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Launch Week Prize Pack—Launch Week Festivities

March 16, 2016 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill
last modified March 16, 2016

The Magic of Fiction


As my way of thanking you for celebrating the release of The Magic of Fiction with me this week, I’m giving away a prize pack of reference books. The prize pack winner will be randomly chosen from comments made at the 10 eligible launch week articles.

No purchase is necessary to be in the running for the prize pack; if you comment, you have a chance to win. And the more you comment, the more chances you have. (Only legitimate comments will be considered, so comments such as “hi there” will be deleted from the articles.) Eligible comments must be made by noon EDT on Friday, March 18, 2016. Comments added after that time will not be eligible in the drawing. The winner will be chosen and announced on this article Friday afternoon.

Limitations & Restrictions

~  Books in the prize pack are subject to availability.

~  Winner is responsible for custom duties or taxes if applicable.

~  My intention is to make this prize pack available to the winner no matter the country of residence. However, if circumstances prevent delivery of the books in a timely manner and/or at a reasonable shipping fee, I reserve the right to make other arrangements, even to a voiding of the prize. (I don’t imagine that there will be any issues, but shipping access to the winner could conceivably be a problem in some parts of the world.)


The prize pack includes:

– a searchable PDF of The Magic of Fiction

and winner’s choice of three (3) books from the following list:

Grammatically Correct (Stilman)

New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors

New Hart’s Rules

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage

The Oxford Dictionary of Current English

Webster’s New World College Dictionary (5th ed.)

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.)—winner’s choice of print edition or one-year subscription to CMOS online



Tags:     Posted in: Contests, Launch Week

33 Responses to “Launch Week Prize Pack—Launch Week Festivities”

  1. Kat says:

    I’m going to be completely honest here and say just how much I hope I get this prize (it won’t help, but I want to make a comment, that’s relevant, so hang with me).

    I won a shovel once, in grade 3. For my dad. He doesn’t garden. I’m not generally a lucky person but we make our own success, right? Better to make your way and thank your stars for any (genuine) luck that does come your way. Still, I hope the random-number-generator-gods look down kindly on me! (are you using RNG as with the first thirty edit, Beth?)

    I think New Hart’s Rules and CMOS would be my first go-to choices as I frequently edit for international clients. Here in Australia we don’t have a Style Manual. Okay, we do, but it’s geared to government writing, and it’s also ridiculously out of date (2002).
    With the SM as it is, and as old as it is, we’re left to cobble together what we can based on the industry dictionary. If we get lucky we can work from a corporate style sheet. Even though it’ll have some USian mechanics (I’m guessing here) The Magic of Fiction will play a crucial role in my collection. Received an email this morning, it got shipped today!

    • Kat says:

      I apologies for the erroneous commas. Just read the post in Chris Walken’s voice. 😉

      • Kat says:

        *wishing there was an edit button*
        I think I’ll go and get some coffee . . . and maybe stay away from the computer until my fingers and brain have sorted out their differences.

        • Shoshanna says:

          Oh another Australian! Yes, we do seem to get the short end of the styling stick down here. I find it the hardest with some of the colloquial slang, (tip, ciggies, dunny etc).

          • Kat says:

            The editor associations (and soon IPEd) are circling a petition at the moment in an effort to have the government publish a new version of the SM. Check out your state’s group on facebook and they may have a link to it (so you can sign, if you like).

            Still, editing for fiction is very different to editing NF. There just aren’t anough resources, though TMoF (this is going to be a thing, isn’t it 😀 – like CMoS only more interesting) will help immensely.

            TMoF. I like it!

  2. Judy L Mohr says:

    I know I’ve said it before, but congrats on the book release. It must be so fulfilling to see all your hard work come to some sort of completion. It looks as though it would be an interesting read.

    • Judy, I think that it’s an easy read. Meaning not only that the concepts are presented in a way that’s understandable, but that the material is presented so that you could sit down and read for a couple of hours without getting bogged down or bored and presented in a way that makes what you need concerning a specific topic easy to find. I hope that readers find it to be that way.

  3. Anna says:

    I must say I’m very happy to get this great information from Beth. I have been following her blog and reading what writers need to do has really helped me know what an editor needs to do.I can’t wait to read in full “The Majic of Fiction” I have a feeling this is going to be my ‘Go to’ reference. Thank you Beth for sharing your knowledge on this subject.And to all the comments…good stuf.
    Editor in progress…Anna Dehennis

  4. Anna says:

    I love this section about settings…let go, be tough,and write on! The setting is the big circle around your story. Almost a lead character in many ways. When in doubt let your setting help you out.
    Anna Dehennis

  5. Shoshanna says:

    This is a beginner’s pack to editing! Or a must have for any writer tackling the wonderful joys of editing a manuscript. (Seriously, in my opinion, it’s the bellybutton cleaning of the manuscript experience).

    Looking forward to reading “Magic of Fiction” and purchasing a few of those books for my next edit.

    Thanks Beth!

  6. Very excited to be a part of this. As an emerging writer, books such as yours inspire me to do better, be better. Thanks so much.

  7. There is, thankfully, so much I don’t know about writing, I’m not even aware. The learning curve is steep but thrilling; excited about this launch. Thank you.

  8. Yay, Launch!!! And a massive yay for a chance to soak up so much knowledge. Fingers crossed!

  9. I’d love to win these reference books, plus The Magic of Fiction. I could certainly use the info to improve my writing! Thanks for offering this.

  10. K AR says:

    The article, “Remember Your Readers,” hit a nerve, in a good way. It’ easy to get sucked into the details and important to maintain a broad view. I have the article flagged as a reminder.

  11. I hadn’t intended this article to be part of the 10 prize-pack-eligible articles, but since so many of you are commenting here, I’ll add it into the mix. And I’ll skip the final book excerpt that I was going to release today.

    There are nine other articles eligible for the prize pack—you’ll recognize them by the words “launch week festivities” and the asterisk * in the title. You can find the articles released this week on the home page.

    Thanks again for all the good wishes. I hope The Magic of Fiction (I love TMoF, Kat) proves helpful.

    TMoF is becoming available at a wider selection of book sellers, including and Books-a-Million. I found it listed at, although a notation says it isn’t available right now.

    To check for availability at online stores or a bookstore near you, use the ISBN: 978-0997177008


    Good luck with the prize pack. The books on the list are all useful and worth having in your reference set.

  12. Summer Ross says:

    Thank you for offering such a great prize pack. I’m a freelance editor, learning my way through you and others so winning books like these would make great editions to my editorial library. I have the 15th edition of CMOS.

    I have been reading your launch week articles, but hadn’t commented. It’s funny how readers work that way at times, you can see them hitting your site and articles, but otherwise no other footprints are left behind.

    Thank you for giving us a chance to win such wonderful books.

  13. If your book is like your blog then I would welcome with OPEN ARMS your book as I think your blog is so sharp, so on target, so pithy that you hit the bull’s eye in every sentence. You certainly have been most helpful to me & that rarely happens when I read writers’ thoughts on writing a novel or short story. So, carry on ! muriel harris weinstein

  14. I’ve only just started following your blog but I’ve recently made it a part of my professional education blog cycle. I’m a relatively new editor and your blog has been both interesting and helpful. Keep up the great work!

  15. I’ve always been a story teller, now I’m working to put some of my stories to paper. I started writing a novel a few months back, even though the story is there, I’m constantly questioning my basic writing skills. I would love to win your prize pack, the reference books would definitely aide me through my new writing adventure!
    Thank you

  16. Deborah says:

    I’d be interested to know what your process is when you receive a manuscript from an author. Do you print it out, or read on screen? Do you do your first read through without making any comments or notes, or do you fill the margins?

    • Deborah, I print manuscripts and read from hard copy. So that I don’t forget anything, I start marking a manuscript right away, with the first pass. I know others don’t mark on their first read, but I want to mark everything that strikes me. And once I’ve read the ms., what stood out on the first read might not stand out as strongly on a second read. I don’t want to miss anything.

      When I transfer my suggestions and edits back to the Word doc, I read from the screen and often catch a few items that I missed reading from the print copy. At the same time, I make sure that I address every issue that I noted on the print copy.

      I fill in the margins, the back of the page, my style sheet, and my separate notes pages. If it comes to mind with that first read, I’m noting it somewhere.

      There’s a chapter in The Magic of Fiction called “Working Through the Text” that goes into a little more detail, but that’s the bare bones of my method.

      • Kat says:

        It’s fascinating hearing how other editors work, especially when the processes are so different. Conversations about process are not something I normally come across, but I’m curious now and may query other editors to find out more. The more we know, the better editors we become, right?
        Thanks for sharing, Beth!

  17. I’ve been as interested to see HOW you’ve launched almost as much as your book. What a fun week! As soon as my CreateSpace is clear, I’m going to order copies—one for me and one for my most faithful beta reader. I look forward to having in a single volume everything I need. I’ve long said that the writing and the editing is the part I love most — publishing can wait — I simply love the writing, the pruning, the rearranging, the researching, the reading aloud, the creating characters and making them “talk.” Thanks for so generously sharing your knowledge through your blog and now through your book.

    • Martha, I think the one thing I would do differently on the back end would be to arrange to have Amazon reviews ready to go on launch day. Since people are only now buying and waiting for their books, they can’t leave reviews. I could have asked those who read the PDF for reviews or I could have asked a couple dozen readers at the blog if they would have liked to do a review to have ready this week. Other than that, I don’t think I’d do anything differently.

      And a heads-up since you plan to order from CreateSpace—the $10 off coupon is good only through Sunday. I’ll still offer a discount code, but it won’t be $10 off.

  18. The winner of the prize pack is Matt Randles. Congratulations, Matt! I’ll be contacting you via e-mail about your prize pack.

    A big thanks to all of you for participating and contributing this week. You made launch week for The Magic of Fiction a memorable one.

  19. Kat says:

    Congratulations, Matt!

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