Features (2,462)

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

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 — 5 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

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

[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 — 25 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

[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 — No 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

[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 — 10 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 — 10 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 — 6 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 really know the fine art of juggling time and competing…


Added by Anne Leigh Parrish on September 18, 2015 at 11:30am — 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 — 21 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

[BREAKFAST WITH THE MUSE] Fantasy vs. Commitment - and Why You Need Both

I have always envied hikers. Real hikers, I mean. The poet I know who treks into the desert to write. The friend who camps in the mountains alone.  The colleague who hiked the John Muir Trail this summer. I can enjoy a nice walk in the woods, but the women I envy are ones who can don heavy loads and…


Added by Jill Jepson on September 7, 2015 at 8:00am — 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

The Shift from Nonfiction to Fiction (Including a Pen Name)


Incendiary issues and complicated roles for women have been my mainstay as a nonfiction writer. For each of my books/studies I interviewed a diverse group of women across the country. They spoke of how they truly felt as daughters, wives, sisters, mentors, stay-at home-mothers and working…


Added by susan shapiro barash on September 1, 2015 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

[THE WRITER'S LIFE] Think Differently

Think different.

You just edited me didn't you?

I did the same thing each morning I walked into the computer lab in which I helped the upcoming generation navigate the dangers of the Internet and the vagaries of Microsoft Word. Those Apple Think Different posters hung on the…


Added by Cindy Eastman on August 17, 2015 at 7:30am — 13 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…


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

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My Second Minecraft Novel Is Out

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