Posts tagged ‘writing tips’

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

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

Poetry resources for Teens

Check out this link within,  created with teens in mind!


  •  “Poetry 101”
  • Writing help
  • Discussion Forums
  • Poems Teens like
  • On-Line Resources

Even if you are not a poet, reading and writing some poetry expands the creative mind…

June 20, 2009 at 12:10 am

What do you do when your story is “stuck” ?

*Courtesy of

{photo courtesy of}

A student asked: I have a great idea for a short story about two best friends and one moves away. Now, I’m stuck!


Well, every good story needs a problem, so cause some trouble for your characters! 


What kind of trouble, you ask?  That depends on your characters: get to know them, then flip their world upside down!


Try these tips:

  • Ask what your characters want – do a mini character questionnaire (what are their fears?)
  • What is the worst thing that can happen to Character #1? to Character #2?
  • Keep asking “What if?”  Make 5 scenarios: What if x happened?  What if y happened? Pick the most intriguing and go with it till you get stuck again, then ask another 5 times “what if?”
  • Just write what is in your head and heart, it can all be revised later!
  • Sometimes, you need to put the story away for a day and then come back with “fresh eyes”


Happy writing!  And, if you have ideas to combat the “stuckness” of writing, please share with us.

June 16, 2009 at 11:58 am 2 comments

Achieve Excellence TODAY!

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.”
Thomas J. Watson ~ 1874-1956, Founder of IBM

OK, time for an honesty check. Do you ever turn in or submit lazy work? Meaning, you know you could do better, but it’s too hard or you’re not quite sure what needs to be fixed in your writing. So, you chalk it up to “it’s the best I can do.” But is it?

Writing is a competitive sport. I say “sport,” because like baseball, hockey, soccer, etc., writing takes practice, repetition and training. You’ve heard that some authors are “born writers.” But what you don’t hear is that even the best of our league needs to practice, refine and revise. Even the famous names you see on the NY Times Best Seller’s lists have been rejected at one point in their writing careers. And you will be too. It’s part of the game.

But, if you push yourself, join a writers’ group to get feedback on your work, take writing classes, read books on the craft* and WRITE EVERYDAY you will achieve excellence and that coveted byline (aka publication).

I speak from experience, my young writers. Wanna know how I handle rejection? Read about it here.

What do you do to strive for excellence? Have you experienced rejection in your writing? Share your story with us!

*for a list of excellent writing books, check out the side bar “Writer’s Toolbox” on my Writers Inspired blog!



May 7, 2009 at 12:34 am

What do you wish for?

“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true.” 
Richard Bach,  Writer


Do you wish to be published? To read your story in front of an audience without passing out? Maybe to see your name as the journalist who captured the hottest news story in town?

You CAN do it…

Keep an ongoing list of things you wish for and keep your eyes and mind wide open for opportunities that will help you fulfill those wishes!

April 9, 2009 at 8:12 am

5 Prompt Friday and an author interview!


Not only do I have fabulous writing prompts (so no excuses for not picking up your pen this weekend) but you can cruise on over to writersinspired for another eye-opening author interview. This author, Sybil Baker, speaks about the writing process, why she chose a small press to publish her book and her history at Virginia Tech. She’ll be answering your questions about writing all day!

On with the fun…

  1. Write a Rescue story involving a crystal ball
  2. Write about a character succumbing to temptation
  3. A boy and girl are building a fort – together? why?
  4. Write a story that is completely plot-driven, heavy action, not a lot of character description
  5. I woke up this morning…

April 3, 2009 at 12:57 am 2 comments

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