great ease (wait, I’m not sure those exist). 

Today, Sharon will share with us her own story. And hip-hip-hooray — it has a happy ending for Sharon that culminates with the release of her latest novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF WINNIE COX. (Here’s another secret: it’s $2.99 for Kindle  and Kobo, and $3.99 for Nook!)

Please share your own journey, or any questions, in the comments.

Amy xo

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Cheers and Beers and Plans for the New Year!

I’m not one of those authors who Tweets, Facebooks, or Instagrams every.single.review of my books. I see those social media outstretched hands from others and rarely click. I know authors with tens of thousands of social media followers and that doesn’t equate to book sales. I’d rather be my own charming self online, share news of the book, the occasional brag, book photos, maybe an industry review if I get one.

But to close out 2015, the year Women’s Fiction Writers was named one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers, I thought I would share a review that made me smile because the reviewer is a reader and a writer therefore I got her review the way I don’t always get others. She mentions voice, something a writer understands, unlike the review I read today that had one word: Meh. I was amused, frankly, because there is obviously a reason some of us are writers and some of us are NOT WRITERS. But go ahead, use your cultivated vocabulary as you see fit. (Please note, I rarely read reviews on sites like Amazon or Goodreads because, well, you just shouldn’t.)

So here’s a link to a review that not only encourages you to read The Good Neighbor, but encourages you to drink beer while you do so — and for all the right reasons!

BOOKS AND BREWS by Mary Chris Escobar

As we head into 2016 I’m busy with freelance manuscript editing (yes, even today) and revising my third novel (yes, even tomorrow). I’ve also dipped back into essay writing, which I love, but don’t usually have time for. This piece, about finding a card from my ex after he died, was published on Your Tango in mid-December (the words are mine, the thighs in the photo, sadly, are not).

In the coming year, the blog will be home to more posts about writing, about the intricacies of women’s fiction, the politics of publishing. Want to contribute to the conversation with a guest post? Let me know and maybe it can work out! I’ll also conduct more author interviews with women’s fiction authors who are established, new, and new-to-you!

Keep reading and keep writing — and see you next year (why does that never get old?)!

Amy xo

 

 

 

What In The World Is Women’s Fiction?

globe-clipart-globe_clipart77Round and round and round we go! Where we stop, nobody knows!

Yes, I’m rolling my eyes. Not because there’s a question (or a zillion) again as to what constitutes women’s fiction but because the term bothers some writers. Truly? Paris, San Bernadino, Syria, Trump—and THIS is what is getting under people’s skin?

Let’s get this straight. The term Women’s Fiction does not bother readers. Keep that in mind if you’re lamenting that your book falls somewhere under the WF umbrella. Readers don’t care what you call your book, just that they can find it. In a book store (if you remember those), it will likely be filed under — wait — hold onto to hats — FICTION. It will likely be filed ALPHABETICALLY. Online it may pop up under a myriad of bizarre topics including a few that make sense to you.

Authors, agents, and publishers use labels so that they can compare books to one another for the purpose of selling, marketing, advertising, promoting.

To me, women’s fiction is a book that focuses on a woman’s emotional journey. Now, you might say that romance does that. Noperoo. A romance novel’s central quest is the Happily Ever After. That’s the point of the story. It may include a strong thread or six of emotional journeys, but the purpose is the romance.

What’s the purpose of your main character? To find love — or to find a way to allow herself to have love? To meet a great guy — or to be okay enough with herself to meet a great guy?

I don’t mean these things are exclusive of one another, but if your POINT is to have your main character meet a love interest and that’s WHY she needs to fix her life, then I’m thinking it’s romance. If your POINT is that as a byproduct of her goal of fixing her life she just so happens to meet someone, but her goal is to be okay with or without someone — then to me, that would be women’s fiction.

There are also novels that focus on solving mysteries, running from bad guys, saving the world, etc. These might very well have elements found in WF. Genres overlap, friends. Lines blur.

Take note — women’s fiction also centers on friendships, family relationships, and sometimes doesn’t have a romantic interest at all, or it’s way on the back burner. And that is OKAY (usually, for some people/agents/editors and not for others).

I  understand why the term “women’s fiction” bothers people. Because if a man writes a story about a family it’s a family drama. If a woman writes it’s women’s fiction or chick lit. But that doesn’t change the fact that my stories appeal to women and that I embrace the WF label because I just do. You do not have to.

Yeah, I know. There’s no “men’s fiction.” I don’t care. This is what I write, and I write knowing and loving that my stories appeal to women. I read widely — but this is what I write. Sometimes I’m made to feel as if I should feel badly about it. Like unless I pen a literary tome that it’s not enough. And it is.

Enough that is.

I do realize that “the others” (meaning non-writers) have no idea what women’s fiction means, nor should they. So if asked what I write I sometimes say family drama with humor, or book club type books, or stories about women and children. No reader wants you to say what you’d say at a pitch meeting.

Really, readers only care what the story’s about, not what you call it. That doesn’t make them run out to the bookstore, big box store, or tap their app to buy the ebook.

Stop worrying so much about what it’s called and just write a really good book. Find a kickass agent who sells to a great publisher. Or do it all yourself. Whatever floats your writer boat is what you should do and it should all lead to YOU writing a really good book.

Believe me, once you do, you’ll have plenty of other things to worry about.

Amy xo

PS THE GOOD NEIGHBOR makes a great holiday gift for your favorite neighbor! Fewer calories than that tin of cookies! Just sayin’…