Category Archives: Giveaways

August Giveaways: Rules

By Colette Black and Evan Braun.

As I (Evan) mentioned in my post yesterday, we’ve got giveaways coming up. Lots and lots of giveaways. This is a writing blog, so it should surprise no one that we’re mostly giving away free books. But there’s more to it than that, of course! So how do you win all this great stuff? Well, that’s easy, and Colette is here to explain it to you.

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Starting today, we will have a new set of giveaways each week. They will last one week, until midnight EST of the following Sunday. Every week we’ll have new prizes, including but not limited to: eBooks, gift cards, signed paperback books, cash prizes, etc. We will have seven prizes to win each week. More details are available on our website’s right sidebar, under “Giveaway Celebration.” Just go to the sidebar and click on one of the entry forms, then follow the actions available (for example, leaving comments on our posts, sharing and talking about our posts on Facebook and Twitter, etc.). Some actions are worth more than one entry, and some actions can be done more than once during the week.

Winners will be notified within 48 hours of the end of each week and requested to rank prizes in their order of preference. The first-place winner will receive first choice, second-place will receive second choice of prizes still available, and so on. Because we’ll have seven winners, we hope that everyone will respond quickly so we can distribute the prizes as soon as possible. If someone doesn’t respond within forty-eight hours, we will be forced to withdraw them from the contest and award their prize to another entrant.

We have so many amazing gifts, and people can win more than once, so we look forward to a fun month of prizes and great posts as we celebrate the special occasion of our 1000th post next week on Wednesday, August 12. Good luck to all, and to all a good August!

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Thanks, Colette. Before I go, I wanted to give a rundown on the great prizes available during Week One. Check out the box in the right sidebar for more information on these books and authors:

  1. Mary Pletsch: Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with the Gods (anthology)
  2. Colette Black: Noble Ark
  3. Evan Braun: The Book of Creation: Book One of The Watchers Chronicle
  4. Nathan Barra: One Horn to Rule Them All (anthology). This very special prize comes with a crocheted purple unicorn!
  5. Travis Heerman: Heart of the Ronin
  6. Sam Knight: A Whiskey Jack in a Murder of Crows
  7. Teyla Branton: The Change

Let the games begin!



We All Live in Community

After a while, I think I start to sound like a broken record, returning to certain themes over and over again. These themes really motivate me and speak to me as a writer and as a person. One of them is the reality that we all exist in communities. Writing communities, yes, but also families large and small, towns and cities, countries, work environments, and professional groups. And these communities are important ingredients in shaping who we are—and we become. Though it may seem at times like we’re alone, cast adrift on the lonely frontiers of human experience, that’s usually not indicative of our reality.

Writing can feel especially lonely—and that’s one of the reasons we first started this blog four and a half years ago. Has it really been four and a half years? Sometimes it’s hard to believe. In fact, our blog is approaching a big milestone—next week!—which is why I’ve found myself ruminating on the theme of community once again (as I mentioned, I’ve done it before). The milestone in question? Our 1000th post. That’s right, folks. We’ve gone four digits, and there’s no looking back.

There’s going to be a lot going on this month. As you’ve noticed, we’ve got ourselves a new and improved website to make your Fictorians experience more enjoyable—and yes, hopefully more practical. And as usual, we’re going to bring you a wide range of bloggers, all with different perspectives and stories relating to the community theme.

But we’ve got something a little extra to bring you this month, and that’s free stuff. Lots and lots and lots of free stuff. In fact, we have seven prizes to give away every week. You read that correctly. More on that tomorrow, so hurry back for all those juicy details.

Check back all month to hear from the usual suspects as well as guests bloggers like Rachel Anne Nunes (believe me; she’s got a story to tell!), Sherry Peters, and Petra Klarbrunn. Together, our message will be clear: we’re not alone—and neither are you. Stick around, be inspired, and win some prizes. Does it get any better than this?

Evan BraunEvan Braun is an author and editor who has been writing books for more than ten years. He is the author of The Watchers Chronicle, whose third volume, The Law of Radiance, has just been released. He specializes in both hard and soft science fiction and lives in the vicinity of Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Whoa, what’s this? It’s the Fictorian blog, of course, though as you can see we’ve upgraded our look dramatically. Our goal through this redesign process has been to deliver all the same great content as before, but find some ways to improve the browsing experience.

The emphasis is a cleaner, simplified design that doesn’t sacrifice any of the functionality we had before—in fact, we think you’ll find the functionality is greatly improved. Take a few minutes to explore the new site! And then come back tomorrow for a fresh post introducing all the great things we have in store for the month of August. This is going to be a big month for us, including a big milestone (more on that tomorrow), and lots of free stuff. You read that right: we’re going to be giving away dozens of prizes throughout August.

Come back tomorrow (yup, that’s a Sunday, folks) for an introduction to August and our monthly theme: writing in community. On Monday, we’re going to have all the details about our giveaways this month, so you won’t want to miss that either.

Stay tuned!

July Wrap Up

When I pitched the topic of “inspiration found in the writing life” to the Fictorians and our guests, I was looking forward to tales of childhood heroes and success. We got some of that, but what I didn’t expect was how many would be brutally honest with the painful parts of their lives too. And yet they did, pushing the month from great to amazing. I’m thankful to them for their frankness and for the opportunity I’ve had to learn a great deal about some of my close friends. I know that I’ve found inspiration in their struggles, courage, and strength. Their stories helped put life into perspective, and many of them spoke to me and my experiences. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Early in the month, my good friend Emily Godhand wrote on the importance of sharing personal experience to enhance realism in our stories. In Turing Experiences into Method Acting, she talked about how her description of real world places was significantly improved when she pushed herself out of her comfort zone to actually visit them. More importantly, she showed how she could bring truth to her portrayal of her character’s emotions by being brutally honest with her own pain.
  • I also really enjoyed Scott Eder’s post on A Change in Perspective. It spoke to a part of me that learned a very similar lesson working in a harsh corporate job. Life is short and though our dreams may be fueled by passion, it also takes commitment and courage to realize them. Our world is designed to make us think a certain way, but as writers we have a duty to show others the possibilities that they wouldn’t normally think of. To do so, we must first have the foresight to break out of our own cognitive boxes.
  • It had already been a very emotional month when Lissa Woodbury Jensen sent me her post. Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for. After all, SF&F Saved My Life is quite a title to live up to. She killed it. If you haven’t had a chance to catch that one, you need to.
  • I remember when I almost gave up on my writing career as a late teenager, so I empathized with Kary English’s post On Motivation and the Quest for It. Let’s be honest. Most every writer I’ve spoken to has struggled with self doubt and with the desire to quit. Talking about and sharing our experiences is the only way to diffuse the motivation to keep others writing. Ultimately the punch line of Kary’s post is absolutely right. There’s only two ways to get out of being an aspiring author. Make it or quit. Only you can choose.
  • Kristin Luna’s post on Feeding the Foundation was also a delight! Often, I find myself struggling with what questions I need to ask to measure my own progress, but she provides a good list in her usual entertaining manner. Can you answer all six honestly? Are you happy with those answers, and what will you do to change the ones you don’t like?
  • In order to end on a high note, I reread Jace Killan’s challenge last. Live Deliberately. It sounds simple, but I know it is something that I’ve struggled with in the past. The reminder that life is for those who choose to live is essential.

July has been an amazing month filled with inspiration and stories. Which were your favorites? Comment below and let us know!

Would you believe me if I told you that August promises to be even more awesome? We’ve been quiet about this so far, but next month the Fictorians will be reaching an important milestone in our history. Our 1,000th post will go live! In a world where most blogs fail within the first year, we’re very proud of our accomplishment. To celebrate, we are doing two things.

First, the Fictorians website will be getting a face lift! Y’all spoke and we listened. Over the past few months, we’ve been working behind the scenes to make our blog more aesthetically appealing as well as make navigation and usability much friendlier. Tomorrow, our new site design will go live. I hope y’all love it as much as we do.

Second, PRIZES! Most of the Fictorians and many of our friends will be giving away copies of our books. Make sure you keep reading in the next few days and we’ll explain exactly what and how. Exciting times are ahead! See y’all next month.