Partners

“Partners” by B. Lynn Goodwin was one of ten honorable mentions in this year’s inaugural Writing It Real Personal Essay Contest. The essay is followed by response comments Sheila sent to the essay’s author, as promised for all ten honorable mentions. Partners By B. Lynn Goodwin I was in my twenties when I told my … Continue reading

Continue reading

The Same Hospital at the Same Time

This excerpt from Allison Gilbert’s Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents (Seal Press, 2006) is reprinted with the permission of the author. Please click here to read Sheila’s interview with her. In this excerpt, Gilbert writes from her interview with Dennis Franz. You ONLY GET one set of … Continue reading

Continue reading

Interview with Author and Editor Allison Gilbert

Always Too Soon: Voices of Support For Those Who Have Lost Both Parents is a collection of intimate interviews about the journey traveled by those whose parents have both died. Some of the book’s contributors are famous (Rosanne Cash, Ice-T, Geraldine Ferraro, Mariel Hemingway) and others are not, but all have important perceptions to share … Continue reading

Continue reading

“Heat” – Riley Ellen Martin’s Third Place Winning Essay”

Following this prize-winning essay, Sheila discusses the author’s way of putting description, metaphor making, example, comparison and contrast and cause and effect to good use in developing a humorous essay that clearly defines the experience of menopause and the mental and emotional states it encompasses. Heat by Riley Ellen Martin The open window brings the … Continue reading

Continue reading

A Dime in My Pocket: A Memoir

Following this prize-winning essay, Sheila discusses the author’s craft and technique for creating an essay that uses imagery and details to work toward a felt understanding. A Dime in My Pocket By Kelly Sievers I scooted a chair close to my father’s bed, pulled the side rail down, and released his hands from restraints. In … Continue reading

Continue reading

“I Do, Undone” – Catha J. Loomis 1st Place Essay

Following this prize-winning essay, Sheila discusses the author’s craft and technique for creating a successful personal opinion essay. I Do, Undone by Catha J. Loomis Shocked by a message on the answering machine, I dashed upstairs and turned on the computer, hoping for some online confirmation. “Oh my God,” I yelled. “It’s true!” “It” was … Continue reading

Continue reading

Linguistics, Anybody?

Writers are tuned into the language that people use. Most of us feel that the everyday language of the people we listen to is rich and colorful and important, even if it doesn’t stick to what our teachers taught us.  Luckily, linguists are on our side with their delight in documenting how living languages evolve. … Continue reading

Continue reading

Putting Life Experience on the Page

I’m reading over 70 personal essays about rich human experience. The essays that came to us as entries in our contest are having a great impact on me. As I read, I move among countries, among ages, among decades and among social groups. I learn about topics new to me and revisit familiar ones with … Continue reading

Continue reading

As the Dark Days Move into Light

In October, my publisher’s essay spoke about the way I wrote and read poetry to help me after losing my 25-year-old son Seth in a snowboarding accident on December 27, 2000: When I finished one particular poem, I saw that not only did I hurt from profound helplessness to keep Seth from dying, I also … Continue reading

Continue reading