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Get Your Free Writing Evaluation

Learn the truth about your writing skills in this 20-point evaluation. If you don't know what your problems are, how can you correct them? Directions: send a 1,750-word short story written in past tense, 3rd person (he, she, it).

Write EVALUATION in the subject line. Material must be G-rated (no swearing, graphic scenes, etc.). Submit to Allow two weeks. One evaluation per person, please. For the best evaluation, use dialogue and write in past tense, third person. Follow directions! That's the first mark of a serious writer. See evaluation testimonies below.



What you can Expect from CWI

• Professionally written courses

• The individual attention you so richly deserve

• Your own private tutor

• Prodding when you lag behind

• A challenge to become more than you are

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• Rapid progress

• Personal encouragement

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Student Testimonies

* I took two Creative Writing courses at our local college several years ago and made no advancement in creative writing skills. Once I found Creative Writing Institute, and sent a short manuscript for evaluation by Lynn Carroll, I knew this was the most hopeful doorway for me and signed up. After only three lessons of Creative Writing 101, the drive to become a student and writer again was confirmed and on I went.  My tutor, Jo Popek, cheered me every inch of the way. Even the busy CEO, Deborah Owen, took time to write encouraging words. What a great staff. Betty C.

* I just wanted to let you guys know I was assigned to create a newsletter in my technical writing class. We had to write articles based off a fake company we created. I, of course, chose to "own" a used bookstore. So the articles in my newsletter had to be about things people who shop at a used bookstore would read. I wrote several articles, turned them in, and got and 100%! She said my articles were amazing, informative but encouraging, and she absolutely loved them. I wanted to thank both of you and let you know. You really have trained me well! You have given me skills that will help me with future jobs, and school! Thanks!! Arial P.

* This is exactly what I've searched for - [Introduction to Poetry] - poetry forms and rules, punctuation and line breaks. I constantly stumble over the latter. I deeply appreciate your comments and suggestions. There is nowhere else for me to turn for help. Thank you for spending your valuable time teaching this class. I've searched hard for a [poetry] class like this one and am excited to find it at CWI. Terri C.

* I have been absorbing more than I ever dreamed. The dynamic non-fiction course is just that. Dynamic. My dearest friend and writing buddy has her master's thesis in the Library of Congress and has been reviewing my assignment analyses with me at the end of each lesson. She can't get over how extensive the material is. > Lynn answers all my questions promptly, satisfactorily, and with humor. Thanks for everything. Shirley D.

* The [Creative Writing 101] course provided the kind of detailed comments and suggestions for my writing that I have been craving and have not received in other face-to-face classes.  Diane M.

* Lynn Carroll was very thorough, thoughtful, encouraging, knowledgeable and motivating. The one-on-one class experience is like no other class I've attended. I believe this promotes the desire to learn and helps with follow-through. Lynn gave me such a confidence boost, all the while being candid about my strengths and weaknesses. He was understanding when I had a crazy couple of weeks and allowed flexibility for homework. I so appreciated Lynn's honesty and heart. You said you enjoyed having me as a student, but you have no idea how the whole class and mentoring system helped me. I'll be forever grateful for all that Deb, Lynn, and Jo have given me. You are all truly unique. Linda C. __________



What's Hot and What's Not

by Kevin Keeney

The hot item for this month is the Swiss Army Knife for writers – The Multi-Tool Pen. With this pen, there is no need to have anything else in your writing life. Amaze your friends. Astonish your family. Get one. Get two.

This amazing instrument of creation and destruction can punch holes, strip insulation off wires, remove staples, file nails, trim Christmas ribbon, cut a pencil in half, tighten loose screws with either a Phillips or flat head, tweeze nose and ear hairs, scrape paint, eat clams casino with the stainless steel fork… and did I mention you can write with it?

No more digging through drawers for a lost screwdriver. No more scouring the bathroom for missing tweezers. No more searching for your hole punch. With the Multi-Tool Pen in your pocket, you’ll be ready for all kinds of emergencies, along with your daily writing sessions.

This is the perfect gift for the writer who is impossible to buy for. No need to worry about getting this gift back next Christmas. Everyone will appreciate this wonderful piece of craftsmanship and ingenuity.

The Multi-Tool Pen is available in black or a becoming shade of blue. This stylish pen will make their writing flow from the tip like water through a funnel. This nifty little number rates a ten on our chart! Check it out at



Writing Terminologies

for Sports Journalism

by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, BSBM, MM

This is a great study for writing sports journalism.

Ace describes a very good job at whatever sport the athletes are playing. Can also be used to designate the best player in the game. “Tiger Woods was the ace of the entire PGA and he blew it!”

Class, used as a noun in this instance, is a feature of sportswriters. “Classy” being a player who is courteous to the writers and his/her opposing team. “Classless” occurs when the coach passes on a postgame handshake.

Distraction used as a noun means anything that hinders winning the game.

Era as an adjective connotes a certain period of time. Sometimes this period is marked by the presence or lack of presence of a Superstar athlete or coach: “pre-Johnson era”.

Glass jaw is someone's Achilles heel (weakness)

Hat-trick used in baseball would me that the batting team took three bases. A threefold play. “The Cubs just pulled a hat-trick and the crowds are going wild!.”

Jumps in figure skating are the interchanges whereby skaters leap or rotate their bodies on the ice. In addition to simple jumps, there are six main revolving jumps: the axel, the loop, the toe loop, the salchow, the lutz, and the flip. “Michelle Kwan just performed a triple lutz followed by the salchow and toe loop as smoothly as anyone has ever seen. What a seamless performance she gave tonight.”

Kill or kill shot in badminton describes a rapid downward shot that is not easily returned. “Sabrina went in for her kill-shot and Victoria was absolutely unable to reciprocate. Point Sabrina.”

Net shot in either tennis or badminton means a shot from the forecourt that barely clears the net and then drops off precipitously.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of various sports terminologies and this column just touches the tip of that list.



Getting Started in Writing

What would you give to be a good writer? Would you be willing to study hard? Would you be willing to start at the bottom? Would you be willing to invest in yourself? That’s what learning the writing trade is all about, and most students can learn it in two years or less at Creative Writing Institute.



Writing Tip

Delete as many forms of the verb “to be” as possible, since they usually produce passive voice. That includes is, am, are, was, were, be, being and been. These are dead verbs that say nothing. According to Wikipedia, allowed forms are: become, has, have, had (use sparingly), I’ve, you’ve, do, does, doing, did, can, could, will, would, shall, should, ought, may, might and must. The fact that they are allowed, however, does not make them desirable. Get rid of as many as possible because all of them weaken sentence structure. Likewise, using “could” and “would” will drop you into a trap that you’ll find hard to escape.


Connect with our CEO, Deborah Owen

Twitter: @DeborahOwen




Get writing tips in The Writer's Choice Newsletter at



P. Pulman said:

Professional writers write just as well when they're not inspired as when they are.



Deborah Owen and Creative Writing Institute, Inc., its board and staff make no warranties or guarantees of any kind. Writing success comes from study and persistence. We endeavor to be accurate in every way, but the publishing industry and research material fluctuates almost daily. Deborah Owen, Creative Writing Institute, Inc., its board and staff may not be held liable for damages of any kind.

Travel the writing road at your own risk. Direct questions to



























Get Published in our 2016 Anthology



July 15 - September 15, 2016


First, second and third place winners and seven additional Judge's Choice stories will receive publication in our fourth annual anthology, and for the first time, we are awarding professionally designed eMedals to post on your site or blog. You'll love them! Make them any size you want.

First place: Professionally designed Gold eMedal and $100, plus publication

Second place: Striking Silver eMedal and $50, plus publication

Third place: Brilliant Bronze eMedal and $25, plus publication

 Fourth and Fifth place: Finalist eMedal and publication

This is a themed contest and this exact sentence must appear in the story:

"Explain how that happened."

  • Open genre
  • Your story must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
  • No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, etc.
  • Your story must not have been published before. By entering this contest, winners grant minor editing rights for publication; Creative Writing Institute has first, non-exclusive, electronic rights to publish the winners and Judge's Choice stories in our anthology. All Rights return to the author upon publication.
  • ONE submission per person, please
  • Accepting submissions from July 15, 2016 until September 15, 2016, midnight, USA Eastern Standard Time. No early or late submissions, please.
  • Entries will only be accepted through the form at
  • As you go through the submission process, there will be a space for you to copy and paste your document. Do NOT email attachments as these will not be accepted.

Please direct questions to Ms. Jo Popek, head judge, at Our special thanks to assisting Competition Co-coordinator and award winning author, Jianna Higgins.




Stay Motivated! Believe in Yourself!



Success depends on your courage - not your circumstances.

U are in control of your own destiny.

Confidence is a necessity. If it isn't real, that's fine. Fake it 'til you make it.

Creativity is key. Approach articles and stories with a unique angle.

Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and take refresher courses to stay motivated.

Stop making excuses.

Simple planning will help you find success in 2016.

Have business cards made. They aren't expensive. Pass them out freely and declare yourself to be a writer. Don't try to sell anything without having it professionally edited. Don't try to succeed without having the proper education to do so. Learning to write is one of the least expensive vocations you can pursue. Most people can learn the basics with three courses. What do you have to lose? If you don't try, you'll never know what you might have become.

Becoming a writer takes courage.



Your desire for success must be greater than

your fear of failure.



Get Creative Writing Institute's Latest Anthology - BARGAIN!

Creative Writing Institute presents its third annual anthology entitled BARGAIN! All thirty stories are centered around the theme sentence, I got more than I bargained for. Get your copy at, available in both eBook and print book. Stories are written by CWI short story contest winners, finalists, judges of the contest, CWI staff  and five best selling authors. Genres include general fiction, humor, fantasy, romance, dystopian, horror and sci-fi. Get it now at



CWI, a Nonprofit Charity

that Offers Free Courses to Cancer Patients

We also provide professionally written creative writing courses to the general public at great prices. At CWI, you will receive a private tutor at no extra cost. He/she will provide personal feedback as often as you want it. At CWI, we go the extra mile that others only talk about!

If you are a cancer survivor and wish to apply for a scholarship, see



Meet "Charlie Faye," our cancer poster lady. If you would like to make a donation and dedicate it to a loved one, we will list both you and your loved one on our Golden Sponsors page. Any gift, large or small, is welcome. Of course, they are tax deductible. Click on "Donations" in the left column. God bless.



Reader, Student, and Staff Accomplishments


Step right up and be counted. No matter how big or how small YOUR accomplishments, send them to and see them published in this column.

Congratulations to student Karin Krafft who won first place in the Cedar Mill Writing Group for the month of April. The topic was irresistible temptation. Karin is presently enrolled in Short Story Safari and we are excited to watch her progression. Good job, Karin!

Just released, CWI instructor, Emily-Jane Hills Orford's young adult novel Gerlinda... a troubling story about a young girl whose father, once a Hitler youth, abuses his family and makes life miserable for the children both at home and at school. Set in the 1960's, all Gerlinda wants is to feel like she belongs - somewhere.

Amazingly Extra-Ordinary Women receives 5 star review from Maria Beltran. Emily-Jane Hills Orford honors the countless women who have made a difference in the lives of others. Throughout history, there have been millions of women all over the world who have done so and in millions of different ways so that writing this book must have been a dilemma for the author. Ms. Orford, however, found a beautiful solution out of this conundrum by simply identifying the fields where these women made their marks and zeroing in on the personalities that must have made the most unforgettable impression on her.

The result is a book that is an easy, informative and enjoyable read. Although this is not a voluminous book, it surprisingly offers a wealth of information about extraordinary women in history and it is one that we are not likely to forget. This is because the author presents her subjects in such a way that we get to know these amazingly extraordinary women as real people and not just as footnotes in history.

CWI student, Carlene Barrett, is pleased to announce her poem, The Straw that Broke, has been published in the highly esteemed ArtAscent (Art & Literature Journal 16, December 2015 issue), on page 85.  Congratulations,Carlie!  This is just the beginning, girlfriend. 

Terri Cummings, up and coming writer/poet and student of Creative Writing Institute, is pleased to announce three of her poems, Death of a Marriage, A New Season, and Grey Abbey made it into the semi-finals of the 2015 Songs of Eretz Poetry Contest. The results will be out at the end of the year. > Three more poems will make it into the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review and they are: Pearl Harbor:  USS Oklahoma, Home of the Brave, and Starving Artists. Publshing date unknown.> And believe it or not -- Tight Spaces, Heart Land and Soul Cleaning will be published in the Winter 2015 Issue of Dragon Poet Review. The expected publishing date is December 1, 2015. Check it out at

Update: Terri just received a notice saying her poem, The Phantom Read, has been accepted by Still Crazy. Congratulations!

Folks, THIS is how you market!!! Keep sending those submissions over and over and over again. Terri has the process nailed! High fives, Terri!

Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce To Be a Duke by Emily-Jane Hills Orford took Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Animals Category in the 2015 International Book Award Contest. The same book was also named Finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Congratulations, Emily-Jane, writing tutor for Novel Writing and other writing courses at Creative Writing Institute.

High fives to one of our writing judges, Jianna Higgins, who won first place in the Chatelaine Awards! She also won a gold medal in the Global eBook Awards and was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Kindle Book Awards. Jianna has been studying with Creative Writing Institute for some time. She has already formed her writing platform and accomplished outstanding achievements. Congratulations on a job well done, Jianna! We are so proud of you.

Congratulations again to Terri Cummings! Dorothy Alexander of Village Books Press will publish Terri's first book of poetry. It is due to roll off the press in the spring of 2016 in time for the Scissortale Creative Writing Festival. Terri is presently studying Novel Writing at CWI. You go, girl!



Knocking on the Publisher’s Door

by Terri Cummings

What is it like to climb the non-published mountain, knock on the publisher’s door and watch it crack open? In a way, it's like trekking Mount Everest. Legs burn, heart pounds, lungs squeeze as the mouth sucks in high altitude’s scattered air molecules. When a trekker reaches the summit, the world spreads its arms and offers a fresh view. Relief, excitement, and success fuse. Dopamine explodes from the brain, zings through the chest, and replaces toil’s pain. When my work appears online or in print, my dopamine rushes, skin tingles, and eyes crinkle. Like an addict, I crave bites of success. Achievement trumps the toil.

For three years, I sat behind the desk, read books, studied, and wrote. In time, friends, family, and I spread the word of my poetry and fiction novel endeavors. Then a writing group invited me to join.

Members of the Wednesday Writers Group critique one another’s work. We revise and start over again. Week after week. Literally and figuratively, our voices evolve as we read drafts of poems, short stories, flash fiction, plays, blogs, and novels aloud.

Last April, I read three poems at an open mike poetry event. Unbeknownst to me, two editors of two different literary journals sat in the audience. Afterward, they asked me to submit my work. For the first time, I experienced the rush of a writer, published and validated.

Like a sponge, I absorb instruction from Creative Writing Institute’s mentors, as well as independent workshops, books, and blogs. Although the learning process continues, it enhances but does not replace the creative process. I study as I write and submit work to literary journals, magazines, and contests. Over and over again. It’s an endless process.

At poetry readings, the hush that blankets an audience embraces me when I stand before the microphone. Afterward, other poets and writers critique my reading and writing. They share contest or workshop information, send invitations to literary events, and include me in social gatherings. A new circle of friends and acquaintances, separate from family, has formed.

Like a high five, payment for a written piece rewards the writer. I received $1.25 for a 220-word flash fiction piece. Not enough for a burger, but enough for a dose of dopamine. In the spring of 2016, an independent book publisher will print my first chapbook. Then I’ll rake in $7.00 of the $15.00 price. When I complete the fiction novel, I may self-publish it and keep the proceeds.

Although I have not broken into the literary world, I’m peeking around the door. Occasionally, someone hears my tiny voice calling from the mountains of submitted poems and manuscripts.

Success is within your reach, too, if you stay on track. Every day, study, read, and write. Join a writing group or start your own. Identify prospective writing platforms, and submit your work. Let the publisher hear your voice. When you crash through the door and conquer the mountain, savor the rush. Then start again. Best wishes in your endeavors!


A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in

pictures of silver

Proverbs 25:10