Wendy Somes

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Jackson book like winning the 'Lottery'

Most of us first encountered Shirley Jackson through “The Lottery,” her fascinatingly grim short story about the dark underpinnings of civilized life. It debuted in <i>The New Yorker</i> in 1948, and has been unnerving high school English classes ever since.<p>Though she died 50 years ago, Jackson’s star has …

How to Turn Your Most Humiliating Secrets Into Novels

In the novel What's Never Said, author and journalism professor Susan Shapiro reflects on her affair with her poetry professor<p><i>Bestselling author</i> …

10 Writing Mistakes that Kill Your First Chapter

<b>By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)</b>I’m teaching at a writer’s conference this week, so instead of one of my in-depth posts, I thought I’d create a quick …

Creative Writing

9 Unlikely Reads that Will Make Your Writing Better

There are thousands of “best books for writers” lists out there. (I’ve written one!) But what about the inspiration that comes from all around us? …

Poetry

Vivian Gornick: 'Most people who are writing memoirs are not writers'

Now 79, the writer has a new memoir out, and has firm views on both that form and her other lifelong passion, feminism<p>The first thing one notices about Vivian Gornick’s apartment is how spare it is. The walls are lined with tall bookshelves but there is little other element there by way of …

Feminism

Reflections of a Motherless Mother

In the days after my first child was born, I was lost in him. I spent so many hours staring at his little features that when my husband returned from work each day, it seemed almost freakish how big his face was.<p>What I most remember feeling for my newborn was a sense of being wholly committed to …

New Literary Agent Alert: Penny Moore of Empire Literary

<i>Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Penny Moore of Empire Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each</i> …

12 best pencils for designers and artists

Whether you're creating a rough draft of an illustration, learning how to draw, or sketching out a mockup before hitting the wireframe tools, you'll …

Choosing the right story to write

<i>Confession</i>: I’ve never really bought into the muse idea or writer’s block for that matter. For me, it’s always been a case of “idea in, words out.”<p>As …

How I Landed A Literary Agent & What You Can Learn From it: Kat Spears

The process of finding a literary agent or publisher is grueling and filled with rejection land mines. And, once published, there is no guarantee a …

Writing

10 Commandments for a Smart and Simple Life

My husband Thom and I have been on the path of simplifying our lives for several years. Every now and then we like to sit down and discuss ways we can better live that example. So while we don't consider ourselves experts on the subject, we do think it's helpful to list what we consider to be most …

8 Low-Maintenance Upgrades You’ll Love

You can have a virtually chore-free home with these easy-care materials.<p>Homeownership should be about enjoying your home — not being a slave to it. …

Keeping a Secret – A Great Backstory Technique

Readers are smart. Smarter than we authors give them credit for. They get where we’re going <i>way</i> before we think they do. I think that’s why it’s so …