'Growing up isn't easy, but sometimes being true to yourself is even harder.'
Ellen's tips for new writers
top ten reasons to enter writing contests
This week, my weary query sits naked before numerous foreign eyes. I stalk Twitter threads for any morsel of reference to mine, mine, mine. Entering live writing contests (such as those hosted and tweeted by Twitter folks) can be nerve-wracking. You feel like a lost dog waiting to be found. You crave that delicious homecoming when someone says, "Yes, you, you're the one I want!"
So why enter these tension-filled writing contests when you know they drive you c-r-a-z-y?
I'll tell you why: because writing contests can make you a better writer. They do - if you remember why you entered.
You entered to become better. Not to win. To improve. That's why I entered the May Secret Agent, The Writer's Voice, and Query Kombat. And why I will enter the upcoming Pitmad.
My top ten reasons to enter writing contests (an ode to David Letterman)...
read more here.
editor chat: why you need to hire one
Five years ago, when I decided to self-publish my first novel, I did not hire an editor. I was really trying to cut costs on many things, and I didn't think it was worth my money to pay someone else to find spelling errors. After all, I'm an English major and an English teacher. Didn't that over-qualify me to copy edit my own work?
Uh, the answer to that is a very loud, no.
Over the years, I've saved up some money and realized the value in hiring a trained editor to proof my manuscripts and make style and content suggestions. I'm lucky to have found someone who appreciates my narrative voice and is able to locate global errors in my work.
Today, I begin a periodic chat with my editor, so you can benefit from her insight as well.
Please welcome Jane Mackay.
read the rest here
Author, reader, poet, teacher, mom, star gazer, dreamer.
Ellen grew up in a Southern California low desert town on a block filled with boys. Dirt-clod throwing, tree-climbing, worm-eating boys. She countered this world with fiction, spending hours and hours at the local library, reading hundreds of books and imagining life as Nancy Drew, Elizabeth Bennett and Mick Kelly. As a teen, she spent time daydreaming about the world, the universe, and how she might one day write stories and create characters that young people would fall in love with like she'd done.
Take time to peruse this site and get to know her YA books (THIS GIRL CLIMBS TREES and BIRDS ON A WIRE), thoughts on writing, and advice to young writers. Watch This Girl's book trailer here.
Connect with Ellen here or online. More here. (Soon, you'll know more about her than her mom.)
What's a galley, you ask? Look here.
Best tips for storytelling. Ever. (thanks @A_WritersStudio @DisneyPixar)
If you're a teen, this site has great ideas to get you started on your writing path. (thanks @writing_tips)
Join me on Sound Cloud for some original poetry. Discover your live voice!
More tweets here.