May 22 2019
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Helena Writes #11: On teaching by learning, learning by teaching, and voice

Helena Writes #11: On teaching by learning, learning by teaching, and voice

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 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 11th post, Helena considers how she became a teacher and learner,…

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May 15 2019
2

Writers, master the art of word economy

Writers, master the art of word economy

Adapted from a 2016 Center post about how to pare down a first draft by looking at specific elements of the writing, one at a time. Word economy is the practice of using fewer words to say more. For less practiced writers, it means revising your work to eliminate redundant, unnecessary, cliché, or weak language to make your writing stronger and clearer. Once you practice word economy enough during revision, you will teach yourself how…

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May 08 2019
0

Make the absolute most of your writing time

Make the absolute most of your writing time

You did the hard part already. You shuffled things around in your schedule, prioritizing what needed prioritizing and letting go of what didn’t. You analyzed your “free time” and figured out when and how and where you might fit in a good writing session instead of a Netflix binge, and you created a space in your home specifically for writing, complete with good lighting and your favorite pen. You are ready to go. Now, what…

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May 01 2019
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Photo writing prompt, May 2019

Photo writing prompt, May 2019

A shore at sunset–a place where all the elements converge, interact, affect one another. The waves shape the shore, erode and smooth stone. The sun paint colors on water and sky. The water enters the sky in clouds; the clouds rain back into the water. So many mirrors. The infinity of tide and horizon. In this photo, is infinity contained by the view through this pipe, or does it grow out of it? You could…

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Apr 23 2019
Comments Off on Helena Writes #10: On yellow(s) and time travel through imagery

Helena Writes #10: On yellow(s) and time travel through imagery

Helena Writes #10: On yellow(s) and time travel through imagery

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 tenth post, Helena ponders close noticing and how certain familiar…

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Apr 17 2019
Comments Off on Dive into writing readiness with these 5 tips

Dive into writing readiness with these 5 tips

Dive into writing readiness with these 5 tips

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie offers some suggestions to set yourself up for success before you even start writing—especially if you’re writing about tough topics. Writing readiness is more than having a dedicated writing space and practice. Especially in the case of writing harder stories or traumas, it’s important to prepare mentally and emotionally for putting memories into words. If you are suiting up for a deep dive into rough waters—or even just a marathon laptop session—here…

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Apr 10 2019
Comments Off on 7 writing tips for moving from rut to routine

7 writing tips for moving from rut to routine

7 writing tips for moving from rut to routine

Adapted from a 2015 Tips for Beginning Writers post on the benefits and logistics of establishing a writing routine, if you’ve struggled to do so. Maybe you aren’t a routine kind of person. Some of us are; some of us aren’t. But I’m guessing that if you’re reading a blog post about writing tips, you’re open to suggestion. Because there are precious few writers out there who can subsist solely from practicing their craft, most…

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Apr 01 2019
Comments Off on Letter from the director, April 2019

Letter from the director, April 2019

Letter from the director, April 2019

Life is springing back everywhere you look, it seems. The egg is a primordial image, loaded with meaning. Do you think of baby birds when you look at this image, the mighty pine sheltering the nest from harm and the lingering chill? Or do you think, in broader terms, of the egg’s symbolism, of fertility and possibility? Does the vibrant blue of this tiny egg make you think of Easter egg hunts, or of Ostara,…

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Mar 27 2019
Comments Off on Plot problems? Plan your story like a party

Plot problems? Plan your story like a party

Plot problems? Plan your story like a party

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie breaks down the process of creating a narrative plot into manageable bites, so you can write the who, what, where, when, why of your story as clearly as you see it in your mind. Stuck in your story and wondering what happens next? Can’t get your scene and characters out of your mind and onto the page? There’s nothing quite as wonderful as the story that tells itself, and nothing quite as…

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Mar 20 2019
1

Helena Writes #9: On similes, metaphors, and glimpses

Helena Writes #9: On similes, metaphors, and glimpses

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 ninth post, Helena shares on the process of publishing her Gerald…

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