Features (2,174)

The Doing of It

At the end of most years, I reflect and write on what I have learned. Or at least scratched the surface of learning. So here goes for this past year. You had better sit down. Just kidding, sort of. This year brought me to my knees in every way. In despair. In earnest. In repentance. In love. Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.” And I’ve needed more raw courage this year than ever before. Courage to face myself in new and deeper ways, courage…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 20, 2011 at 2:10pm — 2 Comments

Times of Not So Quiet Desperation

When I read the story last week about the woman who walked into a Welfare office in Texas, to plead once more for money--was turned down for a final time--and then took out a gun and shot her son and daughter, and then herself, it sent my mind reeling. All I could think of, as a mother myself, was how desperate she must have been. Clearly she must have snapped, losing sight of the sanity highway altogether but I can’t help but ask myself, just how smothered by desperation does a mother…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 19, 2011 at 3:15pm — No Comments

A Day of Action for Women and Girls Who Write

Hi everybody!  I wanted to take a break from my sabbatical to write to all of you today about something that has been greatly on my mind these past few weeks, and ask you to take a MEANINGFUL ACTION TODAY to do something about it.

On my mind is the way women writers are consistently under-represented in the all-powerful "best of" lists that begin coming out at the end of each year.

As Meg Waite Clayton…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on December 19, 2011 at 9:00am — 30 Comments

Four questions for Amy Scholder, Editorial Director of The Feminist Press

Several years ago, I met Amy Scholder when she came to visit the Goddard MFAW residency.  With more than twenty years experience in literary and political publishing, Amy had just been named Editorial Director at the Feminist Press after a career that began at City Lights Books, and…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 17, 2011 at 12:28pm — 1 Comment

The Daily Mentor - Nicola Morris

Nicola Morris started off British, but now lives in Vermont, and is an expert on, among other things, the golem as a figure for post-Holocaust humanity.  Nicky is the co-editor of Alchemy of the Word, and her contribution, excerpted here, speaks of the power of books to save lives and change lives,…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 17, 2011 at 2:00am — 1 Comment

Three Best Social Media Platforms for authors

 Social media can be a powerful tool for authors. As we spend more of our lives in front of computer screens and having an online presence has become inevitable, exercising a measure of control on that presence has become very important. First impressions tend to last and by building a coherent online presence, authors can have a say on what those impressions are. Instead of relying on traditional PR and advertising methods, authors can personally have a strong impact on how they are…


Added by Majo Tinoco on December 16, 2011 at 8:34am — 16 Comments

The Daily Mentor - Rebecca Brown


Rebecca Brown is fearless as well as prolific.  Her latest book, American Romances, is a smart, moving collection that transcends – no, it crushes – all expectations of what an essay should be.  To this day, one of the greatest compliments I have ever gotten came after I read a short story at…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 16, 2011 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

Susan Straight: Writing in the Van

When I first met Susan Straight, she and I had traveled from different places to visit a friend in need and Susan walked in and…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 15, 2011 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

If You Build it, They Will Come: On Blogging, Service and Platform-Building

Shoeless Joe Jackson by John McNab

I started my blog almost two years ago after attending a writers’ workshop on publishing in the digital age. There wasn’t much talk of e-books or self-publishing from the presenters. Instead, they hammered a single message into us all day: you, as writers, need an electronic presence . . . preferably a blog. It’s how you control the message of who you are and what…


Added by Julija Sukys on December 15, 2011 at 6:30am — 29 Comments

The Daily Mentor - Susan Kim

Poetry may be the only thing Susan Kim has not written.  She has worked in television, for children’s programs and Martha Stewart’s Christmas; she has two graphic novels out, a dystopian young adult trilogy in the works and even made menstruation funny and fascinating on The View.  Susan is…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 15, 2011 at 6:05am — 3 Comments

"What Do You Want For Christmas?"

Marriage + The Holidays = This.

Only married people (or children of married people) can understand how a seemingly simple and harmless question like "What Do You Want For Christmas?" can become so complicated and hurtful...

Added by Laura Zigman on December 13, 2011 at 9:20pm — 10 Comments

Turn the beat around

A few posts back, I talked about using dialogue to bring characters to life. Today, I'd like to discuss the importance of using beats. A "beat" is a description of the physical action a character makes while speaking, and good beats can bring your characters to life and make your dialogue pop right off the page. Beats can also help you show your readers instead of…


Added by Maria Murnane on December 13, 2011 at 4:37pm — 1 Comment

Making space for heartwork when it feels impossible

The end of the year is rushing towards me.

Christmas presents to buy. Relatives to visit. Projects to finish. 2011 is disappearing like sand through my fingers.

So what about the important things? You know, those things…


Added by Satya Robyn on December 12, 2011 at 9:26am — 8 Comments

The Daily Mentor - Deborah Brevoort

Deborah Brevoort can’t be pigeonholed.  She writes about Edgar Allen Poe, pizza, military wives, the Apollo moon landing, Elvis, and The Women of Lockerbee, to name the subjects of just a few of her plays, musicals and screenplays.  During my first residency at Goddard, I sat in on Deborah’s…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 14, 2011 at 2:00am — 2 Comments

Scheherazade's Choice

Most of you know the story of Scheherazade, the framing device for 1001 Arabian Nights.  For those of you that don't, Scheherazade has the misfortune of being forced to marry a sultan with a penchant for killing his wives on the wedding night.  She devises a plan to save herself—she'll tell stories every night, so compelling that when the sun rises, her husband will allow her to live another day so he can hear how the story ends.  Needless to say, the name Scheherazade has become a…


Added by Sherri L. Smith on December 13, 2011 at 10:00am — 7 Comments

The Daily Mentor - Elena Georgiou


When her first book of poetry was published, Elena Georgiou got into a car with a couple of friends and drove to more than 20 cities on a “Babes in Poetryland” style reading tour.  In the essay excerpted here, Elena had the misfortune to be asked to discuss the theme “The Spirit of the…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 13, 2011 at 4:00am — 2 Comments

I've Been Getting Older Lately, and I've Been Realizing This

When Rahna Reiko Rizzuto invited me to submit a guest post for She Writes, I remembered, as I often do, a day Reiko and I once shared in Manhattan.  A long walk.  The rocks of Central Park.  A story she was telling about the Hudson River.  Turtles.  I remembered that day, and then I remembered all the years…


Added by Beth Kephart on December 11, 2011 at 6:32pm — 3 Comments

The Daily Mentor – All This Week!

Years ago, someone asked me who my writing mentor was.  When I said I didn’t have one, she exclaimed, “Poor Bubbeleh!”  I had never studied writing, and was just beginning to teach in the Goddard Masters in Creative Writing program.  I had published a novel, was rewriting a memoir, and could not imagine what a mentor could offer me.

I know better now.  After close to a decade teaching at Goddard, I have learned so much and been well-nurtured by my colleagues, not to mention my…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 12, 2011 at 1:00am — 12 Comments

SheWrites Video Moment #11: Moon

So here it is, full moon time on the horizon with an incredible red moon view at dawn tomorrow for those living on the West Coast of the United States or Australia. That leaves us New Yorkers to dream via video metaphor, so here's a recent Bjork video to commemorate the experience (they won't see the eclipse in Iceland, either...) Take a look at "Moon"...it's wild and quirky, and her wig even matches the imminent eclipse....…


Added by Kathleen Sweeney on December 9, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Permission: Idle Fingers

This story is part of a series on Writing and Permission that was commissioned by Cori Howard, the instructor of the SheWrites online class, Writing for Moms. The topic evolved in one of her online forums in which women started to discuss how hard it was to give themselves permission to write and to be writers. These are the stories they came up with. The next session of SheWrites Online Writing for Moms starts in January. Click …


Added by Kathy Moores on December 8, 2011 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

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