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Creative Writing

Why You Should Read More Poetry

Iain S. Thomas | Posted 03.27.2015 | Books
Iain S. Thomas

While all the poetry in the world might not be worth as much as one good doctor, if there is a reason we are alive, if there is a reason we're here, it can be found in poetry. It is the barest bones of the human experience and it captures the soul in flight.

Irvine Welsh Talks to The Book Doctors About Writing, America, Rejection and the 'Sex Lives of Siamese Twins'

David Henry Sterry | Posted 03.25.2015 | Books
David Henry Sterry

This book is very different. First of all, it's set in sun-splashed Miami, where Mr. Welsh currently has one of his residences. It's also written from the perspective of two women. And two women who couldn't be much different from each other. I must confess, I loved this book. I devoured it in a weekend

The Birthday

Melissa Reed | Posted 03.23.2015 | Fifty
Melissa Reed

THE BIRTHDAY by Melissa Franco Reed These days I come to New York City as infrequently as possible. When I lived here many years ago the sight of Ma...

How To Turn Your Inner Critic Into Your Biggest Cheerleader

Laura Munson | Posted 03.22.2015 | Fifty
Laura Munson

Most of us are not even aware of that voice that lives inside us, viciously so. Unfortunately, I have been in a long-term abusive relationship with my Inner Critter for years. My Inner Critter poses as an Ivy League tweed-clad professor, and I tend to assign immediate power to anyone boasting to have a "smart" bespectacled academic Joycean opinion, especially about writing.

Why I Teach Feminism at an Urban High School

Sarah Marcus | Posted 03.19.2015 | Women
Sarah Marcus

During one of our discussions about gender expectations, one of my senior girls says, "A master key is a key that can open any lock. That's how we treat boys having sex. But, a lock that can be opened by any key is a bad lock. That's how people look at girls." Brilliant. Devastating.

Top 5 Novels on Power and Ambition

Warren Adler | Posted 03.19.2015 | Books
Warren Adler

Many of my readers have asked which books I would recommend that offer fundamental insights into the drive for personal power, and the way it affects individuals. Numerous authors have tackled this subject in memoirs, novels and plays.

Confessions Of a (Insert Your Major Here)

Uloop | Posted 03.18.2015 | College
Uloop

Don't judge people by their majors. Genuinely ask them what aspect they want to use their major for, and if they aren't quite sure, don't get all crazy on them. Be accepting, that is all.

Why You Should Write for Free... and When You Should Stop

Kristen Houghton | Posted 03.18.2015 | Books
Kristen Houghton

Your free work has provided you with a résumé. List the sites for which you have written and are writing. List any accolades or awards the sites have received; it reflects well for you that you're part of those sites.

Writing Is My Bliss

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.13.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Lev Raphael

Writing is hard work, but it's not just fun, sometimes it's bliss. As for writing a novel or any other book, what could be better? Working on one, I feel enveloped, protected, uplifted, transported. It's the best sort of vacation.

The Female Creative and What It Means to Love Her

Skylar Liberty Rose | Posted 03.10.2015 | Women
Skylar Liberty Rose

She may be some or all of these things and much, much more. She will frustrate you. She will inspire and amaze you. She will infuriate you beyond a measure that you barely knew existed. She will be all kinds of temperamental. She cannot be any more or any less than she knows in that moment.

Three Plot Structures Every Storyteller Can Use

Traci L. Slatton | Posted 03.10.2015 | Books
Traci L. Slatton

A novelist's mindfulness consists of pouncing on a moment as a resource for a character, or as a turn in the road on the journey of story, or as an illustration for a thesis.

Tales From The Toofaan Express

Ishrat Husain | Posted 03.09.2015 | Fifty
Ishrat Husain

It is nearing dusk. The woman across the street wearing a burka looks like Nazneen. Hoping to catch a glimpse of her face, I run toward her. Startled,...

Who God Is

KidSpirit | Posted 03.04.2015 | Religion
KidSpirit

At some point I accepted that God was never going to be a large part of my life, but, then I really began to rethink my original perception of Him. My attitude towards religion and religious people began to soften.

'Fifty Shades of Grey' Is a Laff Riot

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.01.2015 | Comedy
Lev Raphael

E.L. James writes badly enough to teach young writers a lot. Her novel is filled with negative lessons, especially when it comes to her prose. And it's just hilarious. Here are five of my favorite funny bad lines.

Four Reasons to Self-Publish Your Children's Book

Sue Shanahan | Posted 02.25.2015 | Books
Sue Shanahan

If you have a story to tell, it's a wonderful time to be alive. Self-publishing gives authors creative control.

The Book Doctors Ask Pitchapalooza Winner Judith Fertig: How Did You Get a 2-Book Deal for Your Debut Novel?

David Henry Sterry | Posted 02.24.2015 | Books
David Henry Sterry

The Book Doctors first met Judith Fertig when she won our Kansas City Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for Books). She was commanding without being overbearing, powerful but warm, a total pro.

A Man of Few Words

Mitch Ditkoff | Posted 02.24.2015 | Books
Mitch Ditkoff

Last year I wrote a 360-page book that attracted the attention of one of the world's most celebrated literary agents. He was so moved by my writing that he immediately took me on as a client and, one week later, sold my book to one of New York's leading publishing houses.

My Weird Reminder to Never Say Never

Mac Grambauer | Posted 02.20.2015 | Women
Mac Grambauer

I am a believer in the "never say never" philosophy. I think it is important to stay open to possibility, and avoiding absolutes often saves a lot of "I told you so's."

Valentine's Day, Secret Love, and Edith Wharton

Lev Raphael | Posted 02.14.2015 | Women
Lev Raphael

Edith Wharton is not a writer you tend to think of on Valentine's day. Her marriage was unhappy and the affair she had in her forties was with a faithless cad (it was a secret until the 1970s).

Creativity Over Coinage: Why Making Money Is Never My Objective For Writing Literary Fiction

Warren Adler | Posted 02.11.2015 | Books
Warren Adler

Must literary writers, including myself, quell the urges of our pen unless and until it includes a monetary transaction? Should a literary writer not be published unless they are paid for it? This implies that our writing must be bought before it qualifies as real writing.

Keeping the Faith: What Happens When Life Is a Lot

Sarah Jacobs | Posted 02.06.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Sarah Jacobs

Unlike my grandmother, I've never been a religious person. Chalk it up to my love of science, or my Jewish father, whatever the case, the only reaction church elicits is hives and irrational anxiety. But my faith, it seems, does appear to be just as strong as hers.

My Secret Writer's Retreat

Lev Raphael | Posted 02.02.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

From my study window, I have a view of a tall, graceful gingko tree. If you don't know ginkgoes, they have succulent fan-shaped leaves that turn a Napoleonic yellow in the Fall and can drop all in one day.

The Secret to Writing Your Novel in a Weekend

Lev Raphael | Posted 02.05.2015 | Comedy
Lev Raphael

I didn't have time to think of anything or anyone, I just wrote. Was the book any good? Who knows? Who cares? I don't even know where it is now and I've forgotten the title.

How Your Body Is a Gateway to Your Creative Expression

Brooke Warner | Posted 03.29.2015 | Books
Brooke Warner

Here's something to consider. If you knew your creativity was something inside of you that you could treat, would you do it? If, like chi, it just needed to get unblocked, would you pursue opportunities to make that happen?

Cat Woman, Cat Lady: Aliases of Womanhood in 'You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek)'

Aileen McGraw | Posted 03.27.2015 | Books
Aileen McGraw

Helene Pappamarkou, Melena the Leopard Girl, Yagureté or "true carnivorous beast": these names are aliases, and Eleni Sikelianos jumps into each one in her genre-refusing essay-memoir-invention You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek).