Thursday, January 26, 2012

Helpful Links: NiNoCon, Formatting Help, Free Reader & Author's Houses

Before I get to today's links, I need to announce that Monday's post on New Models in Publishing will be moved to Wednesday, in place of [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday, due to the opening of official sign-ups for the A-to-Z Challenge. I misplaced my days, but didn't want to make you wait another week for the informative notes from the Write Brain.

Onto the helpful hints:

I swear by THIS for formatting during that crunch before submission. I searched it out this week to format a short story for submission, and realized I hadn't passed it along before. It's a fantastic resource.

And, because I was doing a lot of editing this week, I did some looking around and heard about Natural Reader. It's a free program that allows you to listen to your words instead of just reading them over and over. I have, of course, read my novel out loud in editing, but my voice was hoarse and my throat sore for the next day or so. Plus, having sat in a Read & Critique at conference, I know that it sounds different in someone else's voice. I haven't actually tried this yet, but plan to within the week. It came highly recommended, though.

It seems there are a lot of online conferences I keep missing, but I lucked across this one ahead of time: NiNoCon begins Saturday, February 4. Click on the link for more information.

This link is just meant to be frosting. There was an article on Flavorwire about "15 Authors' Beautiful Estates". I was rather partial to Stephen King's house (I'd love to see it decorated for Halloween), Mark Twain's house and Kurt Vonnegut's house.

Finally, some weekly reminders:

Don't forget the A-to-Z Challenge. Even if you don't want to participate in the blogging challenge portion, there is currently a video challenge for your video-making pleasure. We are also looking for anyone interested in guest posting in the lead-up to the challenge.

The NLAPW (Pen Women) Flash Fiction Contest is ongoing. The theme is Are You Devious At Heart?; it is a micro-flash, 100 word maximum contest with a cash prize.

Pikes Peak Writers is accepting submissions (unpaid) for an anthology, to benefit their scholarship program. The theme is Moving Mountains.

And, of course, the Pikes Peak Writers Conference is open for sign-ups, and has scholarships available for those who need help with the fee. The sooner you sign up, the more likely you are to get a pitch session and/or a Read & Critique session.

That's it for today, folks! I hope you'll be back to sign up for the A-to-Z on Monday. Next Thursday, I hope to include a Project 52 update with my links. Also, don't forget that the continuation of my notes for New Models in Publishing, a Write Brain workshop presented by Pikes Peak Writers will be moved to Wednesday of next week, in lieu of [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday.

Which author's estate was your favorite? Any helpful links, information on readers or online conferences to pass along?

May you find your Muse.


  1. You know I always have a list of happenings around the blogging world!
    I need to check out that Natural Reader.

  2. Yeah. That Natural Reader sounds great.

  3. Thanks for the links! I've actually driven by Stephen King's house. It's awesome. He was getting DirectTV installed when I was there!

  4. I'm really glad you posted those! I would have missed a lot of those otherwise.

  5. I couldn't get the site to open, so I'll just say I liked Agatha Christie's estate in England. Saw it in a documentary on her life, with her granddaughter giving a tour of the house.

  6. Girl, you have got it goin' ON with keeping all of us writerly types in the know! Thank you!! The submission guideline example is stellar, right on the money. Everyone should keep this in a writer/author folder on their internet browser. Also, I'm very interested in the read-back program. I, too, would much rather someone else read my stuff to me than...well, me.

    The houses! Stephen King's has ALWAYS been my most favorite. I love the side turret, the color, the gates. Everything. Not to mention its immense modesty, considering Mr. King's exceptional fortune.

  7. how cool thanks for the information

  8. I don't know yet, was captivated by the Natural Reader software. What a great idea. I don't know if I can do the A-Z thing. I know it's a great way to network and increase readership, although I do write everyday. It might be interesting to write a story. Thanks for all the links. Going to check out the houses now.

  9. What great info! I'm so interested in the Natural Reader, I'd never heard of that before. That sounds awesome! Also very glad for the formatting tool tip.

    Have a great weekend, Shannon!

  10. Sounds like you're ready for the Challenge!

    I've gotta check out that Natural Reader.

    Wrote By Rote

  11. I;m going to check out Natural Reader... sounds like the thing I need for my editing. Thanks for sharing:)

  12. Interesting links, especially the Natural Reader. I do hope to see you during A-z and before. I should get my video up my mid feb..still collating my pictures and cartoons for the same.
    Thanks for visiting. Enjoy your weekend.

  13. I would LOVE to live in the Twain residence. Thanks for the great links (just came over from the A-Z sign up sheet, so it's working already).

    Wagging Tales

  14. Lots of stuff going on, Shannon. I appreciate the round-up. Still wondering if I should do the crazy thing and take on the A-Z. I did have fun last year coming up with something for every day.

  15. I found you on the A to Z challenge site. Thank you for co-hosting. This will be my second year.

  16. Alex, indeed! You always have great links.

    Shelly, it does, but I still haven't tried it.

    Christine, too funny! And very cool.

    Capillary, I'm glad to hear that, thanks!

    Susan, that one wasn't in the article, but I'll have to look it up. Agatha Christie was an interesting lady.

    Alyssia, why, thank you! I'm not sure if King's house is considered a Victorian, but our downtown is populated with houses like his and I absolutely adore them. I am a sucker for a turret, and a house that is not shaped like a box.

    Becca, I hope you find it helpful.

    Brenda, writing an ongoing story following the alphabet theme would be an interesting way to play it out, or a different short story each day for the theme (not sure which you're thinking of). I think the important thing is to make it work for you in a way that would be beneficial to you, should you decide to do it.

    Julie, thanks! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

    Lee, me, too, though I did download it. Just need to try it out.

    Tania, I hope you find it helpful!

    Rek, I'm looking forward to your video!

    Charmaine, wonderful! And welcome.

    J.L., thanks. I hope you do join!

    Squid, mine, too! Thanks for joining.