Jul 10 2018
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How to submit to literary magazines, part 2: Submissions logistics

How to submit to literary magazines, part 2: Submissions logistics

In part 1 of this series on submitting your writing to literary magazines, we provided some resources for finding literary markets and translated some common directives from editors about how to get your work in front of them. Now it’s time to get down to the practical logistics: which magazines do you want to send to, what finished pieces of writing will you submit, and how do you craft the actual submission email or letter?…

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Jul 06 2018
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3 reasons not to discuss new writing (yet)

3 reasons not to discuss new writing (yet)

At the Center, we emphasize sharing and community-building around our writing, but Shawna Ayoub Ainslie wants you to be aware of three reasons it might be best to keep a new writing project to yourself for a bit. The first pages of a new writing project are often dappled with the dew of optimism. Writing is an adventure. Your heart soars and dips with your characters. Everything is rose-tinted because you’ve had an idea–a beautiful,…

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Jul 01 2018
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Letter from the director, July 2018

Letter from the director, July 2018

Are you feeling the heat, writers? How are you interpreting that phrase? Are you thinking about whether or not your air conditioner is working, or are you under pressure at work or even in your writing practice? What does this photo make you think about? How does the literal and figurative heat connect you with the rest of the world, the rest of the universe? Write about it in July. If you feel so inclined,…

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Jun 20 2018
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How to submit to literary magazines, part 1: 10 things to know about editors and guidelines

How to submit to literary magazines, part 1: 10 things to know about editors and guidelines

If you’re a writer who is considering sending your first literary magazine submission, we have some advice for you, for what it’s worth. First, congratulations! Sharing your work with the world for the first time is a big step. Second…where do you even begin? There are thousands upon thousands of publishing markets for creative writers. Your very first step–once you’ve polished and completed some writing, of course–should be to familiarize yourself with some of them….

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Jun 12 2018
2

Starting a blog: The whys and hows

Starting a blog: The whys and hows

Writers everywhere are using blogs to publicize their writing. Surely you know of some. I mean, you’re reading one right now! Word Press, the content management system that hosts the Center blog (and one of the most popular CMS’s for beginners in existence) defines a blog as: an abbreviated version of ‘weblog,’ which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to…

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Jun 06 2018
Comments Off on When writer’s block is really a breakthrough

When writer’s block is really a breakthrough

When writer's block is really a breakthrough

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie explains how what feels like a roadblock might actually be a breakthrough to the story you’ve been trying to write—and how to keep moving forward. A writing student recently shared with me that he has been stuck for three months on the story he’s developing. He wrote a chapter, then felt the pull away from that piece to another. This was troubling for him because he is a person who keeps his…

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Jun 01 2018
Comments Off on Letter from the director: June 2018

Letter from the director: June 2018

Letter from the director: June 2018

School is NOT out for the summer, if you’re a student at the Center for Creative Writing! We just started up a brand new session of our five-week online writing courses and students and teachers alike are flexing our creative muscles. Monthly photo prompt writing contest for email list subscribers! If you aren’t currently enrolled but want to write with us, we are also launching a new community-building project through our email list. Every first…

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May 23 2018
Comments Off on 4 workout tips to strengthen writing muscles

4 workout tips to strengthen writing muscles

4 workout tips to strengthen writing muscles

Feeling motivated to make some writing gains but overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Shawna Ayoub Ainslie shares some workout advice that translates easily to overcoming challenges on the page. When you want to develop any skill, you practice it. When I learned to play basketball, I started with dribbling and passing drills that improved my hand-eye coordination and in-game reflexes. When I learned to swim, I practiced floating. When I learned to write…

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May 16 2018
Comments Off on Teacher feature: Shawna Ayoub Ainslie on writing as “an avenue to wellness”

Teacher feature: Shawna Ayoub Ainslie on writing as “an avenue to wellness”

Teacher feature: Shawna Ayoub Ainslie on writing as "an avenue to wellness"

Writing through Trauma to Truth teacher Shawna Ayoub Ainslie shares some insights into both her teaching and creative processes. Director Stacia M. Fleegal: What excites you, inspires you, makes you grin from ear to ear about your Center class? Where is the joy for you in the teaching? Is there any relationship between the pleasure you feel teaching and the pleasure you feel when you’re writing? SAA:  Writing has been a powerful coping tool for the…

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May 08 2018
Comments Off on How to end your story already! (in 3 steps)

How to end your story already! (in 3 steps)

How to end your story already! (in 3 steps)

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie shares some tips for placing the final puzzle piece in a story that doesn’t seem to want to end. If I am being very honest, I am not great at endings. Writing beginnings and middles feels natural to me, as I am swept along by possibility. An ending puts, well, an end to the joy of the writing journey. Once I’ve committed, there is still revision to do, but it is (hopefully)…

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