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Lit Starts—The Writers Grotto’s New Series of Books About Writing

News Flash!

We at the Writers Grotto are so excited to announce the launch of a new series of books for writers—LIT STARTS. The first four books in the series (Writing Humor, Writing Dialogue, Writing Character, and Writing Action) will be in bookstores this coming Tuesday, September 10. Each book features an essay […]

Fall Class at the Grotto

I have two classes coming up. Click the titles to enroll!

Edit Yourself, THIS SUNDAY, September 23

Edit Yourself (with Meghan Ward)

Social Media 2018, Sunday, October 7

This is a new class that will address how social media has changed in the past year and where you should be focusing your energy (Facebook? […]

A Growth Mindset for Writers

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard of Carol Dweck and her book Mindset, or maybe Po Bronson’s Nurture Shock, which references Dweck’s research. The theory behind Mindset is that children who adopt a fixed mindset—who believe that their intelligence and abilities are fixed and won’t change—don’t do as well during the middle school and […]

The Imperfect Writing Life

At AWP16 in Los Angeles in March, I went to a fabulous panel called The Imperfect Writing Life with Samantha Dunn moderating and Andre DeBus III (author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie), Carol Edgarian (author of Rise the Euphrates and Three Stages of Amazement), Neil Thompson (director of publishing at Amazon) and […]

AWP 15: Minneapolis, Here I Come!

I’m getting excited for AWP! I just bought a new umbrella, and I’m digging my coats and sweaters out of the closet. I’ll be moderating a panel Thursday morning and participating in a reading Thursday afternoon. Please come to one or both if you’re going to AWP. I’d love to see/meet you! Details about my […]

Is Your Writing Good Enough?

Do you ever wonder if your writing is good enough? Like, every day? Do you sometimes wonder whether it’s not the publishing industry but YOU that is the problem? That maybe you don’t have it in you to succeed as a writer? That maybe you should have gone to law school after all? You could, […]

Should You Get a PhD in Creative Writing?

Photo by Wrote courtesy of Creative Commons

 

At AWP in February, one of the best panels I attended was titled “What’s a PhD in Creative Writing Worth?” The conclusions I drew after hearing each panelist speak were:

A) You should only get a PhD in Creative Writing if you plan to teach and […]

Author Interview: Tom Barbash

Today I want to welcome Tom Barbash, author of the short story collection Stay Up With Me, which hits bookstores TODAY. (See below for a list of Tom’s Bay Area readings.) Tom is the author of the novel The Last Good Chance and the bestselling nonfiction work On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, […]

Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid

First, I want to announce that the winner of the BlogHer ’13 swag and copy of Guy Kawasaki’s ebook APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, is …

ANNE ALLEN!

Congratulations, Anne! Please email me your mailing address so I can send you your swag!

Now I want to talk a little about craft and […]

Translating Trauma into Memoir

Some of you may remember that in July 2003, an 86-year-old man drove his car through the crowded Santa Monica Farmers’ Market outside of LA, killing ten people and injuring dozens more, many of them critically. That story struck a chord with me because I used to shop at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market when […]