Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

September 11, 2023

Registration is Open!

Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference

Registration is Open!


March 22-24, 2024, Warwick Allerton Hotel, Chicago, IL:
Book your room at the incredible rate of $129/night.


  • Keynote speaker: Jonathan Eig, author of the instant NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, King: A Life and five other best-selling books.
  • Ana Castillo, who has…

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August 15, 2023

Writing Contests – Good Idea or Waste of Money?

By Maggie Smith

During a podcast interview last week my guest remarked that though she’d won two prestigious awards for her women’s fiction debut, she wasn’t sure she’d enter any competitions for her next book. Since most awards charge a fee of between $50-$150 per category she questioned whether that was a wise…

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August 1, 2023

Facing the Empty Seats

by Keir Graff

Last week at Exile in Bookville, the bookstore downstairs from my writing studio, I interviewed bestselling author T. J. Newman as she toured to promote her latest bestseller, Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421. Every author dreams of a night like this: the chairs were filled with her…

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July 18, 2023

Avoid these Book Titling Mistakes

by John Matthew Fox

The writer R.D. Kardon had all her dreams come true.

She was finally publishing her novel "The Final Authority", the novel she'd been working on for 25 years, about one of the first female commercial pilots in the 1990s.

There was only one problem: the publisher hated the title.


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July 4, 2023

Essays: Showcasing Your Voice

by Kim O'Hara

When I submitted an essay to LA Times L.A. Affairs I simply had a story to get off my chest. I didn’t know it would open a portal for me as a writer and lead me to start a three-times-a-week column that people would actually read. The essay was very…

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June 20, 2023

Hooked From Page One

By Maggie Smith

Writing a compelling opening for your novel isn’t optional, it’s essential. That initial half-page of Chapter One is the first impression agents, publishers, and most important, readers get of your writing style and skill and often determines whether they’ll purchase your book or not.

The good news is most people…

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June 6, 2023

164 Non-Bookstore Places to Sell Your Books

by Sharon Woodhouse

It can be SO hard to sell books. Until it isn’t. Until you start seeing readers and opportunities everywhere, when you start recognizing where and how to find your customers and fans.

It’s so easy to fall into thinking that no one reads anymore. Except that 331 million ebooks alone…

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May 23, 2023

Funny Business: Incorporating Humor Into Your Novel

By Maggie Smith

Writing a novel is no laughing matter. Or is it? Incorporating humor into your writing can add depth, lighten the mood, and make your characters more relatable. But how do you add humor without turning your novel into a comedy? Here are six things to keep in mind so you…

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May 9, 2023

With Just the Right Pitch…

by Samantha Hoffman

In his welcome letter in the 2023 Let's Just Write! conference program CWA president Randy Richardson ended with: "When you go home on Sunday we want you to have more than a tote bag and a notebook. We want you to leave with a jolt of inspiration and…

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April 24, 2023

How to Write a Killer Author Bio

Published on ReedsyBlog Feb. 24, 2022

An author bio is a brief passage, usually about a paragraph, that introduces an author and sums up their work, their authorly credentials, and anything else their readers might need to know about them.

While author bios may seem like an afterthought, or…

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