How to Create A Healthy Writing Community

community writing group Aug 31, 2020

Have you ever been romanced by the mythical image of the writer working in solitude while nestled comfortably in a remote woodland cabin? Those of us who write in the cracks of ordinary life with families, jobs, and busy schedules may find this image particularly compelling as we struggle to balance our lives with our writing work. 

As you create space and learn to write within the boundaries of your life, you will learn that good work requires quiet, but it doesn’t require a complete removal from your life and the people in it. In fact, as your writing develops, you may discover that inviting others into your work can be a welcome catalyst for creativity. 

A cabin in the woods sounds great, but creating in a community of fellow writers is even better.

At hope*writers, we believe writers flourish in community with one another, so we sat down to discuss this idea with author, professor, and Inklings expert Diana Glyer

Diana has spent years studying the...

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What Are Editors Looking For?

craft editor publishing Aug 24, 2020

The growth of the internet as a publishing outlet has offered many writers the opportunity to share their stories in ways that were not possible before; however, this gift can be a double-edged sword. Because of the proliferation of content online, it’s easy for a writer’s voice to be drowned out by other voices producing content on the same topics.

At hope*writers, we want the words you publish to stand out from the rest, so we sat down with experienced editor Stephanie Smith for a conversation about what she looks for in a writer.

She offers the following tips to help you go from writer to author by refining your ideas for a word-saturated market. 

Choose an Angle

Universal topics such as family relationships, vulnerability, coping with anxiety, and personal growth continue to resonate with readers, regardless of how many writers explore these subjects. Stephanie urges us to follow the poet Emily Dickinson’s advice: “Tell all the truth but tell it...

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Bring Your Whole Self to Your Story

craft story voice Aug 17, 2020

Have you ever read an older piece you’ve written and wondered why you sound so unlike your everyday self? As writers, it’s tempting to hide our true voice, or keep certain aspects of our lives or our life experiences out of our stories because we’re afraid of how readers might perceive us. This is a form of perfectionism, and it can influence how and what we’re willing to share on the page.

When we focus too much on how we’re perceived in our writing, it can keep us from meeting our readers' needs and allowing them to connect with our story. Writer, podcaster, and pastor Osheta Moore knows this temptation too well. She sat down with hope*writers to discuss how she’s learned to embrace her full, whole self as a writer, and how we can do the same.

Osheta knows how hard it can be to tackle difficult topics. Her readers look to her to help them discover how their everyday lives intersect with peacemaking, and how they can live out peacemaking in...

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How to Write Your Hard Story Without Oversharing

memoir story Aug 10, 2020
 “Telling the truth matters even when it involves hard questions.

Showing up even when it’s difficult often gives strength for others to show up as well.”

Michele Cushatt

 

Good news! If you write nonfiction, you are already equipped with all of the raw material you need to craft a unique, interesting story.

Our true life experiences can provide the plot, the setting, and the main characters for our writing. However, not every detail of a true story is interesting or beneficial to a reader.

When writing about your own life experiences, you will have to wrestle with how much to reveal within your work, especially if your story is a hard one filled with painful circumstances, or if your story involves other people. The difficulty of deciding when, how, and how much to share of your own story can be discouraging.

At hope*writers, we know this fear of oversharing on sensitive topics can keep writers from sharing their story with readers who need...

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How to Write Memoir

memoir Aug 03, 2020

One of the most common hazards you may face as a writer of memoir is the temptation to write your story as if it’s a daily journal entry. When we sat down with memoirist and writing coach Marion Roach Smith, she reminded us that a memoir is not a diary, and recommended we consider the needs of our reader before we begin to write our story. 

As writers who lay bare the raw material of our own lives for public consumption, memoirists face a distinct challenge when it comes to deciding how to structure our work. Unlike fiction, where the plot may be shifted and shaped to suit the story, when writing about real life events, you must consider both the truth of the narrative and the needs of the reader. 

   

1. Focus on the Reader

Memoir: a record of a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. (dictionary.com)

Marion would likely take issue with this over-simplification of memoir. She defines...

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3 Tips for Pitching a Nonfiction Book Proposal at a Writing Conference

book proposal Oct 29, 2019

 

We sat down with Revell Books editorial director Andrea Doering to get you the inside scoop on pitching a book proposal at a writers’ conference. Andrea has been on the receiving end of countless pitches over the course of her career at Revell, and she shared with us what makes a proposal — and an author — stand out from the rest. We’ve boiled down her wisdom to three key takeaways that you can study, share with others, or even repeat to yourself mantra-style as you walk into your next writers’ conference, proposal in hand and a smile on your face. 

 

1. Be prepared.

Show the editor that you’ve done your research. She wants to know that you’ve studied the business of writing as well as the art. One of the best ways to communicate this is with a well-researched, organized book proposal.

Maybe in the past you’ve been told to bring a one-sheet — a shiny professional printout with one sheet’s worth of...

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