Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

June 18, 2019

Building the Novel: One Step at a Time

by Dan Burns

When I sat down to write my latest novel, A Fine Line (Chicago Arts Press, June 6, 2017), I wasn’t embarking on a new project. The project was old. The protagonist, Sebastian Drake, was old, and the idea for his story had been in my mind for over five years. Over those years, Drake and I had shared some experiences, had learned about each other, and I knew he…

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June 6, 2019

A Proper Flogging

by Kristin Oakley

There’s a terrific website for writers called Writer Unboxed which includes articles on the craft and business of fiction written by bestselling authors and industry experts. Their newsletter is great, too.

The highlight for me is a regular column by Ray Rhamey called Flog a Pro: would…

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May 22, 2019

Improve Your Writing With a Critique Group

by Samantha Hoffman

Critique groups are one of the best ways of improving your writing. As a novelist I can, and do, edit my own manuscript. Of course. That's part of the process. But that only works to a point. I've lived with my novels-in-progress and these words for a long time and…

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May 16, 2019

2018 Book of the Year Award-Winner Linda Gartz: What CWA Recognition Offers

by Becky Sarwate

The Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year Awards has served, for nearly a decade, as a prestigious recognition platform for some of the city’s finest authors and their books. CWA is proud to play a role in supporting outstanding literature in today’s highly competitive publishing landscape.

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May 2, 2019

Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

A Little Thing Called Author Envy

by Samantha Hoffman

Whatever success we've had with our writing - being published by a major publisher, self-publishing and finding an audience, getting great reader reviews on Goodreads, our mother tells us our story is amazing...no matter how successful we are or feel, there's always someone who's done it bigger/better/longer. Sometimes it's…

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April 22, 2019

Pitching a Nonfiction Book to an Agent

Pitch Perfect by Kristin A. Oakley | Apr 12, 2019

Last Saturday at Madison’s Concourse Hotel during UW-Madison Writers’ Institute, Bill Conner and I pitched our creative non-fiction book Abbey’s Ride for Life – The Bike Ride That Saved 240,000 Lives, Plus 1.

If you’ve…

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April 9, 2019

The Cold Hard Facts of Being an Author

by Samantha Hoffman

We all have our writing fantasies: the New York Times best seller list, people lined up down the block to hear us speak and have us sign our book for them, Oprah picking our book for her book club (does she still do that?)...

In 2015 I was having those…

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March 20, 2019

A warm welcome to guest blogger, Eliza David

Bigger Than You: Three Things I (Re)Learned at #JustWrite2019

The Chicago Writers Association recently held their 2nd Annual Uncommon Writers Conference and I was thrilled before I got there. Three of my favorite writers were slated to present so I early-birded this event last year.
And it was worth every penny.

Whenever I attend a conference or…

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March 4, 2019

Writing Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely!

by Samantha Hoffman

I read post after post about how difficult writing is; how lonely, how stressful, how agonizing, how no one really likes doing it.

These quotes, for example:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

“If writing seems…

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February 27, 2019

Time: Your Most Valuable Asset

by Charlie Monte Verde

If you're reading this, then you need to join us March 16 and 17 for CWA's second annual writers conference. Even if you're already registered for the event, we hope you give this piece a couple minutes of your time. You clicked on the link to this article knowing…

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