Archive for September, 2009

Blogroll, Book Shipping & Other Misc. Thoughts

What will you do when the giveaway is over???

I hope you will share with us here what you feel you got out of it.

I am a sucker for those compelling stories of why I should do this crazy thing all over again next year. 🙂

Please add your blog address in the comments section. Include “http://” at the beginning. (Please double check your links!)

About shipping books to winners. We haven’t started that process yet. I know I asked for everyone’s patience on this at the beginning of the giveaway, so this is just a reminder. Allow one month from now. If you don’t have your book by November 1st, give me an e-holler. (Keep in mind that none of the authors/publishers have the names and addresses of their winners yet. But they will shortly.)

I’ve still got one winner to pick. So don’t forget to check back to see if you won!

And then we’ve still got three “most inspirational” winners to select after that! Give me until Tuesday Friday, October 9th for that. Judy and I are going to need to put our head’s together to decide.

And then I still have a lot more people to thank. So don’t go away! We’re not done yet!!!

And finally, if you enjoyed the giveaway I hope that you will add the WMBTSG badge to your blog.

writer mama back to school giveaway badge

Please link it to:

Because that’s where the giveaway is going to be next year…thanks!


Day Twenty-Nine: And the winner is…

writer mama back to school giveaway badgeBrandy!

Congratulations, Brandy. You have won the 2010 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino (Writer’s Digest Books)!

For an exciting recap of what you have won, please click here.

If you would be so kind as to send me your snail mail via e-mail at “writer mama at earthlink dot net” I will make sure you receive your winnings.

In case anyone is wondering, the winner each day is chosen by a random integer generator and has nothing to do with your comment, whether or not you know me, or your shoe size. 🙂

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Onward! There are still plenty of books to win!

Please RSS subscribe to this blog and/or sign up for our monthly e-zine to stay in the know. 🙂

I’ll be asking for blogroll suggestions on the last day of the giveaway, September 30th.

Day Twenty-Eight: And the winner is…

writer mama back to school giveaway badgeStephanie!

Congratulations, Stephanie. You have won the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market by Alice Pope from Writer’s Digest Books.

For an exciting recap of what you have won, please click here.

If you would be so kind as to send me your snail mail via e-mail at “writer mama at earthlink dot net” I will make sure you receive your winnings.

In case anyone is wondering, the winner each day is chosen by a random integer generator and has nothing to do with your comment, whether or not you know me, or your shoe size. 🙂

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Onward! There are still plenty of books to win!

Please RSS subscribe to this blog and/or sign up for our monthly e-zine to stay in the know. 🙂

I’ll be asking for blogroll suggestions on the last day of the giveaway, September 30th.

The 2009 Giveaway List: The Writer Mama Back-To-School Giveaway Starts Tuesday, September 1st!

Fall in Love with Books Again!

Hosted by Christina Katz, The Writer Mama, for the Third Year in a Row

(This post is stuck at the top of this blog through September 30th: Scroll down for today’s giveaway!)

For the third year in a row, The Writer Mama, Christina Katz, is giving away thirty books in thirty days. All you have to do to participate is answer the question that Christina will pose daily. One lucky winner will win each day. There is no limit to how many times you can enter. The drawing is for U.S. residents. You don’t have to be a mom, but of course, the event is created with moms in mind, so please tell all the writer mamas you know!

Please read “Da Rules” before you jump in!

Day one: The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book edited by Jane Friedman

Day two: Page After Page by Heather Sellers

Day three: Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer

Day four: A one-year subscription to Writer’s Digest

Day five: Writer Mama by Christina Katz

Day six: Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen

Day seven: The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh

Day eight: Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer

Day nine: The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt Thomas

Day ten: A one-year subscription to

Day eleven: On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels

Day twelve: The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman

Day thirteen: Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz

Day fourteen: Book By Book by Cindy Hudson

Day fifteen: Thirsty by Kristin Bair O’Keeffe

Day sixteen: Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript 2009 by Chuck Sambuchino

Day seventeen: Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers

Day eighteen: How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen

Day nineteen: The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maas

Day twenty: Trust Agents by Chris Brogan

Day twenty-one: Time of My Life in paperback by Allison Winn Scotch

Day twenty-two: Plug Your Book and e-Publish by Steve Weber

Day twenty-three: Novel Shortcuts by Laura Whitcomb

Day twenty-four: Publicize Your Book by Jacqueline Deval

Day twenty-five: Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined edited by Andrea Buchanan and Amy Hudock, Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant & The Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change edited by Shari MacDonald Strong.

Day twenty-six: Poet’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer

Day twenty-seven: Children’s Writer & Illustrator’s Market by Alice Pope

Day twenty-eight: 2010 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market by Alice Pope

Day twenty-nine: 2010 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino

Day thirty: The Deluxe 2010 Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer

Special thanks to Jane Friedman from Writer’s Digest books, as well as all of the giveaway authors!

The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Thirty

Delux WM2This is it! The last day. If you haven’t won in the The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway you’ve got one more chance.


Here’s the one reference you need to get your work published and paid for! The 2010 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition by Robert Lee Brewer (Writer’s Digest Books) includes all the valuable information you expect in the standard Writer’s Market PLUS a 1-year subscription to In addition to the 3,500+ listings in the Writer’s Market, you’ll have instant online access to another 2,500+ listings that just couldn’t fit in the book—with daily updates.

Take charge of your writing career with online tools that allow you to organize your favorite market listings and keep track of where you submit your work. All of this and more is available on an easy-to-use Web site that is accessible from anywhere with online access.

Author Bio:

Robert Lee Brewer is the editor of Writer’s Market, Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition and A RL Brewerpublished poet, he covers poetry topics at his Poetic Asides poetry blog.  Brewer also speaks at writers’ conferences and writes articles for Writer’s Market and Writer’s Digest.

If you are new to the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

Especially since folks have been getting, ahem, a little long-winded lately. This is funny because at the beginning of the giveaway folks weren’t writing long enough. Now I can’t get them to stop writing. :)

Please keep it between 50-200 words. Do you best!

Today’s question is…

Markets. Where are the markets for your writing? Where have you marketed your work? Where do you hope to sell your work in the future? What markets have you had the most success selling to? And how can you increase your earnings from writing in the next twelve months?

Give me the goods in 50-200 words, please. :)

Before you go! WE HAVE A CAUSE TO RAISE MONEY FOR THIS YEAR! Please read the story about the Applin family here and consider making a small contribution at some point during the giveaway. We’re aiming for $100/day collectively. Please help us help the Applin family adopt two beautiful children from Russia. :)

Introducing The Person Who Made This Year’s Writer Mama Back-To-School Giveaway Possible…

writer mama back to school giveaway badgeIf it had not been for Judy Miller, there would have been no Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway this year. Last spring, I took one look at my schedule for September (I write, teach and speak for a living, in case you are new to the blog) and didn’t think I’d be able to make it through the third year.

But I love hosting this giveaway! And I especially love all the self-reflection and sharing it encourages. So instead of throwing in the give-fest, I asked Judy Miller, who has been working as my assistant since March, to help. She was responsible for pulling together each daily post…and then I came in at the last minute and added the questions and managed the comments and drawings.

So if you’ve been really impressed with me all month, please spread a little appreciation Judy’s way. She totally deserves it. I am very fortunate to have a chance to work with Judy these past five months. She has been making impressive strides in her writing career and, next year, look for her e-workshop for parents of adopted tweens and teens, which is going to create a powerful context for transformation and healing.

In the New Year, Judy will be launching an e-workshop for adoptive parents called Parenting the Adopted Child. More info will appear in her website and in her blog soon but if you know any adoptive parents who are coming up on the tween/teen years with their kids, please don’t hesitate to point them Judy’s way!

So now I know why it’s such a huge job to run this giveaway! Because it actually takes two. And to tell ya the truth, some days, when I was traveling and Judy’s hard drive bit the dust, we probably could have used three. So now I’d really appreciate it if you would give Judy your attention so she can say hello.


Hi Writer Mamas!

I’m Judy. Some of you already know me. I’ve been helping Christina out as her part-time assistant since May. It’s been fun and an invaluable learning process on how it all works in the world of writing, self-promotion and marketing, and platform development. My general responsibilities have been to help with the blogs, e-zines, and other overflow Christina has with her full schedule. In the process of developing my platform, I’m learning a lot by helping Christina with hers.

adoptbookcoverI am a writer mama living in the Midwest with my husband and four children. Three of my four are adopted, so my platform is adoption and adoptive parenting. Raising an interracial and multicultural family provides a life that is rich with layers, texture, and a little bit of drama from time to time. My successes include articles in adoption and parenting magazines and essays featured in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (Adams Media) and Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Press, November 2009). I am a columnist for the adoption network, Grown in My Heart, focusing on special needs. I write about parenting my international family on The International Mom’s Blog.

Writer Mama Success Rhythms: September 2009

By Christina Katz Christina Katz and daughter

I’ve been reflecting on some of my successful former students lately. When I say “successful,” I mean they have made major strides in advancing their writing careers over the years I have known them. Let’s take a look at how they get published, share what they have to offer, gradually build a platform, and keep on learning.

Craft: I was recently asked by a writer if she should sign up for my beginning level platform class. She hadn’t established herself as a published writer yet, so I suggested that she focus on this goal first. You can’t really establish a platform if you don’t know what your specialty is. And there is only one way to improve your writing craft — and that is repetition.

So, it won’t matter if you read books and take classes if you don’t apply what you learned and repeat it over and over again to develop the muscle memory. You’ll need that muscle memory to write a longer work, like a book. Former students I’ve taught, who have books coming out, have primarily focused on progressing their craft. Improving the quality of your writing through execution and repetition is the foundation of a solid career for any writer.

Pitching: I think the word “pitching” is intimidating. Let’s call it “sharing” instead because when it comes right down to it, selling is simply sharing what you have to offer with others. Sharing can happen verbally or in writing (aka a “query”). Now, here’s the key. When you have worked long and hard on your craft, you want to share your skills with others. Pitching is how this sharing happens.

But, contrary to popular belief, pitching is not usually innate; it’s learned. So if you think only natural salespeople can share their work effectively, think again. I can teach anybody how to query effectively, though, it’s more complicated than most writers think. When I reflect on my former students with books or book deals in the works, I can see that they worked consistently to develop pitching skills and then used them.

Platform Building: At the point where you are writing, pitching, and selling your work-congratulations! You are building your platform. Of course, there’s a lot more you need to do. I’ve outlined the process in a checklist of forms you can write to describe your writing career in Get Known Before the Book Deal. It’s your job to be your own publicist and report on your steady progress or else nobody else is going to ever hear about it.

This is just the beginning of platform development but if you start here and come back and revisit this exercise often, you will always know intuitively what the best platform directions are for you. Some great examples from my among my former students are Cindy Hudson ( and Jenny Kales (

Professional Development: One part of professional growth that is key to success is networking with other professionals in your field. Cindy Hudson is a great example. Over years of platform development for her forthcoming book, Book-By-Book, The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs, Cindy has met lots of authors and mother-daughter book club leaders, who have gone on to participate in the research for her forthcoming book. You can do this online by targeting specific interest groups or you can create your own community around your book-in-progress over time. It’s the community you build before, during, and after the book-writing that is going to spread enthusiasm about your book to others.

Remember, writers, there’s truly nothing to be gained from daydreaming about overnight success. Lasting success happens slowly and steadily and builds over time in a way that amplifies the integrity you’ve established. When integrity is the focus, success in inevitable.

Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on Good Morning America. She teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.

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