Featured Blog Posts – January 2016 Archive (23)

Just Keep Putting Yourself Out There

In 2002 I had an impulsive idea to write a man's story I'd only just met. Crazy? You bet. Be careful what you ask for. But that one impulsive move has led me down a journey that has changed my life. 

I am still working on this story started so long ago. Some years, the project lay dormant, due to family priorities, lack of time and money (no one told me there's expenses to writing and editing a book) and the usual sense of overwhelm "What did I…


Added by Katrina Shawver on January 30, 2016 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

How I Came to Write, SCATTERING ASHES, A Memoir of Letting Go

As a kid, I spent hours hidden between the pages of books.  I loved to read — especially stories about people and how they got through the tough spots in their lives. One of my favorites was…


Added by Joan Z. Rough on January 29, 2016 at 1:00pm — 23 Comments

Writing Tip: Just Keep Going

When I'm working on the first draft of a novel, at times it can feel like I'm pushing an enormous boulder up a mountain. Have you ever had that feeling? It's during those periods that I have to trust what I've learned over the course of writing multiple books, which is that I have to keep going. So day after day I force myself to sit down and inch the story along, however slowly, because I know that by doing so, I will eventually…


Added by Maria Murnane on January 28, 2016 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing Your Novel

I've been writing for (yikes) 20 years now.  I traditionally published the first 50 or so novels I wrote, then I started a self-publishing venture to re-release a dozen books I'd written early in my career and had gotten the rights back to.  For a while, I had a foot in both traditional publishing and…


Added by Stephanie Bond on January 26, 2016 at 9:00pm — 12 Comments

Why Reading Aloud Is the Best Editing Tool

I'm in the final stages of editing my manuscript. And today I read the book aloud. Reading aloud is such a pain -- it sounds strange to hear your voice after sitting for so long in silence, and it's physically arduous -- but boy, is it helpful. Here's what I find when I do it.

Repeating words or gestures. I read aloud and hear that my protagonist shifted in his seat twice in the space of a page. I used "against" twice in a…


Added by Karen K. Hugg on January 26, 2016 at 5:30pm — 7 Comments


The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love, and Lead

By Suzanne Anderson MA and Susan Cannon PhD

The Way of the Mysterial Woman is for every woman who feels the call into greatness, authenticity, and meaningful living; women who are finally ready to step into their lives with mind, body, heart, and soul fully engaged and awaken their true potential. Women’s…


Added by Lauren Wise on January 26, 2016 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

. . . that time a famous writer answered my email!: Getting Endorsements for Your Debut Novel

I’m a whiz at getting rejected. It is in my blood, it seems. It began at a young age. I was the last picked for kickball teams, a perpetual member of the chorus in school plays, and a recession-age job hunter. Don’t even get me started on the subject of my love life! Then there were the bazillion rejections I got from literary agents and publishers for my novel. But I kept going! No matter how many times you get rejected and no matter the reason, it…


Added by Garine Isassi on January 24, 2016 at 5:30pm — 16 Comments

The Accidental Poet


I have always been a poetry lover.  From the time I pored over the dog-eared copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses that had belonged to my own mother, I was hooked.


How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!


This was the first…


Added by Yona Zeldis McDonough on January 20, 2016 at 4:30pm — 8 Comments

[SWP News] New Books Coming this Spring!

True Stories at the Smoky View

After attending the funeral of her estranged friend Skip in Knoxville, Tennessee, Vrai (short for Vraiment), a forty-something art history librarian with sons of her own, rescues ten-year-old Jonathan, who has been abandoned with no shoes in the funeral home parking lot. The Blizzard of…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on January 20, 2016 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Foibles and Fixes

Creative writing requires recommitment from time to time. Not writing is much easier than writing. Curiously, what many of us find is that although we want to write in theory, we keep letting other things get in the way. If those things involve our health, family or job, then writing may have to wait. But if the problems are our own foibles when it comes to writing, then they may be a form of anxiety avoidance which these strategies…


Added by Ellen T. McKnight on January 18, 2016 at 4:30pm — 7 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Novel as "Second Act"

I was inching closer to the end of my forty-year career in science museums. I had realized that the museums needed to be updated for the next generation, and I wasn’t one for the job. Institutional dynamics no longer fascinated me, and my son had left home, taking with him my opportunity to understand digital natives. Change was in the cards, and I had begun to plan its trajectory.

            And then my mother, who lived with my sister two…


Added by Sheila Grinell on January 18, 2016 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Marketing Tip: Reach out to Your Local Library

No matter who publishes your book, there's no guarantee that libraries will carry it. However, if you walk into your local library with a smile and a copy of your book and say, "Hi there! I wrote this book. Will you please carry it?" there's a good chance the answer will be "Sure." It can't hurt to ask, right? The worst the librarian can do is say no, and as I explained in a …


Added by Maria Murnane on January 18, 2016 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] The True Story Behind "A Girl Like You"!

I had a man-stopping body and a personality to go with it!” is what the 81-year old Adeline Canton told me in an interview, shortly after she had been admitted to the nursing home where I once toiled as…


Added by Michelle Cox on January 17, 2016 at 2:00pm — 17 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Write from the heart

When I was a teenager in Sweden, I read a book by a Swedish Creative Writing guru. His tone was factual and dominant, he knew his business and he made sure we knew he knew. One of his memorable pronouncements went something like this: Never write with the blood of your heart, for it will surely run out quickly and then you’ll have nothing to say.

I held my breath as I read his words. I was a passionate…


Added by Lene Fogelberg on January 17, 2016 at 4:00am — 14 Comments

5 Things Every Author Needs to Understand about Book Cover Design

We all know that books are, in fact, judged by their covers. Because of this, and because the marketplace is so crazy competitive, your cover can make or break your book. But there’s a bit of a rub where cover design is concerned, which is that many authors fancy themselves book designers. But being the expert on your book does not necessarily make you the expert on your book’s design.

I’ve worked in book publishing—and therefore…


Added by Brooke Warner on January 13, 2016 at 11:30pm — 27 Comments

The Pleasures of Agency Submissions--Research, Research, Research

I've begun to submit my novel, THE COLOR OF SAFETY, to literary agents, and I'm enjoying the process. This is because for me, its all about research. And I love research.

When I find a book I love, something that…


Added by Sakki selznick on January 12, 2016 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Why Grammatical Errors in Your Bio Can Hurt Your Sales

I'm always looking for ideas for this blog (as well as a good book to read), so I spend a chunk of my day keeping tabs on the publishing industry. Often when I stumble across an article about a new author, especially a new indie author, I head to Amazon to check out the book and the author's page. Who knows? I may buy the book or even contact the author about a possible interview. 

If I see multiple grammatical errors in an author page, however,…


Added by Maria Murnane on January 11, 2016 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Why I Write


The undeniable desire to get words down on paper is strong, especially when those words turn into something greater. Words become pages, which develop into a story and people that seem real to you and others that read your words.

 Everyone writes for different reasons. Maybe you like to create things--places, people, or stories--or maybe you write because it relaxes you in…


Added by Ashley Earley on January 11, 2016 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Got Writer’s Block? “Ergonomify” Your Home Office!

Writing is a passion that enriches and fulfills our lives, and it is a profession that we can do from anywhere in the world - or from the comfort of our own homes (ah, freedom). But how we sit and the tools we use while writing (or lack thereof) can be the sources of tremendous pain and discomfort hindering our ability to perform at our best.

I have a writer friend who enjoys crafting her stories at a local Starbucks; one of my clients…


Added by Karen Burke on January 11, 2016 at 12:00am — No Comments

[Body, Mind & Spirit] 6 Tips for a Happy New Year

1. The Thing Itself. As an artist and writer I strive to capture or communicate meaningful aspects of my life experience. Sometimes I do this well, and sometimes I fall short of my mark. But I try—and try again—knowing it’s a worthy endeavor. It helps when I remember that life is the thing itself. Since my writing attempts to pay homage to life, it makes sense to pay close attention to life. I do this by trying, as much as…


Added by Bella Mahaya Carter on January 10, 2016 at 5:00pm — 9 Comments

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