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Sharon

January’s Big New Book Order #amreading

 Authors, Books, Memoir, Publishing  Comments Off on January’s Big New Book Order #amreading
Feb 012019
 

I did another big book order this week, and decided I’d try to be more disciplined about this blogging thing and share some of the titles I can’t wait to get my hands on:

How to Sit: A Memoir in Stories and Essays by Tyrese L. Coleman

I know Tyrese through some online networking groups for writers, plus Twitter chats. Published by small Mason Jar Press, her book, How to Sit, is grabbing big attention, including a nomination for the PEN/Open Book Award.  From Amazon:

“How to Sit, a memoir when viewed in its entirety, plays with the line between fiction and nonfiction as it explores adolescence, identity, grief, and the transition between girlhood and womanhood for a young black woman seeking to ground herself when all she wants is to pretend her world is fantasy.”

 

 

 

First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story by Huda Al-Marashi

Here’s another writer I “met” through online networking! Huda’s memoir from indie Prometheus Books was chosen as a best book of 2018 by Buzzfeed!

A review from E.J. Levy in The Washington Post raves, “If Jane Austen had grown up as a first-gen daughter of Iraqi parents in the 1990s, she might have written this. Keenly observed, with indelible characters, al-Marashi portrays the complex mores and manners that govern life and love in the immigrant community of her youth — from the kindly if baffled Baba, her elderly father, to Huda’s formidable mother and the endearingly hapless Hadi, who loves Huda for years, hampered by propriety…”

 

 

 

A Fractured Life by Shabnam Samuel

This memoir is also from a small press, Vermont’s Green Place Books. From Amazon:

“Abandoned by her parents as a three-year-old, and ultimately leaving her home country India for a new life in America as a young mother of a three-year-old son, this is not only an immigrant’s story, but a poignant and powerful memoir that is at first, one of sadness and continuing adversity, but ultimately one of strength, purpose, and the universal triumph of hope.”

Shabnam, whom I also met through networking groups, is the founder of the Panchgani Writers Retreat in India, which I someday hope to attend.

 

 

              Brother Bullet: Poems by Casandra López

This one is a preorder from University of Arizona Press! I’m so looking forward to reading these poems. I heard Casandra read some of her work at Hugo House in Seattle a couple years ago. The Amazon description for this collection is gorgeous:

“Speaking to both a personal and collective loss, in Brother Bullet Casandra López confronts her relationships with violence, grief, guilt, and ultimately, endurance. Revisiting the memory and lasting consequences of her brother’s murder, López traces the course of the bullet—its trajectory, impact, wreckage—in lyrical narrative poems that are haunting and raw with emotion, yet tender and alive in revelations of light.”

 

 

And last but not least…

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

My friend Kira’s book won’t be released until August, but trust me, you want to pre-order so you can tell your friends you read this amazing novel before it hit The New York Times bestseller list! This hilarious story is a 2019 lead title for publisher Grand Central, and has already been optioned for a series by the AMC Network. I definitely need Amazon’s help to explain this book:

“S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®.

Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies–from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis–fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.”

 

 

 

 Posted by at 6:45 pm

Getting Started as a Writer: Social Media Tip

 Publishing  Comments Off on Getting Started as a Writer: Social Media Tip
Jan 252019
 

Ok, maybe you’re smarter than me and you already know how to do all the social media things, but I was recently introduced to a super easy tool for graphics that I wanted to share.

I’ve been working with Liz Hanslik Psaltis of EHP Marketing to learn how to improve my social media presence as a writer. Liz suggested I try the Canva app and make some shareable quotes from pieces I’ve written. This is my first attempt making a graphic, with a quote from an essay I wrote for The Washington Post in 2017 called Unpacking the Adoption That Wasn’t.

Making this graphic and posting it to Instagram took all of five minutes. I was stunned, since I previously had no idea how all those beautiful little graphics were made. I assumed I’d need a better skill set, but it was so easy…Who knew?

Next up: figure out how to use my own photos instead of stock pics.

 

 

 Posted by at 1:16 am

Fantastic Forthcoming Books…

 Authors, Books, Inspiration, Memoir, Publishing  Comments Off on Fantastic Forthcoming Books…
Dec 122018
 

A few writers I know, either “IRL” or through online connections, have new books coming out soon. This week I did a big pre-order, so I thought I’d share the news about these forthcoming memoirs I’m so excited about…I can’t wait for these books to show up on my doorstep!

 

Twin to Twin: From High-Risk Pregnancy to Happy Family — Crystal Duffy

Pub date: Dec 15, 2018

I met Crystal at the ASJA Conference last May, and then our paths crossed again at the Brave Magic workshop in September with Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s one of the friendliest and most upbeat people I’ve met, and I can’t wait to read her inspirational story. She’s a tireless advocate for NICU Parents as well as Maternal and Infant health.

 

 

 

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive — Stephanie Land

Pub date: January 22, 2019

Stephanie’s memoir about working as a maid and scraping by as a single mom, has gotten tons of advance praise. I know she’s poured her heart into this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard — Jennifer Pastiloff

Pub date: June 4, 2019

Jennifer is so many amazing things: writer, yoga teacher, social media star, and creator of the beautiful online magazine, The Manifest-Station.

Amazon describes her book as “an inspirational memoir about how… years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty, how deafness taught her to listen fiercely, how being vulnerable allowed her to find love, and how imperfections can lead to a life full of wild happiness.”
 

 

 

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love — Dani Shapiro

Pub Date: Jan 15, 2019

Dani is one of my favorite writers, and her first memoir, Slow Motion, will always be one of my favorite books. I can’t wait to read this story about her discovery of a shocking family secret.

 

 Posted by at 6:54 pm

Finding Hope in Art: The Murals of the Mission in San Francisco

 Art, Inspiration, travel, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Finding Hope in Art: The Murals of the Mission in San Francisco
Nov 152018
 

A few weeks ago I met up with two of my closest friends in San Francisco. I’m not really a “girls’ weekend” kind of person — that is, I tend to put fun last on my to do list. Usually when I leave my family, it’s for writing, even if  writer friends’ are involved. However, when my-best-friend-since-third-grade, Paula, called and said she REALLY needed a getaway, I knew I had to show up. Our dear-friend-since-seventh-grade, June, was also down. Let the fun begin!

I found us a charming B & B that had once been a brothel. The nice people the Monte Cristo kept us happy with homemade cookies, scones, fudge, and breakfast made to order. We also spent a lot of time eating and drinking our way around the Hayes Valley neighborhood, thanks to Paula’s niece, a student at nearby University of San Francisco.

My favorite part of the trip turned out to be a tour of the murals of San Francisco’s Mission District, arranged by Paula. We met with a guide from Precita Eyes Muralists, a nonprofit organization that creates murals and offers art classes to benefit the Mission’s diverse community. If you’re not familiar with San Francisco, this area was originally populated by the Ohlone tribe, who were enslaved by Franciscan missionaries to build the Mission San Francisco, the city’s oldest building. After World War II, the Mission began to attract Mexican families, and later, immigrants from Central America, and remains the city’s Latinx center today (and famous for its ginormous burritos!)

The morning of our mural tour, my friends and I heard about the terrible mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Although there was no way to avoid feeling the pain of this terrible tragedy, (nor should we try to escape that pain, if we hope to ever address the issue gun violence) spending two hours discovering art steeped in an activist tradition proved heartening and uplifting.

This mural depicts the struggle for democracy in Nepal.

 

 

 

 

 

A small section of a mural that depicts the inherent danger of a border crossing, and the desperate desire to join family that makes people take the risk.

Just one of many Frida Kahlo images we encountered on our tour. This work was done with spray paint.

Honoring a local poet and leader in the Black Community.

A celebration of the joy found in Mexican cinema.

 

“The Women of the Resistance” mural made me cry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tour guide shared several stories about how creating these murals brought the people of the neighborhood together. My friends and I took a photo in front of one artwork created on site where people lost their lives to gang violence. Many different members of the community came together to paint this mural and instill new energy here.

 

As much as our country and world is struggling right now, as much harm as we human beings do to one another, we also share the impulse to create, to collaborate, to make meaning and beauty. Maybe it was partly the pleasure of spending time with old friends and partly the perfect sunshine, but I ended the mural tour feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time. Next time you go to San Francisco, consider having a look.

 

 Posted by at 2:24 am

Getting Started as a Writer: Finding a News Peg

 Authors, News about me, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing  Comments Off on Getting Started as a Writer: Finding a News Peg
Sep 132018
 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I published a new essay this week, titled Sexism Against Female Athletes Starts Early. Just Ask My Daughter, tied to the drama surrounding Serena Williams and the disastrous US Open Women’s final, and I thought I’d share a few thoughts about how you can leverage what’s happening in the news to increase your chances of publishing a personal essay.

The web has been a boon for writers, creating an endless demand for fresh content that will make readers want to click, click, click. (The downside is that freelance pay rates have gone down down down, because “content” is cheaper than journalism or literature, but that’s a story for another time.) Whenever you can find a personal story that connects with what people are talking about on social media and elsewhere, you have an increased shot at publication. The key is finding a fresh angle, grounded in your unique experience and sensibility.

It just so happened that the day before that infamous US Open match, my daughter received a ridiculous penalty card in a high school volleyball game that even her coach attributed to sexism. With everyone talking about sexism in women’s sports, I had the perfect opportunity to share my daughter’s experience and reflect on how sexism affects young athletes.

My friend, writer Shanon Lee, looked at the US Open mess and actually came up with two essays, grounded in her experience as a black woman — Serena Williams and the Epidemic of Policing Black Women’s Anger —  and as the mom of biracial black and Asian children — Serena is an important role model, but Naomi Osaka will be important to my daughter.

Keep in mind, if you’re chasing the headlines, you need to work fast. I’m not a fast writer (how did Shanon get two pieces done in 24 hours??!!!)  Some of my past attempts at a “hot take” have failed, meaning I spent a lot of time writing something, and nobody wanted to publish it because I pitched too late in the news cycle. However, one of my most successful pieces came from a hot take that failed. I sent an essay to the Well Family section of The New York Times, and the editor explained that they didn’t publish items tied to fast-trending news very often…BUT then she invited me to rewrite the piece, leaving out the news peg, which became my Ties essay, A Poster Family for Diversity. So my advice is, if you feel super fired up about something in the news and just HAVE to write it, don’t hold back! You never know where that piece will lead.

Finally, a news peg doesn’t always mean latching on to a trending news story. Pegs like holidays, seasons, special events like National Adoption Month, the reboot of an old TV show etc can also help you land a byline, with the benefit of allowing you to write at a more leisurely pace if you plan ahead. Also remember that some essays are evergreen, and editors need those too, but anytime you have a fresh angle on what’s topical, you’re ahead of the game.

To read my latest essay, head over to HuffPost Personal.

 

 Posted by at 1:38 am

When Life Gives You Lemons, Write a Poem (Or Something Else)

 Finding Time for Writing, News about me, Parenting, Uncategorized, Writing, Youth Sports  Comments Off on When Life Gives You Lemons, Write a Poem (Or Something Else)
Aug 092018
 

Photo by Francesca Hotchin on Unsplash

My three children are athletes. They’re teenagers, and we’ve been doing the competitive travel team thing since the older two were in second grade. SECOND GRADE, PEOPLE. WTH was I thinking?

For 7 years, all three played soccer, which is essentially a cult I didn’t want to join. I put a lot of energy into resisting. I thought I could somehow support my kids’ enjoyment of the sport while simultaneously hating the time it sucked from my life. As an introvert, I found the social demands of youth soccer challenging as well. The other parents were nice enough people, but I didn’t want to hang with them all weekend every weekend. (I still don’t. Shhh.)

For years I complained about soccer a lot to whoever would listen. It takes all my writing time, I whined. I’m always in the car. I took a workshop with Andre Dubus III, and he told me to start writing in my car during practice. That helped. Then my friend Crista Cloutier, who helps artists market their work, said, “Why don’t you write a soccer poem?”

Now there was an idea. Instead of resisting the life I’d made, I could use it. I’m no poet, so  I started writing essays, articles, and humor about soccer. That lead to my big break, a 2014 essay for Motherlode at The New York Times titled Lackeys of Youth Soccer, That Arrogant Sport, a piece went all around the world and remains my biggest impact story to date.

At 13, my oldest daughter tore her ACL in soccer practice. After surgery and rehab, she decided to convert to volleyball, a sport I find slightly less exhausting than the so-called beautiful game. My youngest daughter sustained a concussion on the field at 12, recovered, and today is playing better soccer than ever. My son suffered a spinal stress fracture at age 15 and spent nine months in a back brace. Now that he’s back to soccer, the opportunity to catch him on the field doing what he loves feels special. We’ve been at this grind for a long time, we’ve sacrificed a lot, but finally I recognize that my duties a sports mom won’t last forever. I’ve learned to cherish the ways sports brings us together as a family, and to celebrate whenever all three kids are strong and healthy and ready to play.

So, I don’t waste energy hating the sports grind like I used to,  but I’m still writing soccer “poems,” like my latest for The Washington Post. If you’re the parent of a youth athlete, I hope you’ll take a look at this piece on injury prevention: Tommy John’s son wants to help kids avoid sports surgeries like the one named for his famous dad.

 

 Posted by at 6:12 pm

Career advice from a master: David Sedaris

 Authors, Memoir, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing  Comments Off on Career advice from a master: David Sedaris
Jul 182018
 

Recently, I heard from an editor who’d published an essay of mine a few years ago. She’s moved into corporate communications, where the $$$ is much better than in publishing, and wanted to hire me for a project.

These days I seldom do content/corporate writing. That’s how I made my living in my 20s/ 30s, until my husband encouraged me to focus on creative projects. Having a partner who financially supports your creativity is a privilege that has benefited my career and allowed me to work on a memoir. Still, I sometimes chafe at the arrangement. Why? Because earning money feels good.  But the truth is, it’s really hard to work on a book and freelance at the same time. And with 3 kids, my time is always short.

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

My point is, I should have said no.

However.

The day the editor contacted me, I had $72 in my work checking account and only $150 due to come in from my last piece. I was flattered that this woman remembered me. I didn’t need the money to keep the lights on, but the prospect of a big-ish check that would pay for my next writer’s conference getaway was enticing. I said yes.

Once I dug into the assignments, I regretted my decision. I had to bring work with me while traveling with my daughter’s soccer team. Instead of enjoying the beach, I was holed up in my room at the Sheraton, writing insurance company copy. I mean, it was good to be earning $, but it wasn’t fun.

Of course — expecting work to be “fun” is another privilege. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that the work didn’t feel satisfying. Writing isn’t always fun, but most of the time it makes me feel good. Except when it feels like “work.” I found myself  lamenting the time I wasn’t spending with my kid during the trip, and regretting the time I wasn’t spending on my book.

I turned in the assignments and got paid. I complained on social media that I hadn’t enjoyed the project (without going into detail), and a friend commented that she’s been trying to get writing work for years and would love someone to hire her for anything. And I felt like an ass.

A few days later, I was listening to the wonderful podcast #amwriting with Jess and KJ. The ladies were interviewing David Sedaris,  and when they asked him about the early days of his career, he said that from the start, he had a vision for what he wanted his writing career to be. As his career heated up, he said no to opportunities that weren’t consistent with that vision. He turned down lots of cool offers because they weren’t going to help him get him where he wanted to go.

That’s why he’s David Sedaris, I thought, and you’re not.

While I very much appreciated being offered content work, I should have said no. I’ve said yes to several things this year that  I shouldn’t have, and then I walk around frustrated and twitchy because I’m not moving forward fast enough on those bigger, creative goals that are close to my heart. And when I grab an opportunity that’s not really right for me, I’m also standing in the way of someone somewhere who would really, really love that gig.

Again, I want to acknowledge that saying no to paying work is a privilege not everyone can afford. ( And Jess and KJ never asked David Sedaris how he paid his bills in the early days of his career when he was saying no to distracting offers! I wish they had. ) But regardless of what kind of financial situation you’re in, this much is  true: EVERY TIME YOU SAY YES TO ONE THING, YOU’RE SAYING NO TO SOMETHING ELSE. None of us has unlimited time or energy. We can’t do it all. We have to cultivate a vision for the future and make choices accordingly. Maybe we have to say yes to less-than-exciting jobs sometimes to survive, but then we balance that out by saying no to other things, like binge-watching Netflix, to grab that creative time.

The fact that I need to consciously say no more often isn’t a revelation. But hearing a famous author matter-of-factly explain how clear he was — and is —  about his priorities was inspiring. From now on I’m going to ask myself WWDD — What Would David Do? Maybe it will help.

 

 

 

 Posted by at 11:37 pm

New Essay on Why #FamiliesBelongTogether

 Adoption, News about me, Parenting, Social Justice  Comments Off on New Essay on Why #FamiliesBelongTogether
Jun 252018
 

Yes, I know. Bad news is everywhere right now. Sometimes we have to turn away to recover and recharge, but then we must re-engage. We can’t afford not to.

In that spirit, I hope you’ll read this essay I wrote for Romper: I Adopted my Kids from “Third World” Countries — Where They Were Treated Better Than Child Refugees in the US. I’ve visited at least 10 orphanages in the developing world. All of them broke my heart — and yet, those kids received better care than migrant children in US custody.

Children’s bedroom in an orphanage in India that I visited.

My oldest daughter, now 16, lived in a New Delhi children’s home for the three years before my husband and I adopted her a few months after her fifth birthday. My son, also 16, and younger daughter, 15, adopted at ages 3 and 2 from Ethiopia, endured almost a year in institutional care.

I understand, in a direct and personal way, how institutionalization harms children.

The details of what my children experienced while institutionalized are not mine to share, but I can sum things up this way: My kids were lucky. They ended up in good orphanages — except really, there’s no such thing. I understand, in a direct and personal way, how institutionalization harms children. My job as an adoptive parent for the past decade has involved trying to undo the damage. Thankfully, my kids are thriving, but the future for the children in Trump’s camps is uncertain.

Read the full essay here.

 Posted by at 3:04 pm
May 032018
 

I’ve been meaning to share some thoughts about writing retreats, conferences and workshops. What can you expect? How do you choose the right one? Here are a few ideas.

Last week I spent five glorious days in California at Sonoma County Writers Camp (SCWC). Run by New York Times bestselling author Ellen Sussman, and writer Elizabeth Stark, SCWC offers workshops and master classes suitable for writers at every level, plus tons of private writing time! This was my second time attending SCWC and I loved every minute!

Elizabeth, center, and Ellen, right, at the opening night wine tasting. Photo by Angie Powers.

Photo by Angie Powers.

Held at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, SCWC truly has a camp feel, with stories told round the fire and frogs croaking all through the night — but with comfy beds and indoor plumbing. Check out the compostable toilets!  😆 The food is all fresh and healthy vegetarian, much of it grown on site, but because it’s Sonoma County, the long weekend kicked off with a local wine tasting, hosted by Eric Kent Winery. Cheers!

One thing I love about SCWC is that the sessions led by Elizabeth and Ellen are generative. The means you write during the classes vs. presenting polished work from home for critique. Generative workshops are perfect for beginners, because you simply dive in and write, with a little support. The generative approach also works well for experienced writers who want to break out of a rut or bust past a block and get that creativity flowing!

Other fantastic conferences I’ve attended that offer generative workshops include Vortext (for women only) on Whidbey Island, Washington. Writing By Writers, founded by writer Pam Houston, puts on conferences all over the world,  and often includes generative workshops in the mix. I’ve attended both these conferences multiple times as well, and I highly recommend them!

But what if you have a piece of writing you’ve been laboring over? You’ve taken it as far as it can go on your own but you know it still needs work? A critique workshop may be what you need. For this type of conference, you submit a writing sample in advance, and receive pages from other writers to review. During the conference, each writer’s work is discussed in depth by the group and you leave with a ton of feedback from everyone. Critique workshops can feel a little bruising if you’re not used to the approach, but a good instructor should ensure that comments stay productive. Writing by Writers offers critique workshops, as does the magnificent Sirenland, offered by Dani Shapiro and Hannah Tinti in Positano, Italy.

At a retreat or a residency, everything revolves around writing time, though guidance may be offered. At Linda Sivertsen’s amazing Carmel Writing Retreats, attendees discuss their projects together, brainstorm, set goals and then spend hours quietly working. Linda also meets one-on-one with each attendee and helps with everything from editing, to pep talks, to advice on finding an agent. For myself, I’ve learned that events with lots of writing time with built in accountability to other writers works really well for me, which is what Linda offers, but you can create the same productive atmosphere with friends at a DIY retreat.

Industry or pitch conferences are a great way to learn about the business of publishing and how to market your work. I’ll be speaking on a panel later this month at the American Society of Journalists and Authors Conference in New York. Rudri Bhatt Patel, Jenn Morson, Jen Simon and I will offer tips on pitching essays and articles to magazines. Our May 19 presentation is part of non-members day at the conference, geared to writers just starting out. If you have a book idea, industry conferences offer a the chance to find out what agents and editors are looking for, and to get feedback from pros on your project if you’re ready.

Sometimes the lines at conferences and workshops get blurred. Craft may mix with industry, and a retreat might include critique workshops. For example, Sonoma County Writers Camp always includes a publishing industry panel, to give attendees a taste of what agents, editors and booksellers do.  The important thing when choosing a conference or event is to figure out what YOUR objective is in participating. Do you need writing time? Instruction? Feedback? Inspiration? Are you looking to network and make publishing industry connections? Read the conference description carefully to be sure you understand what’s on offer, try to get feedback from past attendees, and then go for what you need.

Have you attended a really great writer’s conference or retreat? Have you created a conference? Feel free to share info and tips in the comments.

 

 Posted by at 1:58 am

Getting Started as a Writer: Helpful Books, Websites, and Podcasts

 Authors, Books, Publishing, resources for writers, Writing  Comments Off on Getting Started as a Writer: Helpful Books, Websites, and Podcasts
Mar 182018
 

In my last post, I talked about how often I hear from people who feel a calling to write but don’t know where or how to start. I’m sharing some of my favorite resources here on the blog. Let’s take a look!

BOOKS

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within — Natalie Goldberg’s Zen approach to writing stands as a classic for a reason. All you need to get started is pen, paper, and Natalie’s encouragement to write anywhere, even the laundromat.

The Artist’s Way — Julie Cameron’s iconic guide serves beginning writers,  as well as writers who need to refresh and begin again. Cameron will have you writing three pages every morning before you know it.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life — Anne Lamott will coax you into writing a “shitty first draft.” Another enduring classic.

Discovering the Writer Within: The 40-Day Writers Workshop — This practical guide by Bruce Ballenger and Barry Lane is used often in classrooms, but you can easily do these writing exercises at home. Ballenger taught at the University of New Hampshire when I was an adjunct instructor there. I stole all my classroom writing exercises from him.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft — Even if you’re not a fan of Stephen King’s fiction, check out his brilliant and inspiring writing guide.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear — Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, offers advice on creativity that manages to be both lofty and down-to-earth at the same time.

Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life — This jewel of a book arose from Dani Shapiro’s brilliant blog on writing, Moments of Being. If Shapiro’s voice speaks to you, check out her Facebook series on writing, Office Hours, where she answers questions on writing from viewers.

Those are just a few of my favorites. For even more book recommendations, try:

The 28 Best Books on Writing

100 Must-Read, Best Books on Writing and the Writer’s Life

Best Books for Writers

 

WEBSITES

The Write Life — Make this site your first stop, because every year The Write Life publishes a list of the 100 Best Websites for Writers. This is your jumping off point!

Beyond Your Blog — If you’re eager to try publishing, this site will show you how to get started, with tips from editors and an extensive market list, with plenty of outlets that are open to beginners. Site creator Susan Macarelli has stepped away and is no longer updating the info, but there’s still plenty of helpful and relevant material here.

Poets & Writers — If you’re interested in MFA programs, conferences and residencies, you’ll find info about all that and more here.

Writer’s Digest — There’s a reason they’ve been around forever. The Writer’s Digest site connects you to their magazine content, plus conferences and retreats, online classes and more.

 

PODCASTS

#amwriting with Jess and KJ — #amwriting offers practical tips on how to make writing happen. New York Times columnist KJ Dell’Antonia and Jess Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure, share their secrets of success, talk candidly about their struggles, and discuss their favorite books.

The Beautiful Writers Podcast — my friend Linda Siverstsen interviews some of the biggest names in the book work, including Terry McMillan, Glennon Doyle, Mary Karr and Martha Beck. Inspirational and real at the same time.

Also check out:

20 Inspiring Writers Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

In my next post, I’ll talk about writers’ conferences, retreats, and groups.

 Posted by at 7:34 pm