Tag Archives: writer

Special Interview with Carl West – CEO of MG Media & Founding Managing Editor of TBT News Service

17 Jan

Carl West - MG Media & TBT News Service

Carl West, CEO of MG Media & Founding Managing Editor of TBT News Service is my guest this week. I wanted to interview him for a few reasons. First, he was so committed to his dream of having a hip hop magazine that he left the security of corporate America to make it happen. Second, he has a been a great support in my endeavors. And third, I needed a male voice on my site, and he was the closest person in the writing world I had.

Listen to my interview with Carl to learn about good things he’s done, great things he’s doing now, and even greater things to expect from him in the future. He’s not just an avid business man; he has a heart for the community. After listening, be sure to head over to TBT News Service and sign up for his daily updates.


Yay for Gloria Robinson Who Placed #68 in the Writer’s Digest Competition!

2 Jan
Gloria Robinson - Writer's Digest 2011 Magazine Writing Winner

Gloria Robinson - Writer's Digest 2011 Magazine Writing Winner

Gloria Robinson is one of my roller skating buddies who submitted a story for the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition last year, and only received a nice thank you letter for her entry. She submitted the same story this year and placed #68. And, she was the only person from Illinois who placed within the top 100.  Read about her experience  and link to her story below. Yay Gloria!!!

In May of 2009, I wrote a piece, which I called Parenting for a Change.  I entered my story in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition, the Magazine Feature Article category. Unfortunately, I did not win; I received a nice letter, thanking me for entering the competition. Though I was disappointed, I decided I would enter the same article in the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. This time, I received Honorable Mention for my article.  My entry was among the top 100, out of 1,000 participants; I was number 68.

On December 16, 2011, the names of the top 100 entrants appeared on The Writer’s Digest Website.  My article will not get printed in Writer’s Digest magazine, but I will continue my efforts to get it printed in a major magazine.

I encourage my fellow writers to continue to write until something happens—then continue to write until something else happens. It is very important to stay positive, and celebrate with the winners so that your winning spirit directs you to your prize.

My special thanks to you, Marcie, for sharing your triumphs and dreams with me; as I celebrate with you, I embrace your positive energy–which is sure to propel me forward.


Gloria D. Robinson

Guest Post: From Writer to Published Author in 7 Simple Steps – Patricia Fry

18 Oct

write your book

Do you write for pleasure? Have you ever thought about publishing your work? How do you know when it is time to shift from writer to published author?

For most writers it’s when they feel as though they have something to share—they want to be read. If you’re ready, here are some steps that might help you transition from closet writer to published author.

1: Write something that is wanted/needed by a specific audience—avid readers of romance or adventure novels, people who are seeking help with a particular problem, folks eager to learn something new or those who devour young adult fantasies, for example.

2: Check your competition. Is your book up to par—does it have everything it needs to qualify as a good book for preschool children or readers of romance? Is there a need for another book on cooking with herbs? What makes your self-help book for children of alcoholics different than what’s already on the market?

3: Study the publishing industry. You may not relish the idea of going back to school and learning about something as large and complex as publishing. In order to succeed as a published author on even a small scale, you need to know something about publishing. What are your publishing options? What are the possible consequences of your choices? What are your responsibilities as a published author? Skip this step and you will be in over your head.

4: Write a book proposal. You may need a book proposal in order to get a foot in the door with the publisher you want. But the main reason for writing a book proposal is for you. A book proposal will tell you whether you have a book at all—whether it is a valid project.

5: Hire a good book editor. This step could make the difference between you landing a publishing contract or not and whether your book will be read and enjoyed or not.

6: Establish and build on your platform. Publishers want to know that an author has a platform—a way of attracting potential customers and connections that will help sell books. Whether you choose to go with a traditional royalty publisher or not, you need a platform. Think about it. If you were to publish a book today, how many people would buy it? If you’ve been hiding away in your writing room for years secretly writing, how would anyone know about you and why would they buy your book? Authors, today, need a following—a way of attracting readers.

7: Plan your marketing strategy. In today’s highly competitive publishing climate, it is crucial that you think about marketing and promotion even before producing a book. And promotion is ongoing for as long as you hope to sell copies of your book.

Publishing is not an extension of your writing. It is not a natural course that writers can take using the same mindset and skills they use when writing. Publishing is a business—a fiercely competitive business—and, when you decide to enter into this world, in order to succeed, you must start thinking like a businessman/woman.

Follow these seven steps and you will experience a greater level of success. Where are you on this list? Do you need help?

Patricia Fry has been writing for publication for over 35 years. She has 34 books to her credit—most of them related to publishing and book promotion. Her latest book is Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. http://www.matilijapress.com/promoteyourbook.html. Order Patricia’s FREE ebook, “50 Reasons Why You SHOULD Write That Book” at http://www.patriciafry.com. Visit her publishing blog daily: www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

Image: write your book

The Writing Life of Jennifer Brown-Banks

16 Mar
Jennifer Brown-Banks

Jennifer Brown-Banks

Jennifer Brown-Banks is a gifted writer and poet who has been writing all of her life. It was not until she began writing as a requirement for a gifted student program in her teens that she realized that writing was not only a gift; it was also a passion. She didn’t fully embrace her talents until her mother “guilted” her into doing so. After finding and reading some of Jennifer’s writings, her mother told her that “it would be a sin for her not to share [her gift of writing].” Jennifer is very grateful to her mom for helping her to realize the treasures hidden within. She now shares her passion with others through journalism, poetry, and teaching.

Jennifer’s journalism career started in 1991 when one of her writings appeared in a major women’s magazine. Prior to that achievement, she had many literary pieces published in smaller publications and community newspapers. But seeing her work and name in print on such a large scale sealed her fate as a “professional journalist.” Although she is well-versed in many topics, she says that she “loves to write about love, time management, and money management.” Topics on education and review writing are also favorites.

She has experienced great success in her career. Some of her proudest accomplishments include being a columnist for Being Single Magazine for 15 years; writing a relationship column for Online Dating Magazine; and serving as Senior Editor at Mahogany Magazine. The next steps for Jennifer?? She’s working on securing a space in Chicken Soup and has a self-help relationship book in the making. Expect both in the near future.

Poetry is another one of Jennifer’s gifts. Writing poetry and short essays was a form of therapy for her during her adolescent years. It helped her to deal with the teen and worldly issues that engulfed her at that time. Using poetry as a creative release and coping mechanism has paid off for Jennifer. Her poetic pieces appear in eight anthologies. Additionally, she has five self-published poetry books to her credit: I Miss Quiet Hours; Meet Me in the Middle; You Got a Tab With God; A Paradox in Pink; and The Leather Pants and Other Provocative Pieces. They can be purchased from Amazon.com.

Jennifer also “loves teaching people and sharing stuff with others.” She shares her knowledge as a substitute teacher; a writing consultant; and the instructor of online and traditional classes. Currently, she teaches an online class on how to become a paid columnist through coffeehouseforwriters.com.

Her creativity is not limited to writing and poetry. She enjoys watching cooking shows and preparing culinary delights. She most recently added creating gift baskets to her endeavors. This “accidental” venture grew from a donated gift for a creative contest sponsored by The Chicago Writers Association where she serves on the Board of Directors. She later put a few baskets together for a meeting of poets at a local library. To her surprise, they were all purchased immediately.

Jennifer Brown-Banks is a passionate writer, poet and teacher. She says that she feels “so blessed and fortunate to have such enriching experiences.” She hopes her success serves as a motivator to other women. Indeed they can. To get a feel for Jennifer’s passion as a writer, check out http://writergazette.com/jenniferbrownbanks.shtml and http://www.onlinedatingmagazine.com/columns/jennifersgems.html. Her poetry can be experienced from her books that are available through Amazon.com.