Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

August 4, 2020

13 Writing Tips

by Chuck Palahlniuk

Chuck Palahniuk’s 13 Writing Tips

  1. Set a timer: “When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings. If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour. But usually, by the time that alarm rings, you’ll be so involved in your work, enjoying it so much, you’ll keep going.”
  2. Don’t be afraid to…

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July 28, 2020

Writing Lessons are Everywhere

by Samantha Hoffman

In this time of the pandemic, the way we study writing and storytelling has changed; we're not able, right now, to take live classes or attend workshops, conferences, book signings or readings. We can do some of that online, of course, but the thing is, writing lessons are everywhere.…

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July 21, 2020

A Simple Guide to Symbolism in Stories

By Jim Dempsey

A Simple Guide to Symbolism in Stories

By Jim Dempsey - Originally published by Writer Unboxed on April 14, 2020

It seems we cannot get enough of pandemics. Dean Koontz’s novel The Eyes of Darkness jumped to number three in Amazon’s charts, with a reported increase in…

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July 14, 2020

Feeling Off-Kilter? Try Writing Shorter.

By Maggie Smith

I wrote my first short story in a day. Not that I planned it that way. I’d always wanted to try my hand at short fiction so I signed up for a week-long class at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, only to discover this wasn’t a series of lectures where…

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July 7, 2020

The Best Writing Advice Ever

by Samantha Hoffman

I found this advice through my writer friend and author-extraordinaire, Karen Karbo, and it contains the best writing advice I think I've ever read. Writing advice, of course, is subjective, depending on what you're looking for at the time; maybe right now you need help with dialogue, or…

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June 30, 2020

Two Black Writers Help Me Make Meaning

A Perspective by Shanita Akintonde

This is the first of what we hope will be a continuing series, putting the spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement and black writers. We want to hear your voice. Share your stories with us. Because your words matter. Send us an email if you'd like to contribute.

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June 23, 2020

Writing a Book is Hard

By Barbara Linn Probst

Writing a book is hard. So is getting published, and so is achieving success as a writer. If that’s true, then why do we do it—especially now, when life is so overwhelming, distressing, and frightening? Why undertake an activity whose outcome is so uncertain—at a time when uncertainty is everywhere?

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June 18, 2020

Chicago Writers Association: Statement on Racism, Black Lives Matter, and Police Brutality

As an organization which believes in the power of words, we realize we haven’t said enough about the Black Lives Matter movement, racism, police brutality and in support of Black writers in our community and beyond. Within our organizing board, we have received feedback on how we can do better.…

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June 16, 2020

Video Interview with NY Times Best Selling Author Elizabeth Wetmore

by Samantha Hoffman

I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Wetmore, whose debut novel Valentine was recently released to critical acclaim, became an instant New York Times Bestseller and a Jenna Bush Today Show Book Club pick! How the heck does that happen?

I don't know about you but I'm always skeptical…

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June 9, 2020

Am I a Failure?

by Carolyn Rahaman

“Mama. I have a question. Four plus six is ten.”

I stare at my four-year-old son for several beats before I say, “That’s right,” and then ask, “Was that a question?”

He trots off. I turn back to my Word document. What was I doing?

Right, I’m doing revisions on…

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