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Showing posts from 2010

Submissions: 2010 Submissions and Responses

Submissions Here is the annual look back at my submission record for this year and some stats on my total submissions since I started to record them in 2004. 2010 SUBMISSIONS AND RESPONSES: 22 total submissions *The total is 10 more than 2009 . 6 rejections *All but one were from literary agents on novel queries. 9 non-responders *Six of these were from literary agencies, the other three from magazine editors. 7 acceptances *These are from various sources for a variety of projects. 2010 RESPONSES FROM 2009 SUBMISSIONS: 3 withdrawals - 380/388/390 days *This was for the MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT proposal, which Mike and I placed with Headline Books, Inc. 2010 RESPONSES FROM 2008 SUBMISSIONS: 1 acceptance - 321 days *This was for my poem Starship Stowaways at Beyond Centauri . So this goes against the past two years where I've said that having a sub out longer isn't necessarily a good thing. In this case it was! 1 other - 726 days *I created the "othe

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Tamela Quijas

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Heidi's Pick Six Tamela Quijas HEIDI’S PICK SIX 1. Which of your characters is your favorite? Honestly, my favorite male character is Professor Demetri Daskova from my paranormal romance Blood of the Beast (Book 1 of the Blood Chronicles) . He’s dashing; suave, educated, and not afraid to show his weaknesses to the woman he loves. He’s a vampire with a heart and a much better man undead than he was alive. My favorite female would have to be his counterpart, Police Detective Val Kureyev. Her job is a tough one, especially in a male world. She’s one gutsy broad that doesn’t take bull from anyone and stands up for what she believes in, despite the odds. 2. Tell me about your travels. I was born in the United States but grew up in Germany, back when it was still east and west. I’ve been all over Europe, hitting all the historic spots (yep, I love museums, castles, and ancient places!) Since I returned to the states, I travel at every opportunity I can. Disneyland is m

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Richard Jay Parker

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Heidi's Pick Six Richard Jay Parker 1. Which of your characters is your favorite? Although he's reprehensible I really enjoyed creating the mystique of Bookwalter - the serial killer with his own website in Stop Me . Everything about him is initially what the main character finds on his website (i.e. all of it generated by Bookwalter). I think a lot of people hide behind avatars and creative misinformation on the Internet and Stop Me illustrates what happens when that's slowly peeled away and two individuals meet in the flesh. Because Leo wants to believe that Bookwalter has his missing wife there's an interesting dynamic. I didn't know exactly what Leo would find, so it was fun deciding exactly who Bookwalter would turn out to be. He's a manipulator, so constructing the mind games was interesting but I felt it had to pay off in a satisfying way. 2. Tell me about your travels. 3. Coffee, tea, or milk? 4. What else can you do besides write?

WORKSHOP: Writing with Authority

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WORKSHOPS WRITING WITH AUTHORITY Online Course INSTRUCTORS: Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller DATE: April 1 – May 2, 2011 LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now. COURSE DESCRIPTION: The easiest way to engage your reader is by using concrete nouns and action verbs. In this one-month online course, Seton Hill University creative writing faculty Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller will show you how to analyze your writing and use easy techniques that will increase the authority of your voice. Participants will: * Discover how to spot passive voice * Scrutinize their writing for generic nouns and indefinite pronouns * Learn to avoid weak verbs and overuse of “be” in all its forms * Practice using strong synonyms to find the best action verb * Apply word cloud research to make their plot come alive FREE BONUS: Course participants will receive a free excerpt (.pdf) from the new writing guide, MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: LESSONS IN WRITING POPULAR FICTION ( Headline B

Paths to Publication: Chris Stout

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Paths to Publication Days of Reckoning by Chris Stout My path to publication started out in the traditional manner: I networked. While I was working on my MA, I met and became friends with two editors who owned their own small presses. So my first two sales were short stories, which appeared in the anthologies Thou Shalt Not ( Dark Cloud Press – 2006) and Sails and Sorcery ( Fantasist Enterprises – 2007). After that quick start, things came to a screaming halt. My novel Days of Reckoning , which received solid reviews from peers and mentors at Seton Hill University , failed to attract the attention of any agents. One agent sent it back with a flyer promoting his own book on how to land an agent, so at that point I consigned it to the “never gonna sell” file. A few things happened to bring it back to life. First, I opted to continue at SHU and pursue an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. At least with that degree, I would have a better chance of landing a teaching position. Du

Website: Many Genres, One Craft

Websites Co-editor Mike Arnzen launched the official website for our new book Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction at http://manygenres.blogspot.com . Many Genres, One Craft is the equivalent of a graduate program in creative writing captured in the pages of a book...stuffed with great advice, but not stuffy at all. Gathering the voices of today's top genre writers and their published students from Seton Hill University's acclaimed MFA program -- the country's only graduate program specifically focused on writing popular fiction –- Many Genres, One Craft is an academic instructional guide that aims to be the most entertaining textbook a new author will ever read. It targets those who want to write commercial novels of quality, rather than to publish only in academia. And because it is a multi-authored collection, it is like a writing community, a group of like-minded thinkers and kindred spirits, assembled between its covers, focused on ma

Paths to Publication: Pike Lake

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Paths to Publication Pike Lake, the writer, is decidedly, unabashedly and irreversibly dead. Passing away in the late 1970's at the age of eighty-three, he attributed his demise, in a self-authored obituary scrivened shortly before his death, to an impacted bowel inflicted upon him by "television evangelists, feminists, warmed-over New Dealers, purveyors of shag carpet and other religious fanatics." Although enlightened ears may recoil at this appalling lack of sophistication, it must be acknowledged, albeit grudgingly, that we are all creatures of our own time. This work comes to us courtesy of his illegitimate grandson by a French barfly, Jean Baptiste Montcalm DeRemalade. Rummaging through the old man's belongings years after his death, M. DeRemalade discovered a box containing several unpublished manuscripts. Imagine his boundless joy! After twelve bitter years of estate litigation waged on three continents, Turner Junction represents the first of what is f

Interview: Mary SanGiovanni on Snark Infested Waters

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Interviews Mary SanGiovanni will be reading some of her fiction and speaking live with Taylor Kent of Snark Infested Waters on Thursday, December 9th, at 9pm EST. Mary SanGiovanni

Conference: 2011 Pennwriters Conference

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Conferences From Julie Long and Meredith Cohen , 2011 Pennwriters Conference Coordinators 20 Things You’ll Learn About Craft and Career in Just Three Days: 1. How to start, survive and thrive in a critique group 2. Creating a powerful sense of place in your novel 3. The art of social networking and shameless self-promotion 4. How to balance narrative with dialog 5. Why writing for younger audiences is different 6. How to give a great reading 7. Identifying your learning style to become a better writer 8. Understanding your character’s psychological issues 9. Setting and reaching writing goals 10. How to interview for the nonfiction book 11. How to know if you need a prologue 12. Life balance skills for writers * 13. How fixing your first page can improve your entire manuscript 14. Understanding the creative process and the writer’s inner turmoil 15. Taking your writing to the screen 16. How to perfect your pitch 17. What makes a good memoir 18. Using meditativ

PUBLICATION: Sounds in the Jungle by Heidi Ruby Miller in Eye Contact

PUBLICATIONS I received my copy of Eye Contact today for my short story "Sounds in the Jungle" and was pleasantly surprised to see one of Jason 's photos ("Wave Swinger") in there as well. Filled with death, loss, and mourning, this was a beautifully dark issue, appropriate as we come close to the winter solstice. Here is a peek at the table of contents, which includes work from some of my former students and other Seton Hill Writers : Eyes by Patrick Schober Bloom by Passion Hannah Aquila by Christine Telfer Living Grace by Maddie Gillespie Memorial by Stephanie Pikula Kalina by Molly Follmer Sounds in the Jungle by Heidi Ruby Miller Tá Mé I Ngrá Leat by Lyndsey Basham Lesson by Judith R. Robinson Wave Swinger by Jason Jack Miller The Man on Clipper Street by Patrick Schober The Shorts Have Eyes by Matthew Duvall Eye Spy by Aja Hannah Cinderella by Stephanie Wytovich Uh-Oh by Lyndsey Basham Origami Moons by Penny Dawn Dear Summer by Ca

Paths to Publication: Pearl North

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Paths to Publication The Boy from Ilysies by Pearl North I wasn't always Pearl North . That's right. It's not my real name. I'm really Anne Harris and I wrote three science fiction novels for adults before turning to YA and adopting the pen name Pearl North. People tend to have a lot of questions about this. Why did I take on a pseudonym? Why did I switch to YA? And the question I get the most: How did you come up with the name Pearl North? As to why I started writing YA, that was a total gimme. I've always had adolescent characters in my books, frequently as main characters, and when I decided to write a book about a teenage girl living in a library so vast people sometimes get lost in it and never come out again, well, that was an idea that pretty much screamed YA to me, and my editor agreed. It was at that point that he asked me if I'd be willing to take on a pseudonym, and the reason is pretty unglamorous. The unvarnished truth is that after three s

Book Deal: Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

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Book Deals I am happy to finally announce that Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction has been picked up by Headline Books, Inc. . This is the writing guide that Mike Arnzen and I are co-editing. Michael Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller signing the contract for Many Genres, One Craft Photo by Jason Jack Miller Lots of news to come, including a list of contributors, a new website, and a tour schedule. This has been two years in the making, so I am very excited about the project coming to fruition in such a great way.

Article: Almost There (or How Heidi Ruby Miller Might Change Her Luck)

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Articles I knew my article "Almost There" was going to be in the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of The PennWriter , the official publication of Pennwriters Inc. , but I was excited to see it was on the first page. This article sums up my frustration at being an in-betweener, someone who has taken the workshops, sorted through the writing advice, written my million words and then some, and watched my peers attain a certain success (in novel writing) while I wait in limbo. More importantly, it shares how I have accepted this fact and simply moved on with my writing and am happier because of it. I quoted some wonderful words of advice in "Almost There" from my first Seton Hill mentor, Tom Monteleone . He told me, "...This business is mostly luck. Sometimes good writers don't become successful: sometimes bad writers do. If you like to write, then write the best story you can and at the end of the year, if nothing else, you have a book you want to read."

Event: Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

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Events Jason and I had an incredible weekend in Washington, D.C. The highlight, of course, was Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert 's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear . Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear Thank you to Jason Jack Miller for taking all of the photos; that way I could just enjoy everything, but still have photographic stock later. FRIDAY This photo was taken on Friday, October 29, but The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority counted 825,437 passenger trips on October 30, the date of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, breaking a 19-year record. We ate lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl as soon as we got into DC. Awesome! Then headed down the street to the International Spy Museum. It's hiding behind that tree. And, that's me acting like a spy in the cafe. Our training allowed us to sneak into the National Portrait Gallery right through the front door. SATURDAY On Saturday, we got to the Mall around 10:00 AM. The first

Reading: Michael Arnzen at Morgantown Poets

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Readings Michael A. Arnzen reading his story from Legends of the Mountain State 4 Last night we headed to the Monongalia Arts Center (MAC, as it is affectionately referred to by resident artists) in Morgantown, WV . The Morgantown Poets were having their monthly meeting, and Mike Arnzen was the guest reader. His ghoulish selections for the Halloween season came from Audiovile , Proverbs for Monsters , Rigmarole: Zombie Poems , Legends of the Mountain State 4 and his inventive tweets . Other readers included Scott Emerson and Ted Webb and Diane Tarantini , who will be sharing their written work at Zenclay in Morgantown on November 5, 2010. A video of Mike's readings will be online soon.

Party: Timons Esaias's 19th Annual Passage Party

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Parties Jason and I recently attended Timons Esaias's 19th Annual Passage Party at his home in Pittsburgh, PA . Lots of wonderful selections were read by lots of interesting people, including some poetry in the original French, sea shanties, Bukowski selections, and "All You Can Hold for 5 Bucks" from McSorley's Wonderful Saloon by Joseph Mitchell from Tim. McSorley's Wonderful Saloon by Joseph Mitchell I chose some pages from Tom Rob Smith's novel Child 44 . It was one of the best books I've read this year. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith Jason went with "Nemesis" a favorite essay of ours from Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman . Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman We're already thinking about our selections for next year...

News: David Morrell's Kindle Exclusive

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News You've probably seen this announcement last month from David Morrell (Rambo creator, co-founder of International Thriller Writers , Bram Stoker Award winner, etc.) and Amazon about the 10 books David will have available through Kindle exclusively, including a brand new thriller, The Naked Edge . David Morrell speaking at Seton Hill University's WPF Graduate Program Photo by Heidi Ruby Miller I'm excited about this experiment. Not only because David is a great friend to and repeat guest at Seton Hill , as well as a contributor to an upcoming collection I'm co-editing, but also because what he's doing is very current considering certain discussions happening within the industry right now: 1) e-books and what they offer authors - For eye-opening thoughts, visit J.A. Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing . He shows in detailed posts how he is making more money from books where he owns the e-rights as opposed to those owned by his two

Interview: Michael A. Arnzen on Snark Infested Waters

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Interviews Michael A. Arnzen 's hour long interview with the internet radio show, Snark Infested Waters , is now up on their website . Mike describes it as "a funny-yet-serious chat about all things horror, including such topics as: sick elephants, mutant beards, cows dangling from meat hooks, sleep apnea hoses, ebooks, M. Night Shamayalan, collectible books, goreno, the relationship between zombies and coffee, and much more." You can also hear three tracks from Audiovile , his innovative audiobook/CD. Audiovile by Michael A. Arnzen The first track, "Dreamachinery", stars the one and only Jason Jack Miller on banjo.

Workshop: Journey Steps, Taking the Train to Somewhere

Workshops JOURNEY STEPS, TAKING THE TRAIN TO SOMEWHERE INSTRUCTOR: Susan Meier DATE: October 1 – November 12, 2010 LOCATION: Online with Pennwriters COURSE DESCRIPTION: Ever wonder what you’re supposed to “put” in between those four or five turning points of your story? Susan Meier’s Journey Steps, Taking the Train to Somewhere is a 6-week online course on plotting that provides quick, easy solutions for any author who has ever wondered “now what?” Enroll here.

Workshop: Book in a Day with Debra Dixon and Pennwriters

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Workshops BOOK IN A DAY Instructor: Debra Dixon Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010 Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel - Pittsburgh Airport / 1160 Thorn Run Road, Coraopolis, PA Cost: $125 for Pennwriters members; $150 for nonmembers (Lunch is included in the workshop fee) Workshop Details: Pennwriters Area 3 will host a “Book in a Day” interactive workshop with bestselling author Debra Dixon. This intensive full-day seminar will draw from Dixon’s popular how-to book GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, the Building Blocks of Good Fiction , which is in its sixth printing, and The Hero’s Journey . She will show you how to put together the important elements of a book and its plot skeleton.

Community: Help Uniontown Win a Pepsi Grant for a Downtown Arts Center

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Community To help Uniontown, PA win a grant to build a downtown community arts center, please follow these steps: 1. Got to www.refresheverything.com . 2. Click on Vote to Refresh America . 3. Create a login . 4. Click on neighborhoods . 5. Click on $250,000 . 6. Scroll down until you see Buy/restore a historic downtown building for a community arts center. Uniontown Arts fellowship - "The Phoenix Arts Center" . 7. Vote! Thank you very much for your support! ~Heidi

Workshop: Writing for Children and Young Adults

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Workshop Courtesy of Jade Blackwater and Pennwriters : WRITING FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS with Maria V. Snyder and Lindsay Barrett George Maria V. Snyder Photo by Michael Frost Studio NYC Date: Saturday, September 11, 2010 Location: Fire Hall at 911 Market Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 Time: 10:00am-3:30pm Workshop Details: Pennwriters Area 2 is hosting a day-long workshop with award-winning children's author Lindsay Barrett George and "New York Times" best-selling author Maria V. Snyder. New or experienced writers will learn what makes a good children's or young adult book, how to survive in the publishing world, and how to avoid sounding like an adult writing for young people. Lindsay Barrett George will present her workshop "Puppies, Pumpkins, and Publishing" from 10:00-12:00. There will be a bag lunch at noon. After lunch, participants will have the option of having the opening two pages of their work-in-progress cr

Video: Animated Map of Nuclear Explosions, 1945-1948

Videos I nicked this from Deanna Lepsch . This is fascinating to me for many reasons, but especially since I've been doing so much research about early atomic bombs for my novel. It's worth watching the entire way through (only about 15 minutes): Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto's "1945-1998" is an animated map showing the 2,053 nuclear explosions that took place around the world during the 20th century, from the detonations at Alamogordo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998. Here's a link to MAKE if you can't see the above embedded video: blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/08/animated_map_of_nuclear_explosions.html

Book Signing: David Morrell

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Book Signings Thank you to Meline Nadeau for this photo of David Morrell and me during his book signing at the 2010 Seton Hill WPF residency ! Heidi Ruby Miller and David Morrell Photo by Meline Nadeau

Reflection: Sunrise Photo Shoot at Kentuck Knob

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Reflection One weekend last month I got up at 4:00 AM so that I could open the gates at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob for the Westmoreland Photographers Society sunrise shoot. What an incredible experience to watch the world awaken from the top of that hill! While the photographers checked their shutter speed and adjusted their tripods, I wrote. Part of it was for work - facts for my weekly progress report and details for copy to be turned into press releases and articles later - but part of it was for me. Trying to capture a particular time of the day is challenging when you're not writing about it as it's happening, and especially if you're normally sleeping at that hour. You miss the small stuff, those details that let your reader say, 'I know exactly how that feels.' Maybe they'll say that when they read the revised chapter in my recent novel. The setting is certainly better for it and so is the mood. You see, we didn't have the

Contest: Vote for Natalie Duvall's Column at Fine Living Lancaster

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Contests Seton Hill Writer Natalie Duvall needs our help to be a columnist for Fine Living Lancaster . You can read part of her column Lancaster Three Ways and vote here : http://finelivinglancaster.com/SpeakUp/Natalie.html

Workshop: CRAFT YOUR FICTION QUERY PACKAGE with CJ LYONS

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Workshops Pennwriters Inc. brings you... CRAFT YOUR FICTION QUERY PACKAGE with CJ LYONS Discover how to avoid the slush pile and get your book sold and published! DATE: August 2 – September 2, 2010 VENUE: Online COST: $79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members) EARLY-BIRD PRICES END SOON! REGISTRATION: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201008 A finished novel ready for submission is required for this course. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. COURSE DESCRIPTION: Join national bestseller CJ Lyons, an award-winning medical suspense author, in a highly interactive workshop designed to give you the tools you need to craft a complete fiction proposal, including a query letter, blurb, synopsis, opening hook, and pitch. In this intensive course, you will learn the secrets to pitching, the power of your "blurb," and lessons on how to: * Create a query letter that sells * Approach the submission process * Know if your opening hook works * Write a short synopsis * Write a long synop

Event: Confluence 22

Events Confluence 22 July 23 - 25, 2010 Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh Airport 8402 University Blvd. Moon Township, PA Guest of Honor: Wen Spencer Featured Filker: Peter S. Beagle Other Participants: Ken Chiacchia , Lawrence Connolly , Kathryn Cramer , Eric Davin , Susan Dexter, Timons Esaias , David Hartwell , Alan Irvine , Al Katerinsky , Herb Kauderer , Brian Koscienski , Geoffrey Landis , Tim Liebe , Gail Martin, Bill Mayhew, James Morrow , Kathy Morrow, Charles Oberndorf , Tamora Pierce , Chris Pisano, Thomas Seay , Bud Sparhawk , Karina Sumner-Smith , John Alfred Taylor , Diane Turnshek , Mary Turzillo ,

Photo Series: 2010 Seton Hill WPF Writing Conference and Retreat

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Photo Series and Conferences This June 150 writers gathered "on the Hill" for the combination of Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction MFA Residency and the 9th Annual Alumnae-sponsored WPF In Your Write Mind Conference and Retreat . Guests included New York Times Bestselling Author , Rambo -creator, and International Thriller Writers co-founder David Morrell , FinePrint Literary Agent Janet Reid , Poisoned Pen Press Acquisitions Editor Annette Rogers , Samhain Publishing Co. Director of Marketing and Sales Tina Trevaskis , and Dystel & Goderich Literary Agent Jim McCarthy . David Morrell Photo by Heidi Ruby Miller Sally Bosco , Meline Nadeau , Jason Jack Miller , Chris Stout , Natalie Duvall , and Matt Duvall Photo by Heidi Ruby Miller Maria V. Snyder and Heidi Ruby Miller Photo by Jason Jack Miller Mary Cox and Natalie Duvall Photo by Heidi Ruby Miller Judi Fleming , Meline Nadeau , Alexa Grave , Shelley Adina , Chris Stout ,