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  1. Congratulations to Courtney Harler and Divorce Ranch and all the winners of our 2021 Quarter 1 Creative Non-Fiction Essay Contest! Courtney's Bio: Courtney Harler is a freelance writer, editor, and educator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She holds an MFA from Sierra Nevada University (2017) and an MA from Eastern Washington University (2013). Courtney has been honored by fellowships from Writing By Writers, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Nevada Arts Council. Courtney’s creative work—which includes poems, flash fictions, short stories, literary analyses, craft essays, book and film revi
  2. Photo by Christopher TovoToday I am excited to have another instructor from Odyssey Writing Workshop: author Meagan Spooner. Meagan Spooner will be a guest lecturer at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop, where she will discuss techniques for building characters and character arcs, participate in workshopping sessions, and meet in private conferences with students. She grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Odyssey in 2009 and currently lives and writes in Asheville,
  3. by Angela Cheveau As a child I loved stories. The artillery fire of my parents insults towards each other raging above my head across the no man’s land of the carpet, I would retreat to my trench for shelter. Climbing inside the pages of a book for cover I smeared my face with a war paint of words. Stories were my shield. I hid behind them. Hid inside them. Words wrapped magic around my young shoulders and threaded starlight through my hair. I wore daisy chains of words around my neck. Stories lit my pathway through the dark and foreboding forests of childhood. In stories I could be anyone.
  4. Hello WOW Readers! I have been one of the first-tier contest judges for WOW’s quarterly flash fiction contest for over a decade, and it has been a huge pleasure to read your stories. I am writing this blog series on Flash Fiction Contest Tips to help you strengthen your flash writing and maybe even place in one of our contests! Tips are based on our scoring criteria and craft trends I’ve seen throughout the decade. TECHNICAL is one of the scoring categories for the flash fiction contest, and one criterion within that category is overuse of passive voice (as opposed to active voice).
  5. This is my Bear Chair. From the seat to the tip of Mister Bear’s ears is a little more than 20 inches. For the past couple of years, it’s been the repository of what I call, “Writing Whatnot.” Lots and lots of paper stacked all the way up to the tippy top! So in January of this year, I started clearing off the chair, which was mostly scraps (with quotes and ideas) and manuscript pages (with lots and lots of critique notes from writer friends, agents, and/or editors). Eventually, a few thoughts became crystal clear (I mean besides the obvious thought about 1,237 pages sitting around for year
  6. Recently, I came across a funky little article that reminded me of a story I had written. My story was unfinished, but I've become less and less afraid of leaving unfinished work. So, re-inspired to return to the story, I looked for it in the last place I thought I left it. It was gone. How could that happen? I wondered to myself. I had left it in an app that I really don't use anymore, but it supposedly backed up my work onto Google Drive. So, I felt fairly confident not babysitting it anymore. I had other stories in there. I even have a half-finished attempt at a story about outer space (not
  7. Can the simple act of putting pen to paper lead to healing? Author and musical artist Mari L. McCarthy used her own journaling power to relieve her symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Now, it’s time to access the power of journaling for yourself. Inside of Journaling Power, Mari L. McCarthy, founder of CreateWriteNow.com, shares her personal tips on how to use journaling that will lead to self-growth and life-changing transformation. You will also read about scientific medical studies that discuss the healing abilities of journaling while learning step-by-step guidance on how to:Reduce phys
  8. Meredith Towbin never wins things (except for a coloring contest when she was nine), so she is very excited to be recognized by WOW! After graduating from Wellesley College, she taught English literature to high schoolers. Her teaching career was short-lived, however, as she was repeatedly mistaken for one of the students and berated by a colleague for using the faculty bathroom. She left teaching and worked as an editor at a local newspaper and, later, as an associate editor for a trade magazine covering the salon and spa industry. After acquiring a lifetime supply of hair gel, she decided to
  9. As a child, my older sister and cousin often called me a tattletale. There I was in my plaits with ribbons on the ends of each one and white Ked sneakers, dingy from playing, running through whoever's house I was in to tell on them. "Ooh I'm tellin'," I'd cover my mouth and yell, always leaving off the end letter g. Whether it was finding out my sister had a crush on a boy, or my cousin said the word, "Dang," which I thought was a curse word, or they kicked me out of their room, I was tellin' my parents or any other adult that was nearby on them. I'm sure that irritated my sister and cous
  10. by Anne Marie Scala I write because I can’t not write. Anyone who gets as wildly excited as I do when Staples has notebooks on sale for $.25 has to write. Finding my favorite pens makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Writing is part of who I am. Almost a decade ago, I attempted to turn my writing hobby into a profession. Despite initially having success, I couldn't find a rhythm to sustain it for long. A year of overwhelm and exhaustion followed and I concluded my energy would be better spent elsewhere. Recent events propelled me to revisit my dream of being a writer. Hop
  11. Not long ago, I attended a webinar on writing concept books. For those of you who don’t write for kids, a concept book is a picture book about . . . a concept. Alphabet books, counting books, and books about the Fibonacci sequence are all concept books. Yes, there are picture books about the Fibonacci sequence. Check out Joyce Sidman’s Swirl by Swirl and Sarah Campbell’s Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. The presenter for the webinar was Liz Garton-Scanlon and she recommended a long list of concept books. When they arrived, I eagerly sat down to read. I had to laugh after
  12. Sometimes bigger is better. A bigger paycheck. A larger brownie (which results in a bigger butt, which is not a good thing). A bigger spot to parallel park into. And sometimes smaller is better. A smaller waist (for me, that train left the station decades ago). A gift in a tiny box from your SO at Christmas. A smaller credit card bill. Sometimes, as writers, we dream of running with the big dogs. Signing with a big publisher. Getting a big advance. Getting big, splashy promotion events set up. I thought about this after I read Cathy C. Hall’s post. It came at the perfect time, because recent
  13. We write a lot about success on this blog—last week on Wednesday, Cathy C. Hall wrote about the seduction of the spectacular. Sometimes, we're chasing the spectacular—an agent, the best-sellers' list, a no. 1 badge—and we don’t celebrate success of all kinds, like a published book with a smaller publisher or a story published on a website. I nodded my head the whole time I read Cathy's post because I'm the worst offender of this. I'll look at all I've accomplished so far and constantly be disappointed in myself that it’s not enough--there aren't enough reviews or followers or national publica
  14. We are excited to announce the launch of another Save the Cat!® blog tour. If you are finally ready to outline your novel or screenplay, you'll want to follow along on this tour. We'll be talking about their Cracking the Beat Sheet Online Course and their Story Cards. First, what is Save the Cat!®? Save the Cat! provides writers the resources they need to develop their screenplays and novels based on a series of best-selling books, primarily written by Blake Snyder (1957- 2009). Blake’s method is based on 10 distinctive genres and his 15 story beats (the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet). Our books,
  15. Leah’s Bio: Leah Olson is an aspiring writer (mostly by night) and an attorney currently working as in-house counsel for a nonprofit network of charter schools (by day). After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism in 2007, she put her passion for writing on hold as she entered the professional abyss otherwise known as “being a Millennial in her twenties.” She spent two years working as a third grade teacher in Las Vegas with Teach For America before going to law school. She graduated from Harvard Law in 2012 and then spent four years working at two different co
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