Wanted: Guest Posts for Tolkien Reading Event (March 2017)

Calling all Tolkienites! Pages Unbound is looking for bloggers, readers, and writers who are interested in participating in next year’s Tolkien Reading Event. The 2016 edition in March featured a fantastic mix of Tolkien-related book reviews, discussion posts, and fun quizzes. (Example: I discovered my Hobbit name was Ferdinand Smallburrow of Buckleberry.¬†*lol*) I was also on one several bloggers who was interviewed for their Tolkien Talks series, and I really enjoyed answering Briana and Krysta’s questions and chatting about Tolkien and his stories with their readers.

If you’d like to take part in the 2017 Tolkien Reading Event, follow this reblog to Pages Unbound’s original post and fill out their online form.ūüôā

Pages Unbound

During March 2017, Pages Unbound will be running our fourth Tolkien Reading Event.  Every year on March 25, the Tolkien Society celebrates Tolkien Reading Day, and we like to expand on the event by hosting several days’ worth of Tolkien-related content.  We have had some wonderful guest posts in the past and would like to invite you to submit a guest post this year.

Post Options

The Tolkien Reading Event is open to a wide variety of posts.  In previous events, we have featured everything from book reviews to quizzes to serious literary criticism.   Pitch us an idea for any type of post you would like!  You can also review books and movies that have been featured before; we love new perspectives!See a full list of past posts here.

If you need ideas, we are particularly open to posts about:

  • any aspect of The Silmarillion
  • the‚Ķ

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GoFundMe Campaign for Iceland Writers Retreat Begins Today

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I’m sharing some AMAZING news with you today – and asking for your help in making a dream come true, and an incredible learning experience be within reach.

(*takes a deep breath*)

Today I’m starting a GoFundMe¬†campaign to fund¬†a trip to the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat, with the hopes of raising $3,500 USD¬†by February 4, 2017. After the jump, I’ll share links to the retreat and the campaign page so you can see the cost breakdown, perk levels (yes, PERKS!), and so on. But first, let me explain why I want to go and why I need financial assistance to do¬†so.

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My 10 Favorite Reads of Fall 2016 (+ Win Your Choice in a Giveaway!)

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When I announced in September that I was reducing my blogging schedule, I knew that change would mean ending the monthly Recent Reads series. But I didn’t want to walk away from the idea of discussing books we’ve recently read. Then I read Leanne Sowul’s summer reading round-up here, and inspiration sparked. Why not do a seasonal reading recap – and also make it fun for my readers?

So, today I’ll share my 10 favorite reads from Fall 2016 (September through November). What you’ll find after the jump¬†aren’t reviews, but rather blurbs that mention why I enjoyed each book with¬†links to my full¬†reviews at Goodreads and Amazon. As for the fun part: The title says it all, so¬†stay tuned for the Rafflecopter link and instructions at the end of this post!ūüėČ
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Chronicling The Craft: Six Writing Lessons I Learned While Working On My WIP

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Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing¬†tips. Today we finish our celebration of the end of Draft #3 with a¬†tips-oriented post.

Working on a novel is a learning experience in and of itself. You’ll make right and wrong decisions, figure things out, and find ways of improving the story. You’ll also absorb tips away from the WIP via blog articles, workshops, and literary conferences. That “self-teaching” can double – or even triple – your knowledge about writing between Day 1 of Draft #1 and The End of Draft #3. And after wrapping up my WIP’s third draft, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned about the craft of writing and about myself as a writer.

So, the last Chronicle for Draft #3 isn’t exactly a tips-oriented post. Instead, it’s a retrospect of discoveries I’ve made since I started working on The Keeper’s Curse (or TKC). Perhaps these lessons might¬†help you on your own writing journey (or maybe you’ve already embraced them). Then, at the end, I’d love to know what¬†you¬†have learned about yourself or your process from any of your writing projects.ūüôā
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 Is DONE!!

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Plus, the Final Five-Song Reveal from¬†the WIP’s Playlist

Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing¬†tips. Today’s post marks the end of Draft #3 with a final progress report and more songs from¬†TKC’s novel playlist.

Well, the title gives it away… but this happened¬†2 weeks ago!!

So, yes, TKC is done for the third time, and 2 weeks¬†before my “soft” deadline of November 20th. Since then, I’ve been feeling… well, a weird mix of emotions. Relief. Accomplishment. Excitement-anxiety-nausea over the upcoming beta-reader phase.¬† Also, a sense of “What do I do with myself now?”. You get used to weeks and months to doing something¬†on most weeknights and weekends, and when it’s done you’re almost at a loss. But I won’t let myself flounder for long, and I’ll explain why shortly.

You know what else this means? It’s DANCING PIKACHU TIME!!

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Now, here’s the final progress for Draft #3, as well as the final five-song reveal from TKC’s novel playlist.ūüôā
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First WHW Resident Writing Coach Post Is Live!

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My first post as a Resident Writing Coach at Writer Helping Writers is live! I decided to offer¬†tips on an aspect of the writing process that all¬†writers struggle with: our “inner editor.” You know, that voice inside your head that can make you question your every writing-related decision and discourage you¬†to the point of distraction. But¬†our inner editor doesn’t always criticize or doubt us. In fact, its advice can sometimes be helpful. It’s all a matter of recognizing when and¬†why¬†we should¬†listen to it.

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The Power and Importance of Compassion in Literature

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I’ve been thinking about compassion lately. It’s impossible not to, with everything that’s going on in our¬†world. Terrorist attacks, increased¬†racial tensions, insensitivity toward other minority groups, and the most¬†vitriolic¬†U.S. presidential election I can remember (notice the timing of this post, fellow Americans?)… From a social perspective, 2016 has been a bleak¬†year, and I’m deeply worried¬†about where we as a society are heading.

But let’s not discuss politics. Instead, let’s focus on a topic¬†that I think many¬†of us will agree on: the power of compassion in literature. By compassion, I mean moments when characters show kindness,¬†mercy, and similar qualities. These actions can draw us¬†closer to those characters, move us to tears, and make those stories all the more memorable. And during these turbulent times in our world, finding – and writing – stories that demonstrate compassion may be more important than ever.

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Using Archetypes to Learn More About You and Your Characters

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One of my favorite blog series is¬†Ariel Hudnall’s Archetypes in Literature, a collection of essays on¬†the archetypes conceived by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and examples of each in literature, film, and television. I can’t remember if¬†what followed next happened in a comment one of her Archetype¬†posts, or in a side conversation on my blog… But she introduced me to Archetypes.com, which features a quiz that helps visitors discover their unique blend of archetypes.

So, I took the quiz. And as soon as I got my answers, the “writerly” wheels started turning in my head.ūüėČ

You see, archetypes can help us understand our own behavior patterns as well as those of our characters. It’s sort of like taking an MBTI test as your protagonist to see where she might fall on that spectrum. So, how can you use archetypes to learn more (or confirm what you already know) about yourself and your characters? Plus, how accurate are the quiz’s results? You might be pleasantly surprised.

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New DIY MFA Article on Friendship as a Literary Theme, Plus #WesleyWednesday on Twitter

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(NOTE:¬†Due to this week’s DIY MFA post, the weekly blog post will go live on Thursday, November 3rd.)

I’ve been meaning to write a case study on friendship for my DIY MFA¬†column for a while. And why not? Friendship has the¬†power to change people’s¬†lives in amazing ways – in real life, and in the stories we read. In fact, literature¬†has shown us not only the ups and downs of these relationships, but also how they often defy boundaries such as age, race, and gender. And I couldn’t think of two better books to use as examples than Tolkien’s¬†The Fellowship of the Ring¬†and Markus Zusak’s¬†The Book Thief, because both explore this theme masterfully.

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Who Were the First Five Authors You Read in Your Favorite Genre?

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Looking back on the books and authors that introduced us¬†to our¬†favorite literary genres can be a fun trip down memory lane. That nostalgia can¬†bear even more meaning for writers. Sure,¬†those authors built the foundation for our¬†reading tastes. But if we¬†consider our “relationship” with their work closely, we can also¬†discover how their stories or writing have influenced ours.

Today, let’s discuss¬†the first five authors we read in our favorite literary genre, or the genre we prefer to write in. I’ll go first with¬†my first¬†five fantasy authors (since fantasy is more than just my great literary love), as well as one takeaway from each that has impacted my writing. Then, you¬†can respond by either commenting on this post or writing about it at your¬†own blogs. This isn’t just for fantasy writers, by the way.¬†Book bloggers and avid readers of all genres are welcome to jump in – so, please do!

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