Monday, June 9, 2014


Many writers forget one essential task before writing a book - READING AND RESEARCHING their competition. READING your competition is essential because you will learn from each book you read - the writer's style, pace, use of words, plots, setting, characters, etc. Take notes on each book and what you have learned from the author.  Take detailed notes for your LEARNING journal. 

RESEARCH involves the following:
You need to make an organized list: 
Copyright year
Number of pages
Number of illustrations
In Print or Out of Print 
Revised editions/reprints

Compare your book to each book. Highlight for yourself what is different and better about your competition. Why is your book stronger, different and more interesting than your competition. 
Reading out of print books can be a valuable exercise as you can learn from these writers - especially for nonfiction. You may pick up formatting examples, organizing tips, and facts from these books. Take the best of each book and mentally improve your final book before you write it. This is a mental exercise that new writers as well as published authors should do in order to be successful. 

The next Unicorn Writers' Conference (6th annual event) will be March 14, 2015 at Reid Castle, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY from 7:30 am - 8 pm. The price is $285 until July 1, 2014 and will increase to $300 on July 2, 2014. This includes three (3) for this price and all the workshops except for 1-1 manuscript review sessions ($55 for 40 pages - 30 minutes with an agent, editor or both). You may sign up for more than one session. Also, query letter review/workshop for 10 writers with one agent - 4 different workshops for query letters ($40), flap copy/book summary workshop/review - 10 writers to one agent/editor - 4 workshops at various times during the day ($40). 
Go to and select registration.   Unicorn sold out for 2014 and we were unable to accept over 50 writers with registration closed 3 weeks before the 2014 conference.  Kindly sign up early. We are excited to welcome you back!    Jan Kardys, Chairman 

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