How to write a synopsis, cover letter & author bio

Hi there! Are you a writer ready to submit your work to a publisher? Perhaps you’re just interested in what you’ll need to do when you are ready. If that’s you, I’m teaching…

Source: How to write a synopsis, cover letter & author bio

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How to write a synopsis, cover letter & author bio

Winter HeatHi there!

Are you a writer ready to submit your work to a publisher? Perhaps you’re just interested in what you’ll need to do when you are ready. If that’s you, I’m teaching an online course through Romance Writers Australia this September. It’s just $35 for non-members, and $40 for members. For details and bookings, click below.

https://romanceaustralia.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/september-owl-selling-your-book/

And here’s what you get:

Most writers know they need to provide a synopsis of their novel, short story, or screenplay to prospective publishers before they’ll request your manuscript. But what should a good synopsis look like? Is there an industry standard for what should be covered? Do you give the end away or tell them just enough to pique their interest? And what about all the other stuff publisher’s websites commonly ask for – a cover letter, your elevator pitch, your author bio.

This course will look at each of these essential ‘book-selling tools’, what you should and shouldn’t include, and how to get that submissions editor to request your work. Advice will come from both the presenter and professionals in the field, including an internationally successful writer and book editor. You’ll get working examples from published authors and if you want to have a go at writing your 1-2 page synopsis, the presenter will also give you individual written feedback.

Week 1:

What is a synopsis and why is it so important? This lesson will look at the role of a good synopsis and canvas the divergent advice on what you should include. Examples from both the presenter and published authors will be included. Robb Grindstaff, international writer and book editor, will be available to answer questions from participants on the FB forum.

Week 2:

How to write a blurb and an elevator pitch. These short, sweet tools can be the key to a publisher requesting more from you. This lesson will provide examples on how to summarise something big (like a novel) to something small (like a sentence or two).

Week 3:

Your cover letter and author bio. There’s an art to these too. This lesson will teach you what to include, what to leave out, and how to standout.

Week 4:

No lesson this week. Instead, email me your 1-2 page synopsis, and I’ll provide you with written feedback.

Students will be provided with a weekly PDF lesson via email each Monday (except in week 4 when written feedback will be provided in lieu of a PDF). Questions will be answered on a closed

Moodle group during the week. Depending on availability, Samantha is hoping to have at least two prominent writing professionals join these discussions, and once they have been finalised, students will be emailed to let them know who the ‘special guest’ will be, and to email their questions before posting them to the group.

Winter Heat chic lit anthology

It’s wild weather up here in the Adelaide Hills at the moment. We’ve even seen snow at Mt Lofty, and plenty of hail and frost everywhere! So what better excuse than to curl up with some hot romance? Seasoned with Romance, my virtual writer’s group has just released its latest anthology of bite-sized, chic lit treats – perfect for heating you up in this cold, cold weather.

Winter Heat

Download your free copy here: Winter Heat

Here’s what you can expect:

Wish Upon a Star by Sarah Belle
Abby can’t wait to marry her gorgeous fiancé, Xander – until she realises they’ve never had an argument. How can she expect their marriage to weather life’s storms when their relationship has never truly been tested?

A Friend in Need by Laura Greaves
When her best friend announces that it’s not possible for people in committed relationships to have single friends of the opposite sex, Megan is determined to prove her wrong. But are her feelings for her boyfriend’s best mate, Rye, purely friendly – or is Megan playing with fire?

The Reject Club by Carla Caruso
Tired of being rejected in both her personal and professional lives, Maya has retreated to her grandmother’s seaside cottage to clear her head. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate matters – especially one as alluring as Garrett…

The Getaway by Vanessa Stubbs
When Dominique heads to the Tasmanian wilderness with husband Ricky, it’s a make-or-break weekend for their struggling marriage. Is Ricky the same man she fell in love with – or is rugged Cal what she really needs?

Bad Things Come in Threes by Belinda Williams
First her marriage collapsed. Then she lost her job. Wynter isn’t sure whether she can cope with another disaster. And when Marty enters her life, she doesn’t know whether he’s the best thing to happen to her – or the very worst.

by Samantha Bond
Washed-up pop star George would do anything for another crack at the big time, and when he discovers talented young singer Annabella he sees his chance. There’s just one problem: Annabella’s feisty mother, Catherine.

Make me write!!

Hi there all you writerly types!

As both a writer, and a writing teacher, I encounter cases of ‘bum glue-itis’ regularly. That, dear people, is the inability to stick one’s bottom to the chair and just write. There’s always other distractions and demands, tasks that seem more achievable and ‘important’ than sitting down to do what we love – writing.

In my teaching gig, students tell me one of the most helpful things about our mentoring relationship is that they’re accountable to deliver material to me and meet their deadlines. So I thought, ‘Why not set up an accountability system that all writers can access?’ My question to you, then, is would you be interested in belonging to a closed Facebook group which exists to make you write? You’ll pay a nominal monthly fee to be a member, and the amount of work you email to me is up to you  – it could be a chapter a month, it could be ten. Your call. Meet your deadline, you get half your money back. Don’t meet it, slap on the wrist for you! (Yes, carrots and sticks do work and have their place).

I’ll also provide you with individual feedback on your submitted work and the FB group would meet live once per month for a general chat with all members about what’s working for them, and how I can assist you to be more productive. Fellow writer, Carla Caruso, will be involved as an experienced published author to provide her expertise also.

This is a thought bubble at the moment, so I’d love to hear from anyone who likes the idea. The purpose is motivation to write, assisting you to be accountable, achieve your goals and to just write!

Over to you…:)

 

 

Book review: Far From True

Book review: Far From True

Books & Poetry

Best-selling crime writer Linwood Barclay’s new thriller is set in the small, upstate New York town of Promise Falls, where it seems bodies are appearing as fast as local businesses are closing.

On its last night of operation, the iconic Constellation Drive-In folds in a literal sense when an explosion causes the four-storey movie screen to collapse onto cars in the front row.

Four people are killed and this is just the start of the awful things in store for the folk of Promise Falls.

It seems someone is unhappy with the local populace and is out to wreak revenge. There’s a strange fixation with the number 23: it featured on the hoodie of a recently shot university student who had been terrorising women, there’s 23 dead squirrels strung up on a fence, and three mannequins appear hanging from cart 23 on a Ferris wheel).

There’s also the discovery of a secret adult “play room” and missing home movies, a particularly brutal child custody battle, a former mayor out to regain his position, and some unsolved gruesome murders. Safe to say, there’s a lot going on in this little town.

Far From True is the second in a trilogy set in Promise Falls, something that’s not apparent from the book blurb, although the sense of arriving late to the party soon becomes apparent.

Barclay recycles characters from previous stories, including private investigator Cal Weaver, Detective Barry Duckworth, and former news reporter turned political hander David Harwood. These characters’ back-stories, including how Cal’s wife and son were tragically murdered, are filtered in as the reader needs to know them. The effect is a little discombobulating, because every step forward in the current goings-on requires reams of explanation about what’s already transpired – and as already mentioned, there’s a lot going on.

Barclay is a story master, so despite the vast number of plot lines, the reader doesn’t get lost and the effect is a pacey, plot-driven story. The downside, however, is that it’s difficult to connect with and really care about any of the characters in this story. Just as I was forming a bond with the protagonist in the first chapter, he disappeared; the same thing kept happening throughout the novel.

If you’d like character “buy-in”, it’s probably advisable to start with the first in this trilogy (Broken Promise). If you don’t care about that, and just want a fast-paced, well-written thriller, go ahead and jump straight into Far From True.