SNEAK PEEK: Excerpts from the beginning of SIDE CHICK NATION, the first novel published about Hurricane Maria

Aya de Leon

“Gripping feminist heist fiction about turning the tables on the disaster capitalists in the jaws of climate apocalypse? Improbably and thrillingly, Aya de Leon has pulled off exactly that with SIDE CHICK NATION. I couldn’t put it down.”
-Naomi Klein author The Shock Doctrine

Side Chick Nation, a novel

when deadly storms hit, the truth gets laid bare…

Dulce García was a teen sexually exploited by a violent New York pimp until Marisol Rivera rescued her. But Dulce didn’t stay rescued for long. In SIDE CHICK NATION, Dulce’s unhealed trauma and appetite for thrills lead her into an endless party of sugar daddies in the Caribbean. Until she gets caught in Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico—and witnesses both the heartbreaking disaster of climate change, and the international vultures who plunder the tragedy for a financial killing, making shady use of relief funds to devastate the island even more . …

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Cooperation vs Competition: Interacting With Other Authors

A Writer's Path

by Doug Lewars

My experience with authors is that they’re a pretty supportive lot.  This is not always the case. I remember reading comments in a group by one author who refused to have much to do with others. Her argument was that her time was limited and spending it with other authors was sub-optimal.  Maybe someone like Stephen King or JK Rowling doesn’t benefit to any great extent from working with others but I believe in general it’s a good idea.

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The One Thing That Matters When Looking For A Publisher

K.M. Allan

If you ask most writers which publisher they’d like a contract with, they’ll probably tell you one of the big five.

They’ll do the best job, right?

Yes… and no.

A few weeks ago, I attended the KidLitVic conference where a panel with Jane Pearson (Text Publishing), Suzanne O’Sullivan (Hachette Australia and Lothian Children’s Books), and Miriam Rosenbloom (Scribble) talked about publishers—from the big to the small.

This included the revelation that big publishers aren’t always the best option for you and your manuscript.

No, this wasn’t some ploy to get writers to try submitting elsewhere. It was sound advice that the ideal place for your book is with the publishing house that wants to make it the best it can be.

Other surprising insider tips were that a big publisher doesn’t necessarily have a big budget for a book and that awards don’t always…

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3 Reasons Self-Published Books Fail

A Writer's Path

by Laura Peters

The introduction of self-publishing on sites like Amazon has opened up new avenues for writers to get their work read. A lot of writers still maintain that you can’t find success without going through a traditional publisher but that isn’t necessarily the case. Take The Martian by Andy Weir. It started out as a series of short chapters published on his blog which he then decided to sell on Amazon for next to nothing. It soon topped the best sellers list for science fiction, got picked up by a production company that turned it into a movie, and now it’s been picked up by a publisher and it’s a massive seller. Stories like these might be rare, but it just goes to show that self-publishing isn’t the lost cause that people think it is. However, a massive percentage of people that self-publish don’t really get anywhere, so…

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How I Got My Literary Agent – Part 2

I love this post. Ross is humorous, candid, and his self-reflections are quite endearing. He’s also a pantser (I’m a hybrid of plotter and pantser). I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post!

Ross Healy

How do I get a literary agent?

At this point in the story, I’m still asking myself that question. If you just got here and you don’t know what’s going on, jump back to Part One on how I got my literary agent.

After working on BOOK 3 for four years, I finally finished it in my last semester at uni. I also happened to be doing an exchange in the UK. There I was, doe-eyed and brimming with accomplishment at having finished my second novel (contained in one folder, filled with 20+ separate Word docs per chapter) I don’t know why I did this) even now))). I had a copy of the Writers and Artist’s Yearbook, but it was back in Australia so I got out of my dorm and braved the British winter to find a new copy. When I did, I made a list of potential agents…

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Does Fantasy Lit Have to Be Real to Be Fantastic? – by Joshua Grasso…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Medium:

When submitting a story to a speculative fiction magazine recently, I got a surprisingly fast rejection — we’re talking hours, compared to the usual 4–5 weeks. I was stunned, hoping that I had some formatting issue that made it auto-reject, or that the editor was so taken with the first few sentences that he/she thought, “hell with it, I’m accepting it on the spot!” (ha).

The reality fell somewhat short of both scenarios: the story received a curt rejection, with the following tip for revision: “characters lack inner depth, need to relate to them more, feel their conflict.” In other words, your characters aren’t three-dimensional, fleshed-out beings whose emotions and inner turmoil feel relatable to my own. Which is a fair criticism, since my intention wasn’t to develop characters in this story as much as explore the implications of the story/theme itself. Rejections have a habit of weighing on you…

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What I Like… And What Frustrates Me… About Twitter


It seems to me that people either love Twitter or can’t stand it. I am definitely in the former category, for several reasons:

  • It’s direct. You follow someone? You see their tweets. You don’t follow someone? You live in blissful ignorance.  My feed is full of creative, positive people and exactly zero politicians. It’s a great way to filter reality. 

    Everyone who follows me can see my posts in real time, without any interference from the platform itself. Twitter sends every tweet into the world without trying to make a buck out of me to do it. That in itself is a refreshing change among social media platforms. 

  • Retweets are brilliant for extending your reach easily and painlessly.. With one click, someone else can share your post with all their followers, too. Not only does this take your content further, it can also result in new followers and interactions.

  • It’s…

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Rattle Poetry Prize

Writing and Illustrating

The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 Readers’ Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.

Additional poems from the entries are frequently offered publication as well. In 2018 we published 31 poems that had been submitted to the contest from just over 3,000 entries.

With the winners judged in an anonymous review by the editors to ensure a fair and consistent selection, an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a large Readers’ Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—we’ve designed the Rattle Poetry Prize to be one of the most inspiring contests around.
Rattle Poetry Prize Guidelines

1) The entry fee is a one-year subscription to Rattle (or a one-year extension…

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Diana Paton: “The Racist History of Jamaica’s Obeah Act”

Repeating Islands

obeah-970x685Diana Paton (University of Edinburgh professor and author of The Cultural Politics of Obeah) writes in detail about the history of Jamaica’s Obeah Act as public figures call to decriminalize (or not) the religious practice. As she explains, the Obeah Act in Jamaica has been to reinforce class and race hierarchies as “those who supported harsh Obeah laws, including many middle-class Jamaicans, intended that the law should intervene broadly in everyday cultural life to wean Jamaicans away from beliefs and practices understood as connected to Africa.” Read the original article at The Gleaner.

Obeah is in the news again, since Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck said earlier this month that he hoped to see the Obeah Act repealed. Responses have ranged from the attorney general’s claim that “obeah has always been known” to do “nothing but harm to others” to declarations that the law is a “discriminatory colonial anachronism”…

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