Category Archives: Writing Tips

For writers who want to improve their craft

An Inside Look into Finding an Agent and Publisher: Terry Helwig’s Story

Remember the wonderful interview with Terry Helwig in which she shared her book marketing strategies? Well, thanks to the gentle nudging of one of that post’s most engaged readers, Linda Gartz, Terry is back. Here’s how she found her agent … Continue reading

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Marla Likes It! A Query Critique Lesson

Remember the old Life cereal commercial? “Mikey likes it!”? Here it is again. If Mikey likes it, it’s got to be good. Well, in memoir query critique, if Marla Miller likes it, the same is true. She’s a tough critic, … Continue reading

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Dialogue and Memoir: A Challenge, A Method, and Two Mentors

Like 497, 651 other people, I have “liked” David Sedaris on Facebook. You can too, if you click on his name. You can help his PR people to say he has half a million FB fans. Wow! Recently an interview … Continue reading

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Reader’s Digest–A Fond Memory–And Now, a Memoir Source

Since television was not allowed in my Mennonite home when I was growing up, magazines, newspapers, and radio were an important link to the outside world. The magazines I read from cover to cover included The Saturday Evening Post, Boy’s … Continue reading

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An Interview on Learning To Write by Learning to Read

This week one of my own favorite bloggers, prize-winning Canadian novelist Dora Dueck, interviewed me on her blog about an issue central to my reason for starting this blog: to learn to write by reading better writers than myself. You will … Continue reading

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Memoir First Lines–A Contest for Readers of this Blog

Recently I had an inquiry from a writer who asked if I had a list of excellent first lines from memoirs. That sounded like something I should have. First words contain the vital “hook” that overcomes the reader’s resistance and … Continue reading

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Another Short Memoir Query Letter Critique Video–And a Lovely Shout Out from Marla Miller

Marla Miller has been helping writers “market the muse” for a long time. Now she is sharing her knowledge of the publishing industry via YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Here’s a recent video featuring a memoir called Nadia. Imagine my surprise … Continue reading

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Memoir Query Advice from Marla Miller: Subject Matter–Incest and Moms

A number of readers asked to see Marla Miller critique more query letters. So here she is again from her Youtube channel. You can also read her critique of another memoir at The Writer magazine online. If you have never … Continue reading

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Connecting Voice to Touch: What I Learned About Writing from Max DePree

“Find your own voice,” say the writing experts. Easy to say. Hard to do. In another post on voice, I described how helpful it was for me to try to visualize my voice as a farm. Today I am pondering … Continue reading

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Shall I Follow Jane’s Friedman’s Great Example? Or Just Let Jane Do It?

Jane Friedman has 22,679 Twitter followers, some of whom could more appropriately be called devotees. It’s worth getting a Twitter account just to follow her. You’ll soon see why she has built a rabid tribe. She’s smart, ahead of the … Continue reading

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