The Joy of Writing Giveaway & Editing Launch!

The Joy of Writing Giveaway (1)

SURPRISE! It’s a giveaway!!

A year ago, I created #WIPjoy as a way for authors to connect, support each other, and rediscover their passion for their WIPs.  Many of you have told me over the past year that #WIPjoy helped you plug into the author community and find enthusiasm again.  That makes me so happy!

Now it’s a new year, and in 2017 I hope to begin helping my fellow authors in a new way – I’m excited to announce that I am now offering my services as a freelance editor! This is something that’s been in development for a few months, and it’s a thrill to finally, officially hang up my shingle. :)

To celebrate my new services – and a year of fun with you, awesome #WIPjoy-ers! – a group of wonderful editors and I have come together to hold a giveaway!  Some of us are newer to the field, some of us have years of experience, but ALL of us are excited to give away fun prizes and help you soar in your journey to publication.

Passion and inspiration are one side of the coin.  The other half is the exhaustive, often painful task of refining our passion projects until they are as cohesive, clean of error, and powerful as they can be. I hope #WIPjoy has helped you with the former – maybe one of us can help you with the latter!

Just like every author’s voice is unique, so is every editor’s style and work.  Learn a little about each of us and the prizes we’re offering below, and then scroll down to the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Six Editors – Over Twenty Prizes!

Author picBethany Jennings

I’ve been writing all my life – ever since I was old enough to pick up a pencil and spell. As an editor, I’m excited to work with authors at all levels, but especially young and new authors who are still finding their voices and dreaming of being published for the first time. I specialize in speculative fiction, and my flash fiction has been published in Havok Magazine and on the Splickety Lightning Blog.

When I’m not writing fiction in the dead of night, I’m chasing after my four adventurous kiddos, eating artistic sandwiches, and enjoying the writerly communities on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m giving away…

  • The Giveaway Grand Prize – a 20-page edit, #WIPjoy poster, and $10 Amazon gift card
  • Two 15 page edits that come with a 20% discount on an editing service of your choice, if you like my work
  • Two beautiful #WIPjoy posters (pictured above in the giveaway graphic)
  • The “Don’t Lose Your #WIPjoy” mug (pictured above in the giveaway graphic)

DSC_0649Janeen Ippolito

Janeen Ippolito is a multi-published author in speculative fiction and nonfiction writing resources. She’s also an experienced editor, book reviewer, and English teacher, and she’s the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. She believes that writing (and editing) should be fun and that everyone can do awesome work–they just need a solid editor and coach in their corner.  As an editor and coach, her mission is help writers refine their unique stories in speculative fiction, from paranormal romance to hard science fiction. She’s also passionate about bringing organization and a unique voice to nonfiction. Her background in communication and book sales has given her additional insight into both the creative and the marketing aspects of story telling.  More than a manuscript perusal, she examines how the writer’s message connects with genre and marketing expectations, and creates an editing strategy for irresistible stories that make for happy readers. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, learning random facts, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica.

Janeen is giving away…

  • Two coaching sessions (an hour or two half-hours per winner)
  • Two 10-page comprehensive manuscript reviews
  • A copy of both her “World-Building From the Inside Out” textbook and workbook

DSC_0755bSarah Delena White

Sarah Delena White is passionate about helping writers realize their unique visions and bring quirky concepts and fantastic worlds to life. She specializes in speculative fiction and academic editing, and offers a range of services that will take your manuscript from a draft to a polished work. She is also a founding member of Uncommon Universes Press, where she serves as acquisitions editor. Her novel Halayda, an epic Celtic mythology mash-up, will release this spring. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, and drinking lattes.

Sarah is giving away…

  • Two fifteen-page edits and a discount on her editing services

Mir Head Shot Red top CROPPEDMirtika Schultz

Mirtika holds a degree in English and has edited at two speculative fiction magazines. She’s won several awards for her writing, including the ACFW Genesis in the Visionary category, and has published articles, poems, and short stories. She enjoys editing and writing blurbs. Her favorite genres for both reading and editing are fantasy, soft science fiction, horror, mystery, poetry, devotionals (Christian), suspense, and romance (especially those with a speculative or spiritual element).

Mirtika is giving away:

  • a full story blurb for your back cover, written by her (along with a revision of it based on your feedback)
  • your choice of a 3 chapter general critique or a 1 chapter comprehensive critique.

10700183_826431770711959_847746669942940741_oRalene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE!  She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

Ralene is giving away…

  • a 15-page partial edit

IMG_7999rvhoriKatie Morford

Katie Morford is an author and freelance fiction content editor specializing in character-centric “soft” speculative fiction (steampunk, space opera, urban fantasy), as well as romantic suspense and some historical fiction. She lived overseas for nearly three years and has traveled to over 30 countries, giving her rich experience in world-building and cultural settings. Her co-authored romantic suspense novel, Kenan, released last May under her pen name, Karis Waters. Katie is also a founder and the managing content editor of indie publishing house Crosshair Press. Katie loves dancing with her fiance, Cadbury Royal Dark chocolate, and lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. 

Katie is giving away…

  • a 10 page partial edit
  • one of two half-hour manuscript consults
  • a critique of your back cover blurb
  • a 25% discount on her eight-week fiction writing mentorship course.

Enter the giveaway!

Any writer is welcome to enter, no matter where you are in your journey to publication, whether you already have an editor or not, and whether or not you’ve participated in #WIPjoy. :)

Enter anytime from now until January 30, 2017. May the odds be ever in your favor! 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Facebook Page Giveaway

Hey, friends! I just wanted to let you know that I’m running a giveaway on my author page on Facebook! I decided to give away those hand-painted quote bookmarks there rather than on the blog. :) The giveaway is open until 5 PM EST today (the 17th) so hurry over!

Click the picture below to go to the Facebook giveaway:

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Simmer Starters and News – December 12, 2016

Hello, friends!  My blog has been rather quiet lately. Awhile back I stopped posting the Simmer Starters because I noticed not a lot of people are interested in them…but I found that I miss sharing cool links! 😛 I’ve decided to pick up the practice again, but post only when I have a collection of links gathered, or maybe monthly.  I also hope to start blogging more again soon.

I have some Simmer Starters for today, but first, some general news…

Writing!

My newest writing project, Until She Dies, has been unfurling slowly. The story is taking its sweet time to ravel together, but that’s okay! I’m allowing it to marinate and trusting it will all fit in due time.

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Click to see my Pinterest board for Until She Dies!

Reading!

This month, though, I’m taking some time off writing to recharge – I’ve been in “writing mode” so long that my reading side has suffered and I’ve felt my creativity starving for fuel.  I would love to make reading more of a habit and read many more books in 2017.

I’m hoping, too, that giving my mind a break from fiction writing will help unlock more bloggable thoughts and I’ll have more musings to share here. :)

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Tentative TBR for the month, to finish or start for the first time: a beta read for a friend, Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L. Burke, A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandes, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, and Unblemished by Sara Ella.

Party!

Tonight, I’m being featured as one of 12 authors in the Twelve Writers of Christmas Facebook party! It’s my first time being a “special guest” at a Facebook party, and I’m pretty excited about it. :) Stop by tonight at 7 p.m. EST, and you might win books or an Amazon gift card!  (Click the picture below to go to the party page.)

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#WIPjoy

Writers, don’t forget that the next #WIPjoy is coming up in January! Throw me any ideas you have for the next one in the blog comments! :)

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Future Giveaway!

On the subject of giveaways, too, keep your eye out for a giveaway coming here to the blog sometime this month! 😉

Pssst, there shall be pretty handpainted bookmarks!

Pssst, there shall be pretty, hand-painted bookmarks!

Simmer Starters!

And now, as promised, some inspiring writing links!

Speculation and Christmas (Rebecca Luella Miller) – “Perhaps sin has hardened us or perhaps it has given us a correct understanding—apart from intervention, we will live without hope and help. We will remain alone and lonely. We will not find fulfillment in our selfish pursuits. But our Christmas stories show intervention. The supernatural comes into the world in unexpected ways, and it changes everything.”

Storytelling Saves Lives (James Scott Bell) – “Stress relief can extend life. Entertainment can make the present life better. Sure, we can have challenging fiction of various kinds, but the real power comes from the ‘lostness’ of a reader inside a compelling narrative.”

Why Your Writing Matters – Even if You’re Not Famous (Janeen Ippolito) – “Writing is a hard field. Never let anyone tell you any differently. But while it has unique challenges, it isn’t any harder or easier than many other career choices. It takes guts and passion and drive. It takes focused creativity when you’re ready to quit and the ability to see new possibilities and opportunities–or even to create them.”

How To Identify Your Story’s Premise (K.M. Weiland) – “It’s not enough just to come up with a cool idea for your book. You also have to make it work on every single page. Otherwise, no matter how cool it is, it quickly becomes the wrong premise. The key to solving this problem before it even gets started is learning how to identify your story’s premise—and more specifically the most important aspect of that premise—right out of the gates.”

What’s up with YOU lately? What books are on your December TBR?  What books are you hoping to get for Christmas? Have you ever been a host or featured guest at a Facebook party?

Coming Next Week – the Mini November #WIPjoy!

All writers welcome! Join us next week on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or even your own blog – and share some things you’re thankful for about your WIP! If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, it could be an excellent pick-me-up for that slump in the middle of the month, and if not, it’s a great chance to connect with other authors and be excited about our work together. 😀

Here’s the list of prompts for the week…can’t wait for this mini WIP celebration!

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I Want to Be a Persons-Pleaser

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Something imperceptible shifted in me in the last couple of months.

The first time it felt like a fluke – I was having a good day, apparently, nothing special.

The second time it barely caught my notice – a passionate moment of boldness, probably too bold, but whatever.

The third time it took me by surprise, as I finally realized…

That girl was gone.

That girl who bears within herself the blame for every negative emotion. That girl who internalizes conflict until it cramps her stomach and leaves her no appetite. That girl who feels like she’s been punched at a simple negative statement from a friend.

That girl who thinks it’s all about her.

Who thinks, surely, everyone else’s problems are her fault. Who thinks it’s her responsibility to fix the anger of another heart. Who assumes, when her calmness is met with grumpiness, that her very presence is the impetus.

Who believes in her heart of hearts that if she brings anything other than peace and happiness to any situation, she is worthless, a negative influence that deserves to be cast aside.

That girl lived in my heart despite all my logic growling at her to leave.

I don’t miss her one bit.

Because now I can see clearly – it isn’t about me. It’s almost never about me.  Every heart has so many tethers and roots and tendrils stretching in every direction…what arrogance to believe that every disturbance in another person comes from my tiny corner in their soul!

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Pride’s twin sister is worthlessness. Each one places you higher or lower than God intends you to be.

That girl I knew would spiral into grief and anxiety for hours if a friend seemed in the least bit unhappy with her – desperate to make it right, desperate to restore the balance.

And suddenly I…don’t.  I listen. I exhort. I offer corrections. I offer prayer. Because it isn’t about me – it’s about them and helping them in their needs, because there are tethers and tendrils pulling on them that I don’t even know about.

For so long I’ve hated being a people pleaser by nature.

And suddenly I find I’m not one.

Maybe it’s God’s direct intervention, the influence of friends, or the slow march of maturity. Maybe I’ve been riding a hormonal roller coaster, sent down the track by pregnancy and motherhood.  Maybe something broke in me long ago and it’s finally fixing.

But whatever the cause, I’m done with it!

I want to be a Persons-pleaser…pleasing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

As long as I am obeying the Father, emulating the Son, and listening to the Spirit’s leading, the tumult of others’ emotions cannot rule me.  I can trust Him to order and guide all my relationships, and if someone has a problem with me for petty reasons and rejects me? – that’s only because He willed it, and He still loves me and is better than any earthly friend.

And for those times when it is about me, and I have hurt someone, He can give me the humility to apologize and make it right – without devolving into self-hatred and miserable anxiety.

My heart, soul, and mind are forgiven, loved, and claimed as precious by the Maker of all things.

I’m so thankful that my emotions finally got the memo! 😉

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

– Zephaniah 3:17

Have you ever suffered from being a people-pleaser or social anxieties? When? What helped you overcome it? Are you dealing with that right now? Share your story in the comments. ❤️