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


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!

riverSedge: Now Accepting Submissions

Image from riverSedge. Click to visit their website.

We’re back! To start of our return, here is a new call for submission:

Until March 2016, riverSedge: A Journal of Art and Literature, published by the University of Texas Pan-American, is accepting submissions in the following categories: prose, poetry and art.  Beyond seeking your submissions, riverSedge is holding a contest, and all submissions (with the exception of reviews and interviews) are eligible to win a prize.  riverSedge has noted that if you are a writer of dramatic scripts or graphic literature, you are still eligible for the contest, and will be judged under the category of prose.

What are the prizes? riverSedge is offering three $300 prizes, one for each of the categories named above.

Want to learn more?  Visit the riverSedge website. If you are ready to submit, then click here to submit.


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.

Need Writing Advice? Writer Jennifer Chen Has Got You Covered

pin write what you wish

Los Angeles-based journalist, author, playwright and editor Jennifer Chen has experienced the writing world on multiple levels and, as a result, has some words of wisdom for beginning writers.  Chen has written for some of the most recognizable magazines:  O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, Natural Health, and The Writer.   She holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is an alumnae of Hedgebrook, one of the few women-only writers residency.   On her website,, Chen has dedicated a page, Writing Advice, to offers advice on topics such as:

  • Balancing Work & Writing,
  • How Not to Be Jealous of Other Writers,
  • A Writer’s Guide to Rejection,
  • Allowing Yourself to Suck at Writing,
  • 5 Tips for Dealing with Fear as a Creative Person.

The list goes on.  Still, Chen goes one step further on her Writing Advice page and offers specific tips on:

  • Artist Residencies
  • Getting a BFA/MFA in Writing
  • Freelance Writing
  • Magazine Writing
  • Young Adult & Middle-Grade Writing

Of course, reading the advice of one writer might not be enough for some.  Don’t worry. Chen has got this equally covered through guest blogging, book reviews by and interviews with writers, from television writers to book editors to authors.

In other words, Chen’s Writing Advice is an impressive page that includes many of the topics that writers of all levels would find interesting.

Do you know of a writing website that offers advice?  Send us a message or leave a comment!

Happy Writing!



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!


15 Jun 2015 | Deadline: Curt Johnson Prose Award! (December Magazine)

Yesterday, April 1st marked the opening for submission for the Curt Johnson Prose Award. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

This year’s contest will be judged by the Institute’s 2012 Novelist in Residence Joyce Carol Oates and nonfiction author Albert Goldbarth. Below is the official information from December Magazine’s website.

1st Prize: $1,500 and publication
Honorable Mention: $500 and publication
All finalists listed in Fall/Winter 2015 Awards issue.

Submit one story or one essay per entry between April 1 and June 15, 2015. Each entry should not exceed 8,000 words. Name and address on cover letter only. Submit online at or by mail at PO Box 16130, St. Louis, MO 63105.

10 Mar 2015 |Reading by Matthew Licht at JCU! (Rome)

Matthew Licht. Image from Salt Publishing. Click to visit their website.

On Tuesday, March 10th, the JCU Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation welcomes Matthew Licht for a reading.

Matthew Licht learned to write before two extremely tough audiences: the readership of a magazine popular among the incarcerated and/or mentally handicapped, and the 4th and 5th grades of a New York Public School. His story collections, The Moose Show and Justine, Joe & the Zen Garbageman (both Salt Pubs.) have been nominated for the Frank O’ Connor Prize. His multimedia e-novel The Withering Fire (Speider & Fisch) is due out soon.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus

John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233, 00165 Rome
RSVP to:
You will be asked to show photo ID at the door.