Monday, 30 April 2012

Social Networking Infographic

I love infographics for their bright and breezy way of presenting information in a highly condensed form. Long lists of statistics bore--or should that read baffle?--me. But this Mashable infographic on Social Networking caught my attention.

Drawing on various sources, it attempts to pinpoint which social network would be best to use for getting your particular message across.

Interestingly some of the comments highlight the idea that real social networking with family, friends, work colleagues and businesses in your own home area might just produce as good, if not better, results.

Here is the link again:

What do you think?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Writing Competitions and Challenges

Checking out the writing competitions widget
this month, I found many  links out of date,
and some even non-existent. If this continues, I shall remove
the widget and update my own competition
list at the beginning of each month.

If you have tried to access an out of date link,
please let me know through the comments.

Flash Fiction Contest

 The flash fiction contests at
The first prize is now £300 while the entry fee is
 fair at £5 for one story, £8 for two stories

Optional critique costs £10 per story
Closing dates this year are
 30th June, 30th September and 31st

There are also second and third prizes of £100 and £50

A new humour verse competition with the same closing dates but cheaper entry fees is running alongside this with the same closing dates. Again, good prize money--check it out.

Short Story Contest

  Check out the  Spring short story contest winners at
Writer's Village
and then write your own winner for the
next round.
Deadline: June 30
Plus, you'll get personal feedback on your
stories, win or lose. Good value for the £10 ( approx $16) entry fee.

Writing Challenges

This month's challenge is from Margie
McAllister whose 10-week Writing Challenge
starts today. Her writing tips are invaluable and this challenge is truly achievable.

 Writers in the challenge set their own goals

--from using Pinterest to blogging regularly to
rewriting difficult scenes in a first draft.

Margie is publishing an ebook. When everyone
logs progress, it should provide a
compendium of knowledge covering writing
and marketing issues.

Why do Challenges and Competitions?

Newly addicted to writing challenges and
competitions, I have learned something of

real use.

If I fail to complete the challenge--and so far, I
always do--, I have accomplished more than I
would have done without trying.

I have picked up new ideas, I have speeded up
my writing through consistent daily practice, I
have met and learned from new cyber friends.

All are achievements worth celebrating.

The challenges  may have a closing date, but
there's no reason not to complete them later in
one's own good time.

The Rewards

Another cause for celebration: commenting
on blogs can pay off in a most exciting way. 

This month through commenting on the
blog tour to celebrate the publication of
Maggie Ball's eco-novel The Black Cow, I
received a wonderful parcel from Australia.

I won three autographed copies of Maggie's
books in paperback, a fridge magnet and


And now Elysabeth Elderling is sending me
one of her hand-crafted bookworm
bookmarks--again for making a blog

My tip for next month: challenge yourself,
enter a writing competition, comment on
interesting blogs and see what happens.

And here's another giveaway worth winning:

Lowcountry Bribe by C. Hope Clark

Good Luck!

And please log your opinions  of challenges and contests in the comments below. :-)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Last Chance for Bookworms

Thought that might be an attention grabbing headline lol. And it also happens to be true.

But the bookworms in question are the Earth Day Bookworms, an unusual crafted giveaway from author Elysabeth Elderling. To win one you must comment either on the Writers on the Move blog articles from April 20 until Sunday April 22 or comment on Elysabeth's own This or That posting on Sunday at her blog, Elysabeth's Writing Emporium.

 The bookworms and giveaway news are featured here.

And excitement --I won one. (More news about my winning week on Monday.) So far, two have gone to Australia, five within the United States and mine will be traveling to the U.K. next week.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Apps, Books, and Creativity

Let's start with the apps. I found AppAppeal while researching reviews for apps to be mentioned in this article.

The top ten lists give clear comparisons as to the popularity of the various blogging, social networking, and business sites so that you can keep your eye on where to focus your efforts.

 Book Apps

 Their top thirty book apps look interesting and useful. The page keeps all the top sites together in one place. And it may provide new avenues for promo possibilities too. Many were well-known (Goodreads, Shelfari) but others were new to me and perhaps worth checking out.

Promotional Posters 

If you're into creative ways of enhancing your visibility on the web, and don't already know about this, try Glogster.

Glogster only rated two out of five stars on the AppApeal review but it is fun, a new promotional poster tool although, as with the new FB cover terms and conditions, advertising is not allowed. 

However, if you browse the blogs, you'll see that the ban applies to overt advertising.  Every poster is in some way promotional or branding.

Yes, I did spend too much time, as usual, trying it out. It has an extensive gallery of graphics, backgrounds, poster variations. One tip with the graphics--you can simply choose a graphic and move it on to your poster. If you click on the Use It button, the graphic appears at the bottom of your poster and may seem invisible if you are working at the top.

Add photos, audio, video, graphics, text--it's pretty versatile and can be embedded in blogs, Twitter, FB. It,'s easy to use. If you have any questions, just ask or look at the Teacher Training videos

Best of all, as with everything I use, it's free though you can sign up for an educational  or homeschooling licence which allows interaction with students or classes. Take a look at the Best Glogs from the top menu bar and see the range of what you can do.

Read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure they suit you and be sure you are not using anything that you do not have the copyright for..

Let me know what you think in the comments below. 
Better still, post a link to your new glog :-)

 early bird notice

Writers On The Move: Workshops:   The April workshop is in the works! The title is eMarketing with PowerPoint Webinars (How to Create and Conduct a Webinar). Title :...

Again no cost. Worth putting in your diary and emailing Karen if interested.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Earth Day

We're delighted to welcome award winning children's writer Kathy Stemke today as she starts the second week of her book tour showcasing her lovely picture book, Trouble on Earth.
Join Kathy on her VBT and, if it's not there already,why not put Earth Day--April 22--in your calendar as a possible  idea for a linking blog post?

And whether you are a keen photographer or just a happy snapper, try sending your best Earth Day photo to dancekam1 AT yahoo DOT com (no spaces) to be displayed on the last day of the tour. A winner will be selected and awarded a $10 gift card.

Welcome Kathy. Please tell us some more about Shelby and the part she plays in your new book.


With Earth Day approaching on April 22nd it's time to focus on educating our children about conservation. Trouble on Earth Day would be a great resource for this purpose and a super addition to any school or home library.


Shelby the squirrel shares what she learned in school about conservation with her parents. Together they discover many things around their house that can be recycled.

Book illustration by Kurt Wilken

When Shelby follows the cries of an animal in the woods she finds and befriends a homeless bluebird. This unlikely pair of friends unites to solve the bluebird’s “Trouble” and bring singing back to the forest.

Unlikely Friends 

Let’s take a look at some more unusual alliances. Which one do you like best?

1    All photographs removed owing to the difficulty of establishing ownership and copyright.

Sorry--they were cute....





 Let me know your favorite by commenting below.

 * * * * *
Award winning author, Kathy Stemke’s first children’s picture book,Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. 
Her next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep,  
and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011.
Both these books have been awarded
the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval. 

 A teacher for 37 years, Kathy understands and loves children. It’s her desire to give parents and teachers exciting books and resources to help them teach their children all the things they need to have a successful life. She offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a monthly newsletter titled, Movement And Rhythm, on her blog.
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep is available through the publisher,
Trouble on Earth Day is available at a discounted price on Kathy's blog:
Both are also available through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.
 For more information on Kathy and her books visit the first day of her blog tour hosted by Susanne Drazic.