Guest Bloggers

Components for a great story – by Guest Blogger Francis H. Powell

Guest Blogger Francis H. Powell writes about creating a great story. Confronted with a blank screen, poised to  tap away,  how to go about creating that great story. Perhaps one primary consideration is the theme.  Maybe the theme should  be a ghostly shadow within the confines of the story, not screaming at the reader, but there none the less.  It may make the reader think about their own lives, there might be a moral to be learned, but a writer should not take on the role of a preacher. Then there has to be a plot, all the conflict or struggle that the main character or characters go through. The conflict should develop in intensity and excitement, reaching some kind of climax.  If you are writing a novel there may be a number of conflicts interspersed, but a short story will have only one principal conflict. Moving onto story structure, …

Places to submit

Broad Street seeks writing that shows the truth in a new way

Broad Street magazine is “always looking for more talent . . .  so if you have an interesting piece of nonfiction—poetry, essay, reportage, memoir or other writing—or art” . . . Submit! “Nonprofit semi-annual magazine featuring true stories told in many different ways. Seeks beautiful crafted poetry, essay, reportage, memoir or other writing that present the truth in a way that’s new and special.” — The Writer magazine, June 2015 Submisssions/themes, see if there is something just right for you. Upcoming theme: Birth, School, Work, Death (submit until April 1, 2017 for spring/summer 2017 issue). The Seven Ages of Man have become the Four Ages of Humankind.  We’re born, we learn, we work, we die. Broad Street has conceived of a four-part magazine with several features exploring each phase of life.  Give us your origin stories, your schoolroom struggles, your cubicle frustrations, your tales of passing on.  Where has this road taken you?  …

Guest Bloggers

Literary Agent Mary C. Moore has personal experience with The Rejection Form

Guest Blogger Mary C. Moore (literary agent) writes about the rejection form letter. I recently wrote a short story, my first in over a year. Inspiration struck and I listened. Unlike novel writing, short stories are short-term rewarding because you reach “the end,” while you are still loving that muse whispering in your ear. I was particularly excited about this story, as I knew exactly which magazine I was going to submit it to. A few years ago, said magazine had rejected another story of mine, but with glowing praise and a request to see more of my work. I kept that in mind, because this magazine is a professionally paying market and one that would be quite a feather in my writing resume. Thus after some furious late nights, anxious waiting for the beta reads to come back, and a lot of editing, I sent off my beautiful 3k-word…


“I really don’t believe in a wasted draft.”

Novelist Téa Obreht: “I don’t believe in a wasted draft . . . Even work you consider to be your worst is good for something. Every effort teaches you about your desires and tendencies, or guides you toward some new possibility . . . every line you wrote . . . has value.” —Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife,  interviewed by Gabriel Packard, “Writers On Writing,” The Writer magazine, May 2016

Places to submit

Find the right magazine for your article.

Rachael Herron wrote an article, soon to be published in Vogue magazine. Not about “fashion, beauty, culture, living, runway, met gala.” Rachael’s article is about clearing out craft supplies. Imagine that. What a brilliant idea! I imagine most crafters would benefit from an article about how to organize material and/or encouragement to let go of scraps of fabric, wisps of ribbon, etc. Do you have a special skill, a hobby, a special interest? Write about it. Think about a magazine that might seem an unusual fit. Tweak your essay to fit the magazine’s demographics. Research the magazine’s mission statement, purpose, intent, masthead. Do you have a pet peeve, an obsession, a unique collection? Turn your thoughts into an article, then research and submit! Browse magazines at the library. Search online for potential magazines. Find the right magazine for your piece: Every Writer Wikipedia List of American Magazines How a Freelance…


Elevator Pitch. . . Prompt #251

This has been Rachael Herron Week on The Write Spot Blog. It’s been fun highlighting her and her work. Today’s writing prompt is inspired by her latest book, The Ones Who Matter Most. “What begins as one woman’s search for truth becomes a deep bond forged between the unlikeliest of people. Their surprising journey reveals how strangers can quickly find themselves to be family, and how kindness can bridge even the widest of gaps.” Choose something from this synopsis, or elevator pitch, to write about. Perhaps: Write about a kindness offered to you, or something kind you did for someone. Or, write about a surprising journey. Or, write about a stranger. Write about what a search revealed. Write about family. Note: An “elevator pitch” is a short summary of a book or project that can be explained in the time it takes an elevator to go from ground floor to…

Guest Bloggers

My endings are always asymptotes. —Rachael Herron

A conversation with Rachael Herron, author of The Ones Who Matter Most. “How did you get the idea for this book?” “The original idea for any of my novels usually gets buried so deep that by the time I’ve finished writing, I can barely remember what the first ideas was. This book, though, was different. The first scene was my original idea.” “Do you always know the endings of your novels when you start them?” “I wish! I know writers who know their endings and aim for them like marksmen. Rather than apples to be hit with arrows, though, my endings are always asymptotes. I write toward them forever, getting closer and closer but never quite getting there. Usually I have to revise the whole book (minus the ending) a few times until I figure out what should really happen.” Excerpted from the Conversation Guide at the end of Rachael…