Places to submit

Five-Minute Memoir

Submit your 600-word essay reflecting your writing life to Writer’s Digest magazine. Email to wdsubmissions – with “5-Minute Memoir” in the subject line. Use Prompt #319 for ideas on what to put in your 5-Minute Memoir. Samples of published 5-Minute Memoirs: Fear and Loathing and Fitzgerald You Can’t Go Home Again  


Who will you interview? . . . Prompt #320

Today’s writing prompt Interview yourself or your fictional character, by answering these questions: How did you get started in your line of work? How did you become interested in your hobby? What did you desire at age 12? What did you desire at age 18? What did you desire at age 25? What did you desire at age 26 or older? What do you desire now? More ideas on Interviewing Character . . . Prompt #6

Just Write

Mini memoirs unfold naturally

Remember the joke: “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.” Same with writing memoir . . . one incident at a time. “Whether your life story has an over-arching motif or you plan to cobble together a montage of more diverse meditations, the project can seem less overwhelming if you approach it as a series of mini memoirs—two-to three-page essays . . . pivotal points. . . in the broader portrait of your life.” Richard Campbell, January 2017 Writers Digest “The beauty in approaching your life story in terms of mini memoirs is that when it comes to themes, you don’t have to pick just one. Write scenes or vignettes on each theme that speaks to you. You may find that mini memoirs unfold more naturally than the more unwieldy, longer story you have to tell—and that they build momentum strong enough to carry you through…

Places to submit

Sonoma Festival of Light and Rhymed Verse

  Submissions now requested for presentation at the SONOMA FESTIVAL   of LIGHT and RHYMED VERSE Poems due by: May 6, 2017   Festival takes place: May 21, 2017 Time: 1:00 pm-4:30 pm Location : Trinity Episcopal Church Courtyard, 275 East Spain St., Sonoma, Ca. Quatrain submissions in one or all of three categories: 4 line 16 lines 24 lines Please include biography in three lines or less. For more information, please contact:  Patricia Bradley   bradley2006 -at –


Smaller stories within larger stories – set the scene. Prompt #319

Whether you are writing memoir or fiction, it’s all composed of people and things that happened. It’s smaller stories within larger stories. Today’s prompt is in two parts. Part 1: Make a list of people and factors that shaped you, during your childhood, teen years, young adult years. What has happened in your life that makes you who you are? We’ll be using these lists later. During your childhood/early years: Who helped shaped you? Who was influential in your life?  Who was important in your young life?    Family, family friends, teachers, your friends. Where did you grow up? Did you walk to/from school? What did you do after school? Who was home when you got there? What were weekends like?  Be brief. You can expand later. Anything else you want to add – important people and events in your childhood. During your teen years. Who was important during your teen years? …


Success in writing means . . .

 If you have attended a Jumpstart Writing Workshop, you may have heard me say, “There are two kinds of writing I like. One is when the writing speaks to universal truths—something we can all relate to. The other is when the writing speaks to me personally.” This excerpt from “The Review Rat Race,” a “5-Minute Memoir” by Barbara Solomon Josselsohn expands upon that thought. “To me, success meant having readers who felt that my novel articulated something important, something they had felt deeply inside but had never been able to express or fully understand before my book came along.” —Barbara Solomon Josselsohn * That often happens in Jumpstart . . . the writing touches us deeply as the writer articulates in ways that we hadn’t been able to express or understand prior to hearing their freewrite. * Excerpt from January 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest Magazine.

Just Write

Details are critical

When telling stories, details matter. You know that. Details, especially sensory details, enhance your story and allow your reader to: ~ Fully enter the world you are creating ~Suspend disbelief ~ Connect emotionally with your characters “All you need to build your setting is in the world around you. Observe, observe, observe.” — Elizabeth Nunez, January 2017 Writer’s Digest magazine. Elizabeth Nunez: “. . . like me, you probably wanted to be a writer because you found a lot of joy and pleasure by making up stories in your head. I love living in my imagination—so much so that when I was younger, my siblings would say: ‘Divide everything Elizabeth tells you in half. One half is true and the other is make-believe.’” Can you relate to that? I bet you can! “The emotions and conflicts your characters experience can be made more vivid by the setting you choose.” Nunez…

Places to submit

Poetry Contests and sensory detail

  Sebastopol Center for the Arts is sponsoring a poetry contest:  “The History of Sonoma County,” inviting local writers to submit poems about the history of Sonoma County.  Selected poems will be displayed at Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Contest winners will be invited to attend and read their winning poem at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts on June 10. The contest juror is Sonoma County Poet Laureate, Iris Jamahl Dunkle.  The entry deadline is Monday, May 1, 2017. Youth, teens and adults are invited to submit their work and may submit up to three entries per contestant. The fee for adults is $8 for members of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, $10 for non-members, and $5 for youth entries age 18 and under.  For complete contest guidelines visit History of Sonoma County Poetry Contest or visit the Center’s website at or email a request to lindag Suggestions to win a poetry contest Use…