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Writer Resources

How To Submit To The Best American Nonrequired Reading Series

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The Best American Nonrequired Reading is out this week, collecting “the country’s best fiction, journalism, essays, comics, and humor” for readers of all ages. Below, we’ve collected all the information you need to submit your work to the anthology.

A group of high school students in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Bay Area help choose the stories and edit alongside Dave Eggers. The editorial team also includes managing editor Daniel Gumbiner and assistant managing editors Henry W. Leung and Jia TolentinoCheck it out:

The Best American Nonrequired Reading committee —comprising students from dozens of different high schools —meets nearly every week of the year to read, debate, and compile this offbeat but vital anthology. Want to say something to us? Contact the BANR committee at nonrequired [@] gmail [dot] com. We’ll read everything you send us.

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Free Writing Pacemaker Creates Custom Writing Schedule

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 Do you struggle to meet your writing goals? Try the free Pacemaker tool online, a way to experiment with different writing schedules and keep track of your work.

Software developer Sarah Williams created the writing tool. Simply visit Pacemaker online, choose your word count, intensity level and weekend writing plans–the program will generate a customized writing schedule you can follow.

You can approach your writing target in various ways to suit your style : Steady – write the same amount of words every day. Try It. Rising to the Challenge – start off small and increase your word count quota every day. Try It. Biting the Bullet – bite off large chunks of your writing goal at the beginning of your schedule so that the pressure is off at the end of your schedule. Try It. Random – each day is a surprise, you may need to complete 5 words or 500! Whether heavy or light, you’ll reach your word count goal at the end of your specified schedule. Try It.

3 Ways To Build a Healthy Writing Routine

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Earlier this week, we linked to some Affordable Care Act resources for freelance writers.

Health insurance is a major step for writers, but you also need to stay healthy. And the writing lifestyle: sitting, thinking and more sitting, can be dangerous for your health.

Below, we’ve collected three ways you can plan for a healthier writing routine next week.

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Count Your Rejection Letters Proudly

How many times have you been rejected this week? Maybe we all need to push our comfort levels a little bit farther.

As you can see by the photo embedded above, one determined writer posted a rejection letter from The Paris Review along with a quote from writer and investor Chris Dixon: “If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough.” You can read more from Dixon and get some context on the quote at this link:

My most useful career experience was about eight years ago when I was trying to break into the world of VC-backed startups. I applied to hundreds of jobs: low-level VC roles, startups jobs, even to big tech companies. I got rejected from every single one … The reason this period was so useful was that it helped me develop a really thick skin. I came to realize that employers weren’t really rejecting me as a person or on my potential – they were rejecting a resume.

What Writers Need To Know About the Affordable Care Act

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Despite the federal government shutdown, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Marketplace is now open, a way for people to compare health insurance options under the new policy also known as “Obamacare.”

Self-employed writers will have more choices under this act. Explore options for self-employed writers at the official site:

You can use the Marketplace to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. You can compare important features of several plans side-by-side, all of them offering a full package of essential health benefits. You can see what your premiumdeductibles, andout-of-pocket costs will be before you decide to enroll. You can’t be denied coverage or charged more because you have a pre-existing health condition. If you currently have individual insurance–a plan you bought yourself, not the kind you get through an employer–you may be able to change to a Marketplace plan. Learn more about changing individual insurance plans.

Novelist and Writer Beware co-founder Victoria Strauss shared the news on Twitter.

How To Submit To Macmillan’s Swoon Reads

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Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has opened Swoon Reads, a crowdsourced romance imprint where readers help pick what gets published.

Follow this link to submit your work.  They accept both teen romance and new adult novels, but the work must be “original, completed novels that are not, and have never been under contract with another publisher.” The publisher shared a few author submission tips:

Teen novels ideally feature protagonists between the ages of 14 and 19. We also accept New Adult novels which feature protagonists ages 19-23. Novels can be set anytime, anywhere – and can be realistic, supernatural, dystopic, historical, comedy, inspirational, suspense or a mash-up of any sort. Stories can be happily ever after…or just happily for now. Girl/boy, girl/girl, boy/boy – just wow us with the intense romance of your story.

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Buy a Mediabistro Course & Get a Free Webcast

You only have a few more hours to buy any Mediabistro class and get a free webcast. The offer expires tonight (September 30) at 11:59pm ET

To take advantage of the offer, use promo code “WEBCAST” at checkout when you place your online order. Below, we’ve included a list of webcasts you can take for free. Our readers might want to Romance Novel Writing. Check it out:

In this class, you’ll read sample chapters from successful romance novels and learn the elements of historical, contemporary, paranormal, and erotic romance to find your perfect niche in the current marketplace. You’ll complete a working draft of your romance novel, all while receiving expert, personal feedback from one of the genre’s stars … Susan Squires is the author of seventeen novels and four novellas including Body Electric and One With the Shadows, which Publisher’s Weekly named one of the ten most influential mass market books of 2003 and a best book of 2007, respectively.

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‘Breaking Bad’ Mapped as Dan Harmon Story Circle

As Breaking Bad concluded its epic television run, one fan mapped out the epic TV series as a Dan Harmon story circle.

Community creator Harmon writes using a story circle, making sure that every script meets his eight steps of a satisfying story. As you can see by the chart embedded above (filled with spoilers), Breaking Bad contained all eight elements and can help aspiring storytellers master the elegant structure. Here’s more from Wired about Harmon’s method:

So he watched a lot of Die Hard, boiled down a lot of Joseph Campbell, and came up with the circle, an algorithm that distills a narrative into eight steps … Harmon calls his circles embryos—they contain all the elements needed for a satisfying story—and he uses them to map out nearly every turn on Community, from throwaway gags to entire seasons. If a plot doesn’t follow these steps, the embryo is invalid, and he starts over. To this day, Harmon still studies each film and TV show he watches, searching for his algorithm underneath, checking to see if the theory is airtight.

Moleskine & Evernote Team Up for Special Sketchbook

evernote304Notebook maker Moleskine has extended its partnership with Evernote, building a new Moleskine Sketchbook that makes it easier to digitize doodles and notes with sketches.

You can tag handwritten pages with Evernote stickers and take a picture of the notebook page to upload to the online storage and sorting service. Check it out:

With cloud-enabled sketching the creative process is not restricted by the boundaries that lie between analog and digital … The Evernote Sketchbook makes it easier for visual note-takers who use techniques such as sketchnoting to record important information and moments on paper. Its pages are subtly marked with a dot grid that optimizes image quality when scanning to Evernote; automatically correcting contrast and cropping the edges of the page in preparation for sharing with others.

Lessons Learned at the Brooklyn Book Festival Writing Panel

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At the 2013 Brooklyn Book Festival, On Such a Full Sea author Chang-Rae LeeStone Arabia author Dana Spiotta, and The Son author Philipp Meyer all joined a panel about writing.

New York Times journalist Julie Bosman moderated the conversation, collecting some advice for aspiring writers in the audience.

Below, we’ve rounded up five pieces of advice from the discussion…

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