Legacy of Words for Your Children

Those of you who know me well are aware that my sister is also a writer. Her name is Candace Simar and she has written a series of three books (another on the way) of historical fiction about the Sioux uprising. She also writes a weekly devotional, Sweet Honey From the Rock. Please visit Candace’s website to learn more about her books: www.candacesimar.com. This week Candace’s devotional is all about writing down your “wisdoms” for the next generation. I think it is a great idea, something our children and grandchildren will treasure. Be sure to include the things you have learned from your parents and grandparents. These are valuable lessons. Let’s not lose these pieces of wisdom, but let them live on for future generations. If you...

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Writing Prompts for Writing Memoir

I just finished reading a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Hope Clark. She posted a rant about how she hates writing prompts and believes that writers should be professional enough to come up with ideas on their own. (See the blog post at http://hopeclark.blogspot.com/.) I often tell my students about the moan I give out whenever I hear the words writing prompt. I have a love/hate relationship with them. When given a writing prompt, I always feel pressure to produce something wonderful. And I often have. In fact, some of my best writing has been produced under pressure with one of those dreaded prompts. Prompts can be valuable to the memoir writer, dredging up memories that have been forgotten. They can also be valuable to the fiction writer, helping the...

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Thinking about Writing Classes

It  came today! The University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival’s pre-notification of the upcoming catalog. Sigh…..already my head is spinning with possibilities for summer writing classes.  Iowa City is a six hour drive from the Twin Cities, the perfect summer trip. (Except for the time my sister and I were driving to the workshop for classes and breezed past Des Moines’ turn, ending up in Missouri. That added a few extra hours to the trip. But that’s another story, one that can only be understood by someone who has gotten so deeply into a conversation that time and space disappeared.) I encourage you to contact your local arts council to see if there are grants available for writers. You could write a grant for the funds necessary for...

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First Line Writing Contest

Here’s a contest with a February 1 deadline that gives us a first line prompt. If your story is selected, you will be paid $30 and published online and in a chapbook. This is a great opportunity to write something different and submit (without a fee). My friend once won a $5,000 prize with a contest just like this. Although prize amounts of that size are very unusual, perhaps this contest will help hone your skills for another contest that pays more. But then, it’s not really about the money, is it? It is about writing and the joy it brings. So write! Submit! And have fun. Thanks again to Hope Clark’s newsletter for this great contest opportunity. THE FIRST LINE http://www.thefirstline.com/ — Spring Prompt: “There are a few things...

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