Learning the Art of Public Speaking Can Help Writers

People have told me that fear of public speaking ranks high among the biggest fears we have. I know from my experience as a poet and writer who has given and attended readers for almost 30 years, that reading our writing before others, whether as open mic participants, workshop members or featured readers, gives us … Continue reading

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Mother’s Day

Thelma Zirkelbach, who won an honorable mention in a previous Writing It Real personal essay contest, has a talent for evoking those she is close to. In this winning essay, she writes about her mother as she is today and as she was in the past, calling up a lasting evocation. More of my thoughts … Continue reading

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An Algebra Problem

Our second place winner this time around is from Lebanon. Her teacher at the Beirut Evangelical School for Girls & Boys submitted several of her students’ essays. I was delighted to have chosen Nour’s essay as a winner and especially delighted to have received this note from her in response to my email of congratulations: … Continue reading

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Bad Dreams

Our winning essay this winter is an account of events the year the author was 15. Her use of simple short sentences is especially effective for writing about childhood trauma and for reminding us about children’s disenfranchisement. More of my comments on how the author’s writing succeeds follow the essay. Roberta Taman notes that she … Continue reading

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Writing Childhood’s Dark Side

Writing It Real contributor Janice Eidus’ newest novel, The War of the Rosens, is the story of 10-year-old Emma Rosen, a thoughtful girl who is writing poetry amidst the anger, confusion and angst of her leftist and atheist father Leo, her subservient socialist mother Annette and lovelorn older sister May. Amidst May’s hateful ripping up … Continue reading

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A Found Exercise

You may have read that since 1976, Lake Superior State University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has published a yearly list of words/phrases to ban from the Queen’s English. This week, the school released words chosen from over 2000 nominations on the basis of misuse, overuse, or general uselessness in the committee’s eyes. The list’s publication … Continue reading

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