• Beautiful Words,  Craft

    How Do You Discover Your Writing Voice? A Guest Post By Ally Bishop

    How do you discover your writing voice? Sounds like a crazy question, especially if you’ve been writing for some time. But I recently worked with an incredibly talented writer who hadn’t quite nailed down her voice, and when she asked what I meant when I said as much, I realized that it’s something that we rarely discuss in writing circles, nor do we define its hazy boundaries. So what’s this elusive voice of which I speak? I’m so glad you asked. Think about the last time you dove into your favorite book series or discovered a tome in the used bookstore by an author you used to love. As you…

  • Craft

    So You Think You Can Write A Guest Post by Sherry Howard

    Every week, one of the members of 10 Minute Novelists shares their insight and experience in their writing journey. This week, Sherry Howard shares what she learned through an online writing course.  So You Think You Can Write If you voluntarily took a course, did homework, and subjected yourself to massive critique. You must have been enrolled in Iowa University’s MOOC, Massive Open Online Course. It doesn’t matter where you are in your writer’s journey, there’s a spot for you in this online course. The current course How Writers Write Fiction, http://courses.writinguniversity.org/, is still open and the instructional portion will be available to view for a while. I have a…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation

    Top Ten Ways To Improve Your Craft As A Writer

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you are reading this blog then you are a writer. Even if you don’t think you can call yourself that, you probably have aspirations for literary greatness, fame, or fortune. The right kind of greatness, fame and fortune only comes from those writers who spend their time improving their craft. By becoming the best writer you can be, then you’re more likely to attract readers, agents and publishers. How to you get better? Glad you asked! This week’s Top 10 list is just that: 1. Read, read, read. Read in your genre every chance you get. Read the Classics.…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Craft,  Creativity,  Cultural Relevance

    Why I Write: Literature’s Role in the Teen’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, A Guest Post by YA Author Ellen Mulholland

    Back in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a high school English geek. I was the nerdy girl who loved and debated every book we read. I was the good friend who helped with essays and theme analyses. I savored each minute of class and could have spent the entire school day reading and writing. We read the greats –Austen, Knowles, Steinbeck, and Lee. Stories about courage, love and discovery. We discussed characters’ journeys and authors’ themes. We explored friendship and family; and I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet, Gene Forrester, Tom Joad, and Scout. Inside my own middle-class upbringing, I understood that every teen embarked on…

  • Community,  Craft

    Do-It-Yourself Writers’ Conferences For The Poor And Xenophobic

    It happened again. Another fall has arrived and you will not be going to a writer’s conference.  I’ve been trying to get to the ACFW conference in September every fall for the last five years and I’m not any closer now than I was five years ago.  I did, however, get to go to the marketing seminar hosted by my agent’s firm. While it was cozy and fun and certainly educational, it’s not a BIG CONFERENCE like ACFW or RWA. Because I can’t go, I can do one of two things. One option is to mope around and feel sorry for myself and decide that watching the new fall television…

  • Cultural Relevance,  Social Media,  Twitter

    How A Box of Knock-Off Grape Nuts Taught Me About Relevance (And The Internet!)

    “Can Your Breakfast Cereal Teach You Anything?” We are a single income family of seven, so it is no wonder that we buy the cheap stuff. One purchase, a box of store brand Grape Nuts, not only was good for our budget, but it also, proved to be very educational.  The back of it said, “The Internet and How It Works.” It went on to explain such unfamiliar terms as “email” and “emoticons” and “HTML”.  My children and I read every word (and I totally regret in the telling of this story that I didn’t get a good enough photograph so you could see all of its glory.) We mocked this. We…