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10 Ways to Nurture a Young Writer

What do you do when a teen in your life is a diehard writer? When they won’t clean their room and just want to write stories or poems all day?
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3 Ways Writers Block Their Success (While Thinking They’re Hard at Work)

Working hard isn’t necessarily a virtue if it masks the ways that we might be sabotaging our own paths to success and fulfillment.
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When Do You Need an Author Website?

A little planning and reflection will help your website be a project you sustain, rather than discard like a half-baked draft.
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When Your Characters Speak a Language Other Than English

No matter what language our characters are speaking, writers should strive to express dialogue and inner thoughts in a naturalistic way.
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How to Develop a Complex Protagonist

With these four elements you’ll be able to create a more compelling protagonist and, as a result, a more interesting story.
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Are You Sure You Don’t Have an Author Platform?

An amateur historian finds that her passion has led to enough expertise and authority for her book proposal to be taken seriously.
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The Right Way to Ask a Published Writer for Publishing Advice

Here are some tips on what to do before approaching a published writer with questions about how to get your book published.
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When Your Publisher Gets the Cover Wrong—Very Wrong

If your publisher’s suggested cover design feels wrong, put your foot down when necessary but also listen—really listen—to the professionals.
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How to Write Nonfiction When You’re Not an “Expert”

Worried you’re not enough of an expert to write your book? That’s OK. You don’t need to be the annoying expert who knows it all. There’s another—far more effective—approach you can take when talking to readers.
Image: Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev stands at the gate of the former Terezin concentration camp in the Czech Republic, holding a yellow fabric Magen David with the word "Jude" stitched on it.

Harnessing the Power of TikTok: From Self-Published to Traditionally Published Author

How one author leveraged a sizable social media platform to breathe new life into a self-published book.
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Why Authors Should Ditch Mailchimp and Move to Substack

Authors who’ve been using Mailchimp for their email newsletter might consider moving to Substack, as it offers several benefits—and it's free.
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Why You Should Start Promoting Your Writing Before You’re “Ready”

When an author’s article went viral, she didn’t have the tools in place—a website, a social presence—to capture and leverage that audience.
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Using ChatGPT for Book Research? Take Exceeding Care

Authors should consider using AI for historical research—not as a replacement for primary sources, but as just another useful tool.
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The Fascinating Neuroscience of Scene

According to neuroscience, scenes make the reader feel as if they are actually in the world of the story. And that makes scene the most memorable way to share information with the reader.
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Writer’s Block? Maybe You’re Writing in the Wrong Format

If your writing project has hit a wall, consider whether it really wants to be a different form than the one you’re trying to shape it into.
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Boost Your Book Launch by Perfecting Distribution and Metadata

When self-publishing be sure to determine a distribution strategy, avoid gotchas when using POD, and get pricing and metadata right from the start.
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The How, When and Why of Writing Autofiction

In this nexus of fact and fiction, writers can mine, select and transform their real life journeys, turning points and discoveries into story.
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Why Beta Readers Lead You to Getting Paid for Your Writing

Building up courage to own your identity as a writer starts when you realize you need to ask someone for an objective opinion on your work.
Photo of author Elisa Lorello with the quote: "ChatGPT has fueled my love for writing and being a writer, which is really saying something given how much I already loved both. I see what AI generates and it makes me want to write better, more creatively, and more productively."

How to Make Productive Use of ChatGPT: Q&A with Elisa Lorello

Author Elisa Lorello’s exploratory dive into ChatGPT led her to discover its usefulness—rather than threat—to fiction and nonfiction writers.
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Create Effective Dialogue by Asking the Right Questions

Asking yourself the right questions about why, when, how, and how much your characters speak will help you craft more powerful dialogue.
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Describe Your Book in Two Sentences: Q&A with Ann Garvin

A book pitch requires an author to distill character, plot and stakes into one or two juicy sentences that entice a reader to ask for more.
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Are You Giving Yourself Writing Credit?

One of the hard parts of working on a book is that day-to-day progress isn’t readily visible. Give yourself credit for all the small achievements.
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How to Find Comp Titles Using ChatGPT

These five steps will help you find your ideal comp titles for your query letter or book proposal, using ChatGPT. Includes sample prompts.
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How to Differentiate Between Desire and Desperation in Pursuit of Publication

Submitting work shouldn’t be an act of desperation, and not every publishing deal aligns with your goals for your book—your “why”.
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4 Pillars of Book Marketing, or How to Sell More Books in Less Time

Marketing strategically for 30–60 minutes per day can ensure your time, money, and energy go toward activities that move the needle.
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A Framework for Moving Beyond Your First Draft

Finished a first draft and unsure where to go next? Here’s a 5-point checklist of what the second draft revision process should accomplish.
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Why You Should Be Writing on Social Media

It’s still possible to write on social media to communicate our ideas, our topics, and our point of view to people who become our audience.
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Banish Writer’s Block in 5 Minutes Flat

With a regular five-minute meditation you’ll become a master of focus, able to dismiss distractions before they even fully form as thoughts.
Photo of author Julia Scheeres with the quotation: To collaborate can be hard. When it’s going well, it’s great, because you’re sharing the excitement and discoveries with someone else, but it can be problematic when you start thinking, “Who’s doing more work than the other?”

How Two Authors Collaborated on a Biography

The recently published LISTEN, WORLD! is a page turning biography of Elsie Robinson, the most read woman journalist of the twentieth century.
Infographic summarizing the characteristics of upmarket fiction. It's primarily character driven; has universal themes everyone can connect to; its aim is thoughtful discussion; it blends lines of commercial and literary fiction; it's appropriate for book club discussion; has accessible and quality writing tackling a commercial plot; and has a concise and attention-grabbing hook.

What Is Upmarket Fiction?

Upmarket fiction is a blend of commercial and literary fiction, but how it gets blended is where writers and industry members can’t always agree.
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5 Reasons to Write Your “Taboo” Stories

When we lean into stigmatized topics, we invite readers to wrestle with the same complexities we’re examining in ourselves.
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What Memoirists Can Learn from Historical Novelists

Writers of both genres have to make decisions that somehow mold real people and events into a story with a shape, an arc, and meaning.
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Writing About Native Americans: 7 Questions Answered

A Choctaw author offers tips on researching and connecting with First Americans in order to write respectfully and without stereotypes.
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Picking a Point of View for Your Story

Consider the benefits and limitations of each POV, along with the feel each might lend to your story and how well it fits the tone, tenor, and genre.
How to Write a Hybrid Memoir

How to Write a Hybrid Memoir

Bridging the gap between research and personal experience can become a book’s greatest strength—but it might require Herculean effort.
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How to Survive Editing

Having a gut-punch reaction to being edited is part of the cost of doing business for writers. Here’s advice on how to survive the process.
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How Bad Publishers Hurt Authors

When her indie publisher goes AWOL, an author finds the community and resources she needs to pick up the pieces and persevere.
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To Give It Away or Not to Give It Away

It’s hard to get someone to take a risk on an unknown author. A giveaway can make your book known to thousands of readers in one fell swoop.
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How to Get Emotion on the Page: 2 Most Critical Tactics

To truly put your reader in the emotional position of your POV character, focus on conveying body language and internal narration.
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Always Read the Acknowledgments Page

Acknowledgment pages allow us to peer into authors’ lives, and reveal the fascinating web of the publishing world.
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The Nuts and Bolts of Becoming an Independent Editor

There is no formalized career path for freelance editors. From the hosts of the Independent Editor Podcast, here are tips on what to expect.
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How to Minimize Hurt Feelings When Writing Your Memoir

Memoirists can take steps throughout the writing and publishing process to minimize fallout and family strife.
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How Author Platform Connects to Author Brand

Every effective brand—even an author’s—has three essential characteristics: uniqueness, consistency, and authenticity.
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Create a Book Map for Your Nonfiction Book

A book map—a visual representation of your book’s structure—will help you maintain momentum and ensure a smooth journey for your reader.
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Promoting Your Book as an Introvert in the Age of TikTok

Planning a book launch can be daunting for introverts. But finding strategies that fit with your skills and personality can make it easier.
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The Key Value That Makes Retreats Magical

When hosting a retreat, whatever the subject, providing small, achievable steps lets your participants feel that what they’ve done matters.
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Backstory Is Essential to Story—Except When It’s Not

Focus on the main story’s forward momentum, and use backstory as the seasoning that makes the stew.
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The Author-Creator Marketing Playbook

The key to creating successful content as an author-creator lies in the same ingredients that make your stories so great.
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The Biggest Mistake Even Expert Writers Make

Your audience won’t remember the chapter where your hero took a breather. What’s memorable are the forces of antagonism, and how your hero reacted.
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3 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Draft (or Revise!) a Novel

Before spending time on a story that doesn’t work, ensure you’ve addressed the critical questions of character, plot, goals and motivations.