Writing Resources for Veterans and Others

VWPI recently spent a fantastic weekend with the Veterans Writing Project. For those not familiar, the Veterans Writing Project is a non-profit based in Washington, DC, offering no-cost writing seminars and workshops for veterans, active and reserve service members, and military family members.

During the two-day seminar, I spoke up when I had information I thought may help others. I was going to send the list of websites and references I mentioned to the other seminar attendees, and thought – why not share it with others?

So here are some tips that came to my mind during this course, which I hope may be of some use to you. [Read more…]

Writing “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

Storyweaving

As part of a Storyweaving Writer’s Workshop, I chose the following quote from a list:

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
-W. Somerset Maugham

I was then told to write the three rules of writing “dos” that work for me, and the three don’ts (in 15 minutes). So, here goes.

WHAT WORKS [Read more…]

Creating Your Story Mountain

    I like to share, particularly when I’ve invested time at a conference and gained information of potential value to others. So, read on, and consider having saved yourselves several hundred dollars and a few hours of your lives. In your chairs, I’ll bring you highlights of a lecture and exercise during the American Horse Publications’ 2012 Seminar in Williamsburg, VA.

Jody Jaffe and John Muncie’s dynamic “Better Story Crafting” session at the annual seminar provided tips I thought worthy of repeating.

As career journalists and writing professors, including workshops through their company, The Comma Factory, Jody and John’s discussion focused on the journalistic side. But as reflected in the couple’s own words in the conference program, “Good writing is good writing, regardless of the subject.” I believe the tips I’ve pulled out below apply to all writing, whether it be a blog post, fiction, journalism, or even a personal journal. I tend to like visuals, and points I can easily remember, which may explain why I connected so well with the workshop’s main point:

When writing a story, you are developing a mountain your reader is climbing. [Read more…]

Back to Basics Works

I recently conducted a writing workshop that led me back to basics. You see, my group ranged in ages four to fourteen, and I had thirty minutes to teach them how to write a story. At the same time, I happened to be reading Stephen King’s
On Writing, the best advice I’ve seen on the craft. When I looked back, my simple “lesson plan” contained striking similarities to the master storyteller’s guidance, so I thought I’d share what I learned. [Read more…]

Critiquing Guidelines via Edie Hemingway

I blogged recently about the value of receiving critiques as a writer. I then fortunately received the following guidelines from co-Regional Advisor of the Maryland-Delaware-West Virginia Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Edie Hemingway, on giving critiques. Edie graciously agreed to let me share these tips in my blog as a follow-up to my last post.

In Edie’s words, “I put these together when I started teaching my own workshops, based on my experiences ‘workshopping’ during my MFA program at Spalding University. I’ll also be using them for the online course I’m teaching this summer for McDaniel College’s graduate certificate program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.”

Edie Hemingway is the author of Road to Tater Hill
(Delacorte Press and Yearling paperback), winner of a 2009 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and besides writing, teaches several writing workshops. If you’d like to find out more about her and her programs, she can be reached at
http://www.ediehemingway.com

This is a great list for those who belong to a critique group or plan on joining one. As Edie suggests, these are also useful during the revision process.

[Read more…]