Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

[Wyrd Words Weekly] Find your folx!

Published about 1 month ago • 4 min read

Hello Reader,

Because the sun has finally returned to the Pacific Northwest, I'm feeling the need to call an end to hibernation and re-emerge into the real world.

If you've been around here for a while, you know the value I place on finding your writing community. It's why I run a free critique partner matching service multiple times a year, why I'm a member of numerous critique groups and writing organizations, and why I go out of my way to hang out with other creatives whenever I can.

But this winter was long and cold and dark and lonely and it was starting to get to me. Then, at the end of March, I got a real treat that broke me out of my winter blues--my first ever Norwescon. Norwescon is a science fiction and fantasy convention held every year here in Western Washington and to be honest, I'm shocked I've been here nine years and never managed to go before. Admittedly, I have school-aged kids and it's very close to spring break, but still!

Anyhow, in case you were wondering how it went:

Yes, I bought faerie horns. Yes, I'm a wyrdo. Yes, I was understated when compared to the numerous Renaissance tavern wenches, Wonder Women, merfolk, and other attendees. There was a larger-than-life Dalek, an immense man dressed in a light-up unicorn suit, the Easter bunny (of course) and, oh yeah, a ton of really fun author talks on a variety of subjects from world-building to social justice writing to the threat AI poses to authors and publishers alike.

If the past couple of sentences made no sense to you, that's OK. The key here is not to deep dive into Dr. Who characters or to start writing fantasy if that doesn't float your boat. The key is to find your writing people, whoever those people are, and do fun stuff with them. Go to a local bookstore and geek out of your favorite books. Drink Boba. Go for a walk. Start a critique group or a book club or an accountability group. If you're of the shy woodland creature variety (so many creatives are), going with a friend can really help manage the anxiety of a new situation, a large group, or a new place.

Gabby and I made a Norwescon plan and we stuck to it. Sure, we missed some fun stuff (the ball and the midnight Rocky Horror showing, among others), but we also got to my local indie, had plenty of PJ time, and got a ton of writing done as well. Overall, a great weekend that left me feeling energized after a hectic couple of months...

Introducing WKND Pitch Perfection!

Speaking of that hectic couple of months...I'm trying something brand new and you are the first to get the official announcement.

For years, people have been telling me I have pitching super powers. I love helping folks craft pitches--yes, I know this makes me strange--and I've probably read close to a thousand over the last decade because of my work as a book coach and my time as a Pitch Wars mentor.

So I'm thrilled to announce that I've spent the past two months doing a massive brain dump of everything I know about pitching and have created two amazing course offerings for writers.

WKND Pitch Perfection is a six-module mini-course that teaches you, step by step, how to position your book in a competitive marketplace starting with a strong query.

I will have a special launch-weekend-only price of $49, after which it will return to its normal price of $89.

I'll be offering this $89 course for a special launch-weekend-only price of $49. It is jam-packed with content, including:

  • 6 video lessons including slides, transcripts, and audio files
  • A step-by-step workbook that goes along with the course
  • Examples of successful queries in a downloadable knowledge base
  • A query template
  • Word count and genre references
  • Detailed FAQs featuring real questions writers have asked over the years

And if you need some extra strategy help too, there's a Pitch Strategy Workbook add-on for $17. For the price of a writing conference query session, I'll teach you how to craft your query and pitch with confidence!

As part of the launch for this self-paced course, I'll be going LIVE twice this week and I'd love to see some of my Wyrd Words friends there. Mark your calendars for one or both of the following:

If you want to be the first to hear when the course goes live on Thursday, click here:

What I'm Reading

I was pretty thrilled to get an electronic advanced reader copy (e-ARC) of Angela Ackerman and Becca Pugilist's The Emotion Amplifier Thesaurus. You know, just a little light reading for my spring break flight this past week! Their handy reference guides are great for helping writers think about all the different emotional situations their characters get into and this one is no exception.

When writing fictional characters, it’s hugely important to convey their emotions effectively so readers will be drawn in and become invested in those characters. Their original guide was written to help writers convey the quality and depth of their characters’ feelings through their thoughts, body language, and visceral reactions. But there are also ways to amplify what a character is feeling, thereby heightening their emotional responses.

And that's exactly what this new book tackles. Coming in May, this book is going to be a great resource for writing those key scenes where you need your characters and your readers emotionally invested in what's happening on the page. Watch this space for a giveaway of this helpful book.

Hope to see you at one of my lives this coming week! If you're on the fence about whether you're ready to pitch or curious about the publishing industry, pitching, or my course, I'll be there LIVE to answer all your questions!



PS - Did you see my quiz last week? I'd love to know what you think. Just hit reply and let me know:

What does wyrd mean?

a. Weird

b. Word

c. Fate/Destiny

d. Don't know/don't care, sounds cool tho!

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Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz helps writers who dream of a life spent telling stories that matter slay their doubt demons so they can send their work out into the world with confidence. An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP. A social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Seattle, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a couple of naughty furry familiars. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

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