Getting Your Writing Past Contest Screening Judges

About seven years ago, Sheila agreed to judge a personal essay contest for a writing magazine. Her task was to choose and rank the ten top essays among the submissions. Told to expect about 1,000 essays, she was surprised when 3,500 showed up at our door with only three weeks to choose the winners. I … Continue reading

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Since that First Night of Lit Halls

As you read this short story by magical realism enthusiast Tamara Sellman, pay attention to the ways in which the omniscient third person narrator reports the main character’s thoughts and ideas.¬† Techniques of magical realism allow readers to understand and accept the mother’s way of understanding what is happening. With this acceptance comes an ability … Continue reading

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Finding a Voice for This

We come to journaling to record what we are doing and what we are thinking. As a writing teacher, I spend a lot of time onsite teaching and even more off-site creating lessons. When I was journaling about my son’s death, it is not surprising that I recorded the teaching part of my life as … Continue reading

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Magical Realism at Your Finger Tips

When he was a boy she was always painting the ceiling of his room. Once she painted it blue for a sky with lazy white clouds and faint daytime stars. And in one corner, as if just disappearing into his closet, the tip of an angel’s wing. “It could be only a bird’s wing,” she … Continue reading

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