Never Give Up!

Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.” Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan PRESS ON! Has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Eight years ago when I began my writing journey, true to my type-A personality, I made a to-do list, believing that my path to publication glory… Read More

Why Do I Do It?

When I was much younger, I wanted to be professional soccer player. My favorite team was the now defunct Pittsburgh Spirit. I loved going out in the yard and kicking my soccer ball all around the grass. I imagined myself scoring the winning goal in the championship game. I loved it so much that I joined up for my school team. As it turned out, the talent I had in the yard against invisible competitors didn’t carry over to the field when the action was live and the people real. Never mind… Read More


#DearLaura,   As a white writer, how do I write characters that represent ethnicities, genders, orientations, etc. that I’m not? The real world is a melting pot, but I’m terrified of getting something wrong and being blacklisted.   From: Scaredwriter Dear Scaredwriter, this is a question that begs for a much larger conversation about authenticity, representation, and who has the right to tell which kinds of stories. I, being a white cishet lady writer, am conflicted about this subject because my characters are far more varied than my own identifiers. I have… Read More

My #PitchWars Experience / @Jamie_Beth_S

I’m trying to find representation and/or a publisher for my first novel. You can read about my early steps on this journey here, but to bring you up to speed, by January of 2016 (six years into this manuscript and over a year into querying) I had decided to revise Novel Number One (again) in anticipation of #PitchWars, a major on-line pitch competition in the summer. I had been hearing whispers (if Twitter can whisper) about #PitchWars for nearly a year. The contest is intense, and unlike some contests, the goal isn’t necessarily… Read More

Writing for children can’t be that hard. Right? Wrong. @zbsdaddy

I loved the holidays as a kid, but even more so, I loved the holiday characters that came along with the special day. My favorite was the Easter Bunny. That rabbit had it the toughest in my mind. I mean, Santa Claus did amazing things, but let’s face it. He had a magical sled pulled by magical reindeer to help get the job done. And it wasn’t like he delivered to every child; he had his naughty and nice list after all. All that poor rabbit had were two, small feet and the burden… Read More

Unpublished Business

Published writers are also unpublished writers. Unless they’re instant successes like J. K. Rowling or perpetual bestsellers like Rick Riordan—and, most likely, even if they are—the majority of published writers have a closet or a hard drive full of unpublished novels. Take me. I have one published novel, the YA science fiction adventure Survival Colony 9, with the sequel, Scavenger of Souls, due out in August. (There’s a cover reveal and giveaway running right now on YA Books Central, if you’d like to check it out.) I also have the following unpublished… Read More

Happy New Year! Time To Stop Disqualifying the Positive

Got number 1,250,000 rejection letter from an editor last week. The months before I received it, I told myself that, with all the past year’s therapy, I have a new perspective of rejection, not just the hollow self-talk of yesteryear in the form of Euphemisms About Rejection (It’s Their Loss or Not Meant to Be) but rather solid, rational, cognitive challenging that was truthful and real and authentic and that I actually believed. I told myself that when (IF) the rejection came and the automatic thought, “I’m a total f*$king loser/failure because… Read More

That was a Pretty Bad Monday, or: You’re No Pizza Rat!

It started when I lost my water bottle on a Monday morning. I frequently misplace my water bottle. I never lose it. I don’t leave for work without it. For me, my purple water bottle (filled with room temperature water from the Britta and exactly four ice cubes) is as much of a morning ritual as coffee is to most normal people. But I couldn’t find it, and we needed to leave, so I joined my family (my husband and two kids) in the Honda and we left for school (my husband… Read More

How Do I Make Myself Write Again After Getting Negative Feedback?

I have been struggling so much to write again. The first book just came out, the second one is done without yet having a publishing house, and I have excuse after excuse to not write another book. Excuses: The story’s not there. Nothing exciting enough is happening in my life for me to write about. I’ve got plenty of time. I need to focus on publishing the next book first. I don’t know the characters in this story. I have too many other things to do… Blah blah blah. What’s really going… Read More

When Success Doesn’t Look Like Your Writing Dream

When Success Doesn’t Look Like Your Writing Dream by Kimberly Mitchell/@KSMitch17 2014 was a tough year for me as a writer. I had a manuscript I had a lot of confidence in and delivered it to my agent early in the year. She loved it and immediately sent it out. I felt like I was walking around with my fingers crossed for months, waiting for an offer. And waiting. And waiting. And then rejections and more waiting. Writers know we’ll encounter rejection. We know it’s all part of the process of honing… Read More