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Blog Posts

Grammergency #13: When Quotation Marks Attack

Posted by Annie Tucker on May 26, 2015 at 9:19am 1 Comment

For the past few months, I’ve been working on a little photography project, inspired by signs around California that use quotation marks incorrectly and that I find hilarious—especially when I can’t figure out for the life of me what purpose the quotes are meant to serve. Got any theories?

This one is my favorite. I found it on a fireplace screen.

I get that garlic conjures up negative images for some people (bad breath, vampires, etc.), but there's nothing hypothetical…



Posted by Meghan Ward on May 28, 2015 at 8:47am 1 Comment

When I teach Blogging for Beginners at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, we get everyone's blogs set up, but that’s the easy part. Learning how to use Wordpress, Blogger, or SquareSpace will get your blog online, but it won’t make you a great blogger. Great blogs have five things in common—quality design, great content, clear layout, consistent posts, and audience engagement. Here are a few tips for making your good blog great:

Photo courtesy of John Stansbury via Creative Commons



If you’re not sure whether you like blogging, start with a free…


Pinterest Power!

Posted by Janay Lampkin on May 20, 2015 at 3:00pm 11 Comments


Ever find yourself logging on to your Pinterest account for quick inspiration--and 46 pins, a glass of wine, and 30 minutes later you've been sucked into a Pinterest hole? Why not maximize on this addicting platform and utilize its features to benefit your launch day? There is no reason your character inspiration, book and giveaway promotions, and #novelines should not be shared with the Pinterest world.

Here are four quick ways to help you gain more momentum on Pinterest when it comes to your author platform:

Cast board

If your novel was optioned for a movie, who would the director cast for the different roles? It’s always fun to match…


Does Your Dialogue Sound Realistic?

Posted by Maria Murnane on May 25, 2015 at 10:30am 2 Comments

Most of us read books because we love to escape (temporarily) from reality and immerse ourselves in alternate worlds inhabited by colorful, interesting characters whose lives are much more exciting than our own. That's certainly why I read! However, while the lives these characters lead might be less than realistic, it's important (to me, at least) that their dialogue is realistic. 

When I read a book with dialogue that doesn't ring true, instead of getting sucked into the story I find myself thinking, "Who talks like that? No one would say that." And as I've said a million times in this blog, you want your readers focused on the story, not on the problems with your writing.

(Note: I'm referring to contemporary fiction, not tales of dystopian…


Community Blog

Start Now

Start now…appreciating what you have. And stop thinking so much about what other people have. When you really sit down and think about it- do you really want what they have? Do you want their job really- or do you just think the grass is greener somewhere else? Do you really want their…

Saturday Short

Posted 'Samurai Song', a Robert Pinsky poem read to music accompaniment:


Good Morning!

Good morning everyone. You know when i was walking the…

. gardening .

there were no chives, so we hunted for ferns.

they are everywhere here, we wanted something

in particular, me with my green trowel, gardening


she was cominng up the lane, head down,

i waited. a steep slope.

on looking up she smiled, and chatted a while.

did you know him? she asked, told me he had

died suddenly.

she went on her way, she has moved house

you know.

we went on looking for a fern, and


My Stupid Prize

I should get a prize for:

a.) biggest, most ugly and tough toe calluses

b.) poet most stylish, least metric

c.) least well read of the most talented poets 

d.) the poet most likely to suck seed, whatever that means

e.) novelist most likely to closet sulk

f.) poet most likely to spend a year alone with her cat

g.) best in hating

h.) best befriender of dead Victorian writers



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