Tag Archives: writing

Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott


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

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