Grants for Writers

Today I did not put pencil to pager or finger to keyboard.  However, I did do a little research about grants for writers. Besides the current memoir that I am working on, I have two to three other book projects that I’m thinking about.  Like I said in an earlier post, I’m not a fan of putting all of my eggs in one basket, I’d rather have a carton full of various eggs, preferably PAAS colored Easter Eggs that are tie-dyed and trippy like Jerry Garcia might’ve made them––kidding.

If you are a writer looking for grants, here is one website that I have been combing through.  It’s called Funds For Writers.

And here’s another called, Grant Space.

Now, I’ve only applied for one writing-related grant.  Grants take time to fill out.  Also make sure to check the deadlines.  Those are very important!

You’re welcome!

A Very Short Story

How long do you look at a page before you start to type something? I wrote and edited one essay today and then I started another one. The cursor had been blinking on the page for more than an hour before I realized I was done. This isn’t a ‘writer’s block’ thing. This short story will stand at just two words.

As the story goes, Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in six words.  He did:  For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.

My story stands at two words: Expletive Deleted!

Learning to Deal with Rejection

banksy, follow your dreams cancelled, tag, graffiti, writing, rejection, So most of you know already that I’m trying to get book published.  The other day I got another rejection from yet another agency.  The crazy thing is, I’m totally aware of the process and have embraced it.  My wife on the other hand said, “why do you pick these types of careers to follow?”  When you are a creative-type like I am, this is part of it.  Before writing, I was a photographer––currently I own a photography gallery.  I dealt with rejections as an artist and have watched artists that I represent go through it as well.  I’m usually the one on the other side of the table commenting on artists portfolios.  Now the tables are turned.

So receiving rejections from these literary agencies is totally understandable. Without naming names, I am going to show you some of the responses that I’ve received over the past few months.  Writers who are trying to get published: get used to this.  You’ll get a lot of these.  Embrace it and move on.  This is the only way you’ll stay sane.  I took this photograph a while back of Banksy’s ‘Follow Your Dreams-Cancelled‘. Don’t listen to him.  Follow your dreams to the end.

Food for thought:  J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before finding a publisher for Harry Potter and Stephen King received 30 rejection letters for his book Carrie.  One day someone will come along that will want to work with you and then you’ll freak the fuck out!

enjoy!

Dear Jason,
It’s my belief that an agent needs to make a strong emotional connection to any memoir she takes on in case the submission process turns out to be long and difficult, and she has to hang in there with it. Unfortunately, I didn’t make that connection here, and so, have decided to pass. I’m sorry not to be writing with better news and wish you the best of luck elsewhere.

Dear Author,
Thank you very much for giving us a chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, your project is not right for us at this time. Publishing is a matter of taste, however, and another agent may feel differently—we encourage you to keep looking for an enthusiastic editor or agent. We wish you the very best of luck with your work.

Dear Jason,
Thank you very much for your query. I’m afraid I’m not going to be the ideal agent for this and I’m going to pass. Good luck.

Dear Mr. Landry,
Thank you for your query. After consideration we have decided not to pursue this project, as it doesn’t seem quite right for us. As you know, this is a highly subjective business, and other agents are sure to feel differently. We wish you all the best in your search and hope your book finds a good home soon.

Dear Jason,
Thank you for thinking of me for your book project.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel this project is quite right for me and have decided not to pursue.  Please know that this business is highly subjective, and that what doesn’t work for one agent may work perfectly for another. I hope you will continue to search for a home for your manuscript. I wish you the best of luck as you move forward with your writing career.

Dear Author,
I regret that I am unable to answer your query with a personal note—please know that I read each and every letter in my inbox. At this time, I am only responding personally to projects which I intend to pursue. I’m afraid that in this instance, I did not have the enthusiasm necessary to request pages. I apologize for the frustratingly subjective nature of this business and I do wish you all the best of luck finding the right agent for your work.

Dear Jason,
Thank you for sending this through to us. We wanted to let you know that we greatly appreciated having the opportunity to review your work, but are sorry to say that we do not feel able to offer you representation.

Sometimes we must pass on books, even very good books that we feel are either out of our range or would require an amount of attention we cannot provide at this time.  In addition, we can’t afford to take on projects that we’re not absolutely confident we can sell.  But we very much hope that you will find an agent with the right enthusiasm for your work.

Many thanks again for considering our agency, and we wish you the best of luck with your writing.

Andrew Stanton: Storytelling – A TED Talk

On the TED website, I typed in the topic: writing.  This sent me to a page: How to tell a story (6 talks).

This TED talk was filmed at TED 2012. You may want to go back and watch the other ones.

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning. (via ted.com)

ted, tedtalks, ted talks, ideas worth spreading,  technology, entertainment, design

 

 

 

 

Snowy Days Are Good For Writing

Boston-Snow, writing, write, snow storm, jason landry, boston, penthouse, weatherMe: Siri, can I stay home today and do some writing?

Siri: Let me check. Would you like me to check the Internet for, ‘Can I stay home today and do some writing?’

Me: Ah, no Siri, I was hoping that you would be able to answer that.

Snowy days are perfect days to get some writing done. Take a look at the picture on your left. That’s the view from my penthouse in Boston. Actually today, I may do some more editing and then read a bit. There’s little distraction since I don’t want to go out. I won’t be tempted to run out for a bagel or a burrito or a pizza. My wife set up dinner in the crock pot and the dog is already sound asleep at my feet and it’s only 8:57am.

I have about 67,000 words written and in the can toward my first memoir. I can’t express how exciting this has been for me. I already have two more book ideas on the back burner––one non-fiction and one fiction. I’ve been told that when you’re stuck writing, start writing something else. Instead of putting all my eggs in one basket, I have opened up a carton of eggs––none of which are colored with PAAS Easter Egg dye––yet!

On a side note, the Boston Marathon is less than 30 days away. Last year the weather was in the 80’s on Marathon Monday. Even though tomorrow is the official First Day of Spring, the chances that warm weather will actually come that quickly is looking doubtful––however, I’m optimistic!

 

11 Good Quotes for Writers

quote, fortune cookie, literary, writing, trees, writer, grub street, quotesAre you writing a memoir or a non-fiction book project?  I went back over my notes from last weekend’s AWP Writing Conference in Boston.  Here are some great quotes that I wrote down from two separate sessions: The Art of the Non-Fiction Idea and The Urge Toward Memoir.

Since I’m learning just as much as the next person, I was too busy feverishly writing notes to remember who actually said these great one-liners.  If you know who said it, feel free to send me a note.  Wouldn’t some of these quotes look good inside fortune cookies?  This images is from a fortune cookie that I was given at the Grub Street booth.  You guys rock!

Here’s 11 Good Quotes for Writers to Think About.

“Date around before you marry an idea.”

“Will your idea pass the cocktail party test?”

“You need to be able to sell your idea in two minutes.”

“Tell the stories that only you can tell.” ~ Ethan Gilsdorf

“Test out your ideas in short form first.”

“Build up your authority in your niche.”

“Virality = will your writing piece circulate and go viral online?”

“Your project is a balance between you and your voice and the topic.”

“You have to have control of your story just like your novel.  Your readers are dying to know what’s next.”

“All of life is a cover story.”

“Your family will not see things from your point of view.”

Writing: Finding That New Outlet To Plug In To

jason landry, portrait, photographer, paris, artistWriting: Finding That New Outlet To Plug In To

Once upon a time I was a photographer.  I would photograph people, places and things.  I would go on trips all around the world making photographs and that was my artistic outlet.  Before that, it was drawing and playing the guitar.  I enjoyed drawing and sketching things and I also liked strumming along to my favorite tunes.  Now that I own a gallery, I’m not sketching, playing the guitar or photographing as much anymore.  I needed to find a new artistic outlet––something that would give me an opportunity to express myself.

Writing and reading were never two of my favorite things.  If you gave me a choice between reading a book, writing a story, listening to music or going out to eat, I would opt for the two latter.  I’m not sure what happened, other than to say that writing and reading have become my two new favorite artistic outlets and they have opened me up to a world of possibilities.  I’ve regained a new appreciation for the art of writing and have embraced it wholeheartedly.

I was asked recently, are you a writer? My answer of course, Why yes…yes I am.  What do you like to write? (that’s usually the follow-up question.) My answer: everything.  Right now, I don’t want to pigeonhole myself in one genre of writing.  Although I am writing a memoir, I have found writing poetry and short fiction equally as enjoyable.  I also have a few ideas on how I can incorporate some writing with a photographic project that I’ve been kicking around in my head.

When investing in a new art form, diversify your portfolio.  If it’s writing, you never know what will be on the next page until you turn it.

AWP13 – My first writing conference

awp13, awp, writing, conference, boston, 2013

Since we were experiencing shitty weather in Boston and usually not too many people will venture out to visit the gallery when it’s raining or snowing, I opted to spend the weekend at my very first writing conference––AWP13, organized by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

There is a two-fold reason that I wanted to attend AWP:  The first reason is, I like writing and I like reading journals.  The second reason is, many of these literary journals and books are using photography more often on their covers and I wanted to connect with them and introduce them to my gallery and the artists that I represent.

I attended this event on Friday and Saturday, sat through a few panel discussions and cruised through the book fair.  The panels were jammed packed––I’m talking fire hazard packed!  I’m glad I used the coat check––it might have been cold and snowy outside, however it was a heat box in there!

The book fair was well-attended and was located on two floors.  I actually got confused walking through it and realized that I was going in circles.  I took multiple passes on many booths.  I had a good time talking with all of the vendors and made some new friends on Twitter.  I got tons of shwag that I’m still sifting through.

I’m looking forward to my next literary conference in May, Grub Street‘s The Muse and The Marketplace.

World Book Day: Read Some Memoirs!

jenny lawson, let's pretend this never happened, author, book, world book day, memoir, taxidermyToday is World Book Day.  Mostly geared toward children and young adults, I don’t see why it can’t be geared toward everyone.  Everyone should know how to read, right?  I used to hate reading.  I always had a list of better things to do with my time.  Later in life I learned that relaxing with a good book is a good way to spend my time.

Since I’m writing a memoir, I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs.  I’d like to share with you a few books that I thought were particularly interesting.  My selections are all over the map: business, cooking, comedy, music, movies––because when you are trying to write a memoir, you need to get various points of view.  By reading, you learn new ways to say what you want to say.  I’m not looking for big words…I’m looking for the right words.  The right words take time and come when you least expect them––when you’re out walking, running, grocery shopping or even on the toilet.

My wife isn’t going to let me go back to college to earn any more degrees, so my MFA in Creative Writing is going to come from the books that I buy on a weekly basis from all of my favorite bookstore haunts, and a few workshops through Grub Street.

Here is a list of my:
Top 8 Memoirs to Read if you’re Trying to Write a Memoir.

1.)  Patti Smith, Just Kids
2.)  Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential  — Twitter @bourdain
3.)  Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. — Twitter @TheBloggess
4.)  Tina Fey, Bossypants
5.)  Kevin Smith, Tough Shit — Twitter @ThatKevinSmith
6.)  Nikki Sixx, This Is Gonna Hurt — Twitter @NikkiSixx
7.)  David Sedaris, Me talk Pretty Someday
8.)  Mitch Albom, Tuesday’s with Morrie — Twitter @MitchAlbom

Oh yeah.  You can follow me on Twitter too if you feel so inclined. Twitter @Lanrod

 

From Within – A Poem about Creativity

From Within

Your experiences are analyzed and interpreted.
All your hopes and fears are realized.
Perceptions are made.
Cold.

A breath of air leaves the body.
A bead of sweat penetrates the skin.
A life is born.
Warmth.

Cultural,
Boundaries,
Surroundings.
Some of your influences will come from home.

But only from within, does your truest creativity blossom.