Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

November 29, 2022

How Journaling Helps Your Writing

by Samantha Hoffman

I have been journaling most of my life. I have journals going back to the 70s, called them diaries as a teenager. Back before I was cool. When I was 14 or 15 my mother found one of my diaries and read that I hated her. Like, what teenage girl doesn't write that in her diary? My mom told my dad, who told me. I raged about privacy.

But I…

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November 22, 2022

Thanks to the Chicago Writers Association

by Samantha Hoffman

Since it's Thanksgiving time I'm going to take this opportunity to be a little sappy and tell you how thankful I am to be part of the Chicago Writers Association.

I met Randy Richardson, CWA president, in 2012 at a romance writers conference. No, neither of us writes…

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November 15, 2022

Starting From Scratch, Number 3 of 7 Tips

by Annie McCormick

As you know if you've read my previous posts (Tip Number 1 and Tip Number 2) my goal is to be an agented author, i.e. a writer who has an agent who sells the books that I struggle to write. It's a career change for me and just…

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November 8, 2022

Creating Unforgettable Characters

by Kristin Oakley

Unforgettable characters resonate with readers and lead to more book sales. How can you create a protagonist who’s unforgettable? At the Chicago Writers Association’s Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference next March, I’ll teach a workshop on just that. In the meantime, here are some pointers.

First, ask…

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November 1, 2022

What is Success to a Writer?

by Samantha Hoffman

As writers we all have our definition of success. Mine might not be the same as yours and vice versa. How we judge others is probably not how they judge themselves.

I don't know how anyone could say that Alison Hammer is not a successful author; she has two…

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October 18, 2022

Starting From Scratch, Number 2 of 7 Tips

by Annie McCormick

Let’s keep the conversation going about the things you can do to keep the ground solid beneath your feet as you make a career switch to agented author.

As I mentioned last month in Starting from Scratch, Number 1 of 7 Tips, I am putting some practical tips in…

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October 11, 2022

The Importance of a Developmental Edit

by Kristin Oakley

When I go to writing conferences I’m amazed at the number of writers who don’t know what a developmental edit is. In fact, many aren't aware at all of the various types of editing available and when you need them. I'm also amazed that some published authors have never had…

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October 4, 2022

Just Because We Can, Should We?

by Samantha Hoffman

As an author, the thing we do best is write; we create believable, three dimensional characters; we tell an engaging story; we connect with the reader's emotions, and we pull the reader into the world we've constructed. This is what we do best.

In today's publishing world we have the…

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September 27, 2022

Starting from Scratch, Number 1 of 7 Tips

by Annie McCormick

Let’s talk about how you keep the ground solid beneath your feet while you reach for the stars and make a career shift to agented author. Talking about practicalities in the same sentence as passion will likely put a kink in my karma, but I speak from experience.

The list…

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September 20, 2022

Is Self-Promotion a Dirty Word?

by Samantha Hoffman

What's the one thing authors hate more than searching for an agent? Self-promotion. It's the dirtiest hyphenated word in the English language.

It's mortifying and demeaning; we feel we're imposing; we fear people will think us arrogant, self-important, full of ourselves.

If we don't promote our own work, though, how…

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