Send Yourself A Letter

by Kelly Carey

(Note: a version of this article appeared previously on Kelly’s blog, 24 Carrot Writing).

Give your writing self the gift of encouragement.

This summer, I took a class at The Writers’ Loft taught by Charlesbridge editor Karen Boss. At the end of class, Karen asked us to write ourselves letters. The letters were an opportunity to chat about our writing hopes, dreams, and goals. Karen collected the letters and tucked them away. Five months later my letter appeared in my mailbox, and it was the most wonderful gift. Continue reading

Full Speed Ahead—Write Faster, Write More!

by Dave Pasquantonio

Sometimes the words come easily—and sometimes they don’t. We writers know exactly what it feels like to want to write more, to want to write faster, but the muse is not cooperating.

But we can’t always blame the muse. There are actions we writers can take to make the words flow faster.

Anna Staniszewski led a recent craft chat at The Writers’ Loft, “Write Faster—Write More!” She gave the enthusiastic attendees exactly what they were looking for—methods and insights to help us get those words out. Continue reading

Under the Skylight: Finding the Core of Your Story

by Erin Dionne

My most recent post was about writing the best story you possibly can. This one deals with another element of the revision process that I find really important: finding—and using—the “core” of your story to shape your revision.

What is the core?

The core of your story is its heart. It’s the one thing that holds your book together and provides your unique perspective on the world. Without it, your book would fall apart. Continue reading

Where Do Ideas Come From?

by Sandra J. Budiansky

Is there anything better than coming up with a brilliant idea and then sitting down and writing a best seller? Probably not, but that doesn’t usually happen. Many writers struggle to come up with an interesting book topic. On October 11th, Charlesbridge editor Karen Boss presented the Writers’ Loft workshop Idea Development, and When To Let Go, and it led to a lively and inspiring conversation. Continue reading

How To Pitch Your Book Event

by Allison Pottern Hoch

If you’ve published a book or are in the querying trenches, you know what it takes to promote your book to an agent or editor. But once you’re ready to market that book, how do you convince a venue to take you on for an event? Remember the four P’s: professionalism, politeness, preparation, and patience. Continue reading

Under the Skylight: Revising to Create the Best Story Possible

by Erin Dionne

My previous blog posts have focused on persistence and objectivity. Today, I want to cover another necessary ingredient in the revision process: the desire to create the best story possible.

Now, I know you want to write a good book, short story, or poem. And you’re putting in the time and effort to do so. You’ve crafted your characters, developed a plot that moves along at a good pace, and figured out where your trouble spots are. You’re in love with what you’ve created—and you should be.

Continue reading

Book Review: “M OR F?” by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts

by Wendy M. McDonald

MorF.pngFrom the back cover: When Frannie is desperate to get the attention of her crush, her fabulous (and gay) best friend Marcus suggests that Frannie chat with him online. Too bad Frannie’s terrified. She won’t type a word without Marcus’s help. 

In the chat room, Marcus and Jeffrey hit it off. But the more Marcus writes, the more he’s convinced that Jeffrey is falling for him, not Frannie. Whose romance is this anyway?

If you’re already familiar with the basic plot of a Cyrano de Bergerac story, set your expectations aside. Yes, M or F? hits all the right beats, but Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts add several of their own. Continue reading