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What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started writing? What mistakes do you see other writers make over and over? Are there aspects of our business that people keep private (pay scales, contract details) that you feel should be more out in the open?

Tell the world. Write a guest post for Pen to Pen, a weekly feature on Dale Cameron Lowry’s blog for writers where authors share the wisdom they’ve gained through the years.

You can sign up to contribute through the form below or at this link.

Need inspiration? Check out previous Pen to Pen posts.

Logistics

  • Posts should be about a specific aspect of fiction writing, either on the creative side or the business side, and should generally run 300 to 1200 words. Longer is welcome if the topic warrants it.
  • When you sign up for a given week, your post is due the Friday before that week begins. For example, if you sign up for November 6, 2017, please send your post by Noveber 3. Posts will usually go up on Tuesday or Thursday, depending on what else I have scheduled for my blog that week.
  • At the end of the post, you may include a short biography with your website, one or two book links, and up to four social links. You may also include a link to Ko-fi, Patreon, and another tip-jar or patronage platform.
  • Include a headshot if you have one.
  • You own the copyright to your post and grant me permission to post it one time to my blog, keep the post up indefinitely, and to quote short excerpts of no more than 10% of the post content in promoting the post on social media etc. You grant me no other rights. If you later wish me to remove or amend the post, please let me know. Please also let me know if you end up posting elsewhere so I can crosslink.
  • I will share your post to several social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest if applicable) when it goes live. If the topic is not time-sensitive, I will continue to share the post periodically throughout the following year to the same channels.
  • I welcome posts from all fiction writers, including writers of erotica and erotic romance. However, please include sexually explicit excerpts only when necessary to illustrate a point. E.g. if your post is “50 dialogue tags to avoid,” don’t include an erotic excerpt. If your post is “How to write better sex scenes,” then go for it.
  • Use inclusive language. My readers come from a variety of backgrounds, and their stories and characters are just as diverse. Don’t assume that al readers are women (or that all are men), that they’re from the same country where you live, or that they share your economic background. When writing about romance or love interests, use gender-neutral terms such as “protagonists” or “main characters” as opposed to “hero and heroine.” For more on inclusive language, see Guidelines for Inclusive Language from the Linguistic Society of America, Gender-Inclusive Language from the University of North Carolina’s Writing Center, or Utilizing Gender Inclusive Language from Princeton University.
  • If the post contains material that is inappropriate for my blog (personal attacks, character defamation, factually inaccurate statements, denigration of people or characters based on perceived sexual orientation/gender, posts that aren’t about writing and publishing), I reserve the right not to publish the post. Most likely, I’ll send the post back to you asking for a few changes, and then publish the revised version.
  • I also reserve the right to tweak grammar and punctuation to match the style of my website. (I generally use Chicago Style.) If you feed strongly about punctuation or specific spellings (Canadian vs. UK vs. US), please let me know when you send me the post and I’ll do my best to accommodate your preferences.
  • Acceptable file formats include Google Docs, Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf ) and plain text (.txt). If you want to control the look of your text and prefer to submit it as HTML code inside a plain text file, that’s fine with me.