Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

No Contest

Posted: April 30, 2012 in Industry News

How can a contest end with no winner? Apparently the Pulitzer Committee has no problem answering that question. There were three finalists for the 2011 fiction award, and NONE of them received a majority vote. What does that mean? Did they all tie, or did none of the judges cast a vote?

Let’s form our own Pulitzer committee.  Cast your vote below:

Not this year. For all those novelists who were lucky (and talented) enough to be nominees for the fiction award, the finality of a winner isn’t there. Because there isn’t one. It’s unsettling.

It was a real WTF moment for the literary world. Most of us Pulitzer watchers thought the prize would go to David Foster Wallace for his novel, The Pale King, which was published posthumously last year. Wallace, who suffered from crippling life-long depression, hanged himself in 2008. He was 45.

The Pulitzer committee announced that there had been three finalists–Wallace, Karen Russell for Swamplandia! and Denis Johnson for Train Dreams.(Johnson was also a finalist in 2008 for “Tree of Smoke.”)

In declining to give the award, the Pulitzer Board noted that none of the three finalists had garnered a majority vote.

Seriously?…..  read more.

via No Good Novels in 2011? For the First Time in 35 years, the Pulitzer Committee Declines Award for Fiction | Lambda Literary.


There are almost as many people creating companies that offer resources to writers as there are writers jumping into the self publishing frenzy.  There are a lot of hungry fish out there and everyone seems to be chasing those dollar-sign shaped fish hooks.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to be careful to pick a company that can be counted on to deliver some bang for your bucks.  Personally, I have no intention of paying anyone to either publish my writing or to promote it.  I don’t even enter contests if they have an entry fee.

There are lots of these companies, however, that offer free advice or tools that I am perfectly willing to take advantage of and pass on here.  I found the site below when doing some research on freelance rates that has several free offerings you might want to check out.  I’m sure they are hoping you will like their generosity enough to inquire into their paid services, but please know that I am not advocating for them.  If you are interested in what they have to offer, go for it.  Or just take the freebies and go on your way.  Your choice.

We hope you find these FREE writing resources useful for the writing you do. Check back with us often to see what other writing freebies we’ve come up with lately.

via Writing Freebies | No 2 Pen Writing and Communications.

As if I don’t have enough excuses to keep me from working on the second Jo Sullivan novel, I’ve decided to sign up with the web community below and see what they’re all about.  Want to check them out?

iHubbub is a social community for remote, virtual, freelance and home workers as well as business start-ups, sharing perspectives and lifestyle choices. It is the place for the home working world to hang out!

1. The destination of choice for relevant information for home workers, business start-ups, and work life blend.

2. The most comprehensive Market Square for remote working jobs as well as basic services from within our community.

3. iHubbub is social networking for flexible home workers, freelance consultants, home and remote workers – an exciting new social networking site for the new world of work.

4. To create a Cosmopolitan Directory of home businesses, virtual companies, freelance consultants and remote or mobile workers and home workers across the globe who support each others challenges, share skills and experience and celebrate new opportunities.

via About iHubbub | iHubbub, The Home Business Network.

Faith and Begore!  In memory of my childhood as an Irish girl (Debby Donahue, don’t ya know) here’s some fun for St. Paddy’s Day I found online.

  1. Pretend that you have found a four-leaf clover that will bring you extraordinary good luck for exactly one day. Write about your lucky day.
  2. St. Patrick’s Day is not generally a gift-giving holiday like Mother’s Day or Christmas. Write a persuasive essay to convince people to give gifts on St. Patrick’s Day.
  3. Pretend that you can only eat green food on St. Patrick’s Day. Create a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  4. Draw a large four-leaf clover. In the center write: I am lucky because… Then write a different way that you are lucky on each of the four leaves.
  5. You have caught a leprechaun and he has given you a pot of gold in exchange for his freedom. What do you do with it?
  6. Make a T-Chart. One side, list the advantages of being as small as a leprechaun. On the other side list the disadvantages of being as small as a leprechaun.
  7. Make a list of as many things that are green as you can.
  8. What does it mean to get a “lucky break?” Write about a time when you got one.
  9. What do leprechauns do all day? Make a daily schedule for a leprechaun.
  10. Describe a magical land “over the rainbow.” Use as much detail as you can.
  11. James Garfield (the 20th US president) said, “A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck.” What do you think he meant? Do you agree? Why or why not?
  12. A mischievous leprechaun paid a visit to your classroom during the night and caused all kinds of trouble. What did he do?
  13. Write a story about catching a leprechaun
  14. How would life be different if everyone had light green skin and dark green hair?
  15. Make a list of everything you know about Ireland.
  16. Pretend you are a leprechaun who is unhappy with your wardrobe. You are tired of the old-fashioned hat, suit, and shoes. You want a new, updated look for today’s modern leprechaun. Write a letter to the leprechaun fashion designer explaining why you think an update is a good idea and what the new leprechaun outfit should look like.
  17. Plan a St. Patrick’s Day party for your class. What will you do? What will you eat?
  18. Pretend you are the script writer for your favorite TV show. You have been assigned to write the St. Patrick’s Day episode. Write a summary of the episode you create.
  19. Do you believe in Leprechauns? Why or why not?
  20. Draw a large rainbow. Write a poem about rainbows in your rainbow with one line on each band of color. Your poem may rhyme or not rhyme (this could make a nice art project if you have the students do their rainbows in light watercolor and then write the poem with a black Sharpie).

via 20 Fun St. Patrick’s Day Writing Prompts | Minds in Bloom.

Writer Rehab

Posted: March 15, 2012 in Industry News

I know it’s been awhile since I posted anything to this blog, but occasionally I come across a site related to publishing or writing that I think would be of interest to others.  My other two sites www.debra-r-borys and have different purposes and don’t seem the right place to mention these resources, so I’m hoping to revive this blog by posting links as I find them.  They could be related to writing, or publishing, promotion, or freelancing.  The posts will no doubt be random and disorderly, but hopefully at least some of them will prove helpful.

Here’s the first installment:

I have been writing professionally for almost 15 years. That includes screenwriting (yes, I was in the WGA), writing for magazines (the kind you can find at a newsstand), writing my own column (I actually got paid to do this), publishing a non-fiction book (no, I do not mean “self-publishing”), and even copywriting. But this blog is not meant to be about me. It’s meant to be about YOU and your writing journey. I want to make your journey easier because God knows mine wasn’t. I plan to fill this blog with free tools and resources. I paid for the expensive Harvard education and UCLA Film School, and a library full of books on how to write a book proposal, how to get an agent, how to get published, how to write a query letter, and more. So, you don’t have to. Most of those books kinda sucked anyway. I am going to give you real examples of query letters, press kits, contracts, etc, from myself and my friends and colleagues. I am going to interview real working producers, publishers, and agents so that you know what they want to see in writers. That’s my job here. Your job will be to succeed and to pass the information on.

via Writer Rehab: About Writer Rehab.