We Are Not Alone . . . Are You?

Dear Girls With Pens subscribers,

Lisa and I are incredibly excited about a new opportunity for writers and other creatives that launched this past Monday, and we just had to share it with you.

WANA International is bringing together 40 instructors (including Lisa and I) to teach online classes in craft, technology, social media, lifestyle, and businesses.

WANATribe is a new social media platform exclusively for creatives where we can mix and mingle with people who really “get” us. It’s spam and automation free.

To learn more about both, read Kristen Lamb’s launch post.

You can also check out what WANA means, what it means to us, and why we’re excited about being a part of this new project in our posts about the launch.

Lisa wrote WANA Party!

Marcy wrote Is Now Really the Best Time Ever for Writers?

For those of you who’ve subscribed in the past month, we also wanted to remind you that we now blog on our own sites. Same great content, different location.

To catch you up, here’s what you’ve missed in the past month.

From Marcy’s blog…

Should You Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

Eight Reasons Paper Books Will Become An Endangered Species

How to Use Taste to Make Your Readers Hungry for More

Four Little-Known Factors that Could Destroy Your Blog’s Chances of Success

Click here to subscribe to Marcy Kennedy’s Blog

Lisa is no longer blogging about writing on her website. Instead she’s launched a newsletter for writers. Click here to subscribe to The Candid Writer. In her first two issues, she wrote about self-publishing and interviewing.


Important Reminder from Girls With Pens

Over the past few weeks, Lisa and I couldn’t help noticing that we’re still getting subscribers here. And that’s great! We’re happy to have you, but we wanted to remind everyone that we’ve moved. If you want to receive new content like what you’ve obviously enjoyed on GWP (otherwise you wouldn’t have subscribed), you need to do two simple things.

(1) Subscribe to Marcy Kennedy’s Blog

(2) Subscribe to Lisa Hall-Wilson’s Blog

See, told you it was simple 🙂

To help you catch up, here’s the great writing-related content you’ve missed…

What Do We Mean by Strong Female Characters?

How to Keep Strong Female Characters Likeable

What About Characters That Don’t Match Stereotypical Male and Female Qualities?

Do You Worry You Won’t Succeed As A Writer?

How to Make Your Novel Scratch and Sniff

Anger: 5 Shades of Seeing Red

Connotation: Writing Between the Lines

The Details Make the Story

Where’s the Line in the Sand?

4 Writing Tips on Getting Started for Young Authors

Farewell from Girls With Pens

This week marks a change that’s both exciting and sad for us. This is the final week of Girls With Pens. We’ve decided to follow the advice of our blogging mentor Kristen Lamb and focus our efforts on the blogs on our websites rather than putting our writing posts here and our other posts there. Trying to divide our time and spreading our online presence out in this way has become more than we can manage.

For those of you who might be worried, this decision has nothing to do with our novel or our friendship (both of which are still going strong). This is a practical choice for us based on needing to make sure that we have time to write, help others, build our platforms, and still live lives away from the computer.

We have some very exciting changes coming up over the next few months, including beginning to teach online writing and social media classes. We can’t give you more details on that right now, but we will have announcements on exactly what classes we’ll be teaching, when, and how you can sign up in the Girls With Pens newsletter and on our blogs.

We’ve loved getting to know you and have appreciated you reading our posts. We hope that you’ll use the links below to subscribe to both our blogs and the Girls With Pens monthly newsletter.

Sign up for our NEW free Girls With Pens newsletter! – The Girls With Pens monthly ezine will bring you interviews with industry professionals as well as other juicy tidbits.    

Subscribe to Marcy Kennedy’s Blog by Email – Starting in April, Marcy will be posting her writing and social media posts on Wednesdays. She’ll also write about how science fiction, fantasy, and life collide on Mondays, and share author interviews, movie trailers, mash-ups, and other fun on Fridays. If you want to subscribe to Marcy’s blog by e-reader rather than email, just pop on over to her website.

Connect with Marcy on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Twitter is her daily hangout, but if you want active conversations about publishing trends, join her on Google+. Her Facebook page will share writing links like the GWP Facebook page did, but she also shares nerd-related fun and inspirational quotes.

Subscribe to Lisa Hall-Wilson’s Blog – Lisa will be blogging about history, humor, and things that challenge and inspire on Mondays, and Thursday will cover writing, publishing and platform topics.

Connect with Lisa on Twitter and Google+, but she hangs out on Facebook. Like her page for writing links and the same great content you’ve enjoyed from her on the Girls With Pens page, or subscribe to her profile for a more personal connection.

The Girls With Pens Facebook Page will be shut down April 1st as well.

Kodak Shakes the Publishing World

Check out Marcy’s newest post: 3 Lessons on Reaching Your Goals from The Vow – My attempt to avoid Jar-Jar Binks in 3-D turned into watching The Vow, where a woman loses her memory and her husband tries to make her fall in love with him again. The movie was mediocre, but I ended up learning three great lessons about goals and dreams.

Check out Lisa’s newest post: Ever dreamed of going somewhere – your dream destination. You’ve spent so much time looking at photos, planning trips you can’t take, and dreaming you’re afraid if you actually do get to go you won’t want to come home?

Lisa is also being interviewed here today on writing. Pop over and check it out!

Kodak Is Now the Biggest News in Publishing

Last month, Kodak filed for bankruptcy and caused many to start thinking about whether the publishing industry is going to continue to head down the same path. If you haven’t read these posts on what the publishing world can do to avoid the same fate, take the time today. It’s well worth it.

Rachelle Gardner has a three part series asking “Do You Know What Business You’re In?” “Do You Know Your Customer?” and “Are We Ready for Change?

Kristen Lamb talks about Bracing for Impact – The Future of Big Publishing In the New Paradigm.

What do you think about the path publishing is on? What one change do you think would make the most difference?


Subscribe to Marcy’s blog Life At Warp 10 and Lisa’s blog Through the Fire.

Connect with Marcy on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or follow her brand new boards on Pintrest. Connect with Lisa on Twitter, subscribe to her on Facebook, or follow her Pin Boards on Pinterest

Fire at Warp 10

We’ve decided to change things up a bit here at GWP. We’ll still post great writing tips on Mondays, but Thursdays are going to be more of a mashup of posts we’ve written on our own blogs and great writing links we’ve found around the web through the week that we’ve tweeted or shared on Facebook and G+.

Hope you like it 🙂

Lisa’s new blog is called Through The Fire

Today’s post: Biking in PantiesThis is not that kind of post – this is a true story. It wasn’t a bet, I wasn’t drunk – I was just late. See, my life is a string of embarrassing events and mishaps – really, I’m the one in 10,000 every time. But this…

I Am Not American: A Remembrance day post about the birth of national autonomy.

Crazies Mashed Up: Lisa collects stories from around the web that will just make you shake your head in her Truth is Stranger Than Fiction continuing series. If you read these stories in a novel, you wouldn’t believe it could actually happen.

For other posts Through The Fire, search that category on the right.

Marcy’s new blog is called Life at Warp 10

Are You Living Life At Warp 10? – Marcy shares the benefits and drawbacks she’s found to living life at high speed.

Behind the Scenes: Kait Nolan and Werewolves – Marcy interviews indie author Kait Nolan about the werewolves in her new ebook Red – a modern interpretation of Red Riding Hood well worth your afternoon. Great read.

For other Life at Warp 10 posts, check out that category on the right.

Writing Links

Random House Tests A New Book Tour Model: A new way to do book tours from Publishers Weekly. Jamie Oliver is said to be doing this sort of thing with great success also. Worth the read.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail Aggressively by James Scott Bell – a great piece of advice from The Rock about taking chances and stepping out in new directions.

A Tale of the Tablets: Comparing New Devices – a great overview with helpful insights for readers if you’re looking to buy new technology.

What Goes Into A Great Book Cover – Lots of things to consider if you’re about to publish your book whether with a traditional publisher or self-published. A group of designers give their best tips.

5 Tips for Creating Shareable Blog Content – blog in a slump? Don’t know how to fix it? Check out these quick easy tips on how to get readers engaging with your content.

Writer Beware – Small Presses – Writer Beware is a good place to start if you need to check out an agent, publisher or now small press. They list scams and nefarious characters of all sorts – a good site to have bookmarked.

Literary agents do not have to read your query letter – Funny but informative post on how to catch an agent’s attention and get them to keep reading your query. It’s all about the first sentence – lots of examples.

Jane Friedman – Book Marketing – If you had $1,500 or $3,000 or $5,000 how should you spend your money to get the best return (sell the most books) for that investment. Jane gives some great advice.

Writing Prompt #18 A Childhood Memory

Aren’t kids great? I have 3 kids and they are an endless source of joy and laughter for me. Do you have a treasured childhood memory?

tubaI have one brother, he’s younger by 17months. Grade 6 meant you started taking instrumental music in school. I was assigned the clarinet. My brother was assigned the tuba. The music teacher made him sit on two phone books just to reach the mouthpiece to play the thing.

One day, I dared my brother (using my superior big sister logic) that he couldn’t fit into his tuba case. We argued for a minute, but finally he agreed to climb in just to prove that he was too big for it. But I had to promise that I would not lock him in.  (You see where this is going, right?)

Long story short, I locked him in and eventually had to let him out. I flipped the last catch with a toe and was halfway to the street before he climbed out. He chased me around the entire block he was so mad. I came home when I saw my mom’s truck in the yard. I’d take being sent to my room any day over dealing with his angry tantrum (however justified). It was totally worth it 🙂

Your turn.

Today’s prompt is to take a childhood memory and write it. But here’s a twist – make us laugh. Comedy is hard to do well. Post your memory here or leave us a link to your website. We read every one.

Writing Prompt #17 Past or Present Tense

Past tenseRecently Jodi Janz asked us whether or not it’s wrong to write in present tense rather than past tense. You can see our full answers in the comments on our Thank You Giveaway post, but part of our advice was to think through your reasons for wanting to write in present tense. If you’re not sure what tense and person will work best for your story, it’s a great idea to experiment. Switching things around is also a great way to fix a problem scene.

Today’s prompt is to take a scene that isn’t working in your current WIP and switch it around. If it’s in past tense, try writing it as present tense. If it’s in third person, try writing it in first person. Sometimes by trying something different, you’re able to see the problem and how to fix it.

Post a portion of your scene (before and after version) here or leave us a link to your website. We read every one.

Writing Prompt #16 A New Experience

Ever had to explain something to a friend that’s completely foreign to them? My cousin married an Egyptian fellow a number of years ago. The first few times I met him, I was challenged by this puzzled look on his face when I used a word he was unfamiliar with. “What does this mean? I do not know this word.”

storm clouds and lighteningApparently they don’t have thunderstorms in Egypt – or not very often at any rate. Imagine his surprise, joy, fear at his first thunderstorm here in Canada? It was marvelous to witness someone experience such a thing for the first time.

Today’s prompt: Explain or describe something that’s unique to where you live. Is it a plant? A housing style? A cultural term? A way of life? A festival? Each community has nuances and quirks that make it unique. Tell us about it – but do more than that. Let us experience it through you.

Post your paragraph here in the comments, or leave a link to your blog/website/google doc instead. We will read every post.

Thank You Giveaway

We’ve reached a milestone of more than 100 followers on all platforms! We want to thank all of you for spending time with us each week. We have a copy of Donald Maas’ Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook to give away. Tell us what writing topic you’d like us to blog about next, and have your name entered for a chance to win. Contest closes Sept 1. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for platform building tips with Twitter Tuesday and Facebook Friday, and the inside scoop on giveaways.

Marcy and Lisa

For Our Facebook Fans

We give our Facebook Fans early dibs on giveaways. So, this is where you place your response to the question posed on Facebook for your chance to win a copy of Donald Maas’ bestselling book Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. Want to know the question? Become a fan on Facebook.

Marcy and Lisa