Guest Bloggers

Let’s Ban ‘Of Course’ by Guest Blogger Elaine Silver

Guest Blogger Elaine Silver writes about why writers should reconsider using “of course.” With growing concern I am noticing sentences in my clients’ books that begin with the words “Of course.” These sentences sound like this: “Of course, I was devastated that I had to move.” Or, “Of course, I knew I shouldn’t look but I did.” Or “Of course, he was overjoyed to see her again.” As a developmental editor, it is my job to serve as the eyes and heart of the author’s future readers and to make sure that those readers get the most bang for their reading buck. So, loudly and emphatically (and with a lot of hand gesturing) I let these authors know that each time they use the words “of course” they are essentially cheating the reader out of a full exploration of the experience of the book’s character (this goes for fiction as…


It takes all kinds. . . Prompt #154

Today’s prompt is inspired by the May 6 theme for West Side Stories in Petaluma. “West Side Stories believes that everyone has a story.   Our goal?  To give those stories a forum.   After producing successful shows where stand-up comedians told their stories, former comic turned storyteller, Dave Pokorny sought to accommodate all those people who asked, ‘When can I tell my story?’ And to encourage those people who doubted they had a story worth telling.” If you are in the Petaluma area . . . join these storytellers at West Side Stories.  Get your ticket early . . . these shows sell out! How about you?  Are you ready to share your story?  Write and post on The Write Spot Blog. Prompt:  It takes all kinds . . .


Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not . . .

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not, it’s not the end.” — John Paul DeJoria, Co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and Patron Spirits companies. John is referring to his early life knocks, but he could also be referring to writers, especially when he says, “Be prepared for rejection.” Writers are given rejection advice all the time. “Don’t take it personally.” “Rejection slips means you are submitting.” “At least you’re trying.” All these words . . . do they really help when you receive a rejection notice? I worked hard a few months ago refining a piece I’ve been working on for a long time. I felt confident and satisfied when I hit the “submit” button. And then waited. And waited. Waited some more. You probably know this story. Finally, the notice arrived that although my piece was well-written, it wasn’t accepted. I felt . . ….

Places to submit

The 2015 Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest

April is Poetry Month! The 2015 Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest is sponsored by the Lincoln Library and Friends of the Lincoln Library. You do not have to be a resident of Lincoln to enter contest. You may submit a maximum of three (3) poems: one poem in each category, for a total of three poems. Poems may be in rhyme, free verse, Haiku or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 60 lines. Young Poets, 18-years of age or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category. The 2015 Contest includes Five Categories: Only In America Happy Endings Strange But True Unforgettable If Pets Could Talk 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners selected in each category. Poems should be typewritten and not centered. Use Arial font 12-point. List the title of the poem and the category…

Guest Bloggers

Why Keep Writing When No One Is Listening

Guest Blogger Brooke Warner writes: One of the most powerful things an author has ever said to me was a comment by Mark Nepo, reflecting on his personal journey over the past three years, which, due to the support of Oprah, has been pretty meteoric in nature. He told me, “I’m just so glad that I kept writing back when no one was listening.” This reverberated in me, perhaps most profoundly because of the number of clients I work with every year who reach a crisis point, led by the voices of their inner critics that say things like, “Why are you bothering?” “No one is going to want to read this.” “Who cares?!” In my work as a writing coach, I’m pretty hard-pressed to think of a single client who hasn’t struggled with messages like this at some point in their process—some more than others of course. Mark’s simple…


Who would you like to chat with? Prompt #152

Who would you like to chat with? If you could converse with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you like to sit down and yak with? Or, maybe you would rather lean against a bar or a counter and chew the fat, or drive and talk, or ride and shoot the breeze. Who would you like to have a conversation with . . . a one-to-one, a heart-to-heart, a tête-à-tête, a rap session, a discussion. Hmmmm ???


You cannot change the past nor control the future.

“Live in the present, since you cannot change the past or control the future.” — B. Lynn Goodwin Marlene’s Musings: Good advice for anyone, especially writers. Just do your best to be the most authentic writer you can be. Your truth and your genuineness will come out in your writing. Your poignancy, your humor, your unique “you-ness” will bring a freshness and honesty to your writing. Be your best self . . . who else can you be? Except from “Celebrate Your Uniqueness,” by B. Lynn Goodwin B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice,, which is currently holding its 10th Flash Prose Contest. She’s the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, and a YA called Talent, which Eternal Press will be publishing this year. Her short pieces have been published in local and regional publications. Lynn will be on a panel of…

Just Write

Open your heart and turn on creativity.

Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart and to turn on your creativity. There’s a light inside of you. — Judith Jamison     Marlene’s Musings: Once you open your heart to your creativity, you can explore many options for expressing your creativity: Painting, sculpture, song-writing, fabric art, stenciling, sketching and more and, of course, my favorite: Freewrites. What are freewrites? Time spent freely writing whatever your heart desires and whatever your creativity suggests to you. Just write! Let your light shine. Share your work, share your passion.  Post your writing here, on The Write Spot Blog.  Click here for writing prompts and more writing prompts here.

Places to submit

WriterAdvice seeks flash fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction

WriterAdvice  seeks flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction, 750 words or less. “Enlighten, dazzle, and delight us.” Finalists receive responses from all judges. DEADLINE:  April 21, 2015 PRIZES: First Place earns $200; Second Place earns $100; Third Place earns $50; Honorable Mentions will also be published. FOR BEST RESULTS:  Include your name, contact information, and title in the cover letter, but only include your title in the submission so it remains anonymous. Indicate if the submission is fiction, non-fiction or memoir in the cover letter. Double-space your submission, 14-point font that is easy to read.  Times New Roman, Cambria, and Ariel all spring to mind. Submissions are read as blind submissions so put both your name and your title in your cover letter but leave them off your manuscript. SUBMISSIONS: All entries should be submitted through Submittable. Click here for the Submission Details. You may enter UP TO THREE stories,…