Sep 19 2018
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How to write like no one is watching

How to write like no one is watching

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie flips the old adage about cutting loose on the dance floor to offer advice to writers about keeping rhythm on the page. It was the night of our local Pride festival that I, for the first time, danced like no one was watching. I’ve heard the adage plenty, but I am a self-conscious soul who has long battled with letting go enough to have fun. That night, I saw someone dancing who…

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Sep 12 2018
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Writers, revise or edit? How and when to do both

Writers, revise or edit? How and when to do both

You’ve written something that really excites you. After the initial adrenaline rush of creative energy subsides, you can see the writing has, well, issues. You were rushing, so there are misspellings. You know in your head that this character is good and that one is villainous, but you aren’t sure it’s coming across that way. And this flashback, does it make sense at the beginning or near the middle of your story or chapter? And…

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Sep 05 2018
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Put yourself “out there” with this writing exercise

Put yourself "out there" with this writing exercise

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie offers a fun writing exercise that will help you step outside of your own comfort zone and take more risks in your writing. One of my all-time favorite (and well-written!) TV shows is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one of my all-time favorite moments from the show is when the character Spike, a vampire, tells the heroine he loves her. It’s a risk. A huge one. His affection is not well-received. He…

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Sep 01 2018
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Letter from the director, September 2018

Letter from the director, September 2018

Where are you going? Where have you been? What mark(s) will you leave on the world? What mark(s) have others left for you? Who left this footprint? How long do the footprints go on? Are they the only ones, or do they go where others have gone before? What do you think about when you look at this image? Write about it.

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Aug 22 2018
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Helena Writes #2: On feeling in writing

Helena Writes #2: On feeling in writing

Helena Clare Pittman, one of the Center’s most dedicated teachers (Writing for Children and Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir), has written, painted, and taught her entire life. In a new blog series called Helena Writes, she shares a lifetime of wisdom, one pearl at a time. Learn more about Helena through the Center’s Teacher Feature, her reflection on teaching writing, and her artist’s website. In her second post, Helena shares the story of how her second…

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Aug 15 2018
Comments Off on 3 tips to re-focus your writing energy

3 tips to re-focus your writing energy

3 tips to re-focus your writing energy

We all get lost on the page or screen sometimes. Shawna Ayoub Ainslie reminds us, with three tips, to slow down and hit the reset button to protect our writing space(s) and energy from negative thought patterns that might sabotage us. When you find yourself repeatedly deleting typed passages or wading through balled up pieces of notebook paper previously discarded in your trash bin, you may be unknowingly stuck in a negative pattern. Much like…

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Aug 09 2018
Comments Off on How to submit to literary magazines, part 3: Submissions best practices, or, the dos and don’ts

How to submit to literary magazines, part 3: Submissions best practices, or, the dos and don’ts

How to submit to literary magazines, part 3: Submissions best practices, or, the dos and don'ts

To conclude our three-part series on submitting your writing to literary magazines, we present the following list of dos and don’ts. Some of these tips might be new, and some might rehash the best advice we offered in part 1 and part 2 of this blog series on submissions. Either way, these best practices separate the pros from the nos, so assimilate them into your submissions approach asap.

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Aug 01 2018
Comments Off on Letter from the director, August 2018

Letter from the director, August 2018

Letter from the director, August 2018

Is this a positive or negative image? Do you see a bright future or a dark hole with escape just out of reach? Are you focused on up or down? How did the photographer get down in there, anyway, and how did they get out? Does the thought of a cave or underground enclosure make you feel warm and safe or claustrophobic? What do you think about when you look at this image? Write about…

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Jul 25 2018
3

Helena Writes #1: On intended audience

Helena Writes #1: On intended audience

Helena Clare Pittman, one of the Center’s most dedicated teachers (Writing for Children and Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir), has written, painted, and taught her entire life. In a new blog series called Helena Writes, she shares a lifetime of wisdom, one pearl at a time. Learn more about Helena through the Center’s Teacher Feature, her reflection on teaching writing, and her artist’s website. This first post shares Helena’s response to a student inquiring about intended…

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Jul 17 2018
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A 3-step practice of silence to rev creativity

A 3-step practice of silence to rev creativity

In this short and sweet post, Shawna Ayoub Ainslie returns to the topic of silence as a catalyst for creativity. Let’s face it, the world is full of noise and you are part of the noise machine. We have already talked about how keeping your stories to yourself as they are developing can help you finish writing them. But what about when you can’t seem to get started? This is the prime time to practice…

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