Seedling Cultivation during 2018 Open Studios Tour – Nevada County Language Arts

 

Nevada County student writers shine in the Seedlings chapbook. Seedlings is a Sierra Writers publication featuring winning entries from the 2018 Young Writers Competition (YWC).

On the first weekend of the Fall Colors Open Studios Tour, studio #30 (off Newtown & Discovery Roads) will feature the chapbook. “Seedlings will help area teachers prepare students for the 2019 competition and give tour attendees a chance to appreciate the young literary talent growing in the community,” says Lisa Redfern.

Redfern is a Deer Creek artist and member of Sierra Writers. In addition to showcasing YWC student writing, she will be displaying her own literary art (personal monsters) as well as her Life on the Creek series.

Lisa Redfern will be displaying personal monsters art and promoting YWC 2019 on October 13-14, the first weekend of Open Studios Tour.

Students have five months to compose and polish prose for a chance to win cash awards and publication in the 2019 Seedlings chapbook. Prizes range from $100 to $25 depending on the grade of the entrant.

YA author Km Culbertson presiding over 2018 May reading and award event at the Open Book

Support for the YWC is generated through Sierra Writers membership dues, donations collected at monthly meetings, book exchange and literary events. Chapbook printing and production is funded through program sponsorships.

Nevada County middle and high school Language Arts teachers are encouraged to attend the tour to pick up competition guidelines and winning entry samples.

From 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on both days, Lisa will be available to share information and answer questions about the Young Writers Competition and sponsorship opportunities.

Websites

SierraWriters.org – 2019 Young Writers Competition (YWC)
FollowingDeerCreek.com – a story-based study of the Deer Creek Watershed
LittleMountainPublishing.biz – Redfern’s books & short stories

Custom made to order prints & houseware items.

 

ScoreIt! a Writers Resource

One of the most difficult tasks for any author is stepping away from their work and giving it a critical product-based assessment.

Here’s an app that takes some of the guesswork out of audience identification.

ScoreIt!™’s engineering leverages the cutting edge science of stylometry, artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify underlying patterns of language structure in any given text. Statistical analyses are then applied to identify those significant patterns that define one author’s writing style as compared to another…. In broad terms, each submission is evaluated and weighted for its 1) grammatical construction; 2) authorial vocabulary; 3) expressive complexity and 4) use of function words.”

After putting my recent title through the ScoreIt! system, I was pleased with the results.

Read more about my ScoreIt! analysis and the Book Giveaway based on the data.

Paranormal Book Cover Design Elements

Hindsight and fresh ‘enchilada’ wrappers open the door to effective paranormal book cover design.

If a writer’s journey begins with an idea and a few words, it concludes with multiple themes stacked like warm blankets atop a winter bed, bound together with colorful character threads.  The entire package, encompassing thousands of hours and hundreds and pages is wrapped by a thin layer of decorated cover stock that is supposed to, pictorially, represent the whole ‘enchilada.’

Read the entire article here.

Fiction Author Biography – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Three

When it comes to writing about themselves, authors usually languish. This post will help overcome Author Biography writing reluctance.

Sherlock GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Author Biography page on your website is a piece of your media kit that should be created before someone asks for it. 

While not as dynamic as a tweet or Facebook post, it needs to be updated regularly, especially when you’ve created new work. On your website, this page can be the ‘long version’ that every short version springs from.

Journalists, publicists, author appearance schedulers, and blog interviewers are just a few of the people who will pull information from this source.

Nonfiction Author Bio

A nonfiction author, with the aim of booking speaking engagements, will lean heavily on experience that lends authority to his / her topic. This type of author biography should adhere to business communications style and standards.

Fiction Author Bio

A fiction writer, memoirist, actor, or artist will have a softer approach, connecting with their audience on a personal level.

Author Biography Writing Steps

  1. Begin with a connecting statement, something your reading audience can relate too. This can be a hobby, belief, lifelong interest, etc. (Something that relates to your writing topics.)
  2. Details. This section is about the areas in which you are an expert, inside information that your book(s) didn’t cover,  or challenges you’ve faced.
  3. Authority. Education, experience, and publication credits (magazines, anthologies,  or awards).
  4. Additional titles you’ve published.
  5. Where you live.
  6. Option; endearing information about spouses and children or pets.
  7. Website & contact information.

Your published work is an opportunity for a reader to view the world with a fresh perspective. Your Author Biography builds trust and establishes you as a writer/creator with a unique perspective. It also sets a tone for how you conduct the business aspects of your career.

Investing the time to write your Bio –  well – before it is needed, will return long-term dividends.

*If this post helped you write an Author Bio that you are pleased with, feel free to post a short version of it in the comments section below.

Personality Tests

123test.com – personality test

Oprah.com – Who Am I Meant to Be?

Quibblo.com – What’s Your Personality Type

Quibblo.com – What’s Your Affinity

Other Blog Posts to Read

6 Elements of a News Release – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Two

100 Unusual Interview Questions – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part One

Resources:

Book in a Box – How to Write Your Author Bio (and Why it Matters) – examples
Dan Blank – The Daily Practice of Growing Your Audience
Forbes – Professional Bio Template

Hubspot – 6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We’ve Ever Seen
Jane Friedman – Build a Better Author Bio for  Twitter
Template Lab – 45 MS Word Template Downloads

Turning Your Blog into an e-book

Back in 2012 when I had been blogging for two years, I had gotten to know the blogging community pretty well through top sites for bloggers like Copyblogger, which has since turned into a multi-faceted media and software company. I was struck at the time by the almost total disconnect between authors, who were learning…

via Attention Bloggers: The Future of Book Publishing Has Arrived — The Book Designer

Copyright Law and Public Domain

‘New’ ideas are built on top of what already exists. 

Artists, authors, designers, and engineers may look like they are alone when they are working, but every creative knows that the things they produce are aggregates— with their own personal flair mixed in.

Like the famous Sagrada Familia it has taken five generations of builders to bring Antoni Gaudi’s grand vision to light. 

In the internet age, creatives turn to the worldwide web for inspiration— be it for photography, soundtracks or clip art.

Too many people believe that everything online is free. It’s not.

If you use media without proper licensing or permission, you could face a copyright infringement lawsuit, or get flagged on YouTube for improper use.

As a creative, it is important to understand how copyright works, what is protected, and when something is available for free use.

Copyright laws, in general, protect a creation from being copied for the life of the artist, plus 70 years.  After that, the piece enters the Public Domain. (SBTEA)

Public Domain works are 100% free for private and commercial use and do not require attribution.

Lawrence Lessig’s lectures and books help artists safely navigate the muddy waters of fair use. He is largely responsible for establishing an ever-growing community of photographers, artists, illustrators, videographers and musicians who support creativity by contributing current work to the Public Domain.

Copyright Law recommended reading.

Click here for Lisa’s extensive collection of public domain images, music, sound,  and video clips.

6 Elements of a News Release – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Two

Writing a News Release (aka Press Release) is easy when you know the formula. It is a standard format that makes the job of the journalist efficient.

Authors can use News Releases to announce new titles, events, or highlight aspects of their work in progress.

The ‘trick’ to having your News Release picked up by media is filling in the blanks with interesting and mistake-free content. (The chances of your News Release being published are greater with local publications. If you’ve set your sites on national or world news coverage, a professional publicist is well worth his / her fee.)

Each element of the News Release, and where it belongs, is highlighted with purple arrows below. (Sample text is from a News Release for CyberPatriot team recruiting.)

At the bottom of this post, is a FREE PDF download of the 6 Elements of a News Release and links to additional Author Media Kit articles.

6 Elements

CyberPatriot is a National Youth Education Program. It was created by the Air Force Association to “inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

CyberPatriot sponsors include Northrop Grumman Foundation, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, Norton, and Facebook. If teams advance high enough, they qualify for all expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition and for scholarships.

Recruiting for new teams begins in April. If you are interested in becoming a CyberPatriot Volunteer Mentor for your group or school, visit the CyberPatriot website for outreach materials.

The program also offers elementary school education and summer camps as well as the NYCDC program.

 

Resource Links:

Video Link: CyberPatriot IX: Securing Networks, Securing Futures

Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program website

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Resources:
Anatomy of a News Release PDF – free download
Media College – Journalism – Press Release Format
Ingredients of a Press Kit – Entrepreneur
14 Definitions You Need to Know When Creating an Author Media Kit – The Book Designer
Entire Coaching Cyber Defenders article

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100 Unusual Interview Questions – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part One