Sunday, June 28, 2009

Author Beth Groundwater Visits with COWG Members

Several COWG members met with author Beth Groundwater June 16 prior to her book signing at Barnes and Noble in Bend. Beth’s latest mystery novel is To Hell in a Handbasket, a sequel to A Real Basket Case.

Beth had one major piece of advice to writers: Submit, submit, submit! She suggested several websites when researching markets:,,,,,

Beth recommends anthologies as good markets for short stories. Do a Google or Bling search to find sources. Whatever publication a writer chooses, online or print, diligently read and follow the guidelines for submission. And learn about story rights—first rights, reprint rights, electronic rights, and audio rights. Beth told us that once our writing is published online, first rights are gone, even when published on our own websites or blogs.

On that note, Beth emphasized it's important for writers to establish and maintain websites and/or blogs, as well as to have business cards and other marketing tools (bookmarks, for example). These should include the website/blog address, places you’ve been published and any awards you’ve won or been considered for, if space allows.

And don’t forget Beth’s No. 1 mantra for writers—submit, submit, submit!

We thank Beth for visiting with us and sharing her guidance on how to succeed in the wonderful world of writing. Go to Beth’s website for updates, and to sign up for her newsletter:


Beth Groundwater said...

I really enjoyed meeting with your creative and industrious group, and I hope to hear about some short story sales from you soon!

Here are the websites I listed, for searching for short story markets:

For those of you who missed my talk, here's a couple of pieces of advice I shared;

Make sure you have had a critique group review your story and that you have given it a thorough edit at least six times, examining every word choice and every sentence to see if it is the best possible way to say something and looking at the overall plot and characterization. Then, start submitting to the ezines that don’t pay or pay very little, say $5 - $20 per story to build up publishing credits. Flash fiction ezines are a good place for this. Once you have 2-3 small ezine credits, stop giving away your writing (or only give away reprint rights) and focus on paying markets.

Avoid short story contests with high entry or reading fees. These are just scams to make money off of aspiring authors. If prizes are given, the prize money should equal at least half of the total expected entry fees and the fees should be modest. Better is to enter contests for more prestigious anthologies produced by writing organizations that are judged and edited. These usually have no or small fees and you are "paid" in copies, but they have a lot more prestige and weight with editors & agents.

Central Oregon Writers Guild said...

Beth, thank you for your comment, your great advice and links to the websites. I greatly appreciated the time you spent with us! As a former "Coloradoan" (grew up near Denver), I am looking forward to reading your wonderful books set in very familiar and meaningful (to me) places.

Anita Lanning

Sheila Deeth said...

I'm working on the submit submit submit bit. Many thanks for the great links.