Missouri Writers’ Guild 101st Annual State Writing Conference

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 9.25.07 PMKansas City is hosting the Missouri Writers’ Guild 101st Annual State Writers Conference (April 29 – May 1, 2016). Open to new and experienced writers, we’ll talk craft, how to break into publishing, survival skills, and tips and tricks that should be in your toolkit. Our 2016 Keynote speakers are José Faus, Pam Grout, and Rachel Russell.

Guest agents include:

  • Janelle Walden Agyerman, Marie Brown Literary
  • Amy Cloughley, Kimberley Cameron & Associates
  • Reiko Davis, DeFiore and Company
  • Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary
  • Abby Saul: Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Guest editors include:

  • Philip Martin: Editorial Director, Crickhollow Books and Crispin Books
  • Georgia McBride: Publisher, Month9Books
  • Eileen Robinson: Publisher, Move Books (Sunday Master Class and Critiques)
  • Deborah Reinhardt: Managing Editor, AAA Midwest Traveler, AAA Southern Traveler

Guest librarians:

  • April Roy
  • Napthali Faris

Guest authors include:

  • Terry J. Allen: “Character Development Through Dramatic Action”
  • Barbara Bartocci: “Writing Memorable Memoir”
  • Angela Cervantes: “The Author/Agent Relationship”
  • Gwendolyn Hooks – “Nonfiction for Kids and Work for Hire”
  • Jen Mann – Is it Funny Yet?, True Stories Well Told, and a Master Class on Nonfiction
  • Erick McHenry, Kansas Poet Laureate – “Poetry Breakout”
  • Janet Sunderland – “Saving Grandpa’s Stories (and Grandma’s Too!)”

Faculty subject to change. For up to date details on guest speakers and presenters, be sure to visit the MWG website.

Erick McHenry, Poet Laureate, will teach workshops on Poetry. We’ll also have sessions covering nonfiction, travel, memoirs, humor, working with agents, and more. The MWG Conference offers two tracks: one for those writing adult literature and one for those writing children’s literature and young adult.

And for the first time we’re offering a Shark Tank – a live 90-second pitch of your project in front of our editors and agents or a First Pages option. Some faculty have agreed to read queries in advance. Information about manuscript submission will be sent to those who enroll.

Come join us and advance your career. Real talk with real professionals. Friday reception, Saturday Lunch, and the Saturday Banquet included in the tuition. Find the MWG flyer/printable registration here. For online registration click here.

The event will be hosted at the Kansas City Hilton April 29 – May 1, 2016, one exit from the Kansas City International airport. Early bird pricing for tuition is available until March 2.

 

 

FREE for February – Edge of Truth!

EoTJava Free Ebook

When Rena Moon’s emotions spike, the earth trembles

This month, I’m giving away my eBook for FREE in celebration of my main character who, despite being trapped in a dystopian world, is still a teenager experiencing a first crush.

A recent review says, “With whisperings of #Divergent and #TheHungerGames, Edge of Truth is an excellent young adult read.”

Find it on AmazonBarnes and Noble website, or in the Apple Store.

Summary

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for sixteen-year-old Rena Moon whose emotions trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, she strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s struggling so hard to escape?

Praise for EDGE OF TRUTH

“Nevan is one of the most lovable, genuinely charismatic heroes I’ve encountered.” – Carrie Butler, Author of STRENGTH and COURAGE

“EDGE OF TRUTH is a wonderful mix of unique premise, toe-tingling romance, and action-filled adventure. Hanova captures everything there is to love in YA.” – Anna Silver, Author of OTHERBORN

“Rena is an inspiring heroine who girls could look up to.” – Literary Meanderings

“5 stars because I simply could not put it down…” TiffyFits Reading Corner

Click to Tweet…

“The picture Natasha paints of her world is dazzling.” ~@Tangynt on Edge of Truth http://ow.ly/wHjmF  #dystopian @NatashaHanova 

“Nevan is one of the most lovable, genuinely charismatic heroes I’ve encountered.” ~@CarrieButler on Edge of Truth http://ow.ly/wHjmF  

“I love the characters in the story…” ~@JacindaBuchmann on Edge of Truth by @NatashaHanova http://ow.ly/wHjmF  #dystopian #romance

“A refreshingly unique dystopian adventure…” ~TeenBlurb on @NatashaHanova’s Edge of Truth #dystopian #romance http://ow.ly/wHjmF

Repurposed Writing Challenge

30daysCOne of my goals for 2016, is to get back to blogging. Sure, it takes away from my writing time, but I miss the connection with the people in the blogosphere. It’s easy to come up with excuses for not doing something.

As a way to remove the, “I don’t know what to blog about” excuse, I plan to repurpose this 30-Day Writing Challenge into a 3o-ish Week Blog Challenge. I will most likely omit a few of them, because I’ve seen too many episode of Criminal Minds to feel comfortable answering all of them. Not that my blog readers are criminals, but you know what I mean.

As always, I’ll also blog about writing, because that and chocolate and well, food in general (excluding bananas) are my passion.

Feel free to jump on the band wagon if you find yourself struggling to find something to blog about or if you’re struggling with writer’s blog and looking for something a little different to kickstart your muse.

Happy Reading & Writing!

Write What You Hear

SoundWordsAs writers, one of the things we are tasked with is breathing life into the scenes we write. It’s a delicate balance. We need to give just enough description to make readers feel like they are in the same space as our character(s), but not overwhelm them with details that bog down the story. One of my favorite ways to pull readers into the worlds I create is through the five senses: sound, sight, taste, touch, and smell.

Last November, while attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days for #NaNoWriMo (and winning – wahooo), I found myself spending precious time struggling to find the perfect sound word. Clink, plink, splat…they all arouse different images in the imagination.

To appease my muse, I started a list of sound words. Since then, I’ve added a few more sounds. My critique partner, Dawn Allen helped me round out the list, because the far right column was a few words short of being even with the other columns. And those who know me, know that simply would not do. So, thanks Dawn for yet again helping me maintain my sanity.

May this list appease your muse as well.

Happy reading and writing!

 

Confessions of A Writer

lips-839236_1280There’s a reason you haven’t seen much of me lately. To be honest, the cause shocks me a little. I’m almost too shy to admit it out loud. You see, I can’t manage to keep my hands off of my sexy keyboard. I’ve been spending almost all my free time stroking its little black keys, making them click, spilling words across one page after another on my current WiP. I love the way the sentences flow, the way the paragraphs expand to the next line repeatedly until the whole page is inundated with text. Watching a once blank, white page become swathed in choice, black lines….it’s invigorating. Addictive.

I must also admit, this confession is more for me than for you. Is that selfish? Maybe. Right now, I don’t care.

This confession is a reminder to my future self, whom I’m confident will be riddle with doubts about whether she’s a real writer, whether she has what it takes to finish her current manuscript, whether she will be able to come up with ideas for more books.

The answer is YES!

Writing makes you a real writer. Being published is not a qualification of being a writer. Having more than one book out in the world doesn’t make you a real author. It’s so easy to compare yourself to other writers, ones who have three, six, fifteen books out there. But that’s not fair to yourself. Stop it. Everyone is on their own writing path. Write your words; let them write their words. A real writer writes.

You will finish your manuscript one word at a time. Sure, there are people out there who can lay down 1,000 words in half an hour. It’s not about how fast you write. It’s about enjoying what you write, because if you don’t enjoy it, neither will your readers. Sometimes, the words flow. Sometimes, you have to yank every syllable from the greedy hands of your muse. Don’t give up. One word at a time, finish the manuscript.

Ideas surround you everyday. Look for new story lines in your current work. Is there anything you can explore with your side characters? Your villain? Beyond the page, real people are gold mines of ideas. Family, friends, co-workers (change names to protect the innocent/or guilty), strangers – all open game. Watch, listen, take notes. Collect ideas from your environment.

What doubts do you struggle with? How do you overcome them?