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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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inciting incident definition

Inciting Incident Definition: The “Why” of Fiction

“The inciting incident is how you get [your characters] to do something…. It’s the doorway through which they can’t return, you know. The story takes care of the rest.” —Donald Miller The inciting incident in a story plays a central role in that story’s structure. It provides the “push” that gets the story rolling—it sets…

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symbolism in writing

Symbolism in Literature: What Symbolism Is, and How to Use It In Your Writing

Symbolism describes the use of concrete images to convey abstract ideas. Because this literary device is widely open to interpretation, and because many readers form different relationships to concrete objects, this is one of the more slippery elements of literature to both understand and convey to an audience. Nonetheless, understanding symbolism, and knowing what is…

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From Our Instructors

how to submit to literary journals

How to Submit to Literary Journals

For the last few months, you’ve opened the document on your computer and spent time constructing sentences, reading, researching, and working on the right metaphor for your poem, short story, or nonfiction essay. This writing is done in isolation, with no one witnessing late nights, pages of revision, and of course, frustration. You’ve finally revised…

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mindful writing | writing and minfulness

Writing for Mindfulness: The Foundations of Mindful Writing

Being present, focusing on images, appreciating goodness: these are the foundations of mindful writing. Writing for mindfulness is a skill that any writer can develop, helping you to sharpen your language and keep it succinct. What are the foundations of mindful writing? Let’s explore what writing for mindfulness means in depth. What “Mindful Writing” Means…

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10 things every childrens picture book writer should know

10 Things Every Children’s Picture Book Writer Should Know

Picture books—don’t they conjure up happy memories? Maybe you have read them to your kids. Maybe you recall them being read to YOU. Remember having favorites that you wanted to read over and over? Goodnight Moon, The Cat in the Hat, The Story of Ferdinand? Perhaps as an adult, you still love picture books, and…

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Character Development

Writing with Confidence

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.