Review: The Crowns of Croswald 

Synopsis:

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret… 
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night is an exciting YA fantasy. This novel reminded me so much of my favorite series by J.K. Rolling. The Harry Potter Series…yes, this tale has so many similarities to thafamous series but still holds many differences that makes it interesting. 

The main character, Ivy, is fascinating. She is going to school as a scrivenist yet she holds something more in herself than she knows. Secrets will soon come out and Ivy will be taking on an adventure of a lifetime. Just like Harry Potter, Ivy, finds herself into trouble, danger, and drama. I loved it. The Harry Potter Serieshasended and this first book to a wonderful series is just beginning…I am thrilled to have gotten this book to read. Magic, mystery, dwarves, and a dragon. Evil is lurking close by and Ivy hasn’t faced the worst of it yet. A Queen is after Ivy. But Ivy has an opportunity to escape and maybe defeat this evil queen. I can’t wait to see what D.E. Night brings in the next book. Thrilling, full of action, suspense, and fun. I was completely engaged from the beginning to end. This, is now, my new favorite fantasy author. Overall, I highly recommend The Crowns of Croswald to readers worldwide. 

Review: NYSTCE English Language Arts CST (003)

Synopsis:

NYSTCE English Language Arts CST (003) Study Guide: Rapid Review Test Prep and Practice Questions for the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (003) will provide you with a concise overview of the NYSTCE 003 test, so you know exactly what to expect on test day. We’ll take you through all the concepts covered on the test and give you the opportunity to test your knowledge with practice questions. Even if it’s been a while since you last took a major test, don’t worry; we’ll make sure you’re more than ready!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cirrus Test Prep’s NYSTCE English Language Arts CST (003) Study Guide: Rapid Review Test Prep and Practice Questions for the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (003) is an excellent book. It provides interested individuals with the knowledge and practice they need to pass their exam. Inside are two full practice tests as well as essays. Students can review terminology, learn new strategies, and practice taking the tests to pass. The materials on every page were concise and accurate. Detailed. It explains, teaches, and shows examples. I love when test booklets demonstrate those areas well. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to those wanting to be certified teachers in the state of New York. 

Author Interview with Both Judith Ravin and Muhammad Hassan Miraj 

 




Review links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/RXF42ESN6QBLS?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

Blog: http://wp.me/p4n3Np-6fO

Twitter: https://twitter.com/urbanliterary/status/890720375327404032





ULM: What led you both into doing this book together?
Ravin: The first time I met Hassan it was obvious he possessed a writer’s craft. He spoke in parables and was always attentive to the possibilities for extrapolation of the tales spinning in his head. Although it took many months to conceive of a project that made sense from an individual and joint standpoint, we technically began tiptoeing around the idea of a collaborative project over “instructional sessions” on the eighteenth-century Punjabi tragic romance Heer Ranjha, by Waris Shah. More accurately, Hassan would sit me down like a pupil and read aloud portions of the extensive work for my cultural and literary edification. At some point we branched outward and inward, from legend to our own realities and to discussions about how to find natural points of connection between our separate lives and our writings. The project matured into an imperative of the inevitable.

Miraj: Imagine meeting a foreigner in an activity that you consider central to your own culture and the foreigner surprises you with her visiting card printed in your native language. Such was the strength of Judith’s cultural self. Our first meetings were more of myself talking and herself listening. Before she departed Pakistan, we made a checklist of where our interests intersected (and this was without the idea of publication). As we moved to our respective different worlds, we wrote to each other about incidents, happenings…. These were more like telephonic conversations in print. This is how the book began to emerge.

 

ULM: Judith, how would you describe the effect that your work had in writing Beyond Our Degrees of Separation?

Ravin: My work in Pakistan was on a separate track from writing, yet through writing I was able to process the dizziness of a fully charged public engagement schedule. Whereas public diplomacy focuses my attention outward, writing provides time for intimate assimilation of the newness of circumstances. Fortunately, the vastness of cultural diversity in Pakistan made for a satisfactory playmate to my innate curiosity.

 

ULM: Muhammad Hassan Miraj, how would you describe your talent as an author and how your experience in the Pakistan Army effected your writing for this book?

 

Miraj: I must admit that I am not an author. I shall, however, lay claim on the craft of story-telling, and it is very deep-seated. While telling stories is almost unanimously popular in all cultures, it had a special significance while I was growing up. I grew up in a joint family system and in a mobile-TV-Internet free age. So you could either tell stories or listen. Day-to-day life revolved around stories and even parables, instructions, injunctions, and implications…. All of it either originated in or was communicated through stories.

The military, on the other hand, was a larger world, yet very intimate. My postings and assignments took me all over the country (and abroad as well) and afforded me the opportunity to connect to some very fascinating sub-cultures, so my writings or stories are also deeply influenced by my years in the military.

 

ULM: Is this the first book project that both of you have done together? Will there be more projects in the future as co-authors?

Ravin: Yes, this is our first project of collaboration. I am sure Hassan has mapped out the next ten projects we could work on as co-authors, but I move more methodically in the space of creative endeavors until I have an undeniable whole of an idea laid out before me. Hassan and I admire each other’s strengths in writing, and we manage to bring out the best in our respective styles.

Miraj: Judith is around seventy percent correct. Yes, this is our first project together, and no, it’s not just ten. I intend to write more stories together. Judith’s attention to detail and commitment to the whole procedure is definitely worth the deliberation.

 

ULM: Judith, what was it like being a co-author for this book? 

Ravin: I had to be more patient than I would if I were working on a book by myself. I also had to be more deliberative in seeking the connectors between us. As a co-author of a joint work, you must sacrifice independence in favor of the richness of interdependence.

 

ULM: Muhammad Hassan Miraj, how would you describe working as a co-author?

Miraj: I had been writing in English, but with Judith it was very illustrative. There were things that I wanted to say, but my diction was largely styled for different readership. Judith was very helpful in preserving the impression while working on expression.

 

ULM: Muhammad Hassan Miraj, you mentioned having spent almost a year in the U.S. Why not a year? What did you do while there?

Miraj: It was an International Military Exchange and Training Program, lasting for almost nine months. The training was about military procedures. Growing up in Pakistan, there is an awful lot that you hear about America and the Americans, so alongside military training (which was not much), I wanted to have an understanding of American culture. I travelled and interacted, and learned my basic lessons on “otherness.”  

   

ULM: Judith, what was it like working as an editor, translator, and as a journalist?

Ravin: I worked non-stop. There was no freelance job I would refuse because I knew my current projects always had a finite end point. The world of words in which I lived for many years continues to serve me well. Once, at the midpoint of a book translation I felt as if adrift at sea. I had lost sight of the horizon: the book’s final pages. I could neither slip back to the safety of a shoreline I could no longer see, nor move forward with certainty toward an end that was equally invisible. So I continued paddling with faith through a sea of words, toward an endpoint I only imagined. That is what juggling those jobs was like for me.

 

ULM: Muhammad Hassan Miraj, using only three words, how would you describe Beyond Our Degrees of Separation? 

Miraj: “stories we lived”

 

ULM: Whose decision was it to become co-authors? How did you two come to start this project?

Ravin: It may have been Hassan who first articulated the idea aloud, but there had been an undercurrent of inevitability from the outset. I wanted the merge of narratives to feel natural to the reader. It took many months until we reached a mutually acceptable approach.

Miraj: Judith is a very different kind of person (well, all of us are). There is a rather rare sense of localized globalization that enriches her expression. You can talk about Africa for hours with her and know that she knows a great deal about the place, but when you are done talking the “global talk” she transforms into an elder sitting under one of the few trees in a Burkinabe village, talking about life. I think, for a person like me – who cannot, in his limited knowledge and sense of the world, travel much – the ideal arrangement to learn was to work together. So here is the book.    

 

ULM: What did you both want readers to take from reading your nonfiction book? 

Ravin: The beauty of discovery, the expansive effect travel has on the soul, an immediacy of communion with the inglorious.

Miraj:I would say, the urge to understand human emotions and to value the significant insignificances.

 

ULM: Was it hard to put this book together? 

Ravin: I invested four years in the making of this book. Keeping a pace with myself was the hardest.

Miraj: It was definitely. We had to struggle with minimum of three time-zones at best and, at worst, four.

 

ULM: What advice would you both give to writers everywhere?

Ravin: I am not a writer by default. I write to process the excess of life and ideas that populate my head. I encourage writers to accept the uniqueness of their voice and to find someone who is both supportive and critical of their work to help them develop in the genre/s of their choice.

Miraj: Write, for the world is fast running out on dreamers.

 

ULM: Where can readers find you both online? Where can readers purchase Beyond Our Degrees of Separation


For more information on authors Judith Ravin and Muhammad Hassan Miraj, visit:

http://inkwaterbooks.com/beyond

http://www.inkwaterbooks.com/balletinthecanefields

https://muhammadhassanmiraj.wordpress.com

http://www.sangemeel.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=9693529499
 

Beyond Our Degrees of Separation is available in paperback, Kindle, and ePub versions in the United States through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Inkwater Press, and other online distributors. Lahore-based Sang-e-Meel Publications will release in fall 2017 a Pakistani edition for distribution to bookstores in Pakistan.

Review: The Evolving Peacemaker





Synopsis:

What does our future hold? Is it possible for humanity to exist indefinitely in a world overrun with wars, intolerance, and terrorism? Will our civilization that is steeped in centuries of violence eventually learn how to interact with one another in respectful and compassionate ways? 

The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence seeks to address these issues by taking a compelling look at the timeless teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most respected and influential figures of the twentieth century. 

Beginning with a foreword by Arun Gandhi, celebrated peace activist and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, The Evolving Peacemaker takes the reader on a compelling journey of self-discovery. 

This volume weaves Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence with author Leona Evans’s personal journey toward inner peace. 

Evans states: “We are frightened for the future and helpless because we don’t know how to make a difference in the world. It is time now to see that our only alternative lies in making a difference within ourselves.” 

The Evolving Peacemaker is a thought-provoking and inspiring guide to becoming the change we wish to see in the world. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Evolving Peacemaker by Leona Evans is a spiritual guide and journey to peace. Inside, I followed the writer’s own journey. I found this book to be inspiring. It encourages me to become better more accepting of others. Deep, thought provoking, and entertaining to read. The Evolving Peacemaker is an easy read. Comfortable to follow along. What I loved most about this nonfiction book, was Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. The writer is correct when saying we are afraid of an unknown outcome when we’re not sure how to take steps to make the world better. After reading this, I can easily see this being the most popular book. Self-discovery, peace, and transformation. Overall, this was a stunning piece. 

Urban Lit Magazine Issue 

The 2017 June Issue above has just been released. 

76-pages of content. Featuring both bestselling and indie authors. 

A variety of genres and fun articles. 

Interested in reviewing a free copy, please, email: urbanlitmagazine@gmail.com & use review copy in the subject line. All reviews must be posted within 2-weeks. Reviewers will be asked to send us their review links. 

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072SY4KN6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497821271&sr=8-1&keywords=B072SY4KN6

Searching for Rebellion: Two Indie Authors Form Edgy Publishing Company

Tony Nesca and Nicole I. Nesca have one question – where have all the fearless artists gone? Unable to find a mainstream publishing outfit that suited their taste for grittier writing, the Nescas formed their own – Screamin’ Skull Press.

For the Beat Generation, controversy was the norm, not the
exception. Creators like Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Lucien Carr courted debate and made careers out of pushing the proverbial envelope with their poems, books, music and other creative expressions. Living on the fringes of society was considered to be more exciting and fulfilling than conforming to the mainstream.

Authors and married couple Tony and Nicole Nesca feel connected to that Generation through their own work, and their innate understanding of what it means to be artists whose work cannot be deemed ‘conventional’ by anyone’s standards.

Currently writing, editing and publishing their works through their self- publishing venture, Screamin’ Skull Press, Tony Nesca and Nicole Nesca have both cultivated individual styles but have the same mission.

“To be frank, we see too much pushed out into the world today that is bland and formulaic,” says Tony Nesca, whose unique, humorous and lyrical sixth novel, ‘Hobo’ is out now. “Every other book is a rip-off of another rip-off. The bookstores are packed with these endless vampire stories and dystopian fairy tales. Where is our Anais Nin? Our Hunter S. Thompson?”

Screamin’ Skull Press exclusively publishes the works of the Nescas, and along with ‘Hobo’, released Nicole I. Nesca’s collection, ‘Kamikaze White Noise’ this year. Raw, electric and with a free flowing mix of prose and poetry, the companion pieces are explorations of sexual freedom, art, death and love.

“We knew that mainstream publishers wouldn’t have the courage to publish the kind of work that we want to create,” says Nicole Nesca. “It’s interesting – sometimes we wonder, could Charles Bukowski find success in today’s market?

It’s as if bravery is a dirty word in literature. Fearlessness, to me,
is everything to a writer. Although we have our own styles, I think that’s
one thing that Tony and I saw in each other when we met – that drive to find truth and peel back the layers in our own work.”

“I think we first fell in love with each other’s writing,” says Tony. “Which was a fitting beginning to our story.”

Tony Nesca and Nicole I. Nesca have published 16 distinct works through their Indie Press, and their journey toward a more rebellious future for literature continues.

https://screamingskullpress.com/

How growing up in a female-dominated family influenced my stories, characters, and the overall inspiration for writing the Fair Fae Trilogy.” By Patricia Bossano





How growing up in a female-dominated family influenced my stories, characters, and the overall inspiration for writing the Fair Fae Trilogy. ” 

By Patricia Bossano

In general English, Matriarchy is a form of social organization in which descent and relationship are reckoned through the female line. It is also defined as a social system in which females hold primary power, predominate in roles of leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.

Present day matriarchal societies include: the Mosuo (near the border of Tibet), the Minangkabau of Indonesia, the Akan people of Ghana, the Bribri in Costa Rica, to name a few, but there are also the legendary Amazons, scores of fabled early feminists, mythological sisterhoods, and of course, Faerie, which in my opinion is the ultimate form of a matriarchal clan.
Each community of troop faeries is ruled by a Faery Queen, the first of them originating in Italy—where the sun is said to shine at its loveliest. From there they spread to different parts of the world during the expansion of the Roman Empire, seeking remote locations to set up their underground realms, learning the language of their host countries and adopting the more intriguing customs practiced there, as an act of silent diplomacy.

Being that the smallest structure of society is a family unit, I looked to my own in order to write what I know. On my mother’s side, women are in the majority so I say the beauty, the experiences, and the paradoxical personalities of the females in my family, directly influenced me and inspired the magic of Faery Sight, Cradle Gift and Nahia—true story!

Through my novels, I hope to give you a heartfelt snapshot of the life-journey of my characters who, like me, are part of a grand matriarchal clan celebrating not only the onward, dynamic spirit of the family but also the magical relationship between mothers, daughters and sisters. My dreams of publication became a reality through their support and encouragement, so in return, I feel compelled to be at best, an inspiration to them, and at a minimum, a source of entertainment.
I’m doing my utmost to paint for them a realistic picture of the magical world inside of us—the realm of faerie is the place where mundane abilities can be magnified through perspective and attitude. Sure, a full-fledged faery can fly and shape shift at will, but there is no less magic in the human dimension—I think faerie is an achievable state of being we can aspire to. In the human dimension, our spirits can soar and we may reinvent ourselves as we navigate each day. Buoyed by confidence, we are driven to accomplish ordinary feats and transform them into astonishing ones—such as waking up in the morning with a word of gratitude to the cosmos, thus creating a positive mood for the day ahead. Simply smiling to cause your brain to release endorphins, because we all know how life-altering those little neurotransmitters are…

Clean out your desktop and see how clearheaded you feel afterward—seriously, Feng Shui is practical magic at its best!
Whenever I feel discouraged and like I’m a rookie at life, I choose to see the ordinary as extraordinary and focus on the brightest aspect of any given situation. That seemingly insignificant shift in attitude gives me the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing the right thing, which in turn makes me smile (see above for what smiling does), and enthusiasm bubbles up inside me.

I believe faeries are due to surface all over the planet as nurturing forces of creation and restoration. I think my troop of full-blooded, hybrid fairies is part of a worldwide movement to explore the new, unlearn some of the old, and carry on with heightened awareness.

Joys, Fears, and Frustrations of Being an Editor by Danita Moon

Joys, Fears, and Frustrations of Being an EditorBy Danita Moon

 

​I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. When I read, things that may be incorrect have always popped out at me. I make a note of what I find and then go back to see if there was an actual problem, whether it be an incorrect character name, character description or timeline issue. It’s hard for me to finish a book if I find that there are many typos or spelling errors. I’ve always asked myself what it would be like to be an editor. Would I enjoy it? What would it be like to work with authors?

​I started working with New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak as her assistant a little over two years ago. I’ve learned a lot from her about the process of writing and editing. So I decided to start proofreading manuscripts, but when I saw what others were charging, I was afraid I wouldn’t get any business because I wouldn’t charge a competitive enough rate. Most were charging so much per word, but I couldn’t see doing that as most authors are now self-publishing. I decided I was just going to charge a flat rate for a manuscript, but because I wasn’t familiar enough with grammar and sentence structure I limit my editing to everything but that.

​The frustrating part is when you are reading a story and see something that just doesn’t make sense. You try to explain that from a reader’s point of view, but it is written from a whole other perspective. I do understand that there is a structure in which a book is to be written and format that it must follow, but I just get a little frustrated when it doesn’t make sense or it isn’t consistent with another area of the story.

​When I first started proofreading or making suggestions to an author, I was fearful of how they would take what I was saying. I mean, here I am, just a reader pointing out something that they spent months writing, and they are the professional, but I eventually realized that it takes several eyes to make a book successful.

​To help in the editing process I took a course to become a certified proofreader and copy editor which I completed last year.

​The editing I do isn’t what I call a standard proofreading service. I’m very detail-oriented and a perfectionist, so when I work on a project, I do a line-by-line edit. If the book is part of a series, then I will research the other books in the series to make sure everything is consistent. This is the author’s life work, and they depend on those who read their drafts to help them polish the manuscript.

​The one thing I’ve learned in my adventures in proofreading is that you can’t catch all errors. It took me awhile to get used to that fact and is still a huge frustration.

​The major joy of being an editor is the fact that I’m a part of such a magical world. These authors have a craft that very few have. They weave stories that draw so many of us in and take us to places that we can only dream about. To be a part of the process that gets these books out to the reader in as perfect a format as possible is a magnificent feeling.

Guest Post: So You Wrote a Screenplay by Scott Burn

SO YOU WROTE A SCREENPLAY

By Scott Burn

Awesome! Now here’s the sad news. Nobody cares.
Let me take a step back – every agent, manager and producer I know is desperate for good material. They would love to have that near perfect script that will become the next mega-hit or Oscar winner. They are also convinced that your script isn’t it. And the truth is, they are right 99% of the time.

I’m by no means a big writer. I’ve sold and optioned several projects at different studios. I’ve been hired to rewrite other people’s projects, and I’m fortunate enough to make my living solely as a writer. But I’ve never had a film made – the movie gods just have not smiled yet. Or another way to think of it – something was missing from the model.

And what is the model? That is the big question. One studio exec told me he’d much rather have a script with a big idea and a great ending than a script with a mediocre idea where every page was flawlessly written. What makes for that big idea, it’s something that an exec can go into his bosses office and say, “It’s about a group of astronauts that land on a planet and discover their own dead bodies…” His boss immediately gets the idea – he can see the movie in his head and boom, off to the races. That was one I sold years ago with my old writing partner based on a Richard Matheson short story. Perhaps one day it will find its way to the screen.

While there are all kinds of paths to getting to that movie premiere, the system of Hollywood is designed to keep you as far from that path as possible. Let me start with the challenges then we’ll get into solutions. I had lunch with an agent friend not too long ago. He shared with me how countless writers and directors were on him to make something magical happen with their projects. But the reality of Hollywood is fewer films are getting made, many are remakes or based on pre-existing material (book, TV show, game, etc)… The last thing any manager or agent want to do is take on a another mouth to feed when he doesn’t have something he thinks he can sell.

That’s the key – as much as we all love movies, if you don’t have anything they can sell (and my focus here is strictly on Hollywood, not the indie world), then they will pass you by without a second glance. So what are the steps to getting in?  

1. Come up with an idea that you’re excited by and people love when you describe it in 30 seconds. If it takes you 5 minutes to try and explain it, move on. Picture the movie poster. If you can’t see it with a cool tag line, don’t bother.

2. Write the first draft. Don’t stop, don’t slow down. Try to write at the same time each day so you get in a rhythm. Most importantly, don’t go back and edit. Just finish. “But Scott – I have a great idea to add to the first act.” Awesome, make a note of it and keep moving on.

3. It’s great that you finished your first draft – most people don’t. Take a moment, raise a glass and enjoy that feeling. Now here’s the hard thing to accept – it’s awful. Don’t worry. Everyone’s first draft is awful. Now go back in and rewrite again and again until it’s as great as you can make it. The next hard thing, it’s isn’t great yet. Don’t give it to friends and family – give it to nasty, bitter writers who will tear it apart. That’s good – you want that, painful as it is, because until that script has been seen by the brutal side, its still your first draft. Now pull up your big boy/big girl pants and do it all again. And again.

4. Once you’ve gotten it to a point where every page glimmers, now comes the hard part. Ultimately there’s a saying in Hollywood – a great script finds a home. But that only happens after banging down every door you possibly can. That means reaching out with query letters to every worthwhile agent and manager in Hollywood or NY. Most won’t respond. Of those that do, most will say no. But if the idea is great enough, you might slip through the cracks and some assistant will take a glance and give to his boss. And then… they’ll have notes. 

Leave no stone unturned: you have a friend who knew someone in the mailroom at CAA? Reach out. Your plumber’s brother is an assistant at Industry Entertainment? Reach out. But, and I can’t stress this hard enough, don’t reach out until that script is as perfect as you can make it. That’s not days or weeks, it’s months and sometimes years. And when the rejections come, don’t be deterred. “Onward” is your new slogan. Nothing may happen with that script in the end. I would be surprised if it did. That’s OK, now take that approach and do it again with your next project. And then again. Most people I know who break through do so somewhere around their 6th or 7th script. In other words, years of toil. Writing screenplays is a craft and it’s one that needs to be studied to have any chance. 

And remember this – many wanna-be writers disparage Hollywood movies, usually while complaining that their project is so much better. Don’t mock the hand that you want to feed you. If other projects are succeeding, look at why, try to understand what made them work such that tens or even hundreds of millions are spent on them. Then create your own…

Review: Story Genius


Synopsis:

Following on the heels of Lisa Cron’s breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story. 

It’s every novelist’s greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite. 

The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don’t work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think). 

In Story Genius Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint—including fully realized scenes—that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Story Genius by Lisa Cron is a superb book for all writers. Her new book guides writers to more finely tuned drafts. Characterization, plot, outlining and cutting time writing down….I couldn’t believe how amazing this book was. Everything I wanted to know as a writer was inside Story Genius. This is definitely a book I wanted in my hands and on my shelf. Readers will find themselves rereading Story Genius more than once. Well-written, detailed, and perfect for serious writers. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Immortal Writers

 

Synopsis:

Young up-and-coming author Liz McKinnen has no idea that her life is about to change forever when she comes home from her first book tour. When she’s kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to kill her fantasy book’s antagonist, she thinks that she’s fallen into the hands of crazy, dangerous fans… until her antagonist sends a real, fire-breathing dragon after her.

Liz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers, a group of authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it’s brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field. As Liz meets authors such as William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, she has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her power-hungry villain takes over the world. Will she survive the ultimate battle against the dragon lord whom she created?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers is a sensational read. Adventure, creatures, intrigue, and suspense all wrapped into one amazing book. Imagine the characters that are created in a book suddenly come to life…and the only way to stop the bad characters is for the writer to fight the bad guys off….which is quite scary, funny, and richly entertaining. Liz McKinnen wrote such a book. After finishing her book tour she had been kidnapped by none other the hot sexy male protagonist from her book! Then meeting other famous writers and characters that one would deem are rich crazy people who need help. But are they really real of just all nuts? Jill Bowers has the raw power of drawing readers into her plot. I could not stop reading it. The story hooked me from beginning to end. The action, danger, and challenges ahead were exciting. Immortal Writers is about a bad character who makes it his mission to take over the real world. The one us human beings call home. It’s up to Liz McKinnen to save the world from her protagonist…and dragons. Overall, I highly recommend this brilliant read to all.

 

Review: The Slush Pile Brigade

 

Synopsis:

When he loses both job and girl friend—oh, yes—and also lands in jail in a few short hours, Nick Lassiter’s thirtieth quickly shapes up as Worst Birthday Ever. But Lassiter still has one last hope—the thriller he hasn’t yet sold. And then Worst Birthday graduates to Worst Day of His Life. Because he discovers not only has his manuscript been stolen, it was lifted by the Australian answer to James Patterson, and is now set to be the bestseller of the year, as the work of the world’s second best-selling author.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Slush Pile Brigade by Samuel Marquis is about one bestselling author not having anything to write about until a newbie’s submitted manuscript falls into the author’s hands. The agent knows it’s wrong but he can’t wipe away his client’s moment of happiness. Yet the guilt is slowly eating at him. The bestselling author decides to use the newbie writer’s novel idea and twist it to use for his new number one bestseller. The newbie author, Nick Lassiter, means to take back his novel and has several friends helping him. However, the war is a long shot and every attempt so far has failed. Can they fight to win or will it all be for nothing?

Samuel Marquis is a talented writer who knows how to write a fascinating thriller. The story starts out fast and keeps readers moving in a rush to read it all. I was immediately taken by the plot and wondered what lies ahead. The battles fought and the outcomes kept readers like me in deep suspense. Brilliantly told, exciting, and something unique. A writer who presents a thrill ride that readers won’t want to miss. Once I opened the book, I couldn’t stop reading it. The Slush Pile Brigade is not only a thriller that readers worldwide would enjoy but also other writers. This takes writing to a whole new level. Every page builds the intensity. An edge of your seat read. This was the first novel I have read by Samuel Marquis and was pleased to have read it. Overall, I highly recommend this stunning masterpiece to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Written Off

 

Synopsis:

Rachel Goldman writes mysteries in which Duffy Madison, consultant to the county prosecutor’s office, helps find missing persons. Rachel is busy working, on her next book, when a man calls out of the blue asking for help in a missing person’s case. The caller’s name? Duffy Madison.

Is this real or has she lost her mind? She doesn’t have much time to find out because a serial killer is on the loose, kidnapping and murdering mystery authors. And Rachel may just be the next target.

Full of uncanny intrigue and witty humor, E.J. Copperman’s imaginative series debut Written Off is sure to be a new fan favorite for readers of Donna Andrews.

Rating: 5

Review:

Written Off by E.J. Copperman is definitely a must read for all readers as well as writers. Inside this hilarious yet serious novel, there is a serial killer out to kidnap and murder all mystery writers…this tale is highly intriguing and sucks readers in whole. The main character of this story so happens to be a mystery writer. Once she receives a call about a missing person’s case, Rachel has little time to waste before she’s next on the killer’s list. The storytelling is stunning…I couldn’t stop reading once I cracked open the book.

Written Off by E.J. Copperman has adventure, suspense, and laugh-out-loud moments that will keep readers hooked. The plot is all about the publishing industry and how one person didn’t hit it big…and because of that all hell breaks loose. People do crazy things when life doesn’t go their way. The serial killer within this novel usually takes the time to plan the kidnapping and the murder before, hand. But with the last kidnapped writer being a sleuth…the mistakes are bound to be made. A killer that poses under another identity that won’t be questioned…is the perfect disguise until details that were not released accidently slip out…but just as the main character, Rachel, is being used as bait, is slowly dying…will the killer get away with everything or will it finally be over? Every page was intense, funny, and well-done. I loved reading this title by E.J. Copperman and can’t wait to read the next exciting and mysterious adventure in this series! Overall, I highly recommend Written Off to readers worldwide.

 

Changes…

We have gone through a lot of changes…some faster than others. We have been experimenting with what works best for everyone and for ourselves.

Recently, we have updated…our website’s name and URL.

Prices and services will be changing once more  and after the final changes are made prices will be locked in for the services unless we decide to host a sale for special holidays and or events.

What will the prices look?

Something like this:

FREE book reviews: must send us a digital or print copy for free to review. Digital formats allowed will be the following: Kindle, ePub, and PDF.

Sponsored Book Reviews: ($5.00) These will be completed within 1-3 days. Reviews are posted on Amazon & Goodreads.

Sponsored Author Package: ($10.00) This package includes the following: a sponsored book review, an author interview, & social media promotions.

Magazine Feature for Book: $1.00

Magazine Feature for Upcoming Releases: $1.00

Magazine Author Spotlight: $1.00

Book Ads on Websites: $2.00

Book Ads in Magazine: $2.00

FREE Author Interview

Proofreading: $15.00 per manuscript

Editing: $35.00 per manuscript

Short Story Feature in Magazine: Must send this to us via email and the short story must not be longer than 3 pages. The story needs to be in English, 12 size font, and in Word Document. (FREE)

Poetry Feature in Magazine: Must send this to us via email and the poems must not be longer than 3 pages. The poems need to be in English, 12 size font, and in Word Document. (FREE)

Guest Writing: (FREE) Have a funny, interesting or frustrating story to tell? Does it relate to being a writer, publisher or an editor? Have a writing experience, a writing blooper, or something that you think others need to know? Send us your guest writings to our email: urbanlitmagazine@gmail.com, we would be happy to read, share, and publish what you have.

All future contests will have a $10.00 entry fee.

 

 

 

An Author’s to Do List

An Author’s to Do List

Here are some basic things every author should have, do, and be doing:

  • create a mailing list
  • a free book in return for signing up for the mailing list
  • an advance readers team to leave reviews prior to book launch
  • a great website
  • affiliate links to help boost your site & earnings
  • Facebook Ads
  • have a team of bloggers that you go to for author interviews, Q&A’s, and for guest posts as well as featuring your book on their sites
  • know where to send your book to for ratings
  • have a close knit of friends that can beta read your book(s)
  • create visual ads of your book coming soon, sale discounts of your book, and where it’s available
  • create contests where readers can win cool swag stuff from you every so often…readers gravitate towards this!
  • Use Goodreads to give away a digital book copy. I also highly recommend, to give away, at least 5 print copies  once in awhile.
  • Create a fun environment for readers to  gravitate towards your website and books
  • Have an author website on all social media platforms as well as where all books are sold…
  • double check the publishing company you want the publishing company that’s seeking to publish your book…this was a major lesson learned on my part and one I won’t ever forget.

Review: To Catch A Rake

 

Synopsis:

No Good Rake Goes Unpunished

When George Drexel used his vast experience with women to write and publish The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide, little did he realize the havoc it would cause. Now years later, the rumor of a second edition has London’s naughtiest widows pounding on his door, begging to be included. But George has given up his roguish ways and wants nothing more than to be left alone with his architectural pursuits…until beautiful Meta Russell tempts him from his work and leaves him contemplating an altogether different sort of plan.

The handbook may be years out of print, but it still has the power to ruin lives. Desperate to save her sister whose inclusion has left her jilted-Meta tracks down the rake responsible, only to find a man who steals her breath and leaves her reeling. Banding together to put things to rights, George and Meta find themselves drawn inexorably together…but can Meta truly trust her heart to a man who wrote the book on being a rake?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

To Catch A Rake by Sally Orr is an interesting twist on historical romances. Inside this highly entertaining read, readers will experience, a world full of gossip, reputations at stake and a writer’s dilemma. A man who was once a rake writes a guidebook for all other men…but it holds dangerous consequences if ever published…then he meets a woman who turns his whole world upside down and inside out…the power that a woman holds over a man is incredible. The way Sally Orr has brilliantly brought about a man falling for a woman upon, first sight is a raw emotional journey unlike any other. I fell in love right away with the characters and the wonderful scenes. Never a dull moment nor slow pace where hearts and life changing moments are concerned. Futures will be forever changed. Including a former rake. The words of this talented writer, speaks volumes. I couldn’t put the book down and look forward to reading more by Sally Orr. Overall, this novel has everything to entice readers worldwide into reading its pages. To Catch A Rake is definitely a must read for all.

Review: The Rumor

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Synopsis:

A friendship is tested in this irresistible page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.

Nantucket writer Madeline King couldn’t have picked a worse time to have writer’s block. Her deadline is looming, her bills are piling up, and inspiration is in short supply. Madeline’s best friend Grace, is hard at work transforming her garden into the envy of the island with the help of a ruggedly handsome landscape architect. Before she realizes it, Grace is on the verge of a decision that will irrevocably change her life. Could Grace’s crisis be Madeline’s salvation? As the gossip escalates, and the summer’s explosive events come to a head, Grace and Madeline try desperately to set the record straight–but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

WOW! There isn’t quite a novel like The Rumor…Readers will be on the edge of their seats with suspense and excitement as the buzzing plot spins them further into drama, rumors, and trouble. Elin Hilderbrand has wowed me with her intriguing plotlines and realistic characters. Just as in real life…things go way out off control before we recognize what it is we have done. This was my first novel that I have by this talented writer. Humor on every page…enticing me further into this marvelous read. Besides who can turn down an excellent read about an author who takes what her friend says and turns life inside out…so many what ifs and what will come of it…readers won’t be able to turn away from this book once they open it.

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand now has me waiting for the summer and all that comes with it. Friendship that has lasted 20 years is now hanging by the threads…it’s amazing what a little fact inside of fiction about real people can do…the damage is something readers must read on to find out…A highly entertaining yet brilliantly well-written novel that will instantly grab readers. I couldn’t stop reading. This novel is indeed the most interesting one I have read in a long while. Juicy, funny, and magnificent story is waiting for readers inside of The Rumor.

March Madness Contest: FREE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In March, we will be hosting a March Madness Free Writing Contest.

1st round –  will consist of writers doing a flash fiction piece (500-1,000 words).

2nd round –  will consist of writers doing a short story (2 pages).

3rd round – will consist of writers doing a short memoir (2 pages).

4th round – will consist of writers doing a fiction (inspirational) piece (2 pages).

Winner of the last round will be declared the Best Writer of 2016. Each contestant will win a digital seal for each round they make it to…

All writings will be featured inside of the Urban Lit Magazine.

Digital seals, ratings, and feedback will be given to every writer who makes each round.

All writers will be featured in the March Issue. If interested in signing up, please email us at: urbanliteraryagency@gmail.com. Thank you!

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Also, in March, we will be hosting a free poetry contest. There will be 3 rounds of writing involved. Each round will consists of poets writing a different kind of poem on a specific topic.

Winners for each round will receive a digital seal, a rating, and feedback.

All poetry from each round will be featured inside of the Urban Lit Magazine.

If you are interested in signing up, please email us at: urbanliteraryagency@gmail.com. Please, put Poetry Contest in the subject area. Thank you!

 

Why Is Literature So Important?

 

reading

Why is Literature So Important?

By Danielle Urban

 

Everywhere we look, literature is everywhere. It’s talked about a lot. People are taught literature at a young age and all through their school life. Literature can be taught or passed on verbally or in written form. We share it with others. Literature is in a way a sort of communication.  The kind of communication that brings forth a form of expression. Reading a piece of literature, we can find morals being taught or maybe it’s a way of documenting life’s events. Events that can be about important figures, places, and things. Maybe these are what educates us in shaping the future.

For example, history is a form of literature. It’s told in way that documents who, when, where, and why. It not only tells us but also, shows us what happens when a certain event causes things like war, segregation, and death to many. We don’t read what was recorded so that we may be aware of what happened and maybe to prevent us from doing the same mistakes twice. Literature cases emotion. Things in history may cause us to cry or feel sympathy. Maybe we feel hopeful or inspired to see that none of the bad things happen again.

History inspires, educates and causes expression within its readers. Literature teaches, entertains, and promotes. Teaches us right from wrong. Entertains us by taking us to different places and cultures we could possible never dream of.  Promotes different agendas. Literature can be taken seriously or not so seriously, but no matter how we perceive it, it changes us and the way we analyze everything.

Literature is important because its education at its best. We learn things that we probably wouldn’t have learned, if we didn’t read or write it down and pass on to others. Once literature is written and shared, it goes around like a virus. One person passes it onto another person. Then that person passes it onto another person until soon a good majority of the populations have read and analyzed the piece of literature. It may sway some to change their political thinking or it may make other see the world in a new light. Or it might be something funny that teaches a child words.

Words that take that child’s imagination into a new place. Literature can explain why something happens the way it does or it might question we already know as fact. It causes us to analyze and to react in a way that may be the same as our neighbor or different than our neighbor. But that’s why literature is important. We can pass on a culture or history to our people or teach them new things. Or to persuade others to our side. Maybe we just want to make people laugh or cry or feel good. Whatever the reasons are for literature, it has a strong impact on our lives and thus it is important. Not to us but to future generations.

“Dare Me.”

“Dare me.” I say looking around at my accusers. Not one of them wanted to “dare me” to do what they accused me of me doing.  Honestly, they were hypocrites. The whole lot of them. How do I survive to be around these idiots?

No one moved. They only shifted slightly in their stance. Their eyes carrying off a different message. One of fear. They feared me? As if. But the power of it held a promise. One that I was going to put to use. Fear is a great tool to use in getting what you want. And…they were full of it. Now that I see it, there was no way I would ever let this day pass. At least not without getting my revenge.

They wanted me to suffer for something I didn’t do. How would they fare, if the cards flipped and they were the ones in trouble? The thoughts of revenge brought on a warmth to my poorly dressed body. They wanted trouble…they will get it. Soon…they will get a taste of what it’s like.

 

January Reminders!

JAN2016

Hello everyone! Welcome to 2016 here, at Universal Creativity Inc. This is just to remind about some of the events coming up this month.

Yes, that’s right we got new and exciting events that you do not want to miss! What are these events, you ask me…

These events include a whole month of low cost editing, proofreading and express book reviews (paid reviews).

All editing is now and shall remain only $30.00 all the way until the end of January. That’s right! You need editing, and we need to raise money for a student’s college tuition. Proofreading prices will only be $15.00.

This particular student has graduated in one year with honors with her Associate of Arts degree. Then she has gone on to honors at a new university where she will be graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Pre-law and Economics. But she needs help in raising funds to pay her tuition. 

She has done a fundraiser where people can donate, but she still needs a major hand. That’s why we are offering editing and proofreading prices so low this month. 

Please, consider in taking up our offer of low editing and proofreading prices before the end of January and all money raised will go towards that law student’s tuition. She’s needing $2,500. 

We may not be able to help her raise all of the money, but if whatever we can raise for her will be a major help. If you would like to donate, to help this student please, let us know.

Email us, at: universalcreativityinc.2014@gmail.com.

We all thank you in advance for your support. 

Next, we will be announcing the winners from the Best Fiction Awards Contest.  This is where all participants are just humming with what the results will be. Announcements and emails will be sent out on Monday January 11th.

Beginning January 4th, we will begin the SciFi Fiction Fantasy Writing  Contest. If interested, please email: urbanliteraryagency@gmail.com.

The contest will consist of three rounds of writing by all participants. All participants will be given the same topic and be required to write a short story in 2,500 words within 6 days. Judges will then choose the top 5 participants to make it to the 2nd round of writing.

A new writing topic will be given to the participants and they will have only 3 days to submit a short story. The short story will need to consist of 2,000 words. Judges will then choose the top 3 participants to make it to round 3.

Again, a new topic will be given. All 3 participants will have only 24 hours to write a 1,500 word story. Judges will then choose the winner.

All participants will receive a digital badge for each round they have made it too. They will all receive a rating and a critique of their writing pieces. Plus, all pieces will be featured one time in our magazine.

The winner will receive a winning digital seal in addition to what all other participants have received.

Entry fee: $5.00

Deadline to enter: January 3, 2016.

Enter in by filling out the form on page: SciFi Fantasy Contest.

January 2016 Issue will be featuring Science Fiction Fantasy authors. 

Science Fiction Fantasy Contest

Science Fiction/ Fantasy Writing Competition will begin on January 4th.
All participants must enter in by January 3rd and pay the $5.00 entry fee.
January 4th begins the first round of writing by participants. All participants will be required to write a 2,500 word story and will have 6 days to write and submit it in to be judged.
Judges will then rate and critique each writing sample. The top 5 from this round will make it to round 2.
Round 2 begins on January 12th. A new topic will be given to the participants and each writer will have 3 days to write and submit a 2,000 word story.
Judges will then choose the top 3 candidates to make it to round 3.
Round 3 will begin on January 18th. All participants will have 24 hours to write a new story given on the new topic given.
Judges will then choose the final winner on January 19th.
All participants will receive a digital seal for each level that they made it to as well as a rating and critique on their writing pieces. All writing samples will be featured one time in our magazine issue.
To enter into the contest, sign up below by filling out the form. We will send a confirmation email and an invoice for the entry fee.

Newbie

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As a newbie writer, I wrote several different pieces and didn’t have the time to look them over. My excitement, in writing them, caused me to hit publish.  But my writing was far from ready…

It took me a long time to go back to my published writing. I saw negative comments and poor ratings on some of my work. After reading them, I can’t argue against the negative statements.

I looked over the work. As soon as they were opened, I was shocked. Had I really pubished this? Was I super blind to these errors? Anyone could plainly see how bad the writing was. The grammar was beyond recognition.

Terrified and replused by my own lack of writing, I instantly took them offline. I combed through each page. I felt worse with every step. It was like a heavy weight had been dumped onto my shoulders. I wanted to cry.

No wonder, it was so bad to others.

To myself, it looked awful.

As a newbie writer, boy did I learn my lessons well. I will never publish another piece, after writing it, without proofreading it first.

I also, learned that no matter how excited I was nor how many I wrote, publishing them takes a lot more work.

At the time I published each piece, I thought it was ready. I thought, woo hoo, I’m an author!

But that’s not so. Being an author isn’t just jotting words on a page no matter how good they sound as you type away. It’s the process of writing, reading, revising, and reading it again.  Or revising it as many times as possible before it goes live. Once live, everyone can see every word and will critique them harshly.

Be prepared, don’t rush into publishing like I did as a newbie writer.

Be patient. Read, revise, read, and re-write your piece again.

Also, I would recommend having someone, who is willing to take the time to actually read through what you have written before publishing, just in-case you missed something. Sometimes, writers miss the most common errors in their writing. It’s always best to have another set of eyes to look over and read what you have written.

My last recommendation is to have a second person to look over your writing. Sometimes, the person we first choose will only skim through it instead of throughly reading what we gave them. They  can say it’s perfect and ready, and you won’t realize the mistakes, until after publishing it live. Do not make that mistake! I did. First, the mistakes in my  own writing is entirely my fault. Second, you  can’t always count on others to read every page like you would like them to do. I think as readers, we read faster through the slow parts and slower at the exciting parts.

Even, if you spent ages writing your piece, still read it over, revise it a few times over, and read it again. Also, let others read and judge it before you decide or think it’s ready.

After going through the mistakes and writing about them, I hope that other writers won’t make the same mistakes, I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year & New Events

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This coming January, we will be hosting several events.

One event is a Science Fiction Fantasy Writing Contest.

This contest will consist of three rounds. Round 1 will begin on January 4th. All writers will be required to write 2,500 words of fiction relating to the topic we give out. Writers will have 6 days to write and submit. Judges will then choose the top 5 to make it to round 2.

Round 2 will begin on January 12th and last until February 15th.

Round 2 will consists of writers submitting a 2,000 word piece of fiction on the new given topic. Writers will have 3 days to write and submit their 2,000 word piece. Judges will then choose the top 2.

Round 3 will being on January 18th.

Round 3 will consist of writers submitting a 1,500 word piece of fiction, using the new topic given to them. They will have 24 hours to submit their writing piece, in to be judged. After 24 hours, judges will then choose the winner.

Writers that make it to round 2, will receive a blue digital seal for the best 2,500 word fiction story.

Writers that make it to round 3, will receive a green digital seal for the best 2,000 word fiction story.

Winner of the third round, will receive a yellow digital seal for the best 1,500 word fiction story and a red digital seal for Science Fiction Fantasy Writer’s Contest Winner.

All writers will receive a rating and critique of their work. Plus, all work from each round will be featured, inside the Urban Literary Magazine Issue. All rights from each author’s work will belong to them and be kept by the author. We ask for permission to showcase your work in our literary magazine. By registering into the contest, you have given us the right to showcase your work for one time in our literary magazine issue.

To enter into the Science Fiction Fantasy Writing Contest, writers must enter by filling out the form below. Once we receive your entry, we will send you an invoice for the entry fee. Entry fee will be $5.00.

All writing must be related to the topics given to contestants. Topics will be posted on here and emailed to contestants.

Enter in here: 

 

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Next event, held for January will be the announcement of winners from the Best Fiction Awards. This will be announced on January 11th.

____________________________________

We will also be hosting an editing special. This special is where authors will have until January 3oth to sign up to have their manuscripts edited for only $30.00.

Please, email us at: urbanliteraryagency@gmail.com.

I-want-to-write-a-book

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Fiction at My Fingertips

 

Synopsis: 

Lois is a voracious writer. To say that she is a budding writer would be the understatement of the millennium. Recounts about her family vacations, ooze out the very pores of her skin before becoming transplanted in the pages of her trusty journal. When her language arts teacher, Ms. Williams, informs the class that they will be participating in The Hillcrest Young Adult Golden Quill Contest for Fiction, Lois is catapulted into the stratosphere. However, an unfortunate mishap could derail Lois’ literary debut.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Fiction at My Fingertips by C.S. Reid is an excellent short story about a young girl and her writing. The story is easy to follow and will lure readers deeper into the plot. One little girl, writing fiction for her class and for a competition has such an ethusasium that it’s hard to resist feeling her joy and pride when she writes. There is the dilema of having her entry mailed. Will it get mailed or will she miss her chance? C.S. Reid’s writing will not only be entertaining but also give those who are writer’s a taste of working hard towards achievement. Some times it just takes extra work to make it go far. Overall, I highly recommend this beautifully written story to readers world wide.

 

Why is Writing Nonfiction Papers so Dull?

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Why is Writing Nonfiction Papers so Dull?

As a writer, I have written many nonfiction papers especially this past summer. For my Legal Environment of Business college course, I found writing nonfiction research papers to be easy and fun. I made A’s on every paper I wrote. However, I am struggling to fill out 6 pages worth of paper on a topic for a political science college course. I have two pages so far and it’s like my brain juice dried up.

How do I stretch my paper out in order to make the 6 page limit  to get an A? One, I always use the prompt question given to me to fill out the first two paragraphs. Then, I look back and read the prompt question and look for what exactly it’s asking me to write about. I can always usually find ways to break it down and turn the pieces into writing material.

But that is just not happening at all with this particular paper!

I feel like I have been running  3 miles only to run out of air and muscles strength to finish the last 3 laps for the race.

Nonfiction papers usually take away all imagination of writing away from those of us who are creative writers. I consider myself to be a creative writer. I usually have no problems in letting the words flow. For the first time, I feel stumped. As though an elephant came stampeding by crushing all thoughts of organized educational writing away. Do I just stand there and give up? Or do I dare to continue to stare at my computer screen until ways of adding more content come to me.

Writers of all kinds are very familiar with deadlines. If you’re a writer and you haven’t experienced this issue then something is up or you have the perfect writing atmosphere or you can write so many thousands of words at time without ever stopping. Most of us are not that fortunate.

This six page research paper is the first writing assignment for this semester. Then there’s only one more left to do later on at the end. Paper is due this Sunday afternoon, and I am beyond stuck.

What does a student writer like me do?

Give up or find a creative way to add more content?

Writing Prompt Time!

Write a story based on a lead character (who technically is you but in fiction – meaning give this character your voice/ personality),  another character opposite your gender, and an animal (such as a dog, a puppy, a cat, a kitten, a bird, you name it).

Write how your lead character goes about his or her busy life style when they bump into this other character with his or her pet. How does this pet help bring you two closer? 

Challenge: Make this a comedy.

10 Rules to Writing a Novel

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  1. Write what comes to you. In other words don’t try and force something out of your writing just to please others.
  2. Write with passion! If you don’t like your own work, then stop and write something else.
  3. Use beta readers! These are the readers who will help you out most!
  4. Start with the basics. Use two characters, a goal, a setting, and a conflict.
  5. Be you! Don’t be what others what you to be. Writers’ work is much better when they put themselves into it and not what the haters want in it. Remember, even the best-selling authors have haters.
  6. Use dialogue! This speeds up your plot and makes it more interesting.
  7. Switch point of views! This helps make your novel interesting.
  8. Use that imagination of yours! I know you all are creative. Don’t be shy!
  9. Swap your novels with a another writer. Read each others work. Critique each other’s work. Sometimes we can’t see what we do wrong and need another fresh pair of eyes to help pin point it out to us. Plus, writers are serious about their work. If you take theirs seriously, they will also take yours seriously when helping each other out.
  10. Use, use, use social media sites like: Write it On, WattPad, and Goodreads. These are were writers comment on other writers work and where readers look for new reads. Must have tools for every writer!

Tips for the Perfect Query

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Tips for the Perfect Query Letter

– Limit i to 1 page, single-spaced.

– Address the editor by name.

– Grab the editor’s attention with a strong opening.

– Indicate how you intend to develop the article or book.

– Let the editor know if you have photos/ illustrations.

– Mention any expertise or training that qualifies you to write the article or book.

– Also, mention if you have been published before and where.

– End with a direct request to send in the entire proposal or manuscript.

– Also, mention  the expected length & delivery date of your manuscript.

Love Scenes!

Having trouble writing those love scenes in your romance novel? Practice, practice and practice!

Here’s a sample:

Just as I was expecting the pain, he moved moved his mouth right over my sweet spot.

His breath was hot and the anticipation of what was next, drove me insane.

“Are you ready?” He asked.

“OMG! Yes, just fuck me already!” I shouted breathlessly back at him.

He was grinning. Damn him.

He knew this was my first and he was enjoying taking it slow..just to drive me crazy.

Slowly he inched his mouth nearer his eyes watching me all the while.

My breathing became heavy and my body ached.

Then dipping his head lower his lips touched my sweetness.

A moan of pleasure, escaped my lips.

My hips taking on their own rhythm as his tongued sweetly tortured my soul.

Minutes later he came back up and standing there in all his glory, he shucked his boxers off leaving me in awe.

His dick immediately popped up. Coming to life.

He walked over to the bed, kissing my ankles and making his way up my inner thighs.

Soft moans erupted from somewhere within me.

5 Things You Didn’t Know about Dialogue!

5 Things You Didn’t Know about Dialogue

1. It’s easier & faster to read than narrative, moves the story by faster, and keeps readers interested.

2. #1 Purpose is to provide essential information.

3. #2 Purpose is to move the plot forward.

4. #3 Purpose is to define the different characters.

5. It defines a character.

#2 Writing Tips for the Day

Themes – Think of these as your thesis of your novel.

Once you know what your thesis, use it throughout your novel.

Task: Choose any one of your favorite novels.

Why is this novel your favorite?

Be as detailed as possible.

Now, what can you learn from this author’s craft?

Task #2: Write about a dream you’ve had

or

about the room your in.

Take only ten minutes to answer either one of these questions.

#1 Writing Tips for the Day

In your book be sure to show the following:

Physical characteristics – such as age, height, clothes, and manner of speaking.

Background/ History – such as family situations, childhood events, rich or poor, married or not.

Ethics/ Morals – is this person good or bad?

How about naming characters?

Mix & Match Names –  use from old school yearbooks, telephone books, and baby name books.

When  doing research….

Check out the occupation. Know t procedures of the occupation when you write.

Setting. If using real places check your facts to make sure the real place is located in the right area.

Time Frame – Be sure to keep your writing persistent with the time frame you are writing.

Writing is So Easy Anyone Can Do It!

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Writing is so easy anyone can do it. Children can do it so can you!

What do you like to write about?

What interests you most?

What inspires you to write in the first place?

Where do you like to write?

Is your writing similar to that of what you like to read and or watch?

Use the answers to the questions to find how you write, when you write and what kind of writing you like to do.

Then you will see just how easy writing can be!

Why Did I Become a Blogger?

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Why Did I Choose to Become a Blogger?

I  became a blogger two years ago because, I wanted to share my writing with the world.

Yes. That’s right I wanted readers everywhere to read my work.

At the time the only way I knew how to make that work was to blog.

Blogging became my new hobby.

Of course, I had to juggle around my schedule as a full time student.

Did It Work?

Yes, it did. Not only did I have my friends reading my work but also people from around the world.

It was great!

I didn’t expect to have people read, view, like, or comment on my blog when I first started.

But guess what?

They did!

How did it work?

It all started when my local library held a blogging 101 session.

The presenter was a children’s author.

She taught, demonstrated, and asked us questions that would show us how to become a blogger and why.

I too was an author.

I wrote over 500 poems on my Facebook page. But only my friends could read it.

I also dabbled in fiction.

So, she inspired me.

She should me what it took to start blogging, how to blog, and which type of blogging would suit my particular needs.

I was impressed.

So impressed, I got home and started my blog.

Out of all the blogging sites she gave me during that session, I choose WordPress.

And I started my first post.

I used the appropriate taglines.

The words that would tell others what my posts were about.

I started to type and posted many post afterwards.

At first I was writing as many posts as possible everyday.

That’s how I got started.

Success!

And here I am.

Two years later, a full time blogger with many loyal followers who are artists, publishers, poets, and authors like myself.

I enjoy their blogs and so, I follow them, like comment and share their posts.

By doing that, I encouraged them to come check out my blog.

And soon, I didn’t have to blog every second of every day.

Some days I never blogged at all and my views were better than when I did post.

Writer’s Therapy

All writer’s need a break every now and then. Whether it’s just a moment to go for a fresh steaming cup of coffee or just simply to relax. Our writing will always be there. There’s a reason why writers enter into the deep dark waters of writer’s block and feeling overwhelmed. It’s because our creativity needs to be recharged. Read, watch TV, draw or do yoga. Then if you feel relaxed enough go back and begin writing once more. For me brainstorming ideas never shuts off. However extending my fiction pieces into much longer ones is a daunting and most stressful task indeed. I can easily extend them by writing so much, and then coming back later and adding another part to the one I wrote earlier. That helps my creativity to flow and to be able to expand. I just know it’s easier starting and harder to finish. So, take those breaks of relax time when you. If you don’t have a bunch of time, flip through a magazine or book, or thru TV stations. There’s always something there that will trigger another bout or two of creativity to finish that brilliant piece you have started.

Freelancing for Writers Beware!

Freelancing for writers is overwhelming. There are now so many places one can go to find a freelancing gig. But did you know that majority of the sites that posts all these gigs requires money for a chance to maybe be hired. With so many writers attempting to steal the same job you’re after, it’s hard to compete. Plus, for some money is an issue. It’s easy to find the jobs, but then you only have so many site coins to use to appy for the best jobs that you’re capable of doing. Then once you run out of these coins you have to pay monthly to receive so many more coins. This benefits the sites hosting the jobs but where does that leave the freelance writers? Surely, I am not the only one who sees this issue.

Freelancing sites should construct a fairer system that would allow those who don’t have the necessary means to be able to find jobs. It should be up to the employers to find the best suited candidates and not for the hosting sites to only allow those with the necessary means to apply to the jobs that are found.  How would you feel knowing that there are dozens upon dozens of jobs that you are highly qualified for and yet, you can’t apply for a single one because you’re out of the FREE coins given to you and because you don’t have the money to spare to buy more coins on the 50/50 chance of being hired?

What is a freelance writer to do? And where do they go once this becomes an issue for them. Let me tell you, as a freelancer, it’s hard to tell others what your can provide for them. Because most look to hire freelancers from freelancing sites mostly. Most turn away from a freelancer trying to run on his or her own. It’s a tough market. Most would rather pay well-know sites and freelancers than to take the chance on a freelancer who offers the same service at a lower price and is capable of doing the same exact service.

My advice is that if you are looking for a particular service and happen to run across a freelancer on his or her own, then take the time to ask the necessary questions, ask to look over samples of work, and etc. before passing up a great opportunity that may cost you less and be as accurate as those charging more.

Blogging a Book the Fast Way!

It won’t take long to write your book if you use your blogging skills to do so. Publish three posts per week, each one about 500 words long, and you write a 10,000+ e-book in seven weeks.

Or publish 100 posts, each one about 500 words long, and you produce a 50,000-word manuscript. Publish posts three times per week, and you finish your manuscript in 34 weeks.

Publish more posts more often to finish your book faster. Or increase the length of your posts to complete in record time.

But keep this in mind: It’s better to publish shorter posts more often (especially when trying to build platform). Don’t publish 2,000-word posts once every two weeks. Overly long and infrequent blog posting doesn’t attract readers and makes the book writing process feel harder.

So stop complaining about not having time to write. Turn your blog into a book-writing machine. You’ll build your author platform and finally get your book—or many books—written.

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered what you will write next? What new characters you will come up with and where the plot will take you? As a writer we hardly think much about where our stories take us other than giving us that exposure we all want. Yes, I won’t lie. I too look for that as well. But really, sometimes our stories are just that good and readers don’t realize yet. There have been some writers whose work weren’t popular during their time period but as time went they soon grew very popular. Such writers include Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickinson. Writing and creating that perfect story isn’t all about the money and fame but in creating a story that readers will love forever and keep coming back to read.

Write because you want to fall in love with your characters. Because your plot is addictive or has a strong moral lesson that our world clearly has forgotten or lacks. Creativity is to be enjoyed not just who can sell the most books and who has the sexiest characters. Our stories should take our readers to new places, live through our characters’ shoes. Find new meanings and much more.

Writing Prompt: Alice in Wonderland

The Queen of Hearts has been told of a prophecy that will happen within a year. Stating that a young human girl name Alice will come into Wonderland to cause chaos. Alice will steal the Mad Hatter heart. And this can change everyone and everything in Wonderland. The Queen of Hearts has decided to make sure that no one friends Alice and if they see her must tell the Queen immediately or have their heads taken off. Will Alice manage to find her way into Wonderland and if so will she capture the Mad Hatter’s heart? Will that then cause everything in Wonderland to change? And who does the prophecy say can help keep Alice from changing Wonderland, if she does change it? And does this someone capture the Queen of Heart’s heart?

Writer’s Inc. Newspaper

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Writer’s Inc. Newspaper 

 Universal Creativity Inc. is proud to announce that we will be opening our first newspaper called Writer’s Inc. Inside this newspaper, we will allow companies to advertise their services, freelancers to find paid work, and for writers to find publishers.  We keep our readers updated on what’s happening with current publishing houses, best websites for writers, blogs that are new, and much more. Also, we will hold a critique column to allow the toughest critics to voice their opinions on different books and novels.  If you are interested in writing for the Writer’s Inc. Newspaper whether it’s for writing critiques, advice columns, or to place your book’s release, sign up to write for us via the form below.  We need writers in the following areas:  critics, book reviewers, literature analysis to write pieces discussing different pieces of literature, creative nonfiction writer, fiction writer for short stories, and advice columnist for writers. All positions are non-paid but come with a letter of recommendation to help build one’s resume and or give them more experience in the writing field for a future job.

Again all interested individual may sing up via the form below. Please state what position you are interested in applying for and what experiences you have to bring to our newspaper.

 

New Course!

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Writing Romance Fiction Course will begin on April 1st. This course is for all writers regardless of your level of expertise in the genre. This course format is online and via email. Each week a new lesson begins. Writers can move at their own pace. But to earn a certificate of completion all assignments must be completed. 

Week 1: We will explore the different sub-genres and terms. Brainstorm Ideas, check out sample pieces of romance writing and learn how to distinguish between a good writing sample and a poor one.

Week 2: Learn how to create the perfect characters. Create character profiles.

Week 3: Learn how to create the perfect hook.

Week 4: Learn how to develop your plot.

Week 5: Build up the heat between your characters. Learn how to make your story compelling.

Week 6:  Create the first draft of your story.

Week 8:  Revise your story.

Week 9: Create the final copy.

Week 10: Get ready to publish!

Each week will contain one writing assignment and one multiple choice quiz. Every writer will have the chance to submit their manuscript in to be evaluated for publishing by a romance publishing house. So, why wait? Why not sign up now to secure your spot for the new course starting in April. A great opportunity to learn how to write, gain feedback and for a chance to become a published author. Plus, everyone who completes the course will receive a certificate of completion.

Total cost of this new writing course in Romance Fiction will be $25.00 USD. To sign up for the course fill out the form below stating that you would like to enroll in Writing Romance Fiction.