www.inkthinkerblog.com — And the highlights just keep coming from the WIW Freelance Success Seminar! Don’t forget to check out parts one and two.

Tricks of the Trade, with moderator Lester Reingold and panelists Ann Cochran, Beryl Lieff Benderly, and Chris Gearon

Finalist in 2006 Writer’s Digest Best Writer’s Website Contest

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


Guest Article: Just Do It! NaNoWriMo

by Kristen King on July 29, 2014

Just Do It! NaNoWriMo
by Sarah E. White

www.inkthinkerblog.com — It’s almost November, and for thousands of writers and would-be writers the world over, that means it’s almost time for the high-octane, caffeine-fueled novel-writing extravaganza that is National Novel Writing Month.

If you’ve never heard of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it’s called by those who know and love it, it’s a month-long challenge wherein participants attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words entirely during the month of November. It’s a crazy feat, and a heck of a lot of fun.

More than 40,000 people are already signed up for this year’s “contest” at NaNoWriMo’s website. A novel in a month can certainly be attempted at other times of the year, but the crazy group dynamic of a noveling November is a huge part of the attraction.

For those who do their month of noveling in November, or any other month, NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty offers tons of advice, inspiration and cheerleading with his book No Plot, No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days and the recently released No Plot, No Problem! Novel-Writing Kit. The book offers concrete information on the hows and whys of month-long novel challenges, while the kit provides helpful supplies for your journey.

Baty is such an inspiration that readers will find themselves wanting to write a novel in a month, starting tomorrow, no matter what else is going on in their lives. And he lets you know that it’s not as unreasonable goal as you think it might be — most people only need about 12 hours a week to write 50,000 words in a month.

“Writing a novel simply feels great,” Baty writes. “Slipping into ‘the zone’ — that place where you become a passive conduit to a story — exercises your brain in weird, pleasant ways and just makes life a little bit more enchanted. No matter what your talent level, novel writing is a low-stress, high-rewards hobby.”

Naturally, these novels are mostly not any good, but they are “finished” in the sense that they have been written, instead of being talked about or thought about for years. Baty says too many people are “one day” novelists, as in “one day I’ll write a novel,” but that day never comes. With Baty’s encouragement (and the help of thousands of others, if you choose to write yours during November) your someday can be right around the corner.

But if you need a little more than advice, the novel-writing kit gives you some excellent tools to help you, including a novel-writing contract, a chart for your progress (and gold stars to put on days when you meet your goals), coupons to give to friends who will make you do chores if you don’t meet your goals, even a cool “novelist” button and a pack of cards to give you inspiration and a daily pep-talk during your noveling adventure. These tools might not make the actual writing any easier, but it will make it a lot more fun. And that’s what NaNoWriMo is really all about.

Sarah E. White is a freelance writer and editor living in Arkansas. She’s successfully completed three novels in three NaNoWriMo challenges, and pathetically washed out last year. She hopes to do better this year with the help of these tools! Reach her at sarah@sarahewhite.com.

Finalist in 2006 Writer’s Digest Best Writer’s Website Contest

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


www.inkthinkerblog.com — I’m not around Inkthinker much these days, but still blogging away over at Amateur Parenting. Check out today’s post, all about the power of writing. This post WAS supposed to be sponsored by Grammarly, but they failed to deliver on their promise of compensation, so their sponsorship credit has been removed. Should they decide to keep their promise after all, I will reinstate it. However, based on this unfortunate situation, I can no longer recommend them. I sincerely hope that’s temporary.

Here’s an excerpt:

Despite the fact that writing is who I am and as important to me as breathing, I’ve let it slide since the kids came along, and I’ve used them as an excuse.

There. I said it. I used my kids as an excuse. I did it because I was scared. I did it because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be good anymore, that after I became a mom I wouldn’t have anything important to say that didn’t involve my children (who are remarkably adorable) or their bodily functions (which are remarkably gross). I did it because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a mommyblogger.

I’ve had the time to write. I didn’t use the time, because I didn’t think it was important enough. I was wrong.

Read the whole post at AmateurParenting.com. 

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King



www.inkthinkerblog.com — A Guest Post by Diana Nadin

So, you’re thinking of enrolling on a distance learning writing course? In my experience, here are some of the things you need to think about before you take the plunge.


  • Before you do anything, you should ask yourself whether you’re the kind of person who can self-motivate. Distance learning can be lonely and there is a temptation to enrol and then put off sending in your first assignment.  But, let’s be honest, if you can’t self-motivate then you’re never going to make it as a writer.
  • Next, do your searches and check review sites. You’re going to be sending a reasonable chunk of your hard-earned cash to the college, so you need to be sure that it’s reputable and not operating a scam.
  • Make sure you get a trial period. This is important because even when you’ve seen full details online or in a prospectus the depth or complexity of the material might not be what you expect.  If you’re a complete novice you want something basic – if you’ve already had a measure of success you want something more detailed.  A reputable college will have a ‘cooling off’ period and will refund your fees if you do not want to proceed and return the material within the stated period.
  • Ensure there is enough tutor feedback. This is a vital element of any distance learning course for writers.  How can you hope to improve if you don’t get constructive criticism and help from experts?  And the best thing about it is that you’re working privately on a one-to-one basis with your tutor.  You’re not in a class with other students having to read your work in front of them.  And if you’ve got a question that you think might sound silly or inexperienced, you can ask your tutor without anyone else knowing.
  • Check that the tutors are qualified and are writing NOW. You don’t want people who used to write but have been retired for years.  You need tutors who are familiar with current markets and current practice in the publishing industry.
  • You need to be able to study and submit your assignments in the way that suits you best. So, if you like working online – check that’s what you’ll be doing.  If you prefer printed booklets or submitting assignments by post then go for a college that offers that.  Also, look at the timescale.  You’re writing – not doing a sprint – and family/work issues can arise unexpectedly.  So, make sure the course allows enough time for you to enjoy it without feeling rushed or under pressure.
  • Finally, if you’re to get the best value from a course, you must be prepared to listen to advice. I don’t say you’ve got to take it – because at the end of the day, writing is a very subjective thing.  But you’ve got to be receptive, willing to weigh the pros and cons, and then you can make an informed decision.

I mentioned at the beginning that studying by distance learning can be a bit lonely.  So it helps if the college has a thriving student community where you can chat to others, share opinions – and hopefully successes.  Also essential is a Student Services team who can be contacted quickly if you need help with admin or have a problem with your tutor – and yes, even the best college can team you up with a tutor that’s not right for you.  If the college cares, they’ll be quick to find you a different tutor with whom you can build up a better rapport if you are not happy with the way your studies are going

About the Author

Diana Nadin has been Director of Studies at the Writers Bureau (www.writersbureau.com) since it was launched over 20 years ago.  She ensures that the courses are kept up-to-date; tutors provide helpful feedback to students and any questions you might ask are answered promptly and fully.  You can read her weekly blog at www.writersbureau.com/blog

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


www.inkthinkerblog.com — The following promotional release landed in my inbox and looks like a great match for Inkthinker readers. Enjoy! -kk

Available at your local bookstore or online through indiebound.org, Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, other on-line booksellers, www.redbirdstudio.com or ask your local library. Published in print and ebook editions.




Inspires and instructs. Includes coaching on:
• what it takes to be a writer
• techniques for writing fact and fiction
• bringing real and imagined characters to life • organizing thoughts and material
• mastering point of view
• writing “from the inside”
• the “get and give” of critiques
• how to get happily published
• and much more

What they say:

“… a combination of tough-love coaching and humor that inspires and shows you how to become the writer you want to be”
~ Elfrieda Abbe, Publisher – The Writer magazine

“Encouraging, humorous, straight-talking. Shut Up & Write! is one of the best books I’ve read on writing.”
~ Shauna Singh Baldwin. Author of English Lessons. What the Body Remembers, The Tiger Claw, and We Are Not in Pakistan.

“Shut Up & Write! is one of those rare volumes that truly does it all. In addition to being a practical “how-to” guide, the book provides priceless advice on the care and feeding of the Inner Writer. Laced with wit and common sense, Judy Bridges serves as her own best example of what excellent writing can be.”
~ Marilyn L. Taylor, Poet Laureate, State of Wisconsin

“Judy Bridges is a driving force behind the many writers she has helped. If you want to write, do yourself a favor, buy this book and follow her advice. You will not only write, you will succeed.”
~ John Lehman, Founder of Rosebud Magazine and literary editor of Wisconsin People & Ideas

Judy Bridges is one of the few people who can say, “Shut Up and Write!” in a way that makes you smile. A renowned mentor and coach, she earned her living as a writer before founding Redbird writing center in Milwaukee, WI, where she taught (and learned from) over 6,000 aspiring and accomplished writers of all ages. She shares her wisdom with a no-nonsense, humorous voice that makes writing accessible and reading her book a joy.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


www.inkthinkerblog.com — There are still spaces available in this coming Saturday’s seminar “Say What? Writing Better Dialogue by Thinking Dramatically” with playwright Enrique Urueta. This seminar is for fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, playwrights, screenwriters, anybody whose dialogue could use improvement. Whether you write fiction or drama, your ability to capture a reader’s attention and drive your story forward depends heavily on dialogue. But what makes good dialogue? How does dialogue drive a narrative? And how will thinking dramatically improve your writing? We’ll discuss what makes good dialogue work and practice a variety of exercises that will hone your ability to craft believable and effective dialogue. 9am-1pm, $55 members, $60 non-members. Register online or come by during open hours. See our website for details:

And the seminar will be followed at 2pm by a FREE discussion with Enrique Urueta:
“Does This Play Make my Brown Look Gay? Writing at the Intersection of Race and Sexuality”
Playwright Enrique Urueta discusses his experience writing in the context of race and sexuality. His award-winning plays Learn to Be Latina, The Danger of Bleeding Brown, and Forever Never Comes have been presented across the country. Free and open to the public.

WriterHouse Information
508 Dale Ave, Charlottesville VA

WriterHouse is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King