July 26, 2021

#011: SmokeLong Quarterly Owner and Successful Writer, Christopher Allen, talks about what it takes to be a successful author, flash fiction, SmokeLong and lots more.

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Christopher Allen is Managing Editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, a very successful short fiction journal. He has also been teaching for almost 30 years. These days he mainly leads workshops on writing compelling flash narratives (stories under 1000 words). His own work has been published, most recently, in The Best Small Fictions 2019, Booth, Split Lip Magazine, and Gone Lawn as well as in over a hundred other journals and anthologies. His debut collection of flash fiction–Other Household Toxins (Matter Press)–came out in 2018.

He’s been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions, Million Writers Award and others. His flash fictions and short stories have won or placed in numerous competitions.

As well as all that he’s judged the Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction, the Bath Flash Fiction Award, and Micro Madness and has guest edited for journals such as Lighthouse Literary Journal, Ellipsis Journal, Flash Frontier and others.

In this episode we discuss Christopher’s writing approach, his insights about what it takes to write winning flash fiction pieces, SmokeLong Quarterly and much much more.

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May 5, 2021

#004: Ameesha Smith-Green, founder and owner of The Book Shelf, talks about the importance of editing for self published authors, the editing process and common mistakes.

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Ameesha Smith-Green (@thebookshelfltd) is the founder and owner of The Book Shelf, an international editing and author support company based in the UK. She has worked on well over 500 books so far in her career and specialises in self-published and indie non-fiction authors. She delivers talks at the University of Birmingham and is involved in various activities relating to her field of expertise.

In this conversation, we discuss the importance of editing for self-published books, the role of the editor for self-published authors, and the editing process overall. If you are writing a book, whether fiction or non-fiction, I recommend you listen to this episode. Ameesha is extremely knowledgeable and there are many nuggets of sagely advice in this one.

Selected Links from the Episode

You can find more information about Ameesha Smith-Green on her website.

You can find Ameesha on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

You can also email Ameesha directly here

Show Notes

We discuss (among other things):

Ameesha’s editing company, The Book Shelf (1m)

Digital Nomadism and Ameesha’s world travels while editing on the road (5m)

Breaking into the publishing industry (7m)

How many self-published authors struggle with marketing their books (11m)

The Importance of editing for self-published authors (13m and 20m)

The many role(s) of an editor how this relates to self-published authors (16m)

Author resistance to constructive criticism and the need to change our perception of feedback (22m and 42m)

Difficult conversations between editors and authors (26m)

Common problems with manuscripts, including structural issues and conforming to your proposed genre (31m)

The editing process as it relates to self-published authors (37m)

The need to plan out how you are going to promote the book – before you start writing it (43m)

How to find a good editor for your book (47m)

How the author:editor relationship works in practice (51m)

Book coaching and how it works (53m)

Print on Demand, how it works, and its considerable benefits in terms of sustainability (55m)

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