Paula Munier’s “Writing with Quiet Hands” Delves Deep Into Effective Writing Practice

Writingwithquiethands-ImageBook Review—“Writing with Quiet Hands: How to Shape and Sell a Compelling Story Through Craft and Artistry” by Paula Munier, published by Writer’s Digest Books, 2015

Writing is many things to many people—a job, a career, a calling, or perhaps a hobby or a fantasy. Paula Munier says writing is so much more. “Writing is nothing less than a path to enlightenment,” she says in this ruminative and inspiring book. And the best writers are those who write with quiet hands, she adds. Read the full post »

Sales of Print Books Grew Two Years in a Row

Books7-CindyFazziThe old-fashioned book remains strong. Unit sales of print books have grown in the past two years, increasing by 2.8 percent in 2015 and 2.4 percent in 2014. Read the full post »

Writing Contest: WOW! Seeks Short Fiction Worldwide


“American Short Short Story,” 1933, courtesy of the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Although WOW! is primarily for women, its 2016 Flash Fiction Contest is open to both men and women who write short stories in English from anywhere in the world. The contest is limited to the first 300 entries, so enter now. Read the full post »

Top 9 Supporting Characters in Literature


Boris in “The Goldfinch” is one of the most memorable sidekicks you’ll ever meet in literature.

They’re called sidekicks. They play second fiddle, but some secondary characters are as memorable as the protagonists they support. In fact, well-drawn supporting characters are a hallmark of exceptional novels. Read the full post »

Affluenza, Hispandering, Swatting, and Other Negative Words from the News


A lot of negative words originated from the news.

Bad news sometimes turns into “bad” or negative words. Just take the example of Ethan Couch, the Texas teen and the source of a new negative word: affluenza. Other words such as Hispandering and swatting also originated from incidents reported in the news. Read the full post »

Writing Contest: Chicago Tribune Seeks Short Stories for Nelson Algren Awards

CheckOut sign-CindyFazziPicThe Chicago Tribune is looking for original and unpublished short stories no longer than 8,000 words for the Nelson Algren Literary Awards. A grand prize of $3,500 and possible publication in the newspaper will be awarded to one winner. Nine other prizes will also be given. Read the full post »

Embrace Your Inner Anglophile: Top 10 British Novels

EndoftheAffairCoverWhat do book critics outside of the United Kingdom consider the greatest British novel of all time? Hint: The book was written by a woman who used a male pen name. Read the full post »

3 HarperCollins Digital Imprints Accept Unagented & Unsolicited Submissions

Manuscript-Fruits-CindyFazziPicThree digital imprints owned by HarperCollins, a Big Five publishing company, are seeking manuscripts for romance, mystery, suspense, thriller, and visionary or “transformational” fiction. If you have an unpublished manuscript in those genres, start the New Year right and prepare your work for submission. Read the full post »

The Mother of All Lists: Top 5 Blog Posts about Lists

Top5-CindyFazziEvery time I see a “top five” anything, I’m reminded of Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity,” whose hero, Rob Gordon, loves lists. His top-five lists range from his favorite films to the things he misses about his ex-girlfriend, Laura. In honor of Hornby’s protagonist, I rounded up the top five lists published on this blog. Read the full post »

The Giving Season: Top 5 Gifts for the Writer in Your Life


The Christmas tree in Folsom Public Library (Calif.) celebrates books.

Writing is a long-term endeavor. If you have a writer in your life, that person is going to need your support over the long haul. If you’re looking for something to give this holiday season or for other occasions, consider the following five gifts. Read the full post »


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