Results came out for the 2023 Critters Readers’ Choice Awards yesterday, and our group’s record keeper, David Hankins, surprised me with this nice graphic to commemorate the occasion. Thousands from around the world vote in these Best of the Year awards. They are not easy to win. Many publishers promote their writers, and I’ve often seen wins and upsets happen by just a vote or two in the last hours on the last day of voting. The competition can be fierce.
I’m happy to announce several of our Wulf Pack rose to the top, achieving Best of the Year awards in their respective categories. Congratulations go to David Hankins for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story of 2023 for “Death and the Taxman.” And for Best Romance Novel of 2023, we have our very own Rosa Meronek with “The Griffin’s Burn.”
For myself, I’m happy to announce HOW TO WRITE A HOWLING GOOD STORY was voted Best Nonfiction Book of 2023. I honestly didn’t think the win was going to happen, as I was up against a rescue dog book, and the author has won many Critters Awards. It was only in the last hours on the last day of three weeks of voting that Howling rose from second to first and stayed there. My dark fantasy “The Saltmarsh” in GAME ON! was awarded Best All other Short Story of 2023. And my writing workshop programs and online resource of “The Super Secrets of Writing” was awarded Best Writers’ Workshop and Best Writers’ Resource of 2023.
Congratulations to all the winners, to those in the Top 10 of each category, and to all the nominees! Thank you to all that participated in the voting. This was another fine showing in these Best of the Year Awards for our Wulf Pack Writers group! GO WULF PACK!!!
Did you enjoy my Super Secrets of Writing article “Magic Sword” in DreamForge Magazine last year? It’s also reprinted in my bestselling book How to Write a Howling Good Story. It’s currently in second place in the Critters Readers’ Choice Awards in Nonfiction Articles. Tonight is your last chance to vote. Please compare to the article currently in first place and if you feel “Magic Sword” is worthy, I’d love your vote! Thank you, friends! And don’t forget about downloading your free story, “The Saltmarsh,” while it’s available for award-season voting! Cheers!
My “Magic Sword” article in DreamForge Magazine if you missed it. Click HERE.
Where you can view the nominees and cast your vote for Nonfiction Article. Click HERE.
Here’s where you can vote in the Author category. I’m currently in first place, but voting isn’t over yet and it’s been in and out since voting began. Your vote could make all the difference. Click HERE.
And here’s where my short story, “The Saltmarsh,” is nominated in All Other Short Stories. If you haven’t read it, my publisher has authorized a free copy at the link at the bottom of the page. Click HERE to vote.
Finally, if you enjoyed my bestselling book How to Write a Howling Good Story, it’s currently in second place and could use some love. Click HERE to vote.
Thank you for your consideration in these important readers awards. Remember, if you wish to help me out, voting ends TONIGHT. Thank you! 💖
It’s award season for stories published in 2023, and I do have one for you to consider with a deadly game of chance! (And a bestselling nonfiction book, too, but more on that toward the end.)
Joshua Palmatier and Stephen Kotowych of the GAME ON! anthology from Zombies Need Brains, LLC, have authorized me to share my story “The Saltmarsh” from their anthology!!! For a limited time, for voting consideration in the Critters Readers’ Choice Awards and any other awards you may wish to nominate it in, I’ve been given permission to make a free copy of my story available to each of you. Here’s the link for you to get yours!
The editors told me as soon as they read the story, they immediately put it on the buy pile, no further consideration, they wanted it in their anthology. That’s the mark of a strong story. Would you like to find out why? Now’s your chance! I’ve been waiting to write this story for many years, and this was the perfect anthology for it. Ever since I read H. Munro’s short poem “Overheard on a Saltmarsh” about a nymph and a goblin, I wanted more, more, more.
This story was my answer.
If you agree with the editors, they’d love it if you weighed in with your vote. But you need to hurry. Voting, at least in the Critters Awards, ends in five days on January 14th!
(And if you’d like to weigh in on Nonfiction Books, HOW TO WRITE A HOWLING GOOD STORY is in second place right now. It’s been a #1 bestseller in multiple categories since its release. Here’s where you can help if you believe my book is worthy: Critters Writers Workshop Readers Poll )
I’m just happy I’ve been permitted to share my story with you. It’s different from my usual fare. Enjoy while you can! And THANK YOU for your consideration in these and other awards! The recognition does help your work to be seen and read.
IT’S RELEASE DAY! Five years ago after winning Writers of the Future, I started a free writing workshop called Wulf Moon’s Super Secrets to help unpublished writers understand the principles of writing that not only make stories work, but help them sell professionally and win awards.
Guess what? Writers in these year-long workshops started winning by the droves. The Writers of the Future Contest, the Mike Resnick Memorial Award, the Baen Adventure Fantasy Award, and more! More importantly, they not only made their first professional sales, they made multiple sales that launched their careers in fiction writing. These writers are living proof that the Super Secrets of writing work.
So, I put all my teachings in a book. I launched my first Kickstarter to fund the project. It not only funded in 7 minutes, it earned Project We Love, and later was featured as Project of the Day on Kickstarter Reads. Final funding hit over $21,000 dollars. Remember, I’d never done Kickstarter crowdfunding before. This phenomenal first result proved to me people really wanted this book to come to life.
Mark Leslie Lefebvre of Stark Publishing Solutions guided me along the way. If you want great success, I always say find a great mentor. We’ve been so busy producing the book, we only announced the prerelease about a week ago. How to Write a Howling Good Story already hit #1 Bestselling New Release orange in a major Kindle writing books category, while still in prerelease!
We sent a copy to Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of The Oppenheimer Alternative. Here’s what he said: “Wulf Moon is a terrific writing teacher, and in How to Write a Howling Good Story, he shares the tips and tricks that have made him one of today’s hottest authors. His advice is spot-on; follow it and you can launch a major career. This book is pure gold.”
And now, here we are. My book that has helped so many writers launch their careers is available to you today from your favorite online retailer. Add this book to your arsenal. It has the power to change your writing destiny, as it has done for so many others. This is not a dry, formulaic book on writing. You’ll get your stories dressed for success while having a darn good time reading it.
Five years in the making. Thirty-six chapters. 100,000 words. Ebook, paperback, and hardcover. Get yours today and find out how to write a howling good story. This book can change your destiny!
IT’S FINISHED! On Tuesday night, I finished How To Write a Howling Good Story. This, after pushing through long-COVID brain fog for many months that dropped my output from 2000-3000 words per day down to 220/day. But done is beautiful! Weighs in at 37 chapters, 100,000 words. A big book! Now to get this to my publisher, Mark Leslie Lefebvre of Stark Publishing Solutions. Kickstarter backers get it first, but it’s coming soon to your favorite retail platform in e-book, trade paperback, and hardcover! I’ll let you know when it’s available for the public to purchase. I’m so happy to bring this to all of you!
Ready for a seaside adventure? My dark fantasy story “The Saltmarsh” is a tale about a deadly game between a Nereid and a goblin, based off a poem by H. Munro. It will be published in the anthology GAME ON! by publisher Joshua Palmatier of Zombies Need Brains, a SFWA approved professional market!
And what a great list of authors in the table of contents, including David Hankins, a writer I’ve mentored in my Wulf Pack Writers group! You can preorder today and you’ll be first to get the early release on July 15th in trade paperback or e-book! If you’d like the trade paperback, at present I’ve only seen it listed in the ZNB online store, so do order it there. Release dates are still being updated on the various platforms, but it’s definitely available on July 15th, 2023. Here’s where to order!
Want more details? Here’s the publisher’s comments:
What if future criminals played games of skill for their freedom? Would spellcasters dare use magic to skew chance in their favor? What if aliens judged us based on the games we play? Can a dying woman literally cheat Death?
Games are about more than winning and losing. They’re about risk and reward, strategy and blind fortune, our need to win and our fear of being outplayed. And when magic and science infuse a game, the stakes can be of cosmic importance. Each move could decide life or death. Are you ready to play?
I received this certificate the other day from Danny Hankner, publisher and editor of Story Unlikely. My gargoyle urban fantasy story “Stone Cold” placed in the top twelve out of 927 entries in the Story Unlikely Annual Short Story Contest–2023. There were three prize winners, and nine honorable mentions. So close! But at least I made the top 1% of all entries. And got this fun certificate to prove it!
This Flow State masterclass is a new workshop in my Super Secrets of Writing series. I taught it as a webinar this year as a donation to DreamForge magazine’s Kickstarter, and that one sold out at 50 participants! I’m so happy about that. Last year’s webinar sold out at 50 as well, helping DreamForge keep their fires lit. This year, it actually helped DreamForge move to a new level–paying writers seven cents a word for their stories. That’s a respectable rate! And DreamForge produces a magazine filled with brilliant stories and gorgeous art. I do hope you’ll check them out at DreamForge Magazine!
I teach the 4-hour masterclasses to help writers advance their professional skill levels so they can create work that sells and gets published. This one teaches the best-kept secret of bestselling writers. Writing in Flow will transform your writing. And I teach you how to do it.
Sign up for my Wulf Pack Club Letter and you’ll never miss one of my workshops again. Well, if you hurry. Whenever I announce them, they quickly SELL OUT!
You’re still here? Hop on over to my Super Secrets page, scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll find the box to sign up for the Wulf Pack Club. It’s free! Click HERE.
KYD or Kill Your Darlings is a writing exercise I developed to win writing contests and craft potent vignettes used to build winning stories. I taught it to members of my Super Secrets Workshop, and had them practice the exercise at least once a month. Amazing–some would say miraculous–results followed. Almost all of the writers were unpublished when they began, but their writing transformed. Workshop members ended up either becoming a Finalist in the international Writers of the Future Contest, winning the Contest (four to date), winning the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for New Writers, or achieving their first professional sales in magazines and anthologies.
The editor of DreamForge Anvil magazine was so impressed with the results in my workshop, he commissioned me to write an article on the subject. Here’s his introduction to the article:
Stephen King said it best. “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” We need to be ruthless with our work— every word we write is not sacred. Get your words on the page, but be sure to go back in and give them a cold hard stare, knife in hand.
5 Hour Live Online Master Workshop for $119 (includes Whole Conference general admission to Fyrecon Online , a $60 value!) Class is limited to 20 students November 21, 2021, 11:00 AM to 3:50 PM Mountain Time at Fyrecon 5
Twenty-five years ago, I developed a writing exercise to help me win what was likely the largest international flash fiction contest ever held. The contest was the brainchild of Dan Hurley, famous as the Sixty Second Novelist. For one year, writers from around the world submitted their 250-word flash stories each week, and professional judges awarded prizes for first, second, and third place. 500 to 700 writers entered each week. At the end of the year, twelve professionals judged the 52 first place winners for the grand prize.
Two of my first place winners placed in the Top 10. One of those took Grand Prize, earning me the title of Writer of the Year. Number One … out of some 30,000 total entries.
This is the system I developed to help me win that contest. I call it “Kill Your Darlings.” Many writers I coach say it’s the #1 reason they obtained their first pro sales, made it into Best of the Year anthologies, and were finalists and winners in major writing contests like Writers of the Future. The first place story that won the Mike Resnick Memorial Award? That was crafted from a KYD.
The system works.
Want to shave years off your learning curve? If you take this workshop, I can teach you how.
“Wrangling your first professional short story sale is a lot like catching a fish with your bare hands. Sure, it can be done, but you’re going to need to know the secrets unless you want splash around like a fool for an embarrassingly long time.
Moon promised me that if I put in the work he gave me, I’d reduce my time to publication. His KYD exercise has helped me move from not even sniffing a sale, to winning the Mike Resnick Memorial award.
Moon is not just a keeper of (super) secrets. He is a keeper of promises.”–Z.T. Bright, author
I sold my Writers of the Future Workshop 24-hour story to a pro-pay anthology! In case you don’t know this famous WotF exercise, author Tim Powers walks around the Hollywood classroom with a top hat pulling out cool items you write a story on in–you guessed it–24 hours. Yeah, I’m the lucky dog that got handed a blank 3×5 card, both sides white, for my story prompt. Talk about a challenge! I’ve been so busy since returning from the workshop, I never bought out the time to touch the story up and send it to a market. I know, bad boy! But the right pro-paying anthology appeared, and I knew this story could hit the mark. Boom. Sold first time out!
This story explores relationships between sentient buildings along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It will be published by Third Flatiron Publishing and the anthology’s title is THINGS WITH FEATHERS: STORIES OF HOPE. In both trade paperback and Kindle version on October 15th, 2021. Free to read to those with Kindle Unlimited.
My short story’s title? “Sophie’s Parisian Stationery & Parfumerie Magnifique.”