Tag Archives: writing blogs

Blog Award

I’m posting a little later this week than I intended (there goes my New Years Resolution to blog consistently on the same day each week). I just got back from a little getaway with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I’m feeling relaxed and refreshed. I was surprised to find when I arrived back that I had a message telling me I’d received a blog award from the lovely Brooke Johnson over at brookenomicon.

I’ve never received one of these kinds of awards before, so I hope I’m following the rules correctly.

Seven Facts About Me

1. I have been writing stories since I could first wield a pencil and I’ve always been drawn to fantasy. I remember when I was about seven I wrote a story about my best friend turning into a fairy. Back then I thought I’d written a chapter book, but it was really only five pages (with illustrations).

2. I have an absolute phobia of snakes, yet I live in Australia on a farm where snakes are pretty much a given.

3. At school I loathed computer class and nearly failed one semester, now I love computers and practically live on mine.

4. One of my biggest writing idols is Australian author John Marsden. I actually got to meet him once as a teenager and got his autograph. I still have it to this day. (Everyone go read one of his books – he’s the master of YA voice.)

5. Whenever I go out for dinner I nearly always order carbonara – it’s my favourite dish. My mum used to make it for me from scratch, and even though I know how to make it from scratch too, I rarely ever make it for myself.

6. I wrote my first complete novel as a teenager and got enough courage to send it to a publisher. It got rejected and I was heartbroken. I was too scared to submit it to any other publishers after that. In hindsight I shouldn’t have let one rejection get me down, but on the other hand, looking back at that manuscript, I don’t think I would have had much luck with any other publishers anyway. It needed a lot more polishing and I needed to hone my writing skills a lot more at that stage.

7. I have never travelled overseas (I’ve never even been to Tasmania), but if I ever went overseas it is my dream to travel Europe.

And to pass on the award to some fellow writers’ blogs…

The Peevish Penman

Harry Potter for Writers

Beth Hull

Rach Writes

Karen Collum

Kathryn Apel

Kangaroobee’s Blog

Be sure to check them out.


Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts – July 2010 Edition

I just realised it’s been two months since I last did one of these, so here is a round up of some helpful writing sites and blog posts I’ve come across in the past two months:

You Have to Believe

Rachelle Gardner (literary agent) has a great blog, with lots of fantastic posts for writers. This particular post was quite an inspiring one encouraging writers to believe in themselves. My favourite line: “God gave you something powerful – a story or a message, and the desire to share it. God is not in the business of tricking people, or of squandering anything – not talent, not passion, not time. Pursue your God-given passions with an unwavering faith. Praise and bless the obstacles. And keep believing.”

Tips for Pitching and Querying Agents

YA writer Ingrid Sundberg shared a hand-out from Andrea Brown agent Mary Kole that she received at an SCBWI agent day on pitching and querying. It includes some great advice, as well as step-by-step questions you should address in your pitch.

Try This Picture Book Editing Checklist

For anyone out there writing or editing a picture book this is a great checklist to refer to, from the editors of Children’s Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children’s Writers.

Will Literary Agents Really Read Your Query Letter?

This posts covers reasons why a query letter may not be read, the problems with many queries and some tips on how to write better queries.

The Power of the First Sentence

We all know how important that first sentence is in a manuscript, Brenda Hineman, a freelance writer, guest posts on this blog on what makes an opening sentence memorable.

Eleven Senses – Who Knew?

Anyone who reads my blog knows how much I’m a big fan of ‘show, don’t tell’ in writing, and whenever I talk about showing in writing I refer to using the five senses of taste, touch, sight, sound and smell. This workshop handout covers eleven senses, including pain, balance, sense of time, joint motion and acceleration, temperature differences, and direction. Not only does it describe how each of the senses work, but how they can be applied to writing, some writing exercises and, best of all, a comprehensive list of verbs for each of the senses to spice up your writing.

7 Techniques for a Dynamite Plot

An editor offers some solutions to common problems writers have when constructing their plot.

The Secret to Getting Published

Published author Karen Gowen offers some down-to-earth truths on what is and isn’t the secret to getting published. My favourite line: “You have to want it more than you want anything else. You must want it with every fibre of your being.”

3 Ways to Show, Don’t Tell

There’s my favourite writing mantra again! A short post covering verbs and nouns, sensory details and dialogue.

Query Letter Suicide

Another great post from YA Writer Ingrid Sundberg, this time sharing some advice from Agent Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency. A comprehensive list of what not to do in a query letter.

Do You Know the Real Reason Not to Use the Passive Voice?

The dreaded ‘passive’ voice. It’s something I’m working on cutting in my novel revisions at the moment. This post by an editor shows an example of the difference between using the passive voice and the active voice when writing.

Advice for New Writers Blogfest

Last week I participated in Peevish Penman’s blogfest on ‘My Best Advice for New Writers’. There were 42 participants altogether. I haven’t quite got through reading all the posts yet, but the ones I have read have offered some fantastic advice. You can find the links to all of them on the Blogfest page, they’re well worth checking out.

Some useful writing websites

Over the past few weeks I’ve come a cross a few really helpful writing websites/blogs that contain some fantastic advice on writing, querying and getting published so I wanted to share a couple of my favourites.

The first one was linked to me by a friend and fellow writer and I spent nearly two whole days reading through every post on the blog because I found all the information so valuable to me as writer (plus I may have just been procrastinating a little on tackling all the problems in chapter six of my novel, which I am happy to say have mostly all been ironed out now). This blog is written by an agent named Mary Kole (who is also a published author)and offers some great tips on various aspects of writing, as well as some great insight into agents’ thought processes. It also occasionally runs contests. I have it bookmarked and I highly recommend it to any aspiring author. It can be found here:


I can’t remember how I found this second site, but I believed it was linked to from another site I was perusing. Like the first blog I mentioned, I found this blog to be insightful and full of great writing advice. This blog is written by a published author named Barry Lyga and he covers a lot of different areas of writing. His advice isn’t only very helpful for those wishing to develop their craft, but he also writes his blog in a very down-to-earth manner. This is another site I have bookmarked. It can be found here:


Here are a few other sites I have bookmarked in the past because It hought they were helpful to my writing journey:

http://maxbarry.com/writing/help.html (His tagline is ‘help for writers’. They specifically offer advice on querying agents and approaching publishers)

http://www.fictioncentral.net/hpforum/index.php?act=idx (Although this is a fanfiction forum devoted to Harry Potter, don’t let that dissuade you from checking out their writer’s resources section which is a treasure trove of great writing advice and tips, especially regarding the technicalities of writing. You will need to become a member to view the writer’s resources section, but it’s free to join up)

I hope you find these sites as useful and insightful as I have found them to be.