Posts filed under ‘Writing Groups’

We’re Moving!





WriteLikeCRAZY is packing up and moving to a new home!  

Because my goal is to focus on writing and teaching fiction, I decided to merge my two blogs into one powerhouse of information and inspiration!  

What will change:   

  • WriteLikeCRAZY blog will still be here so you can find archived prompts, tips and links like before
  • Writers Inspired will be home to how-to tips on the craft of writing and submitting your fiction work, for both young adult and adult writers
  • Writers Inspired will occasionally host published authors through interviews or guest posts on the writing, organizing and publishing processes, plus awesome Book Giveaways!!
  • Writers Inspired will also offer games, exercises and prompts for young adult writers (and their teachers!!) to use
  • Writers Inspired will be like an online writers group where you can read and share helpful topics, like:  unique ways to find ideas, dealing with procrastination, the latest in writing contests and new markets, tools and resources for fiction writers, tips on tracking submissions and all aspects of the fiction writing craft.
  • Writers Inspired will have one page for young writers with links, prompts and advice PLUS one page for teachers with lesson plan ideas, games to energize the class and notes on what I’ve learned as a Creative Writing Teacher
  • Writers Inspired will also have a list of events for young writers and teachers in the DuPage County (IL) area

What you need to do:  

  • Go to Writers Inspired
  • Click “Follow”
  • Be surprised by the updates you get in your email inbox or Google Reader every time a new post appears
  • Leave lots of comments! This new blog is for you – the readers-and I want to provide content that you’re interested in reading: )
  • Send your friends and teachers!

So, thank you to my current and future followers! Now, let’s get on the ROAD!!!  


April 15, 2010 at 10:55 am 1 comment

Announcing…a book club for WRITERS!

The passion for writing is pretty wide spread, so when a fellow writer and/or teacher contacts me about some neat project they’re doing to help inspire young writers, I’m so open to helping them spread the word.


E.M. Rowan, of E.M. Rowan’s Field Notes (Research for Beginning Writers) would like to share this info with you:

The Writer’s Book Club will be an online group—if you want, participate from the comfort of your home while wearing pajamas! No one will see you or even hear your voice. I’ll announce the book; approximately a month later, I’ll create a discussion post. Everyone is welcome to join in and comment as much as you want. My only rule is that you be respectful of the author and other people’s opinions. Feel free to calmly disagree with the author or readers, but I’ll delete comments such as, “This club sucks! I’m right and you’re wrong! This is the worst book in the history of the world!” You get the idea.

While brainstorming ideas for how the book club would work, Ellie had a great suggestion:  ” . . . then on the blog we talk about what writing was good in the book, and what writing was bad, so then it’s not just about the story, but we’re studying it from a writer’s perspective. We could even take it deeper and read one book because the author is famous for giving good descriptions, and another that is good at story-pace, and one that is good at back story . . .”

I immediately pounced on this idea. How many book clubs study from a writer’s perspective? Maybe lots, I don’t know. But I like it, so I’m incorporating it. That does not mean you must be a writer in order to join the club. Anybody who wants to read books is welcome. We’ll still be discussing the story, characters, favorite parts, etc. But if you’re a writer, it’s like an extra bonus. I hope you’ll learn something new by studying each book.

The first book is Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater and the discussion begins on December 2nd.

November 30, 2009 at 12:02 am 2 comments

Are you ready to NaNo?

ywp nano logoNaNoWriMo is not some texting lingo, guys, it’s only the COOLEST, CRAZIEST, LARGEST project of writing across the globe.

Excited yet?

You should be! National Novel Writing Month begins at the stroke of midnight on November 1 (after all the candy-munching goblins have scampered off to bed) and goes through midnight November 30: 1 month, 30 days, 50,000 words.

A Novel. In one month. Write it. Don’t edit it. Get it down on paper or computer. Upload it to the YWPNaNo site to be showered with riches and glory. OK, you’ll receive a cool certificate to print out and a rockin’ badge for your site, blog Facebook page, what-have-you, plus the bragging rights you’ll have that you wanted to write a novel and you did it!

I know you’re thinkin’ I’m crazy and you can’t do this.

Yes, I am and yes you can!

What’s neat for young writers, is the flexible word count limit you can select. On their site, they list your grade in school and how many words you should shoot for (for your goal.) There are character and plot discussion rooms, forums on settings and word war games. Wanna know more?

You have to sign up! It’s free. it’s fast, it’s FANtabulous.

You’re going to join me, aren’t you?

Be my buddy: register yourself then come back and click this link to get to my page and see what I’m working on!

Check back here later and I’ll be posting survival tips for NaNo. Cause it’s jungle out there…

October 21, 2009 at 12:01 am 1 comment

Are you ready to NaNo?

ywp nano logo

What’s NaNo?  No, not the next dance craze you’ll see on Dancing with the Stars or the up-and-coming sound you’ll hear on Glee!


NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writers Month and runs from November 1-30 every year. Thousands share in this crazy experience of writing a complete novel  – start to finish in only 30 days. How? Lots of caffeine, support and of course a good story idea!


No, better than that, a solid outline of your plot, developed characters and plenty of  descriptive scenery to beef up your word count.


The rules? Pretty simple, really. Sign up on line – it’s free, though they do appreciate donations to keep their massive server running, their volunteers pumped with caffeinated beverages and I’m guessing they have a heck of an electric bill. Browse around the site, get to know others in the chat rooms and forums. Then, TELL EVERYONE you know that you will be writing a novel in November. Will it become published? Maybe, someday. But the goal of NaNoWriMo is to say you’re going to do this and follow through. The catch: No revising! That’s right chickadees, no cross-outs, spell check, or rewriting one scene until it melts from your page like butter. If you did this, you would not complete a first draft in only 30 days. December is for Revising!


So, are you with me? Find me and “friend me” so we can keep each other motivated and see how our word count grows! My handle is: “mjcwriter”


More on NaNo as we get closer to November…

September 15, 2009 at 12:02 am

Register Today!


I’m teaching Super Saturday classes again, this fall.  Yep, the good people at Friends of the Gifted and Talented have invited me back to teach my two classes: Young Writers Workshop and Publish Me!


Wanna join us?  Check out FroG’s site for full details and to register. But hurry – space is limited and my classes fill up quickly.

September 14, 2009 at 12:02 am

Conference for Young Writers

I believe writers can easily hibernate in their space and produce masses of material. Alone. In the quiet of their home. Or car. Or coffee shop. But, in order to write about life experiences, one must EXPERIENCE life!  One example would be to get out and mingle with other writers. An event like a writing conference with classes to help your skills is just the thing!

Check out this event exclusively for Young Writers! Great line-up of experts and the price is less than you spent downloading itunes last month. Be honest. Go, have fun, learn lots and come back here to share your knowledge!



The Write Time Teens ‘N Twenties Writers Conference ( takes place Saturday, September 19 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at New Technology High School in Bloomington, IN. Writers from 12 to 29, and then some, will mingle with peers, featured authors and book industry brass on a day featuring more than a dozen workshops, a publishing panel discussion, book signings and a “Meet the Faculty” event.

The conference will also feature the national launch of The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life, written by conference keynote speaker Bob Yehling of Word Journeys, Inc.

Early bird registration for The Write Time Teens ‘N Twenties Conference will continue through September 10, at the low price of $20; “thanks to the generosity of our sponsors,” Burt said. “This is a price we decided to set so that every student and young author could easily attend.” After September 10, the price will move to $40. Discount lodging is also available at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, the official hotel headquarters of/for the conference.

Topics for workshops include novel building, getting published, branding and marketing yourself and your book online, social networking for authors, building a daily writing life, magazine journalism, playwriting, songwriting, universalizing personal experience, memoir, and writing fiction and non-fiction that reflects social issues.

Workshop presenters will come from all parts of the country. The presenters include: bestselling authors Dana Carpender and Bob Hammel; literary agent and Capitol City Young Writers president Verna Dreisbach; media/marketing specialist Selena Osterman, a former art director at 20th Century Fox who worked on popular TV shows Futurama, Stargate and Family Guy; Bloom Magazine publisher Malcolm Abrams; Women Writing for (a) Change founder Beth Lodge-Rigal; Bosse High School (Evansville, IN) creative writing teacher and novelist Missy Feller; and Nashville-based songwriter Randy Handley, among others.

The keynote speaker, Yehling, is an author, editorial services provider and workshop teacher. The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life is his eighth book, and second to address writing. His other writing book, Writes of Life, won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2007.

Following the introductory keynote, attendees will participate in workshop sessions that last 75 minutes apiece. During lunch, Paul Burt will lead a panel discussion of publishers on present and future publishing opportunities. Verna Dreisbach will be meeting with authors seeking to market their work. After the formal conference ends, the two-hour “Meet the Faculty” will feature book signings by Hammel and Yehling, an open mic reading by conference participants, and live music.

Presenting sponsors for The Write Time Teens ‘N Twenties Conference include Indiana University School of Education, Bloomington Visitors & Conventions Bureau, the City of Bloomington, Bloom Magazine, Hirons & Company Advertising + Public Relations, Pen & Publish, Writer’s Digest magazine, The Writer magazine, Technology Service Corporation, Homewood Suites, United Commerce Bank, Women Writing For (a) Change, Bloomington Playwrights Project, and B97 Radio.

For more information, call 866-326-7768, 812-837-9226, or go to

September 3, 2009 at 9:04 am

Do you want to belong?

{photo courtesy of}

{photo courtesy of}

…to a “writing community?”

Do you wish you had someone to read your stories and write with? Get advice on how to submit an article or give you an honest opinion of your essay?

You need a Writer’s Group!  A group of like-minded writers who meet on a regular basis to share ideas, markets and feedback.

Wanna know how?  See my latest article, Find Your Tribe!, published in Writing Kid, then be sure to sign up for the free subscription to receive more helpful articles and contest announcements for young writers just like you!

Do you already belong to a writing community?  Share your story with us!

June 23, 2009 at 12:13 am

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Young Writers Program: NANOWRIMO

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