Video: Attending Writing Conferences

Writing conference preparation is the key to much benefit. What you do before the event will prepare you for greater success at the event. Writers should not consider these casual occasions. It is an opportunity to impress potential publishers, make important connections, and launch a writing career. Here are some helpful suggestions.

Read More

Site of Interest: Read Print

 This weeks site of interest is
What is Read Print?

Free online books library for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast.

Absolutely FREE online books
Thousands of novels, poems, stories
Easy to read books online
WARNING — The surgeon general reports that having these many free books at your disposal can be highly addictive.

As seen on:Online books

Over 8,000 online books by 3,500 authors at your fingertips!

 Read Print Books - thousands of free books by famous authors at your fingertips.


Read More

Event: Roman Writers Retreat

This week is the Roman Writers Retreat organised by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Eve Caram. The event takes place in Rome, Italy.

You can see all the details about this event at including the lovely villa where most of the seminars will takes place.

"The  Roman Writers' Retreat  was imagined as a casual writers' conference where authors could follow their dreams  by two UCLA Writers' Program instructors Eve LaSalle Caram and Carolyn Howard-Johnson on their cross-town foray to Eve's Novel I class on campus. (The drive in traffic is a long one!). Eve had just taken a Villa in Italy and it seemed as if doing something similar and sharing expenses with other writers would be a great way to explore and be inspired by Rome, the city of dreams". 

Seminars will cover a variety of topics.

Your Instructors:
Eve LaSalle Caram, MA, is a longtime and popular instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Progam where she won their OutstandingEve La Salle Caram The Blue Geography: A Romance by Eve La Salle Caram Instructor Award in Creative Writing. She is a novelist, essayist, and poet whose latest novel, The Blue Geography, was a finalist in the Texas Review novel contest. Ms. Caram's other novels are Dear Corpus Christi; Wintershine; and Rena, A Late Journey. She edited Palm Readings, a multicultural anthology of fiction by Southern California women.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been an instructor for UCLA Extension Writers Program for several years. She is a multi-award winning author of This is the Place, and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remember and her fiction, nonfiction and poems have appeared in national magazines, anthologies and review journals both online and in print. She is a popular seminar leader at conferences like Dayton University's Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop,  San Diego State's world renowned Writers' Conference and Call to Arts! EXPO. She also appears in national TV commercials. Her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers have become staples in the libraries of many writers. You can learn more about her on about any page on this site. (-: Photo by Randy Detroit. 

I'm also honoured to be presenting a seminar at this years event about online marketing options and social media.

There are plans for maybe making this an annual event so make sure you check the website for information in you'd like to join us next year.
Read More

Site of Interest: Writing Career

This weeks site of interest is

This site is a goldmine of information!

Brian Konradt, a freelance writer, has launched Writing, a website to help creative people and creative thinkers decide if a freelance writing career could be their career choice.

His website,, provides many free articles, resources, recommendations, and career guides to help educate people about different writing careers and different types of writing.

Many freelance writers can tell you the exact date they had launched their writing careers and the reasons why. Some reasons include: “I wanted to set my own hours and make my own money”; “I love writing, and this career lets me make money for what I love to do”; and, “I enjoy working with different clients, managing several projects at once, and challenging my creative skills every day.” People with writing careers love what they do. There’s nothing else they’d rather do but to write and get paid for it.

“I remember the date I had launched my writing career,” says Konradt. “It was October 17, 1992. I remember this date because it was the day I had finally decided to make a change in my life and pursue a career that involved one of my strongest passions, and that was writing.”

Konradt didn’t succeed at first. In his first year he made little money. That quickly changed when he learned how to market his services and network effectively. In his second year he was earning $25 per hour writing for local businesses, organizations, and ad agencies. More than a decade later, Konradt is still a successful freelance writer and commands much higher rates.

To launch a successful freelance writing career, Konradt says you need these five skills:

1) Writing skills. The most obvious skill is knowing how to write and what to write about.

2) Marketing skills. Knowing how to market your services is an essential skill – and probably more important than knowing how to write well. Effective marketing brings you a steady flow of clients who pay your rates.

3) Client skills. You need to know how to create trust and rapport with clients and editors. Basically, you need client skills to build one-on-one relationships with whoever hires you or is thinking about hiring you.

4) Personal skills. Just how committed and motivated are you to succeed? Writers experience many obstacles along the way. Do you have the personal skills to attain your goals?

5) Management skills. Most writers work on a handful of projects at once and adhere to a daily schedule to ensure they finish their projects. You need to learn how to manage your time and manage your projects.

“You always hear you can’t make a full-time living as a freelance writer,” says Konradt. “I’ve been hearing this statement since the early 1980s. It’s untrue. Successful writers who know how to market their services and find high-paying clients make six figure incomes. This is a truth. The difference between making a full-time income and writing for pennies is how well you market yourself and which clients you write for.”

Today the three most popular freelance writing careers include editorial writing (writing for magazines, newspapers; websites and blogs); copywriting (writing for businesses and ad agencies); and SEO writing (writing search engine optimization copy) for businesses and affiliates. The best paying writing careers include freelance copywriting; freelance technical writing; and freelance public relations work. Freelance writers in these careers typically earn $25 to $45 per hour, and even more with experience.

One of’s many features includes a freelance jobs database which allows writers to browse through current freelance writing jobs. Many of these writing gigs are for freelance copywriting, magazine writing, SEO writing, and public relations work. also offers a section of downloadable Career Guides that cover different writing careers; a section of free career-related articles which introduce readers to different writing careers and what to expect; and a giant resource section of career-related websites.
Read More

Guest Post: Tackling the Big Gorilla by Cheryl Malandrinos

Tackling the Big Gorilla – How to Add a Large Project to Your Schedule and Still Be Stress-free around the Holidays*

Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

Once October starts, the rest of the year flies by. In addition to writing projects, the kids’ schedules get busier and my volunteer activities increase. 

It has been three years since I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I hesitated to join in because I know how busy this time of the year always is for me. I sat down and asked myself a very important question:

Can I work NaNoWriMo into my jam-packed schedule?

To answer this question I had to consider what commitments I already made, and figure out where I was wasting time so I could create a realistic schedule that would allow me to add in a sizable project like NaNoWriMo. This schedule also needs to leave me a bit of room for the unexpected and not make me feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

You can create a schedule that will work for you too.  Here’s how!

The first thing to do is take out a piece of paper or fire up your computer—I go the paperless route because it’s one less thing to lose—and make three columns:  family/home, work, volunteering.

Under each heading, list all you have to do for the next two months, noting deadlines where necessary. Then the real work begins.

Review each item on your to-do list to see if it’s something you must work on, can delegate, or change the deadline on. You must also discipline yourself by eliminating distractions and interruptions, and also consider if you have the time to dedicate to volunteering.

Let’s talk more about all of these and see how to create that realistic schedule you’re looking for.

Delegate What You Can

The easiest way to remove things from your to-do list is to delegate what you can. 

Gasp!  You mean I am expected to allow someone else to handle things I only trust myself to do? 

I know how tough it is to give up control of things because I struggle with it every day; but unless you want the entire holiday season to pass you by without enjoying a minute of it, you need to ask for help. Household chores, errands, even meal preparation can be delegated to other members of your household. Even small children can assist in keeping the living areas of your home clean by picking up their messes before bedtime. Yeah, people might gripe when you ask, but they will enjoy a less stressed you and appreciate spending more time together during the holidays.

Are These Firm Deadlines?

If a large writing project comes your way that you want to add to your already jam-packed schedule, it might mean you have to consider changing deadlines on smaller projects.

This should not be done without giving it a great deal of thought.  Some things to consider are:

  • What is the impact to my relationship with this client if I ask for an extension?
  • Have I asked this client for an extension in the past?
  • What is the impact to my overall business if I can’t meet this deadline?
  • What is the overall impact to my business if I take on this larger project?

Once you’ve damaged a relationship, it takes a tremendous amount of work to repair it, if the client even allows you that opportunity. Constantly asking for extensions gives the impression that this client isn’t important to you.

On the flip side, if a large project will have a significant positive impact on your overall career, it is worth finding ways to make it happen.

Going with less than five hours of sleep for a month is not the right way!

Talk to your clients, always keeping them informed of your progress on their projects—if that is what they request. If it becomes necessary to move a deadline, let them know in plenty of time and be ready to offer them a new “firm” deadline for the completion of the project.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is vital to creating that realistic writing schedule you’re looking for. Some ways you can plan ahead before tackling that new project are:

·        Spend a few hours preparing menus for each week of November and December, including your holiday menus.
·        If your holidays usually include baking, prepare cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it.
·        Shop in bulk so that you can cut back on the number of errands to pick up food, household items, and office supplies.
·        Shop online. becomes my best friend during the holiday season. Over 90% of my holiday shopping is done online, and I take advantage of free gift wrapping services when they are available.
·        Consider having your holiday cards and envelopes pre-printed. Remember, your time is also worth something!
·        If you’ll be entertaining during the holidays, ask friends and family if they would be willing to bring a food dish.

Many of these suggestions will work anytime of the year.

Distractions, Interruptions, and Time Wasters, Oh my!

Distractions, interruptions and time wasters can threaten any project, no matter the size. It is especially important when approaching a large project during the holiday season to eliminate any and all things that steal time away from your writing.

Setting aside a time during the day to return phone messages and emails will help keep your writing time focused. It is important, especially when you’re juggling multiple projects and family or volunteer activities, that you discipline yourself not to check email or surf the Internet when you should be writing.

Don’t fool yourself by saying that it will only take a few seconds. It rarely takes a few seconds.  And as you train yourself, you can train your family to respect your writing time and not interrupt you when you’re working.

Now that school is back in session, it seems the girls have a sniffle every other week. With the fear of Swine Flu, parents are encouraged to keep their kids home even for what might seem like minor ailments. That means more days at home for them and less writing time for you.

While you never know when your child will be home from school, if you have items readily available to entertain her you’ll still be able to get work done: books, crafts, and even an hour’s worth of television or video games will help. Since my office is upstairs, I often carry my laptop downstairs to be with the girls if they’re home, but they also have small foldable couches that can be moved into my office if I need to be upstairs.

Do I Have Time for Volunteering?

We all like to give back to our community. It sets an excellent example for our children and makes us feel good about ourselves. The problem is we find it hard to say no even when we don’t have the time.

Look at your list and see how many items are under the Volunteering column, then ask yourself if it is realistic to be involved in those activities when you’ve just committed to a large writing project and the holidays are quickly approaching.

My work schedule and my daughters’ activities keep me very busy all year long, but especially around the holidays. I knew I had to cut back. I dropped out of one committee and cut back slightly at church. I’ve made a point not to commit to any new volunteer efforts until well after the first of the year.

That two-letter word, “no” can be difficult to say, but remember, you’re not saying no forever, just for now.

Rest Up

One thing that will help keep you stress-free around the holidays is getting the right amount of rest. Burning the candles at both ends helps no one, and certainly not your writing.

Do you want to be miserable and irritable during the holiday season or do you want to enjoy spending fun times with your family and friends?

Get the required amount of sleep each night so that you’ll be ready with a well rested mind to tackle your writing and anything unexpected that comes your way.

I’m excited about participating in NaNoWriMo this year. You can be excited about your next big project too, even if it comes around the holidays, as long as you do what it takes to create a realistic schedule that allows you to balance your family, your writing, and your volunteer efforts.

About the Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelancer who specializes in helping writers increase productivity through time management and organization. She has also written articles on everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting, and women’s health issues.  Cheryl is also a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book and the editor of Musing Our Children’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.  Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010.  You can find out more about Cheryl by visiting her website at

*This article originally appeared at the Writer2Writer website in October 2009.
Read More

Review: Little Shepherd

Title: Little Shepherd
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61633-085-9

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell

Little Shepherd is a short children’s book offering a new perspective on what happened the night Jesus Christ was born.

Cheryl Malandrinos tells the tale from the point of view of a five year old shepherd boy who whilst tending his first flock of sheep is visited by angels announcing the birth of Jesus. The boy, his father and the other shepherds following the angels instructions, go to see the baby.
Although hesitant at first to follow the others and leave his sheep unattended, the boy soon agrees that it is a night of miracles.

A nice story to teach this passage of scripture to young children.

The colourful pictures give children plenty to look at as they read the story. My only negative comment is that sometimes the pictures are so busy it makes it hard to read the type on top of them. For this reason maybe better as a ‘read to’ than a ‘read by themselves’.

Read More

Video: Writing Children's Books- A Crash Course in Submitting a Manuscript to a Publisher

Visit for more info about writing children's books! This vid is a no-nonsense guide to submitting a picture book or a longer piece of fiction or nonfiction to a children's book publisher. Tips include formatting the manuscript, finding publisher, writing query letters and more. Presented by Jon Bard of, the essential resource for children's authors.

Read More

Review: The King's Christmas List

Title: The King’s Christmas List
Author: Eldon Johnson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1645-8

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell

The King’s Christmas List is a wonderful tale of a little girl called Emma and her dog shu-shu who enter into a magical world where they receive an invitation to attend the Kings birthday party on Christmas.

They take the King a cake they baked themselves but on the way meet a lady and her child and give it to them to stop them being hungry. As they continue their journey they meet a poor family with a small daughter who has lost her toy and Emma gives the girl her own teddy bear.

They arrive at the party and Emma is curious as to why everyone gives presents to each other but none to the King considering it’s his birthday. When she asks the King to explain the people she met on her journey appear at his side as angels and he explains to Emma that the greatest gift is one that comes from the heart.  By giving gifts to those in need Emma had in fact given him the best present of all.

An excellent story for teaching children the real meaning of Christmas and a delight to read. Beautiful illustrations by Bonnie Leick accompany the story and really add to the feel of the book.

A wonderful Christmas book that all families can enjoy.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Read More

The Muse Online Writers Conference is back!

The annual Muse Online Writers Conference, organised by Lea Schizas, makes its return this week.

Our Online Writers Conference is aimed to offer you, the writer, whatever resource we can to give you the opportunity to enhance and improve your craft, to offer the opportunity to make contacts to reach that next level all writers seek - publication!

Our vision for organizing this online and very FREE writers conference as an annual event is to bring the writing world a bit closer for you. I understand many writers out there do not have the monetary resources to attend face-to-face conferences, or perhaps they are situated far, and even some writers may be incapacitated making it difficult for them to travel.

Within the world of the Internet, everything is possible and with this in mind we offer you this chance to come out, chat with our Presenters, ask them questions and even attend a few of our FREE workshops to be held throughout the week.



The Muse Online Writers Conference is a FREE annual conference offered to writers around the world. There are no hidden costs whatsoever. The only thing we ask if anyone can donate to help maintain the conference with costs incurred we appreciate it.


Easy. Click on the Registration page in the navigational links.


If you go to the Registration page and click on the yahoo registration link, look at the top right hand side of that group's page. If you see JOIN THIS GROUP, then it means you are not registered and should click on that button. If you don't see this then you are registered and should be able to click on the left hand side in the MESSAGES section. Only those who register are able to read the messages.

I'm honoured to be presenting a workshop at this years event (An Introduction to Social Media: Exploring your Online Marketing Options). For a list of all the workshops in the 2010 programme click here.

Read More

Video: How to Format Your Manuscript

When formating your manuscript, remember that a typical non-fiction book is about 50,000 to 55,000 words. Format your manuscript with tips from an author in this free video on writing techniques.

John Graden 
Bio: John Graden is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author and pioneering entrepreneur.
Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz
Read More

Review: Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male

Title: Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male
Author: Philip Nork
Publisher: Author House
ISBN: 978-1-4389-6744-8

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell

Philip Nork offers a diary into his adolescent life chronicling the lessons he learnt during his friendships and relationships through out the years. He creates a list of rules to follow regarding females and how to get them to like him.

As you read about his various experiences it’s hard to imagine him as being just a teenager at times. However it does underline how quickly adolescents begin their sexual lives and how many start for the wrong reasons.

Although as a women I have to agree with most points on his list, I find it hard to see many teenage boys wanting to be like him as he is described as being outcast and a bit of a nerd for the most part.

The book does give good advice and teaches tolerance for those who are different, be it because of sexual preference or physical appearance.

An excellent example of how children from broken families are affected by their parents divorce and the consequences it can have on their lives.

I think this book would be better for the parents to read than the children as I can’t see a teenager connecting with it, but can see it being of great aid to the parents both to help them realise how hard a break up can be on the children and to open their eyes about the sort of things their children may be experimenting with.

Read More

Site of Interest: Juiced on Writing

This weeks site of interest is

An exellent resource for writers. This website contains a variety of categories that will help you in the different areas of your writing careers.

"Due to the nature of the author of this blog, you will find a messy lot  of information and opinions on writing on this blog.
Juiced on Writing is both a personal blog and a topic / niche blog. I will be reviewing various writing products, discussing writing topics and blogging about all the latest news which interests me. You will find my own personal projects earmarked under the Writing Life category also.
Some Areas of Interest -
  • Feature Articles – there will be two feature articles at any one time, available at the top of the homepage. These could be on any topic.
  • Archives – the general archives page, showing lists of latest posts, lists by category etc.
  • Downloads - download the giveaways from this section, predominantly free ebooks on writing.
  • Writing Links – contain pages of link badges and featured links.
  • Resources – find secondary pages here leading you to the top articles, a tumble-log for writing, and lists of reviews.
  • Guest Posts – do you want to write a post for this blog? This is welcomed here".
The site is run by writer Michelle Thompson. Well worth a visit!
Read More

Interview with Alberta Ross

When did you decide to become a writer?

Seriously I suppose in  2007 after I retired.  I had, on a whim, joined a writing class in our local town and signed up for a couple of writing workshops held at a local organic farm.   I wasn’t at all sure about either but found both experiences such fun I kept going back for more and the teacher we had, Emily, was a very inspiring young lady.  I had dabbled a bit in writing first as a child, the usual copycat versions of TV shows and books; later, in my 40s, I had tried again but I knew they weren’t good and had put them away.
I still felt a bit of a fraud but early this year I decided I was a ‘writer’, the computer was my tool and time spent writing, researching and networking was ‘my work’.  So maybe 2007 or maybe 2010.

What genre do you write and why?

This was the problem I encountered with the agencies, knowing what genre.  Because it is set in the future people want to label it science fiction or speculative fiction; the last is, I suppose, accurate as both books are romances in that the central themes running through are love stories.  I want my books in general fiction because the books themselves deal with people, their emotions, trials and tribulations, and these are universal concerns. 
    The only science used in Ellen’s Tale, for instance, is a continuation of what is happening now such as GM, alternative power and food sources, so I don’t see it as science fiction.  My books would disappoint a real science fiction fan; I don’t think there’s enough doom and gloom for speculative fiction and certainly if labelled a Romance (which it is) it would disappoint romance readers.  So you see, although publishers and booksellers need to label like this, I would be happier if there was more cross over in what books are about.
    Why this subject? Well many of my of my interests feed into the books, sustainability, social history, anthropology and ethics for instance and I am very concerned with environmental issues and have thought for many decades that we haven’t, as a species, been thoughtful enough. I am, on the whole, though optimistic about the human race and our ability to adapt and have tried to write hopeful books.

Tell us a bit about your latest book?
The back story to both books is the effects that extreme climate change has had on the world.  Terrible wars of survival have decimated the world’s populations because of the fight for resources.  Not fuel but basics such as land, food and, most importantly, water.  When war came close to home the populations split, most went into cities and the others barricaded themselves behind circles of landmines, on the promise that when the war was over the mines would be removed.  They were not for various reasons and the struggle for survival for those trapped within the mines has at times been terrible.
My latest book, ‘The Storyteller’s Tale’, is the second in a proposed series of chronicles, on various characters and their experiences of the times and follows  ‘Ellen’s Tale’.  The same central characters from the first book have left the safety of the city and are about to make a life for themselves in the countryside.  However it is a countryside without all our modern conveniences and bereft of most of the population.  To live everyone has to grow their own food, make their own clothes, try and make their own medicines from whatever resources they had at hand when the mines laid. What they do have is the benefit of previous knowledge and books.
My heroes pick up a new companion, Keira, to help them make sense of the world.  She is no Ellen, who was all things good.  She is the complete opposite and will, I think, irritate the readers but if they hang on they will discover why she is as she is, and I hope learn to appreciate her.  The companions start to liberate all the settlements and aid in their recovery.  This is a different type of love story, more complicated than in Ellen’s Tale; Keira is a very prickly heroine.

You chose to self publish.  Why and are you happy with the choice?

I was confined a lot to the house caring for a family member and started writing ‘Ellen’s Tale’ during this time.  I finished it in 2007 and started sending my manuscript to agencies.  Most rejected it, but one wanted to read the rest.  They decided in the end it wasn’t for them but the fact that they had asked gave me confidence in the book.  Then I was diagnosed with a serious illness and thought if I truly believed ‘Ellen’s Tale’ was as good a book as many out there, then maybe life was too uncertain to hang around waiting to persuade agents.  Fortunately an operation has put me right health-wise but I had a great deal of time in my convalescence to start the process of self publishing. 
I have had a tremendous time this last couple of years on the project.  Overall I am very pleased I went this route and would certainly recommend it, if you have the stamina.

What have been the hardest and easiest parts of self publishing your book?

I have to say writing the books is the easiest!  I struggled a lot the first few months with the mechanics of the computer.  I had only used it as a typewriter until then.  Research had shown me I could only afford to self-publish if I did everything. 
I decided on a special signed edition to help me get started and canvassed all my friends.  These pre-orders covered the costs of printing and other extras such the ISBN, website, new software, flyers, packing and posting.  The printers I chose are, for a small handling fee, dealing with internet orders.  I know my limitations and would be in a permanent muddle if I had to deal with the maths of it all!
My friend helped a lot with editing because I am total rubbish at spelling and punctuation.  I also had to work out how to PDF.  I am sure to most people this wouldn’t seem difficult but I was only vaguely aware of what PDF even was.  Designing a cover and coping with the software, kept me up nights.  After printing, designing a website I found horrendous; starting a blog, terrifying.  Facebook and Twitter - didn’t have a clue what to do with them!
I had another illness during this time which slowed up the thought processes.  But this summer I have been on top form and, with the second book out, networking and blogging are beginning to pay off now.  I have more confidence to push the books having received some very positive comments about them on
Any advice for others thinking about self publishing

Be realistic.  It is slow, building up connections and interest can take a great deal of time.  Avoid anyone who wants money up front.  Decide how much you can afford and stick to it.  Base your anticipated returns on a realistic approximation of how many books from unknown author will sell in an overcrowded market place. 
    Start researching and networking before the printing, I did it the wrong way round so the progress has been even slower.  Then enjoy yourself, you’ll meet some interesting and helpful people on the way. 

What other writing projects do you have planned for the future?

Well I have a collection of short stories ‘A Patchwork of Perspectives’ coming out in time for Christmas and there is a third chronicle in the series due out next summer.  In the meantime I am un-formatting ‘Ellen’s Tale’ so that it can be turned into an e-book.  I am quite excited about this and intend all my books will come out in print and in digital formats. 
    I have a couple of new blogs up and running now.  One on Live Journal is going to concentrate more on reading and books and the other on Blogspot will deal more with the influences driving the chronicles, I am starting with blogs on my self publishing journey.  My original blog on Type Pad is a mixture of everything and then of course my website is due for a major overhaul, so it goes on!.    

Anything else you would like to add?

Just that I am enjoying writing so much.  It is not about the rewards, because I suspect they will never be spectacular, it is writing.  So, if anyone wants to have a go, do it, and if just one other person reads what you write and likes it that’s a bonus.  However the internet is home to many who want to rip you off so be careful, check sites, get feed back and do the research.

Alberta Ross:

Read More

How to get the most out of writers conferences

Writers conferences offer numerous opportunities to learn, network and even sell books. They can be some-what overwhelming at times though and each one offers something different.

Be it a large well known conference or a smaller Writers Retreat e.g. the Roman Writers Retreat it's best to plan in advance and work out your goals.

Author, Cheryl Malandrinos advises "Be prepared. Review all conference materials ahead of time so that you know what to bring, directions on how to get there, and if homework or exercises will be part of any panel you are attending". offers some advice for attending writers conferences that is worth a read.  has an excellent article that deals with both the before, during and after,  that is a must read for anyone considering attending a writers conference.

Patricia Stoltey offers a list of ten ways to get the most out from a writers conference in her post at 

The Frugal Book Promoter ( by Carolyn Howard-Johnson  is one of the few (if not, the only) books on promotion that has a section in it on making the most of a writers' conference. For promotion. For networking. For learning. It even includes a little notebook system for using a conference effectively.

Writers Conferences don't just take place as in person events anymore. The internet now offers online versions that can be equally good. In some cases they are also free to attend.

As with in person events you will want to check the schedule carefully before the event and mark the talks, workshops and people you are interested in.

It's also a good idea to check time conversions as with online events times listed might be on a  different time zone.

Lea Schizas, organiser of the annual Muse Online Writers Conference ( offers this great tip: “Mingle and don't be shy to ask questions. During a conference you have the opportunity to meet presenters who can answer your queries immediately so grab that chance and use it to the max”.
Got your own tip about conferences? Share in the comment sections

Read More

Video: Creative & Practical Writing Tips - How to Write a Novel in 30 Days

In order to write a novel in 30 days, a person needs to strictly follow a plan in which they write for a certain amount of time every day. Write a novel in 30 days with tips from a writing instructor in this free video on writing tips.

Expert: Laura Minnigerode
Bio: Laura Minnigerode is a writing instructor and former classroom teacher.
Filmmaker: Todd Green
Read More