Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Writing Personal Essays

(This is advance notice on the chat topic for next Wednesday, February 25.)

Let's talk about personal essays. Do you write them? Do you want to? Have you had any published?

Good essays are much more than a story about something that happened to you. As Kathryn Lay says in the March edition of "The Writer" magazine, "It's an opportunity for me to share what I experience and learn, and to hope that what I've written will encourage, inform or challenge readers."

I've written a few essays myself, and two of them have been published. This is a genre I'm interested in, and "The Writer" features four articles on the topic. Reading those articles has me thinking about essay ideas and getting the urge to put another one together.

What are your thoughts and/or experiences on essays? Share here if you'd like, then join us in the chatroom next Wednesday for an open discussion about them.


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Book View Cafe

Book View Cafe is a new website that promises new free fiction every day, most of it unavailable elsewhere. It represents a new approach to publishing made possible by the Internet. While most of the fiction on the site will be free, authors will also be offering expanded work, additional content, print versions, or subscriptions for a fee.

The project currently includes over twenty professional authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, and Anne Harris. The diversity of Book View Cafe's authors guarantees something for just about everyone. "Book View Cafe will make sure the readers get the stories they want, when, where and how they want them. We are the library in your back pocket," says Project Manager Sarah Zettel.

Readers can access new content by visiting the website ( ). RSS feed and an email announcement list will eventually alert readers to new content. In addition, Book View Cafe will be partnering with TextOnPhone to make content available via iPhone and iPod. Daily posts by the authors to the group blog creates an ongoing virtual book conference where readers and writers can interact. Book View Cafe can also be found at social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and at LiveJournal, Blogspot, and Wordpress.

These authors will be attending the chat: Sarah Zettel, Brenda Clough, Nancy Jane Moore, Laura Anne Gilman, Pati Nagle, Sue Lange

The featured authors have donated EIGHT books! These will be awarded to lucky chatters during the chat. Remember, you MUST be present to be eligible!

Sunday, February 15, 2009
Eastern USA Time.....7 PM
Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?

The Writers Chatroom at:
Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Login. No password needed at chat time.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Don't forget the open chat on Wednesday nights, 8-11 pm EST!

The TWC Team

Audrey Shaffer Renee Barnes Kim Richards Lisa Haselton

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

REAL Characters

The opening topic for tonight's chat is Characters. How do you turn those vague people floating around in your head, into vibrant creatures your reader will love? How do we make them living, breathing beings?

On the other hand, can a story be intriguing if the characters are stereotypes or cardboard figures? Is it possible to have a strong enough plot that the characters don't really matter?

If you miss tonight's chat, feel free to post your thoughts and opinions here. Just because the chatroom is closed, doesn't mean we are ready to stop talking!


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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Are fairy tales bad for children?

Full article:

I grew up reading fairy tales, and I don't mean the Walt Disney ones. I had those too, but they seemed like totally different stories.

Did fairy tales warp your mind? Did you find them educational? Do you read them to YOUR kids?

Opinions, folks! I feel like I'm talking to myself here. ;-)


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