Author Bio & Article Archives

Sheila Bender has worked with people who write personal essays, poetry, nonfiction books, stories, writer’s journals, and application essays since 1980, helping them acknowledge a place for writing in their lives. Learn about her instructional books, memoir and poetry at About Sheila.

Author Archives: Sheila Bender

Awakening the Travel Journal Keeper Within

 In 2008, I published a version of this article based on the writings authors Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Robert Hellenga contributed to my 1991 book The Writer’s Journal: 40 Contemporary Writers and Their Journals. Both writers talked about a way in which the entry they share in the book ended up in a finished piece of writing.…Continue Reading

On Gillian Herbert’s Winning Essay “Stark Scenes”

Gillian Herbert is our fourth winner in the recent Writing It Real contest. Our judge Stan Rubin commented about his selection of Gillian’s “Stark Scenes” this way: “A sequence of poignant vignettes that evoke a painful time period and add up to a kind of triumph. Clear, economical writing. The need for escape, the nature…Continue Reading

Clear the Debris of Abstraction and Sentimentality

As the Presidential candidates for nomination continue to gather followers with predictable phrases, and pundits attempt to predict who the will be the frontrunners, I am reminded of the importance of writing toward felt insight. We need to leave abstracting and sentimentality behind if we are to find insight and make deep connections with ourselves and others through our writing.…Continue Reading

In Conversation with Three Very Different Writers

Every few months, I sit with sound engineer Charlie Fleishman at the studio of Port Townsend, WA’s all volunteer FM station KPTZ.org and record conversations with four writers. Each of these Sundays includes telephone conversations with writers from anywhere in the country and in studio conversations local writers.  Each program plays two to three times…Continue Reading