Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

November 30, 2021

Let’s Retire Writer’s Block

by Samantha Hoffman

What do you say we retire the term writer’s block? It sounds like an incurable disease when, really, it’s not a disease and it’s not incurable, it’s just a break or a lull; a slowdown. A block is something you can’t get around or go through, and you can’t see the other side. If we say we’re blocked it’s sort of like giving ourselves license to quit.

Don’t quit. Take…

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November 23, 2021

DIY Book Promo: One Author’s Journey

by Dan Klefstad

Recently, fellow authors asked me for details about the now 19-month promo campaign for my vampire novel Fiona's Guardians. They saw me reading while masked at author events, they saw photos of my book in the hands of various booksellers, and there was something about a theater company adapting…

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November 16, 2021

We’re Ready for an IN-PERSON Conference!

by Samantha Hoffman

We’re ready for an in-person writers conference. Are you?

NOTE: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the first day of the conference will be required from all attendees, volunteers, presenters and book sellers. Masks optional.

Remember how fun Let’s Just Write!…

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November 9, 2021

The Greener Grass

by Samantha Hoffman

I think we writers often look ahead and think _______________________ (fill in the blank from Column A below) when I _______________________ (fill in the blank Column B below).

COLUMN A COLUMN B My life will be perfect Finish my (great American) novel My goals will be met…

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November 2, 2021

How to Outline a Nonfiction Book in 5 Steps

by Jerry Jenkins

Published with permission from Jerry Jenkins.

There’s no way around it. You need a book outline if you’re writing nonfiction.

For a novel, if you’re a Pantser (one who writes by the seat of your pants—like I do) as opposed to an Outliner, you can get away with having…

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October 26, 2021

Try NaNoWriMo This Year

By Maggie Smith

Before 2020, I’d always scoffed at folks who diligently signed up every November to pound out a new novel. I mean, I was a writer. It wasn’t a hard job, not like piloting a plane or curing cancer. All it required was putting my butt in the chair, turning on…

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October 19, 2021

10 Fun Writerly Things

by Samantha Hoffman

What's more motivating than being in the company of other writers? Make that happen with these 10 writerly things:

1. Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference brought to you by Chicago Writers Association
A two-day, in-person conference in the heart of Chicago's Mag Mile. Twenty-plus presenters, workshops,…

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October 12, 2021

Edit as You Go? That is the Question

by Samantha Hoffman

There are two camps on editing as you go, no middle ground. The "don't" camp is way bigger, and more adamant than the "do" camp. I wonder, do we have control over that impulse?

I've done it both ways. When I wrote my first book I edited as I wrote,…

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October 5, 2021

How It Feels To Finish The First Draft Of Your First Novel

by Joanna Penn

Reprinted with permission from The Creative Penn.

I have stumbled through to the end of my story, and now I sit at the end of the first draft of the first novel. So how does it feel?

I'm proud to have over 70,000 words of a coherent story…

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September 28, 2021

Writing Advice from the Masters

  • Dorothy Parker: If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.

  • Stephen…

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