writing

Writing Tips

To Conference or Not to Conference


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So, you’re an aspiring writer, and you’re considering going to a writing conference. Is it worth it? What should you keep in mind?

1. Do you need to attend conferences to become a professional writer?
No, you don’t. Conferences cost money, and sometimes you just don’t have it. What you do need is grit, a willingness to learn, a broad knowledge of the literature you’re trying to write and an awareness of how the industry works. It also helps to have a supportive group of fellow writers, who share your dreams, will give you constructive feedback on your work and will cry and/or celebrate with you when required. Attending a writing conference or joining a professional group, like SCBWI, can help with many, but not all of those things. If you are looking to learn more about the industry and to join a supportive community of writers, then attending a conference can be a great first step. (more…)

Book News

I’m Officially a Starving Artist


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Ever since I was little, I dreamed of becoming a starving artist, and now I’m finally pursuing that goal!!! 😛 This is my last day working at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library. From here on out, I will be trying my hand at being a full-time author. I don’t have any misconceptions about the future. I know it will be hard, and it may not work out forever, but I’m grateful to have this opportunity. Here are some pictures from my last day:

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Here’s a picture of my desk at the library

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Writing Tips

How I Became a Writer


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My first foray into writing greatness came when I won second place in a Think Ink creative writing contest in second grade. I don’t remember the specifics of my story, except that it was essentially a fan-fiction version of my favorite short story at the time, “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl. Yes, it’s true, second grade me did not enjoy Barbie or Disney princesses; she was much more interested in sadistic landladies who killed and stuffed their guests. As far as I can recall, my story was even named “The Landlady,” a fact I only remember because the announcer at the awards ceremony called it “Bag Lady,” which upset me greatly at the time.

Years later, in fifth grade, bored with the usual, nauseating yearbook messages, I decided to get creative. So, when someone asked me to sign their yearbook, I wrote something like, “Hi, I really hope you DON’T go to an amusement park this summer and have all of your internal organs ripped out by a rogue carousel horse that magically comes to life…Have a great summer!” These messages were so popular that everyone in class lined up to discover the elaborate way in which I hoped they DIDN’T die. After I’d finished, I remember someone saying that I would grow up to be a mystery writer.

So, looking back, I think my journey to writing was appropriately weird and creepy. What about you? How did you first know you wanted to be a writer?