An Essential Tool for Writers: Building a Creative Community


Janice Lynch SchusterI spent many years participating in career days at local schools, asking classrooms at every grade level the same question: What tools do you think a writer must have? For kindergarteners, the answers were always basic: You need to know the alphabet, they would say, or You need to learn to read.

From there, I’d steer them to other writing tools.  Writers need, I’d say, to learn the rules—and when to break them. We need to learn to work with others, as we often find ourselves working with teams, some of whom may not like what we turn in.  We need a healthy dose of play—inspiration can come when we stand up and move, or simply hang out for a while in a world that does not include a computer screen.  Continue reading →

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MFA Programs: What are they and how do they work?


Cynthia RosiYou’ve been freelancing for years. Clients love your work. But something about your writing isn’t pleasing you. What do you do next?

Online classes, books on writing, and critique groups might not bring enough skilled analysis to guide you deeper into your craft. That’s when an MFA, two years of intensive study in Creative Non-Fiction or Fiction, can really help.

There are two types of MFA programs: low-residency, and on-campus. I didn’t have the option of moving cities to attend a university with an on-campus program focused on social justice, so a low-residency program was for me. Continue reading →

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Small Writers Group Nets Big Results


Theresa Sullivan BargerThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, FastCompany.com, Columbia Journalism Review, Family Circle, Parents, The Atlantic.com, Philanthropy, Poynter Online – these are just some of the places the bylines of our small writers group members have appeared for their first time since we started meeting 10 months ago.

We originally formed as a monthly accountability group, but soon evolved into much more. We set up a closed Facebook page where the eight of us could post questions and share the wisdom of the group. Our virtual newsroom replicated the days when we could slide our chair over to a coworker to ask how she would handle that day’s challenge. We soon switched to meeting every two weeks. Continue reading →

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Take the Reins On Your Amazon Reviews


Tina TrasterYour book’s Amazon page is part orchestration, part free for-all. Your publisher will set up your book page, which includes title, pricing, formats available and a book description. Your publisher will, or should, also give Amazon Editorial Reviews. But 12 entries is the limit. Scroll down and you’ll find “About the Author” and “Product Details.”

All the above, except pricing, is information you or your publisher have control over. Continue reading →

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Why I’m Glad to be an Office Nomad


Anne Cassidy

For much of my freelance career I had a home office, a spare second-floor bedroom with a view of our garden and woods. I wrote a book there and hundreds of articles. I treasured that room, considered it essential. But for six years now I’ve been traveling light, roaming around the house with my laptop, freed from the dedicated writing space I once swore I needed.

Our laptops and tablets have liberated us from the physical office. Now we carry our offices with us — or they float around in the cloud waiting for us to access them. While I haven’t stopped lusting for the perfect writer’s cabin, I like being an office nomad. Continue reading →

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