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Takeaways from a one-day workshop

Yesterday I attended a one-day workshop sponsored by Winston-Salem Writers (a group of which I’m a member) and given by the truly amazing C. Hope Clark. One reason she’s amazing is that she’s a bit of an introvert, not the kind of person who enjoys standing up in front of a crowd of strangers and sharing her knowledge. You’d never know it, by the way. She’s learned some strategies for dealing with that. And she shares them in one of the two books I bought at the workshop, “The Shy Writer Reborn.” It’s available from Amazon in e-book and paper. The Shy Writer Reborn 

One of the most important things I learned—or maybe just had reinforced for me—is to value your writing. Hope Clark is the founder of “Funds for Writers” (and if you’re not getting this newsletter, at least in the free version, why not?), and she reminded me that writing for free is not, as a rule, beneficial to your career. Write some guest blog posts for free, sure, and your own blog, but don’t give away your writing.  Much of her focus is not the same as mine. She loves writing for magazines. I have a dreadful time writing non-fiction. Still, the thought is the same.  If you’re writing short stories and submitting them to anthologies that don’t  even offer a contributor’s copy and/or a token payment, you are not valuing your own writing nearly enough. That anthology publisher is going to charge money for the book, isn’t it? Then why on earth not compensate the people who provide the content?

Another thing I picked up from the workshop is to look for opportunities in places you might not consider from the get-go. Look beyond the surface. Do your research. When you start looking for an agent, if that’s something you decide you want, don’t give up. Write a new query letter for each agent, tailoring it to that particular agent.  If the book isn’t hooking the interest you think it should, perhaps you need to rework the book entirely. Don’t stop. Don’t stop trying to improve.

And I’d say you might give some serious thought to picking up Hope’s newsletter. Try the free version for a year or so. Then graduate to the paid subscription. It’s only $15 a year and the newsletter is packed—packed!—with opportunities to make a bit of money (or maybe a lot of money) with your words. Go here (Funds For Writers) and sign up. You’ll soon find out why Writer’s Digest has named this website one of the top 101 websites for writers year after year. At the top of the page are buttons where you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well.

New Anthology!

The Alexandria Publishing Group Winter Anthology 2013 is now available. This anthology contains some very different sorts of stories, not your typical “Christmasy” collection, for sure.

One of the stories, I must confess, is particularly close to my own heart because I wrote it. Smile

If you like dark, fantastical, touching, and funny stories, you will find at least one or two in this anthology to your taste.

At only $2.99, it’s a bargain.


Alexandria Publishing Group Winter Anthology 2013

Cover Reveal

It is the time of year where the best feeling in the world is to give and the writers at the Alexandria Publishing group have a great gift to be unwrapped today! November has been a busy month for all of you writers with NaNoWriMo and for everyone who is finishing projects to launch in time for the holidays. Here at The APG, we  have our own project launching just in time for e-stock stuffing! But first…

…the unveiling…


We’re proud to present the cover of the new release which has been created by the wonderful Renée Barratt:

An Alexandria Winter Anthology 2013

The Alexandria Publishing Group is an eclectic group of writers, and we’ve pooled together our talents again this year to create another exciting Winter Anthology.


By Valerie DouglasA Home for the Holidays – Family isn’t always the one you were born to…

By D Kai Wilson-ViolaLow winter, Blood Moon – Merridian’s last night in Edinburgh is meant to be a time to grieve…but when she finds herself running for her life in Holyrood park, a null magic area, all she knows is she’s being chased by a big, angry werewolf…

By Denise McGeeFull Moon Christmas – When a reclusive werewolf finds a lost child too close to the full moon, he must fight the change or live with the knowledge that he killed an innocent.

By Mary-Ann Peden-Covellio – Cynophobia – One very small dog and two not-so-angelic girls give Santa Claus a Christmas he’d rather forget.

By Paul KaterOur Ghostly Winter – A young boy learns that there is more between earth and heaven, and that it can take the shape of a snowman.

By Terry SimpsonThe Gifts – 12 Gifts will change a young boy’s life forever.

By D Kai Wilson-ViolaSilent Fright – Jess knows that the boys are planning a big surprise and to go along with that, Jess decorates…but the lights attract more than just other survivors and for the first time in months, the walls are overrun with zombies.


We’ll be back with you as soon as the new release is available. On behalf of all our writers and other artists we thank you for being with us, and we wish you a wonderful festive season. Till then from all our writers, artists and support staff may your holiday season from here on in be exciting and fun!

Just in case you missed last years, our Winter 2012 Anthology is still available from Smashwords and Amazon.

As soon as it is released we will let you all know so you can stuff everyone’s e-stockings with some festive holiday joy for you and your friends and family! from all our writers, artists and support staff.

Official Launch Page:



Alexandria Publishing Group is a writers’ collective made up of individual authors with proven talent. Each has shown dedication and skill in creating and producing amazing books that compel and create a strong, solid reading platform.  Quality is a key and critical factor in inclusion on the group’s’ roster, alongside writers with a true passion for writing.

“I’ve always written,” says Kai, “and it really appeals to me to work with other indie authors and providers to pool our resources. Working as an editor with the group too, really means I can be sure that I’m investing in like-minded individuals and have the support I need for my own books. And while I can offer a lot as a writer, I’m also keen to help indies reach a broader audience.”

To discover more selections of some of the best indie books in print or e-books from the authors above and others in the APG please explore the rest of the website, subscribe to our newsletter, check out more from our authors, or join us over on our Facebook page!

A Cover Reveal Upcoming Tomorrow!


Setting up a cover reveal for the brilliant second book in the Bound series from V. J. Devereaux. The reveal will be Tuesday 30 July – the genre is erotica – and it’s steamy!


That’s the official cover reveal announcement. Let me tell you that I’ve read this book. It is definitely steamy. There’s a murder mystery to solve. And so many great characters to care about. I enjoyed the book enormously.

Fanfiction, Amazon, and the End of Literature as We Know It (Sarcasm)

When I first came back to writing, after over twenty years of not writing anything more than a check or a hasty letter, I wrote fanfiction. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction, in point of fact.

Why? I had no confidence in my ability to create a character, create a setting, or write a coherent line of dialogue. As I gained that confidence, I added original characters (not, I might add, Mary Sues) to the mix. And then I quit writing fanfiction altogether and began writing completely original fiction.

I posted my fanfiction stories in small communities, not in the major outlets. I confess that I’m a bit ambivalent about Amazon’s plan to market fanfiction. It could be interesting — especially as Amazon is getting permission from the creators. Or it could be a disaster.

What’s all this rant about, you ask? You don’t ask? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. I’ve been reading some anti-fanfiction posts and articles here and there. They gripe my cookies. I no longer write fanfiction. I no longer read it. But for me, fanfiction made for a comfortable set of training wheels when I didn’t think I could ride the fiction bike any more.

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