May 10, 2011

How You Can Write and Finish Your Book - For Real

Memoirs Ink has been cooking up a solution to some common struggles that creative non-fiction writers face when trying to write or finish a book. Some of these problems include isolation, lack of structure or momentum, lack of support, lack of financial resources, and often times, lack of fun in the process.

So we have combined the answers to all of these problems into a simple, fun, affordable solution. Our bi-monthly webinar series will inspire, instruct, structure and forwardly move you toward a finished book. The best part is that you can participate from anywhere (no driving), at any time that is convenient for you-- all for only $67/month.  (Newsletter subscribers who register in May or June 2011 pay only $57/month.)

A webinar is like a seminar in that there is a speaker and a chance to interact and ask questions. This webinar also has some extra features, including a chance to make book promises and be held accountable at the next webinar. We also have a 2-minute dance party, a forum for subscribers to interact and support each other between webinars, and a few other surprises.

Memoirs Ink has helped hundred of people write and finish their memoirs. Please join us for a completely awesome new way to finish your book. Register Here.

You can also watch our fabulous trailer here:

May 3, 2011

Transparency About 3rd Place

Since some people want to know more about what happened with third place and why we chose not to award it to anyone, we will tell you what we can without slandering anyone.

After choosing the winners and having them all sign agreements that their work was original and previously unpublished, we discovered that 3rd place had already won a contest and published elsewhere more than a year ago. This is a violation of our guidelines and because it was not disclosed to us, but rather discovered by us, we were especially unhappy. Occasionally, because we allow simultaneous submissions, people get good news calls simultaneously, and if they disclose it to us, we are usually cool about a story being published in a non-competing avenue simultaneously. This has happened 2 or 3 times in 8 years. However, in this case we were either lied to or there was a grave misunderstanding on the writer’s part about what “published” means. So we had to disqualify the entry.

I thought this was good news, since the woman who came in 4th place was my personal favorite, but she declined the honor of 3rd place, because she had already submitted elsewhere and was hoping to get a better offer. There was a tie for 5th place, however, both stories had significant problems, and we decided that they weren’t publishable as they are. Because this is a writing contest, we can’t edit the stories to make them winners, no matter how much we want to. We realize that there may have been other stories that were winner material that may have fallen through the judges’ notice for whatever reason. Judging is a highly individual process and some people have wildly different likes and dislikes. In the end, we had to stick with the top stories that were chosen.

So that brings us up to date. We are committed to helping writers tell their stories and supporting them in that journey. We realize how not awarding 3rd place looks—that we are depriving some other author of a prize, but this actually gives us the opportunity to do more with the prize money that is sort of hanging out in space waiting to be used. We aren't sure what to do with it, but we'd like to use it to forward our mission of helping writers and promoting storytelling. We have several ideas and would like readers to vote in the comments.

  • Give away more money in the next contest.
  • Give each of the remaining 6 of the top 10 finalists free feedback/formal critique (normally $40).
  • Give it the most disgruntled entrants to make them happy
  • Give it to Write Girls, a charity that helps teen girls through writing mentorship. OR Ask readers to submit nominations for a teen girl or boy who could use it.
  • Start a scholarship fund for writers with merit who can't afford classes.

Other ideas? Vote or leave your comments in the blog.

May 2, 2011

Annoucning the Winners - 2011 Half Yearly Contest

Okay there was a little bit of scandal, but we are over it. Here are the winners.

First Place: Hockey Night in Canada by Ariadne Hawkins

Second Place: Tasty by Lauren Leatherman

Third Place: In an unprecedented incident, we have disqualified the 3rd place winner for violation of the guidelines. The judges and staff at Memoirs Ink, annoyed and disheartened, have decided not to award it to anyone else.

We will be adding like buttons to our winner archives soon, so make sure you "like" them if you like them. Thumbs up. Smiley Face. Yay! Lots of exclamation points.