Karen Jones Shares The Best Writing Advice She Has Ever Been Given

by Gabbi Hall Former journalist and author, Karen Jones, recently talked with us about her writing career in a Spotlight interview. With her experience as her guide, Karen also shared a couple pieces of advice for writers.  What I know now that I wish I knew then: I wish I…

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3 Writing Tips from Published Authors

by Gabbi Hall There is no replacement for the lessons that experience teaches. Three published authors share their writing advice, which comes straight from years of telling stories, with The Penmen Review.   Amy Cotta, author of “Six Weeks to Skinny Jeans,” says, Writing is a process of drafts, edits…

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5 Tips for Creative Writers from Adventurista Janice Holly Booth

by Gabbi Hall Writer and adventurista, Janice Holly Booth, had her first book, “Only Pack What You Can Carry,” published by National Geographic in 2011. Since then, she released a non-fiction novel, “A Voice out of Nowhere: Inside the mind of a mass murderer,” and taught many creative writing workshops for…

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20 Essential Questions to Ask Your Character

by Gabbi Hall Think of the early stages of character development as the early stages of a relationship. You  go on a first date to get to know another person. To get comfortable with your characters and understand what motivates and deters them, you need to sit down with them…

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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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So, What Exactly is a Determiner?

by Kaycee Gnatowski Have you ever flipped through the pages of an English grammar book or browsed through the Internet and stumbled upon the word “determiner?” As you rack your brain for past grammar lessons, you draw a blank and come to the conclusion that this obviously must be a…

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The ABCs of Adverbs

by Kaycee Gnatowski As children, grammar lessons were often accompanied by eye rolls and groans as the words verbs, commas and nouns made their way on the chalkboard. Learning basic grammar concepts was not a high priority or the activity of choice and, as adults, these feelings have not changed….

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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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Infographic: 15 Common Grammar Mistakes from Copyblogger

by Gabbi Hall Your vs. you’re. There, their and they’re. Then vs. than. We have all been known to make grammatical errors from time to time. “Making some grammatical errors just makes you look bad, and hurts your effectiveness,” wrote Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger. Copyblogger created this infographic to share 15 common…

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Author Advice: Breaking Through Writer’s Block

by Pamme Boutselis We know what it’s like—you’re on deadline and whether it’s for a school or professional assignment, you have a finite time in which to finish the piece. Yet every time you start to type, you draw a complete blank. The words start to come and seem to…

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