Features (2,718)

Libraries Can Be Your Best Friend

My first library was a book-filled van parked outside the schoolyard. The bookmobile lady handed me four books, which seemed like a miracle to the third-grader I was at the time. Now, just approaching the entrance to this Scottsdale, AZ, library makes…


Added by Sheila Grinell on October 25, 2016 at 3:00am — 2 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] My Journey to Publishing An Address in Amsterdam: How the story of Amsterdam’s Jews became mine

Debut novelists are warned not to treat our books as if they were prized, long-awaited babies.  I’m guilty as charged – but, after all, I spent 13 years researching and writing and rewriting An Address in Amsterdam.  It’s the story of a young Jewish woman who joins the…


Added by Mary Dingee Fillmore on October 24, 2016 at 1:00pm — 7 Comments

Time for NaNoWriMo!

(writing table for NaNoWriMo, under supervision of Montana, my cat)

Coming up is the great celebration of writing, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Time for me to clear a writing space on the cluttered catch all table in my kitchen that I use during NaNoWriMo.



Added by Patricia Robertson on October 20, 2016 at 6:45am — No Comments

When to Use HE/SHE and When to Use HIM/HER

I've written more than once in this space about the maddening (yet seemingly ubiquitous) trend of using "I" when "me" is the correct pronoun. If presidential candidates can't even get it right, I wonder what hope there is for my good grammar crusade. But I refuse to give up! 

While not as common as the I/me error, nearly every day I hear someone make a similar mistake regarding she/her and he/him. Here's a refresher lesson about the difference:

"He" and "she"…


Added by Maria Murnane on October 24, 2016 at 7:41am — No Comments

[THE WRITER'S LIFE] Can You Write Something For Me?

I’m not picking on my brother-in-law, but he’s the latest person to have asked me this question: Can you write something for me? This familiar and frequent question is usually preceded by, “You’re the writer”… as if we writers are the only ones…


Added by Cindy Eastman on October 16, 2016 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

[SWP: Behind the Book] So I Had a Hard Life. Who Cares? The Process of Rediscovering Why I Wrote My Memoir

What was I thinking?

Months after I committed to publishing my memoir, Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters, I was writhing in self-consciousness, wondering why I felt the need to do it. I obsessed about it when I woke up in the morning. I pondered it…


Added by Lizbeth Meredith on October 17, 2016 at 9:00am — 6 Comments

Don't Make This Marketing Mistake

Yesterday I received a rather desperate email newsletter from an indie author in which he essentially begged for people to review his book on Amazon. I empathized with him because I know firsthand how difficult and frustrating it can be to get reviews, especially for self-published books. But then the author did something that made my jaw drop, and not in a good way. In his plea he encouraged us to give his book a positive review--even if we hadn't read it!

I didn't…


Added by Maria Murnane on October 17, 2016 at 6:51am — No Comments

A 350-page novel in 35 words or less – Argh!

When people find out I’m working on a book, they invariably ask that question I dread.

“So, what’s it about?”

My wildly differing responses have ranged from the terse -- It’s about identity – to the rambling: It’s a young-adult novel about a teenage girl who loses her father in a fishing accident. He’s lost without a trace, so she doesn’t have proof of his death, which isn’t all that unusual in fishing accidents . . . Anyway, she hears stuff about her…


Added by Pam McGaffin on October 11, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

How to Find a Book Editor

So you’ve written your magnum opus. You spent the better half of the last year (or two, three, four...) pouring your imagination and heart into writing a book and now you’re ready to find the perfect editor to, well,…


Added by Kristin Bustamante on October 9, 2016 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

How to Suck Readers into Your Story from the Very First Sentence

I'm in the middle of writing another romance novella, the latest installment of "The Affair with Mr. X." It's hit a little snag, so I thought I’d take a break and tell you about a post I did for Angela’s Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing blog entitled,…


Added by Yuwanda Black on September 22, 2016 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

How Being a Poet Made Me a Better Copy Editor

I think it's safe to say the mobile app developer I used to work for didn't hire me because of my experience as a poet, but because of my knowledge of social media and my prior experience with converting technical jargon into something the general public could understand. My official title was Senior Copy Editor and I spent most of my days reviewing text and providing suggestions for error messages, tutorials, infographics, and even occasionally for…


Added by Bernadette Geyer on October 4, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

How to Frame a Journalistic Article

Tackling a writing project in a journalism class is an entirely different monster than working on a paper for an average English course. A clashing standard is expected from you, and you'll probably find that many of the rules you've been taught since you were in grade school are now flipped on their head.

There's nothing wrong with going through this process. It's going to be difficult, but you'll slowly learn how to market yourself in the…


Added by Cassandra Bondie on October 4, 2016 at 3:30am — No Comments

Think Depletion, not Depression

During my thirties and forties, I had a number of books of daily meditations. The idea was that by reading these positive reflections every day, eventually I would internalize their message and change negative thinking patterns. I read them faithfully for years.

I remember one meditation that spoke of depletion and depression. When starting to feel down, the reflection encouraged the reader to think depletion rather than depression. If we are depleted,…


Added by Patricia Robertson on September 21, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

[SWP:Behind the Book] The Road Less Traveled

Lesson learned.

It was one of those rare and beautiful October days that we get here in the Pacific Northwest. My husband Michael and I had anchored the night before in a secluded cove on our trawler with a half-dozen other late fall boaters and sailors. After breakfast on the boat we rowed our small dinghy to the shore for a day hike.

Without a map, we ventured into the deep woods of the largely uninhabited Cypress Island and relied on…


Added by Ashley Sweeney on September 25, 2016 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

My Memoir's Published! The Emotional Roller Coaster of Month One

“An emotional roller coaster!” That’s how one reader described my memoir, The Sportscaster’s Daughter. The same could be said of the book’s first month of publication.

The official publication date was August 23, but it seems that only the likes of JK Rowling can keep those boxes sealed until the release date (friends advised me Amazon preorders had shipped the week before). So my local book club had an early, impromptu gathering. I advised them: they were only invited if they…


Added by Cindi Michael on September 18, 2016 at 10:30am — 5 Comments

Behind the Book: Four Big Lessons I Learned Between Book 1 and Book 2

When my debut novel was published by She Writes Press in 2013, the publishing was new to me. I made a bunch of mistakes. I had a few successes. My second book, a memoir, will launch in May of 2017. I know more now than I did for Book 1. It seems like a good time to reflect on a few of the biggest lessons I learned.



Added by Betsy Graziani Fasbinder on September 1, 2016 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

[Body, Mind & Spirit] Ask For What You Want!

A few weeks ago I received an email from Jack Grapes, my old writing teacher and mentor, who published my poetry book in 2008. Jack is a well-known…


Added by Bella Mahaya Carter on September 19, 2016 at 1:52pm — 8 Comments

Travel: The Key to Writing Genius?

I have had a lifelong obsession with the works of Ernest Hemingway. What classics-obsessed writer hasn’t at some point come across his work and marveled…


Added by A.D. Vuittonet on September 12, 2016 at 2:19pm — No Comments







Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.…


Added by Carol Kurtz Walsh on September 4, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

From The Margins Onto The Page: Writing Truth To Power

Success is scarier than failure for me. It took me years to figure this out. It took even more years to recognize when and how I got in my own way. It was usually through some sort of minimization of my accomplishments or efforts, a decision to change course midstream, running away or giving the big F-U and heading out the door. Years of trying to meet people’s expectations and please others at my own expense were a way of life. When I wasn’t doing…


Added by Ellyn Roberts Bell on September 11, 2016 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

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