Places to submit

Got a gutsy story?

Every Monday, My Gutsy Story® features a short story on “Gutsy Living”  about something Gutsy you have done in your life that either: Changed you Changed the way you think about something. Made your life take a different direction. My Gutsy Story® founder, Sonia Marsh, is looking for: A well-written story Something gutsy Inspirational Unique Motivational Engaging Humor Submission Guidelines: The story should be no more than 1,000 words. 100 word bio with your website. Click here to read the winners for August 2014. Click here for  information for My Gutsy Story® anthology  contest (different from the Monday short story feature). Sonoma County author Patrice Garrett was a featured writer in July 2014.

Guest Bloggers

What killed it for me. — Becca Puglisi

Guest Blogger Becca Puglisi, co-founder of Writers Helping Writers,  talks about clichéd characters. It’s hard to come up with characters who are believable yet don’t sound like every other character out there. It’s especially easy to fall into this trap with certain archetypes, like witty sidekicks or wise old mentors. Unfortunately, a recent book that I started had a whole cast of clichés: the jaded, super-sarcastic teen girl hero; the loving but confused single parent; a villain in the form of a Queen Bee Mean Girl. As for the love interest and sidekick…I didn’t stick around long enough to meet them. But even one clichéd character may be too much; you don’t want to give readers a reason to lose interest or roll their eyes when they’re introduced to a character they’ve seen a dozen times. Character creation is one of our passions at Writers Helping Writers, thanks to the research…


Doo-dee-da-dee-dum-dee . . .

“Caryl Pagel’s poems float and drift and alight in just the right places.” From “How I Write” in The October 2014 issue of The Writer magazine. Caryl says, “I start with a doo-dee-da-de-dee-dum-dee in mind and rhyme it with a bloop-bee-doop-bee, or something like that. A clearing of the throat. A hum.” Marlene’s Musings: Sounds like a good way to write just about anything. I love watching words fall into place and enjoy the sounds and rhythm of words . . . this goes for prose as well as poetry. How do you feel about words and sounds and rhythm? Tell us, we want to know.


Create a pantoum. Prompt #107

So far, on The Write Spot Blog, the prompts have been nice and easy. How about challenging yourself with a pantoum? Pantoum is the Western word for the Malayan pantun, a poetic form that first appeared in the fifteenth century, in Malayan literature. It existed orally before then. The Western version of the pantoum is a poem of indefinite length made up of stanzas whose four lines are repeated in a pattern: lines 2 and 4 of each stanza are repeated as lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza. ___________________________________________________________  line 1 ___________________________________________________________  line 2 ___________________________________________________________  line 3 ___________________________________________________________  line 4 ___________________________________________________________  line 5 – same as line 2 ___________________________________________________________   line 6 ___________________________________________________________   line 7 – same as line 4 ___________________________________________________________   line 8 ___________________________________________________________   line 9 – same as line 6 ___________________________________________________________   line 10 – same as line 3 ___________________________________________________________   line 11 – same as line…

Just Write

Writing can offer solace and salvation.

From the October 2014 issue of Writer Magazine, “Writers on Writing,” Roxane Gay: “Writing, at its best and truest, can offer solace and salvation for both readers and writers.” Marlene’s Musings: Sometimes we want to read something good, just like we want comfort food. We need you, Writers, to do your best to create those words that soothe and settle us. Use the prompts sprinkled throughout The Write Spot Blog and Just Write!  

Book Reviews

Seal of My Heart by Sharon Hamilton

Seal of My Heart by Sharon Hamilton                                      Review by Tabitha I always love reading Sharon Hamilton’s Seal books. She never disappoints and this one is no exception. Kate and Tyler meet on a plane and it’s an immediate attraction and pull that neither of them ever thought existed. Their love happens a little fast, but hey, who am I to say how long it should take for someone to fall in love? This is definitely a whirlwind love. Tyler and Kate are super sweet together and I love the fact that even though Tyler is a tough and strong Seal, he is what some girls dream of. He is not just strong and protective, but loving and sweet and loves with his whole heart. I had a few issues with Kate’s character because she was engaged when she meets Tyler even though she wasn’t happily engaged. I think that…

Guest Bloggers

Organizing a Writing Project

Organizing a Writing Project by Guest Blogger Nona Smith, author of Stuffed, Emptying the Hoarder’s Nest,  A True Tale. Nona tells the story of writing Stuffed: I didn’t start out with the idea of writing a book, but from the get-go, I was aware we were onto a unique experience. In late November of 2010, my husband, Art, became the executor of his friend Linda’s estate. Linda was a hoarder. Not your run-of-the-mill hoarder, but a collector of unique stuff as well as plain ol’ junk. We felt it prudent to document what we found because in addition to being the executor, Art was the only on-site heir. So I took photographs of the plethora of original artwork by a famous botanical printmaker, the rare mechanical music machines and closets of musical scrolls, tools and computers and even of the life-size teddy bear reclining in the bathtub. I also photographed…


“Magic happens in rewriting.”

“Muse still comes in a rewrite. Magic happens in rewriting. As you chip away, themes appear. Start the story on the day the character’s life changes. Use your first draft to explore characters.” — Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of The Pet Washer and Guardian Herd – Starfire Jennifer says this about Starfire: “It wrote me. I did not come up for air until the first draft was finished. I’d always been warned not to write ‘talking animal’ books — that publishers don’t like them — but as I edited STARFIRE, I realized it was the book I’d always wanted to read as a kid.” “In hindsight, I’m grateful STARFIRE is the book that broke through because this book, my fifth, is the book I was born to write. It is the sum of me and my interests—flying horses and underdogs, heroes and bullies, and a special colt watching his herd,…