Sunday, April 22, 2012

Submission Guidelines Update

In September 2010, I decided to create Mouse Tales Press. Mouse was my childhood nickname given to me by my father; he had died recently, so I named it in his honor.

What did I want to gain from the experience? I had two main goals:

1) To help keep my knowledge of web coding fresh in my brain.
2) To encourage emerging writers by publishing their work.

I started by creating a basic page and placing “Submissions Wanted” ads in Craigslist. I figured I would get a trickle of writers sending in their works. Yet by December 2010, I was swamped with submissions.

My initial intent was to send personalized responses to each writer; I was able to keep that up for a few months. However, since running the site was my side job, and the submissions kept coming, I decided it was probably unrealistic to respond to each one personally. Instead I set up an automatic message to be sent to each submitter, asking them to re-send their work if they haven’t heard back within a certain time frame.

I have been known to place a piece inside a “maybe” folder and accidentally overlook it. Sometimes I make mistakes.

Each month, when I put together the new issue for the month, I add in small features to the website as well. I tweak things here and there.

Now I’m tweaking my submission guidelines.

Initially inspired by my daughter's writing talent (she has won numerous awards; you can read a sampling of her work on Storybird), I started Mouse Tales Press with the intention of publishing works for and by children.

However, as writers began sending me their work, I came to realize that I wanted the site to be for adults rather than children. Even so, I didn’t want to have to place a disclaimer on the site warning of “adult” content, such as stories with sexual content. The line is fuzzy. Stories come in that may have mention of the word sex, but are not centered around this theme. In cases such as these, I may be more open to placing the works.

As usual though, please refrain from sending in graphically violent or sexual works. Please feel free to email Mouse Tales Press with any questions.

Happy submitting!


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In the meantime, please read our formatting preferences.
Working on a novel? Wait no more.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Starting Your Own Website (for Beginners)

How to create a website? Start with an idea, of course.

Make a list of your interests. Now imagine which one you would never tire learning more about; one you could talk about every day.

Think of a name that is somehow connected to you. (Years ago, I came up with the name for a late-night cabaret – Insomni-Acts. I could relate to that name because I was an insomniac and I was pursuing a life in theater back then.)

Purchase your domain and find a host. I use GoDaddy for both.

If you don’t have web design knowledge, there are many free templates out there.

Then find communities of the same subject where members would benefit from your website. Place ads on Craigslist or other websites appropriate for your content.

That is only the start . . . tomorrow read about my story. Tune in for some changes to our submission guidelines as well.


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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Writer Submissions (and Networking Information)

While reading submissions, I've noted something that slows me down. Formatting!

And now that I’m participating in Robert Lee Brewer’s Platform Challenge, my time is more precious than ever. So for those of you interested in sending submissions to Mouse Tales Press, it would be greatly appreciated if short stories were submitted with the following formatting:

• 12pt. Font
• Times New Roman
• 1-inch margins
• To indent paragraphs in Word, under “Paragraph,” “Line Spacing,” go to “Special” and click on the drop down box to bring up “First Line” and then choose “0.5.” If your text is already written, select all of your text before changing the setting.

Thank you for taking the time to format your story before sending!

And if you are a writer interested in networking, it’s not too late to catch up with the Platform Challenge (now on Day 8 - using LinkedIn).

Looking forward to reading your works!