A Conversation with writer Barbara Sjoholm

This past spring, The Seattle Times ran a review of Barbara Sjoholm”s new book The Pirate Queen:  In Search of Grace O”Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea.  The review opens: If Janet Forsyth lived in the here and now, instead of 17th-century Scotland, she would be on the front page across the country. … Continue reading

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Email Conversation with Poet and Non Fiction Author Tim McNulty

This March, I attended the first annual Burning Word Festival on Whidbey Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from my home, for a day devoted to listening to poetry and instruction by Washington State practitioners.  On the way over to the island on a very early ferry, I watched high school students in brightly colored sports … Continue reading

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An Interview with Book Lust author Nancy Pearl (the Most Avid Reader Anyone Knows)

After years of spreading the word far and wide about reading and drumming up interest in books and literature, Nancy Pearl, the Seattle Library’s Director of Programming and Director for the Washington Center for the Book, has a new book out herself.  It’s entitled Book Lust:  Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason.  At … Continue reading

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A Conversation with David Horowitz, Poet and Publisher

This spring, I met publisher and poet David D. Horowitz, who was selling books from his Rose Alley Press, at the Redmond, Washington Poets in the Park Conference.  As I browsed the press’s well-designed, handsome books, David asked if he could read me a poem from one.  “Of course,” I said, and he read from … Continue reading

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Prompts to Make Shapely, Focused Stories (and Essays)

Writers often use prompts to help them come up with original ways of opening and organizing their work.  Whenever I dip into The Writer’s Idea Book and The Writer’s Idea Workshop by Jack Heffron, I find help for inventing and shaping ideas that I want to grow into finished pieces.  Here are some words from … Continue reading

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On Poetry Collaboration

Editor’s Note: All the poems printed in this article are a collaboration of the two authors, James Bertolino and Anita K. Boyle. “Hard Candy” first appeared in the print journal Cranky, No. 1, 2004 as did James Bertolino’s instructional essay on poetic collaboration;  “One Day” appeared in StringTown, No.6, 2003 and “On Edge” appeared in … Continue reading

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One Author’s Road to Creating Intimate Non-Fiction

This week’s article is an interview with author Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.  Her latest book is Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get & Stay That Way.  Susan makes good use of her personal experience in a second marriage as well as the experience of other couples to help her readers understand how they … Continue reading

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There’s Help Out There for Building a Writing Life You Love

While I was living in Los Angeles these past several years, I was lucky enough to meet Barbara Caplan-Bennett, a fellow member of the Independent Writers of Southern California.  A novelist and trained action coach, Barbara is a person who helps writers redesign their approach to life so they can write. Here’s how she writes … Continue reading

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Working with a Writing Mentor

As a writing instructor, it is always interesting to me to talk with other writers who teach.  I enjoy hearing about the parts of the teaching process that excite them.  This past June, I had the opportunity to talk over breakfast with New York writer Janice Eidus.  She said: When I guide writers in their … Continue reading

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Jerome Gold of Black Heron Press on Independent Publishing

Every Labor Day Weekend at the Bumbershoot Arts Festival held at Seattle Center, Jerome (Jerry to his friends) Gold mans a Black Heron Press booth at the festival’s book fair.  In April of each year, he mans the booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and also at the May Book Expo America … Continue reading

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Memoirist Joelle Fraser Talks About Her Process

I met Joelle Fraser at the 2003 Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference, where we both presented.  Her book The Territory of Men intrigued me.  Sherman Alexie (author of The Toughest Indian in the World), and Beverly Donofrio (author of Riding in Cars with Boys) both blurbed the book saying it is written with honesty and is … Continue reading

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Advice from the Book Doctor

Robyn Conley and I met at a time when we both had books on journaling newly out from Walking Stick Press.  Robyn’s role at the Society of Southwestern Authors‘ conference we taught at involved individual editing sessions with conference participants.  Her skills as a book doctor involve sentence editing for grammar and punctuation as well … Continue reading

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Writing Children’s Books: Not as Easy as A B C

Those of us who write from personal experience often think that we’d like to share life lessons and delights in the form of literature for children.  Excited by our desire to write, we also feel in touch with the child in ourselves who loves learning and has a need to know.   But when it comes … Continue reading

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Australian Poet Doris Leadbetter tells us about Mrs. Arthur P. Craven

I have been in correspondence with a grand dame of Australian Poetry.  I met Doris Leadbetter in 2002, when she and her husband Richard spent their winter holiday (our summertime) away from Melbourne attending writers’ conferences in the US and visiting Richard’s home state of Montana.  All of us at the Colorado Mt. Writers’ Workshop … Continue reading

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An Email Exchange with Amy Holman, Director of Poets and Writers Publishing Workshops

As the creator and director of Poets & Writers’ Publishing Seminars Program, Amy Holman addresses the needs of writers (including herself).  She teaches writers what they need to know about matching their work with the right editors and agents.  In a recent email interview, Amy described the goals and successes of the publishing seminars program.  … Continue reading

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Lessons from Years of Facilitating Personal Essay Writing

A couple of years ago, I began receiving Tiny Lights, a publication out of Northern California that is dedicated to the personal essay.  I was struck by the caliber of the essays in each issue and contacted the publisher of the journal to find out more about her publishing vision and dedication to the genre.  … Continue reading

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An Interview with Writer’s Boot Camp Program Director, Robert Morgan Fisher

I had lunch recently with novelist and screenwriter Robert Morgan Fisher, who supervises the online screenwriting program at Writer’s Boot Camp (WBC) in Santa Monica, CA.  His first novel, called Set the Poem Free, won 2nd place in the 2000 Publishing Online North American Fiction Open.  He was awarded $5,000 and briefly published online.  The … Continue reading

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Research and Creative Writing

Novelist and poet Meg Files recently spoke on a panel at the Associated Writing Program’s annual meeting.  She talked about researching for writing her novels. After her talk, Meg and I conducted an email interview about how her research affects her writing, her imagination, and her teaching. What research did you do for your first … Continue reading

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An Email Chat with Sebastian Matthews, Founding Editor of Rivendell

As I prepare the following interview with Sebastian Matthews, I’m thinking of an encounter I had at a workshop I co-taught for teachers early this spring at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District.  An administrator for the Peer Assistance program smiled broadly after hugging one of the attending teachers hello. She turned … Continue reading

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Janice Eidus’ Correspondence, Part Two

After our initial correspondence, posted on 12/12/02, author Janice Eidus answered some more questions I posed based on what she’d written to me.  I am delighted to share the continuation of our correspondence this week: When you do decide to write an essay, are you exploring issues that are the same or different than the … Continue reading

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