Category Archives: Contests

If You Write It, I’ll Give You a Present

It would appear I’m not so good at following my own advice. If I were a dr. I’m pretty sure I’d smoke at least a pack a day. I’d probably have a martini glass balanced on the end of the exam table while I wrote out prescriptions for one of those cholesterol lowering meds and lectured patients about exercise and diet. I talk a lot about writing every day – in my own book, yet I haven’t been doing it lately. While I’m not planning to write a memoir (I’m not very interesting), I love writing essays, and someday I’d like to try writing a novel. But seriously, what kind of jerk tells people to write every day and then doesn’t even do it herself? Anyway, I was thinking about this while I was shopping for a birthday gift for my dad last weekend. He just turned 60, and my husband and I decided to make him his very own, customized book-of-the-month-club kind of thing. We bought a book we thought he would like for each month of the year, and wrote up a paragraph about each one. We ended up with kind of a crazy mixture. . . Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, Sherlock Holmes, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (my dad used to teach fourth grade) – a reference book about weather, because my dad is OBSESSED with storms. It was quite possibly the only time I had fun shopping for a gift. It got me thinking. . if you’re totally stuck, which happens to EVERYONE, writing about gifts is a super easy way to get unstuck. There are so many instances in life where a gift has made a difference – good or bad. I mean, it’s not really about the present, it’s about the thoughts, what it meant, and the lasting memories they leave right?

What was I thinking? Why was I out smoking and drinking white russians when I should have been home working on my memoir? What a terrible mistake!

So listen. . . since I’m making a conscious effort to write more, I’m hoping you will too. I’ll send a copy of my book (and a special bonus surprise) to whoever writes the most kick-ass gift story. I don’t care how long it is or anything. . . it doesn’t matter.

Ooops. I brilliantly gave you all the wrong email address at the webinar. It’s this:



Filed under Contests, Work, Writing

To Get Things Rolling

Firstly, thank you so much for coming to the webinar last week. It was really fun. Honestly, I was terrified when Writer’s Digest asked me to do it – but I’m so glad I did. I guess it’s good to take risks. It’s just really weird talking to hundreds of people when you can’t see or hear a single one of them. Although, I did force my cat to sit through the entire thing. I’ve spent the last week answering all of your questions – just an FYI, Writer’s Digest should be posting all of the answers really soon (if they haven’t already, those people are crazy efficient).

This cat, my one "captive" audience member, disappointed me by falling asleep half way into slide two.

Anyway, you might remember that I talked a little bit about contests. I think it’s great that there have been some contests floating out there lately. They’re competitive, but winning isn’t really the point in my opinion (but obviously that would be amazing). Entering a contest gives you the following:

A writing assignment
A deadline
A specific goal

And oh yeah, it’s fun. Plus, who knows, you might win. All of those things I mention above are great things for writers, and it can be hard to give them to yourself. Real Simple magazine is having an essay contest, and Good Housekeeping magazine is having a short story writing contest. Okay, one of them is fiction – but still, it’s a really good contest! I’ll be sure to keep my eye out for more!

P.S. If any of you have emailed me at the email address I gave out at the end of the webinar, I warn you, my email is acting real funky. I’m workin’ on it. I am. . .


Filed under Contests, Magazines