Escape Writing Rejection the Gluten Free Way

The signs on food packages and menus tell all: gluten free, paleo, dairy free. Or do they? I can’t count the number of times I’ve picked up a packaged food item and was disappointed because the label misled me.

Ever had that happen? Package writing needs to be clear, concise and complete. Ah, you see where I’m going with this?! As writers, we must be mindful of those three c’s: clear, concise and complete.

Writing is a craft. You’ve heard that.

Practice makes perfect. Yep, that one, too.

Unfortunately, rejection often comes before publication.

Recently on Twitter, I saw a literary post from Greyhaus Literary Agency, “Sometimes writing a rejection is tough. Authors try really hard and sometimes the writing is just not there!” @greyhausagency.

Assuming you’d like to avoid (another) rejection letter, how do you know when your writing is publish-ready?

Dare I mention it takes practice to become a polished writer? Read, write, research, revise, repeat! Today, tomorrow, sick days, snow days, ad infinitum.

Here are the dirty details:

Step 1: Read. During your writing process, read. Books, articles, and biographies. Everything that interests you. Plus things that don’t. You’ll gravitate toward well-written works as your eye discerns good verses great. Take the time to construct succinct sentences. From there, build beautiful paragraphs. Carve out chapters to engage and mesmerize readers. We don’t ever want our readers to toss aside one of our books, dissatisfied with the contents. If you would like assistance and ideas on enhancing writing senses, see these posts: I Spy and Scratch and Sniff for Writers.


Step 2: Investigate. Determine your expectations by investigating your publishing possibilities. Where you decide to send your manuscript is extremely important! Do you want a small publisher, who accepts manuscripts from writers? Do you want an agent, to represent you to large publishing houses? Or do you want to pursue self-publishing options? While you write, keep your publishing path in mind: adjust your work to accommodate their submission’s policy.

Step 3: Listen. As you prep your work – gulp – get feedback. Not from your mom. Nor from a spouse. But from readers, critique partners, social media connections, etc. Put yourself out there and listen, really pay attention to what others are saying about your work. In a previous post, “Hear No Evil…” I dive into the benefits of a critique group.

Step 4: Adjust. Develop a thick skin. You aren’t an expert, can’t possibly please everyone (you already know that!), so don’t be defensive about your writing – feedback isn’t personal. Separate yourself from your writing, by distance and emotional resistance. Even if you experienced what you’ve written, you may need to adjust the words for readers. Bears repeating: don’t be defensive.

Step 5: Edit. Once you’ve determined your publishing path, heard and adjusted your book based on feedback, find an editor. Someone who is knowledgeable in developmental (aka substantial/substantive) editing. For more details about editing and DIY steps, see my editing series, here.

By preparing, you create impeccable work, and you avoid a mislabeling mishap, vis á vis, rejection! Join the ranks of practicing writers, i.e. practicing lawyers, practicing physicians, lol!

Your reward will be visible: your chosen publication path and, yes, money!

Keep reading, writing, researching and revising!

*Disclaimer: I am a gluten free glutton – love trying the latest recipes, so in NO way should this be considered a slam on gluten free-ers.

How to Market a Book with Truth and Taste


When you think about your book, you need to know who your audience is and where to find them.

Marketing Books is not for the faint of heart. Nor is honesty the current working policy, so it seems.

Publishers Weekly acknowledges,
“However, it is an open secret in the publishing industry that claims made on galleys and other material for the trade–about everything from first printings to marketing budgets and efforts–can be gross exaggerations.”

What’s an author to do? Stretch the truth?

Since beginning Sunscribe two years ago, it has been my mission to guard writers’ reputations. Something I bring to the table as a writer myself.

This isn’t a giant ad for my publishing company, but a gentle reminder of why it is important to research your options,  know your goals and seek advice before signing a contract.

Yes, those are all topics we discuss with our prospective authors, because Sunscribe is an extension of me, and I partner with writers to make their work the best possible, period.

And on my desk, honesty still rules policy.

What do you recommend authors do to market their works?

Wait, Wait, Don’t Show Me!

Roxie St for blogThe world is a strange place today. Everyone is expected to have an online presence to promote their work. What’s a writer to do?

Perhaps you’ve seen the same data I have about online promotion and the importance of marketing.

Some of this sound familiar?

Destination aids distribution.

Create compelling content.

Mimic market models.

Buzzzzz words.

And then there’s the mantra: Show, don’t tell. As writers, we are supposed to market our work, create a platform. (Another bee whizzes by…)

The irony of it all is painfully time-consuming. We’re required to have an online presence: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. even before selling that first book!

So that brings me to a couple conclusions. With self-promotion, we do have to spend a certain amount of time telling. And with telling, we have to be focused, with time and message.

A filmmaker recently shared this three point punch with a group I was in, “Tell them. Tell them you’re gonna tell them. Then tell them you told them.”

Promotion is not for the shy. I would love to hear how you answer these two questions: tell us what and why:

How do you honk your own horn?

What platform has worked for you to share information with your audience?

Maybe we can build a buzz, beginning today.

And the winner is…

Sunscribe has announced the winner of their first ever TABLE CONTEST:

ConSunscribe RH SCWW 2014 Sponsor Table with websitegrats! The #SunscribeLive WINNER OF THE TABLE DISPLAY at the upcoming SCWW writing conference is @AnnEisenstein!

We look forward to assisting Ann

create an awesome display of her works! 


If you are in the area on April 25, register for the

SCWW Cann eisenstein 2015 table contest winneronference and come by Ann’s table to congratulate her in person

while you enjoy the best Writing Conference in South Carolina!

Register for the SCWW Conference

Read more about Sunscribe

Top Twos-Day: Creative Energy!

Snag the latest inspiring news, inSCRIBE! Here’s a teaser:

Louise Hay quote

Do you have a toolbox in your closet? Garage? Shed? Is it your go-to project assistant without a flashy attitude or price tag of DIY TV shows? My toolbox is a catch all of stash stored for any project in every room around the house: picture-hanging, Duct-tape wielding, Velcro-sticking potpourri.🙂

Writers are no different. Our invisible toolbox often has a collection of words, phrases, guides, books; everything that will assist us as we take on a project. But what else is tucked into that DIY kit? Criticism, rejection slips? Wishful thinking? Read more from Sunscribe’s August newsletter: inSCRIBE…

Short and sweet this week, I hope this video encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone and reach for your creative outlet!

more Top Twos-Days…

Top Twos-Day: Survey shows!

We collected “Suns” with social connections and posted them on our banner!

In the same way children stick out their tongue, Amazon poked the French government, who a few weeks prior, ruled that Amazon’s free shipping and discounts were now illegal. The nah, nah, na boo-boo, I’m better than you-ooo response from Amazon, just a mere 0.01 Euro for shipping. According to MHP, “This law, regardless of effectiveness, is unlikely to be the last time France’s government takes a swing at Amazon. The Seattle corporation bases their European unit in Luxembourg, which allows them to circumvent the tax laws of the countries where they’re actually sending products.” Read more…

Perhaps they should get the Facebook cop after them? Oh yes, folks are giving thumbs up to Facebook as news hits of the police substation support and benefits/salary of an officer in California. Controversial? You bet! “That raises some potential conflicts that, if I was the chief, I am not sure I’d want to wrestle with,” Geoffrey Alpert, a criminal-justice professor at University of South Carolina, told the Wall Street Journal. “What do you tell your officers about how to treat people who work at Facebook?” Full story…

The Guardian is reporting on a news story about authors not able to sustain themselves on what they’re paid. Wait, don’t we already know that? Citing European numbers, “…the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society released a survey of almost 2,500 writers which found that the median income of a professional author last year was £11,000, down 29% since 2005 – a period in which median earnings for UK employees have fallen by 8%.   By this year, according to the survey, just 11.5% of professional authors said they earned their income from writing alone, compared with 40% in 2005.” The article, “Traditional publishing is ‘no longer fair or sustainable’, says Society of Authors,” affirms professional writer’s salary decline. Finish reading…

My two cents: Are the publishers really making all the money? Standing on this side of the aisle, I know firsthand the costs of operating a publishing company. When I take a step back, toss on my writing cap and file in among my friends, I am reminded of the causes: no-cost web content, decline of edited writing, everybody-is-an-expert competition, etc. Granted, we have a great deal to complain about, but when will we writers and publishers take action? And are things too far gone for us to change, really change?

I’m taking steps, yes, albeit small, as in small publisher, forward to be an effective change. Adding a third bit of news, (gosh I do this often) Sunscribe’s first conference is under our belt. Last Saturday, right here where we began, we sponsored the Rock Hill chapter’s South Carolina Writer’s Workshop one day chapter event. And had a blast! More importantly, we connected, encouraged and discovered more writers, editors, and illustrators! If you’re interested in more pics, pop over to the website: .

More Top Twos-Days…

Top Twos-Day: Reading Gift!

Saturday is free comic book day! Tips on how to best participate in the mad rush at Mediabistro…

‘Nuf said!



Speaking of reading, over at Bid4papers you’ll find helpful writing tips, quotes (like the one below) and this infographic…


”Many famous writers, singers, politicians, and even movie characters prove the fact of reading’s great influence on people’s mind: if you take a look at their bookshelves, you’ll definitely be surprised.”
More Top Twos-Days…

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