<![CDATA[Yvonne Ventresca - Blog]]>Sat, 24 Feb 2018 02:21:04 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Teen Writing Contests and Opportunities]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/teen-writing-contests-and-opportunitiesWriting Opportunity: Cicada Going for it Arthur Ashe quote
CICADA is "an online YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths." They currently have an open call for submissions on the theme of family.
Deadline: April 13, 2018
"CICADA YA/teen lit magazine seeks fiction, poetry, comics, and essays on the theme of Family. We want to see honest works exploring all aspects of family life, whether it be family by relation or a family of choice. What connects a family? What might break it apart? How do we define family? In what ways do our familial connections heal or harm us? We are especially interested in works depicting found families and other nontraditional/nonnuclear families—show us how the family you build can be just as strong as (or stronger than!) the one you are born with."

Writing Opportunity: YARN

YARN is currently open for submissions. (Note that they close submissions during the summer starting in mid-June.) "Since this is a YA literary journal, we ask that the material be appropriate for, and of particular interest to, young adult readers, 14 years old and up.  We have no age restrictions for authors (fogies over the age of 18 write YA, too), no genre restrictions (if you’ve got a story set in 2060, bring it on!), and no geographic restrictions (we have published teens in China and other similarly far-away places, and would love to see more international submissions).  We only ask that the writing you submit be original and publishable, with some literary merit (in other words, if you’ve written a slasher thriller with lots of smooching and slaying, we recommend sending it to Hollywood and not to us).  Send us only your very best."

Writing Contest: the Claremont Review

​the Claremont Review's Annual Writing & Art Contest
Deadline: March 15th
Genres: Poetry, fiction, art
​Ages: 13-19
Prize: First prize in writing $750 CAD. Visual art prize $500 CAD. Additional prizes awarded. There is an entry fee required.
Detailed rules are available on the Claremont Review website

Want to learn more about the Claremont Review? Read my interview with Editor-in-Chief Jody Carrow.

Poetry Contest: Manningham Trust

​National Federation Of State Poetry Societies, Inc.
Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest 
Deadline: March 1st
Genre: Poetry
Length: No more than 30 lines
Ages: US students in Grade 6-8 (Junior Division) and Grades 9-12 (Senior Division)
Prize: Ten prizes will be awarded in each division: First Place $75.
Detailed rules are available on the NFSPS website.

Humor Contest: Royal Nonesuch

The Mark Twain House is sponsoring its annual humor writing contest. Submit your original humorous essays and stories. (There are separate categories for adults and young writers.)
Deadline: July 1st 
Word limit: 7000 words
Prizes: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cash prizes. 1st place for young authors (17 and under) is $100. (Submission fee required.)
For more information and complete guidelines, visit the Mark Twain House contest website.

Essay Contest: Teen Ink

Teen Ink Community Service Essay Contest is ongoing throughout the year. (No deadline.)
"What do you do to make your community a better place? How has volunteering changed you and the way you view the world? Write an essay describing your experiences and be recognized for all that you do."
Guidelines: Teen Ink will only consider original essays written by teens. Essays should be between 150 and 1,000 words.
Prizes: Each year at least two teens are honored for outstanding service to their community. Contest winners receive $100 for their favorite charity and a copy of the magazine featuring their winning essay.

Mug on top of writing craft books
Are you on Instagram? Connect with me @YvonneVentresca.

​Happy Writing!

<![CDATA[IWSG Blog Hop]]>Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:30:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/iwsg-blog-hopProductivity, Networking, Reading, Writing Picture
Some helpful links: 

Productivity: Are you welcoming opportunities into your life? by Laura Vanderkam. (FYI -- Here's more advice from Vanderkam in my interview with her for the A to Z Challenge.)

Plus: 18 Bad Habits You Should Break In 2018 To Be More Productive by Rachel Gillett

Networking: Can I Go Home Now? Networking Skills for Introverts by Robbie Samuels (Love the article title!)

​Reading: Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You'll Ever Have Time to Read by Jessica Stillman

Writing: I Talked to 150 Writers And Here's The Best Advice They Had by Joe Fossler (Seven tips -- I especially liked #1).

Plus: Writing Killer Suspense by Gay Yellen (which applies to all genres, not only thrillers and mysteries).

ICYMI: Jason Reynolds talks about Long Way Down. "I am of service to young people."

We interrupt this blog post....

​... for some book news.

Black Flowers, White Lies (Sky Pony Press, 2016) will be available in paperback in March! You can pre-order a copy now. Contact your local indie, or Amazon and B&N have pre-order sale prices online. The paperback contains some bonus content and features the lovely IPPY gold seal on the cover. :) I can't wait for this paperback to be out in the world!

New IWSG Anthology

Tick Tock Cover
Congratulations to the authors selected for IWSG's upcoming anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime.

The clock is ticking...

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard. 

IWSG Monthly Blog Hop

Every month, the Insecure Writers Support Group poses an optional question that members can answer in their blog posts.  Special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for founding IWSG, and to this month’s awesome blog hop co-hosts: Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! (Be sure to stop by their blogs and say hello!)

This month’s question is:

What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I write suspenseful contemporary fiction for teens. I love the challenge of creating interesting characters, then placing them in dangerous situations. A good thriller or mystery is like a puzzle, with all of the pieces fitting in place, even if the ending puzzle image is a surprise. :) 

BTW, do you live in the NY/NJ/PA area? Maybe I'll see you at an upcoming event! I'm teaching a workshop on suspense (Keep the Pages Turning) at the upcoming Liberty State Fiction Writers Conference (in NJ), and I'll also be leading an information session on YA fiction there. You can see a complete list of my spring events here.

Have you read any good books with surprising twists? Want to recommend novels where the suspense is well-done? (Suspense covers a wide range -- it can be romantic, or based on a family situation, or involve a killer.) Let me know in the comments!
<![CDATA[Productivity and IWSG Blog Hop]]>Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:30:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/productivity-and-iwsg-blog-hopHelpful Links Picture
Happy New Year! Here are a few helpful links to start the year.

For writers: What Interiority Is and Why It Matters by Mary Kole
For laughs: 10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications To Another Level by Inga Ko
For those contemplating the new year: 10 Habits Of Incredibly Happy People by Travis Bradberry

IWSG Blog Hop

Every month, the Insecure Writers Support Group poses an optional question that members can answer in their blog posts.  Special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for founding IWSG, and to this month’s awesome blog hop co-hosts: Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria. (Be sure to stop by their blogs and say hello!)
This month’s question is:

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?
While ​I don’t have an exact daily schedule,  I’ve set year-long goals, and some specific things that I’d like to accomplish in the first quarter.

I’ve blogged about productivity before (from A to Z in 2015 and 2016). Here are three of my favorites concepts:

Follow the two-minute rule (from David Allen): If something can be done in less than two minutes, just do it now. (This is more efficient than putting the task on a to-do list for later.)

Six things (from Ivy Lee): Each night, make a list of the six most important things that need to be done the next day, in order of priority. Tackle and complete the first task before moving on to the second one. Complete the second before the third, and so on. At the end of the day, put any remaining tasks on the next day’s list.

Although this sounds simple, there are several underlying principles here. This method requires you to limit your tasks, break larger projects into manageable chunks, prioritize, and complete the most critical tasks first. 

Limit time spent checking email and social media (from numerous articles): Okay, I still struggle with this. Despite conventional wisdom, I check email first thing in the morning. This year, I’d like to approach social media more strategically instead of using it as filler. I’m still experimenting with how to curate social media.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any tips or techniques for limiting your time on social media and/or finding the most interesting tidbits.
Do you have any resolutions this year you'd like to share?

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. ~Bill Bradley
<![CDATA[NaNoWriMo and IWSG Blog Hop]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 20:58:04 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/nanowrimo-and-iwsg-blog-hopHelpful Links Picture
Happy November! Here are a few helpful links to start the month.

For NaNoWriMo participants: How To Start a New Book by author April Henry and Building Self-Care Habits: Refilling the Creative Well to Write Your Best Work by Jamie Raintree. 

(If you are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo or undecided about trying it, I have a post here, plus a nice photo of me and my mom.)

For introverts: People Who Prefer To Be Alone Have These 6 Special Personality Traits. (I'm not sure how much of this is based on science, but it's a feel-good read.)

For readers: the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has compiled their annual free recommended reading list of books written by SCBWI members.

For complainers: The 21 Day No Complaint Experiment. (I would probably be on day one of this forever.)

IWSG Blog Hop

Every month, the Insecure Writers Support Group poses an optional question that members can answer in their blog posts.  Special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for founding IWSG, and to this month’s awesome blog hop co-hosts: ​Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass. (Be sure to stop by their blogs and say hello!) 

This month’s question is:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?
I participated in NaNoWriMo once and completed the 50,000 words. I think it can be a worthwhile experiment and the sense of community support during the month is helpful. I'm still untangling the mess I created (also known as Revision), so that novel is currently unpublished. 

Even if you choose not to participate in NaNoWriMo, the concept offers some interesting productivity principles that can be applied to other projects (or other months):
  • Set a concrete goal.
  • Publicly declare that goal. (Whether this works because of accountability or shame, I’m not sure. But it does change the dynamic from just promising yourself.)
  • Find other people trying for the same goal, if you feel like that will help. (You are all suffering together!)
  • Monitor your progress on a regular basis. (NaNoWriMo includes daily word count tallies.)
  • Consider changing the way you approach a project. For example, I normally edit as I write, but NaNoWriMo encourages participants to keep going, without revising, until they reach the word count goal.
  • Check the results at the end of the project. If you encountered obstacles, think about how you can avoid them in the future.
Best of luck to those who are participating!
Random questions of the month: Are you a complainer?
​Is daylight savings time something you complain about?
<![CDATA[Writing Contests, #BookGiveway, and Tom Petty]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 23:02:35 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/writing-contests-bookgiveway-and-tom-pettyWriting Contests Picture
The Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation is hosting a writing contest ($1000 for exactly 1000 words), open to writers in grades 6-12 and their teachers. The deadline is February 1, 2017. Visit their contest page for more information.

Sub It Club posts an excellent round-up of monthly contests and pitch opportunities. You can check out the details on the Sub It Club blog.

We Need Diverse Books is holding a middle grade short story contest for a $1000 prize and publication in their Heroes-Next-Door-themed anthology. Open to unpublished diverse writers 18 years of age or older from all diverse backgrounds (as defined on the WNDB website). Length is 4000 words or less. Deadline is October 31st. Complete information is available here.

The IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) has compiled a reference list of contests on their website.​

Goodreads Giveaway

Special thanks to my publisher, Sky Pony Press, for hosting a Black Flowers, White Lies giveaway on Goodreads. Enter before Oct 23rd for your chance to win a hardcover copy. I'm not good at touting my own book, but BuzzFeed said "This suspenseful psychological thriller definitely won’t disappoint" and according to Justine Magazine, "Prepare your fingernails, because tension mounts quickly as Ella’s reality is chipped away piece by piece . . . This one will keep you guessing."

Interesting Links

Writing article: Creating Compelling Consequences for Characters by Mary Kole

Decluttering article: "Americans are pack rats. Swedes have the solution: ‘Death cleaning.’"

Tom Petty interview: I saw Tom Petty in concert more than any other musician. If you're a fan, you might enjoy this 2009 interview.

Do you have any favorite concert memories? Share in the comments.
<![CDATA[IWSG Blog Hop: Using Personal Experiences in Fiction]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/iwsg-blog-hop-using-personal-experiences-in-fiction


​If you're taking part in the YA Scavenger Hunt, go to my previous post for Team Red and the opportunity to win some awesome giveaways! (If you've never tried this hunt to win book prizes, you might like to check it out.)

Helpful Links

Happy October! Here are a few helpful links to start the month.

Productivity article: 7 Productivity Tips I Really Use (Because They Really Work) from productivity expert Laura Vanderkam. 

Writing contest: IWSG is holding its annual anthology contest! Short stories in the mystery/crime/thriller genre are due November 1st. Complete info (theme, submission instructions) is available at the IWSG website.

Writing articles: 6 Tips for Writing Fiction Based on True Events by Lorie Ann Grover and Write What You Know: Bringing Personal Experience Into Your Writing by TJ Cooke. (Both of these articles tie to the IWSG Blog Hop's monthly theme, below.)

IWSG Blog Hop

Every month, the Insecure Writers Support Group poses an optional question that members can answer in their blog posts.  Special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for founding IWSG, and to this month’s blog hop co-hosts: ​Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan. Be sure to visit their blogs and say hello! 

This month’s question is:

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
Yes, I have fictionalized information and situations in stories on purpose. For example, in Black Flowers, White Lies, Ella's mother is about to remarry, and right before she leaves on her honeymoon, a rift occurs between Ella and her mom. I needed a reason for them to have a falling-out and wanted the mother to be caught in a lie.

​I thought about my experiences with my kids and times when I lied to them. There weren’t very many. I didn’t think sneaking candy from their Halloween stash counted. But then I remembered one big lie that I told.

My daughter once won a goldfish at our local carnival, a black one with bulgy eyes that she named Bubbles. She had Bubbles for over a year during elementary school, but the day before we were supposed to leave on a family vacation, I found Bubbles floating upside down. Now she was really attached to this fish, and I didn’t want to put a damper on our trip by breaking the news that day. When she found the empty gold fish bowl, I explained that the pet store would be taking care of her fish while we were away. The lie went smoothly and then I had another devious-mom idea.

I could replace the fish with a new bubble-eyed goldfish and we’d never even have to tell her!

I called pet stores when we got back until I found a black one, and then I brought it home. There was one problem. My daughter observed in the first ten seconds that this Bubbles was noticeably smaller than the original. “Look at Bubbles,” she said, and I thought for sure I was caught. “He must have missed us. He sure wasn’t eating enough while we were gone.”

I got away with the deception and Bubbles #2 lived a long, happy fish life.

Back to Black Flowers, White Lies. I needed the mom to tell a significant lie. One thing that Ella loves is her cat, Oscar, because Oscar is an important link to her father, who passed away right before she was born. When Oscar dies, Mom adopts a replacement, Oscar the second, without telling Ella the truth.

Unlike me, Ella’s mom gets caught and that’s a major betrayal in trust. It’s a traumatic incident in the story and it sets up the possibility that her mother is deceiving her about other things, like the true cause of her father’s death. This triggers a series of important consequences. 

That's one example of how I fictionalized a personal experience. And I did eventually tell my daughter the truth about Bubbles, in case you were wondering. :)

Now, on a lighter note, what's your favorite Halloween candy?
​Three Musketeers are one of mine.

<![CDATA[YA Scavenger Hunt #YASH]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 19:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/ya-scavenger-hunt-yash8494627Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt for Team Red!Picture
Welcome to Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors . . . and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for the team prize--books from Team Red! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for a few days. If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

​Scavenger Hunt Directions

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the RED team, and then add them up.

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, October 8th at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Black Flowers, White Lies

If this is your first time to my blog, I'm Yvonne Ventresca, the author of TWO YA novels: PANDEMIC and the psychological thriller, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES. In BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES, strange events make Ella question what’s real. Is it a haunting or a breakdown? She desperately needs answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

In addition to the Team Red prize, I'm offering an Amazon gift card giveaway. Look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 

Scavenger Hunt Guest Post Featuring CM McCoy

CM McCoy: Also Colleen Oefelein. Colleen is a retired Air Force officer and chemical engineer, an author, blogger, and an associate agent and PR manager at Inklings Literary Agency. She also teaches Irish Dance. A disabled vet, Colleen has interviewed with PEOPLE Magazine, 20/20, and INSIDE EDITION, where she promotes writing for mental and emotional health. She also runs Totem Head's Annual Writing Contest for Kids, now in its eighth year. Some of her off-the-wall talents include speaking in 10-codes (from her time with Alaska State Troopers), and flying helicopters. 

More about CM McCoy's EERIE

Hailey Hartley has just enrolled in the world's premier supernatural university. It's a school she's never heard of, located in a town called The Middle of Nowhere, and run by a creature that's not supposed to exist. But at least she got a scholarship...

Hailey's dreams have always been, well...vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid. When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds only one place offers her answers--a paranormal university in Alaska. There, she studies the science of the supernatural and must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive her otherworldly classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from an evil monster doesn't decide to kill her himself.     ​Buy the book here.

EERIE Fan Casting

​Hailey: G Hannelius. This is the ONLY actress who could pull off Hailey's unintentionally comic quirkiness. I absolutely adored G in DOG WITH A BLOG.

Holly: A young Holly Marie Combs completely embodies Holly's level-headedness in the face of a horrifying monstrosity.

Fin: If only Jensen Ackles were 20 years younger! His Dean on SUPERNATURAL may go a tad bit over the douche line sometimes, and yet we love him, just like Fin.

Asher: Alex Roe of THE 5TH WAVE fame could totally pull off the brooding and conflicted killer that is Asher.

Giselle: Giselle is so hugely grumpy and stand-offish, yet critical to Hailey's survival. She's snarky and deadly, yet endearingly vulnerable. Only a female John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox of TV's SCRUBS) would do. If you know of an actress who could pull off such a huge character, leave a comment! I maaaaaay have a cool prize for the best suggestion ;-) 

Professor Woodfork: I imagine the ageless professor as an Anthony Stewart Head (from Buffy) only without the British accent. 

Cobon: If that creepy reverend from POLTERGEIST II (Julian Beck) were still alive, he'd make an awesome half-rotted, yet gentlemanly Cobon. 

Thank you, CM McCoy, for that exclusive content! 
Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win books! Find my favorite number (in RED) earlier in this post. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Continue the Hunt

​To keep going on the YA Scavenger Hunt, you need to check out the next author on Team Red: Lindsey Loucks.

​Bonus Giveaway

In addition to contributing to the YASH giveaway, I'm offering my own personal giveaway as well. One winner will receive a set of eight custom designed Black Flower Notecards (inspired by BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES) and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. (This prize is open internationally, but please note: Any winner outside of the US will receive the $10 Amazon Gift Card only.) Good luck!
<![CDATA[Banned Books Week #WordsHavePower]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:33:26 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/banned-books-week-wordshavepowerFrom September 24th through September 30th is Banned Books Week, the American Library Association's celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week has special significance to me because my own high school banned books while I was a student there, and this became the 1982 Supreme Court case Island Trees School District v. Pico.

Did you know that books are still being banned today? According to the ALA website, "Five of the 10 titles on the Top Ten list were removed from the location where the challenge took place. On average, OIF (Office of Intellectual Freedom) finds that 10% of challenges result in the removal of the book."
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, ala.org/bbooks/NLW-Top10
Some terminology from ALA: "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice."
For more information about Banned Books Week, visit ALA's website.
American Library Association, ala.org/bbooks/NLW-Top10
<![CDATA[IWSG Blog Hop for Sept and Helpful Links]]>Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/iwsg-blog-hop-for-sept-and-helpful-linksPicture
Happy September! Here are a few helpful links to start the month.

Productivity article: "Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead"

Writing contest: YARN's Halloween fiction contest (open to teens and adults who write YA)

Parenting: "Getting Your Legal House In Order Before Your Adult Child Leaves for College"

IWSG Blog Hop

Every month, the Insecure Writers Support Group poses an optional question that members can answer in their blog posts.  Special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for founding IWSG, and to this month’s blog hop co-hosts: ​Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure. Be sure to visit their blogs and say hello! This month’s question:

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

​Yes, it was a surprise to realize how much I enjoy writing short stories. I find it satisfying to complete a project over a shorter time frame, because novels take so looonnnnggg.

My first published short story, “Escape to Orange Blossom,” appeared in the integrated dystopian anthology, Prep for Doom. Next, “The Art of Remaining Bitter” was selected for inclusion in IWSG’s anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life. Later in the fall, I have a short story featuring my first adult protagonist. “Justice for Jaynie” will appear in a new Sisters in Crime anthology, Thirty Shades of Dead. Details to follow in a later post.

​In other good news:

I love autumn! What's your favorite thing about this season?
<![CDATA[Book Giveaway and IWSG Monthly Blog Hop]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/book-giveaway-and-iwsg-monthly-blog-hopPicture
Welcome to my blog! If it's your first time here, I blog about writing, productivity, and the creative life. And on the first Wednesday of the month (today!), I participate in the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) blog hop.

I'm co-hosting this month, along with Christine Rains, Dolarah at BookLover, Ellen at The Cynical Sailor, and LG Keltner.

​In honor of the hop (created by IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh ), I'm giving away a copy of the newest IWSG Anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life. I'm proud to have my short story included ("The Art of Remaining Bitter"). See giveaway details below.

Every month, IWSG poses an optional question that members can answer in their blog posts. This month’s question:

What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

This is going to sound geeky, but I love the Oxford comma. There was an article in the NY Times about a lawsuit earlier this year that hinged on the comma. Here's a fun explanation about why it matters:

Source: tremetapicture.com

Do you have any grammar pet peeves?
Say hello in the comments and let me know if you are participating in the blog hop.
For more info about IWSG, visit the website.

Now for the giveaway: One winner will receive a copy of the newest IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life. (This prize is open internationally, but please note that any winner outside of the US will receive an ebook version instead of the paperback.) Good luck!