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Want to write a memoir that’s powerful and inspiring? One that has impact, and appeals to a broad popular market?Here’s how. These 9 tips come directly from my 50+ years of working with authors as a developmental editor in major publishing houses and with private clients.

1. Create a transformative journey

Every successful memoir needs a strong thematic focus on a transformative journey. Some examples: an immigration story, coming of age, overcoming illness, escaping an oppressive family, finding love, struggling for professional success.

Not every reader will have had the same experience you write about, but most will still be able to identify with a struggle against adversity in any passionate endeavor, whether it’s forging a long-desired meaningful relationship, starting a small business, becoming a devoted teacher, realizing that a path you’ve taken is a dead end and finding a new one that’s ultimately fulfilling.

 

Find the rest at Alan Rinzler’s ‘The Book Deal

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Another great article by the folks over at TheWritePractice

 

story ideas

2016 is a whole new year, and our goal is to create and maintain writing momentum—but you may need a tiny push to get moving.

Consider this your push. For the next few weeks, I’ll be delighted to share short story ideas with you, and you have my full permission (and encouragement) to use them as you will.

I’m going to share these by genre, so expect a few weeks of prompts from me. I can’t wait to see how you use them.

 

Check out Ruthanne Reid’s wonderful and whimsical story starters at at TheWritePractice

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This article was posted on GoodReads by Hayley Igarashi on January 21, 2016. The link to her wonderful piece follows, but first I wish to pay small tribute. The passing of Bowie had such monumental effect on the world. So many people felt a connection to this person we had never met. Perhaps we saw him at a concert, but most just listened to his music or watched him on TV. Bowie embodied so many intangibles and was constantly searching for more. He shared this with us. He reached out to us, and like a good writer he connected with us. I will miss Bowie.

“Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary?” David Bowie once mused. “When I first read it, I thought it was a really, really long poem about everything.”

Bowie, who passed away last week at the age of 69, was always hungry—for art, for knowledge, for music, for being “something more than human.” He achieved near-mythical status over the course of his career as a musician, actor, and cultural icon. He was also a bookworm. In 2013, he shared his 100 must-read books with his fans, showcasing his unsurprisingly eclectic reading taste. Modern classics like A Clockwork Orange and The Great Gatsby made the cut, but so did more obscure tales like Infants of the Spring and A Grave for a Dolphin.

In the wake of Bowie’s death, the list has gained new life, with fellow book lovers embracing it as a way to connect and to pay tribute. In fact, you can see the effect right here on GoodReads.

 

 

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An interesting observation on both leadership and writing.

Posted at Editors Only on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Aiming for presence in your confidence, communication, and subject matter.

By Peter P. Jacobi

The dictionary says “presence” has two meanings: “fact or condition of being present” and “appearance or bearing.” Both can fit into a discussion about writing, the power and significance thereof.

But consider also social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who works at Harvard and has written and recently published an already much-discussed book titled Presence, a state she says we can achieve by accessing our personal power, by applying the right body language, a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident. Such a level of control has an impact on testosterone and cortisol levels that, she argues, directly impact our chances for success.

“When we judge others, especially our leaders,” Cuddy explains, “we look first at two characteristics: how lovable they are (their warmth, communion, or trustworthiness) and how fearsome they are (their strength, agency, or competence)…. Researchers agree that they [lovability and fearsomeness] are the two primary dimensions of social judgment.” And why are these traits so important? “Because they answer two critical questions: ‘What are this person’s intentions toward me?’ and ‘Is he or she capable of acting on those intentions?'”

 

Read the rest at Editors Only

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We’d like to thank you for your continued business with us this year and share with you our First Edition Design Publishing 2015 Holiday Processing and Shipping Schedule. This should help you in your holiday planning.

 

Don’t have your holiday cheer dampened by having to rush; get your short-run orders in early!  To ensure timely delivery of your books, please place orders no later than:

 

Paperback Books (Color only), for all facilities*;
Wednesday, December 2nd

 

Case Laminate, Cloth and Jacketed Books (Color only), for all facilities*;
Wednesday, December 2nd

 

Case Laminate, Cloth and Jacketed Books (B&W only), for all facilities*;
Monday, December 7th

 

Paperback Books (B&W only), for all facilities*;
Tuesday, December 8th

 

*Facilities located in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Please note that any orders placed after the noted cut-off dates cannot be guaranteed for Christmas delivery.

 

  • US dates assume a five-day domestic delivery from First Edition Design Publishing  using ground service, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
  • UK dates assume a non-guaranteed Royal Mail three-day domestic shipment delivery from First Edition Design Publishing UK using ground service.
  • Please order early! If you have an unexpected, urgent need, please contact your Client Services Representative for potential turnaround time and delivery options.

 

Other important dates to keep in mind when planning your orders with us:

 

First Edition Design Publishing offices and manufacturing operations are closed:

–        November 26 – 29, 2015 – Thanksgiving Holiday

–        December 18 – 31, 2015 – Christmas Holiday

 

We will be back in full swing, with a full staff on January 4th, 2016

 

In the US – UPS holiday schedule:

–        November 26, 2015 – UPS is closed. No deliveries or pickups.

–        November 27, 2015 – Normal delivery service.

–        December 24, 2015 – Normal delivery service.

–        December 25, 2015 – UPS is closed. No deliveries or pickups.

–        December 31, 2015 – UPS delivery of air and international packages only.

–        January 1, 2016 – UPS is closed. No deliveries or pickups.

 

In the UK – UPS and DHL/Securicor holiday schedule:

–        December 24, 2015 – Normal delivery schedule.

–        December 25 2015 – Closed.

–        December 28, 2015 – Closed.

–        December 31, 2015 – Normal delivery schedule.

–        January 1, 2016 – Closed.

 

 

In Canada – Canada Purolator holiday schedule:

–        November 26, 2015 – Closed.

–        December 25, 2015 – Closed.

–        January 1, 2016 – Closed.

 

At First Edition Design Publishing, we want to be sure that all orders are delivered in a timely, cost-effective manner. It is important to note that we experience higher volumes during the holiday season.

 

Shipping carriers also experience an increase in the number of shipments handled during the holiday season. We suggest you order early to avoid possible delays with your shipments.

 

Our Sales and Client Services associates are available to help with any questions you may have about shipping, turnaround time and orders for the fourth quarter. Please email support@firsteditiondesign.com with questions or concerns.

 

Thank you for your continued business and best wishes for a delightful holiday season!

 

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Handwritten notes are like sending a hug through the mail. They have personality and character, attributes a computer screen will never have. Let me show you why, when, and how to write a thank you note.

How to Write a Thank You Note

Why You Should Write a Thank You Note

It is easier and quicker to send a text message, an email, or a voice message to say “thank you.” However, if the purpose of the thank you message is to convey your deepest, most sincere gratitude, taking the time to carefully write a message by your own hand, and not your secretaries hand, will mean more to the recipient than an instant media message.

When was the last time you wrote a thank you note? A real thank you note on a piece of paper that goes into an envelope with an address written on it and a stamp stuck in the upper right hand corner?

Too long, right?! Let’s write one together today.

What Is a Thank You Note?

Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk about what a note actually is, not just a thank you note.

A note is a short informal letter or brief written message. We are not talking about currency or bird noises here. If you want to write about what you did last summer, or about how many litter boxes you have, write a letter instead.

Joe Bunting wrote a great article about writing letters, which you can read here: What Letter Writing Can Teach Us, but a thank you note is not a full letter.

Why You Should Send a Thank You Note:

  1. You should send a thank you note because my mother said it is a good idea.
  2. To connect with another person.
  3. Send a thank you note because you want to say thank you.
  4. The biggest reason to send a thank you note, is because you are a kind, considerate person. And you always want your friends and acquaintances to know how much you appreciate them.
  5.  Because you are thoughtful.

There is simply nothing as personal as a handwritten note. In a stack of bills and flyers, it’s a treasure in a sealed packet, full of promise and potential. — Dan Post Senning

Write the rest of your note at TheWritePractice

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ideas for writing a story

Ideas for writing a story

It always seem like there are too many writing ideas or not enough.

When you don’t have time to write, ideas come hurtling out of nowhere. Sometimes they come so fast, you can’t even write them all down. But when you sit down, stretch your fingers, and lean over your keyboard to start typing, nothing happens. Where did all those ideas go?

Chances are, you’re not really out of ideas; you’re just not in the mood to write. Sometimes, that’s okay. Take a break and do something else. Give yourself a day off. But other times, you need to dig your heels in, make those ideas flow, and get busy writing.

Where to Find Story Writing Ideas

Luckily, ideas for writing a story are all around you. As long as you can force yourself to get focused, you should easily be able to overcome a bout of writer’s block.

Read the rest at Writing Forward

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how to create excellence through editing

Do you ever read back a draft of your writing and wonder what happened?

Red-cheeked, you thought your draft was complete. You felt excited. Brimming with enthusiasm. You knew it … this was going to be superb. Probably your best-ever blog post. Yay!

You poured yourself a beer, feeling elated with your success.

Any minor editing and proofreading could wait until the next day.

But, the next day … you feel disappointed. Your writing sounds bland. Your sentences seem to stutter.

What can you do?

How can you create a smooth and enjoyable reading experience? How can you make your content dazzle and dance?

Let’s explore four ways …

Read the rest at CopyBlogger

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Some great writing tips by Donn Taylor over at AuthorCulture

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2015

W.H. Auden describes a poem as a verbal contraption, and the same is true of any written work. The writer has an idea important enough to tell other people, and the only way he can communicate that idea is through a contraption made out of words. And since words are all we writers have to work with, it behooves us to pay attention to everything about them, including small details.

 

In this blog I will review a few basics about words. Readers have probably heard these before, but it never hurts to review the basics again.

First, it’s no surprise that some words are stronger than others. In general, verbs are stronger than nouns, nouns are stronger than adjectives, and adjectives are stronger than adverbs. That’s why writing guides suggest that the first step in strengthening a body of writing is to delete all the adverbs that are not vital to the meaning.

 

One way to strengthen a sentence is to put the main idea in the verb rather than in a noun. Here is an example modeled on a lesson from the non-defunct Famous Writers School:

Read the rest of Donn’s article at AuthorCulture

 

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If you write fiction, you need world building. It’s the skeleton of your story: though unseen, those bones determine the shape of the beast.

World Building 101

 

I recently had the honor of co-leading a panel at Geek Girl Con all about world building (you can hear the audio and read the notes here), so I’ve been giving the topic a lot of thought. I want this to help you no matter what genre you write, so this post will cover broad but powerful principles.

Buckle your seatbelt. It’s time to dive into advanced world building.

Read the rest at The Write Practice

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