Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

March 22, 2022

What You Missed

by Samantha Hoffman

Two long years and two weeks ago we postponed Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference. Then we postponed it again and then again. Finally, this past Saturday, writers gathered for a weekend of craft and conversation and networking and learning and camaraderie and laughs and food and drink... It was an electric and exhausting two days.

If you missed it, put it on your calendar for next…

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March 15, 2022

Writing Tips from Ann Patchett as told by Annabel Candy

by Samantha Hoffman

Annabel Candy went to see Ann Patchett speak in 2011 after reading State of Wonder. Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors so when I came across Annabel's article I had to share it.

Incidentally, Ann Patchett blurbed Elizabeth Wetmore's book Valentine. That would be a…

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March 8, 2022

Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Book Part II

By Maggie Smith

Welcome to Part II of A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Book Without Losing Your Mind

If you missed Part I, check it out here.

My debut novel hits shelves TODAY!! Here's what I've been doing the past two months.

8 Weeks Before Launch

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March 1, 2022

Dear Publisher: Notes from a Disgruntled Rejectee

by Dan Klefstad

Dear Publisher,

Many thanks for responding to my manuscript query. Even though it took 11 months, two weeks, and three days for your reply to arrive, and even though it was clearly a form email, I’m grateful that your college intern took the time to read my sample pages while…

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February 22, 2022

Ready for an In-Person Writers Conference?

by Samantha Hoffman

Are you ready for an IN-PERSON writers conference? We are!

If writing is your profession or it's something you've always dreamed about, a writers conference is the perfect way to learn, improve your craft, get motivated and meet like-minded people.

Our timing is perfect to welcome you to the…

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February 15, 2022

Interview Tips From the Other Side of the Mic

by Dan Klefstad

“What did you have for breakfast today?”

This is the first question I asked people who came to be interviewed at WNIJ, the NPR station where I had an author interview program. This always-unexpected query immediately prompted a Proustian reverie starring a bagel, cup of coffee, or bacon and eggs.…

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February 8, 2022

Rejections, I’ve Had a Few

by Greg Renz

After retiring from the Milwaukee Fire Department I thought I might like to write a novel based on my twenty-eight-year career. I was a voracious reader. How hard could it be? I see you smiling. At least I was smart enough to know I needed help with the craft…

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February 1, 2022

Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Book

By Maggie Smith

A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Book Without Losing Your Mind

This is the first of a 2-part blog outlining the step-by-step approach I used for my debut book launch. This month I’ll examine what to do 3-6 months out from pub date and then in March I’ll look…

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January 25, 2022

The Deception of Starred Ratings

by Samantha Hoffman

Do you buy your books based on Amazon's ratings? How accurate do you think those ratings are? Dan Klefstad touched on this subject in his article The Tyranny of Starred Ratings, and I touched on it in my post Books We Did Not Finish in 2021.…

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January 18, 2022

Fear and Publishing

by Dan Klefstad

Remember how it felt when your last manuscript was ready? I mean ready to submit, after yet another revision based on input from your most serious writer friends, plus a professional edit. I remember feeling exhausted but exhilarated too. So when a friend announced she was finished writing her book,…

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