Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

October 13, 2020

Naming Your Characters

by Samantha Hoffman

The characters in your novel are your creations, your children in a way, so their names have to be perfect; they're going to have to live with them forever.

It's said that Holly Golightly was originally named Connie Gustafson. Crazy, right? Would Breakfast at Tiffany's have been so successful if Truman Capote had stuck with that? Doubtful. Connie Gustafson sounds like someone in a typing pool (sorry, if your…

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October 6, 2020

Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Submitting My Writing

by Leslie Wibberley

Originally published in Medium, February 17, 2020

A few tips to help new writers avoid the same mistakes I made.

When I returned to an old passion of mine, writing, just under five years ago, I was hopelessly uninformed about pretty much everything about the writing world.…

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September 29, 2020

Memoir: Don’t Let Its Definition Hold You Back From Writing One

by Nancy Chadwick

Are you a writer who's working on a memoir and sadly believes it’s not one because you feel it doesn’t meet the definition? “Memoir is supposed to be about one specific incident during one part of my life, and I’ve got a few of them over a couple of decades,”…

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September 22, 2020

Blogger Lands Traditional Contract Without Proposal

by Jennifer Brown Banks

This post was originally published by CWA in August 2016. It's just as inspiring today. Dreams do come true!

Meet Yuwanda Black.
This author's story is one that many of us only dream of.

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Once upon a time she was a blogger, Internet…

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September 15, 2020

Begin at the Beginning…or Maybe Not

By Barbara Linn Probst

Lewis Carroll advises, through the King of Hearts: “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”

He’s talking about telling a story aloud, in chronological order, and that’s fine. But when we do break the King’s rule, we need to know why we’ve…

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September 8, 2020

Reading in the Time of a Global Pandemic

by Samantha Hoffman

My energy level has been all over the place during this global pandemic, right along with my powers of concentration, focus and motivation.

Can you relate?

When this first began I assumed the bright side would be all the extra time I'd have to complete projects that had been on…

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September 1, 2020

Can Book Publishing Be Any More Confusing?

by Samantha Hoffman

Bennett R. Coles, author, editor and publisher, tells us the publishing landscape has changed a lot in the past decade, and there’s never been a better time to be an author. Good news, right? It is, but he also says there’s never been a more confusing time because there…

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August 25, 2020

Writing Advice from Ray Bradbury

Compiled by Emily Temple

Ray Bradbury’s Greatest Writing Advice

By Emily Temple
Previously published on Literary Hub on August 18, 2018.

Today would have been the 98th birthday of Ray Bradbury, the greatest sci-fi writer in history, who (by no small coincidence) also happened to know a thing or two about…

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August 18, 2020

CWA Presents…Your Independent Bookstore

The Book Cellar

The focus of CWA Presents... will be independent bookstores in the Chicago area. We understand the value and the need for these bookstores and wish to show our support, especially at this difficult time.

Visit your favorite bookstore soon...and buy books!

Our first interview is with Suzy Takacs,…

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August 11, 2020

How to Find a Literary Agent For Your Book

by Jane Friedman

This post originally ran on Jane Friedman's blog in 2017, and is continually updated.

In today’s market, probably 80 percent of books published by New York houses get sold by literary agents. Agents are experts in the publishing industry and represent the interests of their author-clients. They have inside contacts…

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