Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kid Mag Writers

Tomorrow, Kid Magazine Writers is running a piece I wrote to encourage young writers to keep writing and never be discouraged. I'll post the link when the piece appears and hope that the tween and teens who have e-mailed me with questions will get something positive out of my article.

I'm off to make phone calls for quotes to finish my alcohol factual. Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Workshops to Reprints

Today was my workshop for the article and essay class I'm taking. I'm pleased to say that it went better than expected. The workshop started off with about 15 minutes of criticism and suggestions for change, which can be hard to sit through without being allowed to speak. I took pages of notes and breathed a sigh of relief when that part was over. The workshop then opened for questions and any needed clarification was given. I think the class liked that I took a risk with my subject topic and it was something different. I won't be workshopping again for eight weeks or so. Whew!

Also, I received the new issue of Positive Teens with a reprint of one of my articles previously written for PT, about my ordeal with scoliosis and spinal surgery. That was my first reprint, so I was proud. :) I do a lot of counseling with young girls who are going through spinal surgeries, so it meant a lot to me that PT chose my scoliosis article to reprint.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Birthdays on Jan 29

Tomorrow is the big 2-0. :) I found an amusing list of famous birthdays falling on the 29th. I like that I share a b-day with Lady O. Any bloggers with a 1/29 birthday?

January 29

Thomas Paine, Revolutionary War leader and author (Thetford, England; died 1809)
William McKinley, 25th president of the United States (Niles, OH; died 1901)
Anton Chekhov, playwright and short-story writer (Tapanrog, Ukraine; died 1904)
W. C. Fields, comedian/actor (Philadelphia, PA; died 1946)
Victor Mature, actor (Louisville, KY; died 1999)
John Forsythe, actor (Penns Grove, NJ)
Paddy Chayefsky, playwright/screenwriter (New York, NY; died 1981)
Germaine Greer, feminist writer (Melbourne, Australia)
Tom Selleck, actor (Detroit, MI)
Ann Jillian, actress (Cambridge, MA)
Oprah Winfrey, TV personality (Kosciusko, MS)
Greg Louganis, Olympic champion diver (San Diego, CA)
Edward Burns, actor/director (New York, NY)
Heather Graham, actress (Milwaukee, WI)
Sara Gilbert, actress (Santa Monica, CA)

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I'm giving a big thanks to Steph for her help with my alcohol article. She found a great link for a video about the dangers of binge drinking and it tremendously helped me. :) Thanks, Steph!

My Listen article is almost complete and I just finished another revision with Sweet 16. I'm crossing my fingers that two revisions for a quiz are a good sign and that I'll finally break into that magazine!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Scary stats

Like most people, I love Fridays! I don't go back to school until Tuesday and I'm free to write, read and study. I've been researching my alcohol factual for Listen and the facts I've read are sobering and scary. The media says underage drinking is down, but wow, if it's down now it must have REALLY been out of control before.

I've got to do follow ups on my queries (a few I sent over the summer and still don't have a response) and do a bit of editing for a client. Some days, the writing business seems all paperwork! I'll post my current stats for 2007's queries tomorrow.

There will be no blogging on Monday- it's my birthday and I'm taking the day off! :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shout out for responses for Listen Magazine article

Hi guys,

I've been contacted by Listen Magazine to write a factual on alcohol. I'm in need of 1-2 stories from teens and young adults (13-21 years old) who have experiences with alcohol that would help convince other teens not to drink. If you're interested in being quoted for my article (we can change your name, if need be) hit me with an e-mail. I need all quotes by Feb. 8. Thanks so much! :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Romance Writers Report

I heard on a query I sent to Romance Writers Report last week. My first query was rejected because the magazine recently did the pitch I suggested and I was invited to query again. I did and my idea was accepted! I should have my first romance/trade credit appearing next fall in RWR. I'm excited! The piece isn't due until July 5 so I'll have plenty of time to thoroughly research it and make sure it's exactly what RWR wants.

My article and essay class workshopped our first two pieces today. Both were vastly different- one was about race and how it feels to receive a minority scholarship and the other was about a night at a club. My piece isn't about either of those things and I deliever it into students' hands on Thursday. Today's workshoppers were reamed (some with harsh comments) but they seemed to take it well and were determined to revise their pieces.

Cross your fingers for me! ;)

Monday, January 22, 2007

One Week...

In exactly 7 days, I'll no longer been a teen! :) Yep, the 20th birthday is fast approaching. On that day, I'll be in my article and essay writing class workshopping my first piece of the course. It came out to 7 pages and I feel confident about workshopping it with twenty-four other people. There's always a fear about workshopping as I'm the third in the class to go but I'm ready. I've done fiction workshopping before but this is the first nonfiction class I've workshopped. I'm looking forward to it and we'll see how it goes. :)

Anyone done any college workshopping before?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New! Clips available online

Through the lovely Picasa, I uploaded 3 clips of my writing for your reading pleasure. :)

You can find them through this link or through my Website. Check them out and see what you think.

Happy weekend!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Listen publication

If you see a copy of Listen Magazine, check out my "Are You Sabotaging Your Studying?" quiz. :) Next month's Listen will contain a factual piece with an interview I did with a former meth addict. That was a completely different piece for me to write but I'm glad I did.

I also heard from The Writer's managing editor that they're printing a letter to the editor that I wrote. No, it's not a "publication" in The Writer but I'm trying to get there! :)

Also, here's a great piece to check out by Anna Quindlen: Write for Your Life.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Waiting Game

Right now, I'm engaged in the waiting game. I decided to only submit my work to two agents whom I carefully, precisely hand-picked because both matched exactly what I'm looking for in an agent. Luckily, both requested fulls and I'm now into the second week of waiting. I've become a serial e-mail checker. I leave the computer on for too many hours when I'm rooms away and wait to hear my adorable Incredimail notifier meow, bark, sing, chirp or moo that I have an e-mail. So far, I've been innundated with requests from a Nigerian bank to send money to my long-lost cousin, notes from other young writers, questions from clients and e-mails from my university. Those are all wonderful but I'm waiting for the agent responses. If they reject my work, I'll then be back to rifling through Jeff Herman's agent guide. If they like my work, you'll hear my partying from whatever state you inhabit. :) Anyone else waiting on agent queries or fulls?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Features

Wow, I've recently gotten a large response from young writers who are sending e-mails and are asking great questions about writing. Please keep 'em coming if you've got questions for me or about writing. If you like, check out my new FAQs page and see if your question is answered there. Also, I added a new feature to my blog that allows readers to subscribe to receive an e-mail whenever I update this blog. Subscribe away! :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Writing for Dollars article link & Script Frenzy

Hi everyone,

Check out my new article at

More blogging to come! Homework is calling!


Anyone heard about Script Frenzy? I just learned about it today from Chris Baty's e-mail updates and am DEFINITELY on board for June's contest. It's like NaNoWriMo but instead participants write a screenplay in a month. So, that's the time I'll write a draft of the General Hospital script I've been talking about writing for months. I'm so excited! I'll be out of school and will be able to devote the month to getting a script on paper. So, if you're game, check out Script Frenzy's site (still under construction) and sign up for the updates.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

National De-Lurking Week

Tomorrow is the final day of "National De-Lurking Week." I didn't hear of it until now. So, if you're a lurker and you haven't introduced yourself, please do so. I'd love to hear from you! :)

Happy weekend!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

top 7%- yay!

Woo hoo! Just found out that I'm currently in the top 7% of the College of Arts and Sciences out of over 9100 students. That's nice! I'm trying to get that up to 5% when I graduate. I got a couple of B's over the summer and they destroyed my 4.0. Arg.

I just finished editing a poem for a client and she was pleased with my work. She's sending a second poem and editing poetry has sparked a renewed interest in poetry for me. I wrote many poems years ago and stopped when I took up magazine writing. I may try my hand at it again.

I'm trying to finish reading Emma and start Oroonoko. I have a couple of new YA writer Websites that I've been checking on and the more I read, the more my interest in this varied field grows. There is an incredible amount of room to be creative with YA fiction and by reading a handful of YA books in the past few weeks, I've gained more ideas for my next manuscript. :)

Happy weekend!

Friday, January 12, 2007

U.S. contest seeks to be "American Idol' of books By Christine Kearney

Found this on Yahoo! and thought this might be of interest! :)

U.S. contest seeks to be "American Idol' of books
By Christine KearneyThu Jan 11, 6:32 PM ET

A major U.S. book publisher is hoping its new Web-based writing contest can tap into the popularity of interactive competitions like hit television show "American Idol."
As part of the "First Chapters" contest, aspiring first-time authors and members of can post manuscripts on that social-networking Web site, organizers from publisher Touchstone Fireside and said on Thursday.
Touchstone Fireside is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc., a division of Viacom.
If online readers like the manuscript's first chapter, the author is voted through to the next round. Two more chapters are posted and the public narrows the field in the same fashion.
After three rounds of judging, a winning manuscript will be picked from among five finalists in May. The winner will be chosen by representatives from Simon & Schuster, Borders bookstores and, Touchstone Fireside Vice President Mark Gompertz said.
The winner will receive $5,000, a book contract with Touchstone Fireside and distribution by Borders.
In an industry struggling to sell fiction books, this is the latest effort to find a top-selling author. It follows other competitions including The Sobol Award, a literary competition launched in September that folded this week.
"We keep laughing about it, but this is the 'American Idol' of book publishing," Gompertz said. "We hope that we will find a talented writer who might not in the traditional way get themselves noticed."
Would-be authors without an agent have traditionally submitted manuscripts to a publishing house hoping to be picked out of a "slush pile," Gompertz said.
"This is an experiment on a sort of needle-in-the-haystack approach," said Gompertz, noting the voting public could outdo publishers who have picked "a lot of great stuff and a lot of dreck."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Writing homework

Today's writing homework from my article and essay class was interesting: pick two of your personal habits and write two short stories, eavesdrop and record three conversations and write about a present day phobia. I signed up for a workshop date and am due to present my essay for the class' critique on Jan. 30. The desks will be arranged in a circle, students will tell me why my piece is awful and in need of revision and I will not be allowed to speak but only allowed to write notes and try not to sob. Yes, workships are tough-love. Some students can be intentionally cruel but most really try to help you improve your writing. I have a cool, liberal instuctor and am enjoying the class so far.

I've got to get halfway through Emma and read Oroonoko. I read it over the summer and it was not my favorite book, by far.

I also have a poetry critique due to a client by Saturday so I better get to it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

School Daze

I finally got my classes swapped and ended up with two great literature classes "19th Century British Novel" and "Senior Seminar in Literature: Anglo and Caribbean Literature." I've read very little Caribbean lit so this will be a new genre for me.

For my article and essay workshop, we read In Translation by Julianna Baggott. Baggott is a professor at my school and is someone who also "does" along with teaching. She has several books in publication as well as numerous articles. I had read profiles of her but had not read her work until last night. I'm hooked! She has a distinct clarity, strength and original voice that I want to study more of her writing. I wish now that I had applied to take a writing workshop with her. Her writing is amazing.

I won't be doing any of my own writing on Wednesdays since I go to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesdays are now homework days. Thursdays will now be like Fridays and I'll have Friday-Monday to write.

Back to Emma!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Today's classes were a interesting. I'm doing some swapping with my schedule and am trying to move around a few of my English classes. My first class wasn't as engaging as I'd hoped (the reading material was dreadful) and I'm hoping a new class opens. This is the first time I've switched classes. Normally, I stick with whatever I first register for but it's my last semester and I'm trying to get the classes I want.

Last night, I sold an article on spec to Writing for Dollars. It's my first "trade" publication and I was thrilled. The article is 500 words on "5 Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic." I also got an e-mail from Brio and the editor asked to see a quiz I pitched on spec. I've got to get that off soon. It killed me today to be in class for 4 hours and not have my computer. I got used to working on it 24/7 over break.

I'm up to my ears in textbooks and I need to get back to work. :) The joys of university life!

Monday, January 08, 2007

January Week 2 Stats

Each Monday, I want to try to blog about my current "stats." I saw this on another blog and it seems to be a good way to track current progress. It feels like an incentive to keep queries flowing since one is presenting his/her stats to fellow blog readers.

Here we go:

Current queries to magazines: 23
Current contest entries: 1
Current agent queries: 3
Current articles submitted on spec: 2
January's current rejection total: 0
January's current "yes" total: (By yes, I mean agreement to publish a magazine article) 0

I'll post stats again next Monday and we'll see if anything changed. I'm off to class for "Cultural Imperialism."

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Manuscript Progress

On Friday, I received a request from an agent for my full manuscript of Freshman 15. Luckily, the agent requested it via e-mail and I was able to send it off within hours of receiving the request. I had to sign a release form and that will be on it's way to NYC tomorrow. It was incredibly exciting to have another request for a full. Hopefully, I'm not the only one who thinks my manuscript is good. :) In the short time that I've been querying agents, I've learned a good deal of info. I've spent days researching agencies, what's "hot" in publishing, why not to follow what's hot in publishing, scary stats of how many authors publish his/her first book and bios of editors and agents. Before I query any agent, I try to get all of the necessary stats (college attended, hobbies, clients) and always attempt to tie something of that sort into my query. Does it help? Who knows.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Writer on blogs

My February issue of The Writer arrived today and there was a wonderful article by Sharon McDonnell called "From blogs to books." The article said that dozens of new writers were being signed by agents because of the writer's "hot" blog. A newer generation of writers are being signed because agents can see the writer's style (thousands of words on the blog) and a built in fan base. Apparently, a blog turned "blook" is becoming more and more popular. The article listed several blogs turned books and I'm going to check those out. If a blog is the new, best way to showcase work, then I'm all for it. That means that each post has to be good and it's exciting to think of the people who can read one's blog.

Anyway, I browsed Books a Million today and found a few possible magazines to query. Then, I headed to campus and finished buying books for the semester. The books for my article and essay workshop class look great. One of the books is Me Talk Pretty One Day by Dave Sedaris and it's hilarious.

I sent out a query to a writing e-zine and received a prompt reply for a request for the manuscript on spec. Normally, I wouldn't do that but I had a bit of time today and wanted to break into a new magazine, so I wrote the 500-word article and sent it off. Now, the wait.

I also found a new writer's forum at Brady Magazine. It's a quiet site but full of information. I've become a lurker of writer forums and take any opportunity I can to introduce myself and invite people to visit my blog or Web site.

Speaking of the Web site, I made a new addition (gasp!) of a guest book and a comments page. Yes, I spent 3 hours coding HTML last night because I couldn't drag and drop the comments page. Not fun.

On a final note, check out February's The Writer for a great interview with Sara Gruen. I was lucky enough to interview her a couple of years ago and I've been following her blossoming career ever since.

It's back to school on Tuesday so the blog may be quiet for a few days.

Happy writing!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Boy mags

Florida has been dealing with severe weather all day, so I've been limited to (gasp!) a pen and paper while my computer sat inactive for most of the afternoon. Yes, it was happy to have a break.

I have several new queries that are begging to be written and I am going to start on those immediately. Well...after watching a Gilmore Girls rerun. :)

I'm heading back to Books a Million tomorrow to loiter for way too long and read the mastheads of new magazines. I am maxed out on queries to "girl" magazines. I have queries sitting in the inboxes of every teen girl magazine possible (except for CosmoGIRL- I am not yet worthy) and I need a new outlet. So, I'm heading for boy magazines. I'm sad to say I haven't read Boys' Life or any of the other magazines geared for little guys. I'll be doing that tomorrow and I have a spectacular profile/interview subject for the 8-12 boy group.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

What's wrong with soap operas?

I was poking around Facebook and joined a group to help Alex, an actor studying at USC, to get a principal role on General Hospital. I've written a couple of commentaries (published in Teen Voices Magazine) about the bad raps that soaps often get. I've been a GH fan for about 4 years and used to be embarrassed that I watched a soap. I've done a little research into the business and the majority of soap watchers are not housewives as many think. Viewers are college educated men (yes, men!) and women. Soaps aren't full of sex and questionable morals (as many probably think they are). Soaps such as GH and All My Children have led the way in introducing viewers to hot-button issues such as HIV (Robin Scorpio, GH), lesbianism (Bianca Montgomery, AMC) and rape (Elizabeth Webber, GH). I plan to write a spec script for GH and a soap is a completely different medium than primetime. A soap is a never-ending movie with endless possibilities for creative thinking.

A slew of big actors starred on soaps. Courtney Cox-Arquette, Lindsay Lohan, John Stamos, Eva Longoria and Josh Dumal all broke into TV through soaps. The now cancelled The O.C. is a primetime soap as is Desperate Housewives.

I know that I get those looks when I say I want to write a soap. I used to care but now I smile and say "yes, that's right." I've even converted my dad to show a little interest in this new avenue for my writing career. :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Tween Mags

Well, I'm back to classes on the 9th and am trying to use the rest of my break to read (Freedom Writers), catch up on phone calls (great to talk to you, EW and KH!) and keep updating my Web site. Since I put up my editing and proofreading services, I've been incredibly pleased with the response. I'm in talks to edit a few poems, a magazine article and a few resumes. I spent some time in Books-a-Million this morning looking at the new magazines and I found several that I haven't heard of before. The tween section of BAM is really booming and several new mags are sprouting up. Magazines such as Six78 and Logan are new and hopefully ripe for queries. I sent my first query to Cat Fancy today and hope I hear back from them in a few weeks.

I looked at my blog's stats today and there have been over 300 unique viewers and 670 total views since I started the counter in late November. Someone even found my blog by searching for "Hungarian ice sculptures." :) Very interesting.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Anyone ever been on It seems like an interesting site that allows users (for a fee, of course) to access thousands of magazine mastheads from their site. That seems pretty cool for those who can't get that information off a magazine's Web site or from the local bookstore. I often waste way too much time searching for a query editor's name if I don't have access to the magazine.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

In exactly 9 days, I put my baby (my manuscript) in the mail to agent S.S. I keep staring at the box those 165 pages rest inside and my mind churns over the plot (does it suck?), the characters (are they flat) the setting (is Virginia too boring?) and other little things like that.

December was a personal best for query total. I sent 14 queries in December and have 25 queries circulating now. I have already started working on papers for next semester and want to be sure I have enough time to write, continue my editing business and get a 4.0 my final school semester.

Plus, I found a great writing conference is offering 2 scholarships to students interested in attending the NYC 3 day conference. The applications are due in the spring and I'm writing my essay and preparing my submission. Attending a conference would be amazing!

Hope everyone had a great New Year's day. :)