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Edit Yourself, Advanced Blogging, Bay Area Book Festival, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A few announcements: This week I have two classes open for registration—a six-week Advanced Blogging Workshop and a one-day Edit Yourself workshop. Also, in early June I’ll be teaching a one-day Successful Blogging class at Book Passage in Corte Madera (see below) and participating in a panel about writing communities at the Bay Area Book […]

Butt in chair stick-to-it-iveness

This week I’m reposting one of my favorite posts—because I think we all need to be reminded now and then of the importance of keeping our butts in the chair.

I’m writing again for the first time in weeks and finding it difficult to sit still in my chair. Today I thought about what works […]

How to Write Kick-Ass Character Descriptions

I’m guilty of it, too: The description of a new character who has just entered your story as having “big brown eyes and frizzy black hair” or “ginger hair that cascaded down her shoulders and eyes the color of jade.” No matter how creative you get, describing a person according to his or her hair […]

Author Interview: Melanie Gideon

Today, I am honored to share with you an interview with the bestselling author of The Slippery Year, Melanie Gideon. Gideon’s debut novel, Wife 22, is out TODAY, and the best way I can describe it is Bridget Jones for the Facebook generation. Gideon will be reading tonight at A Great Good Place for […]

8 Secrets to a Successful Writers’ Group

Writers’ groups, also called critique groups, can be invaluable resources for writers. They provide the structure and support of an MFA workshop without the high cost of tuition. But not all writer’s groups are equal. Get in the wrong group, and you may do more harm to your writing than good. How do you know […]

5 Tips For Hiring The Right Freelance Editor

As a freelance editor and someone who has hired several freelance editors, I wanted to give my two cents about if/when/how you need to hire an editor. Anne Allen wrote a wonderful post about this topic Sunday as well. Be sure to check it out when you’re done reading this:

1. Do I need a […]

2011 Books in Review

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s almost 2012? I feel like I’m living in the future.

Sierra Godfrey’s post last week reminded me that I used to wrap up the year with a list of the books I’d read that year. My goal is always to read two books a month, and with two […]

How to Combat Writer Envy

Check it out! New blog design to match the rest of my website. This is a work-in-progress, so if you find any glitches, please let me know, and I will remedy them as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, feel free to click around to check out my new digs right after you read this post:

A […]

18 Holiday Gifts for Writers

Yes! It’s that time of year. Time for the Writerland 2011 Gifts for Writers Buying Guide! In addition to the usual case of wine, Moleskine notebook, nice pen, and day-at-the-spa gifts that all writers love, here are 17 other great ideas:

1. Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder I work with Matthew, and […]

Are You Plagued by Perfectionism?

I arrived at the tail end of an interesting lunchtime conversation at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto last week—just in time to hear author Julia Scheeres utter, “Well, that was depressing.” From there the conversation continued on about how women tend to submit less often to journals, magazines, and newspapers (and by extension, agents and […]