Compass Points: The Pagan Writers' Guide
Want to be a pagan author and write for the pagan community? This is how to get published.
I want to be a pagan author and write for the pagan community…can you tell me how to get published? Writing for the pagan community is no different from writing for any other readership – but we need to learn the basic rules before deciding whether we have any talent worth pursuing. Regardless of our own personal levels of esoteric learning, we need to go back to the basics of creative writing and see what tricks of the trade we can utilise. We will see why editors and publishers are inundated with submissions of a certain kind – and what we can do to give our writing ‘editor appeal’. We will learn how to develop ideas via lateral thinking, and develop the art of ‘seeing’ through an editor’s eyes.
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The would-be writer trying to break into the neo-pagan and Mind, Body and Spirit/New Age market will welcome this guide as it contains some useful information and good advice. However there are a few problems with it. One is the very selective list of publishers and magazines. For the USA market, only Llewellyn is listed and not Weiser Books, Inner Traditions or Career Press. Also it is surprising not to see Quest magazine, founded in 1970, listed alongside other long running magazines like The Wiccan (now Pagan Dawn) (1969) and The Cauldron (1976). Also there are interviews with representatives of the publishing company the author works for as a commissioning editor that border on blatant advertising. Strange also to see the academically discredited work of Dr Margaret Murray suggested as recommended reading on historical witchcraft when more reliable and recent academic works by Professor Ronald Hutton and others are not listed. Overall, despite its flaws, this is a book that anyone planning to write an article for The Cauldron should read first! Recommended. ~ , The Cauldron
If you have never had a book or even a magazine article published, but think you would like to have a go at writing for the pagan or Mind, Body Spirit market, The Pagan Writers' Guide: Writing for the Pagan and MBS Publicationsis what you should read before you start typing your magnum opus. Aimed at novice writers, it offers really practical advice on how to get into print, whether you see yourself as a writer of fiction or non-fiction. Rather than dealing with the subject in the way that an English teacher might teach creative writing at school or evening class, author Melusine Draco concentrates on how to give magazine editors or book publishers what they want. The Pagan Writers' Guide looks at things like the importance of doing research before you begin. That means both knowing your subject and knowing what kind of thing will appeal to the publishing house you are writing it for. Melusine explains just how the publication process works and what to expect when you send a proposal to an editor. The book ends with interviews of several editors from different pagan, occult and MBS lines asking them what they are looking for and - importantly - what will quickly get rejected and end up on the spike. http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2013/06/review-pagan-writers-guide.html ~ Lucya, http://www.badwitch.co.uk
Very comprehensive guide for those wishing to venture into the world of writing pagan articles and books. This book takes you through the entire process from basic idea to manuscript submission giving you hints and tips throughout. A must for anyone even pondering the idea of writing. ~ Rachel Patterson, www.kitchenwitchuk.blogspot.co.uk
So you want to be a Pagan writer…? Like author Melusine Draco, I’ve been kicking about the Pagan publishing scene under various names for more than a decade. I’ve had experiences dealing with larger houses and fiction publishers too. I can observe with confidence that Melusine Draco knows her stuff, all of the advice offered here is consistent with my experiences. Her tips and insights are presented with logic and clarity in a way that will be of great help to someone starting out. This book could save you a lot of time and spare you from reinventing the wheel, or getting crushed by one. It’s a realistic portrayal of what you can expect as a published author, and how to get there, with specific reference to how the Pagan publishing scene currently works. There’s little input about how to develop as a self-published writer – a field that is opening up all the time, but immensely complicated. Nor does Melusine get into the awkward business of just how much work you can expect to do selling your book, assuming it gets out there in the first place. On the whole there’s an inevitable bias towards esoteric and witchy writing, so there are some gaps for Druids, particularly around the essential reading list but the pointers to do your homework are clear enough that really you should be able to fill in those gaps for yourself. If you are poised on the edge, thinking you’d like to write for the Pagan community but not feeling you know enough to actually start, this book would be well worth your time. ~ Nimue Brown, Druid Network
This is a very useful book to those wanting to write for the Pagan and MB&S markets. It gives detailed advice on how to construct articles, stories, verse and books aimed at this specialist market. Melusine has produced a step by step guide to getting published. In fact this is a book that is worth reading by any prospective writer as many of the rips here are valid for all niche publishing and indeed publishing in general. She starts from the best way of getting ideas and then goes through how to get the editors’ attention. This is a competitive field and many of Melusine’s tips and sound advice would avoid rejection. Getting published in magazines, by book publishers and on-line is covered. This is a book that bis of interest to all writers. Highly recommended ~ Marion Pearce, Pentacle magazine Solstice 2014