Features (2,283)

The Blank Screen: If You Don't Have Anything to Blog About, Should You Blog Anyway?

There is the blank page. We all know about that one. The void all intrepid writers face when we are about to begin a full-length writing project, the intimidating primordial blankness which, at the start, appears as insurmountable and pitiless as The Wall in Game of Thrones. Then there is the blank screen, which,…

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Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 18, 2014 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

On Leaving the Boring out of your Book

Confession time: I come across in my memoir as more collected and clever than I really am, and my life seems more exciting and interesting than it actually is.



This is due not to dishonesty — everything in the memoir is true. It’s because of the nature and structure of storytelling. Unless there’s a…

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Added by Pamela Olson on November 18, 2014 at 3:14pm — 2 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] What Are Your Favorite Writing References?

While some of us are hot and sweaty and in the middle of NaNoWriMo-ing, laser-focused on their plot and word count, there are those of us who are easily distracted. We find our eyes wandering away from the keyboard or notepad.

 

The other day as my eyes wandered away for the Nth time, they rested…

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Added by Zetta Brown on November 19, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Two Creative Digital Marketing Tips

People often ask me what the term "digital marketing" means. In my opinion, it's pursuing any online exposure that will help potential readers find you. Digital marketing can be an effective way to spread the word about your book because it doesn't cost much - if anything - more than your time and energy. Here are two examples:…

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Added by Maria Murnane on November 18, 2014 at 9:14am — No Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Cross-country Whistle Stop Book Tour with Flash Readings Part Three!

We are home. The final flash has been posted. As to the whistle stops, by the time we had boarded the train back to New York City, we were more concerned with the issue of connections—would we make ours in Chicago—than whistle stop videos. Which is too bad. I had a lot of shifts in attitude on the trip. Being…

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Added by Tory McCagg on November 17, 2014 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

[Breakfast with the Muse] Why Writing is My Spiritual Path

When you write regularly, it becomes such a fundamental part of the way you live that you cannot conceive of your life without it. At some point, you discover you are unable to separate yourself from the act of writing or think about yourself other than as a writer. Writing as a Sacred Path …

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Added by Jill Jepson on November 17, 2014 at 10:05am — 7 Comments

[The Art of Submission] When to Submit Again

I read recently that part of the reason women are published less frequently than men is because men resubmit more frequently than women.

 

I don’t know where I read this. And now, after a night of scouring Google, I can’t find it for the life of me.

 

But trust me.…

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Added by Emily Lackey on November 11, 2014 at 9:30pm — 7 Comments

The First Draft as Scaffolding

After finishing a memoir, I had the crazy idea to write a novel next, which is basically the opposite of a memoir. Memoirs have all the raw materials in place—the characters, the settings, the action. The writer ‘just’ has to string them together so they express some idea or lesson or theme. In fiction, you start with…

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Added by Pamela Olson on November 11, 2014 at 1:00am — 6 Comments

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Consider this a special invitation to submit to CLOCKHOUSE, a young literary magazine published in partnership with Goddard College and our alumni.  A poem from our first issue (written by Amy King) was given a Pushcart special mention, and the lists of contributors in both issues 1 and 2 (recently released) are stellar.  It’s a great read, and one of the few literary journals that embraces dramatic writing, too.  Click on the link to read an interview I did with M.T. Anderson in…

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Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on November 6, 2014 at 10:20am — 2 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] How I Learned Merciless Editing

One day at the start of my first ever writing workshop, someone asked me how long I had been a writer.

I looked at my watch.

“About 6 minutes,” I said. 

 

Which wasn’t exactly true. I had been an attorney, which seemed like an entirely different profession from…

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Added by Carol Merchasin on November 11, 2014 at 12:00pm — 7 Comments

An example of smart book promotion

My friend Cathy Livingstone wrote a clever (and useful) book called Bubbe, Mimi & Gigi: The Best Grandmother Name Book Ever. The guide recently received a glowing review in grandparents section of About.com, which described it as "a perfect gift for a grandmother-to-be and an especially cool way to let a mom know that she's about to…

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Added by Maria Murnane on November 11, 2014 at 9:23am — No Comments

A View from Row 3 of Oprah’s Life You Want Tour

Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend this past Friday and Saturday was already shaping up to be an amazing experience for me months ago. I floated the idea to my client-turned-friend Mark Nepo that I’d love to fly up to Seattle see him on tour. I don’t even…

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Added by Brooke Warner on November 10, 2014 at 11:00pm — 21 Comments

[Path to Publication] A New Writer Gets a 1st Book Deal with a Big Five—When She Least Expects It

And Why You Don’t Need to Write Everyday To Be a “Real” Writer

In January of 2013, I signed a deal for my first book with G.P. Putnam's Sons, a hardcover division of Penguin Random House, one of the so-called “Big Five” publishing houses. The book is a memoir…

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Added by Tracy Slater on November 11, 2014 at 12:30am — 14 Comments

[Body, Mind & Spirit] I Can Do It!

I recently attended Hay House’s I Can Do It! conference in Pasadena, California. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to attend what was being advertised as a “mind, body, and spirit retreat.” The conference…

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Added by Bella Mahaya Carter on November 9, 2014 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

[What's Next?] When Is It Finished?

Ladies, I’m back in the saddle this week. You might have noticed my thinly veiled attempts at procrastinating, in which I did blog posts that were not about working on my book. This is because I haven’t been working on my book, and I know I’ve also written in the past about how…

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Added by Caitlyn Levin on November 6, 2014 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

[SWP News] Watch for these titles in spring 2015!

In Benediction for a Black Swan, Mimi Zollars explores the topics of childhood, children, marriage and divorce, alcoholism, and the sensual world in a series of edgy, seductive, irreverent, and ethereal poems. Incorporating elements of magical realism, Zollars’ sexy, darkly beautiful works embrace the…

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Added by Caitlyn Levin on November 6, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Product Placement in Books--What Do You Think?

This is less a blog post than an invitation to a discussion--a salon online, if you will. Imagine we are all gathered around a long candlelit dinner table together, or reclining on chaises in my Parisian living room. (You will definitely have to use your imagination, since my kitchen table is only big enough…

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Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 4, 2014 at 7:30pm — 25 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] “Not-Nearly-Ready-WriMo” – or, NaNoWriMo for Procrastinators

It’s that time again.

Time to crack open those writing how-to books.

Time to locate all those scraps of paper or random files off your C-drive containing random snip-its of plot ideas, storylines, dialogue, working titles, and character traits.

Time when writers gather…

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Added by Zetta Brown on November 5, 2014 at 7:00am — 15 Comments

[Breakfast with the Muse] The Rare and Precious Gift of Writing

I have many feelings about my writing.

For awhile, I was feeling grumpy because my novel wasn’t finding a publisher. Then, I felt relieved when my agent told me she’s still optimistic.

Sometimes I feel discouraged when I read lackluster passages that stare vacantly back at me from the page. But there…

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Added by Jill Jepson on November 3, 2014 at 9:30am — 8 Comments

Why You Should Give Away (Some) Books for Free

We've all heard the saying "you need to spend money to make money." The same applies to book marketing. Giving away books now can help you sell books later.

Gifting physical and electronic copies of your book should be part of your…

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Added by Maria Murnane on November 4, 2014 at 9:03am — No Comments

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