Articles Testimonials

  • “I really enjoyed listening to your recent interview re: 3 ways to get writing going when blocked. I realized something about my own writing. I tend to blend invention and editing, and need to allow myself to let go, and make meaning before my editing mind jumps in. Allow more time for invention, then shape, before my edits take over…The WIR article on titles was very useful since I was struggling with a title when the article popped up in my Inbox and helped me find a title for an essay.”   ~ Judy Kvinsland
  • “Another EXCELLENT essay, this week from you. How delightful to be reminded of early writings and how important they are as an influence for future writing. I’ll use that in next week’s class.”   ~ Sam Turner
  • “You bring us the BEST articles every single time!!!!”   ~ Julia Cousineau
  • “Thank you Sheila for giving me this opportunity to re-live that poetic moment.”   ~ Mary Alice Long
  • “Sheila Horoscope: Pisces (S) 3/6 You are a dream for all of us who turned to you for writing help and found a Pisces with double soul, wit and wisdom.”   ~ Joanna Johns
  • “I like this article. It is just what I need. I feel that I can bite into a plum now and taste all of its juices.”
    ~ Marcia Wall
  • “Even though my last year has been beyond what I ever would have imagined, I can feel grounded in one area of my life when I check in with Writing It Real each week or reconnect with it when I`ve been gone”
    ~ Mary Kurtz
  • “I love having the exercise at the end, something to do. It also made the article more clear by having something to play with.” ~ Mary Ellen Jones
  • “This interview was so inspiring. I`ve kept a daily journal since 1983 and cannot live without writing each day. I think woman need to read about the daily mundane things that get us through what ends up as our life. This is a wonderful website, I am so inspired and excited about it.”   ~ Diane Leon
  • “You’ve really outdone yourself this time! After finishing two major proposals, one community assessment and a successful negotiation for a new location for a Head Start classroom (and filling several boxcars with rice on freerice.com), I finally downloaded this week’s Writing It Real. What a treasure trove!”
    ~ Mary Ann Payne
  • “As a fiction and nonfiction writer and teacher of writing, I`ve been a contributor and reader of WIR for years. There`s no one like Sheila. She`s smart and generous with her students and readers, and she goes the distance for everyone. Her exercises are practical, interesting, and inspiring — they really work. In addition, her ability to gather valuable resources for writers is extremely useful, and the topics she addresses are exactly the ones writers need to think about. Sheila Bender is a gem.”
    ~ Janice Eidus, Novelist, author of Vito Loves Geraldine, Urban Bliss & The Celibacy Club
  • “In Writing It Real, Sheila Bender orchestrates and solos in the most insightful magazine for writers of all levels that I’ve seen in any form. It features an exciting variety of topics and approaches, with Sheila’s own probing, guiding voice, as well as the carefully selected voices of practicing, publishing writers. The articles go beyond mere advice: they are themselves models of fresh, lively writing. Writing It Real leads writers to Writing It Deep and True.” ~ Meg Files, Novelist. Poet and English Dept. Chair, Pima Community College
  • “Sheila Bender has a great thing going here. The articles are excellent: useful, interesting, and from many different points of view. Writing It Real is a wonderful resource for writers who want to write about their own lives and experiences.”  ~ Ruth Gundle, Publisher, The Eighth Mountain Press
  • “I read Writing It Real every week. It`s always inspirational.”   ~ Brenda Miller, Author of Season of the Body and Professor of Creative Writing, Western Washington University, Editor-In-Chief, Bellingham Review
  • “Writing It Real offers wonderfully practical information to keep writers inspired and working. The advice easily applies to whatever I`m working on at the time. The only down side is that now I have no excuse for not writing.”   ~ Jack Heffron, Essayist, Fiction Writer and Author of The Writer`s Idea Book, Editorial Director of Emmis Books
  • “I think Writing It Real is the hardest-working, online service for writers in the U.S.”   ~ James Bertolino, Poet and Writer-in-Residence, Willamette University
  • “Sheila has created a rich website chock full of tips, tools and inspiration. She is not only a great teacher, but a master networker who pulls together resources that diminish our isolation as writers. Thank you, Sheila, and techno-wonder, Kurt!” ~ Pam Hale Trachta, writer, shamanic practitioner and presenter ThroughADifferentLens creative tools for personal or organizational insight, healing and transformation
  • “Sheila Bender is the most creative writing instructor I`ve ever known. Her exercises cut through superficial descriptions so many of us use in our writing to develop work that shines with vivid imagery and emotional truth.” ~ Jan Halliday, Journalist and Essayist
  • “Thank you! Your writing always inspires me.”   ~ Barbara Stahura, Clariti Communications
  • “I`ve been a Writing it Real subscriber since Sheila launched her first issue in October 2002. Each week Sheila delivers an article about writing that always informs, inspires, and seems to be exactly what I need. I print the articles to read during my ferry boat commute to work. The instructional exercises and writing prompts that appear in nearly all articles have stimulated many of my best personal essays.”
    “Sheila has the uncanny ability to help writers find the nugget of truth and meaning buried in their prose. I’ve come to her with unfinished essays, and she has helped me take my writing in unexpected directions, helped me develop my essays to a new level, helped me fully voice what is in my heart. Her gentle feedback process makes the word journey a joy.”  ~ Suzan Huney, Administrator, University of Washington
  • “This website has the best information I`ve come across in recent memory. Thanks.”   ~ Taylor Collins, Visual Artist and Journaler
  • “Your writing is so clear, insightful, and encouraging. It¹s perfect. You continuously give me ideas for my writing groups, and I would be lost without WIR. Today¹s writing prompt will be helpful for my high school English honor students¹ group as well as the medical students that I work with. For the high school students, I am going to encourage them to sign up for your website.”   ~ Karen Rippstein, New York Medical College
  • “Writing It Real includes many excellent articles, essays, writing exercises, advice for the working writer, advice on “writing for reading,” and much more. Do you want to turn your life experiences into stories, articles, poetry, plays or books? Then check out Writing It Real!”  ~ Kristi Holl, writing in her First Aid for Writers Newsletter, March 2003
  • “I took one of your courses a while ago. I`ve appreciated perusing your site as well as the weekly emails. I`ve found the information valuable to say the least. I`m also working with an Internet radio program devoted to helping fledgling writers, and have suggested your site as a place to gather quality information. Keep up the good work.”   ~ Carter Crosby
  • “Writing It Real is an amazing resource for the inner life.” ~ Melanie Supan Groseta
  • “As a dedicated journal writer who`s been at it for decades, Writing It Real inspires me to try something new every week when the announcement of a new exercise pops up on in my e-mail box. Whenever I want inspiration or encouragement to continue on my writing path, all I need to do is drop by the site and I never fail to find it.” ~ Alison Strickland, Author of Harvesting Your Journals: Writing Tools to Enhance Your Growth and Creativity”
  • “Sheila Bender`s website, “Writing It Real,” commanded my attention the first time I found out that her site dealt in essay and poetry writing. I`d been writing essays most of my life, a few have even been published, but I was writing from instinct and had not been formally taught. I wanted to go deeper in my writing, but I didn`t know how. Sheila`s web site changed all of that. I can`t say enough about the Writing It Real website or Sheila herself. It is a site every writer should belong to.”   ~ Carole Sabo
  • “…this is the very best website for intelligent writers. Since you are one, here`s a one-year subscription for you as a gift for no special occasion except that you are a very special human being.”  ~ Bonnie Searle
  • “You bring us the BEST articles every single time!!!!”   ~ Julia Cousineau
  • “Thank you Sheila for giving me this opportunity to re-live that poetic moment.”   ~ Mary Alice Long
  • “Another EXCELLENT essay, this week from you. How delightful to be reminded of early writings and how important they are as an influence for future writing. I’ll use that in next week’s class.”   ~ Sam Turner