Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

January 17, 2020

Behind the Pen: Meet Book of the Year Award Winner Russ Fee

Interview by Meryl D'Sa

Winner of the Award for Indie Fiction

Russ Fee, the 9th Annual CWA Book of the Year winner for Indie Fiction, discusses the inspiration behind A Dangerous Identity and what the publishing world can offer indie fiction writers.

Q: What is your writing process? How much time do you spend researching, planning, or world-building before you begin writing? How do you balance between work and writing?
A: I really don’t spend time researching, planning, or world…

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January 17, 2020

Behind the Pen: Meet Book of the Year Award Winner Devin Murphy

Interview by Meryl D'Sa

Winner of the Award for Traditional Fiction

Devin Murphy, the 9th Annual CWA Book of the Year winner for Traditional Fiction, shares his experience and journey writing the award-winning book, Tiny Americans. He discusses how structuring a novel can really impact the way the story is received.

Q: Describe your writing space. Do you have any favorite…

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January 17, 2020

Behind the Pen: Meet Book of the Year Award Winner Tammy Letherer

Interview by Meryl D'Sa

Winner of the Award for Indie Nonfiction

Tammy Letherer, the 9th Annual CWA Book of the Year winner for Indie Nonfiction, discusses the struggle and trials that come with writing and publishing a memoir. Her belief is that to be a writer, one must just write and not wait for the right time or circumstances. Writing and…

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January 14, 2020

Behind the Pen: Meet NY Times Bestselling Author Jacquelyn Mitchard

by Samantha Hoffman

We're so excited that Jacquelyn Mitchard will be joining us this year at Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference. She'll be the keynote conversation (with Ann Garvin) at the Saturday dinner, she will be on the fiction panel, and she has agreed to meet with…

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January 7, 2020

I’m Exhausted Just Reading Kristin Oakley’s New Years Resolutions!

by Samantha Hoffman

I live in a new-years-resolution-free zone. I have, upon occasion, made resolutions but they never lasted more than a few weeks. At some point I made a resolution to make no more resolutions.
That worked!
And then I got Kristin Oakley's newsletter and she LOVES New Years…

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December 24, 2019

Favorite books of 2019 - Let’s Just Read!

Polling our conference presenters

by Samantha Hoffman

I love getting book recommendations from people I know, so I polled the presenters for Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference, coming up on March 21-22, 2020.

Early-bird pricing ends on December 31st.

The question was: What is the favorite book you read in 2019, and why…

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December 17, 2019

You Know What I Love About Writers?

by Samantha Hoffman

What I love about writers:

  1. Writers see things from many points of view; they're excellent at stepping into someone else's shoes.
  2. Writers are clever and creative; they're great problem solvers.
  3. Writers are attentive listeners. Beware, though...your words may appear in their next novel.
  4. Writers are great observers of people…

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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.…

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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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