Thursday, November 15, 2012


by Lois Winston

I’ve always been a huge proponent of both giving back and paying it forward. Many knowledgeable people have shared their expertise with me over the years and helped me get where I am today. Without their willingness to share, I never would have learned what I needed to learn to become both a published author and a literary agent.

One of the ways I’ve given back to the writing community is by teaching. Over the past six years, I’ve presented workshops and given talks at conferences and to various writing groups, spoken at libraries, facilitated a writers’ group at a local bookstore, written articles on writing and publishing for newsletters and guest blogs, and taught continuing education courses. With few exceptions, most of this has been volunteer work. Occasionally, I receive a small honorarium for my time.

Often people who have taken my workshops or attended my classes have suggested I publish a book on writing. I never gave it much thought until a few months ago when I received an email from someone who had taken one of my online workshops. She wrote to tell me that she’d sold her manuscript, and it was all because of what she’d learned in my workshop.

This particular writer had previously received dozens of form rejection letters. After taking the workshop, she revised her manuscript based on what she’d learned. Then she began sending out a new batch of queries. Suddenly she was receiving requests for partials. Several months later, she received an offer of publication. She ended her email by suggesting I put the information from that workshop into a book.

As most of you know by now, the publishing world is changing. Authors now have more options, thanks to indie publishing and the phenomenal sales of eReaders over the last two years. I realized the time was right to give serious thought to publishing a writing book.

The workshop the writer had taken was Top Ten Reasons Your Manuscript is Rejected. I tweaked the title a bit and last week e-published Top Ten Reasons Your Novel is Rejected. I can only teach so many workshops. I hope this book helps many aspiring writers achieve their dreams of seeing their stories in print.

If you’re interested or know someone who might be interested in the book, you can find buy links at my website

Award-winning author Lois Winston writes the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series featuring magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, a January 2011 release, is the first book in the series and received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Kirkus Reviews dubbed it, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum” Death By Killer Mop Doll was released this past January. Revenge of the Crafty Corpse will be a January 2013 release. Lois also writes romance, romantic suspense, humorous women's fiction, and non-fiction under her own name and as Emma Carlyle. Visit Lois at, visit Emma at, and visit Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers character blog,

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