Featured Blog Posts – February 2012 Archive (49)

Five Reasons Not to Get an MFA - Reason #4

4. Reason #4 not to get an MFA: Timeframe

Some people write everyday. I don’t. I can’t. If I had to write everyday I think it would actually hinder my writing. Ideas come to me at very inopportune times. I’ve written on many an airplane air sickness bag, on subscription cards in magazines and on electricity bills. I don’t think I’ve ever opened a blank word doc in the hope that something would just pop into my head. I transcribe almost everything. 

I technically…


Added by Michelle Haimoff on February 29, 2012 at 11:00pm — 7 Comments

Social Media and Writers

Every writer I know who still has a breath left in her acknowledges how vital, rewarding and consuming social media can be. Most still strive for balance. I asked some friends how they navigate social media and find time to write. This is what they told me (and I appreciate their candor):

  • "The hardest thing about social media is staying…

Added by Ilie Ruby on February 29, 2012 at 12:00am — 9 Comments

Five Reasons Not to Get an MFA - Reason #3

3. Reason #3 not to get an MFA: Cost


Let’s say that getting an MFA costs around $50,000 (not including housing, books, health insurance, etc). That’s two years and a significant amount of money that you could spend in a myriad of other ways. If you took just a fifth of that money, you could spend it on lectures, workshops, books, week long writing retreats, a personal computer just for your creative writing, or any other number of writing related activities. I did that math…


Added by Michelle Haimoff on February 28, 2012 at 10:00pm — 14 Comments

Don't Be Afraid to Use Pronouns

Imagine you're having coffee with your friend, Julie, and she says "Oh my gosh, I have the funniest story to tell you about that guy John I've been seeing!"

You smile and sip your pumpkin spice latte, ready to listen.

Then imagine that Julie begins her story like this (read aloud for full effect):

"I knocked on John's door, and when John opened it, he smiled and gave me a hug. Then John asked me to come in, so I did. John and I sat down on his couch, and then John…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 28, 2012 at 8:34am — 3 Comments

Five Reasons Not to Get an MFA - Reason #2

2. Reason #2 not to get an MFA: Perspective

I don’t know about you, but I would never tell a friend that I thought her work was crap. Writing is personal and it hurts to hear that. There are enough people in all stages of the writing process that will tell you that your work is crap, your friends are supposed to bolster your confidence. But how many times have you torn apart a book or movie written by someone you didn’t know? It’s easier to be brutally honest with…


Added by Michelle Haimoff on February 28, 2012 at 8:00am — 12 Comments

What To Expect When You’re Expecting: A Book

  1. Conceptualize: Read. Try. Be bold. Make mistakes. Try everything and anything. Talk about writing. Read about writing. Write. Mostly, write. Germinate. Find a community.

  2. The early months: Nurture. Follow directions. Gather instructions. Listen. Write. Don’t talk too much about it. Be superstitious. Just a little. Ideas need space to grow. Honor your process. Nurture that space. Until your ideas have formed.

  3. The middle months: Prepare. Reach out.…


Added by Ilie Ruby on February 28, 2012 at 12:00am — 4 Comments

Five Reasons Not to Get an MFA - Reason #1

You’re ready to take your writing to the next level and you’re thinking about getting an MFA. Great! Whether or not you decide to apply, it’s a good sign that you’re open to the time, discipline and cost of committing yourself to your writing for the next two years. The question is, should you go the grad school route? As someone who did not get an MFA but has a novel coming out this week, I offer five reasons why I think you’re better off without one.  

1. Reason #1 not to get an…


Added by Michelle Haimoff on February 27, 2012 at 1:30am — 24 Comments

Ebook Returns - the Free eBook Reads You DIDN’T Want to Know About

Howdy She Writers!


It has been an honor for me to be the guest editor this week and I want to thank Kamy Wicoff for the opportunity and Caitlyn Levin for the help and support making this possible. I am truly grateful.


I hope the blog posts featured this week have been informative…


Added by Zetta Brown on February 24, 2012 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

AWP and She Writes

Hi everybody!  I just wanted to connect with anyone who will be at AWP next week in Chicago.  (For those of you who don't know, AWP stands for Associated Writers' Programs, and every year the meeting features lots of…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on February 23, 2012 at 8:00am — 8 Comments

Song of the Book Tour: Making Your Time on the Road Count!

“Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune…”

Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road



Added by Valerie Nieman on February 22, 2012 at 6:33am — 11 Comments

Want to be a speaker? Plan ahead!

Public speaking is a wonderful way to get the word out about your book. However, you'd be surprised at how much advanced planning is involved in setting up even the smallest of events. Coordinating with a local book club or business group could take months, and major conferences select their speakers up to a year in advance!

If you want to secure speaking…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 21, 2012 at 8:48am — 1 Comment

The Do's of Publishing

There are many articles on the web about what not to do if you want to get published, but there are fewer telling you what to do. I hope this article will help you in your quest to find a publisher that is right for you and your manuscript.


  1. Research. Take the time to research the publisher. Review the website, read some excerpts and blurbs, even buy some books, talk to other authors. Does the publisher have the type of books you write? Do they have a…

Added by Marci Baun on February 20, 2012 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

“If you can get a job, you can get published”: One editor’s advice to manuscript submissions

Regardless of economic climate, anyone who has gone out, applied for a job, and got hired should be able to see the correlation here.

When I first started trying to get my work published, I was intimidated by the many different guidelines various places required. From subject matter to word count and…


Added by Zetta Brown on February 20, 2012 at 8:00am — 13 Comments

6 Steps to Republish Your "Out-of-Print" Book

Last week when I blogged about my decision to republish a book that went out of print, I promised to follow up with a post outlining the various steps required to release a book in an e-version and print-on-demand (POD) format. Jayme Johnson, a publishing consultant, handled that process for me so I…


Added by marci alboher on February 19, 2012 at 8:25am — 4 Comments

Book Promotion Without Guilt


If you're big on book promotion, chances are there may be days when you feel guilty about it. Worst, fellow authors may be contributing to your guilt. I've read about situations where authors get annoyed with other authors for being heavy promoters.

However, what is the one thing I notice about the heavy promoters? They're successful at what they do. Their books sell, and they get a steady stream…


Added by Jolie du Pre on February 18, 2012 at 8:30pm — 1 Comment

What It Means to Have Style

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” –Kurt Vonnegut

When it comes to an author’s writing, style can only mean one of two things—one can…


Added by Ellie Maas Davis on February 18, 2012 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Community Branding

Upfront, let me tell you I love this guy: Joe Konrath, self-publishing wizard, in-your-face blogger of all things useful to the writer in the age of e-books.  Read his column.

But read this first.

He writes here about how he does a lot of publicity and rarely sees any spike in his book sales from it.  The reason?  He has become…


Added by Laura Brennan on February 18, 2012 at 12:06pm — No Comments

Writing Memoir? Make Your Argument and Include Transcendence

It’s our sixth day together, meaning it's time for the last two points of my ten-point Memoir Manifesto. Ready to wrap things up, She Writers? I suspect you are. You’ve got work to do.

Make your argument

Every piece of non-fiction is an argument. Maybe your argument is simply, "life is better when you garden,"…


Added by Marion Roach Smith on February 18, 2012 at 5:48am — 8 Comments

If Men Shared Half the Childcare, Would Women Achieve Equality?

Sarah Glazer Looks at Motherhood in the Norwegian Paradise and is Envious

 How often do you call up a male economist to find out he’s too busy feeding his 11-month old and his kindergartener to come to the phone for an interview? I’m not just talking about helping out. This economist is in the 3rd month of his 6-month parental leave while his wife is back at work.

 Ok it’s a trick question. This economist lives in the Nordic Nirvana of Norway. He and his wife were…


Added by State of the Art on February 17, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments

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