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Kamy Wicoff shares her tips from the trenches as she promotes her 

new novel Wishful Thinking, out this April

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Writing About Your Life: It Doesn't Have To Be (And Sometimes Shouldn't Be) A Memoir

Posted by Kamy Wicoff on March 31, 2015 at 10:00am 1 Comment

Everyone has heard the expression, "Write what you know." The real question is, write what you know...how? For some writers this isn't a difficult question. If you are writing fantasy or historical fiction, you write what you know by drawing from your life experiences with love, loss, and conflict to give your characters' experiences resonance and depth, and perhaps even use aspects of people you know to bring those characters to life. If you are an expert in a field, your path is even clearer: write a straightforward nonfiction book sharing what you know in a format your readers can easily understand. But what if you what really want to write about is your own life? Is memoir the only way to go?

Many beginning writers think so. But having taught memoir, I often encountered students with stories…


Grammergency #9: The Mysterious Case of the Missing Comma

Posted by Annie Tucker on March 30, 2015 at 5:00pm 0 Comments

As tiny as a comma is, its impact as both a punctuation mark and a conversation piece is anything but insubstantial. Put two people who differ on the subject of Oxford commas in a room together, and blood may be spilled. Get a copy editor going about how many comma splices she sees in an average workweek, and she might break down in tears. And then there’s the mysterious case of the missing comma—a situation I’ve been tracking for years and that only seems to be getting worse. This week’s Grammergency is about how to use commas appropriately in everyday communications to ensure that even the most mundane salutations and sign-offs are polished and grammatically correct. 

How to Use a Comma with a Direct Object

Let’s start with the basics. “Thanks Annie” is not correct under any circumstances; it should be “Thanks, Annie” 100 percent of the time. The same applies to “You look tired today, Annie,” “Talk to you soon, Annie,” and “Good morning, Annie.” When…


The Art of Submission: How Do You Query Without Being Pushy (No, Really. How Do You?)

Posted by Emily Lackey on March 31, 2015 at 7:00pm 0 Comments

Here’s something I’ve been struggling with: there has been a significant lull in responses to my submissions lately.

It must be the time of year, right? Journals and magazines are slammed with the mid-submission-season accumulation, the stories piling up in their Submittable accounts as May approaches. It’s only natural that the stuff I sent out on September 1st got responses within weeks, while the stuff that I sent out in, say, December, is accumulating digital dust in some editor’s inbox.

But here is where I am struggling: I don’t want to write to these journals to let them know it’s been five months, seven months, hell in one case THIRTEEN MONTHS since I submitted my work for their consideration.

I don’t entirely know why. I know it has…


[SWP: Behind the Book] All in Her Head: A Novel

Posted by Sunny Mera on March 23, 2015 at 5:30pm 6 Comments

After years of going back and forth and second-guessing about sharing my story, I made a decision to tell my story as fiction based on a true story.

During the birth of my daughter I experienced something I didn't know was possible. I had an orgasmic labor, then during the examination my mind broke and I was lost in the land between fantasy and reality. I experienced mental illness for the first time, and broke free from reality. My journey toward learning to live with my illness was an adventure toward separating real from unreal. From the time I thought a New York Times application was speaking to me in new ways to reporting fires (like the one at the burning Icon site in the East Village of Manhattan), I struggled to understand my reality. Trusting the people around me was my…


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