Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family wisdom: How to write stories that sell

My mother gave me this wonderful old slip of paper hand typed by my grandmother many decades ago. It is a set of guidelines for “Writing Stories that Sell.” The advice proffered is still valid, so I wanted to share. The charming exception is the section detailing how to prepare your manuscript for submission. What is “pica” if I may ask?

My grandmother fancied herself a bit of a writer. She didn’t write full-time or professionally, however she regularly contributed to her community paper, the Sunland Village Journal. Apparently she even had a column called, “The Cook of the Month.” A surprise for a woman who resolutely shunned cooking. I can’t blame her, though, for taking every opportunity to write. Her specialty, my mom says, were features about decorating and travel. Oh yes, and Bridge, the card game of her obsession.

We have a book of her clippings in my family’s possession. I’ve never read these, though apparently I am mentioned in several columns. My mom said she’d let me take the book back to Santa Cruz with me after my visit this weekend. I can’t wait to deleve in to them.

In class today we reviewed the writing guidelines we’ve learned this quarter. I took notes faithfully. Possibly someday I’ll get to pass them on to my own grandaughter. For the record: 

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