Places to submit

Writer’s Digest Magazine Short-Short Story Contest

Have you been noodling around with a short short story idea? Maybe you have written a short short and would like to see it published. Your opportunity is here and now. Writer’s Digest 16th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition is waiting for your entry. Deadline: December 14, 2015 Word Count: 1,500 words or less You can do this! Strike while the iron is hot —but don’t use clichés in your writing, unless of course, your character talks in clichés. Hmmmm. . . there’s a story idea!

Guest Bloggers

What Is a Writer?

Guest Blogger Sheri Graves writes about the obsession with writing. The moment of clarity occurred when I was in a doctor’s office seeking help for carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition wasn’t getting better and my ability to use my hands was diminishing with each passing day on the job as a newspaper reporter. The physician examined my hands and arms for perhaps the 30th time, looked at me and asked, “Have you considered doing something else for a living?” “No,” I said. “Have you?” He went on to explain that his profession was a “calling” and he had to spend many years in higher education and training to get where he was. His assumption he was important and I was not hit me as narcissistic. I wanted to punch him in the throat but couldn’t make a fist. “Being a writer isn’t just what I do,” I scolded. “It’s what…


What challenged you as a . . . Prompt #203

Today’s writing prompt:  What challenged you as a fifteen-year-old? When the prompt is a number or an age, you can adjust to whatever calls to you.  For example, with this prompt you can write about what was challenging when you were thirteen, or fourteen, or sixteen.  The exact age doesn’t matter. I chose fifteen because that is a pivotal year for some people. Marlene, Tonga Room, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, Junior Prom, 1965.


How to be a better writer

Many of us want to learn how to be better writers. The answer is very simple: WRITE. Write some more. Keep writing. It’s true!  The more you write, the better writer you will become. Here are some things you can do to improve your writing. READ. Read whatever you like to read. Read the genre you are writing in. Read other genres. BE SPECIFIC. ’57 Bel Air Chevy, not car. Sycamore, not tree.  Foxtrot, not dance. USE STRONG VERBS. Keep a list of strong verbs in your writer’s toolbox for easy reference. Resources for strong verbs Thesaurus in any format: Paper, on your computer, internet. Books: Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing by Constance Hale. Strong Verbs Strong Voice by Ann Everett Websites:  Tip Sheet Using Strong Verbs  and Writing Tips: Use Active, Precise Verbs WRITING MAGAZINES often have article to improve writing: Writer’s Digest, The Writer,…

Book Reviews

#Much Better #Thanks for Asking by Christian Lane

Reviewed by Sheri Graves. Christian Lane is a fine writer, a talented poet and an entertaining performance artist kind of like the morning-after remnants of yesteryear’s Beat Poetry folks. His latest book, #Much Better #Thanks for Asking, was published earlier this year and draws on a previous unofficial, handmade chapbook he wrote in 2000 called, I Stand Corrected. Reading Christian Lane’s work is a journey down the rabbit hole of his colorful mind. But his true, raw, naked musings are much better appreciated when his shadow-self crawls into a microphone while he delivers his poetry as performance. This he does frequently in various venues. #Much Better #Thanks for Asking is a book of poetry best read aloud, even when alone. The verse lends itself to the sounds of words as well as to their meanings. Don’t expect correct punctuation, proper sentences or standard structure. There are those who might call…

Places to submit

The 2River View

The 2River View is an online publication of poetry, published four times a year. 2RV also has a video project. Reading Period for seasonal issues: Sept. 1 – Nov. 30                      Winter Issue December 1 – February 28     Spring Issue March 1 – May 31                     Summer Issue June 1 – August 31                   Fall issue 2River considers unpublished poems only; poems that have not appeared in any form of print or digital media, including personal or public blogs. Simultaneous submissions can cause problems. If you are uncomfortable with a wait of up to three months, rather than sending simultaneous submissions, consider submitting toward the end of the reading period. Before submitting, please read several issues of The 2River View. The poems there best indicate the 2River standard. Each issue of 2RV consists of 10 poets only, and usually there are more than three-hundred submissions for each issue. [Note from Marlene: You could be…

Guest Bloggers

What is the scariest season?

The Halloween season has passed and the holiday season approaches, the time of good cheer and good will. This might be the scariest season for some. Ted A Moreno’s guest blog post might help shoo away our fears. Guest Blogger Ted A. Moreno writes about “31 Scary Questions to Ask Yourself.” It’s all about scary this week as we approach Halloween and Day of the Dead.  It’s a time when it’s fun to be scared, as long as we know that it’s just a movie, or someone dressed up as the walking dead. Truth is, there are plenty of really scary things out there.  But by far, the scariest things are those that we hide from ourselves, the things that we are afraid to deal with. Unresolved issues that haunt us, pain we can’t seem to release, resentment that traps us in unhappiness. These are the monsters under the bed, the goblins that we…