Weekly Round-Up: Making Plans and Taking Action

Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we’ve created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week’s posts all in one place.


wr_iconMoving Forward

If you’re working on your first book, you may worry it’s too early to start thinking about sequels and series. But just in case, check out 5 Secrets to Creating a Compelling Series Character to learn how to leave room for more.

Once you’ve finished your first book and landed a book deal, you’ll start thinking about next steps. Sure, next steps will include editing and marketing, and maybe a series, but consider working on another book—or three. Learn how one author kept busy with four books in a year in I Landed 4 Book Deals in 1 Year With No Agent: Here’s How I Did It.

Agents and Opportunities

This week’s new agent alert is for Julie Dinneen of D4EO Literary. She is seeking literary fiction with commercial appeal and beautiful, stand-out writing; upmarket general, women’s, and historical fiction her book club will want to spend hours talking about; a new twist on chick lit; well-written romance, both contemporary and historical; and more.

If you’re searching for an agent, you’re not alone. Read Finding an Agent & Approaching Artist Residencies for some reflections and advice from an author who is still in the querying process.

Poetic Asides

For this week’s Wednesday Poetry Prompt, write an “intro” poem. Then challenge yourself by trying out a new poetic form: the chanso.

Check out Why I Write Poetry: Courtney O’Banion Smith and consider submitting an essay that shares why you write poetry.

The post Weekly Round-Up: Making Plans and Taking Action appeared first on WritersDigest.com.

from Writing Editor Blogs – WritersDigest.com http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/weekly-round-up/weekly-round-making-plans-taking-action

IELTS Speaking test in Nigeria – August 2017

When D took his IELTS Speaking test in Nigeria, he was asked the following questions:

Speaking testIELTS test in Nigeria

Interview

– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– What do you do?
– Do you like it or not? Why?
– Where do you live now?
– What is the name of your hometown?
– Do you want to live in your hometown in the future?
– Do you like mirrors?
– Did you ever buy a mirror? Why?
– How often do you use the mirror?

Cue Card

Describe a future plan that you have, not related to work or study. Please say

– What and when do you plan to do?
– How will you achieve it?
– Why do you want to do it?

Discussion

– Who else is involved in this plan?
– Is it important to have plans for the future?
– Is it important for children to have dreams or future plans? Why?
– What was your dream as a child?
– Why did you have that dream?

Related posts:

  1. IELTS Speaking test in Iran – July 2017 When S took the IELTS Speaking test in Iran, he…
  2. IELTS Speaking test in India – August 2017 Thanks to K who took the IELTS test in India…
  3. IELTS Speaking test in Nigeria – June 2017 Our friend T took the IELTS Speaking test in Nigeria…
  4. IELTS Speaking test in Florida, USA – May 2017 Our friend P took his IELTS Speaking test in Florida,…
  5. IELTS Speaking test in Pakistan – March 2017 Thanks to our friend U who took the IELTS Speaking…


from IELTS-Blog http://www.ielts-blog.com/recent-ielts-exams/ielts-speaking-test-in-nigeria-august-2017/

Need IELTS Band 7? Here’s what Pedro did to get it:

Pedro Echenique is a young man from Mexico who speaks Spanish as a first language. We met Pedro through our monthly IELTS results competition in June. As you know, every winner can share his or her tips for success in IELTS, and here is what Pedro said:

Band 9 in IELTS“First of all, enjoy the language. If you enjoy learning English, then none of the English tests you are going to take is going to be hard. Secondly, it is really important to understand the format of IELTS. Therefore, you really need to know everything about it.

I used many tips from IELTS-Blog.com, however, for me the most useful were the following:

1. Reading: This section is one of the most tedious. There is no need to read precisely every detail of the reading passages, so my advice is to go directly to read the questions for each passage and then you search for the answers in the reading using the skills of Skimming and Scanning. Time is your main enemy, so use it wisely.

2. Listening: My main advice in Listening is “DON’T GET DISTRACTED”, this is something that happens a lot so avoid getting distracted. Usually between each part of the listening test they give some time to check your answers, my second advice is to “PREVIEW, do not REVIEW”. Use the time they give you to read the next set of questions, this can help you to focus and understand the listening even more.

3. Writing: This was the toughest part for me. If you don’t have time enough to study for the IELTS, I highly recommend you to focus on this part. This is the part where you can succeed using a wide range of grammar and vocabulary. It is really important to use connectors, less common words, paraphrasing, complex sentences, etc. so get used to them.

4. Speaking: For me this was the easiest part. If you speak English well, you don’t have to worry too much since you are asked some questions about your personal life and public interests. Don’t worry, get used to the IELTS format and, in particular, don’t get nervous.

Related posts:

  1. IELTS tips from Felix who got Band 8 (simple yet effective!) Today we are sharing with you the story of Felix…
  2. Ronik’s tips on improving your English and scoring higher in IELTS (he got Band 8!) Today we are delighted to introduce to you Ronik –…
  3. Inspiration and commitment help Pauline get Band 7.5 in IELTS Today we are delighted to share a success story of…
  4. IELTS tips from Band 8.5 candidate: “Practice, analyse your mistakes and don’t get nervous” Sai Bhargavi Satti is a lovely young lady from India,…
  5. Phu didn’t expect to achieve Band 8 – what a surprise! Phu Dat Le is a Vietnamese test taker who got…


from IELTS-Blog http://www.ielts-blog.com/ielts-test-results-competition/ielts-preparation-tips-from-winners/need-ielts-band-7-heres-what-pedro-did-to-get-it/

Finding an Agent & Approaching Artist Residencies

I’m determined. The Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes will soon rest on the shelves of bookstores, libraries, and retail stores everywhere. Middle-grade fiction readers will delight in reading about a 12-year-old African-American superhero and his multi-cultural band of friends, along with their love of spy gadgets and science.

But first, I need an agent.


This guest post is by Lora Hyler . Hyler has completed the manuscript of her middle grade novel, The Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes, and has begun the second in the series while actively seeking an agent. She founded her Wisconsin-based public relations and marketing company in 2001. She will join the faculty for fall 2017 conferences of both SCBWI Wisconsin and Wisconsin Writer’s Association. She holds a 2016 Jade Ring award from the Wisconsin Writers Association for an adult short story, several screenwriting and news awards, and has published hundreds of corporate articles. She was the recipient of a 2017 artist residency at Marnay sur Seine, France and two previous residencies at Noepe Center for the Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.


My writing journey began a couple of decades ago with a career in radio news, public relations, and marketing. I started my own public relations firm in 2001 (www.hylercommunications.com), have represented a handful of authors, and look forward to marketing my own books. Short stories and screenplays were my first forays into the world of fiction. Encouraged by a few screenwriting awards, I began to exercise my fiction writing muscle through a middle grade manuscript.

After joining the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in 2015, I learned much about the business of children books. Many times, the wealth of information on the path to publication appears daunting. Yet, there are plenty of authors willing to share their stories about how they landed an agent, sometimes after 100 or more rejections. I’ve chosen to view each “no” as a step closer toward “YES!” After all, that’s how I’ve run my career.

My tally sheet reveals I’ve sent queries to nearly 30 agents. To date, I’ve received 17 no-thanks, a couple requests for full manuscripts, and several encouraging words. My advice to any budding author: Face these rejections with the view of a glass half-full. If you’re like me, your eyes race across the email the minute it pops into your in box. Yep, there it is … the dreaded, all too familiar sentence. You know the one. It’s always some version of: “Thank you for sending your manuscript. It’s not a good fit for my current list.”

I had a recent chat with my critique partner and shared my story of a lovely rejection email from an industry leader. I successfully queried her and was told to send the full manuscript. During the discussion, I had a revelation. This industry leader wrote, “Thanks for sending me your manuscript which I have so enjoyed looking at. It is such a great fun concept and the ideas you have for further titles makes it a more commercial project than we (pursue).”

Great news! I was worried my concept wasn’t commercial enough. This individual has successfully shepherded through a fantasy series that set global sales records, captured the imaginations of youth and adults, and gained fans from reluctant and avid readers alike.

Infographic. Vision board. Visualize your way to success.

On my journey toward publication, I’ve decided to harness all the positivity the Universe sends my way. I’ve created an infographic of written quotes from agents and editors who have reviewed my work. With this lovely visual encouragement greeting me each day, I expect to keep my spirits up and forge ahead until the day an agent says the ultimate, “I’d love to represent you.”

Do go back and carefully read any rejection notes you’ve received. Wait! You want me to revisit the source of so much pain? Yes, I do! Occasionally, amidst the gray clouds, the skies part and a beam of light peeks out. Mine these rejection notes for bits of wisdom and any encouraging words.

Find an agent who’s best for you.

Where do you go to meet these agents? In person at workshops and conferences, or on websites and webinars. I’ve found agents that I’ve met face-to-face to be accessible. It also pays to listen closely when authors are speaking at conferences. I attended my local SCBWI conference where an author choked up while thanking his agent, saying she believed in him when he had stopped believing in himself. High praise! Due to his accolades, I queried this agent noting how impressed I was with her. She replied within an hour asking me to send my manuscript.

Try Twitter and the laundry list of pitch sessions available to budding authors. Brenda Drake leads Pitch Wars.

Another interesting concept allows you to get a handle on select agents and what they are currently seeking for their list. It’s called the Manuscript Wish List. I’ve found that tracking this provides insights into the whims of a particular agent.

While I seek an agent, I also keep an eye out for nonfiction work for hire opportunities to capitalize on my journalism background. I also like to blog. A sure way to keep writing muscles in good order.

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

Discover your tribe through residencies.

Now, I’d like to share an exciting part of my journey that I like to think of as a blindingly bright light directing me to the finish line. Artist residencies. They are available worldwide; some are for artists of all kinds, others are specifically for writers.

The joy of being selected for a residency provides a high to keep any writer powering through rejections, and revising. In our harried daily lives, where we struggle sometimes to find quiet time, residencies provide space and time to create. Often in beautiful, one-of-a-kind settings. My last residency set me up in a writing studio with windows opening up to the Seine river running through a small French village. Cool breezes, swooping birds, and the occasional family swimming downstream accompanied my writing days.

It’s fantastic to begin a residency living among strangers, and as the days progress, to become supporters of each other’s work and lives. Critique groups form and friendships blossom. Many residencies encourage public readings, providing writers an opportunity to reveal their work in progress, or completed work, to an eager audience. I’ve received adrenaline highs when an audience member laughs at the right spots. The cherry on top is one-on-one feedback offered post-reading.

My residencies to date:

  • May 2017: Centre d’Art Marnay Art Centre, (CAMAC), Marnay sur Seine, France. Month-long residency at a 17th century complex in a village of 240 residents. I was one of eight selected artists from around the globe.
  • Fall 2016 and Fall 2015: Noepe Center for the Literary Arts, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. Noepe has since closed its doors.

As you read this, I am applying for additional residencies. Spain, Italy, Mexico, Washington state, and Illinois residencies are just a few that have caught my eye. I encourage you to pursue the thrill of a blinking cursor before you in a fresh space, in a new state or country. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded souls who, a door or two over, work on their own creations. And they’ll be happy to join you in a laugh and sips of wine when you need a break.

However, wherever you decide to write, just keep writing. Publication is just a few no’s away. Until then, mine your rejections. In the midst of it all, there may be gold.


If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at cris.freese@fwmedia.com.

 

The post Finding an Agent & Approaching Artist Residencies appeared first on WritersDigest.com.

from Writing Editor Blogs – WritersDigest.com http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/finding-agent-approaching-artist-residencies

IELTS Speaking test in Canada – August 2017

When R took the IELTS test in Canada she was asked the following questions:

Speaking testIELTS test in Canada

Interview

– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– What subject are you studying?
– Why do you think people choose such a subject in your country?
– What is the most interesting part of your study?
– Do you eat fruit?
– What kind of fruit do you like?
– Why?
– Is it important to eat fruit?

Cue Card

Talk about an invention that has changed the world for the better. Please say

– What is it?
– When and where was it invented?
– Is it useful for different age groups?

Discussion

– What invention is used the most at home in your opinion?
– Do you think the most useful and important inventions of the world were already made?
– Do you think the invention of wheel was very important?
– What leads a person to invent something?

Related posts:

  1. IELTS test in Canada – May 2017 (Academic Module) Our friend A took the IELTS test in Canada and…
  2. IELTS test in Turkey – July 2017 (Academic Module) Our friend C took the IELTS test in Turkey and…
  3. IELTS test in Canada – July 2017 (General Training) Our friend G took the IELTS test in Canada and…
  4. IELTS Speaking test in India – August 2017 Thanks to K who took the IELTS test in India…
  5. IELTS test in Ottawa, Canada – June 2017 (Academic Module) Our friend S took the IELTS test in Ottawa, Canada,…


from IELTS-Blog http://www.ielts-blog.com/recent-ielts-exams/ielts-speaking-test-in-canada-august-2017/

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 406

For today’s prompt, write an intro poem. Okay, that’s vague, right? In my mind, I’m thinking of a situation in which a poet enters a room and then drops a poem. Kind of like this is my intro music or something. Of course, I’m fine with other interpretations as well. Like maybe you’ve been itching to write an introduction to poetry poem, or introducing a famous (or infamous) character, or well, no introduction needed (or maybe an introduction is needed–or maybe I’m just rambling).

*****

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In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at an Intro Poem:

“Here I Am”

Nobody stand up; no one turn;
I brought enough line breaks to burn

a hole in your heart and your mind.
The rhymes you lose I’ll surely find,

because I was born to poem:
if you didn’t, now you know-em.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He can be a little silly with his forced rhyming from time to time.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

*****

Find more poetic posts here:

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The post Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 406 appeared first on WritersDigest.com.

from Writing Editor Blogs – WritersDigest.com http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-406

Why I Write Poetry: Courtney O’Banion Smith

Several weeks ago, I posted about “Why I Write Poetry” and encouraged others to share their thoughts, stories, and experiences for future guest posts. I’ve already received so many, and I hope they keep coming in (details on how to contribute below). Thank you!

Today’s “Why I Write Poetry” post comes from Courtney O’Banion Smith, who decided to forego a personal essay and make a list instead. It’s all good.

Courtney O’Banion Smith has taught literature and writing in some capacity for over a decade. She has worked on the board of several literary journals and organizations, and her work has been reviewed and published in several journals, anthologies, and online. She lives in Houston with her husband and two sons.

*****

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Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

Click to continue.

*****

Why I Write Poetry: Courtney O’Banion Smith

Courtney O’Banion Smith

40 Reasons Why I Write Poetry

1.      Because I have a short attention span.

2.      Because I need evidence that I do, indeed, see things differently.

3.      Because witness.

4.      Because the world is a messed up, fallen, crazy, broken place (see #3).

5.      Because only poetry can make any sort of accurate sense of the world (see #4).

6.      Because pain must amount to something (see #5).

7.      Because beauty.

8.      Because majestic and miraculous.

9.      Because truth, but more importantly, Truth.

10.   Because properly fabricated lies can reveal the Truth (see #4 and 6).

11.   Because words fail.

12.   Because Homer, Virgil, Basho, Issa, Buson, Danté, Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Browning, Whitman, Dickinson, Byron, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Yeats, Hopkins, Masters, Eliot, Frost, Williams, Cummings, Olson, Plath, Sexton, Lowell, Berryman, Auden, Hughes, Creeley, Corso, Merwin, Smith, Warren, Ammons, Brooks, Bly, Heaney, Milosz, Ashbery, Oliver, Komunyakaa, Olds, Glück, Hirshfield, Hass, Pinsky, Carson, Forché, Eady, Strand, Hoagland, Doty, Rogers, Collins, Nye, and

13.   Because family.

14.   Because we think we need a stage to matter.

15.   Because I can.

16.   Because I must.

17.   Because Mother Goose.

18.   Because of iambic pentameter.

19.   Because the length of a breath (see 18).

20.   Because I need approval.

21.   Because I just want to get it right.

22.   Because physics, metaphysics, and food for the soul.

23.   Because the first social media.

24.   Because hashtag poetry (#23).

25.   Because I can’t sleep.

26.   Because pay attention to me (see #14).

27.   Because the world needs it.

28.   Because in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

29.   Because chaos becomes order becomes chaos becomes order infinitely.

30.   Because being clever and conquering a challenge feel good.

31.   Because control (see #4, 5, 6, 21, and 26).

32.   Because insanity is a strange fire that must spread to be extinguished.

33.   Because punctuation, capitalization, and spacing matter.

34.   Because what’s left unsaid can be just as important.

35.   Because the cursor must feed.

36.   Because white space.

37.   Because the best way to get to the essence of a thing is to say it’s something else (See #2, 3, 5, 11, and 21).

38.   Because of heartbreak, heartache, and loss.

39.   Because of love.

40.   Because of you.
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If you’d like to share why you write poetry, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with a 300-500 word personal essay that shares why you write poetry. It can be serious, happy, sad, silly–whatever poetry means for you. And be sure to include your preferred bio (50-100 words) and head shot. If I like what you send, I’ll include it as a future guest post on the blog.

*****

Find more poetic posts here:

The post Why I Write Poetry: Courtney O’Banion Smith appeared first on WritersDigest.com.

from Writing Editor Blogs – WritersDigest.com http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/write-poetry-courtney-obanion-smith