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Blog Posts

A Niche to Call Our Own: Building Vela Magazine

Posted by Amanda Giracca on September 25, 2014 at 9:00am 5 Comments

It all started with a need for a home.

In the summer before the second year of my MFA program, my friend and colleague Sarah Menkedick wrote me a long and frantic e-mail.

“I feel split between worlds,” she wrote. “Between internet world and print world, elite Harper's world [where she was an intern] and gritty backpacker/travel world, school world and work world. Ultimately I think I am going to have to let something go, to move closer to one and further from the others.”

We’d been having these conversations all throughout grad school. How were we going to make this writing thing work? I was struggling to define what kind of writer I was—nature writer? Science writer? Neither sounded quite right. Night classes were always…


The 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Blog

Posted by Pat Roa-Perez on September 20, 2014 at 5:30am 2 Comments

This past Monday I finally launched my blog, When The Noise StopsIt took a while to get here, almost a year. The reason it took so long: I didn’t know much about what a blog was. When I look back, there are certain things I wish I’d known before starting and that would’ve made it easier and shortened the time to complete.

For those contemplating starting a blog, let me share the three things I wish I’d known before. 

1. How much do you know about what a blog is?

I thought I knew something, but after I started, I realized how little I knew. Creating a blog is like a…


[REALITY CHECK] - This week's topic is [BLANK]

Posted by Zetta Brown on September 24, 2014 at 7:00am 0 Comments

I recently encountered an obstacle in the way of my creativity that prevented my expressing myself in a literary manner.

In other words, I got tripped up by writer's block. I'm not ashamed to say it. I'm not one of these people who go about smugly and say, with a patronizing tone, "Writer's block is all in your mind."

Well, duh, Sherlock.

There is nothing wrong with your mind drawing empty from the creativity well. To me, that's just a sign saying that you should stop and take a break, and instead of trying to force something to happen, wait for it to arrive.

As I was trying to deal with my latest bout of "The Block," I looked over some of my previous articles when one of them jumped up and began to throttle me. Not literally, of course,…


Books By Their Covers -- Have You Dreamed Of Yours?

Posted by Kamy Wicoff on September 22, 2014 at 7:30am 17 Comments

TA DA! Last Friday I got the final front and back cover art for the novel I have been working on since October of 2011 (not that anyone is counting), a wondrous journey I have shared with all of you. It's called Wishful Thinking. What do you think??

It won't pub until April 2015, but as many of you know, books have to be finished months beforehand in order to get a crack at long-lead press (like women's magazines), at certain reviews, and to better the chances of getting blurbs from readers who like to hold a paper copy in their hands rather than perusing a PDF. She Writes Press also has a longer turnaround time from finished manuscript to published book than self-published authors do because we are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services,…


Community Blog


Twirl the dress and dance,
No more stress to trance.
 Laughing whole heartily,…

Interview with Poet John Guzlowski (Part 1)

Posted Part 1 of a three-part interview with poet John Guzlowski. Today: Living the Stories: During and After the War. ;

What Makes an Amazing First Chapter?

What Makes an Amazing First Chapter? | Jeni Chappelle This month, I’ve critiqued tons of ten-page samples, and most of them were the first pages of a novel. It’s reminded me how important the first chapter of your novel is. I know, I know—you’ve heard this a million times. But the first chapter represents the whole book. And if your first chapter isn’t fantastic, you may not get the chance to prove to a reader that the rest of the book…

Literary Selfies website - for self-publishers and avid readers.

There’s a new website dedicated to self-published authors. If you want to expand the reach of your self-published book, or if you’re an avid reader and want to discover new authors, go to

The site is the product of two self-publishers – myself and my aunt, Rebecca Sloan. You can see her books, Branches and Lake Effect on the website.

The site has gotten off to a good…

Cut the commute. Work from home

Have you ever been stuck in peak hour traffic or been a victim of train cancellations? I have and it gets worse during the winter months.

Travel disruptions can be hell, especially for parents. Missing dinner with the children or tucking them in bed at night can be upsetting for both you and the child.

Even if travel disruptions are not an issue, you might still be working long hours because your work…


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