Featured Writing

Garlic Press

by Michael Sandler Call it fierce appetite for gadgets, strawberry huller, a lobster pick good for fishing out olives. Lives imbue my favorite, cracking walnuts in a pinch, juicing lemons— but mostly for exuding garlic. Mom’s joke: a real chef would cook his goose with one. She used to clear…

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3 Horrifically Bland Words (and Alternatives to Add Some Flavor)

by Gabbi Hall Writing is like cooking; you need the right ingredients to be successful. Think of the age-old metaphor: “That’s the cherry on top.” Using descriptive words in your story equates to adding the perfect toppings to your sundae or the final strokes to a painting. The right words…

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The Follow-up

by Pamme Boutselis While technology now offers writers far more convenient ways to submit manuscripts, articles, poetry and other types of writing to publications, one thing that hasn’t changed in the least is the need for respectful, professional follow-up on a submission. Email, texting and social media have created a…

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Setting the Scene in Fiction Writing

by Amanda Marsico Essay-writing season is dwindling down and there are only a few more weeks of classes left which means I get to share another set of tips and insights from the 2013 James River Writers Conference. In the third session I attended, Kathryn Erskine, Elizabeth Huergo, and Dean King, led…

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Advice from 2013 Finalists for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards

by Amanda Marsico I’m here with installment two of the James River Writers Conference 2013 sessions review. The second session I attended was led by the 2013 finalists in fiction for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards: Gigi Amateau, Clifford Garstang, Robert Goolrick, Lydia Netzer, and Kevin Powers, moderated by Peggy…

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Tips for Building Suspense from the James River Writers Conference

by Amanda Marsico After giving myself some time to let the information overload of the 2013 James River Writers Conference settle, I’m finally got around to sharing the great tips from the “Suspense Across the Genres” session, with speakers Philippa Ballantine, Christopher McDougall, Kevin O’Malley, and Howard Owen, moderated by Julie Geen. Here are…

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3 Common Struggles of Being a Writer (and How to Combat Them)

by Gabbi Hall Writer’s have a unique set of hurdles when it comes to creating a masterpiece, so we asked writers, “What do you struggle with most in your writing? How do you combat it?” Three authors shared their biggest obstacles and how they overcome them. 1. Description. Describing people and…

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5 Discoveries About the Interview Process

by Joan Raymond First, a disclaimer: This is not one of those “How to Get the Best Interview Possible in 11 Easy Steps” type articles. Instead, this is my eight-week journey from inexperienced interviewer to weekly feature writer for a local publication. I’m still not an expert, but I have…

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