mailboxes at night

Going Beyond Truth-Telling in Personal Essay

When I was a teenager, I had braces, but quickly stopped wearing my retainer after the braces came off. Now, twenty years later, I’ve sorely regretted my lack of diligence. It turns out that teeth have a long memory about where they used to be, and wander back to their original starting position. So I visited an […]

Memoir Class

A New Memoir Class Starting April 17: Perfect for Beginners

Memoir, as William Dean Howells said, is the “most democratic province of the republic of letters.” Indeed, the genre is evidence that every person in the world has a worthy story to tell, that it’s not what the story is but how it’s told that engages a reader.

ebook publishing resources

How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors

In this post I regularly update the best resources I know of related to learning to publish an ebook, finding the right distributors and services, and staying on top of changes in the industry.

map and pins

Suffering From Writer Envy? There’s a Map Only You Can Make

Any accomplished writer is also a reader—and usually a reader first. For the writer who is the least a bit humble, this sets up one of the most significant psychological barriers to pursuing a writing career: How could I ever produce something as wonderful as [admired writer / admired book]? This is an area that Steven […]

story ending

When a Story Ending Doesn’t Satisfy

Sometimes endings are designed to satisfy, answering the questions posed along the way. Endings that allow you to leave as easily as you came in. But what if the ending isn’t designed to satisfy?

hybrid publisher

What Is a Hybrid Publisher?

Defining a “hybrid publisher” is difficult; you will hear different descriptions depending on who you ask. Here’s what you need to know to evaluate one.

when brevity is bad

When Brevity in Storytelling Is Bad

It’s sometimes easier to cut a piece of writing if you can’t see how to fix it. Just remove the offending bits, job done. But it can deaden a piece.

Writer Unboxed

Pushing Up Against Your Limits

There are many analogies drawn between writing and sports: exercising your creative muscles, learning to go the distance, pushing up against your limits.

checklists for publishing

Marketing and Publishing Checklists for Writers

When embarking on a process that is new or unfamiliar, often you don’t know what you don’t know. A checklist helps you recognize what you don’t know, so that many months later, you’re not beating yourself up for complete ignorance. Without further ado, here are some of my most favored checklists, from sources I trust.

hiring a pro editor

Should You Hire a Professional Editor?

But being able to truly see if you’ve been successful in writing a compelling work requires objectivity and distance than can be hard to achieve on your own—and this is where a professional editor comes in.

how to find publishers and agents

How to Find Publishers

If you have a book idea or manuscript, one of your first questions is probably: How do I find a publisher? Here are the most popular, essential resources.