Finding The Positive In Your Story Rejection


logo_landingThank you for submitting “Andrew And Mullins”.

With just the two of us reading all stories ourselves, it is not possible to provide specific feedback, I’m afraid, but I can tell you that, while we won’t be publishing this piece, it was a good read—thank you!

Happy Friday Storytellers! Like most readers, I can get lost in a good story. I have been intrigued by the art of storytelling since I was a young girl and my siblings and I would sit wide-eyed in our folks bedroom listening to them share tales from their imaginations. Anyone ever hear of the “No Headed Man”?! Yep, one of the scariest  from their vault filled imaginations.

Mama and daddy couldn’t have known they were scaring the heck out of their children or did they? :) of course not every story was scary, but where’s the fun in that? Anyhow, I loved story so much that I began writing my own. The short story above was submitted to Glimmer Train,  one of the most respected short-story journals in print.  You can find their website here: and their submission calendar  through 2015 here:

As you can see, Andrew and Mullins didn’t make the cut.


But, did you notice they enjoyed the read? Even when your story doesn’t  make the winning cut, you can oftentimes gauge its value by the comments from the publication of your submission. The positive comment from Glimmer trains editors encouraged me to keep writing and sharing my stories.

When you don’t win from submitting your short stories, the clues in response to your story, if positive can help lessen the blow of rejection and keep you focused on your dream to eventual publication. If you receive a negative response, still read and learn from such comments and vow to show them what you’re made of.

Editors and publishers aren’t usually so anal in their responses to your work and oftentimes send a cold form letter. Either way, just keep rewriting and submitting until your babies finds a welcoming home.

I’ve decided to change the ending of Andrew & Mullins to one of empathy for its main character before submitting it to another publication.

I love when I’m in the flow of story and even when the piece doesn’t place in one publication,  I usually take the rejection in stride and take note of the message in the rejection to use it as a learning experience that will lead me to re-work the story for a better chance at acceptance, the betterment of readers and for the betterment of my craft.

How did your upbringing influence your love for storytelling? How many re-writes do you do with a rejected piece?

I will be taking a Thanksgiving break until December. Keep writing and stay humble.

Your writer’s quote:

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” — Robert Hasse


Worldreader: Empowering Literacy Through Reading, Thinking and Growing

Hello readers and writers and those who are published authors!

So, I just got of the phone with my publisher and everything is going well. On our next session we’ll be discussing the book cover for Unleash Your Pearls. YAY! The book won’t be out until sometime in 2016, but I will keep everyone posted.


Speaking of books? I received this awesome email from Jennifer Jacobson, PR advocate for Worldreader and Jacobson communications. Jennifer wanted to share the story  about world famous author Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist) and his recent donation of three of his titles to Worldreader’s digital library.

Here’s more about their collaboration and links for you to visit to get better acquainted with this awesome pursuit of literacy.

About Worldreader
Worldreader is a global nonprofit bringing digital books children and their families, empowering them to read, think, and grow in order to improve their lives and their world. In its first five years, Worldreader has reached 5.6 million readers in 69 countries with a digital library of 28,500 local and international e-books via e-readers and mobile phones, and plans to reach 15 million readers by 2018. To read free books on your mobile phone, visit For more information on Worldreader, visit
About Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 195 million copies worldwide; have been released in 170 countries and translated into 80 languages. Born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1947, Paulo Coelho is the author of some of the most read titles of our time, such as The Pilgrimage or The Alchemist, the book that made him internationally famous. Paulo Coelho has written many other books which have touched the hearts of people around the world, among them Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, Aleph and Adultery.
He has received numerous prestigious international awards. He is member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil since 2002 and a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations since 2007. In 2009 he received the 2009 Guinness World Record for the most translated Author for The Alchemist. Also, he is the writer with the highest number of followers on social media. To learn more about Paulo Coelho, visit his blog:


Wasn’t this great news to share in the fight against illiteracy?  And not to mention we have a  direct link to Paulo Coelho’s blog and awesome web videos. I’m a fan who should have purchased The Alchemist years ago:)

Thanks Jennifer.

Quote for today:

“When its positive she’s all for it”. Clara Freeman

Happy reading all!

Kudos, Complimentary Tickets And Print Book News


Good Morning Creatives!  I want you to join me in sending kudos out to my two granddaughters and their dance troupe-Dancers Be Like. They have auditions Saturday for America’s Got Talent. Break a record,  my dancers!

If you are an author looking for agents for your manuscripts, I happened upon  a great article over at womenfictionwriters here:

Here’s a treat for those of you in the Chicago-land area. Tomorrow, (November 7th from 6pm),”The Transformation Showcase” headed by C. Street, one of my LinkedIn connects, is offering two complimentary tickets to see their Performance. I’m not able to attend because my great-granddaughter is celebrating her two-year old milestone:)  Anyhow, I was given permission to pass the invite on to other women.

It’s all about sharing the love over here, y’all :)

The showcase focuses on fighting body shaming and building self-esteem by celebrating, primarily women of color, who set out to become their own SuperMe, regardless of size, shape or body type. If you’re free this Saturday (November 7th from 1-6pm), and would be interested in attending,  you can e-mail, and let them know you were offered two complimentary tickets by  C. Street and they’ll leave them at roll call.

This news from the pages of The Web Writers Spotlight should bring a smile: Despite earlier predictions that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply and the tune has changed. Now analysts predict the print industry will “thrive” over the coming five years.

Bamidele Onibalusi  of writersincharge just published 50 websites that pay $50 + for Articles:

My book update~ the first  book coaching session went well. Linda Ellis Eastman (publisher) took on coaching yours truly and I’m totally blown away by how down to earth she is. Her affirming voice and real coaching expertise, immediately put me at ease.. She truly walks the talk and I have my fingers crossed that the next session goes well.

Your writer’s quote for today:

A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
Anything you’d like to share with u today, please speak on that!
My lesson learned from social media interactions this week~ Stand in your truths and never waver under intimidation. Shine a  ‘kindness’ light onto yourself and heal from within when faced with harsh critics and acts of hate filled rhetoric. And continue the journey. . . C.F.



Favorite Songs From Down Memory Lane

Hello Creatives!

I admit it, I sometimes take a musical trip back down memory lane leading to my Southern roots. Not all memories were good ones, for sure, but music always fills the heart and lifts the spirit.This post  came about from last week’s introductory post, highlighting the famous singer, musician and author, Mr.  Charles Wright who tweeted his thanks. Way cool:)

Charles Wright
A BIG thank you to @C50something for talkin about my new book & my song “Looking For An Ugly Woman”! Read more here:

Come on, groove with me a while :)

Hurt was Johnny Cash last song before his death- introspective and sobering.

Okay, so these are just a smidgen of my country favorites. Hope y’all like the Saturday selections. What are some of your favorite childhood song memories?

Here’s the writer quote for today:

Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche.” — Julia Cameron

Book And Music News

 Hello and welcome back to Clara’s Writers Blog!

When you’ve been in this writing business for a long time, you tend to get perks from folks who can appreciate your expertise, talents, connections (whether perceived or real) and most of all, your integrity. Folks will want to know you for your authenticity, moral and ethical compass.

I’m always grateful and oftentimes humbled when stellar companies send free books/stuff for me to review and oftentimes, direct contact info to authors, musicians, medical experts and others for personal interviews.

I’ve shared how my time management skills aren’t the best and so I pick and choose which projects I endorse or promote in my professional space. Doing book reviews are time consuming, so I’ve taken a hiatus from doing them.

This came from Chris over at Miles High Production:

Hi Clara!
Clara, Thanks for checking out our newsletter. Would you be interested in reviewing ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’? Currently we have a digital edition available as a .pdf or an .pub. Limited physical copies of the book will also be available soon. Let me know if you would prefer a physical copy to review. I understand that you probably receive a great many review requests and you aren’t able to get to every book, so if you can’t get to ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ I understand. However, if you’d be interested in posting the following press release, please let me know!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts if you’d be interested in spreading the word on this special story!
I declined the book review, although I do plan to read it and perhaps review at a later date. Here’s a book blurb and a bit about the author/musician, Mr. Charles Wright, along with an added video of “Looking For An Ugly Woman.” Enjoy!

Do you remember the 70s hit song “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright? I want to let you know that the legendary soul singer is releasing an autobiography ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ out October 26th!


Writer of hit song “Express Yourself” and band leader of the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, soul music great Charles Wright is set to release his highly anticipated autobiography which chronicles his tumultuous, life changing upbringing in 1940’s southern Mississippi.
Charles Wright is a world-renowned musician and songwriter best known as the leader of the ’60s-founded Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and for recording the enduring 1971 classic “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop – Billboard). The ensemble also recorded the classics “Loveland ” (sung by drummer James Gadson who became an ace session musician in Los Angeles), “Do Your Thing ” (featuring lead guitarist Al McKay who went on to become a star member of Earth Wind & Fire) and the racial equality anthem “Comment” (also recorded by jazz legend Les McCann, alternative rockers Wilco and others).


‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ touches on first hand accounts of racism is an honest depiction of how the now world-renowned musician went from poverty to prosperity. Written in the raw dialects and rhythms of how Blacks and Whites communicated with each other in the era, it is a riveting insider’s glimpse into the realities of the times.
“Some may consider these chapters a vital part of American history which has yet to be told in this particular fashion. “
I wanted to reveal just how thin the line between sharecropping and slavery really was. It’s important to me because I spent a significant part of my life under that regime. I started writing this book 40 years ago. It’s something – given the right circumstance – I wish I could have shared long ago…But now is the optimal time because discrimination never went away. Racism simply vaulted to a whole ’nother level. Honestly, in some cases, I’d take the way it used to be over what it is today. The process of systematic racial elimination is extremely ugly to me. I can see it so clearly. I need others to see it, too. So I’m expressing myself.”
– Charles Wright

I loved Express Yourself and Mr. Wright’s other songs! Now I can put a Face to those ‘oldies’…Y’all got memories too? This book appears to be a great source on race/racism in the South, as one famous musician lived it.

Introducing Dancers Be Like-

Happy Friday Creatives!  Release and Smile a while..


Y’all should know I’m like any mother or grandma out here showcasing the talents of their little darlings:)

Today, a wisdom quote: Good talent is like cream: it automatically rises to the top. Hilton Johnson

You’ve Published Your Book~ Now What’s Your Next Step?

book-icons-icon-colorful-background-vector-illustration-44619959Happy Saturday, writers and authors! This thought occurred to me; now that I’m in with a traditional publisher and set to become a published author, how am I going to place my book in front of buyers?

How many times have we heard that writing the book is only half the battle and that the hard part is when Marketing and actually selling comes into play?  Once your book is written and finally published, the next and obvious step would be to find buyers to purchase your lil darlings and that can be a daunting experience.

Those seasoned authors among you are probably going; “Why don’t  newbie authors start spreading their book news sooner!?” Okay, we get it. But, better late than never, right?

While doing research on the how to of advertising our pearls to the world’s readers and buyers, I came across interesting places to advertise books, whether you are a newbie or seasoned author who went the way of traditional or Indie publishing.

book-store-23191589Let’s not forgo the usual suspects in getting your book noticed~ Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Good-reads, blog tours and setting up your author’s page on

My amazon author’s page for A Life Toward Authenticity, an eBook that I self published in 2012 is here:

I was blessed to receive a publishing scholarship in September toward the publication of Unleash Your Pearls, my new self-help guide for women on the path to living their best lives. I’m so excited to bring this resource to women-worldwide!

If you’re at that precarious stage of book completion or manuscript readiness and searching for places to advertise your darlings, here are a few sites to consider:

I read that bookbub is one of the hardest sites to get on, but do give it a good try.

This site seems to be a favorite from some author comments about their experience.
Blurb Direct Sell  states that it will allow authors to sell any book made with Blurb directly to fans and friends through their own personal storefront.
And they allow you to choose the markup over the base price of your book. The site also allows authors to keep 100% of the profit.
Booklikes is a site that allows you to create your free author’s page.
I loved this comment from LinkedIn member and prolific author, Carolyn Howard Johnson, so I’m re-posting it as the writer’s quote for today! (my LinkedIn tribe/ connections are spot on!)
I hate to be a spoil sport, but I think that paid advertising (which is what advertising is!) is a waste of money, especially when authors can get publicity (read that free!) on many of the sites they might normally advertise on. I like Tania’s idea of an author’s page for FREE. How about writing articles or taking excerpts and offering them to the bloggers who reach your audience. This kind of thing is the reason I wrote The Frugal Book Promoter. New authors tend to think of “advertising” first, and it probably should be one of the last things they should consider–after they have already made considerable profit from a book that can be dedicated to marketing.
What stage are you at on your book  publishing? What do you think about these sites for advertising your books to potential buyers? Have you other book suggestions? Please share on with us on Clara’s writer’s blog.


A blog where writers find support, share writing info and concepts. information about their works of fiction, memoir, short story, poetry, plays and other genre of writings


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