Ode to The Writer’s Retreat

By Ronda Simmons There once was a writer with Block Who needed to stop and take stock. Her prose was a mess, Her nerves were in stress, She wanted to hide in a rock. She reread her draft with disgust. Her literary dreams dashed to dust.

One of The Least Favorite Most Important Jobs for Writers

By David E. Sharp I have no passion for marketing. Naturally, at a recent writing conference I attended, sessions on marketing were at the top of my list. I learned about marketing through algorithms, marketing via the website, marketing at live events, and marketing through subliminal messaging.

Without Pacing What’s The Point

By Shelley Widhalm I’m reading a book with two intriguing main characters and compelling relationships gone wrong. Still, the repetitive dialog and plot points make it boring. The issue is with the pacing, intermittent external and internal tension, and lack of cliffhangers at the end of chapters. I’m determined to finish the book, though, sinceContinue reading “Without Pacing What’s The Point”

Thoughts on Criticism

By Brian Kaufman Writers compose in a vacuum. The voices they hear are in their heads. Imagination has benefits, both for mental health and creative purposes. According to neuroscientists, people have “default networks” in their brains that become active (and are exercised) when they drift into the realm of imagination. In addition, storytelling allows anContinue reading “Thoughts on Criticism”

Subverting Tropes

By Katie Lewis I’ve always been very interested in Japanese mythology and media. But recently, I’ve been more inspired by other East Asian cultures. Mainly, I’ve been immersing myself in Chinese stories as research for a book I’m working on (since I’m half-Italian and half-English/German mutt). As a result, I often have to explain ChineseContinue reading “Subverting Tropes”

Are You Published?

By Amy Rivers An author walks into a conference. She smiles, shakes hands, and introduces herself to fellow authors. Then someone asks the question, “are you published?” She immediately starts to sweat. Why you ask? Because this loaded question is frequently followed by some variation of the qualifying question, “Who did you publish with?” 

Books I Blame

by David E. Sharp I was not born with a laptop and a mug of black coffee in my hands. This is a fact for which my mother is still grateful. It took a lot of tragic, misguiding circumstances to set me on my course to become a writer. The story, as I tell it,Continue reading “Books I Blame”

The Books That Made Me

By Brian Kaufman Along the lines of “everything happens for a reason,” my wife believes that everything that happens and everyone you meet is there to teach you something. I don’t argue with that—if you care to learn from your experiences, you will. The other thing to know is that I have read many booksContinue reading “The Books That Made Me”

A Conference Intervention

By The NCW Leadership Team We are all gearing up for the conference. It’s been a while. Yes, we’re putting on a hybrid event this year. Sure, we hosted an amazing virtual conference last year. But for some of us it’s time to step out of the Zoom box and see people IRL. It’s safeContinue reading “A Conference Intervention”

The Conference Survival Handbook

By David E. Sharp Blah, blah blah, conferences are a boon to writers. Blah, blah, blah, you are going to learn so much. Buckle up, because this the hard sell. Beyond the panels, the topical sessions, and the opportunity to connect with other writers, a conference grants you the unparalleled prospect of meeting industry professionals.