Three steps to a smoother writing style — Nail Your Novel

This week Joanna Penn invited me to her podcast to talk about writing style and voice, which you can see in a few weeks’ time. We got so involved in the subject that we didn’t finish her question list and this point didn’t make the cut. So I thought it would make a useful post. […]

via Three steps to a smoother writing style — Nail Your Novel


Women Write War: 4 Books — Arabic Literature (in English)

“Is there a difference between men’s and women’s war stories?”

via Women Write War: 4 Books — Arabic Literature (in English)

JCU Offers Graduate Courses in Creative Writing (Summer 2016)


If you have been thinking about studying creative writing and have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, then why not study with us in Rome this summer?  John Cabot University in agreement with American University will be offering four graduate courses in creative writing during the Summer Institute.  This summer’s offerings are:

  • CW 550 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
  • CW 554 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
  • CW 558 The Art of Literary Translation
  • EN 585 Advanced Creative Writing and Literature: How to Read Like a Writer

Courses will be taught by professors from both JCU and American University.  They include poet David Keplinger, author Elizabeth Geoghegan, and poet and translator Elena Buia Rutt. Please, visit the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation to learn more about these courses.

Blog |WritingContests: Contests, Fellowships & Residencies

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If you are looking for another source for current and upcoming contests, fellowships and residencies, then visit fellow WordPress blog WritingContests.  Since 2006, WritingContests has aimed to provide information for aspiring and established writers, regardless of age, or as is stated on the blog:

“information about creative writing contests, poetry contests, literary magazine theme issues, writing residencies, grants, fellowships etc. Now accepting creative writing contests news and announcements!”

There are even listings about job opportunities, whether that is writing for a teen magazine or for the AARP.

Check out some of their recent posts:

Happy Writing!


Jan 2016 | Upcoming MFA Creative Writing Program Deadlines

pin write what you wish

Thinking of applying to an MFA in Creative Writing program next year?  Well, the deadlines begin as early as January 1st! So, now is the time to prepare (if you haven’t started already): get those recommendation letters together, polish up your written submission, give yourself a hug and cross your fingers as soon as you’ve put the application in the mail or hit the Submit button if applying online.

If you do not yet have a specific program in mind, then check out the Poets & Writers’ MFA Programs Database. There you will find not only a listing of upcoming deadlines, but also information on each program’s core faculty, program size, residency level (low, full), genre focus, and contact information.

Programs with 1/1/2016 Deadlines:

  • Arizona State University
  • Stony Brook Southampton
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Missouri, Columbia (MFA & PhD)
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • University of North Texas (MFA & PhD)
  • University of North Texas
  • University of South Florida

Good Luck & Happy Writing!

31 Dec 2015 |Submissions Deadline: The Truth About The Fact (Nonfiction)


Loyola Marymount Univetsity‘s The Truth About the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction is seeking submissions for their annual nonfiction publication.  Submissions are due by December 31, 2015.

The Truth About the Fact is a book-like literary journal that features life-based writings and art (currently seeking black and white art) of “a wide range of people and lifestyles.” Their aim is create  publication that is “pervasive, powerful, and all-inclusive.”

To learn more about this upcoming submission deadline, please send inquiries to:  You can also visit The Truth About the Fact‘s website.

15 Dec 2015 | Submission Deadline: The Quaker (All Genres)

Click to submit your work!

If you are seeking new opportunities to publish, take a look at The Quaker, the two-year old undergraduate art and literary journal published by the Program in Creative Writing at Malone University. Although going into its third year, this is the first time that The Quaker has opened its submissions call nationally!

Open to writers of all genres, including nonfiction (essays, reviews, etc), or as they put it “good writing in any and all forms.”

Deadline is December 15, 2015.

Also, according to their submission page, “each semester one author is chosen to be honored with a $100 Editor’s Prize for an outstanding contribution to the journal.”

So, why not submit?

Happy Writing!

JCU Admissions: 6 Writing Hacks for Your First Fall Term Paper

Fall semester is just around the corner.  For most students, if not all, this means writing, writing and more writing.  Yes, that’s right.  It’s not just creative writing and English literature and language students who have to pour over grammar, deal with writer’s block, and seek help from the masters.

To get you through these challenges, JCU Admissions offers 6 very useful tips. Read about them here: 6 Writing Hacks for Your First Fall Term Paper.

Reblog Friday | 3 Books on Writing for Aspiring Writers

Friday Fun — What One Book Would You Recommend?.

A great list compiled by the writers of the NHWN blog.  Some books include Brenda Ueland’s Bird by Bird.  Although not a technical book, a personal favourite is Writers Write by William Meikle for motivation and getting over emotional roadblocks along the way to developing your craft.

If you are looking to get into the mind’s of great writers–after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery–then I would check out Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose.

What books have you found helpful?  
Comment here or on the link above!
Happy Writing!


Sep – Dec 2015| 5 Under the Radar No-Fee Creative Writing Contests

Automatic Image from Media Library.

Automatic Image from Media Library.

We were asked to post more on upcoming on creative writing contests. To honour that request, here are 5

  1. Real Simple’s Life Lessons Essay Contest: $3,000 for nonfiction. Deadline 9/21/2015. Learn More.
  2. Lee & Low Books New Voice Awards: $1,000 for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Deadline: 9/30/2015. Learn More.
  3. Essaymama’s Essay Writing Contest: $500 for nonfiction. Deadline 10/01/2015Learn More.
  4. The Brooklyn Film and Art Festival Non-Fiction Prize: $500 for nonfiction. Deadline 11/15/2015. Learn More.
  5. Minotaur Books First Crime Novel Competition: $10,000 for fiction. Deadline 12/14/2015. Learn More.

Looking for more no-fee contests?  We suggest visiting!

Remember, you have to submit to win! 😉

Happy Writing!