Tag Archives: writing

Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Woman writing at table
 

By and large, the biggest problem I run into with struggling authors is the challenge they have around marketing themselves. I hear a lot of different reasons for this: “I’m too introverted.” “I hate anything that has to do with sales.” “I don’t want to be fake or phony,” etc. I get those reasons, because way back in the day when I felt like I had an allergic reaction to anything that had to do with marketing, I told other writers I hated marketing because of those very same reasons. But, here’s the thing. That … Continue reading Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.

White horse head morpihing into flowers
 

If a piece of artwork could express itself in words, what would it say? This was the question I pondered while visiting Time Lapse, an art faculty show at Chadron State College (CSC) in Chadron, Nebraska several semesters ago. Here’s the beginning of what Black and White Crease, a painting by adjunct faculty member, DeWayne Gimeson, seemed to say to me: I believe in creases like the ones that form on balls of paper we too often throw away. We rarely see their peaks, their crevices, their unscripted shadows save for the quiet exhale—the curious … Continue reading Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.

Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Fountain pen laying on paper
 

Writing Small When There Is No Time to Write Big: The Goldilocks Approach to Getting Writing Done I was back from the James River Writers Conference in Richmond when I realized I was dealing with an uncomfortable truth. I had been sitting at the conference, listening to agents and editors and the questions people were asking them. The conference is a good one—not too big and not too small. The keynote speaker was Padma Venkatraman, whose beautiful books I’ve seen before and who exhorted us to both dream and do. She should know—she is an … Continue reading Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Creative Publishing by Ann E. Michael

Black and white photo of books on a shelf with someone's hand reaching for a book
 

Poetry and publishing: two topics that seem diametrically opposed, if you look at them under the perspective that’s the norm in the USA—that of business, capitalism, popular culture. Shake off that norm, however, and publishing can be re-imagined as aural/oral, visual, textual, cinematic, digital, interactive…who knows? When a reader begins to deepen her understanding of creative literature, she will also find it necessary to widen the concept of publishing. Some folks say this is a new world. Or they’ll claim things were better in the old days. Curmudgeons and prejudices abound. In my lifetime, I … Continue reading Creative Publishing by Ann E. Michael

Letter To Self On Lying Fallow by Billie Hinton

Two new plants growing
 

Dear writing one, There will come a day when you will stop writing, for no good reason. There will be no drama, no single event that sinks your writing heels into the ground. You will come home from a writing retreat with good pages and confidence and work still to do and you will intend to keep doing it. Life itself is what will intervene. It is not you being lazy. It is not you being blocked. It is not you abandoning writing. It is not writing abandoning you. You will try to figure it … Continue reading Letter To Self On Lying Fallow by Billie Hinton

Taking the Right Step by Cheryl Traylor

Concrete stairs surround by greenery
 

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We are not handed a guide at birth entitled Fail-proof Steps to Living This Life. As such, I’ve lived most of my life through a lot of trial and error—heavy on the error side. I’ve also learned that sometimes I just have to take the next right step and try not to run the entire marathon at once. I’m getting ok with that practice. There is a source that I go to often for life advice. Poet Mary Oliver never fails to enlighten me or ease my weariness. She … Continue reading Taking the Right Step by Cheryl Traylor

Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott

Ocean
 

Poets and writers of fiction and nonfiction write with a sense of specific place in all languages. Once place is introduced in the piece, emotions are evoked, and a lot of things can happen in that place. In poetry, place provides an outer structure and a vehicle to contain and carry a poem into memory, reflection and ideas. Description of place not only offers knowledge of a geographical space, it allows readers into the poet’s intimate experience. Various theories exist as to why writers use place, including that the poet may seek to write about … Continue reading Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott

Resources for Writers Series: How to Bubble Up to the Surface of the Slush Pile


 

You have stalked about fifty agents and know what they like with their toast and where their poodles get their haircuts. The ten minutes you got to spend with some of them at writers’ conferences bought you nothing but sweat. Your queries have been answered with one-liners by robots: “Thanks, but no thanks.” You’re likely wondering why me! as you wash and dry an ice pick before you plunge it through your ear. Wait, don’t do that yet. Put it down. Let’s talk. I must note that I have the credibility of a divorced marriage counselor … Continue reading Resources for Writers Series: How to Bubble Up to the Surface of the Slush Pile

Writing About the Other

cables in the sky
 

Writing a story from a foreign or external perspective offers not only the reward of expanding your own awareness about people but can also lead to empathy for others that you may not have had before. To write about foreign lives often requires research that can lead to discovery and will likely expose a writer to experiences unique to a particular culture. With the political climate in America being so polarized, we might all benefit from writers making an effort to explore the unfamiliar. Yes, one could always read a book or watch a movie and … Continue reading Writing About the Other

Resources for Writers Series: How to Avoid the Slush Pile

Trellis on ground
 

The squeaky snow in Indiana reminds me of growing up in Poland. So does the temperature, seven degrees Fahrenheit. I’m glad it’s not seventy and sunny. Better days for sitting down and writing rarely come up. I hope you’re writing, too. Why? Because of opportunities to get your work critiqued and in front of agents. Here are three such, courtesy of Brenda Drake and her website http://www.brenda-drake.com/. Brenda hasn’t asked for and doesn’t know about this free pitch. Her work has brought many writers to the attention of publishing professionals and, ultimately, to readers, and … Continue reading Resources for Writers Series: How to Avoid the Slush Pile