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writing contests

What’s Your Validation?

Darts on a dartboard bullseye with text: What Makes Us Feel Validated?

Writers are often a neurotic, self-doubting lot, and many of us hope for validation as a means of overcoming that doubt. We never want to think about how that validation is only temporary, but the best we can do is try to create a healthy relationship with our validation desires.

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May 19, 2016

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Writing Truth: We’re Making It Up as We Go

Swirling lights with text: Can Writing Processes Be Messy?

Last Friday, Angela Quarles’s book Must Love Chainmail was named a finalist in RWA’s RITA award, and my writing bestie’s success reminded me of an important lesson for all of us. The road to success can look an awful lot like chaos. *smile*

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March 29, 2016

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Subjectivity and Reader Shaming

A woman with her head in her hands with text: Have You Ever Been "Reader Shamed"?

If we write genre fiction, we might bemoan the lack of respect, but the same lack of respect occurs at the reader level too. Readers of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult, and romance have also been looked down on. Many outsiders have attempted to make readers ashamed of their reading choices by judging by subjective measures.

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August 11, 2015

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Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!

Question mark surrounded by text: The Beta Reading Worksheet -- What to Ask & What to Answer

Many of us find beta readers by offering to exchange our work with other writers in a “I’ll give you feedback if you give me feedback” arrangement. That structure means we have to do a good job with our feedback if we want to continue the beta buddy exchange program.

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August 12, 2014

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Are You Waiting for Permission?

Begging pug dog with text: Waiting for Permission?

This past week has been a good news / bad news / good news sort of week. The conflicting emotions have been *ahem* good for making me question my strategies (yet again). On the good news side, I received the scores from my last contest, The Emily. I mentioned a few […]

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December 19, 2013

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The Pros and Cons of Writing Contests

Check box form for excellent to poor ranking with text: Are Writing Contests Worth It?

The other week, my friend Janice Hardy emailed me for insight into a question one of her blog readers had about writing contests. She wanted to turn the question into a blog post on the pros and cons of writing contests and thought I might have something to say about the […]

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November 14, 2013

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Does Good News Make You Worry?

Happy and sad drama masks with text: Does Good News Make You Worry?

Being a writer can often feel like living on a rollercoaster, with huge hills and dips around every curve. Writer’s block, rejections, low sales figures, pirated books, and other bad news can make us feel heavier than gravity itself. We might wish we could sink through the floor and disappear. […]

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May 14, 2013

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Why Is Storytelling Ability So Important?

Footbridge heading into woods with text: Tell Me a Story...

What makes some poorly written books fall flat on their face while others succeed despite their flaws? One common answer is “storytelling ability.” But what is storytelling? The concept can seem vague and immeasurable—rather like “voice.” A recent experience with two poorly written books gave me insight into how a […]

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April 30, 2013

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