Tag Archives: Getting published

The Pomegranate Society, Take Two

Remember a million years ago when I proposed a writing group for those in the ALI community focused on getting books published? Yeah, that. Sorry it has taken me so long to get all my ducks lined up in a row, but I think, after long contemplation and research and just plain old reading, that I have figured out a way to do it that will a) make sense for our writers b) not kick our collective butt but c) get us to move forward.

A quick refresher:

It’s not talked about much, but many of our best female writers are suspected to be fellow infertiles. From Isaak Dinesen to George Eliot, Dorothy Parker to Mary Shelley, who we know had a life-threatening miscarriage and lost her son at the age of three: these great writers were “our people”. They were able to create sustaining works of literature and channel pain into their art.

All you have to do is look through the roster of ALI bloggers to realize that we have some serious talent among us. There’s Mel (the bestselling author!) and Keiko has a novel in the works.

These projects are documented. But I suspect there are many others of us who have a few chapters of a thriller or graphic novel, a book of poetry, a children’s book. A cookbook.

I need a greater push into the arena of publishing, and I think others would too.

What if we were to begin a virtual workshop where we critiqued and helped other writers refine their projects into what they are after? I’m happy to play facilitator and match up groups. I’d love it if by the end of the year we could get at least a few finished work with contracts signed.

The more books by the ALI community, the greater the message gets out. Plus, a nice boost of accomplishment for us all wouldn’t go amiss.

A number of really talented bloggers were interested, but I proposed a punishing schedule that was going to be difficult for many to maintain.

So here’s what I’m thinking now:

I think The Pomegranate Society should have three parts.

1. I still think the best way to get people writing is to pair a blogger with a fellow writer working on a similar project. But this time, I want to do just that: pair you together. Together, you two can create your own timetable. Whether it’s a chapter a week, a proposal review, an outline, advice, etc. I would leave it up to the two of you to set the parameters. I will have, of course, suggestions 😉

2. I would host either weekly or bi-weekly interviews with a writer or publisher or agent or self-publishing expert who can advise us all on the best ways to get published. I would solicit questions from all of my readers, and anyone can visit and be educated.

3. In June, I would host a private, virtual group critique session for those writers paired who are interested in getting a lot of feedback from our other writers and, hopefully, a special guest.

I think this is manageable and workable and we could all learn a lot this way.

So, what say you? I will contact privately those of you already interested.

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Filed under The Pomegranate Society, writing

Founding Partners of The Pomegranate Society

This Declaration of Intent was emailed to all of the members of The Pomegranate Society. It’s not too late to join: please comment below if you are interested in joining our intrepid group!

Hello all prospective members! I am so excited that you are interested in The Pomegranate Society. We are going to go get that publishing pot of gold. Together.

I have done a lot of research and spoken with MFA candidates and graduates, authors published and unpublished. I hope that I have solidified my ideas for this writing workshop. And, that you like them!

PURPOSE!

1. I have noticed that a lot of bloggers in the ALI community either have book projects, unfinished works or finished books that they hope to get ready for the publishing sphere.

2. A lot of us need a kick in the butt to move on these projects and finish them. And make them publishable.

3. Most workshops and MFA programs don’t focus on the end goal: getting your work published. The only program that puts a big emphasis on getting your works published is Columbia’s. Not coincidentally, their MFA program has the highest rate of published authors.

5. There is a dramatic shift in publishing: the New York publishing empire is crumbling and a new breed of small publishing houses are looking to take their place. These houses value talented bloggers with a reputation for authenticity. I know you all fit that description.

6. Self-publishing has also been very successful for some authors lately, and may be right for you.

7. We’ve all had so many crappy things happen. I’d love for us to produce something positive!

At the end of this workshop you may not have a finished product. But I hope that it will have given you the kick you need to EVENTUALLY complete your work, and publish it if you so wish.

METHOD TO THE MADNESS!

Only 10% of writers who attend workshops ever finish their manuscripts and publish them. It’s like going on a diet: you have to be extremely disciplined to complete your project.

What works best with dieters trying to lose weight? Community-based programs. Pairing them with workout buddies.

This is why I want to pair each member of The Pomegranate Society with another member. This member might have a similar project, or might be at the same point in the writing process as you.

Your partner will keep you on track. Both of you will come up with self-imposed deadlines: write a certain amount of words, or x number of chapters each week. Refine x amount, tighten x amount of work. Contact x number of agents. This partner will keep you accountable for these deadlines, like an editor or a boss.

Your partner will read your work each week, and you will read their work each week. Guidelines for critique will be issued: it will need to be constructive, yet kind.

In addition to the partner dynamic, each week I’d like to have each member submit a piece of writing to the critique group at large. Positive, but constructive comments would be given to by everyone. I have a few “guests”: professional writers, “stars”, etc that would also come once a week and also offer their comments. Guest stars, if you will 🙂

I also hope to do interactive Q & As with a publisher and an agent at the end of our workshop.

WHAT I NEED FROM YOU!!!!!!

Can you each please tell me about your project in detail: the genre, the plot, where you are in the writing process. I absolutely swear on my life that I will not reveal these details to another living soul. If you do join The Pomegranate Society, you will obviously be sharing this information with the group chosen. If you all want to sign NDAs to establish the trust, that is fine by me.

PLEASE tell me if there is anything else you want out of this program. I don’t want to issue commands from on high and want this to be as collaborative as possible.

Once I have finalized who is in and paired you up, many more details will be to come, including a critique schedule, the critiquing guidelines. The critiquing process.

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Filed under Discovering joy, getting published, The Pomegranate Society, writing