Writer’s Yearbook 2015, a review

Billed as “Your Annual Handbook for Writing Success“, this magazine issue from Writer’s Digest is chock full of tips, what’s happening in the industry, how to self-publish, and what not to do!

Taking the last point first, I just loved the final gem from Susan Shapiro under “Cracking Major Magazines With Personal Essays“.  It’s called Let Editors Edit.  She explains how you’ll get nowhere with the “You can’t change a comma attitude” and has a suggestion:

If, after your piece runs, you hate minor changes you didn’t OK, write [your editor] a long letter detailing the stupidity of her every cut or punctuation change.  Then tear it up and send her a note saying, “Thank you so much for the beautiful clip.  I’m so honored you published me.

She also includes a list of 7 major markets for personal essays and sound advice for creating your story, and finding the perfect place to publish.  As a writing professor and successful author, she has helped many would-be authors become published authors.

Jeremy Greenfield, in his article “The E-Book Market: What you Need to Know“, writes about how the market has changed thanks to e-books and Internet advertising/ publishing.  We are all aware of the superficial ways in which the coming of age of digital publishing and distribution has changed the industry, but Greenfield gets into the heart of how it has changed distribution as well as several different “distribution models” and how even that is changing as, more and more, innovation and experimentation are continually offering new ways to compete.  For anyone seriously wanting to write and market their work, this is an excellent article that will give the inside track on all aspects of the market including pricing, contracts, and agent perspectives and relationships.

I really enjoyed Kerrie Flanagan‘s story about Andrew McCarthy, Travel Journalist of the Year 2010 (from the Society of American Travel Writers), called Andrew McCarthy:  Off The Beaten Path.  I have to admit I didn’t recognize the name but I did recognize the appellation, “former Brat Packer”, only because I’d read about it in the dual biography of Michael Sheen and Emilio Estevez (Along the Way) where Emilio talks about the press giving the name to a group of young actors that included him.  I’ve never read any articles by McCarthy but plan to look them up after reading about his slant on his own travels, and how he tries to convey “a deeper insight” into locales by starting to think like locals, rather than just trying “to sell a destination”.  His own travels have had a “profound affect” on his life, and he carries a notebook with him everywhere, jotting down stories, and feelings, and anecdotes, instead of just recording facts about tourist attractions.

After reading all the fabulous articles, such as Find the Right Agent, and 8 Secrets to Power Up Your Platform, and how to get in the side door, you’ll want to keep the magazine for reference for the list of the Top 100 Markets for Books & Magazine Writers that occupies the last 17 pages before the ads and the final article by Scott Atkinson about how “failing well” can actually lead to success.  Worth reading and keeping on your bookshelf.  * * * * *

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About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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