Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

November 19, 2019

Behind the Pen: Meet Board Member Marcie Hill

Interview by Jessica Mack

Marcie Hill is all about risks, leaving a career and full-time job in human resources to pursue her dreams of being a writer. With over 3,500 blog posts and eight self-published books under her belt, she is living her dream with no regrets, going full speed ahead with her soon-to-be published book on Chicago’s roller skating history.

Q: What is your role within the Chicago Writers Association?
A: I…

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November 12, 2019

Behind the Pen: Meet Board Member Samantha Hoffman

Interview by Meryl D'Sa

Samantha Hoffman wears many hats: she is a writer, editor, private chef, traveler, VP of the Chicago Writers Association, and also the Executive Director of Let’s Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference. Having been a writer all her life and seeing the value in good writing, Samantha has been…

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November 5, 2019

Shawn Shiflett

Behind the Pen: Meet CWA Board Member Shawn Shiflett

Interview by Jessica Mack

As a writer, Shawn Shiflett knows you have to keep moving and putting in the work in order to find success. With a couple of published books under his belt, he is currently working on a few projects while juggling a career of teaching future writers about their value in…

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October 29, 2019

Writing Conferences - Why Go?

by guest blogger Maggie Smith

My name is Maggie Smith and I have a confession: I’m a writing conference junkie.

I love attending seminars, workshops, and gatherings with other writers and I’ve got the lanyards to prove it. I’ve put Fire in my Fiction with Donald Maass. I’ve let Story trump Structure with Steven James.…

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October 22, 2019

Not for reuse without permission of C. D. Monte Verde

Behind the Pen: Meet CWA Board Member Charlie Monte Verde

Interview by Jessica Mack

As founder of Cult of AMERICANA and EDO Trains, Charlie willingly and fully disappears into art, often at the expense of his reality. He’s currently working on his first based-on-a-true-story novel which will be available...hopefully someday. That part of his bio has remained unchanged for many years now. His day…

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October 18, 2019


by guest blogger Dave King

Originally posted by our friends at Writer Unboxed

In a recent interview for a writing blog, I was asked how publishing has changed since I’ve been an editor. The obvious answer is the rise of self-publishing and e-publishing. But these are only symptoms of something deeper.

Most publishing houses…

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October 8, 2019

Making Memories at a Writers Conference

by Samantha Hoffman

If you're a writer or an editor or a book publisher, or if you're a reader who wants to be a writer, you need to get yourself to a writers conference. There's no group more supportive and encouraging. You learn, you work, you get motivated, and there's nothing better than…

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October 1, 2019

Behind the Pen: Meet CWA Board Member Dan Burns

Interview by Meryl D'Sa

Author, poet and screenwriter Dan Burns is a jack of all trades when it comes to writing. He is a disciplined writer and is constantly exploring different genres. He believes the best way to be a writer is to keep writing, in one form or another, and to find inspiration…

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September 24, 2019

Turning Points Propel Your Story

by guest blogger Tim Storm

Turning points are crucial to scenes. In fact, it’s more than that. Turning points are why scenes exist. So it’s essential to understand how and why they work within your story.

What are scenes?

They're everywhere. No matter what kind of story you are writing, you will have scenes.…

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September 17, 2019

5 Book Cover Design Principles for Nonfiction Authors

By guest blogger Bennett R. Coles

The bar for nonfiction book-cover design is much higher than that for most other genres. Unlike works of fiction, where the primary goal is to entertain a general audience, nonfiction books are much more serious in nature. Whether your goal is to help your audience at a personal level or…

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