Later this month, I'm going to give a day-long workshop with the snappy title: "Think published to get published."

Obviously, it's got a strong emphasis on marketing and is going to include such biggies as: developing a platform, honing an internet presence, creating a writer's persona & resume, finding outlets to get your name known and so forth.

So, my questions to this illustrious group are:
1. Besides the most obvious of all -- writing a darn good story in a darn good voice -- what advice do you have for newbies/wannabes about becoming a *published* writer?
2. How does one develop a platform (what the heck is a platform, anyway?)?
3. What makes a writer different from a wannabe (again, besides the discipline of writing)?
4. Did you do anything to establish your reputation as a writer before you were published?
5. Is the old way of social networking, querying etc etc still the most effective way to get published?
6. Did you develop a writer's resume?
7. What am I completely missing?

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Jon,
I've got several of these points earmarked. Thank you for reminding me of their importance.

As to asking questions of the students. . . heck yes. This workshop is in a large, gorgeous Santa Fe home. It'll have, at max, 10 participants. Since I've got an MSW, I always am interested in the psychology behind a person's desire to "get published." Why is that important in the first place?

I love #6. Isn't it the truth.

Every once in a while I think about going to school for writing -- then I meet some of the professors and they strike me as so pompous (I hope I'm not offending you?) that I give up the idea and go back into my hovel.
Actually, I knew the guy who invited authors to come talk at the University of Michigan (my alma mater -- BA in Asian Studies, MSW in cross-cultural therapy). He wanted to invite me, but said that it wouldn't happen in a million years because I wrote genre.

God, forbid.

I wish snobbery could be divorced from creative writing. Just because you've got your nose in the air doesn't mean you've got a better view. Ya, know?
Yeah, genre -- Horrors! Anybody look at the best seller list lately?

No matter how well written, most of the books fall into one genre or another. THE ROAD, which I think is the best book I have read in the last ten years comes under both SF-apocalyptic fiction, and suspense fiction. And that nasty word to all genre writers (me included) literary fiction.

Many aspire to literary, few accomplish it, Cormack McCarthy has. Anybody who reads the book and pays attention knows that even when nothing is happening, the reader is afraid of what it will be. I've never been so frightened for characters as in the last few pages of this book.
I'm with you, Jon. Pretty much everything fiction is genre. I don't see the need to feel superior or inferior about what I write -- or what others do.
That's the pits.

I see the same thing from time to time when I'm speaking to women's groups. It's like, "Oh, you write mysteries? I guess I can dismiss you now . . . "

Ah, well.
Don't forget ralan.com for more market info - it's not as useful a site (unless you're a sci-fi writer) but there are occasional markets (anthos, for instance) that they have a better angle on .

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