Featured Blog Posts – July 2012 Archive (31)


Some remote magic has brought my mother back to me through her things.

Red leather journal from 1949, her name embossed in gold on the cover. Daybooks where she recorded the details of family life in tiny notes: the weather, what we ate, which child had a doctor appointment, what letters she wrote, what bills she paid, what my father was mad about that day. Letters she wrote to him on onionskin, thick sheets of personal stationary, delicate foldable airmail…


Added by Eileen Drennen on July 31, 2012 at 12:07pm — 3 Comments

Avoid confusing dialogue

Several months ago I discussed how first-time novelists tend to create characters who sound the same, which can make it hard for the reader to know who's talking. Today, I want to address a few other dialogue mistakes:

  • Having more than one character speak in a single paragraph
  • Putting a beat…

Added by Maria Murnane on July 31, 2012 at 7:31am — No Comments

Five Questions for...Karen Bergreen

Karen Bergreen is the author of Perfect is Overrated, which was just released this month, and Following Polly, which pubbed in 2010. Karen is a stand-up comedian and former lawyer who lives in New York…


Added by Five Questions on July 30, 2012 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

What's What----She Writes Press vs Author Solutions

A lot of She Writers have been contacting me to ask what the difference is between what we’re doing and how we compare to other self-publishing models.

I’m going to do a series over the next several posts, starting with Author Solutions (recently purchased by Penguin). I’ll be covering…


Added by Brooke Warner on July 26, 2012 at 9:00pm — 13 Comments

Crowdfunding: What It Is and Why It Matters

Art and artists have always struggled with the issue of funding. 


You can't create something out of nothing, and the supplies and time needed to create good art don't come free. When you are an unknown artist, no one will pay much money or attention to your art. But in order to get better, to hone your skills and develop your art to…


Added by Ripley Patton on July 24, 2012 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Outline or no outline?

Do you use an outline when you write? That's by far one of the most common questions I get asked from aspiring authors. It's a great question, but a hard one to answer. Why? Because the best reply I can give is...sort of.

Every author is different, but here's what I've found works for me: before I begin a novel (I just finished my fourth), I jot down bullet points of the basic situation/premise and some interesting things that could happen along the way. The bullet…


Added by Maria Murnane on July 24, 2012 at 10:18am — 9 Comments

CHARACTER—PLUS PERSEVERANCE—IS DESTINY: A Talk with Jillian Medoff about Craft and the Writing Life

Jillian Medoff’s novel I Couldn’t Love You More was released in mid-May, had its fifth printing less than two months later and was just featured by Jennifer Weiner as a…


Added by Gretl Claggett on July 23, 2012 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

Five writerly lessons learned at Hedgebrook's VORTEXT

First published as "Women Writers Find Inspiration, Mandate to Create, at VORTEXT Retreat" on Feminist Wire.


The first ever VORTEXT event, Hedgebrook’s weekend retreat for women writers, began with Bastard out of Carolinaauthor Dorothy Allison growling from the keynote podium as though a preacher at a pulpit for the…


Added by Kelsye Nelson on July 22, 2012 at 11:29am — 1 Comment

On Writing My First Novel: When Did You Fall In Love With Books?

First of all, I am at Hedgebrook, and I am very very (very!) lucky to be here.  Twenty-five years ago, Seattle philanthropist Nancy Nordhoff and writer Sheryl Feldman founded this place…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm — 20 Comments

[TIPS OF THE TRADE] 5 Ways to Be Book Promotion Buddies

Sara Mansfield Taber and I knew each other from a writer’s group and were drawn to each other’s work from the start.  When we…


Added by Ellen Cassedy on July 20, 2012 at 7:30am — 4 Comments

Women Writers' Strong Presence in Graphic Memoir and Fiction

Sarah Glazer discovers new vistas in graphic novels.

Superman and Classic Comics were my favorite illicit reading when I was a kid, usually devoured furtively in a…


Added by State of the Art on July 20, 2012 at 3:30am — 4 Comments

Changing Our Lives (& the World), One Book at a Time

When She Writer Patricia Dunn and her agent and friend, Alexandra Soiseth, became disillusioned with the traditional system, they decided to seize control of their publishing destiny--and they founded Alikai Press.…


Added by How She Does It on July 19, 2012 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

Countdown to Publication: The Salt God's Daughter - The Book Tour - 50 Days

Dear SheWriters,

Only 50 days until my new novel, The Salt God's Daughter hits the shelves. 

Though it was two years ago, it seems like just yesterday that I was traveling with my kids on a booktour for The Language of Trees, my first novel. Visiting bookstores in twelve cities across the country was incredibly worthwhile. There were readings large and small—one attended by 300 people and another, by 3 people, both a rite of passage. Both readings had their…


Added by Ilie Ruby on July 18, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

[REALITY CHECK] The Quintessential Query Letter

Perfection, like beauty, is subjective.

But a few days ago, I received what has got to be one of the best query letters I have received in a long time.

I say “one of the best” because others that have ranked high on my personal list of successful query letters have all come from authors who have…


Added by Zetta Brown on July 18, 2012 at 7:00am — 9 Comments

Why the passive voice is hated by me

If you're not sure what the passive voice is, the title of this blog post should give you an idea.

In the active voice, someone or something is doing something to someone or something.

  • I opened the door.
  • She murdered him.
  • He sang the song.

In the passive voice, something is being done to someone or something.

  • The door was opened by…

Added by Maria Murnane on July 17, 2012 at 9:46am — 5 Comments

Five Questions for...She Writers!

This week, She Writes is calling on all you out there in the community for some new "Five Questions for..." submissions!

This column offers an exchange between two She Writes members on their books, inspiration, process, life, passions,…


Added by Five Questions on July 16, 2012 at 8:11am — No Comments

Journals & A Writing Exercise

I have a lovely writing journal.  It's leather bound and has my name embossed in gold on the front.  I resisted such a journal for a long time, preferring to write in little throw-away notebooks.  However, the reason I love this one is that the pages themselves are refillable, so I can write as much nonsense as I like and not worry about it, since I can take the pages out and replace them, keeping the pretty cover.  If you're interested,…


Added by Lauren B. Davis on July 13, 2012 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE: A Talk with Jillian Medoff about Sex Scenes, the Writing Life and Failing Better

This piece was first published on Head Butler.

I was intrigued by Jillian Medoff’s stunning new novel, I Couldn’t Love You More, from the very first scene: a princess-themed birthday party in suburbia with ten shrieking,…


Added by Gretl Claggett on July 13, 2012 at 6:00am — 6 Comments

Answering Some of Your Questions about She Writes Press

We’ve had a couple write-ups in the media this week, on Paid Content and Shelf Awareness. It’s been wonderful to get the support of the community and of so many writers, AND a lot of questions have been coming up, too. We encourage them, and we’re growing our…


Added by Brooke Warner on July 13, 2012 at 5:22am — 16 Comments

Five Ways To End Your Search For The Time To Write


Time, or the lack of, it is one of the biggest excuses we come up with for why there are no new pages on any given day. Whether you are writing to earn a living or writing as an avocation, searching to find the time to put your words into sentences that make sense is the…


Added by Joanne Tombrakos on July 12, 2012 at 3:00am — 38 Comments

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