RSSCategory: Contemporary Women Writers

How Newspapers Inspire Fiction Writers

How Newspapers Inspire Fiction Writers

Historical documents can be treasure troves for fiction writers. We’ve all read stories based upon real historic events, or people, and no doubt some authors were inspired by historical manuscripts, either accessed in an archive, online, or in biographies. Letters, diaries, wills, government records – these are rich seams for writers to interrogate and use […]

May 24, 2015 | By | Reply More
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 | 6 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
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 | 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
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
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 | 1 Reply 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 | 3 Replies More