Top 5 Blog Posts: Prologues, Literary Snobs, & Unagented Submissions

Photo by Hypnotica Studios Infinite on VisualHunt / CC BY

Time sure flies! Since this blog’s launch on Feb. 15, 2014, I’ve published 255 articles on writing, reading, publishing, books, and movies. The five most popular articles focus on effective prologues, signs of a literary snob, and publishers that accept unagented and unsolicited manuscripts. (more…)

The Giving Season: 7 Gifts the Writer in Your Life Actually Needs

Need a gift idea this holiday season for the writer in your life? The spiffy journals and coffee mugs with literary quotes are nice, but skip them this year. If your writer is anything like me, he or she needs certain things many people don’t think about. (more…)

5 Reasons Why Reading is the Key to Writing Success

FairOaksBookshelfPicbyCindyFazziWant to be a writer? Read, read, and read some more. It’s the first requirement for writing well. Don’t take my word for it, take Stephen King’s. He said: “You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do. If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” (more…)

10 Takeaways from the 2017 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference

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(Photo by Cindy Fazzi, August 2017)

As a lifelong allergy sufferer who needs regular allergy shots, I can’t help but say that attending the recently held Writer’s Digest Annual Conference was a shot in the arm for me—as important (and more fun!) as my immunotherapy.  Let me share the top 10 things I learned from the event. (more…)

Guess Which Country is the Most Literate? Hint: It’s Not the U.S.

Photo via Visualhunt.

Finland is the most literate country in the world, followed by Norway and Iceland, according to an infographic by Global English Editing. The United States is ranked seventh. (more…)

38 Lines from Novels and Movies You Won’t Soon Forget

Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972.)

Whether it’s your kid offering a slice of pizza to his sibling or your friend volunteering to babysit, the person might say, “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.” Many people know the line though they have never seen Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 movie, “The Godfather.” The dialogue has taken on a life of its own. There are many movies and novels like that; they are famous for zingers and memorable dialogues. (more…)

38 Literary Characters You Won’t Forget—For Better or For Worse

Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” (1995).

William Faulkner’s approach to writing a character explains why some literary characters are so real.  “Once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does,” said Faulkner. (more…)

Why Corporate America Frowns on These 13 Traits of Creative People

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Special traits set an artist like Claude Monet apart. (Photo by Cindy Fazzi)

If you’re a writer or artist or scientist and you like working on your own, it could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, independence is one of 13 traits of highly creative and productive people. On the other hand, employers will say you’re not a team player. (more…)

Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 Cover Wide Range of Genres

As Americans, the First Amendment guarantees our freedom to read, and yet to this day, some books are banned. The American Library Association’s (ALA) top ten most challenged books in 2016 covered a wide range of genres: fiction, memoir, picture books, and graphic novels. (more…)

Why Do We Buy Books? Let Me Count 8 Reasons

Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg identified eight common reasons why people buy books. Instant gratification is at the top of the list. Compare these book-buying motivations with yours. (more…)