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EDITOR L. DIANE WOLFE GUEST POST AND CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Happy Wednesday Everyone! I have treat for you today. L. Diane Wolfe, a blogger friend who is also the owner of of Dancing Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press, is here with a guest post on what she looks for in manuscripts and the type of manuscripts she's looking for.

Now here's Diane!
Thank you for hosting me today, Natalie.

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. began over eight years ago and through all the growth, our mission statement remains the same:

Our trademark is not just a logo – the Dancing Lemur represents optimism, enthusiasm and belief. We strive to publish works that uplift and inspire, encouraging the reader to explore and discover while remaining morally grounded.

We are looking for stories of hope. Whether fiction or non-fiction, it must end on a positive note. We feel people need to know hope still exists in the world.

Of course, it all begins with the query. When I receive a submission, I admit the first thing I look at is the query letter itself. It must be properly written and provide all of the requested information - that way I know the writer can follow directions. The pitch needs to grab and move me. I need to look at everything and get the sense that the manuscript is great and we can market it.

Once I have part or all of the manuscript, the main thing I’m looking for is voice. It’s hard to define and nail, but I know the moment I see it. The characters’ personalities crackle off the page. It’s as if they are real and alive. A great voice can elevate an average story.

Of course, I’m also looking for a compelling story. It also has to be plausible. I do
characterization sessions at schools, so I’m picky about characters staying in character. The storyline needs to flow naturally and the characters acting as they should. And I need to identify with those characters, especially the main character. If I can’t relate or feel any empathy, I’ll lose interest.

And overall grammar matters. I can excuse a couple typos. But a manuscript with poor grammar yanks me right out of the story. Most often it’s a passive voice and the overuse of was/were, have/had, etc. Or it’s a lot of telling rather than showing. (Both were issues I struggled with as a writer in the beginning, so I really note them now when reading someone else’s work.) I can’t stress enough that writers need to run their work by critique partners or an editor. In fact, our submission guidelines require it.

We’re a small publishing company, so while we can’t compete with the big boys in New York, we try to do more than the average small publisher. All covers are created in house by an illustrator with almost 30 years experience, so our covers aren’t just stock images slapped together. We send out dozens of print review copies to pre-publication reviewers such as Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. We create marketing materials such as bookmarks and postcards for each book, and these are sent out both pre and post release. We do what we can to get books into libraries and bookstores and coordinate with our authors in their promotional efforts.

Last year, we expanded with an imprint, Freedom Fox Press. Created for the author who wants more control, we feel it offers the best of both worlds between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Royalties are much higher, but a few things such as our marketing efforts are scaled way back.

The genres we publish through Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. are non-fiction, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, new adult, and some middle grade. Our submission guidelines are here - http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/submission-guidelines/
Those genres are also accepted through Freedom Fox Press, along with mystery and romance. Those guidelines are here - http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/freedom-fox-press/

Right now, we are actively looking for science fiction and fantasy (adult and YA), Christian fiction/non-fiction, and paranormal romance.

We invite all of you to come dance with us!


L. Diane Wolfe owns Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and is the author of seven books, including two non-fiction titles and a NA/YA series, The Circle of Friends. Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, plus she offers book formatting and author consultation. She travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.


You can find Diane at:  
http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/ - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
http://www.spunkonastick.net/ - Spunk On A Stick
http://www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips
http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/ - The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Diane has generously offered a 5 page critique to one winner. The manuscript should be 12 point font and double spaced. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through May 14th. If you do not need a critique, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is International.

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Wednesday next week I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Ronnie Ann Herman.

The following Monday follower Jessica Lawson will be back with her agent Tina Wexler with a guest post and query critique giveaway by Tina and a giveaway of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA, Jessica's new MG contemporary.

Monday the next week I have an interview with debut author Lindsey Klingele and a giveaway of her YA fantasy THE MARKED GIRL.

Hope to see you on Monday!

62 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you again, Natalie.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Natalie! How are you? Lovely to see L Diane here and it's good to see what L Diane is looking for in submissions.

Denise :-)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I love how you've outline all of this, L. Diane! I'll share...

Unknown said...

Isn't Diane's pic adorable? She's got the sassiest pic around. I'm lucky to be an author with Freedom Fox and am excited about Bloodwalker coming out in October! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, please do share it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL! Must be the red hair. And I am delighted to take on your next book.

Gwen Gardner said...

Hi Diane and Natalie! Excellent article. I'll go tweet!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Natalie - great guest here .. with a professional attitude to her work ... and she has loads of knowledge ...

Diane - love the idea of coming to dance with you at Lemur Press or Freedom Fox ... fun ideas ... cheers to one and all - Hilary

Bish Denham said...

Yeah, Diane! So happy that everything is moving forward for you!

Tamara Narayan said...

Excellent article. It's always good to know exactly what a publisher is looking for. And I'm thrilled to be an author with a Freedom Fox book!

Crystal Collier said...

Natalie! I've missed you. Glad to be back but now I have absolutely no idea what's happening in your world.

Diane, original art, eh? That's pretty epic.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Nice to see Diane here. I had no clue that she owns Dancing Lemur Press. Loved your picture Diane :)

Julie Walters said...

This is a very helpful article. I will be going back through my ms to look for examples of telling, not showing, and work through them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, that's my book! Wow, I must've really lucked out with my first query and story.

Kristin Lenz said...

Great to see this small press and their quality work. Kudos!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Hi Diane. I think what you've done is remarkable and admirable. Kudos to you for following your dream and making others' dreams come true. Great interview Natalie and Diane!

Charity Bradford said...

Dancing Lemur is on my list for a certain story I'm working on. I know Alex has loved his experience with them. Now I just need to finish! If I get lucky enough to win the critique, does the manuscript need to be finished?

I'm tweeting and mentioning the giveaway on Facebook. I tagged Diane in the tweet and here's the link to my Facebook page.

Rebecca E. Bailey said...

I'd be grateful for a critique of my complete YA fantasy manuscript. My email address is profrbailey@aol.com, and I mentioned this on Twitter. Have a great day!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tamara, we are glad to have you.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

All original art and photos. We've only once used a stock photo (at the author's insistence) and we'll never do it again.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hi Charity. No, it doesn't.

abnormalalien said...

As always, what a great post. I love the name Dancing Lemur; it's cute, fun, and joyful. And what a wonderful mission statement. :)

abnormalalien said...

As always, what a great post. I love the name Dancing Lemur; it's cute, fun, and joyful. And what a wonderful mission statement. :)

Alice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice said...

Great interview. I posted it on Facebook.

cleemckenzie said...

Diane's a dynamo! I love her publishing company logo and name and I wish her tons of continued luck!

Weaver said...

Hubby and I love Alex's books. Nice to see that one here. Nice job on the interview.

ikmar said...

That's a great mission statement. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jamie, that's the image I wanted to portray.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you!

N. R. Williams said...

Hello Ladies.
You said the magic word, L. Diane...fantasy. My endings are happy, but the middle can be dark. I think the villain must be strong for the story to be top notch. I hear you about backstory and all the other elements of good story telling. I do have another series sitting around, perhaps I'll send it your way.
Nancy

M Pax said...

Diane is awesome. I know any author she takes on will be in great hands.

Waving hello to Natalie. :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

You are doing an awesome job, Diane. I love that you are after stories with hope. Best wishes to you and all the authors you're working with.

Snuffalupagus said...

Dancing lemur press is a pretty amazing name.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Informative interview. I like it that Diane is looking for stories that offer hope. As a reader, sometimes I get tired of so many dystopian themes.

Nick Wilford said...

Dancing Lemur sounds like a great publisher. We could all do with some more positivity in stories!

Unknown said...

Great interview! I appreciated Diane's clarity and the positivity. Thanks for the opportunity at a critique!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Nancy, query away!

abnormalalien said...

Maybe this is a stupid question, I didn't realize we're supposed to be querying editors as well as agents? Or do you kind of work multiple roles because it's your company?

S.P. Bowers said...

Nice to meet you, Diane! It's great to hear what editors look for in the first pages they see. Especially as I revise and query, revise and query. :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

May I add that Diane is a pleasure to work with. She is.

Unknown said...

Love seeing Diane here! Awesome giveaway too!

Christine Rains said...

I love the name of the Dancing Lemur! I also very much like they have an option for authors who want more control in the publishing process. Self-publishing is tough but the control is nice, so it's wonderful to have a little help.

dolorah said...

Unfortunately, my stories have that sense of "satisfactory" ending as opposed to HEA. I have been impressed with Diane and her writing/publishing knowledge for a while though. Kudos on the imprints.

On the covers; I always like covers that have something to do with the book blurb. If I read the blurb, and the cover isn't representative of the main plot (or is just some stock portrait or skyline) then I'm unlikely to purchase the book, no matter how intriguing the blurb. Silly, huh?

Valerie Bodden said...

Congratulations on the success of Dancing Lemur. I love that name! Thanks for the giveaway--priceless! valbodden(at)gmail(dot)com

Roland Clarke said...

I've gradually become aware of Dancing Lemur and Freedom Fox presses via your amazing authors, like the Ninja Captain. After leaving my US publisher after my debut, I'm excited to discover other inspiring smaller presses out there. Many thanks, Diane, for giving the readers so much.

www.rolandclarke.com rrclarke53@aol.co.uk

Tyrean Martinson said...

Awesome close-up on Diane and Dancing Lemur!!!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this opportunity!! I have a MS that fits the bill!!

Jarm Del Boccio said...

Love your logo, Diane. Very Aussie! So good to hear about your agency's vision. Focusing on our writing instead of submission and promotion is every author's dream.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you so much, Beverly. And you have been a delight of an author to work with.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've tried to make it the best of both worlds.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

No, I feel the same way. Nothing more frustrating than seeing a cool dragon on the book cover only to discover the book has nothing to do with dragons.

Susan Thumm Paxton said...

Diane,
Your offer is incredibly generous. A great opportunity for one lucky writer. stpaxton1@gmail.com Also posted on Twitter.

c. sciriha said...

It's uplifting to read that positivity sells. Thanks. Would love to be chosen. carols64@live (dot)co(dot)uk

Nas said...

Hi Diane and Natalie!

Awesome of you to share. It's great to see what Diane is looking for.

Karen Lange said...

It's great to see Diane here! Appreciate the info on Dancing Lemur and Freedom Fox. Love the "hope" requirement; we all need that. I'll pass on the giveaway. Have good week!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Keep forgetting to mention that our youngest son is a red-head! He grew up with 4 dark-haired brothers. Wasn't easy.

Vercingetorix said...

Nice to hear from an editor who tells it like it is. So many just blow smoke.

Vercingetorix said...

I tweeted about the interview and contest.

Vercingetorix said...

I tweeted about the interview and contest.

Susan Thumm Paxton said...

Posted to Twitter and Facebook about this great opportunity for all writers.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jamie, you can query both agents and publishers, and those who go through submissions at a publishing are usually editors.