Interview with Anne Walsh Donnelly, Runner Up in the WOW! Q1 2024 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Sunday, March 31, 2024


Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in the west of Ireland, writes prose, poetry and plays and loves to experiment with form in her writing. She dares to be different. Anne is the author of the poetic memoir The Woman with an Owl Tattoo, which tells the story of her coming out journey in mid-life and the poetry collection, Odd as F*ck. Her fragmentary novella, He Used To Be Me, was published by New Island Books in February and can be ordered from the New Island website by clicking here or on Amazon. Anne is currently working towards her first personal essay collection. 
Facebook: AnneWalshDonnelly 
Instagram: annewalshdonnellypoetry 
X: @AnneWDonnelly 

 ----------Interview by Renee Roberson 

WOW: Congratulations on placing as a runner up, and welcome! What was the writing process like for “A Marriage in Metaphors?” How did you decide which objects (a painting, a jackhammer, a cow) to use to help express the different stages of your relationship? 

Anne: A few months ago I was finding it hard to motivate myself to sit down and write so I thought I’d experiment a bit. I went back to some of my old poems to see if I could use one of them as a starting point for an essay. I had a poem about a Botticelli painting (Venus and Mars), a poem about a jackhammer and one about a cow. So I got the idea of using each of those metaphors for different stages of my marriage. It was an experiment, I didn’t know if it worked and when I had written it, I thought to myself, well this is either brilliant or rubbish. I was delighted to learn that your judges didn’t think it was rubbish! 

WOW: It turned out to be a brilliant concept! You have had great success placing in the top ten in this particular contest. What tips do you have for other writers hoping to break into the creative nonfiction market? 

Anne: The biggest thing is to take the risk, put words on the page and experiment and see what comes out of it. Write your own truth your way and not what you think you should write. Use the skills you have learned in your other writing, whether it’s poetry or fiction, or even plays in your nonfiction. Imagery, metaphors, sensual and lyrical writing are just as important when writing creative nonfiction as they are in poetry or fiction. All of us have stories to tell, the trick is to write them in a way that will resonate with the reader. Write the first draft for yourself, get all the messiness and gore and rawness out on the page, let it settle for a day or too or longer and then go back and re write and edit with the reader in mind. Don’t’ censure yourself or tell yourself you shouldn’t be writing about your life. When I started writing personal essays I used to think that it was a bit narcissistic to be writing about my life but then I realised that I could use my personal experience to explore universal themes and somehow that felt less narcissistic. 

WOW: That's a great point--highlighting different aspects of the human experience through writing isn't narcissistic, in fact, you never know who it might help! Can you tell us more about your novella, “He Used to Be Me?” It sounds like a fascinating piece of work.
Anne: Yes, it’s definitely fascinating! I explore the complex workings of the inner life of a character who lives on the fringe of his community, in lyrical and fragmentary prose . The character is a man called Daft Matt who wanders the streets of a town in the west of Ireland looking for the claws of jackdaws. They’ve been speaking to him since he was a boy. I’ve written it in the first person point of view so Matt tells us his story in his man-child voice. The book takes us from his childhood losses to the carefree days of early manhood to the aftermath of a horse riding accident which sees him incarcerated in the care system for over 30 years. He’s a character that represents those marginalised figures that every town has, who roam the streets for so long that they are no longer noticed and their stories remain untold. 

WOW: As an accomplished poet, is it difficult for you to switch gears and write in the creative nonfiction genre? 

Anne: Surprisingly not. They both complement each other. A lot of my poems are what some would call ‘confessional poems.’ I explore my personal experience in them using imagery, similes, metaphors, rhythm and sensory language. I do the same in my personal essays. Some of the topics I write about suit the personal essay genre better than the poetry. The personal essay gives you more space when writing. 

WOW: Do you have any fun writing rituals you can share with our readers? 

Anne: Sometimes two of my writing buddies and I blow bubbles! I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously in life or in your writing though sometimes I struggle with that, so a good bubble blowing session helps me reconnect with the child in me and the fun in life.

WOW: I love that! You are right that sometimes we writers take ourselves too seriously and let the cycle of submissions and rejections affect us more than it should. Thank you again for being here today!
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Friday Speak Out!: Seeds of Truth in Fiction

Friday, March 29, 2024
By Mary Fleming

People often ask me: “Where do you get your ideas?”

They generally express this question with wonderment, as if I must have lived a wildly adventurous life. Or as if they see me sitting down at my desk, picking up a pen or opening the computer and Bang, the plot and the characters strike like a bolt from heaven and out flows a novel.

If only.

I collect the seeds for my fiction from real life. Either things my friends have experienced or a story I read in the news. When the story sticks with me, it starts to take root in my brain, and I know I have a possible short story or novel. Then plot and characters begin to grow and take shape. By the end the seed has developed into something quite different from the origin story.

My first novel, Someone Else, for example, is the story of an American woman with the perfect Paris life: a literary editor married to a French architect with four children. But as a university student, she’d run away from a crime of arson and left the perpetrator to take all the blame. When he comes to Paris, the perfect life unravels. The idea came from Katherine Ann Power, a 60’s radical who escaped arrest as an accomplice to a fatal bank robbery in 1970. She changed her name and built a perfect Oregon life as a wife, mother and cook. After 23 years of secrecy and lies, she turned herself in.

In my story there were no deaths, no going underground, no new identities and the truth came out against the character’s will. It was the idea of being haunted by past deeds and secrets that appealed to me.

The seed for my second novel, The Art of Regret, came from a friend’s childhood trauma. Her father committed suicide when she was 15. Afterwards, it was never discussed with her mother or sister. That unspoken but defining experience had made her an edgy young person, like my main character (a man). Redemption is achieved by both the real and the fictional person through love, connecting intensely with another human being.

The idea for Civilisation Française came from reading about an empty old mansion on the place des Vosges that was being squatted in 2009-10. I moved the story to the early 1980s, when I first arrived in Paris, and plopped my two main characters plus a housekeeper into a few of its rooms and took the story from there.

In all three cases, the real-life stories took root in my creative mind because they illustrated themes that are important to me: how the past overshadows the present, what is the definition of home, the difficulties of connecting with other people.

If you want to know what to write about, you don’t need to look very far. Just listen to friends or open a newspaper.

* * *

Mary Fleming’s new novel, CIVILISATION FRANÇAISE , comes out from Heliotrope Books in July. She was born in Chicago and has lived in France for many years. After working as a journalist and consultant, she turned to fiction and has written two other novels, Someone Else and The Art of Regret. Her bi-weekly photo-essay, A Paris-Perche Diary, tracks city and country (Normandy) life. Find her online at website: Mary Fleming Author, blog: A Paris Perche Diary, and Instagram: @flemingm6

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Fake It 'til Make It

Thursday, March 28, 2024

"Fake it 'til you make it!"

That is the motto of a close friend of mine and, considering they started a successful business in their 20s, I'm happy to take it.

Too often I find myself worrying that I can't write well enough, don't know enough about a topic or am competing against scads of people who are just better at this writing game than I am. But then I have to give myself the "Fake it 'til you make it" pep talk.

I think the problem is that I am basically a shy person who tends to downplay myself and my experiences. I continually need to remind myself that if I don't believe in myself, why would anyone else?

The first editor to accept my writing to include in a book had no idea that I had never been in an book OR written about baseball before. My baseball experience began and ended with attending Little League games and rooting for the Phillies whenever they made it to the playoffs. But in the end the editor loved my piece so much that he invited me to pitch for other - non-baseball related - books.

My students in my first writing class had no idea that normally my classes involved multiplication tables and conjunctions (during my stint as a elementary school substitute teacher). But that first class led to additional workshops and talks.

My first advertising client had no idea that just the week before I was dong something very different. They just placed their month long advertising campaign in my hands. A year later some of my advertising work was submitted for an award. I didn't win but hey, it's an honor just to be nominated.

As writers, we're the first line. We have to believe in ourselves if we want anyone else to believe in us. Confidence in my writing abilities had made amazing things happen for me. I've contacted authors, organizations, destinations with requests for an interview, tour, vintage photo and they've happily agreed. Every time I'm amazed all over again that they would agree to do this for me! I tend to gloss over the fact that we're working together - that they're getting something too (publicity for their business, a chance to tell their story, a new connection).

Writers have to exude confidence in interviews, pitch meetings, networking events. Everything about us has to say "I can do this!" Even though there's a part of you that's whispering, "Can I do this?"

Yes, it's difficult. But do it. Believe in yourself! And store up all those amazing things that happened just because you took a chance. You can use them in your pep talk if you're ever feeling down.

What was the last amazing thing to happen in your writing career just because you asked?

Jodi M. Webb writes from her home in the Pennsylvania mountains. After a decade hiatus from writing, she is back with bylines in Tea Journey, Mental Floss and a WIP about her plant obsession. She's also a blog tour manager for WOW-Women on Writing. Get to know her @jodiwebbwrites , Facebook or Words by Webb.

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Finding My “Northern” Tribe

Wednesday, March 27, 2024
I wrote a few weeks ago about my experience at the AWP conference, held in Kansas City this past February. While there, I had an opportunity to join an editor at a signing table for an anthology in which one of my essays—taken from my memoir draft—is included. 

Awakenings: Stories of Body & Consciousness was published in October 2023. Several months before publication, editor Diane Gottlieb encouraged all 49 writers in the anthology—spread across the U.S. and around the world—to team up whenever and wherever possible in promoting the book before and after publication. 

To help in this collaboration effort, Diane compiled and shared a list of accepted contributors’ emails (after securing permission), along with a list of states and countries in which we lived. Within days, I got an email from a fellow writer who lives only a 15-minute drive from me in southern New Hampshire. Sandell also copied in two anthology writers, Nina and Kim, who ironically live in the same town an hour-and-a-half north of us in Maine. 

We agreed to meet on Zoom and brainstorm promotion ideas. Publication, at that point, was four months away. While on our first of many Zoom calls, we dubbed ourselves the “Awakenings: Northern New England Team.” As we tossed ideas around, we noted them in a Google Doc and color-coded each promotional idea or outreach responsibility by author name. This made it easier to keep our small team updated on progress, by glancing at line items that we marked in Orange (not started), Yellow (in progress), Green (completed or confirmed), or Red (denied or not possible). 

Among the “wins” we racked up: 

  • A team post, published on the Brevity Blog 
  • A podcast interview that combined our discussion of the anthology with how it tied into the movie “Goodnight to You, Leo Grande” (starring the tremendously talented Emma Thompson, where she examines her own body self-esteem) 
  • A second podcast, focused on true stories read by writers who lived them 
  • A literary salon reading 
  • A feature interview in the much loved WOW! “Markets” newsletter 

We also landed a bookstore reading that finally took place six months after securing the spot. Yep, this is why planning book promotions months in advance is essential!

Image: Ann Kathryn Kelly 

On a windy night in early March, Sandell and I carpooled from coastal Portsmouth, New Hampshire to meet Nina and Kim, who traveled from their small town to Portland, Maine. After enjoying an early dinner together, we walked a few blocks to Print: A Bookstore where we each read a five-minute excerpt of our pieces, before taking questions from the audience.

While walking back to our cars and feeling energized after the event, we wondered if we could pull together another audience reading sometime in the coming months. A day later, Nina—being the rock star she is—had already secured our second in-person event! Our Northern New England quartet is scheduled to read at a library in Brunswick, Maine, six weeks from now. 


I’m enjoying the camaraderie with these enthusiastic and talented writers, and it’s energizing to see our group tick off actionable promotion ideas on our Google Doc. As enjoyable as the reading was at Print Bookstore, I value even more the time I spent getting to know them during our Zoom calls and especially at dinner in Portland a few weeks ago. 

Onward, to our next event in May! 

Ann Kathryn Kelly writes from New Hampshire’s Seacoast region.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Carie Juettner taught seventh grade English for nineteen years before leaving the classroom to write full time. She is the author of The Ghostly Tales of Dallas, The Ghostly Tales of Delaware, and three more books in the Spooky America series for young readers. Her poems and short stories have appeared in over fifty print anthologies and online publications, including Daily Science Fiction, The Twin Bill, and Havok. Her story “Phoenix” was a runner-up in WoW’s Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. Carie lives in Richardson, Texas, with her husband and pets. She spends her free time reading, painting, doing yoga, and volunteering with a local wildlife organization. To learn more about Carie, visit or sign up to receive her newsletter. 

If you haven't read her story, "Sam," take a moment to do so.  Then come back and learn more about her writing process.

-------interview by Sue Bradford Edwards-------

WOW: What was the inspiration for “Sam”? 

Carie: I wrote “Sam” one week after my own hysterectomy, so much of it is drawn from my personal experience. Although it is not a true story, there is a lot of truth in it. For instance, unlike my narrator, I was rarely alone during my hospital stay, thanks to my husband and family making the time to be there with me, but I did tell my favorite nurse how pretty she was multiple times while I was still on heavy pain meds. (She was! I hope she enjoyed hearing it.) 

While I was recovering at home in bed, I had a lot of time to read and write. With this big life event so fresh on my mind and the scars still fresh on my body, I found myself mostly journaling about the surgery and how I felt about it both physically and emotionally. This was my first time staying in the hospital as a patient, and I wanted to capture the experience while it was still new. I decided to write a fiction story about it and try to focus on the setting details. Since my own procedure went smoothly, thankfully without any complications or surprises, I gave the fiction story a twist at the end. 

WOW:  And what a twist!  Revision is a vital part of the writing process. How did “Sam” change between the initial draft and the draft you submitted? 

Carie:  I couldn’t sit up to type for the first week after my procedure, so the original draft of “Sam” is scrawled in my journal in handwriting that most people would have trouble deciphering. The story poured out of me complete, so it didn’t change plot-wise during revision. But when I typed it up later, it was too long, so I had to shorten it by taking out unnecessary details and tightening up the language. 

WOW: Knowing what you can cut seems to be a vital part of writing flash. What advice do you have for our readers who have never written flash before? 

Carie:  Try it! Writing flash fiction is fun, and if you struggle with being too wordy (like me) it’s a great exercise in revision and refining word choice. I suggest thinking small and starting with a single moment, then making the reader feel like they are in that moment with the narrator. I think it’s important to ground the reader in real life details they can hold onto, even if the story has a supernatural element. 

WOW: The supernatural seems to be your realm. What projects are you currently working on and where can our readers find your work? 

Carie:  I write for Arcadia’s Spooky America series, which allows young readers to explore the history of haunted places across the U.S. My “Ghostly Tales” books cover the creepy characters in Dallas, Austin, Burlington, Delaware, and New England. The books can be ordered online or from any bookstore, but you can also get a signed, personalized copy for the ghost-loving kid in your life by contacting me through my website: 

In addition to ghost stories, I also write humorous middle grade novels with animal characters. I’m currently seeking an agent for my book about a raccoon trying to leave a life of crime. The best way to stay up-to-date on my events, book-related news, and ghostly encounters is to subscribe to my author newsletter.  

WOW: How does “Sam” differ from what you normally write? 

Carie:  Most of my writing is either funny, scary, or aimed at young readers. “Sam” is none of these things, but it still found its way to publication. This shows that writers sometimes need to venture out of their comfort zones and try something different: a new genre, a new style, a new audience. You never know what might happen!

WOW:  We are so glad that you ventured outside your norm.  Thank you for stopping in to share your ideas with our readers! 
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5 Tips for Winning Your First (or Next!) Literary Award

Monday, March 25, 2024
Nicole Breit

By Nicole Breit

When I got serious about getting published, the advice I received from my mentor was game changing. 

Enter writing contests.

An award-winning poet, novelist and former lit mag editor, she had an insider’s perspective on the literary market. I wasn’t sure my work was good enough to enter in a contest, but she convinced me to give it a try.

Even if I didn’t win a contest an award nomination would open doors for me. It could even streamline the publication of my book. Mentioning a literary award in my cover letter would help my manuscript stand out in the slush pile.

I took her advice, entered some contests and hoped I might land on a longlist or two. To my surprise and delight I won three literary awards in 2016.

Previously an unknown writer, I was now invited to speak on panels with established authors. I was reading at literary events. I was embraced by my local writing community. Authors whose work I admired expressed interest in my book.

After years of wondering how I’d ever become an author I finally felt like a “real” writer.

Since 2017 I've helped hundreds of writers produce their best work in my Spark Your Story programs. I give those aspiring authors the same advice my mentor gave me: I encourage them to enter contests as part of their bigger publication strategy.

Many have gone on to win awards for the writing they produced in my courses and advanced their careers. 

Want to learn how to rock writing contests?

Here are my top 5 tips for literary award success:

1. Enter creative nonfiction contests

Creative nonfiction is the fastest growing literary genre and yet far fewer writers enter essay contests than submit to fiction or poetry contests.

That means your odds for placing in a CNF contest are much better than if you submit to contests in other literary genres.

Never written a personal essay? Don’t let that hold you back. Creative nonfiction relies on literary devices from fiction and poetry to bring personal storytelling to life.

You’ve got this!

2. Include the element of surprise

Typically contest readers are tasked with ranking anywhere from 100 to several hundred entries to narrow down a longlist.

So here’s the question: how will your entry stand out?

I write and teach experimental story structures for creative nonfiction writers. Here’s what I’ve learned about the work that rises to the top. It’s not what a story is about but how it’s told

I’m not talking about writing style - although I’m not discounting style as an important element of craft. I’m talking about the role structure and form play in creating an unforgettable piece.

In my award winning essay “An Atmospheric Pressure” I messed with chronological order so the essay moves backwards and forwards in time, echoing the grief loop this narrative is really about.

Atmospheric Pressure by Nicole Breit

In “Spectrum” (which won the 2016 CNFC/carte blanche creative nonfiction award) each subheading was formatted a different color of the rainbow. That artistic choice echoes the title and reinforces the meaning of the essay as well.

Spectrum by Nicole Breit

3. Follow contest entry guidelines but trust your gut

Do I recommend you follow contest guidelines to a tee? Yes, absolutely. You don’t want to be disqualified for any reason.

However, I do think genre category can be a bit of a grey area.

Let me be clear: I don’t suggest entering a work of fiction in a CNF contest. Misrepresenting a fictional story as lived experience is both unethical and unwise.

I’m talking about increasing your chances of success by submitting your CNF in more than one category when appropriate.

Some prose poems could be considered flash CNF, for instance. Then there’s multi-genre work like this quilt essay by Shirley Harshenin published in Compressed Journal of Creative Arts. I think a piece like this could be considered for a flash essay contest or more niche categories like short form, visual essay and hybrid storytelling contests.

4. Do your research…

When I looked into Room magazine’s 2016 creative nonfiction contest I lit up when I read their online interview with judge Kate Braid.

I was a fan of Braid’s books Journeywoman and A Well Mannered Storm: the Glenn Gould Poems. I felt a kinship with this lyric writer who, like me, wrote poetry and CNF.

When I read that she was looking for a piece to “grab her by the heart and gut from the start and hold her tight to the end" I felt my best chance was “An Atmospheric Pressure” which won the contest and was selected as a Notable by Best American Essays.

Another good reason to do your research? Contests typically aren’t free to enter. Find out who the judge is, the kind of work they like to read and write, and decide on your next step accordingly.

5. It’s not just about quality… or numbers …

Your entry may be beautifully crafted and exactly the kind of piece you think a judge will love - but, of course, there are other factors that are out of your control.

You can’t predict the overall number of entries received, the quality of submissions or whether your piece makes the first cut.

Please remember: if a piece isn’t longlisted it doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. Keep submitting! You never know when it might be nominated for another award or published at a later time.

More than once I was disappointed when I thought a piece would place in a contest but didn’t… only to win an award later. Strong work will eventually find its literary home.

If there’s one quality that separates professional writers from the rest it’s persistence. Keep writing with the intention of improving your craft and adding new work to your portfolio. Submit, submit, submit… and keep submitting!

Want to produce a portfolio of award-worthy CNF with guidance + support?

I’d love to see you in the Spark Your Story Lab, my online self-guided program for writers who want to craft powerful personal essays and share them with the world!

Designed to spark your creativity, transform your writing, and shape your memories into powerful stories, you’ll experiment with 10 essay forms: the collage, hermit crab, list, visual, photo essay + more!

By the end of the program you’ll have mastered the skills to move past blocks, craft innovative new work, revise + submit your work like a pro. Sign up here to save $250 for a limited time!

PS Not ready to join me in the Spark Your Story Lab? Sign up here for my on-demand workshop “How to write award-worthy essays (even if you only have 30 minutes a day)”. Enter coupon code WOW27 at checkout for FREE access and more valuable tips to craft the kind of essays contest judges are looking for!


Nicole Breit is an award-winning author and writing instructor based in Gibsons, BC, on the ancestral territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) people. Her work has been widely published in journals and anthologies including Brevity, The Fiddlehead, Room, Hippocampus, Pithead Chapel, Event, Swelling with Pride: Queer Conception and Adoption Stories and Getting to the Truth: The Craft and Practice of Creative Nonfiction. Nicole’s Spark Your Story courses and workshops have helped hundreds of writers celebrate their first publication credits and awards.

Sign up for Nicole’s newsletter:

Check out Nicole’s writing programs:

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Interview with Rebecca Tiger: Q1 2024 Creative Nonfiction Runner Up

Sunday, March 24, 2024
Rebecca’s Bio:
Rebecca Tiger teaches sociology at Middlebury College and in jails in Vermont. She’s written a book and articles about drug policy, addiction and celebrity. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Bending Genres, BULL, Dorothy Parker’s Ashes, Emerge Literary, Hippocampus, Mom Egg Review, Peatsmoke, Tiny Molecules and others. She divides her time between Vermont and the Lower East Side of NYC and spends a month every summer in Athens and Crete studying Modern Greek and staring at the sea. 

If you haven't done so already, check out Rebecca's award-winning essay "Where's Charlie?" and then return here for a chat with the author. 

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Q1 2024 Creative Nonfiction Contest! How did you begin writing your essay and how did it and your writing processes evolve as you wrote? 

Rebecca: I was taking care of my mother and having very vivid and intense dreams. I would wake up, not knowing what to do with the feelings and disturbance they evoked so I thought: why not write about them? The process evolved as I realized that the dream was just a starting point, a way to connect other things (e.g. blood), to try and give an overall sense of what it is like caring for a parent with dementia and also what it’s like in a memory care center full of people with a similar condition. 

WOW: I love that you were able to process your dreams to create such a powerful essay. What did you learn about yourself or your writing by creating this essay? 

Rebecca: I am not new to writing but am somewhat new to creative writing. Every time I write, I discover what I can do when I play with words and when I try to connect stories thematically rather than chronologically. When I started to think about blood, I realized how often it was appearing in my life and my mother’s life. It was this connection that I wanted to explore through larger issues (e.g. memory, loss, frailty) and small ones (short-lived romance among people with dementia). 

WOW: That’s such an interesting distinction between being a writer and being a creative writer; I think it’s that creative part that allows us to make such interesting and useful connections among images that might otherwise seem disconnected, just as you described. What connections do you see between teaching or writing on topics like drug policy and addiction and your fiction and creative nonfiction writing? 

Rebecca: I often say that, as a sociologist, I’m a “professional observer,” but I pushed against the limits to sociology when I was caring for my mother and spending several hours a week in a memory care facility with her. This personal entry point to a confining institution deeply affected me and my approach to writing. Creative writing allows me the freedom to explore the sociological issues I care about which are human issues, really, and not the purview of one academic discipline. 

I find that students are much better able to understand sociological material if they can connect to it to themselves personally, so I incorporate creative assignments into my sociology classes and have hosted readings so students can share their work publicly. I really try to emphasize, when I teach writing, that creative nonfiction is not advocacy or persuasive writing: it’s a way to show the human condition in all its variety and complexity, its ugliness and beauty. 

WOW: That’s a lovely way to describe the power of creative nonfiction. Which creative nonfiction essays or writers have inspired you most, and in what ways did they inspire you? 

Rebecca: I am inspired by so many writers. Recently it’s Shirley Hazzard, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Paula Fox. But a few creative non-fiction pieces have really been influential in my writing. “Woven” by Lidia Yuknavitch is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve read (and I have, multiple times). My writing teacher Arya Samuelson inspires me and her recent essay “I am no beekeeper” is a stunning example of the woven essay. I marvel at Deesha Philyaw’s “Whiting,” every time I read it. Annie Ernaux’s The Years influenced me with its poignancy about social history and individual memory. I could list so many writers, which is a wonderful thing – there is so much extraordinary writing out there! 

WOW: I agree! Thanks for sharing some of your favorites. If you could tell your younger self anything about writing, what would it be? 

Rebecca: Just write and don’t worry about whether you’re good or not and don’t become preoccupied with what’s fashionable. And play! Have fun with writing and finding your voice. 

WOW: Excellent advice! Anything else you’d like to add? 

Rebecca: I would like to add a pitch for creative nonfiction. I love how it allows you to start with a kernel of a truth and then add on different layers so you get an overall story correct, but it’s not reporting. So, it is about finding beautiful ways to share a truth of human experiences with others. 

WOW: Thank you for sharing your writing with us and for your thoughtful responses. Happy writing! 

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, founder and editor-in-chief of Sport Stories Press, which publishes sports books by, for, and about sportswomen and amateur athletes and offers developmental editing and ghostwriting services to partially fund the press. Engage on Twitter or Instagram @GreenMachine459.
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Friday Speak Out!: The Wednesday Morning Writing Group

Friday, March 22, 2024
by Dena Rueb Romero

The sun streams in the large windows of Jane’s house. Outside, winter still reigns, but as members of the Wednesday Morning Writing Group, we are oblivious to the weather. We first met in 2009 in a memoir writing class, and when the class ended, decided that writing personal stories was something we needed to do. Of the thirty plus students in the class, fifteen agreed to meet twice a month and to continue writing.

Today, fourteen years later, six writers sit around Jane’s dining room table. Of the first fifteen members, some have died or moved away. We have gotten older, and some of us have health issues. When Covid prevented us from being together in person, we met on Zoom and were grateful we could still see and support each other. For those who stayed, WMWG continues to provide something we haven’t found elsewhere, and we convene once a quarter.

We range in age from 65 to 85 and come from different backgrounds, but we share the desire to describe our lives – happy, sad, humorous, challenging– in memoir. We trust each other and have the confidence to read our essays to the group. Writing and fond caring hold us together. Just as good friends pick up where they leave off, so we resume when we meet, whether on Zoom or in person.

Why do we write? Some of us want a larger audience, through either self-publishing or submitting to an established publisher. Mostly, however, we write for ourselves, to hold onto an event or experience and examine it for meaning. The reward is often a new understanding or perspective.

It is hard work, requiring time, inspiration, and self-discipline. It means throwing out first attempts, starting over, and walking away when words and ideas don’t come together the way one hoped. Sometimes the subject of an essay reveals itself, sometimes it becomes apparent while writing, and sometimes it feels like pulling teeth. Yet the process can be satisfying, especially when five, ten, even fifteen pages resolve into a finished essay.

Our writing group gives us structure and a deadline. If you have signed up to read at the next meeting, your piece must be ready, even if only as a rough draft. Bringing an unfinished piece is acceptable, for group members will offer ideas to help finalize the writing. The support is invaluable.

This morning Jane will read about her trip to France, and Stuart has a long piece about his recently deceased brother. We are at Jane’s long table, each with a cup of tea or coffee, ready to listen, make suggestions, and highlight sections that are especially well-written. And I am delighted to report that my own book will be released shortly, thanks to the support and encouragement from the Wednesday Morning Writers Group.

* * *
Dena Rueb Romero grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, the daughter of a Lutheran mother and a Jewish father, both refugees from Nazi Germany. She graduated from Brandeis University and received an MA in English from the University of Virginia and an MSW from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Her previous publications include Gretel’s Albums, a collaborative bilingual internet project with researcher Bernhild Voegel (, and an essay about German citizenship in A Place They Called Home: Reclaiming Citizenship, Stories of a New Jewish Return to Germany. All for You is her first full-length book. Dena still lives in Hanover. Find her online at Facebook

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Review: Reedsy How to Write a Novel Master Class with Tom Bromley

Thursday, March 21, 2024
Review of How to Write a Novel Reedsy Master Class with Tom Bromley

By Angela Mackintosh

I’ve always wanted to write a novel, but I find the length and process overwhelming. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo several times and have even “won” twice, writing fifty thousand words in one month. After cutting pages of summary and exposition and plain bad writing, the usable scenes became fodder for pieces that I’ve had published in literary journals. Although I have several half-written book drafts on the cloud, I began to accept the idea that I’d never be a novel writer. Writing short pieces was more my style, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Then, earlier this year, an idea for a mystery/horror novel grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I knew that if I wanted to write a solid draft, complete with a riveting plot, multiple POV characters, and a twisty mystery at its core, I needed more than NaNoWriMo and short-term workshops; I needed a complete course on novel writing.

As a fan of Reedsy, I jumped at the chance to take Reedsy’s How to Write a Novel Master Class with author Tom Bromley. I hadn’t heard of Tom, who is the head of learning at Reedsy, and also an author, editor, and ghostwriter, but I immediately liked his videos and knew he’d be a great instructor.

Tom Bromley
Researching Tom’s background, I found out he worked in the publishing industry for years as a commissioning editor for Little, Brown, and then at Pavilion, where he founded the imprint, Portico. He’s edited and commissioned over a hundred titles, authored eight traditionally published books under his name/pen name, and ghostwritten fifteen titles, including prize winners and international bestsellers. He was definitely qualified, and I was thrilled to learn from him. Tom is a musician, and during his webinars, you’ll often see a double bass in the background! But what impressed me most about Tom Bromley during the class was his kind, easy-going personality, editing skills, and in-depth craft knowledge, all of which made this course a phenomenal learning experience.

This is the most comprehensive course I’ve ever taken. It’s extremely well designed. Each short daily lesson builds upon the next in a logical order and covers all the foundations of fiction writing. I’m about halfway through the course, and it’s had such a positive impact on my writing that I’m confident I will finish a novel draft this year. Reedsy’s How to Write a Novel Master Class is everything you need to write your novel!

You might be wondering if this course is right for you. In this post, I’ll share my review of the course, let you know what you can expect from it, and give you an idea of how the course works. I’ll also share some tips to help you succeed.

Before we get started, I want to be fully transparent and let you know that while I wasn’t paid to write this review, the link to the course is an affiliate link. If you sign up for the course, a small portion will be donated to WOW, which helps support women writers. This won’t affect your total price, and it didn’t influence my review.

What You Get in Reedsy’s How to Write a Novel Course

Before taking the course, you can enroll (without putting in any payment information) to receive a free video on character. I recommend checking it out to get a taste of Tom’s teaching style. Immediately you’ll notice the excellent quality of the video, graphics, and sound. I appreciate the effort that went into creating these videos, not only the production quality, but the easily digestible lessons that focus on one craft element per day.

Prep Sessions

Prior to the class, there are prep sessions that cover the Five Ps:
  • Pitch
  • Protagonist
  • Plot
  • Point of View
  • Place

If you’ve studied Save the Cat, you’ll know they also start their structure with a pitch or logline, which is a one-sentence summary of your book. It’s a challenging exercise, but one that puts you in the mindset of thinking about your story as a marketable product.

Reedsy How to Write a Novel Course Prep Sessions

I suggest starting the prep sessions at least a couple of weeks prior to the class to hone your idea and plot, so when you show up for the first day of class, you are ready to write. The course has two weeks that cover plotting, which is week three and week twelve, but I got the feeling that Tom likes to keep things a little loose in the beginning to allow for movement and surprise. He believes a plot should not be completed entirely because he likes to be entertained. It reminds me of the Robert Frost quote, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” While there are examples and suggestions for plotting, there are no specific plotting structures required. If you are a plotter, I’d recommend nailing down your outline before you start the course, because the course’s focus is on writing.


The course runs for 101 days, with the goal of completing a 75,000-word draft. Your target is 1,000 words per weekday or 5,000 words per week.

Monday through Friday daily lessons: The daily lessons are 10- to 15-minute videos on a craft topic and include reading and writing exercises. Be prepared to set aside an hour if you want to do all the reading and writing exercises and follow the links to related articles.

Saturday author panel lesson: Tom interviews various authors in one video and they discuss a craft topic. These author’s books are included in the lesson excerpts, so it’s fun to get a look at their behind-the-scenes writing process.

Sundays are rest days, and Tom suggests reading a good book or hanging out in the community area and chatting with fellow writers.

Monday Live Masterclass: Every Monday you can attend a live webinar, which is a live editing session with Tom (my favorite!), a deep dive into a craft technique, or a guest author discussion. There is a wide range of authors in all genres.

Feedback Friday: You can sign up to trade feedback with a writer in your cohort, where you swap up to 1,000 words, with the goal of completing your critique by the end of the weekend.

The interactive community forum is open throughout the entire course for support and discussion.

20+ Hours of Amazing Daily Video Lessons

You’ll receive daily video lessons that focus on one craft element. Tom is an excellent teacher who breaks down hard concepts into practical advice and easy steps. He uses novel excerpts as examples in the videos and they are also available as downloadable scans. The authors and books chosen delightfully surprised me because many of the authors were new to me and all the reads were eye-opening. There is a wonderful mix of everything from literary fiction to mystery/thriller and more. Some books were on my reading list, like Ordinary People and Black Cake.

There are links to craft articles for further study. Writing exercises focus on the craft element of the day, and I found these incredible. Both the lessons and the exercises came at the perfect time to create new depth and innovation in my scenes. It felt like Tom was reading my mind! For instance, I had a scene where my characters pull into a parking lot. The exercise for the day was to write a short 100-word scene of two drivers arguing over a particular space. Another time, the excerpt focused on a letter that changed everything. I was writing about a party flyer that was being passed around the junior college quad that would set my plot in motion. It was uncanny how these lessons coincided with what I was writing!

Here’s a comprehensive outline of all the lessons in the class:

Week 1: Beginnings
Day 1: Beginnings
Day 2: Starting Again
Day 3: Introducing Character
Day 4: Backstory
Day 5: Grounding the Reader
Day 6: Starting Points
Day 7: Sundays are always rest days

Week 2: Secret Sauce
Day 8: Movement
Day 9: Change
Day 10: Space
Day 11: Peril
Day 12: Voice
Day 13: Opening Pages

Week 3: Character
Day 15: Caring and Liking
Day 16: Flaws
Day 17: Inner Tension
Day 18: Change
Day 19: Feeling
Day 20: Character

Week 4: Plot Skills 1
Day 22: Story DNA
Day 23: Scene vs. Summary
Day 24: Revealing Information
Day 25: Flashback
Day 26: Mystery, Surprise, and Suspense
Day 27: Plotting and Pantsing

Week 5: Description
Day 29: The Senses
Day 30: Movement
Day 31: Color
Day 32: Small Details
Day 33: People, Past, and POV
Day 34: Description

Week 6: Dialogue
Day 36: Voice
Day 37: Conflict
Day 38: Rhythm
Day 39: Real Speech
Day 40: Body Language
Day 41: Worldbuilding

Week 7: Texture
Day 43: Action
Day 44: Thought
Day 45: Dialogue vs. Description
Day 46: Dialogue, Description, and Pace
Day 47: Mixing Together
Day 48: Inspiration

Week 8: Middles
Day 50: The Halfway Point
Day 51: The Midpoint
Day 52: Wants and Needs
Day 53: Links
Day 54: Thinking Forward
Day 55: Reading

Week 9: Writing Skills
Day 57: Words
Day 58: Verbs
Day 59: Sounds
Day 60: Sentences
Day 61: Paragraphs
Day 62: Writing Challenges

Week 10: Writing Techniques
Day 64: Rule of Three
Day 65: Repetition
Day 66: Build
Day 67: Contrast
Day 68: Imagery
Day 69: Writing Routines

Week 11: Chapters
Day 71: Chapters Overview
Day 72: Beginnings and Endings
Day 73: Lengths
Day 74: Chapter Structure
Day 75: Pulling Together
Day 76: Research

Week 12: Plot Skills 2
Day 78: Foreshadowing
Day 79: Group Scenes
Day 80: Dovetailing
Day 81: Time
Day 82: Punctuating a Scene
Day 83: Feedback

Week 13: Doubling Up
Day 85: Action and Story
Day 86: Action and Character
Day 87: Description and Story
Day 88: Description and Character
Day 89: Dialogue and Story
Day 90: Editing

Week 14: Endings
Day 92: Resolution
Day 93: Bookending
Day 94: Imagery
Day 95: Movement
Day 96: Possibility
Day 97: Endings

Week 15: Next Steps
Day 99: Editing Plan
Day 100: Editing
Day 101: The End

Live Sessions and Masterclasses

There is one live session per week on Monday. The session runs for an hour and is:
  • a mixture of interviews with guest authors
  • a deep dive on various craft topics
  • a live editing session with Tom

Live Editing Session with Tom Bromley

You can sign up to have your work live edited by Tom, and I think many students will agree that those sessions are the best thing ever! Tom is an expert editor who is great at dissecting work and pointing out what needs to be cut, developed, and more. It’s rare to see a publishing house editor in action. This is helpful not only for the writer getting her work edited, but also for any writer who wants to learn how to edit. All live sessions are recorded.

Feedback Partners

You can trade work up to 1,000 words with someone in your cohort. The pairings are assigned. It’s not mandatory, but if you want to take advantage of it, it’s always useful to get eyes on your work. The critiques can be challenging to give and receive, since you’re only providing feedback on a small portion of the manuscript. Tom shares community guidelines and etiquette for giving a constructive critique. Manuscripts are traded on Fridays and critiques should be completed by the end of the weekend.

Community Forum

Included is twelve months of the community forum. This is a place to talk shop and relax with fellow writers. Discussions are on everything from the muddy middle to staying motivated to what your writing space looks like. The community leaders, like the wonderfully talented Felicia Bengtsson, pose thought-provoking discussions and make writers feel comfortable. Tom is also writing a novel and shares his own writing progress and frustrations, which really makes me feel like he’s one of us. It’s a safe and inspiring learning atmosphere. Writers take part from all over the world, and the community is quite active.

Reedsy Community Forum

12-Month Access to Weekly Live Webinars and Forum; Lifetime Access to the Lessons

You can participate in the community forum and join weekly live webinars, including live editing sessions, for a year! You also have lifetime access to the lessons. This is super helpful because you can actually take the course three or four times in one year as you work on revisions. Or maybe you slowed down like I did and fell a little behind on the lessons. Not to worry, you can make your own schedule and work at your own pace. I’m about halfway through the course, and I plan on taking it a couple times this year to finish a first draft. I find the daily videos inspiring and the highlight of my day.

Tips to Succeed in the Course

Time Commitment

Be prepared to spend at least 10-15 hours a week on the course. The video lessons are only around 15 minutes, but I’d factor in at least an hour if you want to read all the novel excerpts and try the writing exercises. The prompts only call for around a hundred words, which can be done on a timer, but you may also want to follow the links to read more about a craft technique. You’ll also need to schedule time to write 1,000 words per weekday and to attend the weekly live hour-long webinar.

Plot in Advance

Like I mentioned earlier, there are five prep sessions, and one covers plotting, but it is fairly quick. If you are a plotter, take time before you start the course to fill out your Save the Cat Beat Sheet or your three-act structure or whatever you plan on using because that is not covered in depth. 

There are plenty of great articles on Reedsy about structure, like this one on “How to Outline a Novel in 9 Easy Steps,” and even a free course, “How to Plot a Novel Using 3-Act Story Structure.” Take advantage of those to prepare for the course. However, if you dive into the course without an outline, like I did, the lessons will guide you through what you need to know and a spontaneous structure will occur. I had a basic idea and plot outline in my head, but I didn’t write it down. Instead, I used the daily lessons as a guide to walk me through each scene and chapter. After I run through the entire course, I will most likely rearrange scenes for impact using a structure like Save the Cat.

Reedsy Novel Writing Software

Reedsy’s novel writing app is free and integrated in the learning dashboard. You can take advantage of this perk, and I think I might use it or invest in Scrivener soon. I’m currently writing in Word documents and it’s getting hard to track. The advantages of the Reedsy app is it allows for collaborative editing and takes care of formatting and conversion if you are going to self-publish. You can find out more about that here:

Be Prepared to Work

This is an obvious tip, but if you're going to invest in this course, remember that it will not magically make you write a novel. You need to put in the work and commit to a daily writing habit. You get out of it what you put in!

Write a Novel in 101 Days with Reedsy How to Write a Novel Master Class

Is the Reedsy Novel Writing Class Worth It?

Reedsy’s How to Write a Novel Master Course costs $1249, which is definitely expensive, but in my opinion, it’s worth it for a complete 101-day novel writing course, and one that you can take throughout the entire year. I usually take several writing workshops a year for shorter work, which quickly adds up to the same price tag. If you break it down, Reedsy's course comes out to roughly $12.37 a day (for 101 days) or $3.42 a day (for a year), which is not bad for a daily lesson, writing exercises, accountability, community, feedback, masterclasses, and more. If you can afford it, I think it’s worth it and can change your writing life.

This course is for writers who want to learn how to write a novel with everything they need wrapped up in one package. NaNoWriMo didn’t work for me because it isn’t guided. If you want to learn how to tell a compelling story, develop authentic characters, dialogue, setting, description, create tension, employ literary techniques, and more, then Reedsy’s How to Write a Novel Master Class is for you! The course is fun and inspiring and provides a practical approach and lots of sparks to help you write your novel. 

Tom is an excellent teacher who shows you how to write through examples and makes craft techniques easy to understand. The course is expertly designed, and the community is lively and engaging. It’s hard to think of any drawbacks. The only one I could come up with is that the instructor doesn’t edit all of your work. However, the course includes live editing sessions with Tom and weekly peer feedback.

To get a free lesson of the class before you decide, you can enroll without putting in any payment info, and get access to the learning dashboard and watch the first lesson for free.

As with any class, you get out of it what you put in. If you want to write a novel this year, and you can invest in your writing and put in the time, I say go for it!

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Having Fun While Finding My Voice

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

My first “grown-up” book was And Then There Were None, found on my cousin’s dresser during a holiday visit when I was about 11. I was instantly captivated by a world and people so different from my small town Pennsylvania life. The murders were fun too! I quickly gobbled up every Agatha Christie book in my local library and I’m sure this led to my love of the genre.

Although I’ve read scores of murder mysteries, I’ve never written one. Some ideas bounce around in my head and my poor husband has become accustomed to me whispering, “This would be a great place for a murder” in random places.

This Friday I officially take the plunge into mystery writing. Well, maybe not a plunge. More like wading into the shallow end. I recently learned about a mystery writing contest with a hook. You only have 48 hours to write your story. I’m nervous about both the time limit and not knowing exactly what I’ll be writing but this Friday at 5 pm EST I’ll be at Toasted Cheese Literary Journal when they announce the theme, word count and other details for the Mollie Savage Memorial Writing Contest.

For years I worked at a very reliable marketing job where I stifled my voice in favor of the voice of the advertisers. Now, as a freelancer I’m left wondering what my voice is. So I’m grabbing every opportunity I can find as I stretch my skills and learn what I’m capable of doing. Can I write a murder mystery? Well, this is a great opportunity to give it a try.

Do you want to stretch your writing skills? Do you need a short break from your WIP? Do you love the mystery genre but aren’t ready to commit to a book length project? Join me on Friday! I'll share my process on my blog and I hope to learn how you're doing too.

As an added bonus, there’s also a Science Fiction/Fantasy 48 hour contest in September.

Jodi M. Webb writes from her home in the Pennsylvania mountains. After a decade hiatus from writing, she is back with bylines in Tea Journey, Mental Floss and a WIP about her plant obsession. She's also a blog tour manager for WOW-Women on Writing. Get to know her on Instagram or Facebook.

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Interview with Marie Davis: Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest 3rd Place Winner

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Marie’s Bio:
Marie Davis is an epidemiologist who works in global HIV prevention and began writing fiction for fun a few years ago. She's currently working on her first novel, exploring themes of family, belonging, and girlhood. Overpriced cappuccinos, other people’s dogs, and pithy books about angsty women who don’t really do anything fuel her creativity. Seeking ways to streamline her writing process, Marie is grateful for any tips to improve her current, chaotic approach. Although she resides in DC, her heart yearns to one day live by the ocean where she can best be angsty and not really do anything herself. 

If you haven't done so already, check out Marie's award-winning story "Not Pictured" and then return here for a chat with the author. 

WOW: Congratulations on placing third in the Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest! What excited you most about writing this story? 

Marie: I really enjoy when people do something unusual for tender, yet difficult to explain, reasons. A lot of life’s weirdness can be chalked up to misunderstood kindness. This little story started with nothing else than the idea of how odd it would seem to pocket another family’s photograph, but I wanted the reason to be sweet instead of strange. 

WOW: What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece? 

Marie: Historically, I’ve been a very critical and nervous decision-maker at pivotal life junctures. Despite feeling confident about most of my Big Decisions at Big Times, I have mourned the other lives I could have lived deeply and indulgently. This piece reminded me of how I imagined the next phase of my life could look when I was much younger and how limited my ideas about the future really were. It’s a humbling reminder of how uninspired my past imaginations were, and suggests my current imaginations lack the depth and potential surprises that are ahead. 

WOW: That’s an important realization. Thank you for sharing it with us. What prompted you to start writing fiction a few years ago? 

Marie: I come from a family of passionate readers and writers of pithy cards, professional journalism, and published novels. This environment fostered a spirit of fun wordplay and other creative literary pursuits. I was inspired by my mother’s journey in writing and publishing her first middle school novel last year, and it has been a new and exciting way for us to connect in our individual pursuits. 

WOW: How wonderful to be able to connect with your family in this fun and creative way! I hear you’re writing a novel. How is your novel-writing process going? 

Marie: It’s going! I am spending more time in my characters’ minds, which is not great for my professional productivity but is fun for the process. It’s difficult to track progress for something as intimate and private as the writing process, and I’m hoping to continue to find ways to carve out productive time that doesn’t feel too forced. 

WOW: Yes, finding creative time amid other life pursuits is such a challenge. What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it? 

Marie: I’m currently reading Covenant of Water and re-reading The Bell Jar (don’t worry, I’m fine). I loved Abraham Verghese’s other books for their sweeping epic-like storytelling that was subtle and mysterious despite his dramatic undertaking, and Covenant of Water is not disappointing. The Bell Jar is generally remembered for its shock value, but the slow burn and humor that Plath exhibits in the first half is timeless, and I am using it as inspiration for one of my current characters. 

WOW: If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be and why? 

Marie: To read smarter and start throwing up words. Even if you have nothing to say you have to learn how to say it. 

WOW: Thanks for sharing that advice! Anything else you’d like to add? 

Marie: Thank you for this space – writing short stories for these contests has really helped me think about and improve my writing. 

WOW: You’re welcome! Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiring responses with us. Happy writing! 

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, founder and editor-in-chief of Sport Stories Press, which publishes sports books by, for, and about sportswomen and amateur athletes and offers developmental editing and ghostwriting services to partially fund the press. Connect on Twitter @greenmachine459.
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Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin: Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, March 18, 2024
Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin

I'm excited to announce that author B. Lynn Goodwin returns to us again with a new book called Disrupted. Join us as we celebrate the launch of her book and interview her about her writing journey. You'll also have the chance to win a copy for yourself.

Before we get to that, here's more about her book:

The San Ramos High students are busy rehearsing their performance of Our Town when the school and the surrounding towns are rocked by a 7.1 earthquake. As a series of unusual aftershocks disrupt the town further, their school is deemed unsafe, and the show is postponed indefinitely unless they can find a way to turn that bad luck around. Dealing with their own personal difficulties and led by the stage manager, Sandee, who is working her way through the loss of her brother, they attempt to bring the community together, make the performance a success, and do their share to raise funds to rebuild. Both the show and life must go on!

Publisher: Olympia Publishers
ISBN-10: 1804393487
ISBN-13: 978-1804393482
Print Length: 238 pages

Purchase a copy of Disrupted on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop. You can also add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, B. Lynn Goodwin

B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice,

Talent was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award and won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award. A second edition cane out on November 1, 2020 from  Koehler Books. She also wrote You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers.

Her memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 won a National Indie Excellence Award, a Human Relations Indie Book Awards Winner, a Dragonfly Book Award, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Best Book Awards Finalist & NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner.

Her latest book, Disrupted, published on January 25th. 

Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good, Purple, and elsewhere. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is a manuscript coach at Writer Advice. She always has time to write guest blog posts and answer questions. She loves working one on one, trouble-shooting, and helping writers find what works. Contact her to see how she can help you.

You can find her online at:

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: Congratulations on Disrupted! I'm so glad to have you back with us. And I love your new YA book! What has happened since your last blog tour It's Never Too Late? 

B. Lynn: I’ve been busy with writing, editing, and maybe spreading myself too thin. Writer Advice, takes up a hunk of my time because of our writing contests and my responses. I read and review all the time, and reading other people’s work helps my writing. I’m on the board at Story Circle Network, Story Circle Network — Women Writers & Writing Resources, where I lead a monthly Writing Extravaganza and teach Independent Study Classes, and the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. I’m also writing articles for several of the people who want me to share my ideas on this blog tour, and I find time to be with my husband every day. 

WOW: I love hearing how well things are going for you. Why did you decide to pursue fiction? And specifically, why young adult? 

B. Lynn: I used to teach English and drama in high school and college. They say you should write what you know, which means writing a memoir and writing this fiction weren’t all that different. I know how teens sound and I know what they want at least as much as they do. I also know what we all dream about. 

WOW: So true! I love all of the characters in this book. How did you create such real feeling characters? 

B. Lynn: Whether you’re writing fiction or acting, when you develop a character you need to focus on what each character wants, what she can do to get it, and what is in her way. 

WOW: Great tip! What kind of research did you do to capture the experience of the earthquake? 

B. Lynn: I lived through the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. My husband’s experience of feeling like there was an ape in the back of the truck is an authentic one used in Disrupted

WOW: As someone who grew up in California, that's a perfect description. What are you working on now that you can tell us about? 

B. Lynn: I’m working on juggling the varying aspects of my writing life and the rest of my life, always gathering material, and processing a lot of it in my journal. 

WOW: That's amazing! What advice do you have for authors who want to write YA? 

B. Lynn: Can you answer these questions? Why do you want to write YA? How do you feel about teens? What could they get from your book that might not be available in adult fiction? If you can answer those questions, just do it. 

WOW: Great insight! Thank you again for joining us! Best of luck on your tour.

Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin Blog Tour

--- Blog Tour Calendar

March 18th @ The Muffin
Join us on WOW as we celebrate the launch of B. Lynn Goodwin's newest book Disrupted. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy for yourself.

March 19th @ Rockin Book Reviews
Join Lu Ann for her review of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin.

March 20th @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
Join Lisa for her interview with B. Lynn Goodwin about her writing journey and her newest book Disrupted.

March 22nd @ The Faerie Review
Visit Lily's blog for a spotlight of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin.

March 23rd @ Word Magic
Join Fiona's blog for a guest post about earthquakes. Learn some interesting facts and mysteries behind this geographical event.

March 25th @ Michelle Cornish's blog
Join Michelle for a guest post by B. Lynn Goodwin about what makes your story unique.

March 30th @ Chapter Break
Visit Julie's blog for a guest post by B. Lynn Goodwin about the benefits of writing what you know.

March 31st @ A Wonderful World of Books
Visit Joy's blog for a spotlight of Disrupted and a giveaway of a copy of the e-book.

April 2nd @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog for her review of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin.

April 6th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Join Linda's blog for her interview with B. Lynn Goodwin about her new book Disrupted.

April 8th @ Sara Trimble's blog
Join Sara for her review of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin. You can also win a digital copy of the book.

April 10th @ Susan Uhlig's blog
Visit Susan's blog for a guest post by B. Lynn Goodwin about how loss affects teens.

April 13th @ Book Review From an Avid Reader
Visit Joan's blog for her review of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin.

April 14th @ Boys Moms' Reads 
Join Karen for her review of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin.

April 15th @ Choices
Visit Madeline Sharples' blog for a guest post by B. Lynn Goodwin about pantsing or plotting and whether that matters.

April 16th @ Storeybook Reviews
Join Leslie for a guest post by B. Lynn Goodwin about rising above fear.

April 17th @ Just Katherine
Join Katherine for her review of Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin.

April 19th @ Just Katherine
Visit Katherine's blog again for a guest post by B. Lynn Goodwin about journaling for writers.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the novel Disrupted by B. Lynn Goodwin! Fill out the form below for a chance to win. The giveaway ends March 31st at 11:59 pm CT. We will choose a winner the next day and announce in the Rafflecopter widget, and also follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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