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Welcome to the EditorMuse blog, a resource for information about editing, writing, and the business of literary inspiration.

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Avoid the Spork

At some point, either on a road trip or on a wrong-turn detour to somewhere, out of love for fake cheese, or just lack of better options, most people have eaten food from a gas-station convenience store. As a cost cutting measure, most of these places conveniently provide utensils, a napkin, and perhaps salt and pepper in one sealed package to prevent people from mindlessly grabbing by the handful more than they need. Also, in case someone needs both a fork and spoon, but to avoid the cost a supplying both, these establishments offer the “spork”—part fork, part spoon, but mostly not as good as a real fork or spoon.
“Spork-ing” also happens in the business world. Job descriptions posted with vague titles searching for a jack-of-all-trades who is probably mediocre at each skill. In the publishing industry, and self-publishing specifically, spork-ing aspects from production to marketing is rampant and usually results in an inferior product.

Content Is King--An Interview with Mark Roma

As the Internet continues to evolve and influence our daily lives, writers, designers, and business owners must also keep pace with these changes. In an interview I conducted recently, I spoke with Mark Roma, CEO of Mark Roma Designs in Austin, Texas. Mark explains how important it is for businesses to advance with the times as the focus on the Internet shifts towards dynamically changing content.

Tips for Writing a Great Query Letter

Most agents don’t accept unsolicited submissions as a way to avoid having their office consumed by manuscripts of varying degrees of quality with no way of immediately telling them apart. However, this doesn’t mean that novice and unconnected authors can’t get their foot in door. So that agents don’t receive full manuscripts (and consequentially thousands of pages of paper), they accept one-page query letters that succinctly tell them about the book and why the author is qualified to write it. The agent’s interest in seeing the full manuscript or the first 30 pages is determined by their interest in the query letter. However, even some of the best writers don’t know how to write a captivating query letter.

Creative Writing Workshop--Required Reading

There is one required text for the creative writing workshop:
The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives by Lajos Egri
ISBN: 0-671-21332-6
It is available both used and new on
There is no assigned reading for the first class, but please have the book by Sept. 6th.


The Creative Workshop/Instruction beginning on September 6th will be held at
4618 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756-3026
(512) 420-8758
(Click the link for directions)

Are You a Victim of Bad Web Content?

Let’s assume that a company has traffic flowing to its website and receives a fair number of daily visitors, but not that many hits. This could mean that paid advertising is getting an audience to a site that is not holding their attention. There are three major factors that cause people to navigate away from a website: (1) slow load time, (2) bad content, and (3) poor graphics. Twenty-five percent of the reason a business loses traffic could be attributed to poor content. How do you know if you’re a victim?

What Kind of Creative Writing Workshop is Right for You?

Rarely, outside of the world of stretchy, cotton spandex, does one size actually fit all. There are several kinds of writers all looking to improve their craft, but with differing goals and skill levels, these diverse writers have very different needs. To make the most of your time (and sometimes money), identifying what kind of writer you are can be very helpful.

Creative Writing Workshop--UPDATE

I received a very good question today and felt that I should share the answer with all of you:

Question:Are there any other classes after the Workshop/Instruction class is completed that students are able to take to further their writing?

Answer: Yes. This writing workshop is the first of many classes and also the foundation for developing a prolific creative literary community in Austin. It all begins with you.

The goal of this class/workshop is for the participants to each create a publishable work of fiction which will be published as an online literary magazine called Sensei. Students who have successfully completed the first workshop will be invited to participate in the intermediate workshop and then finally the Masters' workshop. Those in the Masters' workshop will be able to demonstrate their mastery by passing on their skills to young writers.

The idea behind Sensi is that we are all on the same path, only some are further ahead than others. Through this process, I will train you to know what I do, and you will be able to teach it to others.

Question: Is this class an online class or a place that the students meet every week? If they do meet at a specific location is there an address so I can determine how the commute works with my schedule?

Answer: This class will actually meet at a location to be announced soon. Once I know the final class size, I will know what size space we need. So the sooner you can give me a firm commitment on your interest in the class, the sooner I can let you know the location.

If people have location preferences or restrictions, let me know and I will keep them in my consideration.


There are still spaces available for the September class until September 1

September classes will begin Sunday, September 6, 2009. There are still spaces available for interested students until September 1.
Check out the blog or contact us for more detail!

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