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Lessons Learned from an Ill-Timed Writing Workshop

Lessons from a Recent Writing Workshop Earlier this month I took part in a "first pages" workshop on Inked Voices, a website that facilitates virtual writing groups. This workshop offered feedback from a literary agent for the bargain price of $75. Unable to pass up such a deal, and desperate to make progress on a novel that has languished for two-plus years, I signed up. In full disclosure, I was completely unprepared. The workshop evaluated those carefully crafted opening scenes that will either draw in a reader or consign your literary brainchild to the slush pile. My first pages consisted of a brain dump spewed out to test the direction of my latest outline, the fourth or fifth for this project. Submitting that garbage would have wasted everyone's time and my money, so I spent…

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Seeing the Blind Spots in Your Manuscript

Every writer needs a great editor. When the task of editing falls on our own shoulders, following these tips can help us tackle the task with as objective an eye as possible.

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Mug Shot: Jen Conley

Jen Conley’s short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Needle, Crime Factory, Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen, and many others. She has contributed to the Los Angeles Review of Books and is one of editors of Shotgun Honey. Her story collection, Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the […]

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My Favorite Crime Movie: In Cold Blood

As a 14-year-old in 1967, my principal reason for living was marathon listening to Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. Distraction arrived at the end of the year in the form of a movie that immediately earned lifelong status as my favorite crime flick. From the standard list of film genres, it also rates near […]

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