The Splickety Pre-Party at Realm Makers: 2014

The great minds at Splickety Magazine are sponsoring a pre-conference event for Realm Makers: 2014. If you will be arriving on Thursday for the conference, please join us for the Flash Critique Party, in the dorm conference room on Thursday evening. (Exact time and room number coming in the next couple days, as soon as the University confirms the room assignment.)

What is a Flash Critique Party, you ask? Read on for a message from Ben Wolf…

balloonsWant to make sure your manuscript is in great shape before you pitch to editors at Realm Makers? Have Splickety’s team critique your story at our Flash Critique party the night before the conference! We’ll have a couple special guest critiquers: Realm Makers’ keynote speakers from 2013 and 2014, Jeff Gerke and Tosca Lee. Interested? Here are the details for how to submit:
Polish the first 10 pages of your manuscript to a high shine and email them as a Word doc or docx attachment to production@splicketymagazine.com by Friday, May 23. We’ll select at least 5 manuscripts to critique at the party.
Come hang out at Splickety’s Flash Critique party Thursday night before the conference to see if your manuscript was selected and what our team thought of it. We’ll have games and snacks, so even if your manuscript is not selected, it’ll be a great time to gear up for the conference. If you don’t want to submit, join us anyway!
Questions? Email Lindsay at production@splicketymagazine.com

 

Spotlight on Taegais Publishing

card logoThis week is our last publisher spotlight! Can you believe Realm Makers is just under 3 weeks away. Wait–calm down. I didn’t mean to freak anyone out. Breathe.

Anyway, this week, we’re highlighting Taegais Publishing. Amy Deardon, founder, will be joining us tomorrow night for the Q&A. More info at the end of the post. Read on!

 

Taegais Publishing LLC was founded in 2008 for self-publishing owner Amy Deardon’s two books. God blessed the company and her book sales. Taegais opened as a traditional advance-paying publisher in 2012, and has also opened a subsidiary for formatting print and e-books for those who wish to self-publish (www.ebooklistingservices.com)
1. Which people from the company are attending the Realm Makers conference?

Amy, president and owner
Emily, artistic and marketing director
2. What kind of books does your company publish?

As a new publisher, we are actively seeking new titles. So far we have published novels, children’s science, and how-to books.
3. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers?

We are interested in great writing. Taegais is open to family-friendly genres, especially thoughtful fiction, speculative fiction, and how-to nonfiction.
4. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for?

We won’t consider either heavily denominational works (eg Calvinist, fundamentalist, so-called evils of the Catholic church) or end-times topics. We’re not fans of straight romance or poetry, although will look at it.
5. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session?

Amy says: The first question I always ask is: what is your book about? I like to hear a succinct 15-20 word description and a 3-4 sentence elevator pitch that captures the story idea so I can quickly understand it. Keep in mind that I used to work as a scientist so appreciate organized communication of information.

I’ll also want to know if your book is complete, why you wrote it, what future do you envision for it, what is your platform, and anything else you think is relevant. Bring a one page synopsis and the first 10-15 pages.

6. What are your top 3 tips for writers?

Amy says,

Here are three common problems I see in newbie fiction manuscripts and self-published books:

Tip #1: Make sure you’re writing a story and not just description or action. Every story, and every scene in a story, should have a GOAL, STAKES and OBSTACLES. Forward story motion is the key.

Tip #2: Polish your words. Cut the extra verbiage, phrase sentences in active not passive voice, state thoughts only once, and in all ways make your words shine. Join a critique group since the members will often see problems that you miss.

Tip #3: Remember that the end-point of publishing your words is not holding the book in your hands, but getting your book into others’ hands. Research and plan marketing techniques (keywords, topics), and build your platform. Most importantly, for self publishers wait until your book is ready to meet the public before you release it. I’ve met too many self-published authors who were deeply disappointed when they let their book go too soon.

 

Thank you, Amy, for joining us today. Amy will be with us again tomorrow (5/13) night at 8 p.m. EST on the Realm Makers’ Facebook page. See you there!

Spotlight on Pelican Book Group

Pelican logoWe are thrilled to welcome Pelican Book Group to our blog this week. Sarah Grimm will be joining us for our Q&A session TOMORROW night. 

Pelican Book Group’s primary ministry is to publish quality fiction that reflects the salvation and love offered by Jesus Christ. Our titles adhere to mainline Christianity, but are enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians, alike.
1. What kind of books does your company publish? 
All genres of Christian fiction. Of our four imprints, Harbourlight (adult fiction) and Watershed (YA fiction) accept the sci-fi and fantasy genres and all their quirky sub-genres. Of course, if you’d like to pitch some other fiction genre, we take that, too.
2. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers? 
I love anything fantasy or sci-fi (especially YA). Really it’s my kind of fiction, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing some great new stories.
3. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for? 
Honestly, I don’t like a generic pitch. Tell me something that sets your story apart. If it’s the story of a chosen one who kills a dragon to save the princess, what makes it different from all the others like that?
4. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session? 
I’d like to see a sample of the writing, so the first five pages. A one-sheet is also nice so I can see the pitch and brief synopsis.
    
5. Do you have any books releasing soon that you are really excited about? 
Katie Clark’s Vanquished is coming out this year. It’s a YA dystopian, the first in its series, and it’s awesome.
6. What are your top 3 tips for writers? 
Write what you love. Find critique partners who will push you to bring your story to its full potential. And edit the way you’d pack if you could only take one small suitcase. 

Thank you, Sarah! Join us tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/6) at 8 p.m. for more questions and answers from the lovely Sarah Grimm.

Spotlight on Crosshair Press

crosshair_logo

 

This week, we are excited to welcome new publisher, Crosshair Press. Founders Amy Williams and Katie Morford will be joining us tomorrow for the Q&A! Without further ado, here’s their post.

Crosshair Press is a small independent publisher dedicated to quality, character-focused fiction with high action and moral or spiritual dilemmas. We are four friends who love great characters and thought-provoking stories so much that we formed a critique group and, after Jeff Gerke’s challenge at last year’s Realm Makers, we decided to start a small press together. We’re all grown or converted geeks who love spec-fiction (just not gooey green aliens) and desire to share Truth with the world through a medium people can engage with and understand.
1. Which people from the company are attending the Realm Makers conference

Amy Williams and Katie Morford (the other founders Amy Davis and Carrie Lemke aren’t able to make it) this year

2. What kind of books does your company publish?
We’ll take any genre as long as it has action and a spiritual or moral dilemma. Personally, we’re all partial to speculative fiction, but as a publisher we accept all genres.

3. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers?
We’ll consider any speculative fiction genre, except horror or hard science fiction, especially stories with a lot of humor. We’ve already set the titles to release in 2015, so we’re not actively seeking manuscript submissions at this Realm Makers. However, we’re looking to build relationships with authors we may want to work with in the future.

4. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for?
Stories with one-dimensional or cardboard characters. Bring us characters with real problems and villains who’ve made a choice.

5. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session?
We would like to hear an “elevator” pitch and to see a first chapter, as well as a synopsis if you have one. Also come prepared to answer questions about your story and marketing ideas.

6. Do you have any books releasing soon that you are really excited about?
Funny you should ask! We have three books releasing at the end of the year and the beginning of 2015.

Nameless — the first in a science fiction time travel trilogy about a girl who lost her memory, an ex-assassin whose past catches up with him, and an eclectic crew of bounty hunters who save the day despite themselves. (Dec. 2014)

The Katiller — a high-octane mix of political thriller action and snarky one-liners, as a team of Turkish hit men goes rogue and makes unlikely allies in three American women trying to escape the Arabic Nation’s takeover of Europe. (Jan. 2015)

Romantic Comedy — Hilarity and hover-round chases ensue when a single 30-something church secretary teams up with everyone’s favorite geeky guy and the most awkward church singles group ever to save a prostitute they’ve befriended and break up a Midwest crime ring. (Feb. 2015)

 

Thank you, ladies, for telling us a bit about Crosshair Press!

Amy and Katie will be joining us on the Realm Makers’ Facebook page TOMORROW (Tues., 4/29) at 8 p.m. for another Q&A session. Come and get to know them better!

Wanna sell your books at the conference?

French_Quarter_Book_StoreMany of you have been waiting for information on how to sell your books at Realm Makers: 2014…and we do apologize for keeping you waiting for the details. At long last, here they are.

All published authors in attendance at this year’s conference are invited to offer their works for sale in the bookstore. This year’s bookstore will once again be coordinated by the conference operations manager, Scott Minor. If you wish to make your books available here’s what you need to do:

 

 

  1. Email us at info[at]faithandfantasyalliance[dot]com to request to be included in the book sale. The title of your email should read: Book Sales Request–[your name]
  2. We will send  a spreadsheet for you to fill out with the requested information for each book you wish to sell. Send it back to us as an attachment by May 16th.
  3. When you arrive at the conference, check your inventory in with the bookstore staff. When you leave, you will check your remaining inventory out with them as well.
  4. You will be responsible for the transport of your books to and from the conference. If you won’t be able to carry your books with you because of the nature of your travel plans, please ship your books directly to the conference venue at the following address.
  5. The mailing address should read:

Faith and Fantasy Alliance

VU Box 3640, Kennedy Mailroom

800 E. Lancaster Ave

Villanova, PA 19085

 

Transaction Cost:

All book sales will be subject to a 15% transaction fee (Min $1).

Sales Tax:

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance will be charging sales tax at the bookstore on all purchases and will pay the state of PA accordingly.

 Space Allotment:

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance and Realm Makers staff reserve the right to allocate bookstore space as we deem appropriate. We will do our best to make sure all of the titles you bring to sell are visible and available, but please bear in mind, our table space is limited.

If you have any additional questions that are not covered here, please reachout to Scott at info@faithandfantasyalliance.com. We’re looking forward to seeing what awesome adventures you bring with you.

Spotlight on Splashdown Books

splashdown
We’re starting a new weekly spotlight for the publishers attending Realm Makers this year (and actively taking pitches). This will give you the opportunity to see what they’re all about and figure out which ones are a good fit for you. On Mondays, we’ll post a blog post about the publisher, and then on either Tuesday or Thursday night, we’ll be hanging out on Facebook with them for about an hour so you can ask your own questions. Of course, we’ll let you know the exact date and time for each one.

Without further ado, Realm Makers presents . . . Splashdown Books!

Splashdown Books is a speculative fiction indie press that favours submissions from writers within the management’s known circles, which anyone is welcome to enter by online or personal interaction. Its titles have collected a dozen award recognitions to date. Splashdown is poised to become a premiere New Zealand press by virtue of its unique personal contact acquisitions method, author-team management structure, international vision, and determination for excellence.

1. Who will be attending the Realm Makers conference this year?

Grace Bridges – Owner and managing editor – Available for pitches and critiquing on schedule or PLEASE just grab me anytime! If your book isn’t ready to pitch, I’ll be happy to critique some printed pages for you.
Kat Heckenbach – Assistant editor in the area of YA/Paranormal/Fantasy
Travis Perry – Assistant editor for Avenir Eclectia/Anthologies

2. What kind of books does your company publish?

Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, novels, anthologies, collections, open to new/experimental forms. I prize literary beauty above every other aspect.

3. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers?

All of the above, but my particular love is science fiction, and stunningly beautiful writing will always win out no matter which of our genres.

4. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for?

Overly allegorical; thinly disguised religious aspects; stories that aren’t ready (have not been critiqued or edited or in some cases even spell checked!) or that do not fit the genres we publish.

5. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session?

Up to 5 printed pages of the beginning of your book; I will note critique items on them for you as time allows.
If you are pitching for publication, a 1-2 paragraph blurb is also helpful.

6. If you could have published any author throughout history, who would it have been and why?

I would pick Zenna Henderson, because as her publisher I would beg her to write more than she did. I love the simplicity of the words she uses to build an intense, moody ambiance and the feeling of knowing those places and people. Worth a read for anyone wanting to expand their horizons.

Grace will be joining us for the Facebook Q&A on Thursday, 4/24 at 8 p.m. EST. Bring your questions, your thinking cap, and your fun personalities–just be sure to be there!

An Interview: Lisa Walker England

Maybe you’re already registered for this year’s Realm Makers conference, or maybe you’re still deciding, but either way, we thought it would be helpful to introduce you to a few of the faculty members who will be joining us this year. Avily Jerome of Havok Magazine was kind enough to conduct an interview for us of this year’s Steampunk aficionado, Lisa Walker England. Lisa is up to her elbows in multiple narrative art forms, so we are very excited to have her perspective on the genre. Read on to discover a little more about Lisa’s approach. 

Lisa Walker EnglandAnd if you haven’t registered yet, remember, you only have about a month and a week left to jump on board. Every person who attends Realm Makers contributes to the awesomeness of the conference, we truly believe that. 

In the meantime, here’s that little peek at Lisa’s style and passions. 

 

A.J.: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you been writing? What do you do for fun?

L.W.E.: Hello, fellow Realm Makers! This is my first time to attend, and I’m excited to meet all of you. What attracts me most to this conference is its positioning of writers as “Makers.” Whenever possible, I try not to think about myself as a writer at all. I’m a Maker whose inventions just happen to be stories. My tools are usually words, but at any given time, I might use 2D or 3D illustrations, digital tools, and even physical objects to build my inventions.

Like many of my characters, I’m a nomad. I was born in Ohio, lived in Illinois and Texas, and now reside in Wisconsin. (What can I say? The cheese is amazing.) I’ve been writing since I first learned to form letters, but I drifted away from creativity as a teenager, only to rekindle the fire in graduate school. I was so excited about rediscovering creative writing, in fact, that I leapt out of a funded PhD program to pursue it.

Looking back, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that course of action, but I wouldn’t trade away what I’ve learned on that journey, either. In the early years, I faltered through my first terrible novels and found my way into the world of screenwriting, which opened doors in storytelling for business. Now, I divide my creative time between writing graphic novels (with my artist partners at City Beast Studio), showrunning the steampunk web series Aurelia, and writing steampunk fiction.

For fun, I write. Seriously. Outside of my day job (still in marketing), hanging out with my husband, knitting, and going to comic/steampunk conventions, writing is my life. (Well, there was that time I learned to drive steam tractors. But I guess that was technically “writing research” . . .)

 

A.J.:. I understand you’re teaching on Steampunk at the Realm Makers contest. I’ll admit, I don’t know much about Steampunk. Can you tell us about the genre? What defines it and what are some characteristics of Steampunk stories?

L.W.E.: If you ask ten steampunk writers what steampunk is, you’ll get ten different answers. One of the beauties of the genre is its celebration of imagination and innovation. The literary tradition of steampunk is closely connected to the fandom, which is almost completely DIY. Steampunks themselves continually define and re-define what that term means. It’s a whole crowd of inventors! That being said, my simplest literary definition tends to be: Steampunk is Victorian speculative fiction. It imagines scientifically-advanced futures (or alternate pasts) using technologies from the Industrial Revolution. (Steam-powered computers, clockwork time machines, etc.) Steampunk can be either science fiction or fantasy, depending on how you write it. And its whole host of subgenres revolve around other historical power sources (clockwork, electricity, etc.) that fuel unique, speculative worlds.

A.J.: Can you give us a hint of what you’re going to be teaching on? What can someone who takes your class expect to come away with?

L.W.E.: In my class, we’ll board the Airship Steampunk, shout “Huzzah!” and cruise into the literary clouds for a high-altitude view of the genre. We’ll examine some of its most famous examples, explore its key characteristics, peek into the related fandom, and raise issues to consider when working with steam power. I look forward to continuing the conversation in the halls of the conference throughout the weekend. And I’m especially excited about the “goody bag” each attendee will receive—including a resource packet for further inspiration, as well as an illustrated copy of The Realm Maker, a steampunk short story I’m writing just for the occasion.

Between now and May, I’d love to connect with you via my website, lisawalkerengland.com.