Tuesday, December 24, 2013




Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season!


The Purple Pros will be on hiatus until Jan. 2, 2014.  You can still read past postings, but no new ones will be added until after the new year.  In addition, SWA members may submit news, stories, essays, poetry and more throughtout the week to purple@southeasternwriters.org.

Happy Holidays!

~~Amy Munnell
Editor

Monday, December 23, 2013

Let There Be Light!




Last year, Babe got it into his head to buy a pre-lighted artificial Christmas tree.

“They’re much better than live trees, he said, “and they don’t leave needles all over the floor."

“There’s no substitute for fresh greens,” I pouted. He rolled his eyes.

I know Babe loves me, but he loves a good buy even more. Bargain driven, he can sniff one out from fifty miles away. Babe went whole hog into bird dog mode so that he and Mr. Google could go hunting. I shook my head and disappeared into the kitchen. 

My hands were buried in a bowl of fruitcake batter when he shouted, “Great Jumping Jingle Bells! I’ve found it!”

Costco had the best price but we would need to drive down to Jacksonville on Black Friday when no sane person can be found anywhere near a big box store. He didn’t care. 

He insisted we go together, the island causeway gridlock notwithstanding. A Category 5 hurricane evacuation would have gone more smoothly. “The traffic’s terrible. Let’s just buy a live tree like we’ve done every other year,” I whined.
He rolled his eyes again. “Not big enough.”

“Babe, we’re not the couple living in the White House.”

He said our 18 feet tall vaulted ceiling required an extra tall tree. “Last year,” he reminded me with a snide, know-it-all expression on his face, “you bought a piddly little six-foot live tree that looked like it had been in a war zone.”

He was right. The tree looked so pitiful and forlorn that we left it up until after Valentine’s Day so it wouldn’t go to the shredder with an inferiority complex. 

As soon as we got inside Cosco, Babe spied his prey. “There it is,” he said breathlessly. “Our tree. Is it magnificent or what?”

I looked up and up and up. “It’s too tall, Babe. How will we ever get an angel up there?”
He stared at me like I had been sampling bourbon-laced eggnog. “While it is true that it is tall, I am sure it will fit perfectly in the middle of our living room. Besides, if we buy it today, we’ll save eighty bucks on shipping.”

I turbo sigh. “Woohoo. Just buy the thing and let’s get out of here.” I glanced behind him. “Babe, do you remember when we were outside in the parking lot and you snuck the car into that parking space you said had your name on it?” 

He nodded his head, obviously more interested in gazing at Paul Bunyan’s answer to Fa-La-La than any discussion about parking lots.

“Well,” I whispered, “the woman who was patiently waiting on the space you stole is standing right behind you now, and she is not ho-ho-ho-ing.”  

He spun around and came nose to nose with a woman shaped like a Humvee who was toting a pocketbook the size of a BarkaLounger. If she had pulled out an AK-47 and started shooting, I would have been the only one in the store to see it coming.

Babe turned to me and whispered, “I’ll pay for the tree. You drive the getaway car.”  

Five hours later we arrived home with our direct from China Christmas tree in two boxes, each one equal to the size and weight of a Volkswagen. We somehow managed to get them unboxed and assembled into one 16-foot tall tree, complete with 2,500 pre-strung lights. Our chiropractor is our new BFF.

When finally the tree was up and plugged in, the living room lit up enough to cause corneal damage. Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree has never been so bright. If the Rockettes had popped in for some liquid holiday cheer, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

We had a few chilly nights during the holidays so we doused all the lamps and got up close and personal with those 2,500 Chinese Christmas tree lights. Andy Williams crooned sappy songs while we pretended we were in Rockefeller Center sipping hot buttered rum and watching the skaters. I snuggled close to Babe in a genuine Kumbaya moment and before long felt the spirit of Christmas down to my toes.

“Admit it,” Babe touted. “Artificial trees are better than live ones.” He was about to add, Didn’t I tell you? 

Before he could form the words, I said, “We’ll talk about it in January after the electric bill for those 2,500 lights arrives. Meanwhile, I should make another batch of bourbon eggnog. When the Rockettes show up, they’ll be plenty thirsty.”

Merry Christmas Y’all!

~~Cappy Hall Rearick

Cappy is a columnist, humorist and is the author a dozen books, including the novel, The Road to Hell is Seldom Seen.  She has stories in several editions of the Not Your Mother's Book series and she writes regularly for Writer Beat, After Fifty Living, and others.  Check out her website: www.simplysoutherncappy.com



Thursday, December 19, 2013

ReBlogs: Where’s the Chicken?

Note from Emily Sue: "Happy holidays to you! I know Thanksgiving's past but this story [relates to] the yuletide season as well!"


Thanksgiving Day loomed ominously close. Ominously because the clock kept ticking and the hacking, debilitating cough I’d had for five weeks refused to turn loose. Late afternoons found me stretched out on the sofa, exhausted and limp as a noodle.

“It will just have to run its course,” droned Dr. Brunson.

“But—I have to cook for Thanksgiving. My family is all coming in,” I sputtered, they being my three offspring, their spouses, and eight grandchildren, a total of sixteen.

And son-in-law, Bubba, whose prowess in the kitchen challenged mine.

“Why don’t you let them take care of you this year?” my physician suggested so calmly that, had I had the strength, I’d have taken his office apart, board by board.  He, like my husband, Lee, remained clueless to the fact that my “great cook” reputation wobbled on the line here.

Finally, Thanksgiving Day dawned. I loaded up on decongestants and antibiotics, got an early start and by noon, completed part of my desserts, tea, and endless tedious things which comprise cooking.

“Slow down, honey. You’re making enough for an army,” Lee murmured in passing, snatching goody samples and dodging my swats. Yeh, I thought, feeling particularly nasty, but you have no compunctions about dipping in.

Men just don’t get it with the cooking thing.

Every female alive knows that cooking and feeding folks is affection in its most noble form. Not cook?

“No way Jose’,” I snapped at Lee, who’d again suggested KFC or something equally blasphemous. “Our kids and grandkids want to eat Mimi’s buttermilk biscuits and strawberry jam. What about Chicken Bog? No restaurant around here offers anything that even remotely resembles it.”

Chicken Bog is a tradition at our house..  Each holiday, the low-country Chicken-rice-smoked sausage dish dazzles alongside potato salad, cranberry sauce, dressing/gravy, sweet potato pie, and a dozen other entrees.

Anyway, my Chicken Bog and homemade buttermilk biscuits are the only foods on earth that are not Bubba-specialties. Master chef Bubba juggles grilling tools, spices, and roasting meat with one hand and stirs up incredible gourmet veggie dishes with the other as effortlessly as suppressing a yawn.

Anything short of splendid on my part today would be catastrophic.

“Why don’t you cut down this time since you’re not feeling well?”

“You’re talking to a perfectionist over-doer, remember?” I joked listlessly.

Lee swiped a chunk of smoked sausage and when I didn’t react, murmured, “you really are sick, aren’t you?”

“Yeh. And Pam, Bubba, and the girls will be here soon.” The room began it’s afternoon spin but I groped the counter, took deep breaths, then managed to get the chicken for the bog stewing in pots.

“I’ll watch these,” Lee said as I tumbled onto the sofa and spiraled downward into a short comatose snooze.

“This chicken seems done,” Lee’s voice tugged me from fuzzy Netherlands and onto unsteady feet.  I fork-tested for tenderness. Perfect. He tong-lifted the meat to bowls.

“I’ll put these here in the freezer section to cool before I debone and dice the meat.” I did so and whisked cooled potato cubes from the fridge to transform into potato salad.

An hour to go. Measure broth into large pot and season to taste. Add sautéed onions, smoked sausage, then bring to boil. Add rice, cover, steam twenty minutes. Done. More creamy and moist than usual. That’s good. Pot doesn’t look quite as full but there’s plenty.

Buzzer. Pie is golden done. Lee measures coffee into coffeemaker.

Shower. Dress. Cars pulling in driveway. Hugs. Kisses. Laughter.

Shouts of glee—Oooh, Mama’s Chicken Bog! Mmm…. You outdid yourself Mama…Mimi, did you bake biscuits? May I have one now? Hands clasped, blessing said…

Everything seemed swathed in a heavy mist.  I blinked away the darned haze. I did it, by George, despite being so danged sick.  Fulfillment, thick and sweet, stirred inside me. I settled down to pick at my food, eyes heavy-lidded and watery, waiting for the compliments to continue.

“Great Chicken Bog, Mimi,” said Bubba. A comet—with Pride emblazoning it–flashed across my horizon. Then his forehead creased into puzzlement. “May I ask you a question”

“Sure,” I said, honored that Chef Bubba queried me.

“Where’s the chicken?” 

Silence dropped like a thick fog.

All around the table, heads lowered and forks pushed rice around in search of meat. “Oh, no,” I croaked, arose and zigzagged to the upright freezer. Sure enough, there they perched–bowls of cooling chicken, now half frozen.

“Anybody for Rice-a-la-Chicken-Mode?” I slurred, weaving a bit.

Everybody cracked up. “Naw, Mimi,” roared Bubba, having the time of his life. . “Heck, this Bog’s good jus’ like it is!”

We had our first meatless Thanksgiving feast and by far the funniest one.

This, too, shall pass, with Mimi’s spotless reputation restored? Right?

 Not on your life.

That holiday is etched in infamy, spawning a special commemoration. Each Thanksgiving now, when we sit down, Bubba grins like possum road-kill and bellows, “Where’s the chicken?”




~~ Emily Sue Harvey

Emily Sue has published 6 books, including Cocoon and Unto These Hills.  She is a life member of SWA and a former president. Read other blogs by Emily Sue on The Story Plant.

Monday, December 16, 2013

More than Luck



It’s not happenstance that I get published a lot. I work on it.

I don’t head out the door for manicures, pedicures, hair dyeing, shoe shopping, or over –the-top lattes. I write. I don’t work out at the gym, hit tennis balls, or twist myself into a pretzel in daily yoga classes. I spend my discretionary time researching markets for the writing I do the rest of the day.

According to any practical soul, I should be de-cluttering, mopping or dusting; instead, I read books on the writing craft. Other women with adult children spend oodles of time texting, e-mailing, phoning or visiting their grown offspring. Rather than being in constant communication with the outside world, I spend that amount of time recording on my excel spread sheet what’s sold, what hasn’t, and what I’ve given away just to see it in print somewhere.

In other words, friends, luck has little to do with my getting published. Determination and grit are the attributes needed to succeed in seeing your writing in print somewhere other than on your own computer screen. What I want is to be read by someone who doesn’t know me and has never heard my name before.

I wish I felt the passion for lifting weights I do for writing. Then, I’d be thin and muscular. I wish I enjoyed a Martha Stewart persona. Then, my living room’s décor would be worth a cell phone picture. I wish I thought my advice and listening skills were more valuable to my adult kids. If I were sure I wasn’t wasting their time yammering to them on  a cell phone, maybe I’d  bother them more; ahem, I mean communicate with them more.

The truth is we only have so many minutes in our day, and we have to decide on how we’re going to use those minutes. We can’t be all things to all people. I admire folks with a green thumb and a myriad of house plants, but I’m not dedicating more than six minutes per week to my yellowing tropical fronds and my pitiful African violets.  You get what you pay for, and you reap what you sow

The reason I place pieces as often as I do is that I try to place them. I stay aware of markets. So, how do I pick up tips on where to submit my outpourings?  Dave Letterman has his, and here’s my "Top Ten List":


  1. Writersmarket.com
  2. C. Hope Clark’s Total Fund for Writers; Bobbie Christmas’s newsletter
  3. Craft Magazines (Poets & Writers; The Writer; Writers’ Digest) I subscribe to these.
  4. Membership letters (SEWC, NCWN, Carteret Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, TAF) I’m a member of all.
  5. Bios of fellow freelance writers which appear in anthologies
  6. Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide (I own the book.)
  7. Writers’ Market (I own the tome.)
  8. Writers’ Conferences (Instructors mention places to submit.)
  9. Magazines I read: regional, travel, women’s.
  10. Writer friends


The Irish say: "Nodding your head doesn’t row the boat." So, talking about wanting to be a published writer is only that---talking. Less talk; more action! Be like the heroine in The Hunger Games. She speaks little but aims her bow a lot and aims it at the dome!  (Spoiler Alert!)


~~ Erika Hoffman

Erika Hoffman began her writing adventure eight years ago when she became confined taking care of her elderly dad with dementia in her own home.  The first piece she wrote was fortunately accepted by A Cup of Comfort for Families affected by Alzheimer’s and other Dementias. She learned about this market because she attended the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, GA. Since then, Erika has published many nonfiction narratives, but still has flights of fantasy where she dreams of publishing a whodunit!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Round of Applause: Member News



Carl Glickman’s book, The Trembling Field: Stories of Wonder, Possibilities, and Downright Craziness, is available on amazon.com in paperback and digital editions. Several of the stories and essays were entered in the 2012 SWA Summer Competition.  All proceeds will be donated to youth organizations serving children in poverty. 

Patrick Hempfing had his "moMENts" columns published in December issues of About Families, Memphis Parent, Suburban Parent and Irving Parent

The new magazine Screamin’ Mamas has accepted Erika Hoffman’s essay “Empty the Vacuum Cleaner” for its January issue and her story called “Valentine Resolution” for their February edition. Her pieces also appeared in the magazine’s November and December issue. In addition, Erika has a piece on the craft of writing humor - “What’s So Funny, Anyway?” - that is scheduled for publication in March’s edition of The Writer.  Finally, Erika received the good news that Page & Spine would like to publish her mystery entitled “Chew On That!”  She often finds homes for her personal essays so Erika is particularly excited to discover a paying venue for her fiction. 


We invite members to share news about their successes and activities so we can all join the celebration!

Monday, December 9, 2013

ReBlogs: My Own Little Literary Fiefdom




A good friend of mine who is also an author and publisher recently suggested that traditional thrillers, à la Plague, were my real forte, as opposed to the “tight” sub-genre of weather thrillers in which he viewed me as being “trapped.”

His comments came in the wake of a couple of successes by Plague: being nominated as a finalist in EPIC’s eBook Awards suspense/thriller category, and having a pretty good run up Amazon’s Kindle best-seller list to #37 after a Daily Deal appearance.

As much as I enjoy basking in my friend’s approbation of me as a traditional thriller writer, I don’t fully agree with his assessment.  If I’m literarily “trapped” in the weather-thriller sub-genre, it’s a self-imposed ensnarement.

I wasn’t happy when Plague languished in bookish backwaters for over a year.  There were multiple reasons that happened, but the most important one is precisely because I stepped out of my “tight” sub-genre.

With Plague, as I mentioned earlier, I ventured into the realm of traditional thrillers, a land ruled by Big Names with iron fists (and large promotional budgets).  Think the late, great Tom Clancy, Brad Taylor, Steve Berry, Daniel Silva.  It’s not just that they rule, but their minions are faithful to a fault and loathe to grant interlopers entrance to the kingdom.

In other words, thriller readers–I found out after Plague’s publication–are reluctant, more so than readers of other genres, to try novels by unfamiliar authors.  Romance readers, for example and by contrast, are much more willing to embrace books by new or “unknown” writers.

The bottom line here is that yours truly wandered into a genre minefield and stepped on a Bouncing Betty.

So, lesson learned.  I’m perfectly content, eager even, to homestead within my own little literary fiefdom–meteorologically-based drama–and solidify the specialized niche I’ve begun to stake out for myself.

Supercell follows in the tradition of Eyewall.  (And although I didn’t set out to produce a trilogy, it looks like I’ll end up with one.  I’m currently pecking away at a novel with the working title of Blizzard.)

My goal is to establish a lasting bond with a readership that loves weather thrillers, or at least thrillers based on our natural environment.

So, until Blizzard blows in, I hope you’ll enjoy the excitement and danger of a two-week tornado chase in Supercell.

~~ Buzz Bernard

A retired meteorologist, Buzz has published 3 novels, the latest, Supercell, came out this fall.  He is Vice-President of SWA and manages our workshop bookstore.  This article was reblogged with permission from his personal blog.  You can read his blog and learn more about Buzz on his website: buzzbernard.com

Thursday, December 5, 2013

September Ends: A Beautiful Little Story About a Novel Collaboration



Here is the beautiful backstory of our novel collaboration, which begin with an email sent from Peachtree Street, in the heart of Atlanta —

HE: You’ll need a creative project to get you through the next few months. Why don’t you write another novella?

ME: Why don’t you write one with me? What do you think about this? What if you write the poems and I write the prose?

With those emails a novel was born. September Ends is a contemporary romance with erotic and supernatural elements bound together by poetry. It reveals the intricate web of passion and desire entangling Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage. The story is told through Liz Snow’s diary, Jack O. Savage’s poetry, and letters sent across the Atlantic. 

The novel is a collaboration between an anonymous English poet, a “Northerner” as the English call them, now living in London, and me, a native Tennessean, now happily entrenched in Atlanta on Peachtree Street. We met through an online writers’ group and found that, not only did we share an enthusiasm for the new wave of indie authors and publications; we also share a passion for English and American Literature. We both feel very strongly that words can be an art form. 

His email came the day I learned that my mother was terminally ill with cancer. My response led to two months of back and forth emails and negotiation. I guess you could call it negotiations. He says now that he didn’t want to collaborate. I thought ‘no’ was merely a delay tactic until he found out more about how the novel would develop.

He wanted to know who the main character would be. That was around 9:00pm Eastern Time. By the time he checked his email the next morning in London, I had a four-page character analysis of Elizabeth October Snow of Atlanta, Georgia, originally from LaFayette, Georgia. What about the other characters? I developed Peter William Hendrix III of Chattanooga, Tennessee. What if they meet through a famous poet? An Englishman? What if…how about…Jack O. Savage, he said? I didn’t even need to think about developing his character because by that point The Story had found us.

My collaborator had never visited the American Southeast. How could he understand the lushness of our countryside in the summer? The sound of the bugs and crickets at night? The lull of interstate traffic that is a constant background hum? I recorded them for him! At night I stood outside capturing the sound of crickets and tree frogs from the farm in Tennessee. After a rainstorm, I visited my family’s cave and recorded the rush of the waterfall capped off with the lone cry of a mourning dove, which the Cherokees called a Rain Crow. I recorded the birds singing in the rain and I took pictures of our trees, flowers…anything that would assist him in the experience of the Southeast. 

Three main personalities presented themselves to us and these characters began to tell us the story. We developed the synopsis. It’s funny how the original storyline is almost nothing like the novel we plotted! My collaborator wrote the poetry as the ‘spine’ of September Ends. From there, I started writing the words to weave the characters around the plot. I visited the Margaret Mitchell house in Atlanta and literally begged her spirit, if it was still there, to give me some type of guidance, something unique that would be as different and of ‘the now’ as the poetry/prose collaboration. The question was also the answer. To make the novel a bit of today’s world, the story is told in the different methods in which we communicate as well as having a message which is relevant to today’s world. Diary entries, blogs, and emails comprise a great part of September Ends, although most of the story is told in a traditional novel format. 

I wrote Part-1 with each chapter as a short story, in case my collaborator wished to remove one. That way we wouldn’t have to re-write an entire section. By Part-2, we were both sharing ideas. By the time we reached Part-3, we were writing practically the same thing. We writing, me adding, he’d write more. The Muse found us in a major way. Now I understand how musicians or actors feel when they receive a buzz of the creative. In our case, we received a story. 

The anonymous English poet? We have only spoken on the phone three times. The entire book was written via emails and MS-word docs. 

Are we personally involved? No, we just work together. 

Do we have plans to meet? No, not really. It might upset the balance we have achieved in our collaboration. 

Do we plan on writing future novels? Yes, we do.

Sadly, my mother lost her battle with cancer and died before she could see the success for September Ends. She knew about the book because I wrote it on our farm in Tennessee while I took care of her as her disease progressed. She called September Ends my lifeboat during her turbulent seas. The poet and I dedicated the book to her and her courageous battle. She did live long enough to know that the book had been published. For that, I am very thankful.


~~ Hunter S. Jones

Hunter is an author from Atlanta.  September Ends is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.com, the week of November 24, 2013. Hunter plans book signings in Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville, including at Atlanta’s Spa Sydell Midtown location, Saturday December 14 at 1:00. See also: Twitter.com/huntersjones101; Facebook.com/huntersjones111; Pinterest.com/HunterSJones

Monday, December 2, 2013

EditorialLee Speaking



Recently one of my Facebook friends posted this interesting, if ridiculously theoretical, dilemma: if you could be eighteen again and know everything you know now, would you rather start out today or in 1957?

Although I did not post a response, I've found myself thinking about that question, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt my reply would have been 1957. Maybe somehow I could have stopped the assassination of John F. Kennedy; the event, which I believe, started America on its downhill slide from greatness to mediocrity, a fall that seems to gain momentum daily rather than being arrested. Could I have somehow gotten the ear of the leaders to let them know some of the disastrous long-term consequences of trusting future generations of politicians to safeguard our nation? I imagined myself writing letters to leaders, demonstrating my knowledge of the future by predicting that Lou Burdette would be the star of the 1957 World Series, that the Dodgers and Giants would abandon New York after the 1958 season, that the impossible tickets in the 1960 Presidential elections would be Kennedy-Johnson vs. Nixon-Lodge. Maybe with Nostradamus-like skills, I could get someone's ear, and 2013 wouldn't be the great mess that it is. I mean, wouldn't that be the only reason God would choose to put me there?

Perhaps I could stop my family members from smoking. Three of my uncles and one of my cousins died from lung cancer. Another cousin recently had a lung removed. Would they listen? Would anyone even think about cigarettes being a health risk in an era when smoking was accepted anywhere and everywhere, when commercials told you, "Winston tastes good like a (clap-clap) cigarette should"?

If I could somehow find my seven-year-old self, would he listen to his own future? Would I be able to change my own destiny? I wonder, because I was a pretty darned hardheaded kid (I'm sure that comes as no surprise to anyone).

And, if I did that, would I suddenly disappear for having changed my own future a la "The Butterfly Effect"? I decided I could not risk fixing me until I'd fixed the more important stuff. And maybe even then I couldn't risk it. Maybe I had to follow the imperfect path of my life to get to go back and be the hero . . . or a young man confined in a loony bin.

And, yes, of course, I'd get a degree in computer science. I would buy Microsoft stock, bet on Cassius Clay to beat Sonny Liston and a hundred other sports bets, such as putting money down on the Joe Namath-led underdog Jets to win the Super Bowl, or betting on Bee Bee Bee to win the 1972 Preakness Stakes after Riva Ridge had run away with the Kentucky Derby. 

The thing that kept bugging me, though, was wondering just where the heck I would start. I would be a nobody. Where would I be geographically, for example? If I were here in Atlanta, I would know nobody; I'd just be some penniless vagrant kid without an identity, most likely begging for something to eat. If I were back in my childhood homeland, how would I explain my 18-year-old self to people who knew me as the seven-year-old I became on June 22 of that year? How would I get a social security card without a birth certificate? Begging for food or a place to sleep wouldn't be the way to start a new life. Or maybe it's an old life, I'm not sure of the phraseology.

I considered enlisting my grandmother, a trustworthy soul widowed in 1954 when a train rammed an automobile, which held my paternal grandfather. I could tell her things about the family only I could know, I could convince her who I was and how critical it would be not to let anyone else know about me. She would give me shelter and help me get work, perhaps help me research kids born in 1939 who died in infancy so I could get one of their birth certificates. Would that be successful?

If you have a few minutes to devote to the fantasy, I urge you to think about this one, not so you can be ready when it happens because we all know it won't. But because it's a great brain exercise.

Merry Christmas!

~~ Lee Clevenger

Lee is the current President of SWA, an author and co-founder of ThomasMax Publishing in Atlanta, GA.

Friday, November 29, 2013

ReBlog: The Forgotten Fifth Sense: Are You Making Use Of ALL The Senses In Your Writing?


We all know that it’s important to incorporate “the five senses” in our descriptive writing. In poems, sensory details make images come alive. In short stories and books, the characters’ five senses are what allow us to get lost in the story.

But few writers realize which of the five senses they lean on more heavily than others. As a writer, you will have a natural inclination toward one sense over the others. Do you know your writing well enough to identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the five senses?

Think about your own writing. When you write about the senses, which are stronger, which are weaker? In what order would you rank the way that you use the five senses in your writing? Does it follow the order below?

The Five Senses At Work In Your Descriptive Writing


Vision is the first and often primary way that characters and narrators interpret the world. They look at things—sunsets, other characters, pets, or their own faces in the mirror. More often than not, descriptive passages come first through the sense of sight.

Touch tends to be readily available to writers as well. Characters will notice that it is cold, that the wind is blowing, that a loved one’s hand is warm.

Sound tends to follow vision and touch. After a character sees a sunset on a beach, he or she will hear the sound of the seagulls and the crashing of the tide.

Scents usually aren’t too far behind. A writer may choose to corroborate what his character’s eyes and ears are telling him about the setting with smell: the salty sea air, the aroma of boardwalk French fries drifting on the wind, and so on.

But there’s one sense that writers—especially new writers—tend to underestimate. And that is the sense of taste.

How To Use The Forgotten Fifth Sense In Your Writing


On more than one occasion we have heard writers say, “I like to have my characters eating something whenever possible.” And while everything should be done in moderation, we think that’s great advice.

As human beings, we have an intense relationship with food in one way or another. There are countless television shows dedicated to food, countless magazines about food on the shelves, countless books, countless blogs, and countless discussions at the lunchroom table about what everyone ate for dinner last night.

Do not underestimate the power of writing about food in your scenes. Food is primal. Food is life. By adding descriptions of taste to your scenes or your lines of poetry, you’ll deepen your readers’ experience of your work.



Writer’s Relief is a highly recommended author’s submission service. We help creative writers submit their work to the right literary agents and literary journals. Visit our website for free submission tips and hot publishing leads today! www.writersrelief.com 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do You Write Every Day?






Now that the holidays are here, life tends to take on new priorities and our social calendars spill over.  How do you juggle your writing with family, shopping, parties and more vying for your attention?

Please comment below.  If you receive The Purple Pros by email, DO NOT hit "Reply".  Go to http://purpleprosswa.blogspot.com/ and leave your comment.

SWA wishes you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Windmills of Your Mind…Memoirs


Everyone has a story, and it seems that more and more people are telling theirs.  Browse the "memoir" subcategory on Amazon.com and up pops more than 24,000 titles. In a day of reality TV, "reality" books also hold the public's interest. 

The term "memoir" refers to a reminiscent story and it can be short, like a personal essay or narrative, or it can be book-length.  It is always written in the first-person voice.

Do you want to write a memoir?


Writing a memoir can be a daunting task, but Scholastic.com has a great site with a step-by-step guide to beginning memoir writing.  It is a site aimed at teachers and students but "Teachers: Write It ⎢ Memoir" will lead you from brainstorming to polishing your finished manuscript.  And if you’re a student writer, there's also a list of contests where you can submit your work.

Some people will tell you if you're not a big sports star or a Hollywood celebrity or some other larger-than-life public figure, no one's going to be interested in your life story.  The thing about a memoir is that you don't have to tell your whole life story.  You can tell one event out of it if it is big enough for a book and has the universal appeal to attract an audience.

Where can you publish your memoir?


Most of the major publishers have a memoir imprint.  However, they also seek work only from agented writers.  If you don't have an agent, here are some publishers that will consider your memoir.  Most request proposals with an outline or synopsis, sample chapters as well as a report on how you would market the book.  Click each publisher's name to go their website.  

Barricade Books - seeks books with a "controversial lean" and expects authors who will be instrumental in publicizing their books,.
Chicago Review Press - guidelines page gives a list of components to include in your proposal.  
Seal Press - publishes books for women by women, there is also a detailed list of components on the website that should be in your proposal to them.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Oprah Winfrey Network Executive Q&A in Atlanta



Endyia Kinney-Sterns is the Vice President of Programming and Development for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will be in Atlanta for Breaking into Hollywood from Atlanta.  This is a networking event, not a pitch session.  All topics regarding the writing, development and production of television programs will be covered.  "All participants will have an opportunity to ask candid questions directly to the speaker and moderator!"

The Details

Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013 ✦ 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: The Westin Atlanta ✦ 4736 Best Rd. ✦ Atlanta, GA 30337
Cost: $100 ✦ Parking is $8 Special Flate Rate
Info: http://www.breakingintohollywood.org/112313

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bright Idea #61: The Well-Traveled Writer




Writing about travel experiences provides multiple avenues.  Newspapers use straight pieces about destinations, which include transportation, dining, and excursion information.  Be specific and as up to date as possible.  The more facts and figures you include the better.

Another option is a photographic journey chronicling an exotic locale or video happenings in your neighborhood.  Interview participants and include names and interesting tidbits in the celebrations, ballgames, or festivities.  People love to read their names in print.  If your camera techniques are iffy, enlist a camera buff to accompany you.

Another option would be to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to a trip, vacation, or happenstance.  This is my personal favorite.  I’ve written about getting lost in the U.S. Capitol, being bitten by a bear in the Smokies, and having plugs sucked into my ear canal as we landed in Honolulu.   I admit my experiences are extreme but people still identify.

No matter how you choose to write your travelogue, travel writing can be a sweet freelance opportunity if you keep a few things in mind.
  • Learn the lingo.  Quaint, a wash of color, and upper floor convenience leave a lot to interpretation. What is quaint to one is dilapidated to another.  Awash with color may mean the ceiling leaks.  And upper floor convenience may indicate no elevator.  People who write promotional pieces have a special vocabulary when it comes to describing accommodations.  Just saying.
  • Do your research before and after the trip.  Does your destination require visas/passports, medications/vaccinations, or special currency?  Use the library, the internet, and word of mouth.  Nothing is more reliable than a contact that has been where you intend to venture.  Culture shock rules when communication fails.  Make sure your plans and those of your editor, if you have one, shore up.  If possible get him/her to commit to the story before you leave so that you may slant the article to the age/gender/interest of your audience.  An article describing a Caribbean cruise will read differently for Bride’s Magazine than it will for Modern Maturity. 
  • Find your travel voice.  People who read travel articles are generally savvy about air travel, cruises, and auto excursions.  Write your article from an exciting, fresh, and very optimistic viewpoint.  Remember you may be the only link to another person’s experience.  Be honest – always – but try to find a silver lining in any assignment.
  • Recycle your research. Gather resource materials from hotels, airports, restaurants, and newsstands.  Plan on writing several articles from the same informational database.  Consider a first person account, a humor article, an informational travel column, and a piece on exotic entrees. Note times, admission fees, distance, and any other information that will aid your readers.
  • Park your prejudices.  Any account of a destination, restaurant review, or personal essay should be without bias and project a balanced perspective.  Travel writers are not permitted to take “freebies” or any gratuity that would influence their report.  
  • Make sure you and your traveling companion are on the same page.  “People like to possess a piece of the country they are visiting,” according to Mary Lou Weisman, author of Traveling While Married.  “Men like to eat it.  Women like to wear it.”  Be sure that you choose wisely the one to assist you with reading maps, programming the GPS, gathering brochures and research materials, taking photographs to accompany the article, and navigating airport terminals.
  • Check, check and re-check.  Amounts change.  Timetables vary.  Keep up on special deals. Make sure telephone numbers are correct.  Be sure that web sites and email addresses are valid. If possible list the name of a contact.  

And last but not least, enjoy the adventure of travel writing.  It’s a service you can provide to readers who are anxious to go where you have.  Be a well-traveled writer for those who follow in your footsteps.


~~Sheila S. Hudson

Sheila's work appears in Chocolate for a Woman's Soul series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Patchwork Path, From the Heart, Vols. 1 & 2, plus numerous periodicals including Costumer Magazine. She established Bright Ideas to bring hope and inspiration through the written word.  Sheila has also served as president of Southeastern Writers Association.

                          


Monday, November 11, 2013

A Round of Applause: Member News

We invite members to share news about their successes and activities so we can all join the celebration!



H.W. "Buzz" Bernard launched his latest novel, Supercell, at Books for Less in Atlanta on Nov 2.

Hunter S. Jones' book, September Ends, has been in the Top 50 on Amazon Literature & Fiction since it was released on October 1, 2013. It has been nominated for The Book Awards, The People's Choice Indie Category, UK. It is currently featured on Creme de la Creme Cover Contest for InDTale Magazine.

Charlotte Henley Babb had a short story and poem in the Pedigru Review.

Erika Hoffman’s essay "Silver Linings" has been accepted by Evangel and will appear in the 2014 issue. Her story “ A Christmas Rule” will appear in December’s edition of Screamin’Mamas and Erika’s story “Adult Children” will appear in Sasee Magazine’s December issue.

Jan Kelleher has several stories published in Not Your Mothers's Book anthologies: "Even If Askew" in Not Your Mother's Book . . . On Home Improvement and "Crying in the Chapel" and "Miss America or Misadventure" in Not Your Mother's Book... On Being a Parent.

Erika Hoffman and Connie Riddle are going to sign Chicken Soup books in Burlington, NC and Pinehurst, NC in upcoming months. In "Just Us Girls", Connie tells how she met Erika at a writers conference in Greensboro, NC and they became friends.

Patrick Hempfing had moMENts columns published in the following parenting magazines:  About Families, Metroparent, S.I. Parent, San Diego Family, Suburban Parent and Irving Parent, and Valley Parent magazine.  His moMENts column will run monthly in About Families.  

Cappy Hall Rearick was interviewed by Idea Creations Press for their blog: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2013/11/author-interview-cappy-hall-rearick.html.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Syndication…It's Not Just For TV Show Reruns



What is a syndication service?


A syndication service or a syndicate is a distributing service for columns, news features and other items for newspapers and magazines.  Most cartoons are with a syndicate as well as puzzles and columns like Dear Abby and Miss Manners, but syndicates also seek feature articles and columns under such topics as politics, sports, entertainment, op-ed and travel.  Some syndicates cater to an age demographic, like Senior Wire listed below, or a region or an ethnic group.

A syndicate gives a writer the opportunity to have one article published in multiple newspapers and magazines throughout a region or even the nation.  Most want an on-going series of articles/columns from their writers, but some will consider one-time stories. Be sure to check the guidelines or ask the editors before submitting.

Do you have to use a syndication service?


You can syndicate yourself and if you're just beginning, that may be the way to go.  However, you would have to do a lot of work to set it up.  Once you have the type of series or column you want to write, go to your local paper and talk to the editor about publishing it.  It's the old "Catch-22" of writing and publishing: you can't really get published until you've been published.

Now that your work is in one paper, research other markets for the same column.  50States.com is a great website for this type of research.  It links to over 3,300 United States newspapers.. You can usually find editors' email addresses or telephone numbers on these websites so you can compile you list of potential markets and start sending out queries.

Then you set up a schedule for sending each paper your column and once it is written you shoot it out to everyone at the allotted time.

If you can sign on with a syndication service, all this work is done for you, usually on a much wider scale.  All you have to do is write and submit one time.  The service does the distributing for you.

How do you submit to a syndication service?


First, you need a definite topic for your column or series.  Are you a reviewer?  Do you like to write family travel tips?  Maybe you're a wine collector or a frequent business traveler or you are a part-time pet trainer.  You are going to have to "pitch" your idea so you want to describe your column in one sentence, two at the very most.  For instance, a column from a stay-at-home dad could be described as Dave Berry in Erma Bombeck drag.

Don't forget to you need to commit to a submission schedule.  How many columns can you produce per week? One a week is usually considered the minimum.  Be sure you can live up to any schedule you propose.

If you can get your column published locally, you'll have samples and a track record to present.  All the syndicates listed below want somewhere between five and ten sample columns.  If you don't have a column but you've published multiple individual articles in your theme area, for instance book reviews or travel articles, you can use those as your samples.

Of course, your query should include the other items you would mention to any editor: your publishing background, your expertise in this topic, why you're a good match for this syndicate, and your target audience.

To find syndication services, read your newspaper.  Stories bought from a syndicate will have its name usually beneath the byline. You can also search “syndication service.”

Click on the service's name to go its website.


Environmental News Service - seeks news and articles on environmental issues, including legislation and politics to recycling and economics, query by email.
National News Bureau - stories on travel, how-to, beauty, fashion and other lifestyle and entertainment topics, 1500-2500 words, photos encouraged.
Senior Wire - specializes in "mature market publication," seeks seasonal features, travel tips for seniors, personal travel experiences, essays, etc., will look at stand-alone pieces, word count: 500-1000, query with clippings.
Tribune Media Services - query with six to eight samples and a brief cover letter.
United Media - query with four to six samples, 500-600 words. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

EditorialLee Speaking



Peggy Mercer will be doing double duty at our 2014 Southeastern Writers Association Workshop next June. Like most writers, she doesn't have tunnel vision about writing (although most publishers would prefer that their successful writers possess that trait). Unlike most writers, she is indeed uniquely qualified to teach both Writing for Young Readers and Poetry classes.

It was not by chance that I first met Peggy. We knew about each other before meeting. It was in the summer of 2009 that we had our first face-to-face meeting in the unlikely (but prearranged) venue of a newspaper in Douglas, Georgia, The Douglas Enterprise. There I met Peggy, who wanted me to meet her friend J.D. Lankford. J.D. had written a book about his military life, an ugly-but-true saga about war entitled Walk With Me. Although Peggy didn't know me, she knew of me through Paul Dunn of nearby Fitzgerald. I had published Paul's successful A Stroll Through Fitzgerald, GA, in the Forties.

Since that time, Peggy and I have kept in touch. Four years later we collaborated on a book she wanted to do, a collection of her songs and poetry entitled, Grew Up Loving Elvis. It's now in print as well as on Kindle and Nook. The reason she came to my small independent publishing company were dual: her traditional publisher loved her children's books but, predictably, wasn't interested in trying to sell her poetry. This is the credo of the industry: Authors must write what the publishers' sales people know how to sell. The other reason: she knew me and my reputation for doing good work without ripping people off.


Peggy and I beat the heck out of each other (verbally, mostly through email) while assembling her book. The results show. Two professionals beating each other up doesn't result in perfection, but it comes close. Grew Up Loving Elvis is professionally done in every way.

Raised in rural Georgia, Peggy started writing "because the farmhouse walls were blank." She has continued because, she says, "Writing is my purpose in life. It is the vehicle I use to share my thoughts and carve out my niche and infuse it with inspiration for others to follow their dreams. Words are my tool, and there's so much power in words."

So why is Peggy qualified to teach two classes? For starters, Her Peach: When the Well Run Dry won the GAYA (Georgia Author of the Year Award) for children's writing in 2011. She has authored two other children's books and has another due out soon through a New York traditional publishing house. Her personal favorite of her children's books is There Come a Soldier.

As to poetry, Grew Up Loving Elvis is her first published collection. But she has seen her poetry published in literary magazines and journals, including Gusto, Driftwood East, and a few others. She also studied poetry and taught a class in poetry in college. She has been writing poetry since her school days. She also teaches songwriting. "I teach the proper professional art of songwriting after having studied with professional hit songwriters for a very long time. This takes me back and forth to Nashville, Tennessee, where I assist young songwriters in getting their songs put to melodies and professionally demoed. I also guide them through the publishing maze into the world or professional songwriting."

Peggy has friends in the music industry. Country star Taylor Swift has a blurb about her poetry on the cover of "Elvis," and she regularly rubs elbows with country stars in Nashville and other places. "Elvis" contains a number of songs she has written.

So when she has time for herself, what does she do? "My favorite book is The Bible," she said when asked what she reads. "I also read great poetry by Browning, Brecht, Tennyson and more.  . . and biographies about the lives of the Saints. I also enjoy reading humor." Her other very limited spare time ("What spare time?" she laughed!) is spent rearranging her books and manuscripts. She also collects antiques, especially vintage scarves. "I 'ooh' and 'ah' over this stuff."

Peggy's history with SWA goes back a long way. "I believe I was a charter member to the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists, and I think that was the start of Southeastern. I studied in classes with Doris Buchanan Smith, Becky Weyrich and many more well-published authors at summer conferences. It was one of those great experiences I had as a young writer, and this is what made me a professional writer. It helped launch me toward professionalism and getting published."

She eagerly looks forward to returning to St. Simons in 2014. "I am returning to teach, which means I followed the process laid out before me by the early conference leaders and teachers, paid my dues, honed my skills and -- drum roll, please -- now have been asked to share my wisdom and knowledge on how to write for children along with poetry with others. Sharing is my biggest joy. It is our legacy as published authors to build the dreams with those who are where we once were and to help them move forward toward making their own writing dreams come true."


"Writers helping writers" is SWA's motto. Peggy is a perfect fit. And she has a few words of advice now, before you get the chance to meet her next June: "To aspiring writers, don't just write, LEARN and then perfect your craft while protecting and shining your style like the marvelous work and wonder that it is. Use your gift. You are never too young to get started and never too old to begin again."

Should be a great 2014 Workshop. Hope to see all y'all there!

~~ Lee Clevenger

Lee is the current President of SWA, an author and co-founder of ThomasMax Publishing in Atlanta, GA.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Be True to Your School…



Every college and university out there has an alumni organization.  Alumni are the cornerstones in educational fundraising at both private and public schools.  One way to reach those alumni is with a full-color, glossy magazine.

What does an alumni magazine cover?


Alumni magazines are like city magazines.  You have personality profiles of alumni, faculty members, staff and students.  Features cover research on campus, special programs within the school or its departments.  There are news items like awards or special recognitions, class notes and a calendar of events.  Some magazines also have first-person articles and back page essays.  The school, its people and its programs are the focus.

Do you have to be an alumnus to write for the magazine?


Often yes, especially if your subject's connection to the school is not solid or if the school isn’t large.  Money is a factor, and if the magazine has staff writers, they are going to get the first assignments because they're already getting paid. Writers who are alumni are second on the ladder, then maybe anyone else.

You'll improve the chances of getting your story accepted by first having an interesting and unique subject that's tied directly to the school, and second, by having the contacts and the credentials to get the story. Of course, always query first with a strong, tight description of your story idea.

Where do you find alumni magazines online?  


The easiest way is to type the name of the school and "alumni" into a search engine. You get the schools main page up first and you can look for a link that way or sometimes the alumni association/office page will come up and you can find the magazine's page or a publications page.  I also searched both "university alumni associations" and "college alumni associations" when collecting information for this article.

Some alumni magazine websites: click magazine names for staff and contact information

Alabama Alumni Magazine - University of Alabama - Janice Fink, Editor
Emory Magazine - Emory University - Paige Parvin, Editor
Georgia Magazine - University of Georgia - Kelly Simmons, Editor
Mississippi State Alumnus - Mississippi State University - Allen Snow, Editor
Carolina Alumni Review - University of North Carolina - David Brown, Senior Associate Editor
Virginia Tech Magazine - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Jesse Tuel, Editor



Monday, October 28, 2013

Calling the Muse



"Keep your eyes open on Thursday for a special opportunity," the note said.

OK--it wasn’t a note. It was my fortune from my fortune cookie, but it makes a great opening line for an article on writing prompts.  What can you do with that line?  Doesn't it get you wondering as to what the opportunity could be…what makes it special...and will it really come true?

A good writing prompt will spawn all sorts of questions for a writer to ponder and attempt to answer.  When you are suffering through the summer doldrums or maybe you have a minor case of writer's block, a writing prompt can jumpstart your muse into action.  You can find writing prompts just about anywhere.  Writing websites usually have pages of them.  Here are few techniques I've learned for building my own file of writing prompts.

Ripped From the Headlines!

Calliope, Greek muse of writing

The "Law & Order" franchises on TV used this prompt all the time.  They say truth is stranger than fiction so why not look to the news for ideas?  If you write nonfiction, take a national headline or subject and work the local angle.  If you write fiction, use the basic facts of the story to build your own conflict between characters. Every news story has a personal conflict on some level.  

I once read a report that quoted Amy Winehouse's father Mitch announcing the singer had emphysema.  At age 24, Winehouse, because of her drug use and smoking, had a disease that usually afflicts people two or three times her age.  How many article ideas can you glean from that without mentioning the singer?  On the fiction side, you can put your heroine in her shoes and give her the battle to win or you could take the father's point of view and the struggle he'll have.

Read the newspaper, at least one, every day to find prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words!


Many years ago, I took a class at the SWA Writers Workshop with a wonderful author several years ago.  LeRoy handed out photographs he pulled from magazines, instructing each of us to write the first page of a novel or short story based in the photo.  These were random photos.  I remember one was Marky Mark in his Calvin Klein briefs, while another was a deserted highway in Utah's Monument Valley.

Years later my sister sent us a book that was one of her favorites because it was bizarre. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg, author of The Polar Express and Jumanji among others, supposedly features drawings by Harris Burdick with titles and then a one-line caption.  The drawings all have a fantastic element to them, sometimes funny, other times disturbing. Wouldn't be fun to sit down with those drawings and captions and concoct a story around them?

Images are great writing prompts, especially for fiction.  Keep a file of photos, illustrations, postcards even that capture your imagination.

You Can Quote Me!


I collect quotations.  Some spawn scenes in my head that I have used in my artwork. When I edited The Purple Pros before, I always began my column with a quotation from a famous person. Most of the time the quote sparked the column's topic, but sometimes it just summarized the idea.

Quotations can inspire us for many reasons, including prompting ideas.  I keep a file just for interesting quotes on my computer.  When I'm stuck for an idea, I read through them all to see what will spark, like my fortune cookie did.  Oh!--If I do find a "special opportunity" on Thursday, you'll be the first to know.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Short Article on Filler...



Magazines use short articles, short-shorts, quotes, jokes, trends, recipes, puzzles, tips, news and facts and lots of other items to fill out a page or the end of a column or any space too small for an ad but too large to leave blank.  Length may vary from a phrase to a 500-word personal account.

With nearly every magazine also employing a companion website, the need for filler has grown. Some people actually make their living writing filler.

Why should you write filler rather than a full article?


I'm a firm believer in writing whatever you can sell.  From a one-liner to an epic novel, if you can sell it, write it.  But a primary benefit of writing filler is that filler is often a break-in point to a magazine.  Sell a few pieces of filler say to More magazine, then when you offer a query on a longer piece you can point to the material they have already bought.  Like most of us, editors like to work with people whom they are familiar so if you sold to an editor or to one of his colleagues one time, you'll likely sell again if the experience was good.

The pay varies. Some magazines don't pay but offer a byline of sorts. Some pay a few cents a word or a flat fee ranging from $5 to $50.  I sold a brief, funny story about my brother to Reader's Digest for $30 a line. It ran four lines once the editors were done, netting me $120.  This was before email so I probably spent a total of two hours typing it up and getting it ready for the mail.  That's a good payday!

A third reason for writing filler is that it could help make you a better writer. Writing short and tight makes you choose words with meaning and power to express your idea effectively.  Filler offers you the opportunity if you're stuck on one piece to write something else without making it a huge commitment. Send "Four Must-Have Shoes" to Ladies Home Journal while your novel plot untangles itself in your mind. You'll have time away from your problem and still be productive.

Who needs filler?


Practically every magazine out there needs filler, if not for its hard copy, then for its website.  Tips, lists, anything short, informative or entertaining will find a home on the web.   If you can write it and it's short, you can sell it. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A First Step to Published Success



Why spend time on a contest v. submitting to a publisher?


You should take advantage of all the benefits a contest can offer your novel manuscript.  First contests offer you one guarantee: your manuscript will be read.  A publisher can't guarantee that. Granted, most contests only want you to submit a portion of your novel, but know that those pages will be read and considered by an industry professional - either a published author, an editor, an agent, etc.

A second benefit is that if your manuscript wins or places high in a contest, it builds history and a solid reputation.  Because contests are judged by people in the industry, agents or editors will take that prize as a reference.  "Editor Smith at X-House Publishing said this book was worthy of this prize. Therefore, it must be worthy of my time."

The prizes themselves are a great benefit.  Many contests offer publication as their grand prize.  See you met your goal after all. Others will help you set meetings with agents or editors to pitch your manuscript.  And don't forget the cash.  What writer can't use good ol' cash in his pocket?

What do novel contests want in terms of submissions?


There are two types of novel contests.  The first and most predominant contest type wants previously unpublished novels. The other type of contest is for books that have been published.  Usually those contests seek to honor first books, often from specific demographic groups.

Novel contests vary in terms of genre.  There are genre specific contests, but open genre contests are more prevalent. Some go a step further in their openness and accept not only novels, but novellas, book-length short story collections and more.

Where can you find novel contests listings?


As always start with Google and search both "novel contests" and "book contests." Other resources include NewPages.com, Poets & Writers Grants and Awards Database, both of which are searchable by deadline date.  FundsforWriters.com offers a contest page available through a link on the home page, and there are two newsletters you can subscribe to that include contests listings. One's free.  The other is reasonably priced. Editor Hope Clark lists all kinds of contests, not just book/novel contests.  Another resource is the subscription service WritersMarket.com.  Again, this website lists all kind of contests but there are menus to help you narrow your research.