Today’s Writing Prompt: Someday . . . I like the possibilities this prompt suggests, perhaps an opportunity for reflection. Note from Marlene: Write whatever comes up for you. Trust the process of free writing. Write with no worries about the outcome. Write for yourself with no cares about the end product. Just Write! Photo by Christina Gleason.
Month: October 2017
Personal Essay As Therapy
“One reason we choose to write essays instead of another kind of nonfiction piece is because we can use the personal essay as a kind of therapy. Sometimes the act of writing gives us the opportunity to work through the conflict and come up with another way of looking at the situation. As the writer explores her problem, owns it, and then comes up with a resolution that will change how she relates to her problem in the future, the reader will be looking at her own life and doing the same thing. That’s why the essayist must be committed to the process of discovery and must be as honest as she possibly can be about what she uncovers. More than any other piece of nonfiction, the personal essay has to be written and rewritten and rewritten, often many times, to get to the heart of what it is we…
Wordrunner: Rites of Passage
Wordrunner is accepting fiction, memoir and poetry, with the theme rites of passage for an echapbook anthology to be published March 2018. The rites of passage theme includes any kind of passage through life, time or space. Submissions will be open from December 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. * Submit up to three poems or a short story, novel or memoir excerpt, or personal essay (1,000 to 5,000 words). There are separate categories for each genre (poetry, fiction, nonfiction). Note that really long poems are not suitable for this venue. Send us your best. *Note from Marlene: Polish your writing now, so you will be ready to submit during the submissions timeline. Payment: $100 for collections, $5 to $25 for poems, stories and essays published in the annual anthology. Submission fee: $2 for poems; $3 for prose All rights revert to authors.
Does your book concept have legs?
Today’s guest blogger, Jerry Jenkins, has written a thorough article, “How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps.” I love lists, so of course I was intrigued to find out more. And I love it when writers talk about passion. Listed below are a few of Jerry’s steps about writing a book, excerpted or paraphrased from his comprehensive list (link at the bottom of this post). Where to start… What each step entails… How to overcome fear, procrastination, and writer’s block… And how to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Establish your writing space. If you dedicate a room solely to your writing, you can write off a portion of your home mortgage, taxes, and insurance proportionate to that space. You can also write in restaurants and coffee shops. Assemble your writing tools. Try to imagine everything you’re going to need in addition to your desk or table, so…
Figure drawing classes often start with timed gesture drawings of initial poses lasting as short as five seconds before the model moves. Gradually the time increases to 10, 15 and 30 seconds. By the time you get to a minute, it feels as if you have all day to capture the pose on your sketch pad. The idea is to keep you free, dexterous and more focused on process than product. Such short bursts also keep you from taking yourself too seriously—otherwise, you’d quickly become frustrated. —“Train Your Eye for Better Writing,” by Tess Callahan, Writer’s Digest September 2017 Tess suggests you can do the same with writing. “At odd moments throughout the day, in a diner or in transit, jot down gestures, expressions or snatches of overheard dialogue. . . . Whether or not these little moments make it into whatever story you are writing, they will deepen your…
The Wax Paper
The Wax Paper The Wax Paper is a broadsheet publication open to all forms of written word, image, and collected conversation. The first priority of The Wax Paper is to expand our understanding of the people we share the world with, and in doing so, expand our understanding of ourselves. Pieces will be selected on their ability to illuminate the humanity and significance of the subjects that inhabit the work. The Wax Paper was inspired by the life of Louis “Studs” Terkel. Our name is taken after his first radio show, The Wax Museum, a groundbreaking program, emblematic of his democratic fondness of variety, in which arias were played alongside folk ballads. We look to populate The Wax Paper with pieces that share the spirit inherent in Studs’ written work. Work that required patient observation, remained steadfast in its empathy, and displayed genuine vitality. Studs Terkel’s voice and the voices he collected are a necessary…
The reader reads for dialogue.
“The reader reads for dialogue more than anything. The writer’s habit is to describe, but the reader would rather hear the character.” — Anthony Varallo, May 2017, The Writer
How could you resist submitting to a magazine named The Rumpus! “The Rumpus is a place where people come to be themselves through their writing, to tell their stories or speak their minds in the most artful and authentic way they know how.” — The Rumpus “The Rumpus is dedicated to fostering new voices: We want to introduce you to authors you’ve never heard of before . . .” The Rumpus has boosted the careers of writers such as Roxane Gay and Cheryl Strayed. Maybe you’ll be next on the “boosted career” list. Submit!
Super Power. . . Prompt #342
If you could have a super power, what would you choose? Why did you choose that super power? What would you do if you had that super power?
I don’t know what I’m doing . . .
“Eventually, I stop looking back and being prissy about the beginning, but I’m pretty prissy about it for a long while. At a certain point, I only go forward. I allow myself to write a chunk where I can say, ‘You know, I don’t know what I’m really doing here. It’s a bit messy.’ I cut myself some slack. I can also write with blind spots where I say, ‘I know I’m going to have to figure this out later I don’t know what the answer is right now but that’s OK,’ and I can keep writing.” —Julianna Baggott Excerpt from “Pure Writer,” by Elfrieda Abbe, The Writer Magazine, January 2016 Note from Marlene: When you get to a “stuck” place in your writing, type ‘xyz” or “something here” in red at your sticky spot.You can come back to that unsettled place later and fix it. Take a break. Get…