Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

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 will people find it? Who will ever read it? Even if we're published by one of The Big Five, they…

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September 13, 2022

How to Build Your Email List

by Kristin Oakley

In my article Why You Need a Newsletter I gave six reasons why newsletters are essential for writers. Building relationships with your readers is the number one reason. If you have a strong connection with your fans, not only will they buy your books, they'll also recommend your books…

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September 6, 2022

A Brilliant Writing/Wellness Hack

The amazing resources you find on Facebook

Facebook post written by Zibby Owens that's too good not to share:

I accidentally discovered a time-saving, brilliant, writing and wellness hack today. I woke up in desperate need of exercise (my body — oy!), but I’d told myself that the time was blocked off for novel writing. I…

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August 23, 2022

423 Rejections and Still Going

Jessica Lourey

An interviewer once asked Jess Lourey: "How did you come into writing?"

She replied: I received four hundred and twenty three rejections before I signed my first book contract. Not very good odds, but I'm running with them. It started when I was six. I wrote this Minnesota haiku for…

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August 16, 2022

Starting From Scratch Part 2

by Annie McCormick

I sunbathed topless.

I ate the local fish, eyeballs and all.

I ignored the looks of disdain as I sat in a seaside café with my laptop.

I asked directions in my high school French.

And I put rough drafts of my work in front of my mentor and held…

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August 9, 2022

Why You Need a Newsletter

by Kristin Oakley

For years people told me to start a newsletter. After all, I had written and published two books and had over 400 people on my email list. I thought periodically sending a book release announcement or information about an upcoming author event was enough.

Then I took a mastermind class…

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August 2, 2022

Lessons About Writing from The Bear

by Samantha Hoffman

The Bear is the hot show that’s getting Hulu a ton of new subscribers. Deservedly so. Is it perfect? No, especially the first few episodes, but it hits its stride, and the season ends with great emotion as you cheer for these characters.

You can get a free month…

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July 26, 2022

Who is This 12-year-old Giving Me Writing Advice?

by Samantha Hoffman

Not that I need lessons on the basic structure of a novel but I was recently doing a search for posts on structure. I don't need lessons, really, I was just curious what I'd come up with.

Well, sometimes I need lessons.

When you're in the middle…

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July 19, 2022

Starting From Scratch

by Annie McCormick

Editor’s Note:
Annie McCormick is not a kid with a romantic idea of being a novelist. She’s old. Well, that was rude, but let’s just say she’ not young. She is, however, very serious about being a novelist and she’s changing her career path at this time in her…

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July 12, 2022

Formula for Setting

by Kristin Oakley

The Formula for Setting that Agents, Editors, and Readers Love

I like to think of the setting of a book as a character, one that puts the reader into the story and makes them feel as if they’re part of the adventure. Did you know that writing about and selecting…

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