OK, Writers: What’s Your Good News?

Despite being an optimistic individual, I have the publishing industry blues these days.

So do a lot of other writers, it seems. Manuscripts that would have sold a few years ago are languishing on hard drives. Authors that would have been snapped up by agents a few years ago are sending out yet another round of hopeful queries. And then there are myriad pieces like this one from The Guardian.

I don’t want to get into self-publishing versus traditional routes here. Nor do I want to ferret out more links about the industry that cite statistics and opinions. What I want is to feel better.

So here’s some positive news about people in my writing community:

  • Wire to Wire, Scott Sparling's debut novel, was published by Tin House Books in June.

    Interviewing Scott Sparling about his debut novel, “Wire to Wire,” definitely tops the list this week. It was great fun to realize we studied with Stevan Allred and Joanna Rose at the same time (although we attended different classes). We’re all brother/sister writers, and whenever one of us succeeds, it’s a wonderful thing to celebrate. So hurray for Scott! Wire to Wire has received rave reviews. If you’re looking for your next book, go out and buy this adrenaline-fueled, literary feast of a crime novel.

  • Yuvi Zalkow recently announced exciting news over on his blog. He’s the brains behind the hilarious “I’m a Failed Writer” presentations, and guess what? The self-proclaimed “failed writer” now has an agent and a book deal! I couldn’t be happier for him–and thanks, Yuvi, for once again putting a smile on my face. You can read the details here.
  • While on my writing retreat in southern Oregon, I had the great pleasure of meeting the community’s writer-in-residence, Jessie van Eerden. Her book, “Glorybound,” is slated for publication next spring by Wordfarm. Although her website is still under construction, check out the page on “Glorybound” to learn more and read some impressive pre-release blurbs of her book from Gina Oschner, David James Duncan, Kevin Oderman and Patricia Foster.
  • Liz Scott, a member of my regular critique group, launched the Pocket Shrink blog this week with her coauthor, Bridget Harwell. The two practicing psychologists are working on a nonfiction book of short essays, and the blog is an extension of that collaboration. Go check it out. Their posts are personal and thought-provoking, much like their beautiful essays.
  • Something that made me grin this week was this post by Jo Eberhardt over at The Happy Logophile, where she talks about how I surprised her by subscribing to her blog in its infancy. Jo’s a prolific and always interesting blogger. With her first 100 posts, she’s done an incredible job building community, sharing links to other blogs, increasing her subscriber base and even being Freshly Pressed. Congrats on reaching that milestone, Jo!

So, writers, what’s your good news? It can be anything–your own good news or somebody else’s, how many words you wrote today, your latest epiphany about your novel, or whatever you want!

Just bring on the positivity, OK?

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Community, Fiction, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to OK, Writers: What’s Your Good News?

  1. One of my dad’s friends accidentally received my WIP that needs at least one or two more edits. (My dad accidentally gave it to her while sharing ebooks.) She read it and highly praised it. She said that she forgot she wasn’t reading a book by someone like Dean Koontz, and since he’s one of my favorite authors, you can imagine how stoked I am. 😀 I’m also getting pretty good reviews of my self-published book. It has a 4 1/2 star rating on Amazon and Goodreads. 🙂

    So, I think this positivity post is a wonderful idea, Laura. We all need to find the positive in our writing or else we’ll get too discouraged to keep writing. 🙂

    • That’s great news, Emerald! The kind that makes you go “eeeee!”

      Perhaps we ought to do regular positivity posts to keep each other sane. Hmm… I guess that means we all have to keep collecting good news!

      • Yeah. I did squeal like a little girl. (I’m kind of ashamed to admit it though. 😉 )

        I think that’s a great idea actually. Since we all follow each other we could just take turns every few weeks. (You know “we’, like in all the people who commented on Jo’s 100 posts post about you starting off our community of writers. 😉 Which I have to admit is very awesome!)

        • You have every right to squeal, Emerald!

          I’m glad you figured out who I meant by “we.” We really are a community, as evidenced by Jo’s post and the comments and how we all read each other’s posts and support each other. (And I’m still blushing… I had no idea I was one of the first subscribers to so many blogs that I enjoy!)

  2. Yuvi says:

    Thanks so much, Laura. Honored to be in your list. And I think your positive energy is great. And another positive thing is this great blog you’ve started…

    • You’re most welcome, Yuvi! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about your deal. I absolutely can’t wait to buy a copy of your novel. And get it signed at a reading. Hey–have you thought about signing books while standing on a desk?

  3. Well done and well timed, as today I got a rejection from a publisher I really thought would like my book. I’ve already self-published it and was offering it to him (and I’d stop pub’ing). He seemed to think I should only offer ‘fresh’ material.

    Any rejection, no matter the reason, is depressing. Thanks for the cheer.

    • Oh thanks for stopping by, Jacqui! I’m glad that these good tidings came along when you needed some positivity. Rejections are so hard, especially when you’re especially excited about that agent or editor. I’m avoiding the whole scene these days by sitting on my finished novel and pouring my time into the work-in-progress, but that isn’t a great strategy. I really do believe in that book and need to get it circulating. It seems easier to keep working on the new one, though.

      • This particular book I have already self-pub’d, which I cleared with the publisher before submitting. Their rejection cited that as the reason. I am discouraged because I thought they were a perfect fit, but my annoyance takes a bit of the edge off.

        Allow me to encourage you to get that finished mss out. Agents are nice, publishers too, but if not them you can self-pub. Such a great option these days.

  4. Good news? I’m in favor of it. Here’s some:

    1) I got through the hurricane with no damage, and while I was stuck indoors I got some good writing done. Then I had ice cream.

    2) Emerald Barnes said some really nice things about my first novel:

    3) I’m making good progress on my WIP and getting great feedback from my readers. Two new chapters are coming along well.

    Oh, Laura, you’re sitting on your finished novel. Isn’t that uncomfortable? (::rimshot::)

  5. Emma Burcart says:

    Thanks for bringing the good news. We need to focus on the positive more. My own personal good news is that I’ve been able to get up at 4am and write now that the school year has started. I’m not really enjoying it yet, but it’s a start. Thanks for helping me find the silver lining when I’m too tired to do it alone:)

  6. bridget harwell says:

    Laura, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. Bridgest

  7. Pingback: A Rambling Writer and Her Tangled Thoughts | Emerald Barnes' Dreaming Awake Blog

  8. Pingback: Monday’s Top 5 | The Happy Logophile

  9. Hi, Laura! Let’s see…my good news is that I won a short story contest recently. Pretty jazzed about that. Oh, and I just finished reading Chuck Wendig’s “Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey,” which has me excited about the next round of revisions on my novel-in-progress.

    For what it’s worth, that Guardian article is crap. The idea that people will suddenly stop liking really, really good books – or that they’ll stop paying for things they like – is almost charmingly naive. I kind of want to write a blog post, now, about just how ridiculous that is.

    One of my favorite websites:

    • Whoo hoo, Brian! Tell us the details–which story contest and what’s your story titled? Being excited about your revisions is a joyful thing, too.

      I agree about the Guardian article and other like-minded doom and gloom pieces about the end of books. But people keep writing and publishing those articles, and they can be rather unsettling, especially to those of us who keep writing books!

      Thanks for stopping by, Brian. I’ll check out that website.

      Updated to add: Oh that’s wonderful! Everyone should look at the link Brian posted.

    • Brian, congratulations. I won a short story contest in college and when they published it the bonehead editor changed “misogamist” to “misogynist,” thereby screwing up the point of that sentence. Maybe that’s why I decided to self-publish. 🙂

      I agree about the Guardian piece. It smooshed some different things together to make its points. That’s what happens when you start with your point and then try to come up with facts to support it, rather than starting by looking at what’s actually going on and seeing what points come out as you go.

  10. tamarapaulin says:

    I spent the last three days writing like a maniac and nobody came in and stopped me. That is my good news.

    Publishing is not the only thing suffering these days, and I think great books have been getting rejected since the beginning of print. I still see people reading softcovers in cafes and on buses. I still see book stores with mellow employees and friendly cats and dogs. I say we all keep writing.

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