Tag Archives: writing

Resources for Writers Series: Midwest Writers Workshop

Two matches burning together
 

After I attended the Midwest Writers Workshop this summer, I made a vow to write about it. I had gone to other writing conferences, but this one felt different. Warmer, helpful. Permanent. As a dutiful outreach coordinator whose mission is to offer writers opportunities to publish and improve their craft, I reached out to Jama Kehoe Bigger, the long-term director of the workshop. Jama didn’t disappoint. The warmth and enthusiasm which will envelop you as you read on is the same whether conveyed in writing, from a podium or in a conversation. Karol Lagodzki: Jama, … Continue reading Resources for Writers Series: Midwest Writers Workshop

Facts and Fiction by Robbie Shell

bees on honeycomb
 

It’s hard to describe the feeling of freedom I felt when I left my job as editor of an online business research and analysis site, and started to write a middle-grade novel on honeybees, pollination and Colony Collapse Disorder (the still mysterious syndrome that is killing millions of honeybees around the globe). I had been a business journalist for more than three decades in Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia, where I now live. All of a sudden, with the decision to write a work of fiction, I could make up names, make up quotes, make up … Continue reading Facts and Fiction by Robbie Shell

Amazing But True! Confessions from a Ghost (Writer): Diane Whitbeck

books with author name obscured
 

Some writers spend years honing their craft until their work unfolds with the effortless grace of an Olympic figure skater. It’s the kind of ease and proficiency that looks impossible—belying countless hours of rehearsal—and can make an audience gasp. Diane Whitbeck is such a writer. A prolific freelance writer and published author, she has ghostwritten fourteen books in just two and a half years and has also authored six books under her own name. I interviewed Whitbeck about her writing career, and though I had only a short list of questions, she offered me a … Continue reading Amazing But True! Confessions from a Ghost (Writer): Diane Whitbeck

Writing a Bridge


 

Sometimes we need to write about writing. Sometimes we need to list all the reasons we love to write, or why we hate to write or what we want to write about. I write because I want to find out what I think, how I feel, why I believe and who I am underneath the makeup and the clothing and the skin. I write because writing is the best revenge and the best way to avoid goodbye. I write because it’s a vehicle for feelings that didn’t want to take the train. I write because … Continue reading Writing a Bridge

It’s Easier To Win A Creative Writing Contest Than You Think

Woman giving thumbs up
 

Many writers choose not to enter creative writing contests because they think the low odds of winning aren’t worth the effort. And yet, that’s exactly the kind of thinking that makes it easy for other people to enter writing contests and actually win them! If You Think It’s Too Hard To Win A Writing Contest, Consider This: There are a lot of really small contests out there. Often, individual writing groups will host their own small contests. Since these contests aren’t big, they won’t be as well known—and therefore will attract fewer competitors. Consider joining … Continue reading It’s Easier To Win A Creative Writing Contest Than You Think

A World Intense and Strange


 

Two years ago I couldn’t have even told you that Carson McCullers was female. My familiarity with Southern Gothic was that limited. But this summer I found myself haunting Columbus, Georgia, her birthplace, seeking some sort of connection with the woman who wrote The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.   Like Mick Kelly or Jake Blount, peripatetic characters from that book who wandered the streets of what is only a thinly-veiled Columbus, I walked the city, past the old cotton mills along the Chattahoochee, down by the old bus station from which Antonapoulos, “the obese and dreamy … Continue reading A World Intense and Strange

A San Souci State of Mind by Martha Woodroof


 

All right then. I get it. The San Souci Motel is called the San Soo-chee, not the Sahn Soo-cee. People in Buckroe Beach, Virginia, do not go in for Frenchification. At least according to my husband’s family, who’ve been going there since the fifties. The San Souci is the last remaining water-front motel at Buckroe Beach. It was built in 1958 and has stayed true to its raising décor-wise. It is what it is. Buckroe is not really the beach beach; it fronts the Chesapeake Bay rather than the ocean. It offers only the politest … Continue reading A San Souci State of Mind by Martha Woodroof

Scaffolding: Or How I Learned to Stop Being a Know-It-All and Take Advice from My 20-Something Son by Ginger Moran


 

I was a typical child of Depression-era parents—left to fend for myself as long as I didn’t bring unwanted attention to my respectable, Southern family. I, like most of my age group, was what I call a self-rising child. Now we would be called free-range. I can quite clearly remember playing in deep construction culverts right after a big thunderstorm with no adult supervision and absolutely no thought of the way water can flash through channels like that, sweeping everything with it in a deathly way. And I can remember being an early teenager walking … Continue reading Scaffolding: Or How I Learned to Stop Being a Know-It-All and Take Advice from My 20-Something Son by Ginger Moran

The Decider


 

When I was in college there was this bar that had bouncers who took turns playing St. Peter. They stood outside the door going: You. You. You. Not you. The whole idea was so ghastly to me (for a variety of reasons, not least of which was that I knew I’d be the one person in whatever group I was with who’d be left on the wrong side of the velvet rope) that I swore I’d never, ever subject myself to anything like that. And yet… I became a writer. For those who aren’t afflicted … Continue reading The Decider

The Best Sex I Never Had


 

When I was an adolescent, I read novels voraciously, and the genre of sword-and-sorcery fantasy appealed to me most. It combined supernatural magic, an element seeded into countless cultures and religions, with heroic warriors and monsters, and it allowed me to escape the doldrums of my unremarkable suburban environment. As I grew out of my teens into adulthood, a different type of fantasy fiction began to appeal to me: the horror genre. Writers like Stephen King and Clive Barker wrote engrossing novels that, on the surface, seemed like realism, but they typically possessed a paranormal … Continue reading The Best Sex I Never Had