All the Writerly Things

Posted on June 8, 2015

Here’s a round up of resources, retreats, contests, and good old fashioned advice for writers. I’ve even included a link for readers and other friends of writers, especially those who are curious about how they can support their favorite works and ensure that more good work keeps coming.

Get writing, keep writing well, feed your hungry audience. And read more books.


Writers in Residence


You’re a woman writer juggling work, writing, and all your other olbigations. You wish you had some time, space, and solitude in order to finish your book. “Hedgebrook is on Whidbey Island, about thirty-five miles northwest of Seattle. Situated on 48-acres of forest and meadow facing Puget Sound, with a view of Mount Rainier, the retreat hosts writers from all over the world for residencies of two to six weeks, at no cost to the writer. Six writers are in residence at a time, each housed in a handcrafted cottage. They spend their days in solitude – writing, reading, taking walks in the woods on the property or on nearby Double Bluff beach. In the evenings, they gather in the farmhouse kitchen to share a home-cooked gourmet meal, their work, their process and their stories. The Writers in Residence Program is Hedgebrook’s core program, supporting the fully-funded residencies of approximately 40 writers at the retreat each year…”

For information about applying, click here.


The Masters Review Short Story Award for New WritersEditors at The Masters Review have praise for new writers and want more of their work. “We were inspired. We hope you’ll be. Submissions for our anthology closed this spring and we were blown away by the quality of the writing, the heart behind the stories, the straight up talent behind your work. We want to see more. Acknowledge more. The Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers is open from May 15 – July 15 and will pay $2000 and publication to the best short story. Second and third place stories will be paid $200 and $100 respectively and considered for publication. No guidelines. Just your best writing under 6000 words. If you haven’t published a novel, you qualify…”

Enter here.


North Street Book Prize


The folks at Winning Writers want to acknowledge the best self-published books in the marketplace. “Your self-published book can win up to $1,500 plus expert marketing services. The number of titles self-published every year in the US is nearing half a million. Getting attention for your book requires the skilled use of time and money. Our new North Street Book Prize for self-published books will award $1,500 to each of the top three winners. This year’s contest categories include: Mainstream/Literary Fiction
, Genre Fiction
, Creative Nonfiction…”

Continue reading here for the submission guidelines.


The Book Killers: Poor StructureChristopher Klim, author and senior editor of the US Review of Books, writes a fine essay about the structural errors that will sink a book. “Keeping organized is a challenge for many artists, writers included. Order is not intuitive for creative people attempting to push boundaries, but clear structure, even in a work of fiction, provides a recognizable thought process for the reader. As always, the goal is for the reader to understand the writer’s words, not for the writer to confuse or make a stumbling attempt to impress. The human mind seeks order, and a book’s structure is essentially the map of its narrative. The easier it is to read the map, the easier it will be for the writer to deliver even complex details or the high art of fine writing…”

Read on for Klim’s expert advice.


7 free tools for anyone who wants to become a better writer

Kat Moon writes in The Muse, “The awesome (and scary) thing about being a writer is that you can always improve. It’s why people can sit on a draft for weeks — every time they take “one more look,” they can find a way to make it better. While it’s definitely a fun challenge to see how long you can keep finessing your work, it’s not always practical. After all, your boss usually doesn’t want you working on that press release for weeks on end while you try to brainstorm the perfect opening line. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there that can speed the editing process up and make you more confident about the work you’re submitting. For today, I went though Product Hunt’s newest Tools for Writers collection and chose my seven favorites. Use them all, and you’ll be a stronger writer faster than you can say, ‘How did I ever live without these?’…”

Discover the free tools here.


How to Support an Author’s New Book: 11 Ideas For You Chuck Sambuchino, writing in a September 11, 2013 post for Writers in the Storm blog, says “I find myself as a cheerleader for my writing buddies — trying to do what I can to help as their 2013 release dates approach. I help in two ways: 1) I use my own experience of writing & publishing books to share advice on what they can expect and plan for; and 2) I simply do whatever little things I can that help in any way. This last part brings up an important point: Anyone can support an author’s book release by doing different things to help the book sell and get noticed. So, in no particular order, here are 11 things — some big, some small — that you can do to support a writer friend when their book comes out…”

You’ll find the list of 11 ways here.