Writing Prompt: If You’re Gonna Spew …

By on April 23, 2014 Posted in Writing Prompts     Comments No comments

We heard from a bunch of you who found our last writing prompt to be fruitful. Thanks for passing along your experiences. (And in some cases, your results from the writing prompt!)

This week let’s have fun with a few words attributed to former OMNI fiction editor Ellen Datlow, who is said to have said this:

“Never throw up on an editor.”

Take this in whichever direction you’d like, of course, but the way I rolled with it was to remember a time I did want to throw up on an editor, and then I wrote an imagined scene in which I do so. It was so much fun that I did it again. (One of you knows who you are.)

Happy writing, writers! As always, feel free to email us your experience, and if you want to share with the whole group, leave your results in the comments section below. (Those of you with a sensitive gag reflex may want to abstain.)

Video: Words of Wisdom for the Aspiring Writer, Part I

By on April 18, 2014 Posted in Photos & Videos     Comments 2 comments

The writing coaches and consultants at WriteByNight just can’t help but be … well, helpful. Even when they’re not providing our signature one-on-one writers’ services to an aspiring writer, they’re thinking of ways to make your writing process more fruitful.

To that end, below is a quick video with some words of wisdom for the aspiring writer, delivered by six WriteByNight staff members, including our newest addition, Anisse Gross.

The gist? Have faith, avoid trappings, open your heart and mind.

read more

Staff Spotlight: Anisse Gross

By on April 10, 2014 Posted in News & Events     Comments No comments

Over the past few weeks we’ve been introducing you all to the wonderful consultants and coaches who help keep WriteByNight running like the smooth, well-oiled writers’ services machine it is.

Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to the newest addition to the WBN team, Anisse Gross. Get to know her in the Q&A below. Interested in working with her? That can certainly be arranged.

Where are you from?

I am from Kahalu’u, O’ahu.
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Writing is Like …

By on April 3, 2014 Posted in Rants & Raves     Comments No comments

writing 300x73 Writing is Like ...





What are writers searching for online? Presenting (yet) an(other) A-to-Z experiment in Google autocomplete.

“Writing is like …

A puzzle:

The first link is to a quote ostensibly from Stephanie Zimbalist (of Remington Steele fame—way to stay current, Googlers!) that reads “Writing is mentally stimulating; it’s like a puzzle that makes you think all the time.”

Another thing mentally stimulating? Editing. Editing is mentally stimulating; it makes you think all the time, and it makes you delete unnecessary analogies. Because “Writing is mentally stimulating; it makes you think all the time” is a fine quotation.

Though come to think of it, “mentally stimulating” and “think” are close to redundant. And does writing really make one think all the time? Or does writing make one think while one is writing? Actually, since there’s no way for a human *not* to think, I think we can lop off that entire clause.

“Writing is mentally stimulating; it’s like a puzzle that makes you think all the time” becomes

“Writing is mentally stimulating; it‘s like a puzzle that makes you think all the time” becomes

“Writing is mentally stimulating; it’s like a puzzle that makes you think all the time.”

Man, that was like a puzzle. It made me think all the time!

(Autocomplete nos. 2 and 3: a muscle, a relationship)



Ah, Tortured Writer Syndrome, how I’ve missed you read more

Micro Fiction Challenge: Golden Sombrero

By on March 31, 2014 Posted in Micro Fiction Club     Comments 7 comments
file000273112368 300x207 Micro Fiction Challenge: Golden Sombrero

If the hat in this stock image were golden, and if it were a sombrero, it would be a golden sombrero.

(To skip the piffle/folderol and get to the contest, go to paragraph #5)

Baseball’s Opening Day is the surest sign of spring. Yes, it kinda/sorta snowed in NYC this morning, but that won’t postpone the Mets’ 1:10 p.m. start, by which time it should be nearly 60 degrees, and perhaps even a little sunny. And yes, there will be plenty of rainouts, and even a snowout or two, in the weeks ahead, but, as Bart Giamatti wrote, “The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings.” (Of course, the rest of that piece goes something like “Oh my God life sucks hard and winter is coming and I can’t stop time.”)

My half of the brain trust here at WriteByNight will be taking the afternoon off, but I wanted to get up a new Micro Fiction Challenge before I turn on my glitchy MLB package and bliss out.

Baseball is a game in which a successful batter performs at a 7-to-3 rate of failure, and one becomes a legend by failing in “only” six of ten at-bats. read more

New Mexico Writing Resources

By on March 27, 2014 Posted in Writing Resources     Comments No comments

New Mexico flag New Mexico Writing ResourcesNew Mexico, known as the Land of Enchantment, is next up in our State Writing Resources series. Yootó Hahoodzo in Navajo (speakers of which make up over 4% of the population), New Mexico is Nuevo Mexico in Spanish, although, in a little-known fact (which I just now learned), the territory/state was named New Mexico well before the nation south of it was named Mexico.

When I think of New Mexico writing, Ed Abbey comes first to mind. Abbey attended UNM in Albuquerque, spent some time in Taos and (I believe) Santa Fe, and was perhaps literature’s fiercest defender of the American Southwest. Other writers with New Mexico ties include Rudolfo Anaya (Bless Me, Ultima), Cormac McCarthy, Denise Chavez, and Tony Hillerman, who wrote the Leaphorn and Chee Navajo crime series. George R. R. Martin, the Game of Thrones dude, makes his home in Albuquerque. And activist, novelist and poet Paula Gunn Allen spent most of her life in New Mexico, writing and teaching and stirring the pot.

Presented in no particular order, here are thirteen New Mexico writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a resident of this Land of Enchantment, or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

Prompt: Double Dipping

By on March 25, 2014 Posted in Writing Prompts     Comments 1 comment

It’s been awhile since we’ve offered a simple writing prompt (outside of the Micro Fiction Club), so if you’re looking for something to get you into gear today, grab pen and paper, write the following quote at the top of the page, and just let it flow, yo!

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” (Anais Nin)

And if you want to get real crazy, post your work in the comments below, or email us about the experience.




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