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Guns and Gods in My Genes by Neill McKee

Q1 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Fall 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest




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Writing, regardless of the end result--whether good or bad, published or not, means celebrating beauty in an often ugly world. ~ Mary Karr

FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    WINTER 2021 FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT MARIA ROGERS

Do you need some writing inspiration? Contests are a great way to spark your creativity, and you may even win a prize! Get your best work together and consider entering the WOW! quarterly flash fiction contest with guest judge Maria Rogers, literary agent with The Tobias Literary Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Maria’s preferences. The Winter Contest is open to all genres of fiction between 250 - 750 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. Over $1350 in cash prizes. Deadline: February 28, 2021. MORE >>

     

CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

    CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! Writers have been asking us to host an essay contest for many years, and we’ve finally listened. The mission of this essay contest is to inspire creative nonfiction and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Word Count: 200 – 1,000 words. Only 300 essays are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. 1st Place: $500. Deadline: January 31, 2021. MORE >>

     

WRITING WORKSHOPS & ONLINE CLASSES

    WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING CLASSROOM

Whether you are looking to boost your income or work on your craft, we know that education is an important part of a writer’s career. That’s why WOW! handpicks qualified instructors and targeted classes that women writers will benefit from. All of the courses operate online and are taught one-on-one with the instructor and in a workshop. The flexibility of the platform allows students to complete assignments on their own time and work at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. Visit the classroom page and check out our current line up of workshops: creative nonfiction writing, personal essay, memoir, fiction writing, writing for children, screenwriting, playwriting, ghostwriting, freelance writing, blogging, author platform, independent publishing, poetry writing, copy editing, travel writing and more. MORE >>

     

FEATURED ARTICLES

  1. LESSONS FROM A SELF-TAUGHT WRITER: INTERVIEW WITH NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MARY MONROE

Fifteen years between the publishing of her widely received and acclaimed first novel, The Upper Room, and her second novel, Mary endured the loss of her agent and fifteen years of rejection. Ms. Monroe did not give up. Rather, she listened to critical analysis of her writing and used it as fuel to create a personal writing education plan. Margaret Y. Buapim-West sits down with Mary and chats about the craft of writing. MORE >>

     
  2. HOW TO WRITE BLURBS THAT SELL!

How to write a blurb 101: You put your main character in, you don’t need that secondary character. Detail the conflict with just enough to get the questions rising inside the reader’s head but not too much that you begin answering those questions or deflating any of the big moments in the book. Hook with a last sentence that drives them panting to open the book and start reading. That’s the general idea. But there’s a lot more to it because we have to contend with more than just the back cover blurb. Read on to find out what elements are needed to craft a dynamic blurb that sells your book. By Karen S. Wiesner. MORE >>

     
  3. AFTER NANOWRIMO: HOW TO REVISE AND EDIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT

Non-writer friends might have thought your sanity was in question when you told them you were writing an entire novel in one month—especially the month that holds Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year. But you knew what you were doing all along. You were letting go of all the structure and technique that gives writers anxiety and just writing—freely and quickly and getting a first draft down on paper. Now, it’s there, and you’re wondering, what do I do next? How do I possibly turn this freeing, supportive, and positive experience of NaNoWriMo into a publishable document without going insane? Never fear—you don’t have to go crazy during the revision process. Just follow along as we take your 50,000 plus words to a whole new level. MORE >>

     
  4. HOW TO WRITE A NONFICTION BOOK PROPOSAL

A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between a yes and a no thank you. It is a strategically composed document that sells your book idea, and you as an expert to potential agents or publishers. When done effectively, they will sing your praises and offer you a contract. Here are the sections you need to include in your proposal. MORE >>

     
  5. LYRIC ESSAYS AND THE POWER OF LANGUAGE TO TRANSFORM: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHAUNA CRAIG, CNF EDITOR FOR ATTICUS REVIEW

When I tell people I write lyric essays, I get blank stares. They correct me, do you mean lyrical essays? Or they say, aren’t those just poems? When I try to define it, I sometimes fumble. In graduate school, I learned lyric essays are scene driven—not stories—with lots of description. I learned that lyric essays often employ research and weave that into personal reflections. They are sometimes described in terms of form: they are short, fragmented, braided, etc. It feels as if all these definitions fit, yet none are definitive. And perhaps with any experimental form of writing, definitions must, by necessity, be up for discussion. Chauna Craig and I tried to narrow it down, but perhaps only widened the field of possibility when trying to pin down this mysterious and alchemic form. Interview by Naomi Kimbell MORE >>

     
  6. HOW TO BUILD YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM BEFORE YOU ARE PUBLISHED

Building your author platform is not as scary as it sounds. It is also not as complex. Sure, there are a number of bells and whistles that go along with creating the platform that is going to help sell your book, but all the pieces end up fitting together like that of a puzzle. And before you know it, you are staring at an effective online presence made specifically for you. In this article, Jenna Faccenda chats with authors Suzanne Palmieri, Liz Schulte, Sabrina York, Grace Burrowes, Joanna Penn, as well as marketing experts Cassie Drumm and Penny Sansevieri, who share their best tips on building an author platform MORE >>

     
  7. HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT IN 4 WEEKS

I wrote the first draft of my historical novel in sixteen days. You read that correctly—sixteen days. My experimental novel was written in about three weeks. Both were released in 2018. Though I am intensely proud of this accomplishment, I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you that you can do this, too. Here’s how. MORE >>

     
  8. HOW TO FINANCE YOUR SELF-PUBLISHING EFFORTS THROUGH CROWDSOURCING

Let’s face it: Making a decent living writing only through projects that excite you is hard. Many writers have day jobs or dabble in part-time work. Some are freelancers. Quite a few have been successfully utilizing crowdfunding to bring their works to life, which enables them to finance their projects via the help of supporters, who in turn get exclusive rewards depending on the level of their support. Fascinated by the concept, Pinar Tarhan talked to eight writers—Melissa Frey, Amy Zellmer, Bethany Atazadeh, Joanna Penn, Maxima Kahn, Ksenia Anske, Katie Li, and Jas Rawlinson—who have mastered Patreon, Kickstarter, and Chuffed. They touched on what drew them to each platform and shared their tips on how they create content and rewards for supporters of different financial levels and market their crowdfunding campaigns. MORE >>

     
  9. HOW TO INCREASE YOUR WRITING PRODUCTIVITY

Spanish romance writer Corin Tellado wrote over 4,000 books, American writer Lauran Bosworth Paine—over 1,000 books of Western fiction, and English romance writer Kathleen Lindsay—over 900 books. What amazing productivity, diligence, and dedication! Can every writer do this? Probably not. We all have different talents, life circumstances, and writing goals. However, I believe that all writers could and should improve their productivity to accomplish more. Here’s how. MORE >>

     
  10. SEEKING THE SOUL OF THE STORY: HISTORICAL FICTION IN VERSE

YA historical fiction in verse seems to be on the rise. Last year, two novels in verse made it on Publisher’s Weekly Top YA list. What is it about poetry that allows it to traverse the boundaries of genre? Join Women on Writing for a conversation with Marilyn Nelson, Stephanie Hemphill, and Melanie Crowder, three YA authors who find poetry to be the perfect tool to bring history alive for YA audiences. MORE >>

     
  11. ON LYRIC ESSAYING AND CASTING ON

Chelsey Clammer writes a lyric essay on the process of writing a lyric essay and knitting! She talks about patterns—both in writing and in knitting—and how important forming connections is, as well as leaving gaps—holes—to let readers take a breath, fill in the intentional blanks themselves. She’s writing an essay that looks like knitting. She says lyric essays are all about exploring the possibilities of ideas. That the meaning is in the exploration. She also provides writers with a practical sidebar at the end of the article that defines the lyric essay, shares examples of different essay structures, and even includes several writing exercises, so you can write your own lyric essay. MORE >>

     
  12. SWITCH IT UP! LITERARY MAGAZINES SEEKING UNUSUAL AND UNCOMMON STORIES

A promising relationship gone bad. The joys and challenges of parenthood. Triumph over a difficult childhood. Many stories center around themes like these—with characters acting out and working through emotional situations and events. While these stories are definitely poignant and universal, there are plenty of other topics worth exploring in your writing. Along those lines, numerous literary magazines actively solicit writing on specific, distinct topics, encouraging writers to spread their wings by tackling diverse subject matter. MORE >>

     
  13. WHEN YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CLIENT SAYS GOODBYE (AND HOW TO BOUNCE BACK AND LAND MORE WRITING WORK)

Breaking up hurts, especially when your better half is a steady writing client. You had a good thing going! Why did it have to end? Unless you made a really terrible mistake, losing a long-term client isn't usually about you. It's about them. Here's how to bounce back from a break-up and land more writing work. MORE >>

     
  14. FROM THE DESK OF ELENA M. STIEHLER, EDITOR OF THE SONDER REVIEW: THE LYRIC ESSAY AND WORKING WITH WRITERS

When considering lyric writing, it’s hard to ignore the work of independent literary journals like The Sonder Review (TSR). Sonder combines innovative, short creative nonfiction and fiction pieces alongside original works of art. Speaking with the modest and thoughtful Elena M. Stiehler, the founder/executive editor of The Sonder Review and Sonder Press, she offered her insight into the process of an independent journal and press. We discussed her reflections on lyric writing, language, and craft. She shared her selection and editing process, as well as her pleasure in discovering the potential in new writers. She has a genuine love of words and writing. By Christy O’Callaghan. MORE >>

     
  15. HOW SPECULATIVE MEMOIR OFFERS EXPLORATION: INTERVIEW WITH SOPHIA SAMATAR

“Who hasn’t wondered: am I a monster, or is this what it means to be a person?” This is the question that burns through Monster Portraits, a question that is explored, teased, and unwound but never finds resolution in Sofia Samatar’s hybrid blend of fantasy and memoir. Sofia agreed to share her thoughts on Monster Portraits as a genre-bending speculative memoir, and how she approaches taboos and challenges and stays true to her artistic vision. MORE >>

     
  16. THE LAYERED EDIT: A STEP-BY-STEP MANUSCRIPT EDITING PROCESS

I’m always surprised when an aspiring writer finishes a draft, runs it through spell check, and sends it out. I’m not surprised when a writer gets a rejection. Revision is as vital as original writing. The first draft is about passion and creativity and flow. The edits give you the chance to work on structure, language usage, layer in settings and senses, and make the difference between a decent manuscript and a great one. Over the years, I’ve come up with a layered editing process that’s served me well for short stories, plays, novellas, and novels. Now, I’m going to share the process with you. These steps are done after your initial draft, but before you show anything to a trusted reader. By Devon Ellington. MORE >>

     
  17. HOW TO WRITE FICTION THAT KEEPS READERS UP AT NIGHT

Obviously, I don’t want anyone to lose sleep—or their job—because of my work, but I do want to keep readers turning the page. I accomplish this in my genre fiction by building a dynamic plot with engaging characters in the drafting process. Then during revision, I sprinkle in the details that make my story pop on the page. Checking for these three important elements (plot, characters, and details) over the course of my writing process ensures that I keep readers’ attention. By paranormal author Camille Faye. MORE >>

     
  18. HOW TO TWIST LIKE AGATHA CHRISTIE

I love Agatha Christie and Golden Age mysteries; and since I started writing a murder mystery myself, I’ve been trying to work out how Agatha did it (or dunnit?!). I’ve had to act like a detective and look carefully at her novels to find clues. So now, I decided I’d share with you how to write a Christie-like plot twist. Learn Agatha Christie’s plot devices and why her twists are so memorable, including “Everybody Dunnit,” “Misdirection,” “Setting and Confinement,” “Stately Homes,” “Transportation,” and more. By Louise Tondeur.  MORE >>

     
  19. SUMMER 2020 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Erica Christensen with Metamorphosis Literary Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  20. Q1 2021 CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

Check out the results of our latest essay contest! Read the winning essays of the 1,000 words or less Q1 2021 Essay Competition. MORE >>

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On Lyric Essaying and Casting On
Lyric Essays and the Power of Language to Tranform: An interview with Chauna Craig, editor of Atticus Review
How to Write Blurbs that Sell!
Lessons from a Self-Taught Writer: Interview with NYT Bestselling Author Mary Monroe
After NaNoWriMo: How to Revise Your Manuscript
D.M. Pulley, Thriller Novelist and Master Storyteller
How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal
Elena M. Stiehler, Editor of The Sonder Review
How to Build Your Platform Before You Are Published
How to Finance Your Self-Publishing Efforts Through Crowdsourcing
How to Write Your First Draft in 4 Weeks
Historical Fiction in Verse
The Layered Edit
Speculative Memoir
How to Write Fiction That Keeps Readers Up at Night
How to Increase Your Writing Productivity
Literary Journals Seeking Uncommon Stories
When Your Freelance Client Says Goodbye
Three Types of Lyric Poetry to Fire Up Your Writing Practice
How to Twist Like Agatha Christie
An Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers
 
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