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Newest Articles

nick carraway unreliable narrator

What is an Unreliable Narrator?: Penning the Prevaricating Protagonist

When you can’t trust the person who’s telling you a story, we typically refer to them as an unreliable narrator. An unreliable narrator is someone whose account of the story cannot be depended upon, either because they are lying to you, lying to themselves, or because they have a skewed perspective on the story (and…

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how to write a personal narrative essay

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay

A personal narrative essay is a form of creative nonfiction writers use to share compelling stories from their own lives. Through the writing of personal narrative essays, writers can examine the events of their own life, and transform their everyday experiences into essays that uncover deeper truths in the world. There are many different reasons…

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writers block

Writer’s Block: What Causes Writer’s Block, and How to Overcome It

Writer’s block—having difficulty producing new writing—affects almost every writer at some point, and it can be debilitating for our creativity. If you’ve explored creative writing, I probably don’t have to tell you how painful and challenging writer’s block can be. In this article, we’ll look at writer’s block more deeply, asking “What is writer’s block?”—beyond…

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From Our Instructors

The body and soul of your memoir | memoir writing course

Writing About Real People

Sneak Peek: This essay is excerpted from some of the materials I’ll be sharing in my class, “The Body and Soul of Your Memoir: Shape, Focus, and Write Your Memoir” at Writers.com starting June 4. When my memoir, The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community and Coming Home to the Body,…

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best gifts for writers

The 35 Best Gifts for Writers in Your Life

Professional authors chime in on gift ideas for writers—both during the holidays and any time of year. If you’re looking for the best gifts for writers in your life, look no further. There are lots of great gifts for creative writers—you just need to get in a writer’s head. With the help of some lovely…

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the setting of a story: functions of setting in literature

What is the Setting of a Story? 5 Functions of Setting in Literature

A short story or novel without a setting is one without context—it occurs nowhere and at no particular time. But every person and everything in our everyday world occurs somewhere at some given time. As in real life, characters are connected in some way, or ways, to a given place. They’re always aware of where…

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Character Development

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Writing Prompts

Jump-start your creativity with our writing prompts. Check back regularly for new prompts!

Show and Tell

Write a story or poem about an object with a lot of nostalgic value for you/the narrator. Do not, at any point, tell the reader explicitly what this object is.

Forgive and Forget

Write a story or poem about a time when you had to forget something to maintain a friendship or relationship.

Trash Day

Collect pieces of “junk writing”—spam emails, credit card advertisements, roadside billboards, bumper stickers, etc. Then, write a story or poem that uses all of the junk writing you collected.