• Micro Nonfiction Challenge: Movie/TV Adaptations of Your Favorite Books

    By on February 23, 2019 Posted in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 19 comments
    Feb
    23

    It’s time to kick the winter blahs right in the snowpants with a fun exercise and contest! read more

    Encouragement From Writing Teachers

    By on February 16, 2019 Posted in Inspiration     Comments 25 comments
    Feb
    16

    Discussion questions: What words of encouragement from your writing teachers have kept you going through hard times? Do you think great writing can be taught? What specific lessons on craft do you remember being taught to you by specific writing teachers, and in what ways have they been helpful? Let me know in the comments below. read more

    “Making Your Book Awesome”: Nick Courtright & Atmosphere Press

    By on February 9, 2019 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments 3 comments
    Feb
    9

    More than six years ago, Nick Courtright walked into our writing center in Austin, Texas, for an interview and walked out as a WriteByNight writing coach and consultant.

    Since then, Nick has been a very busy man, publishing two books of poetry, taking over as co-editor at Gold Wake Press, and launching his own hybrid press, Atmosphere. Through it all, he’s been a valuable WBN coach and consultant.

    And as of late 2018, WriteByNight partners exclusively with Atmosphere to offer WriteByNight clients the chance to bypass the slush pile and get their book straight into the hands of Atmosphere’s executive editor: Nick Courtright.

    Nick and I recently had the chance to chat about Atmosphere, WriteByNight, our partnership, and the future of both of our organizations.

     

    Four years ago you launched Atmosphere. Not to be too general, but how’s it going so far?

    It’s going great! Each year has been better than the year before it, and I feel really confident that this will be our best year yet. It’s funny, because unlike some publishers who start with big-dollar ambitions, I started Atmosphere Press almost accidentally. I was working with a talented poet who didn’t want to endure the ordeal that is literary publishing’s ceaseless rejection tornado, and because I had years of experience in putting out books with Gold Wake Press, I asked him what he would think of my publishing his book for him. That was how Atmosphere was born — out of service to an author — and from that accidental origin something really wonderful has been built. I’m the author of two books myself, and I think the core value that Atmosphere started with — helping authors — is a big differentiator for us. read more

    Your Favorite 2018 Reading Experience

    By on February 2, 2019 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 34 comments
    Feb
    2

     

    Discussion question: What was your favorite reading experience of 2018? When the combination of the book and your setting and/or circumstances was just right? Tell me about it in the comments.

     

    Last week on my podcast, Yak Babies, me and my pals talked about our favorite new books from 2018. Not necessarily published in 2018; just books we read for the first time and enjoyed thoroughly.

    I chose George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, a book that knocked me flat when I read it on a beach in Mexico, at which point I turned back to Page 1 and immediately reread it.

    It wasn’t my favorite 2018 book, but it was my favorite, and definitely most vivid and lasting, 2018 reading experience. read more

    Outlining Schmoutlining: How Do You Organize Your Writing?

    By on January 26, 2019 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 23 comments
    Jan
    26

     

    Discussion questions: Do you outline your writing projects? If so, how closely do you stick to that outline while you write? Or do you, like me, start with very little direction and try to write your way into a story? And what is your approach? 

     

    While we’re on this jag about organization (see: “Losing Your Writing, Vol. 2” and “Organizing Your Files“), I thought it might be interesting to talk about organization within our writing projects.

    As I’ve mentioned, I recently finished Chapter 1 of my novel. Then I lost it when my computer died, and for the next week and a half I waited to see if the dude at the computer repair shop could recover it.

    Many writers in that situation would move on to Chapter 2.

    I couldn’t do that, because I don’t outline. read more

    Organizing Your Files and Pages and Notes and Stuff

    By on January 19, 2019 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 34 comments
    Jan
    19

     

    Discussion questions: When you have work/writing/notes scattered all over your living space and work space, how do you keep it organized, and how do you know where to find what you need? I’m talking computer files, index cards, random scraps of paper, photographs, notes scribbled in margins of books. Or do you have a good way to avoid descending into such chaos to begin with? Let me know in the comments below.

     

    After last week’s chaos involving my lost chapter, and all of your wonderful feedback on how to avoid future such catastrophes–organizing external storage on Google Drive, flash drives, etc.–I started thinking about organization in general.

    If you’re anything like me, you have work/writing scattered everywhere. If you’re even more like me, too often you don’t know where to find what you need. read more

    Losing Your Writing, Vol. 2

    By on January 12, 2019 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 27 comments
    Jan
    12

     

    Discussion questions: What do you use/do to back up your work? What’s your most horribly horrific horror story involving lost writing? Let me know in the comments below.

     

    I owe some work to my new writing group, and the new group coincides with a re-envisioning of my fiction: What started as a novel and then became a linked story collection is now again a novel.

    So on Saturday I sat myself down, wrote Chapter 1 at the top of the page, and dove in.

    Monday afternoon, after about six hours of work over three days, I had a 2,500-word chapter.

    Not only that, it felt like a good chapter. Something that, after a small amount of revision, I’d be comfortable sharing with the bunch of strangers that make up my new group.

    Monday night, my computer died. The photo above? Of the sad faces behind what looks like prison bars? That was the graphic on the screen that led me to believe that this experience was not going to end well.

    And it didn’t. My computer is unfixable, and the file, my new Chapter 1, is unrecoverable. read more


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