My debut novel, The Sweetness ( pub. date Sept. ’14) has known several starts and stops, even a few disguises… something I’d realized only after I finally wrote the words: The End. There were short stories that grew into long, sweeping scenes, meandering like a willow needing to be trimmed. Yet the true…Continue
Let’s face it: there are times when, as much as you love and want to write, you just can’t do it. It may be that life has swelled like a tidal wave and crashed down hard on you. You may be ill, depressed, anxious, or maybe someone you love has died and you need to grieve. Or…Continue
Added by Bella Mahaya Carter on March 9, 2014 at 7:30pm — No Comments
As young, emerging writers, it is vital for us to take chances, putting ourselves out there for the world to see our work. The internet provides potential for us to do so, with online contests, boards, and blogs that connect us with an international community of sayers and doers. On that hopeful note, I entered a tournament-style short story contest called “…Continue
A handful of She Writes Press authors, including me, have been posting our books--one chapter at a time--over at JukePop this past couple of months. Have you checked it out yet? Here's a little preview of what you can find there. Click the "keep reading" link down at the bottom to get to the full chapter, plus the next...it's free!
Added by Lone Morch on March 6, 2014 at 2:00am — No Comments
Poets Cate Marvin and Erin Belieu joined forces in 2009, along with several other writers, after growing weary of sensing that women's voices were neglected in major publications. They wanted to find out if their suspicions were true, and from this…Continue
Thanks to everyone who followed my live tweets from AWP last week! It was an exhausting but fun (and educational) conference. Never having been before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Here are a few things I learned:…Continue
Right now, I am at my desk preparing my seminar for tomorrow, but my thoughts keep straying from Holocaust testimony―this week’s subject, as it happens―to the fate of a close friend. My friend is in the hospital recovering from surgery, but probably not recovering from the cancer that made the surgery necessary. It is not all that strange for me to be thinking of her as I try to…Continue
This week, as I dug into my writing, I got to the point most of us get to when we feel bogged down by the work. Suddenly my shiny, new idea was mired in a couple really bad first chapters. In fear of failure, I found distraction in other projects. I haven't yet abandoned my manuscript. Despite the mess that faces…Continue
Back when I was an indie author, I conducted what I called a "holiday reading campaign" to promote my debut novel, Perfect on Paper, and it worked extremely well. (In fact, it helped me land a book contract!) You might be able to do something similar for your books or at least get inspired to think of out-of-the-box marketing ideas. Here's what I did:…Continue
Author's Note: When we left off at the end of Part One, our narrator--me--had been working on Breathe for two years and was in Guatemala kneeling at the feet of famous authors who filled her head with their infinite wisdom ("avoid taking the reader to the bathroom!") on the banks of Lake Atitlan, also known as the bellybutton of the planet. Onward to Part Two, the next five years . . .…Continue
Added by Tracey Barnes Priestley on February 27, 2014 at 5:30pm — No Comments
You have to wonder what kind of anxiety about masculinity drives the editors at The New York Times. Last week it was “bullish on boyish-boys,” a survey of current talk show hosts. This week it’s a…Continue
Added by Nancy K. Miller on February 27, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments
This week I find myself distracted by the promise of warm weather. I’m in the Northeast, so it’s not like we’ve been lucky in this arena, particularly lately. But last weekend we got up to 50 degrees (!!!) and now all I can think about is taking walks through the woods and lounging in Adirondack chairs.
Yesterday morning, I took a shuttle and a ferry boat to Whidbey Island--the home, for twenty-five years now, of the Hedgebrook Writers' Colony, a retreat for women writers. I am here for a pre-AWP pow wow with Brooke Warner, the publisher of She…Continue
This week on [REALITY CHECK], She Writer Amy Neftzger shares words of wisdom to those writers who are in a hurry and feel that being published is a quick, easy way to earn a buck. She gives several examples of famous authors and their "day jobs" to show that greatness often comes from humble…Continue
I don’t know anyone outside of monks and Charles Manson who spends as much time alone as I do. I’m sure they exist but they’re not within [my] earshot or sight line. Even the homeless are out there meeting new people every day.
I nearly always feel as though I am…Continue
Beats, which are a description of a character's action, are a great way to exercise show vs. tell. If you aren't familiar with show vs. tell, it's a fundamental rule of good writing. (See my post using the analogy of online dating to learn why it's so important.)
Sometimes I like Joan Didion and other times I don’t. I like her when I’m feeling like a Writer and can be confident in my work and my goals. “Well, we are practically the same,” I think to myself when I read her work. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, because I am just publishing my first book at…Continue