Wordy South, Ep. 3: Bernice McFadden & Chuck Wendig

Wordy South, Ep. 3: Bernice McFadden & Chuck Wendig

(NOTE: This is the corrected version of the podcast. The first post was missing a few words. Sorry!) What “lunatic” thing did acclaimed novelist Bernice McFadden do until 2005? And why did she stop? Find out in this interview with the two-time Hurston/Wright Award nominee and author of New York Times editor’s choice book “Gathering of Waters.” She has a ton of great insight to share with writers trying to complete their novel. The next time you think about saying you could care less, be aware pen monkey Chuck Wendig may tap you on the shoulder, eyeball you up and down, and then shake his head, “No, you could care less. And you should.” We play his speech from the 2012 Crossroads so you know why. Shout-outs to a couple of talented writers in the Crossroads family. YA novelist Lauren Morrill, who made Crossroads 2013 awesome and then released her second book–“Being Sloan Jacobs”–on January 7. You can get your copy here. You can see what Lauren looked like in high school here: Delilah S. Dawson, writer of paranormal romance and whatnot, just unleashed “Damsel and the Daggerman,” a new Blud series novella. And, on January 28, you can get your hands on “Wicked After Midnight,” which may or may not be about lonely mogwai who eat dinner too late and have to deal with their emotions as they’re transformed into gremlins. Also, Susannah Breslin is awesome. Find these folks on Twitter: Bernice McFadden, Chuck Wendig, Lauren Morrill, Delilah S. Dawson, Susannah Breslin, Crossroads and Chris Horne Web interviews and blogs: Bernice McFadden – interview How to survive 74 rejections (BONUS: M.W. Gerard’s review of “Glorious”)...
Three reasons to enter a writing contest

Three reasons to enter a writing contest

Take the next big step in your writing journey by joining the community at Crossroads 2013. Learn more here: CrossroadsWriters.splashthat.com You’ve been dedicated. You’ve scribbled, drafted, edited, revised and polished. You’ve even given your work over to trusted friends for feedback. Now, you want to see your writing stand up on its own two and walk. Maybe run. So, have you checked out writing contests? Here are three good reasons to consider entering one: A deadline – Even the pros with scores of books under their belts suffer from either procrastinating to write or never finishing their revisions. Having a hard and fast deadline can be a good cure for either problem. Gut check – Most contests cost something up front — usually between $15-$35 — but that should serve as a mini-moment of truth. Is your writing ready for public consumption? And is this contest the right one for your work? Payoff – Yes, winning a contest has its benefits — publication, a little cash and an ego boost — but even if you don’t land the prize, you should be proud because you wrote; you polished; you gave it a shot. The only failures are when you aren’t trying. If you’re looking for a writing contest to enter — be it for short stories, poetry, non-fiction and essays, etc — check these websites for some of the best: GlimmerTrain.com – The good folks at Glimmer Train are among the biggest supporters of new, emerging writers. They only publish the unpublished and have  a nice variety of contest options. Good place to start. Poets & Writers – This huge database...
Amber J. Gardner: How I Got to Crossroads

Amber J. Gardner: How I Got to Crossroads

I decided to become a novelist shortly after my mom passed away in 2006 from cancer. My father had died (also cancer) when I was a year old, so I found myself without any immediate family and completely on my own by the age of 20. The latter was probably a good thing, the former not so much. It was the first time I decided to take writing seriously, but didn’t actually make any progress till I finally completed the first draft of a novel in 2008 thanks to Chris Baty and NaNoWriMo. Still, I wasn’t writing as much as I should’ve been due to perfectionism, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, etc. Once I failed to graduate college, I was miserable. I hadn’t achieved any goals and I was still living in Puerto Rico, which is where I’ve lived since I was five-years-old and desperately wanted to leave since I was 13. So after a Quarter-Life crisis, I decided I had enough. I was going to take my goals seriously. Moving to the U.S. was one of them, so after family on my father’s side found and contacted me (thank you Facebook!), I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Fayetteville, Georgia. Meanwhile, I’d become an avid fan of Chuck Wendig and his blog Terribleminds.com for at least a year now. He was one of my writing idols because he was doing it. He was writing full time and doing it HIS way. I loved that. Thanks to his blog and his books, I was writing more than ever before. So when I heard he was speaking at the...
Chuck Wendig’s Talk at Crossroads 2012

Chuck Wendig’s Talk at Crossroads 2012

So: I also run this blog called “terribleminds.” Is that the word for it? “Run?” I write it? I curate it? Whatever — let’s just go with, “I pull blobs of dubious writing wisdom that get caught in my brain filter and smear them on the Internet’s walls.” This blog, which is nominally focused on writing, obviously draws a lot of writers of various experience levels — from the never-written to the never-published to the often-published. And with writers — particularly those from the more inexperienced end of the spectrum — come questions. Questions of how to *do* this thing that we do. Some questions are very specific: how do I make my characters pop, how do I outline, how do I write a query letter? But then there’s a category of question I like to think of as, “Questions From The Department Of The Overwhelmed, The Bewildered, The Insanely Frustrated.”  These are questions that are *gibbered* more than *asked* — if one were to ask such a question in person it would sound like, “Whuh? How do I… what do I? Wh… where do I begin? How do I start? Muh? Guh?” More a series of squeaks and whimpers that ultimately culminate in communicating a feeling of helplessness, confusion, and abject frustration. Thing is, I understand this sense of helplessness. We step up to the blank page — this snowy tract of tabula rasa that hasn’t earned even a single footprint across its virgin expanse — and the potential overwhelms us. Or, it has me, at least — once upon a time upon starting a new story I’d...
The Secret to Writing by Chuck Wendig

The Secret to Writing by Chuck Wendig

Novelist/blog guru/screenwriter/bearded gent Chuck Wendig knows the “secret to writing” and in this quick-hitting video, he shares it with you–TWICE! (Double your fun…) Best yet, the secret is writing and doesn’t involve drinking unicorn blood (you have to watch the video). TO GET MORE DELICIOUS TIPS FROM WRITERS LIKE CHUCK AND SAVE BIG ON REGISTRATION CLICK...