WRITING

Romance Writers, You’ve Got to Own it!

Romance Writers, You’ve Got to Own it!

“Hi, my name is Densie and I write romance.” I could be a member of Romance Writers Anonymous, if such a thing existed. Okay, so maybe being a writer of novels with strong romantic themes doesn’t exactly carry the stigma of addiction, but it sometimes feels that way, especially when hanging with writers who have […]

May 21, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Procrastination? Just an Unwelcome Visitor

Procrastination? Just an Unwelcome Visitor

Every day, around 4:00 p.m., I get this craving to write, like others yearn for a cup of tea or a chocolate biscuit. Sometimes I manage all three. Though usually just tea and choc. Some folks say it’s writers block – I call it procrastination. It walks in, shuts down my laptop, follows my every […]

May 12, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More
The Importance of Being an Outsider

The Importance of Being an Outsider

There are two questions that people always ask me – first why I write about Cornwall (they inquire knowing I’m an American living in Dubai) and second how do you write about Cornwall if you’re not there (they assume it would be easier sitting in my Cornish home rather than in the villa in Dubai […]

May 9, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More
A Day in the Life of a Writer

A Day in the Life of a Writer

I would love to be able to say that I’m a full time writer, with an agent, PR officer and secretary to manage my career, organise promotion for me and type up stories I’ve dictated onto a voice recorder whilst sipping cocktail on a balcony (or reclining on a chaise longue Barbara Cartland style). However, […]

May 7, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More
It’s Like Having An Alter Ego, But Harder

It’s Like Having An Alter Ego, But Harder

If you were to meet me on the good days, standing beside our minivans in the school parking lot, you’ll most likely see a woman wearing the uniform of an American suburban mother: boots zipped over jeans, hair that’s been flat-ironed too many times, dark sunglasses. On those good days, the ones where I behave […]

May 3, 2015 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

To Be or Not to Be Agented, That is the Question

To Be or Not to Be Agented, That is the Question

I never asked this question. Instead I asked how quickly I could get myself an agent. Unagented authors aren’t taken seriously, I reasoned. You can’t approach big houses without one and I wanted readers and a big contract. Getting an agent was the only way to achieve this goal. So I sent out queries, alphabetically, […]

May 17, 2015 | By | 5 Replies More
How to Tackle the Writing Wall

How to Tackle the Writing Wall

My first encounter with the running menace known as “the wall” happened at 1:00am on a humid July night in Wakefield, Massachusetts. My sneakers were slapping sandy pavement littered with discarded paper cups. The taste of the twilight summer gnats thronging Lake Quannapowitt was still fresh between my teeth. In the sixth hour of the […]

May 15, 2015 | By | Reply More
How to Plan a Box-set

How to Plan a Box-set

Late last year, I collaborated with six other members of the Alliance of Independent Authors to create a limited edition box set of novels. While collaborative efforts like this have been fairly common among genre fiction authors, we were not aware of another multi-author collection of contemporary novels. Why? The idea was simple. We wanted […]

May 8, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Planning the End or Ending the Plan?

Planning the End or Ending the Plan?

Incredible what a tweet can do. On 18 April Barbara Bos of this esteemed site posted a quotation from Rose Tremain, “In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.” I raised the query whether this was clever, or just poor […]

May 5, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More
Mindfulness and Writing

Mindfulness and Writing

You are probably familiar with an image that has forged its way through social media. It outlines the creative process as follows: This is awesome This is tricky This is shit I am shit This might be ok This is awesome I am going to walk you through each stage of the process with useful […]

April 30, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More

PUBLISHING

Can a Self-Published Author Have an Agent?

Can a Self-Published Author Have an Agent?

Can a self-published/independent author have an agent? Surely, it’s a contradictory state? Well, no, not in today’s publishing world. Last May, I signed with A for Authors literary agency to represent me for subsidiary and foreign rights. As the congratulations flowed in, I was a little overwhelmed by the lovely things people said on Facebook […]

March 4, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More
Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You

Okay, ladies: It’s almost springtime. You’ve spent the winter tightening up that manuscript, writing the (gulp!) first 30 drafts of your query letter, and you’re ready to hit “send.” It’s Agent Time. And you, fellow writer, are on your way to getting published. No, no, wait. Not yet. DO NOT SEND THAT LETTER. Read this […]

March 2, 2015 | By | 13 Replies More
Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women

Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women

An anthology? How hard could that be? Great idea. Get other writers. Everyone already loves the title. “It’s just way more work than you can imagine. Even if you imagine a lot of work, it’s more.” Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon It was at least five years ago when the percolating began. You know what […]

February 28, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More
Women Writing Women

Women Writing Women

Like most of us, I began writing with the hope of creating the kind of novels I most wanted to read. While I tried to figure out what that was, I was lucky to land a minor ghostwriting job, which led to more. Writing as someone else came easily. I could submerge in another person’s […]

February 25, 2015 | By | 6 Replies More
Quick Guide to Self-Publishing

Quick Guide to Self-Publishing

The stigma around self-publishing is still strong. ‘If it’s a good enough manuscript it will find a publisher,’ is an oft repeated phrase (particularly by those who have found a publisher). After thirty years of writing, honing my crafting and, yes, on occasion being traditionally published, I no longer believe this to be true. Yet […]

January 26, 2015 | By | 10 Replies More

MARKETING

Facebook: Love It or Leave It?

Facebook: Love It or Leave It?

Back in February a writer/friend, Donna Zukaitis Falcone, posted a question on Facebook:  Building a platform as a writer: Can it be done without Facebook in the 21st century anymore? Do the old tried and true ways still work in a digital age? She sparked a lively conversation, and it struck an especially resonant chord […]

April 16, 2015 | By | 14 Replies More
The Third Stage of Writing: The Promotional Stuff

The Third Stage of Writing: The Promotional Stuff

Sometimes as writers we need to push ourselves to do things we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. I’m not talking about the content or the writing process here, but the stuff that comes after publication. The promotional side of things. Like a lot of writers, I am fairly introverted and a fairly private person. So […]

December 24, 2014 | By | Reply More
What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

What makes you pick up a book and read it? The cover? The blurb? The title? — Women Writers (@WomenWriters) December 3, 2014 @WomenWriters Cover, recommendations, sometimes award thingies on the front, author’s name…many, many things. — Heather Wheat (@hwheaties) December 3, 2014 @WomenWriters An interest in the subject matter, the title, and the endorsements. […]

December 5, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
What Do You Mean I Have to Market My Writing?

What Do You Mean I Have to Market My Writing?

We all start with different decks. Some with no cards. Some with no money. Some not even at the table. It’s not fair. There’s nothing fair about it. Maybe it will never be fair. But if you want to play, if I want to play, whatever odds I was given, them’s the odds I got. […]

November 24, 2014 | By | 11 Replies More
Daunted by Book Promotion? Don’t be.

Daunted by Book Promotion? Don’t be.

I am a dreamer. When two years ago I was told that Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of Downton Abbey had a sister who lived in Chipping Campden, I believed it was destiny. My novel is set in Chipping Campden, I live in Chipping Campden, he was obviously meant to write the film script […]

March 20, 2014 | By | 29 Replies More

BY SPONSORS

How Courageous Are You?

How Courageous Are You?

Since publishing my own story a year ago, and gathering the stories of  women who wished to share their truths in a collaborative anthology, I have been reminded just how difficult it can be to put our truths out into the world. Sharing our stories makes us vulnerable to criticism and judgment. Yet our life […]

November 5, 2014 | By | 12 Replies More
Qaisra Shahraz: Researching a Novel in Morocco

Qaisra Shahraz: Researching a Novel in Morocco

Qaisra Shahraz, born in Pakistan, is a critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter and has lived in Manchester since she was nine.  Her books have been published in numerous countries and translated into various languages. We asked her if she could tell us about her latest research for her novel based in Morocco. Apart from journalism, research […]

October 18, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
Memoir Writing Tips

Memoir Writing Tips

Heidi Siefkas wrote a memoir about her extraordinary story of survival. We asked her if she could share some memoir writing tips with us. Writing a memoir is an all-in, unveiling of your most private experiences to the world. It’s not a sneak peek, but the whole enchilada whether good, bad, or Montezuma’s revenge. I’m […]

September 1, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More
Why I Chose to Self-Publish

Why I Chose to Self-Publish

I’m sure there are some who write entirely for themselves, but most of us do so for other people. But how do you get your words turned into a book, so that your story can be shared? The traditional route was to attract an agent. He or she would then go on to find a […]

June 16, 2014 | By | 16 Replies More
Memoir Competition Mslexia

Memoir Competition Mslexia

There are some amazing competitions for women writers! We didn’t want you to miss this one! Mslexia Women’s Memoir Competition is for full-length memoirs from unpublished memoirists. The only competition of its type in the UK, Mslexia is looking for memoirs of at least 50,000 words of prose that narrate actual events in the writer’s […]

June 15, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More

FICTION

Failure First, Success Second

Failure First, Success Second

I failed at getting my first novel published and I stopped writing. I wrote a young adult science fiction novel while also playing Division I college basketball at the University of Richmond. Writing helped me cope with the various pressures and expectations in athletics and academics. Working on that story allowed me to escape when […]

April 8, 2014 | By | 13 Replies More
Growing a Thick Skin by K. A. Laity

Growing a Thick Skin by K. A. Laity

Dorothy Parker’s work may be awash with cynicism, but so often she is right on the money. In her wistful poem “Observation” she considers doing better with her life—getting to bed early, abstaining from riotous overindulgence and undoubtedly completing the work for overdue deadlines. But in the end the famous wit concludes, But I shall […]

November 27, 2013 | By | 34 Replies More
Under “A Different Sun” – with Elaine Neil Orr

Under “A Different Sun” – with Elaine Neil Orr

US Author and Professor of English at NC State University, Elaine Neil Orr [ENO] answers WWWB’s Anora McGaha’s [WW] questions about A Different Sun her first novel telling the story of a US slave owner’s daughter who marries a missionary and moves to Africa, where her worldview is turned upside down. – Anora McGaha, Editor […]

November 1, 2013 | By | 5 Replies More
Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz, Released October 7, 2013

Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz, Released October 7, 2013

Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz is Launched Arcadia Press launched Revolt by the international best-selling English / Pakistani author Qaisra Shahraz. We have been following her international travels to exotic literary festivals in China, India, Indonesia, Germany just to name a few. In preparation for Qaisra stepping up as Site Sponsor for Women Writers, Women Books, […]

October 8, 2013 | By | Reply More
You’re a Writer. Now Act Like One!

You’re a Writer. Now Act Like One!

My entire life had been in a single large city.  I loved the important hustle of the daytime and the somewhat dangerous excitement of the night. Art and fabulous food fed my deeper cravings. Still, I always felt that my forever life was waiting for me somewhere drastically different.  On impulse, I moved to San Diego, […]

September 6, 2013 | By | 62 Replies More

Recent Essays

Five Life Lessons from Women Writers

Five Life Lessons from Women Writers

We are at the mid-point in US Author Diane DeBella’s two month sojourn as our Site Sponsor. Her passion for the power of truth-telling to help keep girls and women subject of their (our) own lives is refreshing and motivating. We are collecting stories from readers for an #IAmSubject anthology. As a special concession to […]

May 30, 2014 | By | 11 Replies More
Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice

I lost my voice during my second year of college. And then I found it again after the plane crash. Wait. That’s not exactly right. I didn’t find it again until YEARS after the plane crash. And to be accurate, I didn’t “lose” anything. I put aside my voice in a valiant effort to pursue […]

May 2, 2015 | By | Reply More
Seven Fiction Writing Rules

Seven Fiction Writing Rules

Overwhelmed by fiction-writing advice? Me too, and I’m an editor as well as a writer. Everyone and anyone who has a blog or website seems to be keen on throwing in their penny’s worth. A lot of it is genuinely good advice. But what works for them won’t necessarily be right for you. Want proof? […]

April 27, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More
Reading Wuthering Heights With Juvenile Offenders

Reading Wuthering Heights With Juvenile Offenders

The idea that literature changes people’s lives is the premise of a program I facilitate through Fairfax County Public Library. It’s called Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) and it’s run in partnership with Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and Fairfax Library Foundation. I work with first time offenders and girls in a […]

April 25, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More
How to make the truth Palatable

How to make the truth Palatable

Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Those words gave me the kick-start. I’d read some second generation Polish fiction (mainly from the U.S.) and a vital ingredient was missing – Europe 1939-1945. Could I manage to depict those years […]

April 22, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More
Should Everyone Publish a Book?

Should Everyone Publish a Book?

I was chatting with an acquaintance recently when we got onto what I’d been up to lately. “Just finished my second novel,” I chirped, certain he’d be mightily impressed. Instead, I got a judgmental pause followed by: “You and everyone else on the planet!” Umbrage was taken, but the comment did strike me… as sort […]

April 18, 2015 | By | 11 Replies More
Q&A with Trisha Ashley

Q&A with Trisha Ashley

1) What are your top five writing tips? a) Writer’s block (and see question 3): if you come to a stop in your novel and can’t see a way forward, then employ lateral thinking and walk around that big rock, or tunnel underneath it, or do a sharp right turn and go somewhere else. But […]

April 13, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More