LRWG Lesson # 08 is Finished!

I finished the project last night and sent the files this morning. It should take about 2 to 3 weeks to receive the response. What I learned with this lesson are things every writer needs to know.

• How to write a query letter, cover letter, and pitch.
• The importance of having a beginning, a middle, and an end.
• Being patient avoids mistakes.

As always I cannot say enough about this school and the program. Long Ridge Writers Group has been a tremendous asset. I am 2 /3rds of the way through and the affect on my work is not only noticeable but permanent.

What I learned in Part 1 of the program:

• The value of making every word count from having a maximum limit.
• The difference between show and tell is glaring. Showing draws in the reader, and telling can sometimes border on preaching.
• Visualization- being descriptive can be a good thing, it can also go overboard.
• Every writer needs resource tools- have copies on had of books like The Best of the Magazine Market for Writers
• Non-fiction and 1st person are not for me

What I learned in Part 2 of the program:

• How to plan a story
• How to approach the market in 2 way- write a story then select a market or select a market and write a story targeted for it.
• Understanding resource material and researching publications
• It’s worth having a book about the market. There are far more publications and there’s books that have categorize them. BMMW is part of the course materials. I found another one on See below
• Always have a back-up plan
• Revising a story is one of my favorite parts of writing
• When it doubt, ask for help. it never hurts to get a 2nd set of eyes on something.
• The 3 things that I listed about for Lesson 8

Writer’s market Resource Books on Amazon 2015 editions (Writer’s Market Online)

Writer’s Market

Guide to Literary Agents Market

Novel & Short Story Market

Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market

Poet’s Market

And for my friends who are song writers:

Songwriter’s Market

all links open as new windows.


LRWG # 08 Update! I’ve finished Step 2!

The ‘Magazine Choice Form’ – select a suitable publications from the book and fill out the details on the form. Of the 4 that remained on my list of possible magazines for submission- I chose the one with the best website, Strange Horizons.

New Week ~ Same Plan

This Wednesday is my deadline for lesson #8 with Long Ridge. This means that it’s time to buckle down and get moving.

Part 1: write a new fiction story between 2,000 to 3,000 words- DONE with 2,601 words

Part 2: The Magazine Choice Form. Choose an appropriate publication and fill out this for with the details from the market book. Visit website if available.

Part 3: Write a query / cover letter to the appropriate editor promoting your piece for their print

Part 4: Write a letter to your instructor – key point to mention is the focus on the final 4 lessons.

I’m almost half way done. I’ve gone through the list of science fiction publications. The book lists 30 – which I have whittled down to 4. I only need one though.

What’s your Monday look like?

LRWG Lesson Update

Call this the week of necessary distraction. These are things like doctor’s appointments and bus rides. They’re not long rides, about 15 minutes to downtown and then about 30 on the outbound to the turn-around point. When it comes to getting out and about for things like appointments and shopping, I spend about an hour on just the bus rides. Sadly my budget cannot afford the expenses of a car.

So, what did I accomplish this week? I tweaked the manuscript on lesson # 08 for Long Ridge. There was one bit part that was nagging and me and one person from Team Beta said it stood out to her (my words, not hers- but essentially, that’s what she meant.) I’m holding on to the piece for the novel version of the manuscript. After this, I polished the surrounding paragraphs to adjust and it came out much smoother.

There is still one jarring transition point but for now, it’ll have to sit. My deadline is Oct 15th and there are still 3 more parts to work on.

I got halfway through part 2 of the lesson- creating a copy of the ‘Magazine Choice Form’ in Word just like the copy in my course manual. That was the easiest part of the lesson.

Next up is choosing a publisher from the book The Best of the Magazine Market for Writers 2014. There are 30 periodicals listed under science fiction. Some are print only, some are online only and some are hybrids of both. In looking at the list I went by a list of dis-qualifiers and used a process of elimination in my selections. After a few hours of looking at the listings I was left me with 6 options.

From 30 to 6 is good but I only need 1. I think I’m going to call it a night and review this short list tomorrow.

I Love My Team Beta!

Thanks to the review response from one of Team Beta- She believes that an important piece is missing from my script for the LRWG Lesson #08. I agree, it was inadvertently left out of the scenario- I was going to add it but this would put me beyond the 3,000 word limit. So, I decided to send the script as is to my instructor and add the scenario for the “novel version”.

After reviewing and contemplating the previous draft of the piece, I opted to drop this portion. I did this primarily because it conflicts with the character’s previous action of shuffling away (leaving the scene). After removing his retreat, I polished the piece to adjust for the change and it flows much better.

Thanks Karla- your response was a big help.

Text Books for Long Ridge

I’m currently working my way through several books as part of the course material from Long Ridge Writers Group. Link to Site

On Writing Well- 6th Edition by William Zinsser

This book is geared towards nonfiction writing, however, as a fiction writer I have found it to be useful. There are many things inside that writers of both will learn from.

In Part 1, Zinsser discusses the topics of simplicity, clutter, style, audience, words, and usage.

I’m through Chapter 1 ‘The Transaction’ in my 2nd read. This chapter sums up the intentions of this book. Along with a comparative anecdote, this chapter discusses what it’s like being a writer, what writers are like, and what’s at the heart of good nonfiction. The chapter is short and to the point.

Link to Book on Amazon

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King
sub-title: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

This book is geared towards fiction writing.

Let me start by saying that I love this book. There are times when I just can’t put this book down. I am currently on Chapter 6 “Interior Monologue”.

While it is instructive it does not read this way. It’s far from preachy. The writers come across as natural. It’s as if you’re sitting with them having a casual conversation on the subject at hand. They inject humor, common sense, and an intelligence that anyone can understand.

The writers discuss the issues of: show vs. tell, characterization and exposition, point of view, dialogue, interior monologue, voice, and a few other things.

In my opinion if you are a fiction writer this book belongs on your shelf. Not one of us should be without a copy. Not one of us should go or proceed without reading it.

Link to Book on Amazon

Freelance Writing for Magazines and Newspapers by Marcia Yudkin

This book is geared towards nonfiction writing; specifically articles for print in magazines and newspapers. Marcia Yudkin goes in to details on the various aspects of the writing process. She includes personal stories making it easy to relate to, between her and her reader.

I’ve only read chapter 1. So, while I know what the book is about I can’t go any further. What I can tell is that Marcia Yudkin has a voice that is easy to read.

Link to Book on Amazon

My LRWG Works Online

I finally got brave and started to put my writings online. The site I found is highly credible. I recommend it for anyone interested in writing. The site is and my portfolio is at

At the moment, I have 6 pieces up, the results of my work with Long Ridge Writers Group. There are 12 lessons in the program, currently I’m on # 8, so there is more to come.

The reason there are only 6 pieces up while I’m on # 8 is that Lesson # 7 was to revise a previous piece. For that I had chosen the one I wrote for lesson # 4- titles ‘Choices’. To date it is the most favored and well received piece.