Saturday Grab Bag: Mashup and Quotes

5 Mar


Here are some great links on writing, the industry, and all things book related. Some are serious, and some are just downright hilarious. We highly recommend you read them!

  • Four Thousand Words Jam
  • – Four Thousand Words Jam (FTWjam) is a brand new writing jam to get people writing out of their own comfort zones, and just get them writing (even when they’re stuck with writers block)! The jam is bi-monthly, and you have 48 hours to take the suggested theme/prompt and write 4k. The first FTWjam has started (theme is “Stop right there, evildoer!”) – so take a look and check it out!

  • Three Questions to Ask When You Don’t Know Your Plot From Your Story
  • – Do you know what the difference is between your story and your plot? If you’re not sure what the difference is, James Killick can enlighten you. This is a great article – so be sure to read it!

  • YA Mafia & Other Things You Don’t Need to Worry About
  • – There has been some talk in the book blogging and reviewing community, as well as in the writing community, the idea that there is a YA Mafia – that there are YA authors banned together ruining up the writing careers of those who leave them bad reviews. Author Justine Larbalestier argues that this is just pure myth.

  • Save 50/50 Petition
  • – After nine decades, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has decided to quietly discontinue the 50 Books/50 Covers competition – a competition that had celebrated every year excellence in book design. But even though they didn’t annouce anything, people in the design and book industry have noticed it missing. If you have a chance and believe that book cover designers deserve to be recognized once again, please sign the petition.

  • Presenting… Query Day!
  • – Our very own Susan Dennard is hosting Query Days at her blog! What exactly is Query Day, you ask? Once a month, Sooz will put up a post asking for people to send in their queries – and after receiving 10 queries, she will close submissions and over the following weeks critique those 10 queries! Think that sounds super awesome? Well, SO DO WE!

  • How to Format a Manuscript + Now With Free Downloadable Checklist!
  • – The ever wonderful C.A. Marshall has made a very thorough guide to formatting your MS correctly!





“The great thing about fantasy is that you can drag dreams and longings and hopes and fears and strivings out of your subconscious and call them ‘magic’ or ‘dragons’ or ‘faeries’ and get to know them better. But then I write the stuff. Obviously I’m prejudiced.”
— Robin McKinley


“The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a ‘Doctor Who’ marathon or become immersed in a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.

— L.K Madigan


In honour of L.K. Madigan, who passed away last week on February 23rd, 2011, we’ve made her novel THE MERMAID’S MIRROR our Book of the Month for March. And we’ve also included the quote above.

And in honour of Brian Jacques, author of the REDWALL series who passed away February 5th, The Story Girl is hosting the Redwall Nostalgia Challenge.



10 Responses to “Saturday Grab Bag: Mashup and Quotes”

  1. Theresa Milstein March 5, 2011 at 7:31 AM #

    I just shared the Madigan quote on Facebook.

    • Biljana March 5, 2011 at 3:54 PM #

      It’s heartbreakingly inspirational…

      • Vanessa March 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM #

        It’s such a brilliant quote, isn’t it?

  2. Susan March 5, 2011 at 4:00 PM #

    The “Three Questions to ask…” is a great post! I love how he goes back to GMC (though he doesn’t call it that) — that’s exactly what I do!

    And yes, that quote from Madigan is, as Billy says, heartbreakingly inspirational.

    Thanks, Vanessa!

    • Vanessa March 5, 2011 at 4:03 PM #

      The “Three Questions to ask” post is one of my fave links ever. I think Sav was the one who found it.

      And it was my pleasure Sooz! 😀

  3. Lea Kaplan March 6, 2011 at 3:55 PM #

    Thanks for the plug for the FTWjam, Vanessa! Just wanted to clear one thing up – at this point, the challenges are every other month, not every month. But that might change in the future. [:

    • Vanessa March 7, 2011 at 11:30 PM #

      AH! Sorry Lea! I’ll change that ASAP :p

  4. James Killick March 7, 2011 at 5:45 PM #

    Hey Vanessa, just browsing around and I found your post and the fact that you mentioned my blog post! Made my day 🙂 I’m delighted you liked my post and very much appreciate you recommending it. Thanks so much.

    • Vanessa March 7, 2011 at 11:35 PM #

      Thanks James! Your post was seriously incredible – and I think a lot of writers, especially beginners, mix up story and plot (I’ve always differentiated it as premise and plot though, but I really liked how you worded it). I just hope people popped on over to your blog to read it, because it’s truly a great article. (So really, I should be saying thank YOU for writing it! :D)

  5. CA Marshall March 8, 2011 at 3:46 PM #

    Thanks for including my formatting post! ❤

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