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Improbable Press Blog — Atlin Merrick

Two Ways to Make Your First Writing Sale

Atlin Merrick Help for Writers Publishing Tips for Selling Your Writing

You’ve written tens of thousands of words of short stories, fanfiction, character development, and you want to sell something damn it. Obviously you’re already a writer — you write, so that makes you a writer, that's the rules — but now you want to be a professional. A professional is paid to write. Even if she makes £1 she’s a pro. She was paid. So, how do you do it, how do you make that first sale? I know it seems hard (it did to me), because you get a lot of rejections or just silence (which is worse? Is...

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On Book Research and the Importance Asking Russian Monarchs for Their ID

Atlin Merrick Book Research History Bones

I've spent all morning reading about Catherine, the Empress of Russia, as I'll be writing biographies for two dozen new and already-existing dioramas created by artist Lee Harper, of History Bones, including one about this eighteenth century monarch. I’ve enjoyed reading in Catherine’s own (translated) words how she considered herself a knight, honest and loyal, while she saw her husband Peter as difficult, impossible, irritating and, (happily quoting her Empress aunt-in-law), an idiot. After nearly two decades of miserable marriage to one another, four children, and many more than twice that many extra-marital affairs between them, Peter ascended the throne...

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Ghost Stories, Rom-Coms, Mystery Fiction and You

Atlin Merrick brand new stories Shouty Encouragement

"I hope and pray no on has had this idea for a story yet!" That's a tweet I saw this week, and it made me fly off the handle in about twelve different directions because, because, because... ...the thing about stories and human beings is that the first thing we probably did as human beings was tell each other stories. Even before language we told about the fish we almost caught — it was this big! — about the spark we think might be something more, about how that person over there makes our heart go fast like this. What...

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Disability, Differently-Abled and the Weight of Words

Atlin Merrick Differently-albled Disability Disabled Diversity in Fiction

Improbable Press' submission guidelines as for books, novellas about differently-abled, neurodivergent, and LGBTQIA+ characters. Those words are mine, Atlin Merrick's, and I have a question for you about the phrase differently-abled. My idea behind that term to broaden the scope of what writers might think of as disabled. By differently-abled I wanted to include my friend with almost-daily migraines, a person with chronic anxiety or depression, as well as a person with a wheelchair or born without a left hand. Disabled Fiction, Differently-Abled Fiction…Or? I did not ask disabled people for their thoughts on the phrasing, something recently pointed out...

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Writer, Recharge Thyself

Atlin Merrick Shouty Encouragement

Along with writing for a living, in the last nine years I've written nearly a million words of fanfic and two books. I love writing, I love it, I love it with shouty fire. However. Sometimes I just want to drop-kick my laptop out the window, shouting obsenities after it. The feeling is not unfamiliar, so I know that when it comes, so shall it go. I've also learned what to do in the meantime. Turning Turtle: Recharging My Creativity * Saturday's Become Sacrosanct I turn turtle to recharge, booking nothing on Saturday that I can book some other day....

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