Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Entwined by Heather Dixon (Released today, March 29, 2011)

I met Heather Dixon in the creative writing classroom. Since then I've had the pleasure of learning more about her--things like, she's a generous person; she's always learning more about story-craft; and she works hard.

Entwined, as Betty Edit noted on her blog, is the kind of book that's hard to put down. It's so well-paced, emotionally engaging, and rich that you continue turning pages, against tiredness and life's deadlines, to see what you'll experience next.

There's a lot to love about Heather's writing and storytelling, but here are a few of my favorites:

1. She hits a range of emotional notes and chords. She can take you from laughing to afraid to crying to hoping--all in a single chapter if she chooses to.

2. She weaves humor into the story's pages and beautiful flourishes that delight the reader. Her writing is stylized and visual.

3. The story-threads and tiniest of details are all important to what unfolds. They weave in and out and merge with other threads to create a whole experience for the reader.

4. She knows what she writes (not writes what she knows, although she probably does that too). In other words, whatever she creates in words, she first imagines, thinks about, researches, understands. This is apparent in the authenticity of her characters, the story's rich settings, and the natural and cohesive way in which the story unfolds--not to mention the dancing!

Take a look at some of the major reviews for Entwined (under Critical Praise).

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Manuscript Stinks Society, 2011

As promised, we've updated the look of the blog and added new content.

Check out the pages detailing the steps in the publishing process that run along the top of the blog. (We will be working on fleshing out this content for a while yet, but we do have the bones and a little bit of the meat up and ready to read). Also, make sure to participate in our survey on how you get rejected in 2011. (You may need to refresh your browser in order to vote multiple times.)

Soon, we'll be launching the Stink It Up challenge, so stay tuned.

We here at MMS are looking forward to a productive 2011 with many rejections and a bit of acceptance. We hope you are, too!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We're working on a new look and a writing challenge . . .

. . . but because we're swamped, it probably won't be ready for a while. In the meantime, keep writing (of course!), and check back every once in a while. Some features that are available for use right now: the writing timer (it's a great way to get in at least 10 minutes a day of writing exercise); the magazine list (which includes submission guidelines to many children's and young adult markets); any of our previous posts; and links to literature on children's and young adult lit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writing Prompt: Playing with Food (aka Grocery Store Diction)

A couple of us were wandering through the grocery store, looking for words on pre-packaged products that we could use to craft an inspiring message. We were looking for positive words, like Smart and Great and Stupendous. We did find Smart (Smart Food) and Great (“great recipes included inside” on a peanut butter cookie mix); we also found a whole lot of words that were unusable but funny.

So here’s the prompt. Go to the grocery store and wander down the cereal aisle, the cracker-cookie aisle, the candy aisle, and anywhere else that has pre-packaged goods. Scan the products for great words—scrumptious, hot, crunchy, cheesy, sloppy, sizzling, saucy—and then write either a humorous romance scene (or something else) using those words.

For an even more exciting experience, take a writer-friend along, and do the looking/writing/discussing aloud together. You may turn a few heads, but that’s the price you have to pay for art. :-)

We would love for you to post your scenes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Welcome New MMS Associate Members

We would like to extend a hearty welcome to your newest associate members, who earned rejection letters from Cricket, Spider, and Highlights for Children for short stories that didn't fit the publishers' present needs. Welcome! You're in good company.

In honor of our inductees, My Manuscript Stinks Society would like to invite members and readers to share their favorite rejection letter lines.

Or, if you're not in the mood for revisiting your painful past, take a moment and recommit to submitting your work to publishers. After all, 2010 is fast approaching and to remain in good MMS standing, you need to earn 1 credible rejection a year. Do your part: Submit & get rejected.

Of course, MMS also delights in celebrating successes (our motto, after all, is acceptance through rejection). We'd like to congratulate member Heather Dixon on her book deal with Greenwillow; her exquisitely crafted first novel will be published winter 2011. We'll keep you posted.

Happy writing!

P.S. We've just joined twitter.

Monday, November 2, 2009

100 DAYS! The end is in sight.

Days #95 - #100

Five goals:

1. Write for fifteen minutes: evaluate where your current writing project is and set specific goals for completing it.

2. Write for fifteen minutes: accomplish a goal that you set as part of #1.

3. Write for fifteen minutes: focus on description, imagery, sensory details.

4. Write for fifteen minutes: accomplish a goal that you set as part of #1.

5. Write for fifteen minutes: celebrate yourself--list what you're good at (e.g., character development, imagery, sentence structure, setting details). Then celebrate--go out to dinner, take a walk, buy something--the completion of 100 days.

Oh, and post however you did HERE. We'd love to hear the progress you made.