Thursday, March 26: Online Poetry Reading via Facebook (Plus, a Message of Well Wishes and Support)

Hey, everyone. (*waves hello*)

First and foremost, how are you and your loved ones doing? So many people are sick, discouraged, or anxious right now, and it hurts me to know this. But that’s the reality we’re dealing with because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Almost every aspect of our lives has been put on hold for the time being. So I wanted to reach out, say hello, and make sure you’re OK.

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New DIY MFA Post: Writing Exercises for Exploring the Theme of Man and the Natural World

In today’s edition of Theme: A Story’s Soul at DIY MFA, I’m wrapping up our re-examination of the theme of man and the natural world in a fun way: with writing prompts! Like last year’s post on writing about family, this article shares four activities that can help you explore your character’s relationship with nature from different angles. So whether you want to practice connecting the story’s plot to the setting or infusing descriptions of the character’s surroundings with her mood, you’ll find that this post will exercise your creativity and give you a new appreciation for the great outdoors.

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New Service at Heart of the Story: First 50 Pages Critiques!

Happy Friday, friends! In case you missed the news on social media earlier this week, I just announced another new service for writers: the First 50 Pages Critique!

This offering is a shorter, budget-friendly alternative to a full manuscript critique. It doesn’t cover a complete story or project, but it can still give writers a good idea of how to strengthen one of the most crucial sections of their manuscript while alerting them to potential issues in later chapters. So if you’re considering having your work critiqued but aren’t sure you can afford it at full price, this may be a good option.

(Read more after the jump.)

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New DIY MFA Post – and Happy (Belated) New Year!

Happy (belated) New Year, everyone! Things have been super-busy on the editing and writing fronts since 2020 began, so I haven’t had an opportunity to post anything sooner. But I do hope your year has gotten off to a fantastic start, and I wish you the best in your creative pursuits, health, and happiness.

Now, guess what else I have for you today? My latest DIY MFA post! This time, I share five recommendations for books that are great examples of the theme of man and the natural world. And some of my picks might surprise you. I wanted to include a variety of genres and different kinds of stories. As a result, this list includes a classic tale involving a garden, an out-of-this-world example from science fiction, and a memoir featuring the most lovable owl you’ll ever read about. 😉

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Win a Critique of Your First Three Chapters from Me via Writers Helping Writers

Happy Holidays, everyone! This morning I’m excited to share a special December contest for writers:

Starting today, you can enter to win a critique of your manuscript’s first three chapters from me, thanks to Writers Helping Writers!

It’s part of Angela and Becca’s annual Advent for Writers giveaways. I’m so honored that they asked me to be part of this year’s festivities, and I already can’t WAIT to read the winner’s chapters!

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Listen to Me Read a New Poem in the Latest Issue of Golden Walkman Magazine

Oh, are you in store for a treat today! 😀

I’m thrilled to share that my poem “No Darkness Here (An Ode to Metal Music)” is featured in the latest issue of Golden Walkman Magazine. However, you won’t be able to read a printed version of the poem. You see, Golden Walkman is a podcast-style literary journal that, in their own words, “aims at giving the written word a voice.” So all of the work they publish is in audio format only – which means you’ll be able to listen to me read the poem!

(Read more after the jump.)

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Guest Editor Again for Today’s Critiques 4 U Contest at Writers Helping Writers

Writers Helping Writers

It’s happening again: Angela and Becca of Writers Helping Writers have invited me back as the guest editor for their Critiques 4 U contest! (*happy dance time*)

In case you’re not familiar with it, Critiques 4 U is Writers Helping Writers’ monthly contest in which three writers are selected to have their story’s first page critiqued by Becca or a guest editor. It’s a fantastic way to get free feedback on one of the most important pages in your manuscript from a resource you trust, and I’m THRILLED to be back again for the November edition.

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New Post at DIY MFA, Plus a Quick Note

“How is topic different from theme?” This very question bubbled up while I was working on my previous Theme: A Story’s Soul post. So I figured, “Why not explore it further?” Many writers mistakenly use the terms “topic” and “theme” interchangeably, and this would be the perfect opportunity to explain how they’re different – and how topic is actually a vehicle for illustrating theme.

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New Poem “Head of the Table” Published at The Bookends Review

Today I’m honored to share that my poem “Head of the Table” has been published. Usually, I’d include lots of exclamation points at the end of that sentence. (And believe me, I feel that way!! See?) But “Head of the Table” is one of my most personal poems and more solemn and reflective than others that have been published so far. So I feel a mix of excitement, nostalgia, pride, and wistfulness right now. But that’s a good thing, I think.

(Read more after the jump.)

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