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6 Reasons Aspiring Writers Should Act More Like Musicians

4 days agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

Musicians can't be posers——they actually have to practice their instrument. Column by Christoph Paul Writers are the worst. Actually, aspiring writers are the worst. Aspiring musicians, on the other hand, act like aspiring writers should. Show More Summary

4 Ways to Beat Frustration in Your Writing Career

A writer named Yvonne Kohano reached out to me recently and told me this was her biggest challenge: “I’m feeling scattered. Too many ideas for novels and nonfiction writing, all screaming for attention. I get distracted by marketing and outreach to develop an audience. Focus, which has never been a problem for me before, is […]

Art, Money And Changes In The Publishing Industry with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn

On the last Tuesday of the month, I spend an hour discussing the latest news and events in the publishing industry with Orna Ross, founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, poet and author of historical fiction and non-fiction. Orna is a friend as well as a creative mentor, she's been in the publishing industry […]

Against Miracles

“It was not natural.  And she was the first.”  With these words, June Jordan opens her incisive and deeply moving essay on poet Phillis Wheatley, whose emergence from the hold of the slaveship that “brought [her] to America” (Wheatley’s words) into a precocious, philosophical poethood (in the second of her three languages) was nothing short […]

Intuition & Writing: What Happens Next?

2 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Please welcome guest Gwendolyn Womack to Writer Unboxed today! Gwendolyn Womack writes romantic thrillers that explore a spectrum of metaphysical subjects including divination, reincarnation, magic, and ancient explorers. Her debut novel, The Memory Painter, was an RWA Prism Award winner and two-time Indie Next Pick. Show More Summary

What Video Games Can Teach You About Storytelling

2 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Please welcome Fred Johnson as our guest today. Fred is an editor for Standout Books, where he helps authors take their manuscripts from good to perfect. He also writes fiction and poetry. You can follow Standout Books on Twitter. I’ve long been interested in how video games are maturing as a medium—as a form, games are still very […]

Surround Yourself With Success

2 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

A writer shared this with me via email this week: “I was about to give up. I said my new book would be the last. However, I love writing, and trying to improve. My friends say I’m too passionate. They don’t want to hear it.” After working with thousands of writers and creative professionals, this […]

A Shocking (and Fun) Short Story Writing Technique

You’ve probably been taught that short stories follow the time-revered rule: Limit your story to a specific time, place, event, interaction, or character’s evolution. I say, do the opposite. Here's how. The post A Shocking (and Fun) Short Story Writing Technique appeared first on

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 393

For today’s prompt, write a pieces poem. For instance, you could write about picking up the pieces (after a broken relationship), putting together puzzle pieces, eating Reese’s Pieces; or pay tribute to this Janis Joplin song. Piece your poem together however works best for you. Show More Summary

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 392

For today’s prompt, write a forever poem. There are a lot of different ways to come at forever. After all, some folks think diamonds are forever; while others think of Forever stamps (in the U.S. anyway); and still one or two folks like myself might think of this Paula Abdul song. Show More Summary

In Which a White Guy Talks about Cultural Appropriation

3 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

DISCLAIMER: The views presented in today’s post do not necessarily reflect those of Writer Unboxed or its other contributors. They are solely the opinions of the author of this post, and should not be read while flossing, practicing goat yoga, or ghost-writing a book for James Patterson.  Last September – before being eclipsed by our […]

Perspective and Your Authorial Voice

3 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

It’s become something of an adage that every literary agent (or publisher, or editor, or reader…) is looking for is a fresh and distinctive Voice. But what, exactly, is Voice? Depending on where you look, you’ll find any number of people offering definitions, ranging from Rachelle Gardner: Your writer’s voice is the expression of YOU on the page. […]

The Complex Power of Mapping the World of Your Novel

3 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

  I’ve spent the past two days deeply engrossed in the mapping of my book world. First was a map of the landscape and town, complete with directional arrows so that I know which way the light falls. This morning, I’ve spent several hours making a very detailed map of a house and all the […]

Poetry in Principle

Mind-degradable Manifesto I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to issue a manifesto like in the good old days, but any such assertion nowadays always seems to splinter into its ambiguities, leaving the motivating impulse unmanifest. The burden of poetic process is how easily it spoils even the finest dogma. However, if one located […]

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

3 months agoWriting / Poetry : Poetic Asides

We’ve officially made it to the half-way point of this challenge, which means two things: 1. I’ve got Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” song playing in my head; and 2. I should share the link to the poem finder tool for this blog (click to continue). Show More Summary

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

3 months agoWriting / Poetry : Poetic Asides

Recently, I recorded a “selfie” poem for my publisher Press 53. Click here to watch me recite “the silence between us” from my collection Solving the World’s Problems. For today’s prompt, write a family poem. It could be about your family, someone else’s family, a big family, a small family. Show More Summary

Poetry Is in the Streets

1 Under signs of the ruthless gangsterism of American politics, we made it to 2017, the centennial of the Russian Revolution. 1917, a land of lost left-wing dinosaurs, is a world away. It, too, was a moment of imperial degeneration. These days I often think of Jayne Cortez’s lines— the life blood of the earth […]

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

I’ve found over the years that most people who can make it through three days have the stamina to keep poeming for 30. So let’s get through this together! For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) of Love,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Show More Summary

Writing through the Soggy, Infuriating, Anxiety-Inducing Middle

4 months agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

I’ve just blasted through the first act of my new work in progress. It was like falling in love again, my passion ablaze for this new subject and new characters. My fingers flew over the keys and the exhilaration of creating had me in its grip—until I got THERE. You know the “there” I’m talking […]

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