"Bye" written in red lipstick on mirror with XX underneath

How to Gracefully Leave Your Writing Group

Wanting to leave your writing group doesn’t make you a jerk. Departing with grace is an act of kindness that furthers your development and the friendships you cherish.
Why So Many Blogs and Newsletters Aren't Worth the Writer's Effort

Why So Many Blogs and Newsletters Aren’t Worth the Writer’s Effort

Many writers are told to blog or send an email newsletter without much idea of how to approach it. Here are the most common mistakes they make.
Why Your Amazing Writing Group Might Be Failing You

Why Your Amazing Writing Group Might Be Failing You

The real reason writing groups sometimes fail us has nothing to do with the lovely people in them. The failure is due to a mismatch between what you need and what the group offers.
University bookstore on campus

Why You Should Consider a University Press for Your Book

University presses are not just for scholars, and many are far more open-minded than you may think.
Image: miniature wooden carvings representing standing figures. At the center is one figure, painted blue, lying down.

The Secret Ingredient of Successful Openings

A story intro that shows internal trouble, signaling the beginning of a character arc, makes agents and editors sit up and take notice.
Image: a playground slide

Weaving Flashbacks Seamlessly into Story

Flashback is a powerful tool for weaving in important backstory—but as with any power tool, using it well requires knowledge and care.
Image: young girl wearing an adult-sized suit, sitting at an office desk and holding a telephone receiver.

Children’s Dialogue: They Don’t Talk Like Adults

Children aren’t miniature grownups. When writing a story with a child character, take time to really listen to how kids of that age talk.
Image: close-up of a laptop keyboard, showing buttons bearing social media icons.

Which Social Media Platform Is the Best?

Identifying the right platform for you comes down to your personality, what you like to do and, most importantly, what you want to achieve.
Image: a woman holding a notepad, standing in front of a camera and ring light mounted on a tripod.

How to Make Money Through Social Media Without Being an Influencer

You don’t need to be famous or a tech guru. All you really need is an Instagram account, a PayPal link, and something to offer your audience.
Image: a woman's open hands holding a small, wrapped gift.

A Thousand New Email Sign Ups in a Week? It’s Possible.

You don’t need to start strategizing newsletter content or setting a delivery schedule in order to begin building your email list.
Image: cartoon illustrating halves of the brain. Left brain is represented by a man struggling with a jumble of jigsaw puzzle pieces, and right brain is represented by a woman assembling puzzle pieces in an orderly fashion.

The Value of Percolation

Setting an idea or draft aside for “percolation” allows the brain’s subconscious to arrive at insights while we’re busy with something else.
Mansi Shah

When You Change Alongside Your Book: Q&A with Mansi Shah

THE TASTE OF GINGER author discusses challenges in her quest for publication, writing about the immigrant experience, and much more.
Image: The Creative's Apprentice guiding principles

What Your Writing Is Training You For

To survive and be happy in a creative career, focus on WHAT you’re doing and WHY—and have faith that everything will work out in due time.
Image: an indistinct figure's hands and face behind a white screen.

13 Ways to Freaking Freak Out Your Horror Readers

For horror writers, here are some ways to frighten a reader so badly that they text someone at midnight saying, “You have to read this!”
Image: a young, redheaded, freckled girl holding a magnifying glass.

What If Your Memoir Is Middle Grade?

What makes a memoir suitable for YA or middle-grade readers isn’t shying away from tough topics but approaching them with a child’s eyes.
Image: a female boxer being punched, sending her protective mouthguard flying into the air.

If You Can’t Stand the Sight of Your Own Blood, Don’t Step Into the Ring

It’s difficult yet important to develop enough confidence in your work that you’re not sunk every time someone dislikes it and says so.
Laura Zats and T.S Ferguson

How Important Is Genre When Pitching and Promoting Your Book?

Two literary agents discuss the usefulness and limits of assigning a genre to writing, and how it’s perceived by publishers and readers.
Image: a stack of old photos and letters.

You Are Not Your Traumas. But Here’s How to Write About Them

Writing sustainably about trauma requires practicing moderation, focusing on meaning, and working in ways that limit your exposure.
Image: two professional women shaking hands. A neon sign on the background wall reads "Good vibes only".

How to Pitch Like a Hollywood Pro

How to put your best foot forward, from the new book PITCH LIKE HOLLYWOOD: What You Can Learn from the High-Stakes Film Industry.
Image: five origami boats. Four smaller boats follow a larger one.

How to Write a Thought Leadership Book

Defining your why, who, what, and how is the start of writing a powerful thought leadership book that conveys your vision and impacts lives.
Image: someone deleting the Facebook app from a smartphone.

A Year Without Social Media as a Freelance Writer

For freelancers, forgoing social media can mean giving up crucial visibility. But it can also provide time to focus on being a better writer.
Image: Grid notebook surrounded by crumpled balls of paper and half-full coffee mugs.

3 Shifts You Need to Make to Finish Your Book

If you’ve been seeking external solutions to your writing problems, these internal shifts might have a more profound effect on your progress.
Image: a red heart-shaped piece of foam, torn in two down the middle and held together with a Band-Aid.

3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Writing about Trauma

Writing about trauma isn’t like ripping off a Band-Aid. Here are some strategies for assessing whether you’re ready and proceeding gently.
Image: Hand holding a bottle cap with "Bravely done" printed on the inside.

Want to Write a Great Novel? Be Brave.

Imbuing a character’s story with your own life experience—the good, bad, ugly and transformational—unleashes your book’s full emotional power.
Image: close-up photo of a miniature antique car in the foreground, with blurred city street in the background.

Use Telling Details to Connect Description to Character

One key to compelling fiction is in how details are conveyed. Not everything warrants description—only details that matter to the character.
Image: a stack of unassembled jigsaw puzzle pieces, topped by a piece with a heart shape painted on it.

When a Writer Dies: Making Difficult Decisions About the Work Left Behind

When an author’s death leaves a manuscript unfinished, her husband tries to put together the pieces and complete the book.
Image: a plaque inscribed with the words "To imagine, to create, to learn".

Yes, Writers Need to Hear the Hard Truths. But Warnings Can Go Too Far

One author considers the power that writing conferences have to inspire—and to discourage—their audiences.
Image: Netflix on the screen of an iMac computer.

What Kind of Book Translates Well to the Screen?

Well-constructed stories, snappy dialogue, and surprising twists can all contribute to a book’s chance of being chosen for adaptation.
How to Plan and Host Worthwhile Online Book Events

How to Plan and Host Worthwhile Online Book Events

Learn best practices for online book events, regardless of the platform you’re using.
Image: Hands holding a domino, over a stack of fallen dominoes.

The Role of Causation and Plot Structure in Literary Fiction

Cause and effect plotting is every bit as important to literary fiction as to genre fiction or thriller; it’s just expressed in subtler ways.
Image: hands emerging from bed covers to type on a laptop computer, with a cup of coffee resting nearby on the bedsheets.

Here’s What Can Happen When You Resolve to Write a Little Every Day

One author shares how creation of a daily writing routine has made all the difference in attaining her goals.
Don't Let Your Characters Fall Into the Daily Routine Trap

Don’t Let Your Characters Fall Into the Daily Routine Trap

When writers seek to humanize and bring their characters to life, they often fall into the “daily routine trap": they overexplain the daily or mundane actions of their characters.
Image: a colorful notebook, pencil case, pencil and open day planner on a wooden table.

How to Get Your Writing Done When New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work (and They Usually Don’t)

Instead of resolving to make a big change in your habits, think of one small thing to do to support your writing in the new year.
Image: young women looking at a smartphone on which the TikTok app is displayed.

BookTok: A Safe Haven for Young Female Readers

The key to winning BookTok content: authenticity.
To Everyone Who Wants Me to Read Their Writing and Tell Them What to Do

To Everyone Who Wants Me to Read Their Writing and Tell Them What to Do

To achieve writing success—especially commercial success—requires an inner drive that pushes you forward no matter what feedback you receive.
Image: three schoolgirls gathered around a stack of picture books.

What’s Selling in Children’s Books + What’s Ahead for 2022

Growth in the children’s market continues, especially for series and licensed characters. BookTok emerges as an organic social media boost for backlist YA.
Image: young woman with a concerned expression, hold a telephone receiver.

What Makes a Story Feel Like a Story?

What’s the difference between a story and a narrative that merely relates a series of events? The protagonist’s internal struggle.
Image: Typewriter typing the words "rewrite… edit… rewrite… edit… rewrite"

7 Steps for Tackling a Revise & Resubmit (R&R)

Receiving an R&R is good news, and a great opportunity to show agents or editors your revising skills and how you accept feedback.
Image: blank name tag labeled "Hello my name is."

Choose the Perfect Title for Your Novel or Memoir: 7 Authors Offer Tips

Giving your book a good title that captures the essence of your story is one of the most important things you’ll do.
Image: a pencil-shaped rocket launching into space

Launching a Book: Baby, Art or Product?

Promotion strategy for your book depends greatly on why you’ve written it, what it means to you, and its place in the larger context of your life.
Yes, Social Media Can Sell Books. But Not If Publishers Sit on Their Hands

Yes, Social Media Can Sell Books. But Not If Publishers Sit on Their Hands

Publishers need to closely collaborate with their authors if they expect that author's large social media following to sell books.
Image: fine-point red marker on white background.

When—and Whether—to Hire a Developmental Editor

A developmental editor is like any tool in your toolbox. Knowing whether and when to use one will help you get the most bang for your buck.
Image: Fortune cookie fortune reading "Do not fear failure".

How to Overcome Perfectionism to Achieve Your Writing Goals

Perfectionism—the fear of risking failure—is anathema to the writing process, but can be overcome by establishing a different mindset.
The Kindle Vella Experience: Is It for You?

The Kindle Vella Experience: Is It for You?

A literary fiction author dipped her toe into Amazon’s serialization platform Kindle Vella. Here’s why she did it, and her thoughts so far.
Image: high-end greeting cards and other items on display at a stationery store.

Art and Commerce Need Not Be at Odds

What does creativity have to do with business? A lot, it turns out. It’s just a different kind of creativity than you engage with when you write.
Image: six gold-painted eggs in a cardboard holder.

NFTs for Authors: Is This a Rush for Fool’s Gold?

One marketer offers an opinion about why the promise of NFTs will most likely not upturn the whole publishing industry.
Image: silhouettes of an older couple sitting at a bus stop, seen from the back through frosted glass.

Writing Compassionately about Parents

Applying craft techniques—like complexity and telling details—is crucial to bringing our parents, and their humanity, to life on the page.
Image: three hardcover books stacked atop one another on a wooden table.

The Short-Run Printing Option: Pros and Cons

There are three main ways to create printed copies of your book. Which one you choose depends on your budget and goals.
Image: yellow autumn leaves on the ground, arranged around the perimeter so that the negative space in the center forms the shape of a leaf.

Debuting at the Age of 66

This author is living proof that neither age nor lack of experience writing fiction are barriers to becoming a novelist.
Image: a complex stairway with unexpected angles, seen from above.

Deciding Between Simple and Complex Memoir Structures

Will you tell your story in a linear, chronological manner, or use a more complicated structure? Here’s how to decide what might be best.