Image: car off road and stuck in mud

7 Common Mistakes in First-Time Memoir

Readers come to a memoir in hopes it will shed light on their own life experiences. Stay on the right track by focusing on what makes your story unique and engaging.

Image: three keys

3 Critical Things You Won’t Learn in an MFA Program

Writing takes grit and so does publishing, but your odds are better if you understand what you’re up against. In this guest post, author and educator Susan DeFreitas shares some “secrets” everyone should know.

Racing snails near the finish line

What Happened After I Lost My Agent—Twice

A series of setbacks can easily lead to feelings of failure. In this guest post, author Rachel Pieh Jones offers lessons on overcoming discouragement, refocusing, and getting back on track.

Hourglass with coins, estimate time and cost for copyediting

Copyediting Jobs: How to Estimate Hours and Pricing

Copy editors are known for perfectionism. But while there’s no end to the fussing you can do, there’s a limit to what someone will pay you to do it. In this guest post, CMOS contributing editor Carol Saller explains how to determine what your time is worth.

viewing machine at scenic spot

The Big Memoir Pitfall to Avoid

Perspective—gained from time and distance—can make the difference between an airing of grievances and a memoir that expresses deeper, universal truths.

Writer's Block Solutions

Writer’s Block Is a Gift. Here’s Why.

You’re intimately familiar with the nature of your writer’s block, right? In this guest post, creativity coach and author Julia Roberts pinpoints specific tools, and how they helped her, to clarify and solve the real issue.

9 Ways (and 2 Rewards) of Marketing Your Own Book

Authors who want to sell their work must often do the marketing themselves, and some methods are easier than others. In this guest post, essayist, memoirist and short story writer Beth Alvarado discusses the ways and reasons why you should take an active role in marketing your own book.

four narrative elements

4 Elements of Narrative That Anyone Can Learn

Narrative is a form that can be learned, like a dance move or a golf swing. Alan Gelb breaks down narrative into four elements: The Once, The Ordinary vs. the Extraordinary, Conflict and Tension, and The Point.

How to Read for an Audience

How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience

Reading your writing in public can be daunting, but the audience is your ally. Keep them engaged with these planning tips from public speaking coach James Nave and workshop leader Allegra Huston, co-authors of How to Read for an Audience: The Stuff Nobody Teaches You.

value for readers

How to Bring Value to Your Readers

Value is subjective, but readers like all consumers seek it. In this guest post, author Paulette Perhach explains how writers whose work earns income match their own sense of value to what their readers value.

Jonathan Westbrook

5 On: Jonathan Westbrook

Writer and graphic designer Jonathan Westbrook discusses what it’s like to win an extraordinary screenwriting contest, then have that win fall through.

Leaving Your Critique Group

Knowing When to Fly: Leaving Your Critique Group

In working on your craft, it’s one thing to find the right critique group. It’s quite another to know when to fly. Writer and librarian Lisa Bubert shares her experience, outlines her formula, and offers tips on leaving the nest.

winning essay contests

How I Won My Third Essay Contest

Writing an essay that wins a contest is not an easy task, but it’s not impossible either. Tammy Delatorre explains the writing and revision process that has led to multiple contest wins.

It's Okay not to Twitter

Saying No to Twitter: What Authors Need to Know

Social media use can drive book sales, but not all successful authors use Twitter. If you don’t want to be on Twitter, you don’t have to be on it. Digital services consultant and AuthorPop founder Daniel Berkowitz shares why Twitter truly is optional.

Marketing and Promoting Your Audiobook

5 Ways to Market Your Audiobook Without Ads

Just like print editions, audiobooks have established outlets for marketing and promotion. Attorney and audiobook editor, director, and distributor Jessica Kaye tells writers and publishers how to make their audiobooks as highly visible and widely available as possible–without the use of advertising.

When you're not ready for rejection

When You’re Just Not Ready for Rejection

Rejection is painful, and there’s no avoiding it as a writer. But you don’t have to submit before you’re ready to deal with it. Writer and blogger Shana Scott offers some perspective on the conventional “publish or perish” advice.

How to Write a Page Turner

8 Mundane Elements You Should Cut From Your Story

Realism has its role, but don’t let it bog down your novel. The right balance of brevity, helpful details, and smooth flow preserves the story’s dramatic tension and keeps the pages turning. In this guest post, bestselling author Jordan Rosenfeld outlines the pitfalls that can bore your reader, and how to avoid them.

audiobooks attunement

Writing for Audio: Understanding Attunement

Successful writing for audio formats requires awareness of how a listener’s needs differ from a reader’s. In this guest post, playwright and fiction writer Jules Horne describes and illustrates key ways a writer can achieve listener attunement to the story.

novel query problems

When Your Query Reveals a Story-Level Problem

When novelists struggle to pitch their work, it may have more to do with the book itself than the query letter. Editor and book coach Susan DeFreitas discusses three reasons why a promising work never lands a traditional deal.

A Primer on Estate Planning as a Writer

Whether you start writing as a child or in your golden years, it’s never too early to learn about estate planning. You may wonder which is best, a will or trust, for bequeathing your written work. Both have their advantages. Here’s what you need to know.

copyright term in the US

What Is Public Domain? (And Why 2019 Is a Big Year)

Today’s guest post is by intellectual property lawyer and novelist Brad Frazer (@bfrazjd). The “public domain” is not a place. It is a term used to describe works of authorship (books, movies, poetry, artwork) that either due to their age or their legal status under U.S. copyright law, the ability of the putative copyright owner […]