Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stephanie Faris Blog Tour: Guest Post


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This week, author Stephanie Faris celebrates the release her her two new books (click images above) with guest post on different blogs. Today on my blog, she posts about finding support groups for writers.


How to Find Great Writer's Groups
by Stephanie Faris

“No man is an island.” That line from a 1600s-era poem is often used to remind us that we don’t have to operate alone. All around us are people willing to help us out. All we have to do is get to know them.

For writers, it can sometimes seem like we’re stranded alone on an island. We have the Internet to connect us to those who do what we love, but there’s something about finding that small group of writers that shares your achievements and rejections with you.

When I was just starting out, that group was my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Once a month, they met in a tiny conference room at a mall. I formed friendships inside that group that lasted for years. Four of us started a small critique group and exchanged pages each week. I traveled to other RWA meetings in other cities with some of my fellow members. We communicated online between meetings and had a Christmas party every year where we exchanged presents.

By the time I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, I already had an agent. That put me in a weird position. Many of my fellow published authors in my local group have been together since their early days. They “grew up” together as authors. I missed all of that with children’s writers, since I “grew up” writing romance and moved to a new genre. Kind of like that kid whose parents move her to a new school during senior year. You never quite “fit.”

So for unpublished authors, that would be my biggest advice. Find a writer’s group that fits and grow up with those authors. You can search for your own genre-specific group (romance, mystery, children’s, etc.) or you can look for local groups that meet monthly near your house. Meetup.com is a great place to find writer’s groups. Just search your local area and look for one that’s active.

Don’t discount the value of online groups. If you’ve joined a writer’s organization that doesn’t meet monthly, look online to see if they offer a critique group partnering service. You can also look for Facebook groups specific to your Genre (Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook is one) and network. Ideally, you’ll find often the best connections are made in small groups, so look for people who seem to be experiencing issues similar to yours and engage with them.


Piper Morgan
By Stephanie Faris

Blurb:

When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?

Stephanie Faris

Bio: Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 

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23 comments:

  1. It would be better to go through all of the experiences with a group of writers. It's happened with the IWSG.
    For the longest time, I didn't qualify for the SFWA, and now that I'm not sure how much more I'm actually going to write, I do. Ironic, huh?

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    1. Really? You didn't qualify? Why would they reject someone who wanted to be a member? What qualifications do you have to have?

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  2. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Jamie!

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  3. For the most part, I'd have to say writers seem to be the best group of people. They're always willing to help a fellow writer in anyway they can. Makes me love reading that much more. If more people were like that, just think how nice things could be. Congratulations on the release, Stephanie.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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  4. Great advice; great post! I still haven't found my niche. My writing doesn't seem to fit into a genre. Short-stories maybe? I like IWSG because we all seem to have one thing in common--insecurity about our writing.

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  5. The only writing group I've found that works for me is IWSG. So grateful to Alex for creating it.

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  6. I was lucky with a local group that emphasized positive critique - they pointed out problems but offered solutions. I'm aware of other groups that can get nasty and that is not helpful. I definitely got connections and learned a lot. Congrats on this Piper blog tour - hope it's successful

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  7. Mason--I support my fellow S&S/Aladdin authors because doing so strengthens the imprint as a whole. I support ALL writers because I feel that doing so encourages people to read, which helps us all. (Plus it helps readers, since people who read live longer!) It feels like supporting one writers helps all of us in so many ways.

    Valerie--I think you fit into a literary niche, but your stories also have a bit of a Twilight Zone/Alfred Hitchcock twisty sort of feel to them, similar to Stephen King at his best. I think that's horror, but horror can be SO broad, people tend to think it means "slasher" when you say horror!

    Karen--This is the ONLY blogging community I've found. If there are others, they pale in comparison to the size and strength of this one, for sure!

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  8. Congrats to Stephanie! And wonderful advice for sure. I found a great group at my local library and we've had a lot of fun together :)

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    1. That's awesome! I would love to meet with a group at the library. I met with a group like that when I first started out...that was when I realized I needed to find a romance-specific group because nobody there "got" romance at all!

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  9. I'd attempted to meet with a local writing group in June, but the person in charge never showed up. I forgot last month; the flyer at the coffee shop where they are supposed to meet said the last Tuesday of each month. I don't yet know about this month. but I have the organizer's e-mail so I can ask.

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    1. I gathered the group that became Music City Romance Writers way back in the 90s. Of the 20 people who said they were coming to that first meeting, I think maybe 8 showed up? It was always like that. The bigger your group, the more likely you'll be to have a few people who won't flake out. Sad, huh?!

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  10. Hi, Jamie! Great to meet you! I'm so excited for Stephanie and her new books! I love writing groups but have struggled finding a new one. I've had the same experience where we all "grew up" and ended up moving on ward...and you're right, it's hard to find another one where you just seem to "fit" Best of luck, Stephanie!!!

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    1. I had the same situation early on. I found some great online critique partners but we drifted apart. One was Jamie Kain, who's a successful novelist now. I told her even then she was one of the most talented writers I'd read!

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  11. Good advice, Steph. I agree on the small groups.

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  12. Congrats to Stephanie on her release! So excited for her! What a great guest post with lots of important information. Thanks for sharing! :)
    ~Jess

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  13. Congratulations Stephanie & thanks to Jamie for sharing such an interesting post.

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  14. I like it when my group is small. When membership fluctuates and there are too many people, I feel lost in the shuffle with less time focused on my writing. It's back to being small again. I've also met wonderful people online who are willing to do manuscript exchanges.

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  15. Stephanie is queen!! Here to support her!

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