Advice to Writers: Stephen King on the Craft of Short Story Writing

Bestselling author Stephen King discusses the art of writing short stories and short fiction in this video interview, and speaks about how many new writers forgo writing short stories to focus on writing a novel, sometimes before they are ready to navigate “the quagmire of the novel.”  

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Advice to Writers: Anne Rice

In this video, bestselling writer Anne Rice offers advice to writers. The author of 32 books, Rice’s latest work, “Prince Lestat,” will be released in late October 2014.

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How to Read a Poem…

… and other advice from poet Edward Hirsch. This poet’s first collection of poems, which was released in 1981, received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University. Since then he has taught at universities across the country,…

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Teresa Lo and Other Successful Authors Give Their Best Writing Advice

by Gabbi Hall All across Youtube, writers give advice on everything from editing to vocabulary to publishing. We’ve compiled three great tips from a variety of authors to help you better your own skills. Teresa Lo, author of “Hell’s Game,” on rejection: Michael Levin, New York Times bestselling author, on…

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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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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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