Featured Blog Posts – September 2015 Archive (24)

The Art of Submission: On the Importance of a Writing Tribe

I read a short essay recently by Janis Cook Newman about holding regular writing dates in her house. Once a month she and a group of writing friends gather in the same room to write quietly together. Her tribe, she…


Added by Emily Lackey on September 30, 2015 at 11:35am — 6 Comments

The Blank Page: 3 Tips for Starting Something New

My first novel, Wishful Thinking, came out in late April, but as any of you who have published books traditionally know, that…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on September 29, 2015 at 3:07pm — 5 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Being European, an Excerpt from Fourteen, A Daughter's Memoir of Adventure, Sailing and Survival

“By the fall of 1973, nearing my thirteenth birthday, I transformed from a little twelve-year-old girl into a five-foot-six-inch, curvy young woman. I was going to junior high with Monica now. I hated seventh grade, and dreamed about the day we’d take off sailing to exotic islands and could stop going to school altogether. Being only one year apart, Monica and I were in the throes of puberty together.  Monica was tall—five-foot-eight inches—and…


Added by Leslie Johansen Nack on September 25, 2015 at 10:30am — 5 Comments

5 Ways Authors Become Scribezillas, and What To Do About It

It seems to be a law of the universe that otherwise rational people get a little wacky leading up to their publication date; and this can continue well into post-publication too. Becoming an author is an angsty life event, and even the most grounded among us can become unglued. A lot of the authors I’ve…


Added by Brooke Warner on September 23, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

5 Questions with Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is preparing to release her 24th novel, Pretending to Dance, on Oct. 6, 2015. We had the opportunity to chat with the author of acclaimed novels like The Silent Sister (I'm STILL talking about this one!) and Necessary Lies.  

1. What was your biggest fear about writing and how did you overcome it?

I still…


Added by Kristin Bustamante on September 22, 2015 at 2:23pm — 4 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - Interracial Writers and the Problems We Face - by LeTeisha Newton

This week on [REALITY CHECK] is the first of a 2-part guest blog by international bestselling author LeTeisha Newton. It's an issue that affects me and I'm sure it touches many other writers too, whether they know it or not.


The topic of race is the elephant in the room. Recent, major…


Added by Zetta Brown on September 22, 2015 at 7:30am — 31 Comments

Collaboration: What's In It for Co-Authors?

            Katherine Phillips, a seventeenth-century writer, lamented, "We may generally conclude the Marriage of a Friend to be the Funeral of a Friendship." Many co-authors might be tempted to say something similar about a collaborative writing project. Fortunately, the inverse can be true as…


Added by Theresa Donovan Brown on September 21, 2015 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Book Marketing Tip: Apply for Awards

By now many of you know that I began my career as a self-published author, and that one of the reasons (if not the reason) my first novel (Perfect on Paper) got picked up by a publisher was because of all the grass-roots marketing I did to get it…


Added by Maria Murnane on September 21, 2015 at 8:00am — 8 Comments

[BREAKFAST WITH THE MUSE] How Do You Deal with Praise?

I often write about criticism. Whether to listen to it or ignore it. How to manage the emotions it brings up. How to get past it.

It never occurred to me that praise is also difficult to handle—not until recently, when I found myself caught…


Added by Jill Jepson on September 21, 2015 at 8:00am — 12 Comments

What It Takes To Become A Writer

Virginia Woolf is famous for having said that to be a woman and a writer, one needed a room of one’s own and five hundred pounds a year. In essence, she was advocating for space and time. Of course she was correct. Of course these are two essential components of a successful writing life. It’s better to work uninterrupted and undistracted, isn’t it?

But our dear Virginia didn’t have any children, and so didn’t…


Added by Anne Leigh Parrish on September 18, 2015 at 11:30am — 14 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Inspiration and Invention


The inspiration for my new novel, Just the Facts, came to me at a friend’s 50th birthday party while I was hanging out by a Cosmo punch bowl. I was regaling a woman I’d just met with tales of my exploits as a rookie reporter in 1978, right after my college graduation. Maybe it was…


Added by Ellen Sherman on September 18, 2015 at 6:30am — 9 Comments

What Is A Book Worth? (And Three Reasons I Am Deeply Discounting Mine)

A few months ago, I had drinks with the publisher of a major imprint at Hachette. We were discussing the matter of ebook pricing, as fraught and contentious an issue as there is at the moment in the publishing world. As a party to the Hachette deal with Amazon, he wasn't free to discuss the terms of their…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on September 16, 2015 at 9:00pm — 20 Comments

How to Catch an Editor's Eye

**Full disclosure: This is NOT me in front of my computer receiving unsolicited pitches. I wouldn't be smiling like that. 

In my former life, I was the editorial…


Added by Kristin Bustamante on September 16, 2015 at 12:30pm — 7 Comments

Grammergency #21: Expand or Delete—How to Avoid Gray Areas in Your Writing

One of the things that happens when you’ve been an editor for a long time is that you find yourself not just reading book manuscripts line by line, but also reading between the lines for implications, nuances, and open-ended questions—basically, anything a writer leaves unsaid that a reader might pick up on.

I’m all in favor of foreshadowing when it’s employed effectively, but most of…


Added by Annie Tucker on September 15, 2015 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

[THE WRITER'S LIFE] Skinny Writers

As a writing teacher my students often hear me urge them to push past their comfort zones. Look risk in the eye and stare it down.  My curriculum is filled with fun and chancy exercises that play with words and ideas; haiku, six-word-stories, Fibs (poems based on the Fibonacci sequence) and prompts galore.  Do it! Try it! Chance it! I am their most exuberant cheerleader and I know they can do it. I just know it.


Do I take my own advice? Rarely. But read on . .…


Added by Cindy Eastman on September 15, 2015 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Writing My Way Out of the Silence

I grew up in a small town on the ocean in the south of Sweden, but both my parents come from long lines of “Norrlänningar” or “Northerners”. Northerners are known for their silence, for never speaking a word more than they need to, and that word might very well be a simple drawing in of air, like…


Added by Lene Fogelberg on September 14, 2015 at 7:00pm — 43 Comments

[Body, Mind & Spirit] When Life Is Hard


Let’s face it: the writing life can be difficult. We procrastinate, bargain with the universe, write hundreds of pages no one…


Added by Bella Mahaya Carter on September 13, 2015 at 9:00pm — 8 Comments

Make Your Scenes Earn Their Way

Good novel and memoir writing hinges on scenes. Scenes are the building blocks of good story, and practiced storytellers know that a book is a series of scenes with strong transitions connecting one to the next. My colleague Linda Joy…


Added by Brooke Warner on September 9, 2015 at 10:00pm — 5 Comments

Use a Personal Touch When Reaching Out or Following Up

In a previous post, Book Marketing Is a Numbers Game, I discussed how important it is to cast a wide net when reaching out to people and organizations about your book. Today I'd like to address the…


Added by Maria Murnane on September 8, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - What If Your Whole Book Is a Darling? by Patricia Robertson

Writers can be their own worst enemy when it comes to publishing. 

How? By not being able to let go of their work. Every word and sentence is too precious to delete and too important to the story in its entirety.

We all have written things that are very close and personal to our hearts, but believe me when I say that once you've gone through the editing process and it's been published and out for a while, you will…


Added by Zetta Brown on September 8, 2015 at 7:30am — 12 Comments

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