Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

December 10, 2019

Behind the Pen: Meet Board Member Christina Rodriguez

Interview by Samantha Hoffman

Christina Rodriguez gets things done. The originator of this popular Behind the Pen series, Christina is that rare mix of technical and creative. She is a poet and graphic artist, and her work is seen on all of CWA’s social media platforms, through which she has increased our visibility dramatically. Expecting no fanfare, Christina works quietly and competently behind the scenes. When there's a need, she not only identifies it…

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December 3, 2019

Behind the Pen: Meet Board Member Sandra Colbert

Interview by Jessica Mack

Sandra Colbert is all about community, believing in the power of where you come from and the communities you build as you pursue your passion. She is the author of Chicago Bound, a collection of short stories about the Back of the Yards area in Chicago, and the Kate…

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November 29, 2019

No Mind-Reading Required

By Guest Blogger Maggie Smith

It’s that time of the year when my husband says to me, “What would you like for Christmas?” and I reply, “Surprise me.”

What I really mean is, "Read my mind and get me the perfect gift, one that shows you recognize how important writing is to me, how…

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November 26, 2019

Behind the Pen: Meet Board Member Kristin Oakley

Interview by Meryl D'Sa

Kristin Oakley, co-founder of In Print and board member of the Chicago Writers Association, has authored two books, worked on various publications, conducts writing workshops, and is currently working on a series of young adult fiction and a creative nonfiction collaboration. She also runs a newsletter on her website detailing…

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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…

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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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