• What Kind of Editing Do I Need? 5 Easy Editing Terms to Remember

    By on October 2, 2015 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 2 comments
    One of our editors hard at work

    One of our editors hard at work

    Here at WriteByNight we aim to please. An expression, by the way, that always reminds me of those framed bathroom tchotchkes, the ones that read, “We aim to please. You aim too, please.” Translation: Don’t pee on the seat! Which makes me want to pee on the seat. Not that this always requires intent, because sometimes, well…

    And oh, look! I’ve already gone off the rails. Clearly I need an editor.

    But what kind? In our recent post on manuscript preparation, WriteByNighter Sid K. made the following request: “I hope you will follow up on this post by writing about all those different types of editing, what each one is used for, and how to know which one(s) we need.”

    It’s a question we’re asked often, so today I want to dig into it a little. Or a lot. Depends on how well I can keep my logorrhea in check. Again, need an editor. read more

    10 Wyoming Writing Resources

    By on September 25, 2015 Posted in Writing Resources     Comments No comments

    WyomingThis is the end, friends and readers and friend-readers — the final entry in our State Writing Resources, a series which began a full year-plus ago and has taken us through forty-nine states, one district, and, randomly, South Korea. Of course, our work is not done; these lists of resources are ever evolving, often based on input from you fine readers. If you know of an organization that would make a fine addition to any state list, simply drop us a line and let us know about it, or leave a comment on that particular state’s blog post.

    Wyoming. It’s one of our largest states, but has the smallest population. Even Cheyenne, the capital and biggest city, hosts only a little more than 60,000 people. Between the Rockies to the west, the High Plains to the east, and parks such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Wyoming is a gorgeous state. I’ve also been there during some hellish, super-sudden storms. The kind of storm you may come across in, say, an Annie Proulx story.

    A few prominent names in Wyoming writing include Proulx, whose most popular work, the short story “Brokeback Mountain,” originally appeared in a story collection titled Close Range: Wyoming Stories; Patricia Frolander, the state’s current poet laureate; Craig Johnson, whose Longmire series of books became a popular TV show; and George Clayton Johnson, best known for the novel Logan’s Run.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 10 Wyoming writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are an Equality Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    Staff Spotlight: Brad Tyer

    By on September 18, 2015 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments No comments

    Brad Tyer, consultant and coachToday we’d like to introduce you to Brad Tyer, the newest member of WriteByNight’s staff of consultants and coaches. Brad is a longtime journalist and editor, as well as the author of the book Opportunity, Montana: Big Copper, Bad Water, and the Burial of an American Landscape (Beacon Press 2013).

    And maybe, just maybe, he influenced a decision made by David Foster Wallace in Infinite Jest. Read on to find out how!

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    The Scoop on Our Newest Services for Writers: strategy session and accelerated coaching

    By on September 11, 2015 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments No comments

    FireworksYup, it’s true. We’ve added two new services to our already impressive selection of coaching, consultation, and editorial offerings. And we’re pretty darn excited about it. We hope this post will get you just as excited as we are.

    What follows is a full description of each new service and some FAQ you’ll find helpful in gaining familiarity with them. So without further ado, here’s the scoop on WriteByNight’s newest services for writers. read more

    Staff Spotlight: Jessamine Chan

    By on September 4, 2015 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments 1 comment

    Jessamine Chan, consultant and coachToday we’re pleased to introduce to you the newest member of WriteByNight’s staff of writing coaches and consultants, Jessamine Chan. Jessamine has earned fellowships and scholarships from a wide variety of institutions, including Bread Loaf and Columbia, and is the former nonfiction reviews editor at Publishers Weekly.

    Below is a Q&A with Jessamine Chan, followed by a brief bio.



    Where are you from?

    I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. After college in Providence, I moved back to Chicago for many years, then moved to New York for graduate school. I moved to Philadelphia in summer 2014. read more

    15 Wisconsin Writing Resources

    By on August 28, 2015 Posted in Writing Resources     Comments No comments

    WIThe penultimate state in our alphabetical series on State Writing Resources is my home state of Wisconsin. (Go ahead, get your Cheesehead jokes out of the way now.) Wisconsin — the Badger State, America’s Dairyland — in 1848 became the 30th state. Ninety years later, my dad was born in a tiny map-dot of a couple of thousand people called Richland Center. Seventy or so years after that, his son moved to New York City, the most populous area in the country, and he lives in a house where the only other person on his floor hails from … Richland Center, Wisconsin. There’s your small-world anecdote for the day.

    But we’re here to talk about writing! Some featured names in Wisconsin writing include: Ellen Raskin, author of The Westing Game, one of my favorite books as a child growing up in Raskin’s and my hometown of Milwaukee; Glenway Wescott, whose slim novel Pilgrim Hawk is an excellent read, and whose Apartment in Athens I think will be even better, if I ever get the chance to tackle it; Laura Ingalls Wilder, no introduction necessary; Thornton Wilder (Our Town); and Liberace! Born in West Allis, WI.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 15 Wisconsin writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are in America’s Dairyland or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    Manuscript Preparation: How to Do It Right

    By on August 21, 2015 Posted in Strategies     Comments 7 comments

    Workplace frustrationPicture this.

    You have a great idea for a story. You spend weeks, months, or years writing it, devoting countless hours and immeasurable energy to the project. Finally, you reach those magical words: The End. Now what?

    You know you’re in need of some manuscript preparation, but you’re so exhausted that the prospect feels like cruel torture. The thought of waiting even one more day to share your story with the world is equally unappealing. You want it done and you want it done now. So you tell yourself that your first draft is good enough (you hate revising anyway), and you send your book to print. Or you Google “editor” and hire the first result, crossing your fingers that she’ll perfect the manuscript for you. Or you send out for a proof, thinking grammar is all that needs attention.

    On the day you hold your finished work in your hands, you’re disappointed instead of elated. Your story has plot holes you hadn’t noticed, your main character is flat, and the text is riddled with typos. What happened to the high-quality piece of writing you envisioned? You think, This is what I bent over backwards for?!
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