Featured Blog Posts – December 2013 Archive (29)

Writing a Series? Tips from a Superstar

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the charismatic Bella Andre, New York Times best-selling author of the Sullivan series. I asked if she'd answer a few questions about writing a series, and she graciously agreed. Here's what she had to say:



Added by Maria Murnane on December 31, 2013 at 1:17pm — 1 Comment

[Making the Leap] A Blank Canvas Ahead

It's Christmas morning, and per tradition, I'm up early-- very early-- to get cinnamon rolls started. I'd complain, but I think I'm the one who started this annual baking extravaganza over two decades ago. I don't make homemade cinnamon rolls often, so when I do, it's a treat. My son, now 23, asked me several times…


Added by Julie Luek on December 25, 2013 at 5:43am — 3 Comments

Book Marketing: Have You Tapped Your Network?

One of the first things I ask people about when I give workshops on book marketing is their networks. Oftentimes, authors reply with, "I don't have one." But that's not true, because everyone has some sort of network. Here are some ways to find yours:


Who's in your…


Added by Maria Murnane on December 24, 2013 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

She Writes Press News: Announcing FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN by Anjali Mitter Duva

It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan. On a rare night of rain, a daughter is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers. Her name is Adhira, and she embodies a sacred craft whose very existence is under threat. Around her, the fortress city of Jaisalmer prepares to defy the armies of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, which are sweeping through India.

Fearing a bleak future, Adhira’s father, the temple’s dance master, puts his faith in tradition and in his child for each to save the other.…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on December 23, 2013 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

Publishing A Book Won’t Change Your Life (At Least Not The Way You Think)

When I was five years old, I appeared on TV to seal my fate and (perhaps preemptively) answer the question of what I was going to do with my life. I was part of an arts and writing program that my kindergarten teacher was piloting, and this made news. When the TV reporter asked me if I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, I screwed my face and corrected her. “I am a writer,” I said. Oh, to have the deluded self-confidence of my five-year-old self. An MFA, one book, and many published…


Added by Jill Di Donato on December 23, 2013 at 9:00am — 27 Comments

[The Writer's Life] The Gift of Writing

Thoughts this time of year usually turn to gifts; the kind you give and the kind you receive. There is nothing wrong with those kinds of gifts. I am a big fan of both. Finding just the right thing for your (husband, daughter, mother, mailman) is, for me, just as thrilling as opening the gift that makes you wonder if your (son, colleague, sister, best friend) found your Amazon password and has your wish list.…


Added by Cindy Eastman on December 23, 2013 at 8:45am — 3 Comments

Contests---What You Give Up and Gain When You Submit

Last week I posted on my Facebook page about a memoir contest being sponsored by AARP and HuffPost50/AOL for a publishing contract with …


Added by Brooke Warner on December 22, 2013 at 6:30am — 4 Comments


When the first bad review on my first book came out, I got physically sick. I developed strange intermittent pain in my leg, stomach cramps and a horrible headache. Still, the worst was the feeling of shame. I had a paranoid fantasy that everybody I knew had read that review and was now laughing at me. I made a…


Added by lara vapnyar on December 19, 2013 at 8:00pm — 14 Comments

[TIPS OF THE TRADE] A Writer's Best Resource -- Right in Your Neighborhood

What’s the world’s best resource for writers?  No contest!   The hands-down answer is:  libraries!


Chances are you’re underutilizing this supremely valuable resource.  Here are six ways you can make the most of the library in your community and beyond.


1. …


Added by Ellen Cassedy on December 19, 2013 at 12:30am — 5 Comments


Well, folks, in a week it’ll be Christmas, and in another week it’ll be New Year’s Day and we’ll start the fourteenth year of the twenty-first century.


I’m in a contemplative mood, so I decided to look back over the past year on this blog and pick out some of the highlights.



Added by Zetta Brown on December 18, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments

Five Things I've Learned from Anne Lamott

After watching a figure skater land a perfect triple axel, my then four year old daughter turned to me and said, “They always make it look so easy!

         “That’s what really talented and accomplished people do,” I said. “They take something very difficult and make it look like it’s…


Added by Theo Pauline Nestor on December 17, 2013 at 9:00pm — 6 Comments

Holiday Book Buying Guide, By...YOU!

Hi all! I know that the super-organized among us may have already taken care of the holiday shopping, but I am such a book-buying addict that I find I will still buy books for people even when I've already bought somebody (for instance my mom) a gift certificate to Talbot's. (I just bought her…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on December 17, 2013 at 10:16am — 8 Comments

Readers are smarter than you think

Several posts back I explained the concept of showing vs. telling by using the example of an online dating profile to demonstrate the difference. Today, I'd like to delve into a key reason why it's important to show and not tell your readers.


Being told is annoying!


I recently read a novel by a world-famous author who…


Added by Maria Murnane on December 16, 2013 at 4:37pm — No Comments

She Writes Press News: Announcing A CUP OF REDEMPTION by Carole Bumpus

Like the braiding of three strands of brioche, the lives of three women—Sophie Zabél Sullivan, Marcelle Pourrette Zabél, and Kate Barrington—become inextricably intertwined as each struggles to resolve issues from the past that have profoundly impacted their lives.

Sophie believed her childhood nightmares were safely behind her once she married and moved from France to the U.S.—until her mother, Marcelle, called her to her deathbed to honor one final request: “Find…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on December 15, 2013 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Writers, Photos, Fear, and Me: Getting Back in the Picture

In the waning (pre-Internet) days of my senior year in college, I mused with friends about hidden side benefits of our career choices. The chemist was glad she wouldn't be expected to wear make-up in the lab. The physical therapist could show up every day in sweats. The advertising major had an excuse to binge on magazines and prime time TV.

And I said it was nice that no one would ever care what a writer looked like.

Within a year, I needed a black-and-white photo to accompany…


Added by Lisa Romeo on December 15, 2013 at 4:30pm — 12 Comments

Please Help The Girls of Girls Write Now Become the Women Writers of Tomorrow

Like some of you, I have been outraged, moved, inspired and deeply saddened by the series by Andrea Elliot in The New York Times this week, "Invisible Child." Elliot spent a year with a young girl named Dasani, homeless like 22,000 other children in one of the wealthiest cities on the planet, and told her story. Reading this series, however, also renewed my deep commitment to one of the…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on December 14, 2013 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Social Networking for Social Good

                     Get Water, the game

Although the holiday season is a wonderful time, full of friends, family, food, gifts and get-togethers, it’s also an important time to reflect on how fortunate we are and how we can help those who are less fortunate. If…


Added by Meghan Ward on December 12, 2013 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

[Diary of a Memoirist] Taking a break and the long tail of hair.

I’ve been wanting to take a short break from the weekly commitment I made to posting my diary entries when I got my new (gorgeous) website last spring. It’s the beginning of that time of year we academics call “the break”―the welcome end of classes for the semester. For me it also means the beginning of a winter interruption I have long loved in a cold and bright New York. With the crush of…


Added by Nancy K. Miller on December 12, 2013 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

[Making the Leap] Can I NOT Have Your Attention, Please?

I’m awkward in groups. When faced with a crowd of people I don’t know well or a situation outside my familiar comfort zone, I get all squirmy inside. I truly am an introvert.

So the other day, while at a welcome-home get-together for a friend and her partner who have been wandering the world…


Added by Julie Luek on December 11, 2013 at 6:30am — 58 Comments

[Path to Publication] The Call of the Contest

For several years, I’d been telling myself not to participate in any more submission calls or literary contests unless they helped move my memoir on Nepal forward. I’m too easily distracted and had to keep my focus on my book. So I refused to prepare any more submissions unless they inspired me to polish a scene…


Added by Elizabeth Enslin on December 10, 2013 at 10:30am — 8 Comments

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