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Deadline July 15th!
Enter the Short Story Contest or Creative Nonfiction Contest - or Both!


Bragging Rights

How's the writing going? Got something great to release, short story publication, speaking engagement? Brag about it!

Thomas Ott - Saturday & The Witch Woman
This historical fiction is based on a true story and extensive research. Saturday was taken captive in Nigeria in 1767, brought to Saint-Domingue, secretly gained an education, and became the personal attendant to my grandmother. When the Haitian Revolution exploded in 1791, he was unable to save Grandmother Catherine but took her two boys to Charleston where he raised them as his own children. Later he got caught up in the Vesey Conspiracy and fled to Cuba where he gained his freedom. Through the roller-coaster that was his life he held on to his love for a voodoo priestess, known generally as The Witch Woman. You’ll laugh and cry at his incredible will to survive and become a free man.
available on On Amazon!, BAM, and Barnes & Noble

Lewis McIntyre
- The Eagle and the Dragon 
A fictional account of the first Roman diplomatic mission to China, based loosely on an actual Roman mission to China in 166AD, in which the emperors already knew each other by name... so obviously not the first. That first mission is lost to history, but my fictional account adheres closely to the historical facts.... and like most first missions, nothing goes right! 

Take an epic journey by sea and land through all the major empires of Eurasia at the dawn of the Second Century AD. There is action, adventure, skullduggery, pirates, three love stories... and oh, yes, camels! Don't forget the camels! 
On Amazon!

Tonya Price
I am very excited that Fiction River just released their anthology Hard Choices. My thriller short story, Payback is in the anthology.
On Amazon!

Mike KerrThe Legman
Micky Mulvihill, a journeyman reporter, follows a tip on a dangerous real estate scam. He is pulled into a national incident and politically sensitive homicide that the city wants to bury as an accident. Teaming up with Olivia Moore, an artist and academic, they seek answers amid growing fears of a predator whose horrific past is tied deep into the city's dark history.
Note: Seeking an HWA author who would be willing to provide an honest online review of the book


Writing Book #2: A Post-Mortem


By Paula Munier
Posted on 6/5/2019

Nearly a year ago I wrote a blog post here called Writing Book #2: It’s the Process, Stupid. In which I outlined the challenges I faced writing the first draft of the second novel in my Mercy Carr series—and how I knew that I had many more drafts to go. Just how many more I did not know. (A good thing, just like it’s a good thing I didn’t know how many hours of labor I’d endure before I gave birth.)

Now that the book has at long last gone into production, I’m taking a hard look at how I wrote—and rewrote and rewrote and rewrote—this story. There’s got to be a better way. And I need to find it, because Book #3 must be—please God—a kinder, gentler writing experience. Not to mention that it’s due, like, yesterday.

Nail the title

When I was a young reporter back in the Dark Ages, I always wrote my headline first. If I couldn’t write my headline, I knew I didn’t really know what my story was about yet. Headline, sub-head, lead: One led to another, one built upon another.

The same is true when I write novels. When I first read the Pablo Neruda poem October Fullness, I knew I had the title for the first book in my series: A Borrowing of Bones.

But I was never crazy about A Quiver Full of Bones, the working title for Book #2. The idea was to stick with the “bones” titling convention, but my pal Carolyn Haines had already used most of the best ones I could come up with. As it turned out, the publisher wasn’t crazy about the working title either. So I came up with a list after list of alternate titles, and finally we settled on Blind Search. A K9 search-and-rescue term that really worked for the story. And which I liked very much. But it would have been so much easier had I had that title from the beginning.

Write the backstory first

In a mystery, there’s: 1) the story you tell the reader—the story about how the protagonist solves the murder; and 2) the story of how the murder happened—in effect, the backstory of the crime. I had a heck of a time making the backstory work this time around, even though I’d done it fairly easily with Book #1.

I always write a beat-by-beat outline of the story I tell the reader—what’s actually on the page—but I typically don’t write full backstories of the murders. I ended up writing one for my editor during the revisions of Blind Search, the better to help him understand the clues and red herrings. In so doing I clarified the details—and if I’d done that from the beginning, I could have saved myself some grief, not to mention a couple of drafts.

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Writers Digest Conference August 22-25th

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Historical Genre

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