Category Archives: Guests

Guest Post: How and Where to Submit Creative Nonfiction for Publication


This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.


Creative nonfiction is fast becoming one of the most popular literary genres. But it’s important to find the right publisher(s) for your creative nonfiction (aka narrative nonfiction). Start by following these three easy steps!

Step One: Determine Your Subgenre Of Short Nonfiction Prose

Is your work a witty commentary? An op-ed with a political bent? A true story about your family life as a child? A work of academic exploration that straddles the line between narrative nonfiction and a scholarly tract? Or is it something entirely different? The tone, style, and topic of your nonfiction writing will determine your submission strategy. Learn how to identify the niche market that best fits your creative nonfiction piece.

Step Two: Know Your Options For Publishing Creative Nonfiction

There are many different literary markets to look into if you’re writing creative nonfiction. Here are a few:

Commercial magazines. These are the magazines you find next to the checkout at the supermarket, and they often print short works of creative nonfiction. Most of the time, the nonfiction personal essays that are published by commercial magazines are accessible (easy-to-read), short, and inspirational. The focus is often on emotional lessons that the writer has learned. To submit a personal essay to a commercial magazine, first review the submission guidelines. If you can’t find any guidelines, send the editor a query letter that includes a short write-up about your piece, as well as your author bio.

News websites. Many websites that focus on news and current events will also publish short op-ed pieces or essays (examples: Salon or Slate). If your writing is smart, incisive, and vibrant, and your story taps into contemporary insecurities or explores today’s complex conundrums, you might be able to earn a great online publication credit for your nonfiction.

Blogs associated with major newspapers. Many traditional newspapers curate popular online blogs (like the Wall Street Journal’s arts blog, Speakeasy). If your creative nonfiction piece feels contemporary and casual (and if it’s short), consider submitting it to a blog for publication. Here are 17 reasons not to underestimate the power of having online publishing credits.

Literary journals. We love literary journals for their dedication to publishing thoughtful, emotional nonfiction that other magazines tend to eschew due to word count or content limitations. Some literary journals (like Fourth Genre or Creative Nonfiction) specialize in true stories that have an emotional, literary bent. If your creative nonfiction is too “quiet,” too “difficult,” or just plain too long for commercial magazines, try submitting your work to literary journals.

Writing contests. Literary journals often host writing contests for creative nonfiction. But so do editors associated with writing conferences and other writing organizations. If your writing has literary overtones, consider submitting your narrative nonfiction to a writing contest sponsored by a literary magazine or other writers’ group.

Calls for submissions from editors who want true stories. Many editors put out calls for submissions seeking work from writers in order to compile an anthology of narrative nonfiction essays on a given subject. For example, an editor might call for creative nonfiction personal essays about dealing with addiction or about fatherhood. The style of these nonfiction essays can range from casual to literary, depending on the editor’s tastes. Wondering where you can find calls for anthology submissions from nonfiction writers? Check out our Writers Classifieds.

Step Three: Polish Your Creative Nonfiction Submission And Stick To Submission Guidelines

Finally, remember that even the best personal essay submission might fail to connect with an editor if it is not submitted properly. Follow the publishing industry submission etiquette for your genre. And if you need help identifying the precise markets that would be suitable for your creative nonfiction piece, learn more about how Writer’s Relief can help you publish your personal essays.

Writer Questions


QUESTION: Can you add to our list? Where else can a writer publish creative nonfiction? Post your idea (or titles of markets) below!

Guest Post: Eight Tips For Sustainable Blogging

Guest Post: Eight Tips For Sustainable Blogging

Many thanks to Andrea Badgely and the good folks at The Daily Post for these wonderful hints. I especially like #1.

The Daily Post

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you are reading this, you’re interested in blogging, not just today, but for the long haul. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a blog. Or maybe you already have one and are wondering, I started this site, now what? I’m pretty sure I can post this week, but what about next week, and the week after?

Alec Nevala-Lee publishes five hundred words per day, and has done so for more than five years. He shares his approach in this Discover interview with editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands.

We’ve got you covered. Here are eight ways long-term bloggers sustain their blogs not only through the first few weeks, but through the years.

1. Blog like nobody is watching.

Have you heard the expression “Dance like nobody’s watching”? It’s always been a favorite quote of mine, especially when I’m on a dance floor…

View original post 1,105 more words

Guest Post: Christina Farley on Writing YA, Gilded and Silvern, Plus Advice for Aspiring YA Authors by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Guest Post: Christina Farley on Writing YA, Gilded and Silvern, Plus Advice for Aspiring YA Authors by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Note from Andrea: Many thanks to author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi for this wonderful article about Christina Farley. I especially love Christina’s videos. We writers can learn a lot about marketing from her. Also, I am adding the book trailer for her newest book, The Princess and the Page, to the end of this article. Enjoy!

June 5, 2017 Update: Christina Farley now has a wonderful middle grade novel out from Scholastic! See her website for more info about THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE as well as her GILDED trilogy.

I met Christina Farley through my critique group, the MiG Writers. Christy’s one of the most productive writers I know, and she recently left her teaching job so she could write fulltime.

Christina’s contemporary fantasy novel for young adults, GILDED, launched from Skyscape earlier this year. Its sequel, SILVERN, launches on September 23rd, 2014. You can read the first chapter of SILVERN here.

Other places to find Christy:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookYouTube – TumblrPinterest

Synopsis of GILDED:

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

Q. What was your writing process for GILDED? 

Coming up with ideas for books can be a challenge, but the idea for GILDED stemmed from the Korean myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa. It left me wondering what happened after Princess Yuhwa escaped Haemosu’s clutches.

The what ifs inspired me to write the story of GILDED. But to writing a full length novel isn’t easy.

1. First I plotted out the story.

See my plot grid for GILDED here:

I also did a blog post on more specifics on how to plot out books here and you can use my templates to get you started here.


2. Next, I prepare to write the book.

I often use aromatherapy (a scented candle) to write as well as create a soundtrack for each book. I love keeping a journal for each book as well. This will have all the names of my characters in it, nuisances, research I’ve done on the book, notes, and illustrations. The journal became extremely useful when I went to write the sequel and had to remember all the small details for characters or the rules of my world. For more ideas, you can check this video I made here:

3. Once everything is prepped, then I write my first draft. It’s sloppy and a complete wreck, but the structure of the book is in place.

For GILDED I had to do a lot of research of Korean mythology. I also found that since Jae Hwa was a martial arts expert, I had to learn Korean archery and taekwondo because I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible.

4. Revision is where the book comes to life. I revised GILDED so many times I’ve lost track. But each time, I strengthened the book’s structure, working on characterization, description, subplots and the arc of the book.

5. After I think the book is in good shape, I have my critique partners take a look. Debbie Ohi and I are part of the MiG Writers ( I’m indebted to her and the rest of the group for their hard work in helping GILDED shine.

Q. How did GILDED get published?

Finding an Agent:

Once I finished GILDED, I realized I needed an agent for this book. So I did my research mainly on querytracker. I’d look up agents in my field and then research everything I could on them before I queried them. My agented friend’s warned me that a bad agent is worse than no agent, so I when I received offers of representation from agents, I made sure I had a phone conversation with them to see if they were the right fit. I talk more about that here:

Finding a Publisher:

I like to say it was tough work, but my agent, Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC, is completely responsible for selling GILDED. He found the perfect editor for me and I’m thrilled to be working with Miriam Juskowicz.

Christina with her editor, Miriam Juskowicz

The biggest difficulty I had was decision making. Before signing with Amazon Children’s, there was another unexpected option with a different project. Jeff provided invaluable guidance of what to do for my career long term rather than just signing with the first book offer I was given. I think this all goes back in finding the right agent because the right agent looks out for you not just for the one book, but for your career.

Q. What advice do you have for aspiring YA writers? 

My advice for writers is to focus on your craft. Become not only a master of weaving words, but tap into your creative self. If others are writing it, you shouldn’t. Trend chasing will only leave you frustrated. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Challenge yourself to write outside of your comfort zone because in doing this, you are pushing yourself to become everything you can be as a writer.

Don’t base your success on others. You have your own path to follow. It won’t be all grassy fields and stunning mountain peaks. The writer’s journey is a lot like the path through Mirkwood in the HOBBIT. You may feel lost, confused, trapped in the feelings of depression; and if you, don’t be afraid to take a break. Follow Bilbo’s example and climb a tree, leave the forest behind, and breathe in the fresh air.

As Gandalf says, “DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”

Q. How did the launch for GILDED go?

My launch was amazing. I actually had two launches, a virtual and a physical launch. The reason I did this is I have so many friends from all around the world, including my critique partners! This allowed me to celebrate this special day with them because they have been there with me every step of this incredibly hard journey. It meant so much to me to have them ‘there’ after all we’ve been through together. Link for the virtual launch:

For my physical launch, I had it at the Windermere Library since it was the perfect location for all of my friends and family to come together. We had 120 people show up and it was overwhelming how kind everyone was to show their support of the book.

After I did a power point presentation about the history of how GILDED came to be, I read a portion of GILDED and then we ate cake and celebrated! While I was signing books, my husband gave away books and swag. It was definitely a day I will never forget. More photos from the physical launch:

Q. What are you working on now? Any other upcoming events or other info you’d like to share?

I’m thrilled to say the sequel to GILDED is coming out this fall! SILVERN delves deeper into Jae Hwa’s world. You’ll find out more about the workings of the Guardians of Shinshi and new twists on the Spirit World.

Currently, I have three projects I’m playing with. I’m revising the third book in the GILDED series, drafting a new YA unrelated to the GILDED series, and researching for an historical adventure MG set in the early 1900’s.

View of Seoul from Christina’s desk where she wrote Gilded.

Note from Andrea: As promised, here is the trailer for The Princess and the Page:

And here is Christina reading an excerpt from the third book in the Gilded series, Brazen (spoiler alert):


Guest Post: Bottle Boys

Guest Post: Bottle Boys

If you’ve never heard these guys, you’re in for a treat. Many thanks to Donna of MyOBT for this guest post.



View original post 184 more words

Guest Post: Be Your Character’s Therapist by Victoria Griffin


Thank you to guest author Victoria Griffin for this unique strategy for characterization:


Photo by Sergey Sivuschkin (text and watermark added)

At the most recent Knoxville Writers’ Guild meeting, I had the pleasure of hearing screenwriter Lisa Solandspeak about “What the Playwright Can Teach the Writer.” Lisa is fantastic, and I learned a lot from her. She had good tips—about writing and about life. One idea that stuck with me, though, came during her discussion of conveying meaning without explicitly saying the thing.

In other words, show don’t tell.

The example she used was from a play, in which the characters were discussing the garden, while actually discussing a miscarriage. (Sorry, I didn’t note the title.) Of course, as a fiction writer, my mind went to Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.” If you haven’t read it, I seriously suggest it.

Lisa argued for providing information this way, rather than spelling it out. “We don’t say things,” she said. “That’s why we have therapists.”

I started thinking, Our characters don’t say what they mean to each other, but they should say it to us.

I’m playing with two different aspects of writing, here:

  1. Show, don’t tell. Give your reader information organically, without spelling everything out, allowing the natural flow of your characters’ dialogue to illuminate the situation.
  2. Know your characters. Know everything about your characters—not just hair/eye color. Know how they think, how they work, how they would respond in different situations, what drives them.

As a writer, doing a good job with #2 makes #1 simpler. If we truly know our characters, we have a much easier time expressing the situation without outright saying what’s happening. With a deep understand of our characters, it becomes simpler to write from our characters’ perspectives—rather than from the author’s perspective, or the reader’s. I’m not talking about formal perspective, here—1st person, 3rd person. I’m talking about getting inside your characters’ heads to the point that you don’t have to run everything through your own filters. Sort of like the difference between translating French word-by-word into English and simply hearing something in French and understanding. It’s a fine distinction, but an important one. When this extra “filter” is gone, we feel like we’re in the zone. The words just flow, almost as though we’re transcribing rather than creating. And we don’t feel the need to explain everything.

So. Therapist.

Be someone your character can talk to, can vent to. Sit down with a computer, a notebook, a tape recorder—whatever does the job—and ask your character the stereotypical questions. What was your childhood like? What would it take to make you feel happier and more satisfied? How does that make you feel?

Write the questions down beforehand, or just let them come. Ask your character about backstory and about plot points. Ask them why they reacted certain ways. Ask them what they’re afraid of.

And don’t forget to ask them the big question, the giant question, the blimp over a ballfield question:

What do you want?

Because as we all know from movies, motivation is incredibly important to an actor’s portrayal of characters. Of course, a writer would need to know characters’ motivations! And don’t just say, “to defeat so-and-so” or “to fulfill my destiny.” Those answers are cliched, and your readers will see right through them. If your characters doesn’t know why they are doing what they do, your readers won’t care whether or not they’re successful.

So here’s the challenge:

Hold therapy sessions for your characters.

Record them, write them down, chisel them in stone. Whatever. Just use them to inform your narrative. And please, share snippets in the comments below! I would love to see how you’re able to develop your characters using this method.


Guest Post: 15 Inspiring Quotes for the Artist, collected by Michelle

Guest Post: 15 Inspiring Quotes for the Artist, collected by Michelle

Many thanks to Michelle for this collection of quotes, which first appeared on her blog, Seaweed Kisses.


To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Whoever uses the spirit that is in him creatively is an artist. To make living itself an art, that is the goal.” – Henry Miller

Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.” – Duane Hanson

To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.” – Pablo Picasso

No artist tolerates reality.” – Nietzsche

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Thoreau

Who looks outside, dreams…who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.” – Terri Guillemets

When I say artist I mean the one who is building things…some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.” – Jackson Pollock

Art is the stored honey of the human soul.” – Theodore Dreiser

I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.” – Robert Henri

Creativity is a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” – Arthur Koestler

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” – Émile Zola

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso


Guest Post: How Writers Should Handle Bad Reviews by Lev Raphael


Thank you to Lev Raphael for the following great advice, which was previously published on A Writer’s Path.

A Writer's Path

by Lev Raphael

Don’t tweet that the reviewer is an absolute moron who deserves exile to Chechnya or at least a lifetime of bad sex and lukewarm meals. It’ll only make you seem nutty, and most people won’t know about the review until you tell them anyway.

Don’t make snarky, veiled remarks about this reviewer when you’re interviewed, because sulking and bitterness will just end up making you come off as a crank who should get a life or see a shrink.

View original post 289 more words

Guest Post: Margie’s Rule #16:  Adding Subtext with Dialogue Cues by Margie Lawson

Guest Post: Margie’s Rule #16:  Adding Subtext with Dialogue Cues by Margie Lawson

A big thank you to Writers in the Storm for permission to reprint this fabulous article by the incomparable Margie LawsonMargie’s Rule #16 originally appeared here.

People talking StockSnap_DJWZ40JPWN

When people talk, subtext happens.

Every time.

You can’t say one word without sharing subtext.

Subtext for dialogue: The psychological message behind the words.

When the words and the subtext are incongruent, the truth is in the subtext.

In the real world, we factor in subtext all the time.

On the page, we need subtext to make scenes rich and credible.

If you’re writing a scene with strong emotional content, you need to include plenty of subtext.

This blog focuses on subtext for dialogue. Not the we’ve-read-it-too-often ways to describe how the character said the words. Those overused descriptors are predictable. Skimmable.

I’m referring to what I call dialogue cues.

Dialogue Cues – My term. Here’s how dialogue cues fit in ways to tag dialogue.

Margie’s Five Categories for Tagging Dialogue:

  1. Basic Attributions:  Said and asked
  2. Action Tags:  Tags dialogue with action. Doesn’t share anything about the voice
  3. Body Language Tags:  Tags dialogue with facial expressions or body language
  4. Dialogue Tags:  Shares something about the voice, but these are often overused, like murmured, boomed, resonated, said harshly, said with a razor-sharp edge.
  5. Dialogue Cues: Describe how the words are delivered. They inform the reader how to interpret the message behind the words, the psychological nuances.

Digging deeper into dialogue cues.

They’re fresh. They carry interest.

They often deepen characterization. They may add a hit of humor.

Let’s dive in and analyze some dialogue cues.

Note:  Power Words – Words that carry psychological power.

Kennedy Ryan, Loving You Always, Immersion-grad

Loving You Always1. “Walsh!” Meredith’s voice snapped a warning, like twigs underfoot.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: snapped, warning
  • Simile
  • Compelling Cadence

2. His voice was a dull-edged knife slicing clumsily through her heart, fiber by bloody fiber. Dull and slow and imprecise and drawn out. She would have preferred a quick cut, but he just kept talking.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: knife, slicing, heart bloody, dull, slow, imprecise, drawn out, quick cut
  • Amplification
  • Fresh Writing
  • Sentence Frag: Dull and slow and imprecise and drawn out.
  • Deepens relationship
  • Rhetorical Device: polysyndeton — Dull and slow and imprecise and drawn out.
  • Compelling Cadence

Kimberly Belle, The Ones We Trust, 4-time Immersion-grad

The Ones We TrustHe’s taking care to keep his tone flippant, but I can hear something darker pushing up from under the words, something much more honest and true, as if maybe he’s testing the waters, checking how I will respond.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: care, flippant, darker, pushing, honest, true, testing, checking
  • Fresh Writing
  • Deepens relationship
  • Compelling Cadence
  • Amplified Five Times
  1. something darker
  2. pushing up from under the words
  3. something much more honest and true
  4. as if maybe he’s testing the waters
  5. checking how I will respond

The Marriage Lie, by 4-time Immersion-Grad Kimberly Belle

The Marriage LieThe Marriage Lie will be released in December.

1. “Don’t you want to get that?” Claire’s voice is high and girlish, and it slices through the silence like a serrated knife.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: girlish, slices, silence, knife
  • Backloaded with Power Word: knife
  • Fresh Writing
  • Compelling Cadence – Read the dialogue cue sentence OUT LOUD:

Claire’s voice is high and girlish, and it slices through the silence like a serrated knife.

Now read it OUT LOUD without the word serrated:

Claire’s voice is high and girlish, and it slices through the silence like a knife.

Hear the missing beats before knife?

The sentence with serrated has a much stronger cadence.

2. I scream back, the words fueled by fury and frustration.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: scream, fueled, fury, frustration
  • Rhetorical Device – alliteration
  • Compelling cadence
  • Backloaded with Power Word — frustration

3. “True, but my guilty conscience and I wanted you to hear it here first. To make sure you understood the implications.”

“I try to take his emotional pulse, but his eyes are hidden behind dark wraparound sunglasses, his tone and expression guarded. ”

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: emotional, pulse, hidden, guarded Rhetorical Device – alliteration
  • Backloaded with Power Word: guarded

4. Her speech is slow and syrupy, and I’m pretty sure she’s stoned.

Deep Edit Analysis:

  • Power Word: Stoned
  • Rhetorical Device – alliteration – speech, slow, syrupy, sure, she’s, stoned
  • Backloaded with Power Word: Stoned.
  • Compelling Cadence

5. “Iris, if you need any help, I’m happy to–”

“I’m fine.” I grimace and pump an I-got-this confidence into my tone. “Thanks, Evan, but don’t worry. I’ll figure something out.”

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Dialogue Cue for POV character describing how she’ll imbue fake confidence in her next sentence.
  • Hyphenated-Run-On: I-got-this
  • Power Words: grimace, pump, confidence, worry

6. “Look, I don’t know where the money is. I didn’t even know about it until a few days ago.”

“Of course, you have no idea.” His words agree, but not his tone. His tone says that I know where the money is, and he’ll make good on his threat if he has to.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Tells incongruence between words and tone
  • Tone is interpreted, amplified
  • Power Words: agree, money, make good, threat

6.  There’s pity in her voice now, and I can’t listen to it for another second.

Deep Edit Analysis:

  • Power Words: pity, can’t listen
  • Shares how dialogue cue impacts POV character
  • Compelling Cadence.

Like Father Not Son, Kristin Meachem, 3-time Immersion-Grad

Like Father Not Son is not yet published, but I trust it will be.

1. “I didn’t see your mother at the church.” Jen’s words are sharp enough to cut and disembowel.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: sharp, cut, disembowel
  • Backloaded with Power Word: disembowel
  • Compelling Cadence

2.“What do we do now?” Tom’s voice teeters on the edge of tough and frail, unsure which way to fall.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: teeters, tough, frail, unsure, fall
  • Backloaded with Power Word: fall
  • Deepens characterization
  • Deepens relationship
  • Compelling Cadence

3. “Good to know. You’re fine.” There’s as much concern in my voice as a nurse finishing a twelve-hour shift.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Shares incongruence between dialogue and subtext
  • Power Words: concern, twelve-hour shift
  • Shares sarcasm without using the word sarcasm or sarcastic.
  • Humor Hit

4. Liz’s voice is soothing, like a soul singer encouraging you to enjoy the rhythm and the ride.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: soothing, soul, rhythm, ride
  • Double Alliteration: soothing, soul singer; rhythm, ride
  • Compelling Cadence

5. “Good for you.” Her words give me a standing ovation, but her tone says I’m a full-sized prick.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Shares incongruence between dialogue and subtext
  • Power Words: standing ovation, prick
  • Backloaded with Power Word: prick
  • Compelling Cadence
  • Deepens relationship
  • Humor Hit

6. “This isn’t about permission. This is about Tom’s happiness.” She coiled her tongue around the last ss’ and spit them out with the aggression of a cornered snake.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Shares incongruence between dialogue and subtext
  • Power Words: coiled, spit, aggression, cornered, snake
  • Backloaded with Power Word: snake
  • Rhetorical Device: simile
  • Compelling Cadence

Carry Me Home, Dorothy Adamek, 4-time Immersion-Grad

Carry Me Home1.Clipped and cool, his words hardly matched his mission.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Rhetorical Device: Double Alliteration: clipped, cool; matched, mission
  • Shared incongruence between words and subtext
  • Compelling Cadence

2.  Her voice trembled and her words sounded less confident than she’d intended.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: trembled, less confident
  • Shares POV character’s emotional state

3. His voice remained low, but the look in his eyes curdled her blood faster than any scream.

Deep Edit Analysis: 

  • Power Words: curdled, blood, scream
  • Backloaded with Power Word: scream
  • Compelling Cadence

4. This example is two paragraphs.

“Don’t be so sure of what you can’t see, Miss Mayfield. Some battles are fought against unseen tethers.” His voice remained low, but soft. Soft enough to creep through the shadows and deep into her.

He’d loosened the end of a coil she’d pressed to her ribs since the day they’d met. Not enough for the coil to unravel. But just enough to start the damage.

Deep Edit Analysis – for the two sentences that carry the dialogue cues.

  • Power Words: creep, shadows, deep into her
  • Amplification
  • Rhetorical Device: Anadiplosis …soft. Soft…

I included the second paragraph to show how Dorothy Adamek used a dialogue cue to show the relationship intensifying.

Blog Guests — Now you have some ideas about adding power with dialogue cues.

Kudos to mega-talented Immersion grads Kimberly Belle, Kennedy Ryan, Kristin Meachem, and Dorothy Adamek. Impressive writing.

*  *  *  *  *  *


Margie Lawson Head shotMargie Lawson—editor, international presenter—teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners. Margie has presented over a hundred  full day master classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and on cruises in the Caribbean.

To learn about Lawson Writer’s Academy, Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes (in Denver, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Canyon Lake, Dallas, San Jose, Albuquerque, Australia, and more), her full day Master Class presentations, on-line courses, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit


GuestFeatured Book Giveaway: Second Grade Holdout by Audrey Vernick


Do you have a soon-to-be second grader who’s feeling apprehensive about school? This looks like a great book! Thank you to Kathy Temean for hosting this giveaway.

Writing and Illustrating

Audrey Vernick is the author of 17 children’s books. Her latest came out on July 4th and she has agreed to donate a copy of SECOND GRADE HOLDOUT for one lucky visitor. If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment, reblog, tweet, or talk about SECOND GRADE HOLDOUT on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


The comically anxious narrator in this book thought that first grade had its problems, but overall it was pretty awesome. He’ll take grade one over grade two any day, thank you very much! Especially because he and Tyler, his best friend, will not be in the same class this school…

View original post 916 more words

The Glass Oasis


A big thank you to Donna of MyOBT for today’s guest post. Donna consistently discovers truly amazing creations. Be sure to visit her blog!



Neile Cooper

View original post 188 more words