April 7, 2021

Webinar for Writers Live on FC! Hosted by Dan Blank

Webinar for Writers Live on FC! Hosted by Dan Blank

We at the Café are excited to announce that on April 30th we will be hosting a webinar for writers who want to learn how to create an author platform and market their books. Dan Blank will be presenting on various topics. Check out the details below and mark your calendars! An Introduction to Author Platform and Finding Your Ideal Readers Dan Blank has helped thousands of writers develop their author platforms, launch their books, and create marketing strategies that work. In this 1-hour webinar, he will share his methodology for how to develop your author platform, market your writing, and find a sense of joy and fulfillment in the process. He will discuss social media, finding your ideal readers, how to present yourself online, and the key elements of book launches. A Q&A session will…

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March 30, 2021

March Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

March Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

Happy end of March! This month has been really, really busy. I’ve been up to a lot of things, some of which will show up lately in pretty cool ways. For now, with y’all, I wanted to share the five most important things I learned (or was reminded of) this month. Do some little marketing task every day. If you’re self-published, there’s lots of options. If you’re going traditional, build inroads with editors and agents.  Perfectionism might be our greatest enemy.  Sprizzy and Social Growth Engine are two services that help promote videos. SGE seems to work much better, even if they feel much sketchier to the user.  It’s amazing how far people are willing to go to help you if you just ask them for help.  Our second greatest enemy is probably working on…

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February 26, 2021

“Rising” – New Poetry Collection by Yong Takahashi

“Rising” – New Poetry Collection by Yong Takahashi

RISING: Poems In this debut collection of poetry, flashes of life’s most intimate moments are filled with love, hope, remorse, longing, and anguish. We root for the one who reaches for happiness but is not yet able to grasp it. We wince for the one who picks at festering wounds that never quite heal. We are breathless as we run alongside those who chase after a thirst that can never be quenched.   Yong Takahashi is the author of The Escape to Candyland. She was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. She was awarded Best Pitch at the Atlanta Writers Club Conference. Her second short story collection will be published in 2021.To learn…

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February 25, 2021

February Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

February Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

JASON BRICK’S NOTES FROM THE LAB As a freelance writer deep in the trenches, I’m here to present your five facts and five favorites from the month of February, 2021. Just the facts…. Fiverr.com is a good place to get low-cost cover design services, and a bad place to find competent copy editing. The pandemic has shifted a lot of genre sales figures, but by now you shouldn’t change any decisions based on that.  On social media, there is an inverse relationship between how successful a writer is and how mean they act. If you “don’t have time to write” you actually just prioritize other activities Martha Wells’s The Murderbot Diaries is really, really fun to read. Five Favorites… Social Change in the Publishing Industry I don’t know if it’s going to be awesome or a train wreck, but…

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December 31, 2020

Derrick R. Lafayette Is Our First Writer-in-Residence

Derrick R. Lafayette Is Our First Writer-in-Residence

Announcing the newest position on The Fictional Café: the Writer-in-Residence. Our Editorial Team has awarded this role to longtime FC contributor Derrick R. Lafayette. Following a wonderful year of our first Poet-in-Residence, awarded to Mbizo Chirasha, we decided to expand upon this idea by adding a prose writer. Each Residency lasts two years. This staggering allows our members to greet a new face each year and allows us two full years of sharing each Resident’s work. As our Writer-in-Residence for 2021-2022, we will be publishing some of Derrick’s short stories, novel excerpts and perhaps some essays as well. He’s been featured on our site several times over the last three years. Each time, we’ve been impressed by his growth as well as his ability to create engrossing tales using both unique storylines and moments from…

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December 23, 2020

December Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

December Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

Greetings all! As many of you know, I run a weekly newsletter of useful, fun, or amusing pieces of writing industry news called The Break From HOKAIC (Hands on Keyboard, Ass in Chair). As writers and lovers of writing yourselves, Fictional Cafe thought you’d enjoy some highlights for your information and entertainment: Finding a writing routine that works A video of writing advice from successful authors Writing Advice From Cats The shifting shape of writing and publishing Ultimate Guide to Book Distribution Nature slaps scientists in the face If you’d like more, delivered each week, consider subscribing to the newsletter itself. It comes every Monday. Thanks for reading. See you next month!

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December 3, 2020

Rhode Island Author Expo – FREE Virtual Conference

Rhode Island Author Expo – FREE Virtual Conference

This Saturday, December 5th, The Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA) is holding their annual Author Expo virtually. Anyone can join: no Rhode Island ID needed! Each year, ARIA does an outstanding job bringing local writers, speakers and resources for writers (like us) together for a day of networking, teaching about the craft of writing and selling books from independent and small press authors. Even if you do not plan to attend, we encourage you to check out the local authors participating in the event, where you can find their books for sale. Please help support these hardworking writers! Jack and I have been attending this conference for many years now. We were introduced to it by FC member and contributor Mike Squatrito. At the conference last year, we met Michael Piekny, one of our…

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November 26, 2020

Holiday Gift Ideas for Bookish Friends and Family

Holiday Gift Ideas for Bookish Friends and Family

The holidays are upon us! What better way to celebrate than with books and book-based products? I know, I’m biased. BUT there are many of us out there and we can be tricky to shop for. Here are some gift ideas for the bookivores in your life with a special offer from us at the Café at the end. I got my first Kindle recently! I finally caved because I was getting more than a stray submission to The Fictional Café as an e-book. I begrudgingly used it, hoping my REAL books wouldn’t scoff at me. Yet, I found myself loving this portable bookshelf for vacations or reading on the subway. Hey Jack, can I count this as a business expense for reimbursement? All kidding aside, here is a gift idea for readers that I…

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November 5, 2020

Free IPNE Writer’s Conference Starts Today!

Free IPNE Writer’s Conference Starts Today!

Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) is hosting a virtual conference for all writers this Friday and Saturday. Free and open to everyone! Check out the details below. FREE WRITING AND PUBLISHING CONFERENCE! Please Join Us for IPNE’s 9th Annual Independent Publishers & Authors Virtual Online Conference, Nov. 6-7, “Publishing During the Pandemic!” Conference Details and Registration at IPNE.org Are you planning on writing a book? Already working on one? Are you interested in learning more about the publishing process, from manuscript to published work? How to build an audience? “Publishing During a Pandemic” is the theme of the 2020 Conference, presented for you on Zoom over two days, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7. There’s no charge to attend and you don’t need to be a publisher, published author, an IPNE member, or…

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October 29, 2020

Free Writing and Publishing Conference Next Week!

Free Writing and Publishing Conference Next Week!

Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) is hosting a virtual conference for all writers next week. Free and open to everyone! Check out the details below. FREE WRITING AND PUBLISHING CONFERENCE! Please Join Us for IPNE’s 9th Annual Independent Publishers & Authors Virtual Online Conference, Nov. 6-7, “Publishing During the Pandemic!” Conference Details and Registration at IPNE.org Are you planning on writing a book? Already working on one? Are you interested in learning more about the publishing process, from manuscript to published work? How to build an audience? “Publishing During a Pandemic” is the theme of the 2020 Conference, presented for you on Zoom over two days, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7. There’s no charge to attend and you don’t need to be a publisher, published author, an IPNE member, or even a…

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