Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding A Writing Community

I’m finally home after ConCarolinas and the Roaring Writers Retreat, where I taught and led critique sessions for a fun, productive, wonderful week. (Thanks for inviting me, folks — it was fantastic!) My third night home — last night — I attended a meeting of the writer’s group of which I’m a part here in my town. And, of course, I’m posting this to MW, which has been the foundation of my writing family for eight and a half years.

So, I thought today I should post about community and its importance to writers of all levels.

Writing can be a lonely profession. We often work on our own, toiling alone for hours at a time, sending our work into what can feel like a marketplace vacuum, and waiting for feedback that can be hurtful, even brutal. It’s hard, and our solitude makes it harder. Yes, we have loved ones […]

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Making Money Mondays – More Revenue or Lower Overhead?

Before I get to the topic of the day, I just want to say what I am sure all of my cohorts here at MW are feeling. Our hearts go out to all the families and victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting this weekend. I won’t get political here, this isn’t the place, and I won’t get political today, because it’s not the day. But I’ll just say that from all of us here, please accept our condolences, and know that we believe through the power of words we can all work together to make the world a better place. Please be kind to each other and take care of one another.

Now, with ConCarolinas behind us, and my most profitable ConCarolinas ever, for the record, let’s look at two different concepts in improving your chances at making a living as a writer.

There are two ways to live like […]

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Friday Fundamentals: Post Con Wrap Up

Hello and happy Friday!

Today I’m going to ramble a bit, I think, talking about some of the things I picked up at ConCarolinas this year.

I was on a bunch of panels this year, covering topics from mental health to marketing. Tamsin already talked about the mental health panel, which was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but I’m really glad I did. So I wanted to talk about the other things I learned this past weekend.

Newsletters / Marketing

Many of the panels I sat on had something to do with social media, eCommerce, or marketing. One thing was consistent throughout. Newsletters are vital. You should start compiling a mailing list as soon as you plan to publish something. That doesn’t mean that you should flood their inbox every time you finish a chapter, but having those contacts early help ensure a good launch.


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Friday Fundamentals: Genre, Part 2

Hello and Happy Friday!

Since ConCarolinas is rapidly approaching, I’ll keep today’s post fairly short. Two weeks ago, I mentioned the BISCA in my introductory post on genre. You can find that post here. Today I’d like to give you some links and more information about this classification system.

Just as a refresher, BISAC stands for Book Industry Standards and Communications and is developed by the BISG, Book Industry Study Group. Alphabet soup, huh?

There are three parts to understanding the BISAC.

The first is the major heading; second is the subject heading; third is the code.

The major heading is for most of the readers of Magical Words would likely be fiction. You can find a list of the major headings here.

The next step is to find the specific subject term that describes your book. The terms for fiction can be found here.

As you […]

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What Day Is It Again?


It’s con time again! ConCarolinas is looming large in my sight, and I’ve been caught up in the throes of finishing the schedule for the last week. Let me tell you, scheduling 50 writers into 56 panels so that everyone has a reasonable number and at least one or two of their “I’ll just die if I can’t be on this one” panels is not the easy task it might appear to be. I finished the schedule for the first time on Sunday. Since then, I’ve rearranged it at least four times, dropped panelists either because I screwed up or because they asked me to, and inserted new panelists into the suddenly open spots. Fortunately Sched.org is a brilliantly easy site to work within, so I didn’t have to buy another white board. (The first one was full of names and numbers already.) Want to see what we’ve put […]

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I Don’t Know What To Say

I’m having one of those days, in which I know I’m supposed to come up with something brilliant (or wise, or maybe at the very least amusing) for everyone to read here today. I’ve got nothing. I’m writing a short story that’s due in about 15 days, and I spent the weekend prepping panel choices for the writer guests for ConCarolinas (are you coming? We’d love to see you there!) I had two editorial Skype meetings for an as-yet-unnamed super-secret project. I’ve brainstormed a choreography for an upcoming belly dance show in the fall and gathered bags and boxes full of unnecessary possessions that I’m going to sell at my parents’ yard sale this weekend.

Is it any wonder I’m blanking on what to write today?

******** I was a guest at Anachrocon back in February. It’s a charming Steampunk con in the wilds of Atlanta GA. The panels I […]

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Ah, Con!

Well, another successful ConCarolinas has come and gone. I’m a little sad this morning, since for the last three days I’ve been surrounded by a thousand of my closest friends, so it’s a little quiet around here now that we’ve all gone home. *laughs*

But one of the nice things about going to cons, either as a writing professional or as a fan, is all the great ideas you come home with. During breakfast Sunday morning, I was asked if I’d had any new projects come my way, and at that moment, I hadn’t. An hour later, I had. It can happen just that quickly. (Before you ask, the new project is still in its birth throes, so as soon as I have solid information to share, I promise I will. It’ll involve some of you, after all, so feel free to be excited!) One writer I talked to received […]

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