Categories and Genres – A Sunday Topic Chat

Image of a bookstore with a red roofThe example below may seem a little harsh. Join us in the chat room Sunday 28 January and we’ll explore the topic.




If you sign up for our Newsletter you will begin receiving an email with bonus content you won’t find here on the site.  

Newsletter Signup Form

What’s the Difference Between Genre and Category?

Some people have genre identity crises that create confusion, just like in the real world. A writer might call their book a “fictionalized memoir,” for instance, because they’re riding between memoir and fiction. Another writer may have written women’s fiction, but the book is also a thriller and has hints of romance. These writers, and I’ve met them, are tempted to explain the ways their books defy or cross genres, but they shouldn’t. Publishing, after all, is not particularly progressive when it comes to futzing with their classification systems, and you’re not a rebel because you’re trying to be clever, or straddle three genres; you’re just an amateur.

Huffington Post


Please follow and like us:

Submitting Your Novel to Agents – A Topic Chat

When submitting to an agent or a publisher, there are several important items you must keep in mind—follow the agent’s submission guidelines, spell his or her name correctly, etc. But there are six basic elements you really need to focus on when crafting and submitting your query letter. Thankfully, we’ve gathered them here in one helpful checklist. Bookmark this list and reference it each and every time before you send out your queries to agents that represents fiction.

check list boxes with a red pencil

—Mollie Glick

Checklist: The 6 Essentials for Submitting Your Novel to Agents

Bonus Information about How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book is contained in the Newsletter. If you have not subscribed to the newsletter, use the form below to find out what you’ve been missing.

The Newsletter generally posts to your email on Wednesdays and Saturdays

Newsletter Signup Form
Please follow and like us:

What to Include and Exclude in Author Bios

Join us Sunday evening for a Topic Chat – What to Include and Exclude in Author Bios an article by Robert Lee Brewer Writers Market Blog.

Robert Lee Brewer PhototRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. He edits the Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market books, writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, maintains the Poetic Asides blog, speaks at conferences, leads online webinars and tutorials, and so much more.

Robert is also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, a poetry collection published by Press 53. A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, he’s been a featured poet across the country at poetry events in Austin, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and more.

What to Include and Exclude in Author BiosImage of Typewriter Ready to get published on rough paper

It’s a paradox: The author is the most important part of a book project, but the author bio may be the least significant part of a query.

That said, future authors constantly ask me (and other publishing professionals) how to handle their author bios in their queries and book proposals. And honestly, it is a part of the query that has more potential to harm a pitch than help. So here’s a quick list of what to include and exclude in author bios.

I’ve never questioned assigning an article because the bio was too brief. However, I have read bios that made me question how professional and experienced the writer is. So when it comes to author bios, follow this mantra: When in doubt, leave it out.

Join us at 7PM ET at The Writers Chat Room


Please follow and like us:

Writing Exercises

Prismatic 3D Question MarkThis week I thought I’d touch on Prompts, again.
This site provides (completely free) writing prompts and exercises to help you get started with creative writing and break through writing blocks.
Generate random story ideas, plots, subjects, scenarios, characters, first lines for stories and more.
“Why shouldn’t they help themselves, after the way they’d been treated?”
“He was unconscious when I found him”
“Your main character is a woman in her early forties, who is very idealistic. The story begins in a penthouse apartment. Someone is tormented by the memory of a dead family member. It’s a story about infidelity. Your character has to do some quick thinking to keep ahead.”
Go ahead and check out the whole Writing Exercises Website


Please follow and like us:

Celebrity Sunday Welcomes C Hope Clark

Photo of Hope Hope Clark was born and reared in the South, from Mississippi to South Carolina with a few stints in Alabama and Georgia. The granddaughter of a Mississippi cotton farmer, Hope holds a B.S. in Agriculture with honors from Clemson University and 25 years’ experience with the U. S. Department of Agriculture to include awards for her management, all of which enable her to talk the talk of Carolina Slade, the protagonist in most of her novels. Her love of writing, however, carried her up the ranks to the ability to retire young, and she left USDA to pen her stories and freelance.

Hope’s 4th Edisto book, Edisto Stranger, is on sale in ebook for $1.99 thru Jan 15.

The Edisto Island Mysteries: Destination Reading contains 4 published titles. She has just started writing Crossed on Edisto, a crossover book where Callie meets Slade.

The Carolina Slade Mysteries: Justice Her Way are 3 books strong.  Newberry Sin the 4th in the series is at her publisher.

On the Non-fiction front, FundsforWriters she plans to put out a couple of nonfiction books in 2018 – Finding Funds for Your Book, and The Best of FundsforWriters Vol 2. Hope is also thinking about writing a book on dialogue since she’s been a contributing writer for Southern Writers Magazine for over two years now, doing solely a column on dialogue.

Find Hope here –

Hope Clark
Bell Bridge Books

Hope can also be reached at her social media connections below:


Please follow and like us:

What Is Literary Fiction (and What Sets It Apart)?

Join us on January 3rd for a Mini Topic

What Is Literary Fiction (and What Sets It Apart)?

literary fiction quote

We have talked about Short Story Writing and Creative Non-Fiction and now, to start off the New Year let’s talk about Literary Fiction. 

I have pulled some things out of a rather long article and hope to touch on all five areas regarding the things which set Literary Fiction apart from Genre Fiction. Some of the five points are obvious, others are a little hard to sum up and I am counting on you to help us through the topic.

What sets literary fiction apart from genre fiction?

  1. Literary Fiction Looks Different
  • The Covers are Different
  • Genre and Literary Novels Might Be Sold in Different Formats
  • The Titles are Different
  • You’ll Find Them in Different Sections of the Bookstore


  1. In Literary Fiction, Character Comes Before Plot
  • If writing a gripping plot is important in genre fiction, in literary fiction the plot can be less momentous, more subtle, less frenetically-paced, more beneath the surface. But it still needs to be there, as the literary agent Nathan Bransford points out…


  1. Literary Novels Are More “Meaningful”
  • As readers of fiction, we like to be entertained by the surface plot. But we also like a deeper experience, one in which the novel’s events “say” something about what it means to be a human and what it takes to get by in this world.


  1. In Literary Fiction, “Fine Writing” Is Essential
  • Both fans and publishers of literary fiction expect the writing itself to be excellent…
  • Not poetic, exactly (though it can be).
  • Not lush and sensual and vivid with imagery (though it can be).
  • Not “difficult” (though some literary novels don’t exactly make for great beach reading).
  • Instead, literary writers need a masterful way with words. Their voice can be simple or ornate, but the prose must always be rich and finely-crafted and a pleasure to read.


  1. In Literary Fiction, Anything Goes
  • You’re free to tackle any subject matter and any theme you choose, and to structure the story however you wish.

Join us on January 3rd for a mini-topic chat.

Please follow and like us: