Featured Blog Posts – May 2016 Archive (21)

Inside the Writing Retreat: Part One

Maybe you’ve read articles about them—writing retreats. Perhaps a college professor or colleague went off to one for the summer, or you’ve come across a grateful mention made in the Acknowledgements section of your favorite book. For me, McDowell Colony is the one that first springs to mind, followed by other famous retreats like Yaddo, Caldera, Hedgebrook, Blue Mountain.

For years I found the prospect of applying to be too…


Added by Rachel E. Pollock on May 28, 2016 at 12:00pm — 6 Comments

How to Turn Your ‘Off’ Writing Days Into ‘On’ Days

When it comes to the discipline of writing, there’s a lot of talk about showing up. Butt in chair. Schedule the time. Keep your dates with yourself. All of this is good advice, and the most successful and prolific authors have the disposition or the drive or the self-governance required to stay the course on the long and arduous journey of writing a book, or multiple books.…


Added by Brooke Warner on May 27, 2016 at 10:30am — 7 Comments

Real Writers Need a Community: yes, that means you

I’ve always called myself a shy person. The anxiety I feel in social or professional situations is in no small part why I chose freelancing in the first place. Discovering that I could just be a writer, just decide and then do it, was like uncovering a hidden gem while lamenting over the useless soil in my garden. But still, what does one do with a dirt-covered gem? It was not an easy transition.

For several years I made…


Added by Bex vanKoot on May 25, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] My Journey to Publishing My Book Army Wife: A Story of Love and Family in the Heart of the Army


I’ve spent most of my adult life as an Army wife- having married my husband shortly after I graduated from college when he was then a lieutenant. For the next thirty-three-years, as he rose up to the highest rank in the Army, four-star general, I supported him in his career. Being an Army wife became my career and over the years I learned to embrace Army life with all of its flaws and…


Added by Vicki Lyn Cody on May 25, 2016 at 1:30pm — 4 Comments


Why I Write

Let's put it this way: I write because I must.  Sure, I get frustrated, bereft of ideas and self-confidence. Like someone in a bad marriage, I've tried to quit writing and move on.  I can't.…


Added by Jane Leder on May 21, 2016 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

[SWP: Behind the Book] My First Agent (and My Second and My Third)

    My first agent, Elizabeth McKee, had been Flannery O’Connor’s agent. In the 1970's she was also J. R. Salamanca’s (best known for his novel Lilith). Salamanca was then teaching creative writing at the University of Maryland, where I was enrolled in the master’s program in library science, and I was fortunate enough to take two of his classes. This kind man even agreed to read a novel l’d written over the summer.

    It’s a good…


Added by Jill McCroskey Coupe on May 20, 2016 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Lena Dunham donating book profits to Girls Write Now

Lena Dunham, star of HBO's Girls and founder and brains behind the adored Lenny Letter, has surprised the world by releasing a brand new book, Is it evil not to be sure? We can't wait to dive into this collection of entries from…


Added by Kristin Bustamante on May 19, 2016 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Laura Dave's writing process

Just how does an internationally bestselling author write? We sat down with Laura Dave, author of Eight Hundred Grapes, to find out. Just released in paperback, the "impossible to put down" (Elle Magazine) novel Eight Hundred Grapes was named a best book of summer by Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire and US Weekly. Here's how Laura wrote this and her other novels!



Added by Kristin Bustamante on May 17, 2016 at 1:20pm — 5 Comments

[THE WRITER'S LIFE] The Books of Life

I wrote a short email to my friend, another writer, after learning that she and her husband had recently found out he has brain cancer. Her equally brief response held all the confusion and helplessness such a discovery brings. She said: “If you could quickly write a book that explains how a wife is supposed to accept this that would be great.” A grimacing smiley face followed.


I wished I could. This particular situation has not…


Added by Cindy Eastman on May 17, 2016 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

Building Success One Failure at a Time

“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

It was just an off day. You know the kind, where everything is a little bit off center. Tired from a weekend of yard work and family, I kept misplacing items and making mistakes. Not major ones, just annoying ones.

I spent an hour and a half looking through drawers trying to find my PayPal card reader, all…


Added by Patricia Robertson on May 17, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

[BREAKFAST WITH THE MUSE] When Things Go Wrong, Don't Go With Them: How I Survived My Website Crisis

Last week, I had a website crisis. 

If you have to have a crisis, a website crisis is far from the worst. It wasn’t a national crisis, or a health crisis, or a family crisis. Still, it felt big—catastrophic, even—and sent me dangerously close to a yawning…


Added by Jill Jepson on May 16, 2016 at 7:30am — 6 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Wooed by the Universe




Added by Irene Allison on May 12, 2016 at 11:00am — 24 Comments

How to Get More Wattpad Reads

Ever wonder how to increase your reads and feedback on Wattpad? Wattpad has more than 40 million members and is a great way to get your writing noticed. I even had the opportunity to work on a publicity campaign for Ashley Royer - 17-year-old winner of a coveted Watty award and author of her just released fan fiction to novel, Remember to Forget.…


Added by Kristin Bustamante on May 11, 2016 at 3:00pm — 12 Comments

Feeling Discouraged? Read This!

I receive a lot of emails from authors who read this blog, and by far their biggest reason for getting in touch is to express how discouraged they feel about their book sales. To let all you know that you're not alone, I thought I'd share a personal story.

A couple weeks ago I received a text message from one of my best girlfriends. I won't quote it directly, but in it she said that she was embarrassed to tell me that she'd finally read my…


Added by Maria Murnane on May 9, 2016 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

Calling all Writers Based in Atlanta, Tampa, Raleigh, or New York City

Hi all: Preparing for a summer series of creative writing workshops/book events this July and first week of August. Will you have a new release in these period? Would you like to team up together to meet readers in Atlanta, GA, Tampa, FL, Raleigh, NC or NYC? If so, please leave a comment below or send me a message and I'd love to discuss more details.

Happy writing!

Added by Mohana Rajakumar on May 6, 2016 at 1:05pm — No Comments

[Body, Mind & Spirit] How To Navigate the Chaos of the Experts

For the past week I’ve been watching daily video interviews with coaches, speakers, therapists, and social media gurus on a free online summit called “Write Because it Matters,” hosted by Dawn Montefusco.


Some of what I’ve seen has inspired me. It’s great to see fellow coaches getting…


Added by Bella Mahaya Carter on May 6, 2016 at 1:00pm — 6 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] From the Ashes

 My memoir rose from the ashes.  This is not a metaphor, by the way. My entire neighborhood was destroyed by a devastating firestorm in 1991. My book would not exist had my home and my neighborhood not been reduced to ashes. At the time, I didn’t know that this life-changing event would be the inspiration for a book. I was living through a nightmare and wasn’t taking notes.…


Added by Risa Nye on May 5, 2016 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

How My Time as an Editor Gives Me Insight into a Literary Agent's Workday

Before I became an ornamental horticulturalist, I worked as an editor. These were good and not-so-good years in my life because though I worked with words, I wasn’t writing enough of my own. For awhile, I worked at a large internet retailer I won’t name. Let’s just say, they sold everything from A to Z, and I was overwhelmed with work. The upshot was I wrote a ton of articles and reviews about music and videos and some books. But it wasn’t until I…


Added by Karen K. Hugg on May 3, 2016 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

5 Lessons I Learned from Book Blogging

I launched Rants Raves & Reviews in July 1997. It was the first website I ever designed. This was back before “blogging” was even a thing. I loved reading and I wanted to have a way of promoting the books I read that I thought deserved more publicity.


Over time, I changed to an e-zine (short for electronic magazine) format, rebranding the website as berniE-zine: Book Reviews & More. When my website hosting…


Added by Bernadette Geyer on May 3, 2016 at 2:30pm — 5 Comments

Get started building your author platform

As the burden of promotion continues to fall more squarely on the author's shoulders, your author platform is becoming an essential piece of the publishing puzzle. It's not enough to (simply?) write an amazing book, work with a talented cover designer and send your book into the world. The most-likely truth is: No one knows who you -- and therefore, your book -- are.

We've rounded up a TON of tips…


Added by Kristin Bustamante on May 2, 2016 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

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