writing

How to Thank Volunteers

It seems very simple to thank volunteers, but as I learned today, “every ‘thank you’ is your next ask.” I’m working on the annual report for a Pittsburgh-area non-profit and the design team is exploring the role of the annual report. Is it just to thank last year’s donors? Or can it somehow mobilize the… Read more »

More Advice on Writers Conferences

This year I’m heading to my first writers conference. I’m gathering tips and advice from people who have been to writers conferences before. So I asked one of my good friends Beth Skwarecki about her most recent writers conference. She’s also really analytical and never takes things at face value, which makes her a great… Read more »

Using Sight Words in Your Children’s Writing

If you’re planning to write for children, especially early readers, you need to be familiar with sight words. Sight words are a group of several hundred words that make up the majority of words used in children’s literature. New readers need to be able to recognize sight words by sight because many of them cannot… Read more »

National Novel Writing Month 2013

Start writing! It’s almost National Novel Writing Month! Are you tackling the challenge this year? I didn’t win my first year (2011) but I did win last year (2012) after a massive, 7000 words in one day final push at the end of the month. I have a much different plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo…. Read more »

Tips for Attending a Writing Conference for the First Time

This fall I’m heading to my first writing conference, the Western PA regional conference for the┬áSociety of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This conference is in Pittsburgh so I will be able to ease into it without the stress of travel and being in a strange city. But in February 2014 I’ll be heading… Read more »

What Goes in Work Bags?

Work bags are essential for freelancers. I rarely go places without mine. Not everyone can work at home all the time, even freelancers need to visit the outside world. Sometimes I’m meeting deadlines at soccer practice, cranking out words at a local coffee shop, or strategizing at a client’s office. I don’t mind leaving my… Read more »

Organize Ideas For Writing

How do you organize ideas for writing? It is not easy for me to keep track of ideas. When I read, listen or run ideas and inspiration often overwhelm me. If you are a freelance writer you probably have this same problem and probably have some system in place. Maybe you’ve tried several different systems…. Read more »

Favorite Bedtime Books

I recently joined the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators and my first few meetings have me thinking about my favorite bedtime books. I have a quite a few. In fact many of my favorite bedtime books have no words! But instead of making a list of which books I love, I am actually… Read more »

Helpful Resources for Freelance Writing

Do you belong to a community that improves your freelance writing? I’ve found that freelance writers tend to be very supportive of each other. They don’t mind offering help to other writers and sharing effective resources. There are several communities that I rely on for help, from in person meetings right here in my neighborhood… Read more »

Fiction Writing Contests

Fiction writing contests are a great way for me to work under pressure of a deadline and to learn about new fiction publications. While many literary journals and publications will pay writers when their work is accepted, fiction writing contests come with a fee. This fee goes toward the prize money for the winners and… Read more »