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Prime Number Magazine’s monthly flash fiction contest can earn you a cash prize plus publication in Prime Number Magazine (a Press 53 Publication). The prize would be judged by Press 53/Prime Number Magazine editorial staff.

Prize:

$251 (a prime number) plus publication in Prime Number Magazine, Issue 139, October-December 2018

Submission Guidelines:
• Submit one unpublished story that is no more than 751 words, double-spaced in 12-pt. type with numbered pages.
• Multiple entries require separate reading fees.Reading fee is $7 per entry and is nonrefundable.
• The judging process is “blind,” so author’s name should not appear anywhere on or in the story.
• Writer will be prompted by Submittable to give name, bio, and contact information on a cover sheet separate from the story.
• Open to any writer anywhere in the world whose entry is unpublished and written in English.
• Authors who have published a book with Press 53 are not eligible to enter.
• Entries will only be accepted through Submittable, your online submissions manager. Requests to open your entry for editing via Submittable cannot be accepted after the deadline.
• Writer is asked to withdraw the submission through Submittable should it be accepted for publication elsewhere.
• If entry is withdrawn, reading fee is nonrefundable and entry cannot be replaced with another piece.
• Winner would be announced No later than August 31, 2018 (probably earlier)
• The winning story must remain unpublished until it appears in Prime Number Magazine, otherwise the prize and publication will be forfeited.
• Cash prize would be awarded upon publication.

Please note that :
• Prime Number Magazine is granted First Serial Rights. All rights revert back to author upon publication.
• Confirmation of entry will be sent via e-mail by Submittable immediately after submission.
• An announcement of the winner will be sent to all entrants via email through Submittable, and posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Deadline:
July 31, 2018, midnight Eastern Standard Time, so you might want to hurry now.

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News Flash Fiction has announced entries open for the Anton Chekhov Prize for Very Short Fiction. The Prize is in honour of Anton Chekhov, a Russian playwright and short-story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. Chekhov’s mastery for saying a lot with a little makes him one of the flash fiction’s spiritual inspirations. The prize would be judged by Nuala O’Connor.

Guidelines
• Submissions should be 1000 words or less.
• Submissions should be unpublished and in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format.
• Feel free to submit multiple stories, but as a SEPARATE entry (so that you complete an individual submission process for each story).
• All stories must be submitted with no name on the story itself. They will be read blind.
• Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but New Flash Fiction must be notified if your story gets accepted elsewhere.
• Authors will retain all rights and copyright to their works.
• New Flash Fiction Review requests one-time, non-exclusive rights to publish your work.

Prize:
The winner will receive $300, publication in New Flash Fiction Review, and immediate nominations for a Pushcart Prize nomination and Best Small Fictions, 2019

Deadline:
Contest will open on June 15th with a deadline of November 1st.

Please note that an entry fee of $7 is required to be paid per submission.

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The University of Iowa’s Massive Online Open Course, “Moving the Margins: Fiction and Inclusion” is now open. The course is scheduled to run from July 15, 2018 to August 19,2018. Though you can take the course at your own schedule, because the course materials would be available till 15th of September 2018.
The course includes readings, videos, podcasts, assignments and discussions, all geared towards helping writers bring out the best from their writing. The course would be teaching on developing character, finding voice, story telling etc. All the ingredients necessary to make one an outstanding writer. Best part is, you get all of these for free!
Writers, what are you waiting for?

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The Quaesitum blog is pleased to announce the maiden edition of the QUAESITUM SHORT STORY CONTEST, which will begin this year. The contest is open to all unpublished young writers living in Nigeria and who are willing to tell their own fresh and unique stories.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
1. All entries must be unpublished and original.
2. All entries must be in English and must address issues concerning the Nigerian society.
3. Entries must be well written with the best use of grammar and must be presented in font size 12, Times New Roman and 1.5 line spacing. The first page must contain the title of the story, the name of the writer and the number of words.
4. All entries must have their pages numbered and submitted as Microsoft word documents with a minimum of 3000 words and maximum of 4000 words.
5. All entries must be submitted via email to pressquaesitum@gmail.com as attachments, with “Quaesitum Short Story Contest” as subject. A brief biography of the writer and necessary contact information (preferably telephone number) should be provided. Upon submission, an acknowledgment mail will be sent.
6. The winning entry will be gifted with a cash prize and will be published on Quaesitum blog.
7. Note that any entry that does not meet the specified guidelines stated above will be promptly disqualified.
Deadline:
The deadline for submission of entries is 31st August, 2018.

Good luck!

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The National Executive Council of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has announced a call for submissions for the 2018 ANA Review. The ANA Review, published yearly by the Association, is a journal that seeks to assess the pulse of contemporary Nigerian and African literary writing and critical discourse in the field.This would be the 37th edition of the ANA Review – amazing, right?
They are currently accepting submissions for the following categories :
1. Poetry—No more than six poems per submission
2. Prose—Short stories or fiction excerpts must be under 4,000 words
3. Essays—Academic and literary essays on subjects related to literature are welcome and must be under 5,000 words; and
4. Drama—Skits only, under 3,000 words.
Guideline:
All submissions are expected to be sent as MS Word attachments via email to titiaofonime@gmail.com, bearing details such as: Name, Genre, State Chapter, Contact, and Telephone of the writer, on the first page.
Deadline :
All submissions to the Review closes on Friday, 3th of August, 2018.

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By Elsa Wood

Starting your own blog may be a lifesaver for a passionate student. When you still have plenty of free time and a zeal to express yourself, a blog can become a creative hobby that will lead to something great.

Let’s say you want to share your ideas with the public. Where do you go? Most often, young people choose social networks to bring their thoughts to the public. But this is clearly not the best option if you take your writing seriously. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about posting on social media. It’s just the limits such services put on your creativity.

For me, a real writing experience has started with the creation of my blog. This is a place where I rule; this is a small private part of the colorful world I have in my mind. And you know what? Being a writer is easy. Well, it is easier than most of us think. I’m sure, you, as many people around, are afraid to take those first steps and show our work to someone else, not to mention publishing it online where any stranger can read it. Besides, we all know that the Internet is full of negativity and criticism.

However, once you open up, you’ll be surprised how wonderful it is to get feedback from people and to discuss your thoughts with them. So, if you are really passionate about your future blog and have a goal set in your mind, I’ll share with you the content writing tips for beginners. You can also find out the tricks I use and some unexpected places where I get my ideas from, my favorite being a student answer service. This is an awesome place to get new ideas and topics for discussion, more about that later.

Blogging Tips

I’ve decided to organize writing ideas for you in a form of 10 easy tips that influence your content and a blog, in general.

Let’s start with the basic ones!

  1. Keep your eyes and ears open

As a blogger, you’ll be expected to update often and that requires many topics to talk about. Initially, we all have a vague plan of the things we know and want to write about. But when we ran out of ideas, it is essential not to give up and abandon our blog. I’ve had some experience with neglected blogs and can say that the main reason for giving it up is not believing.

Instead, even during those times when you have a few topics planned, pay close attention to what interests people. You may hear an interesting conversation or get a new topic from a post your friend has just retweeted. Pay attention to the outside world.

There are many places to get inspiration. One of the most surprising for me was an education Q&A website where I looked for help. You cannot even imagine how many interesting topics can be found there.

  1. Talk to your readers

Yes, we all have our own style and we are free to choose how to manage our blogs. But I’ve noticed that those bloggers who speak to their readers are more popular. Academic writing may look professional and sophisticated but writing blogs is something completely different. It is hard to change the way you write and see a reader as your friend. But once you try it, you will see the results. In my experience, getting closer to the audience is always rewarded with more comments.

Ask them a question if you want to hear an answer.

  1. The first blog post matters

It’s not a secret that making a good first impression is essential for any sphere. Don’t you think that the first blog your readers see should present an accurate image of your content? I do. That is why I recommend you to think carefully about the first thing that will be posted. Will it be an explanatory article about yourself and your purpose? Will it be something entertaining to attract more readers? Or will it be something short and intriguing to make them follow you? This is all up to you. Just be sure to reward your readers with what you’ve promised.

You already know what to write about and are ready to post your work? Wait! There is one more little trick.

  1. Headlines

What is the first thing that attracts the attention of the public? Headlines! The right title can work wonders for your blog traffic. Have you noticed that the most successful blogs have creative headlines? Actually, this is a part of their success. I’ve seen it myself. You can write a good article on an interesting topic featuring some groundbreaking thoughts but don’t think about a good title. And what happens? Nothing. No reviews, no comments, no feedback. You may think that the problem is the topic but it turns out that nobody even reads it. This is why you should think well and find a catching title to make your text interesting.

  1. Cite your sources

I bet you’ve already heard this advice from multiple writers. First of all, it is simply polite to give credit to others when you mention their thoughts and ideas. You would like to get mentioned somewhere else as well. This is all hard work and stealing is the last thing to resort to.

Besides, your article looks more credible if you present the sources where people can check the information.

  1. WordPress basics

Among all other tools and services that allow you to create your own blog, I find WordPress the most effective. It has everything a young blogger needs. Besides, you can easily use it for free and don’t feel the need to purchase any additional plugins and so on. You can find a blog post template that is really useful for beginners.

To use it like a pro, watch or read a few step-by-step tutorials on creating a WordPress blog. Write steps down and try them all to create your own blog.

  1. Be funny

A few jokes here and there will make your content more lively. A boring and dull text is interesting to nobody. To my mind, a good blogger is a funny blogger. You may still write about serious and important stuff, but making it all light and “easy-going” will only increase your popularity. After all, there are enough boring bloggers out there. Don’t become one of them.

  1. Make it short

Very often, a short post you write during breakfast just before work is better than an elaborate explanation of all sides of an issue you can deliver on holiday. Why? A short article is more to the point and tells the whole story in a few sentences. Then, people may ask more if the idea intrigues them. However, it is good to write something long and descriptive (as I’m doing here), keep it diverse. High-quality content shouldn’t always be lengthy.

  1. Be ready for criticism

Sometimes, people are mean and we can do nothing about it. If you’re going to posting your works online, be ready to get a fair share of negativity. It doesn’t mean that what you are doing is bad and you have to give up. Some people are just spiteful for the sake of it.

Take criticism as a push to improve. Think about it as a mean that keeps you moving forward and progressing.

  1. Just be yourself!

The last tip is the most important for me. Copying somebody, no matter how great they are, isn’t a way to success. Inspiration is good, but you always have to add your own vision, style, and a part of who you are to those posts.

These tips are especially important for writers who want to earn a real income from their blogs.

Of course, there are so many other things to think about while updating your blog. But most of them will come to you in time once you start writing your blog. Each blogger finds their own path and the tips that work for them. For me, these are the most important lessons I’ve learned since creating a blog of mine. I hope that these few tips will make a good base for your work and you will find how inspiring it is to share something with people. This is something to start from.

One more bonus tip to think about is to do what you are passionate about. Find the time and work on your blog daily, you have to like doing it. Don’t write about something just because it’s trendy. Find the common interests with your audience and research those things that you like. Then, your blog will never be neglected and working on it will bring you joy. Readers see when an author likes what he or she is doing. And they tend to stay with such bloggers for a long time.

Bio: Elsa Wood is a student in the Department of Journalism at Illinois.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash
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The BrittlePaper event was slated to hold in a cozy art house on a late afternoon in Lagos. I’d never been there before. It had beautiful photographs hanging on the walls. Traffic was terrible as usual and I felt quite flustered when I eventually reached the venue.
Ms. Ainehi, standing in her beautiful pink dress, welcomed invited guests. She had this genuinely kind smile that made one feel quite at home. An artist called Ehije, the ‘story teller’ came to grace us with beautiful music before the conversations started proper.
Headlined by Wonu, the discussion centered on African literature began. Althought most of the guest expressed their varying opinions, I just sat back, a novice too shy to speak. I chose to soak it all in like a sponge.
Of all the issues raised, the following caught my interest:
1. Who gets to decide what kind of books could be termed as classics or award-winning?

As an avid reader, who genuinely believes that life is too short to be spent on terrible books, I look to award lists to decide what book to read.
I love literary fiction, I do. But sometimes I get tired of reading about pain and war and bad governance. Sometimes I just want to curl up and soak myself in genre books like ‘The Sun is Also A Star’. It is basically a love story by the American author, Nicola Yoon. But in Nigeria, it’s difficult to find genre books like that because they aren’t being marketed with the same intensity as literary fiction. We don’t see them on shortlists for literary awards and it begs the question: Do we snub genre fiction writing? Do we see them as sub-par or do we assume that to qualify as an African writer, one must always be serious and political?
And even when it comes to these awards, what’s the criteria for being selected? Taking the Caine Prize shortlist for this year, for instance. Pardon me when I say most of the stories were drab . Just drab.
2. The distribution of African Literature in Nigeria.
For instance, it is easier to find a Danielle Steel book than it is to find a Petina Gappa book because there are very few book stores licensed to sell African Literature here and most of these foreign books are used books. What policies could be made by the government to make the distribution of these books easier? Should our bad roads be fixed or should a thriving printing industry be established?
The narrative that Nigerians don’t read is a tiring and old one. Think of Okada books or even stories by writers on Facebook. The amount of followership of stories on these platforms is enough to convince anyone that Nigerians do read. A lot. Perhaps the problem is accessibility and cost of hard-copy books. A typical book starts from 3,000 naira and with minimum wage at N18,000, it is quite difficult for one to spend such an amount on books especially in a country where the reading culture is not very encouraged.
Try convincing anyone who earns less than the minimum wage to spend the money on a book instead of food. Let me know how they reacted in the comments section.
According to an editor at Farafina, the publishers are definitely not to blame for the seemingly high costs of books especially when one considers the high production costs. The lack of a viable printing industry doesn’t help matters at all. In the end, we return to running in a circle of problems in which the government is at the center.
In my opinion, people are probably not reading African books because they can’t get their hands on them. And they can’t get their hands on too many of them because they are too expensive. The government isn’t doing anything to help the literary industry either- sponsoring literary festivals while taxing publishing houses heavily and leaving your roads inaccessible seems quite paradoxical. Perhaps the reason genre writing isn’t greatly encouraged is because publishers are trying to make sure the books they place their money on actually sells. And genre books are less likely to be recognized for awards or accepted by the western world as ‘African Writing’. International recognition is always, always a boost to sales.
Yet the writer is stuck in the middle of all this—writing about your hometown when you’re not even sure people in your hometown would be able to access the book. Writing and having to wonder how you can boost sales of your book through your Instagram account when all you want to do in actuality is sit with your laptop or notepad and write.
We definitely have a long way to go in African Literature. Right now, online publication of books seems to be a solution to some of the problems as it eliminates most of the printing and accessibility problems. Even so, the aforementioned issues should not be ignored.
Our case should not be that of a village who leaves a clogged river because so long as they fetch from it regularly, it won’t overflow. Consider what will happen when the rains come?

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Trophies and awards are always sweet and memorable to win.  Winning trophies is a matter of pride too. Hence, I have presented some beautiful and useful tips that can help you a lot to win creative writing contests.

Every writer wishes to win at a writing contest at some point or the other. For unestablished writers, winning any writing contest sets the path to a bright career. Apart from this, winning at writing contests has some distinct benefits to a writer, such as:
• It boosts the morale of the writer and crumbles psychological barriers.
• It gives prestige to the writer who wins it.
• It helps a writer in winning the favor of editorial board and celebrity writers or professionals associated with the contests.
• It helps a writer provide unique characters to recycle that the writer has developed during participation in previous contests.
• It establishes a writer as a known entity in the community and helps a writer in the career to win bread-and-butter.

What Makes a Writer Win Trophies at Writing Contests?
To stand out from the other participants is an easy and obvious answer to the question, but doing so is not as easy as it seems. A writer should have some innate qualities and abilities to stand out from the crowd.
In due course, I have recognized five tips, which may prove sure-fire ways to win the prize at a writing contest.
They are:

1. Follow Rules and Best Practices Prescribed by Editorial Boards at Writing Contests:
I have observed that writing contests are of different genres of writing like short stories, novels, fiction, non-fiction, and art manuscripts. These are usually all varying in length and have prescribed word counts. A writer must adhere to word count and formats prescribed, as well as finish the contest accordingly.
Another common thing I have noticed in writing contests is the language and format-related expectations or instructions, such as:
• They expect spelling-mistakes free content.
• They expect short & concise sentences with an average word count, and the sentence must target a single purpose.
• They expect short paragraphs covering one point in each.
• They expect simple words without many intricacies so that even a school grade reader can understand the content easily.
Decades ago, it was paper and pen as well as typewriters that were being used by writers but, the world today has evolved to the majority of writers using computing devices like desktops, laptops, or tablets to write their content.
The modern computing devices have the software, which helps a writer in editing, formatting, and checking content. Thus, a writer must use a good spell checker, readability checker, and style checker with the software available in the market. It will save a writer from making common mistakes as well as helps in preparation of decent content layouts.
2. Select a Best and Valid Theme According to Your Contest:
Starting with a bang, and getting lost mid-way with no obvious end are common phenomena in most of the submissions to writing contests. Therefore, you must have an appropriate theme for your story or content that best fits.
First, you should imagine an end, of course, the positive end. Now, design some awesome twists in the midst of the story. Remember that you should begin with a short introduction and end up with a fruitful conclusion. These all give your story a smooth flow that can attract and engage the readers throughout the story.
For example, if you are participating in a non-fiction writing contest, writing a spooky story proves a kooky idea and can annoy the judges or editors too. So, select the appropriate theme for your story and go ahead on a well-crafted path or theme.

3.Imagine a Meaningful End of Your Story:
I have seen many stories end with a dot, dot, and dot. No meaningful end appears. It will keep you away from winning trophies at writing contests. Most of the spooky or other stories have no meaningful end. It is not compulsory for you to have a happy end to your story.
It may be a sad end, but must be meaningful. The end of your story should be capable of teaching or revealing meaningful facts of life that may interest your readers. A meaningful end gives your reader a sense that they got something out of the story. It gives your story the valued contributions to the life of human beings.

4.Start Your Story with a Sense of Direction:
It has been seen as a trend among most modern writers, that like their ancestors, they begin with weather-related para or a bang and get lost afterward. If you can focus on people and their conflicts, as a core idea of your introductory para, as well as make it engaging enough, you can draw your readers to the next section easily. This strategy may lead you to win the trophies or awards of writing contests in Australia and elsewhere in the world.
Keep your first paragraph short and sweet, so your readers will not be overwhelmed by mere filler words. Instead, you should provide them with some crucial info or a meaningful message in a few lines. Thus, they will strive for more in the coming paragraphs. In short, evoking a sense of thirst among readers leads you to win the gold trophy!

5. Develop Your Own Characters Instead of Relying on Existing Celebrities or Media Characters:
It has been observed that rising talents, as well as some seasoned writers also prefer existing celebrities from different fields to make their ideal characters in their stories. They similarly portray those characters that the celebrities are portraying in real life.
Of course, the familiarity of readers with existing celebrities or eminent public life figures eased their work to some extent, but their stories lost the uniqueness and charm that only comes with unique characters. Therefore, a writer must have developed a character with own concepts and from scratch, as well as they should nurture the characters in their other stories or episodes on visual media.
Creating unique characters and establishing them in the minds of the public is hard, and also demands constant efforts. However, rewards are high in long-term, and you can win more awards in upcoming writing contests.

Conclusion:
If you are an academic organization or a corporate entity striving to encourage students, as well as emerging writers in Australia, my writing tips may help your contests’ participants a lot. There are plenty of tips available on the web, but I hope that my tips may prove practical and viable for rising talents.
Moreover, I also like to help you buy trophies from a known trophy shop in Perth. If you prefer online trophy purchasing through a dependable website, I would like to suggest to you a reputed website, Olympia in Australia.
I am pointing out Olympia in particular for buying trophies and awards for Australian readers because in my opinion, Olympia has everything for the selection of right trophies and awards with a quality mark that you can give your winner in the writing contests. Thus, you can offer your winners memorable trophies and plaques in cost-effective ways.

Author Bio
Fawne is an online educator, programmer and an academic writer associated with education industry. Besides being associated with the education and teaching industry, Fawne is passionate about awards and trophies of different types of industries and he is a good chess player.

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We are excited to announce the call for submissions for the 6th edition of The Ake Arts and Book festival 2018 of their annual Journal, The Ake Review.

AKE festival is the biggest literary festival currently in Nigeria. Last year, the theme was ‘This ‘f’ word which was centered on feminism and for this year, the theme of the festival is ” Fantastical Futures, focused on a reimagined African Future. They are asking questions like:

• What lessons have beenWe are excited to announce the call for submissions for the 6th edition of The Ake Arts and Book festival 2018 of their annual Journal, The Ake Review.

AJE festival is the biggest literary festival currently in Nigeria. Last year the theme was ‘This ‘f’ word which was centered on feminism and for this year, The theme of the festival is Fantastical Futures, focused on a reimagined African Future. ” They are asking questions like:

• What lessons have been learnt following our understanding of governance, gender and sexuality, literacy and education, health and well being?

• What events and attitudes will shape the Africa of our dreams? They are particularly interested in submissions that engage these topics.

Last year’s Ake Review was such a pageturner with such gripping and powerful pieces, featuring an exclusive interview with Ama Ata Aidoo and We definitely can’t wait for what creatives would come up with from this year’s theme.

Submissions for:
• Poetry: a maximum of three poems.
• Prose:a maximum of 1600 words.
• Artwork: a maximum of two works in high-res JPEG. .
• A bio of no longer than 70 words should be included in your submissions

Guidelines for Submissions :
• All entries must be submitted via email to : editor@akefestival.org@gmail.com as attachments with ‘AR Submissions’ in the subject line.
• Entries must be original and unpublished.
• Only one submission per person.
• Deadline for entries is 20th July, 2018.

Prizes and Awards:

Successful creatives will receive 2 copies of Ake Review and a token payment which would be communicated directly

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By Wale Makinde

Congratulations! You have penned the last word in the concluding chapter of your book. It is also likely that you have started shopping around your book, hoping the best publisher will snap it up and offer you a six-figure advance.

You are not alone. Every writer dreams of having their books on a big 5 publisher’s list of fast selling titles. But few writers are aware of the fact that most publishing executives, I mean the book editors, book marketers, reviewers and publicists were once writers who later found their voices in the works of other writers. And that finding a publisher isn’t quite as easy as it seems. This is one reason you need to learn all about publishing.

In this article, I will highlight five facts that say you need to take a publishing course:

1) You can learn some new tricks

Publishing has so many tricks and intrigues, most especially for those who will be interested in mastering one of its numerous units. For instance, you can make more money selling individual territorial rights with or without your local publisher. How? You need to take a course in rights and contracts. Who knows, the next Laura Bradford might just be you. Most publishers have had to employ the services of a foreign rights agent to handle the complexities of rights sales and permissions.

2) Earn an extra income

Even if you are a University lecturer or fully funded writer, you can make an extra income understanding the business of publishing. Academic publishing is always left in the hands of Publishing Executives, while University Dons complain of low royalty from their works. You might not necessarily start a publishing firm, but understanding the business side of the Academics will afford you more opportunity to optimize your income flow.

3) Save Your Editor The Major Headaches

If you are a writer and it is your dream to win some major accolades for your works, then it is recommended you take a course in book editing. For example, taking a course in publishing will afford you the opportunity to see the creative work as a human skeleton and how to effectively fix in the parts to make a beautiful human body.

4) Learn How To Produce a Bestseller

Most writers always assume the publishers have a magic wand that turns a book into a bestseller. Yes, they do. But not in all cases. Understanding how the book business works will afford you the wisdom of deliberately writing books that will sell no matter the season. We call them – the book of all seasons! You will learn how to churn out books that will make you and your publishers smile to the bank every now and then.

5) Learn How To Use Pictures To Decorate Your Words

Most writers underestimate the power of visuals, so they write prose or poetry with a lot of weak verbs and filters.  and unclear language. Taking a course in publishing will expose you to how publishers employ editing and design skills to make the book more appealing to the ever buying readers.

As you pen your next draft, you will consciously write words and be able to mentally picture the right visuals that will sell the book to its audience.

Wale Makinde is the Programmes Officer of The Publishing Academy, a newly established publishing school based in Ibadan. To register for a publishing course in The Publishing Academy, visit www.publishingacademy.org

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
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