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Celebrating our 6th Anniversary



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Dynamic Nonfiction Register Now    
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Writing for the Young Adult Register Now    
Fantasy in Flight Register Now    
Horror House Register Now    
Fundamentals of Poetry Register Now    
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Advanced Wordsmithing Coming Soon    

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What you can Expect from Creative Writing Institute

• The individual attention you so richly deserve

• Your own private tutor six days a week

• Prodding when you lag behind

• Motivation to become more than you are

• A personal relationship with your tutor

• Unbeatable prices

• Rapid progress

• Personal encouragement

• Start your course within 24 hours

• Save time and money



Our Goal

To rescue storm tossed lives, one by one, and escort writing students from their present level to their highest potential.



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 that is being taught. > 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.



Dancing With Words

by Linda Cook

Do your words dance? Do they have musicality, form, and structure? Do they connect emotionally with the reader? Do your characters glide across the page and through your story? Or do they flounder, trip, and stumble?

Have you ever watched the TV program called Dancing with the Stars? It’s a dance competition where professional dancers pair up with celebrity contestants. The stars can be anyone… football player, soap star, singer, politician, gymnast, comedian, or an astronaut.

Each week, the pros inspire, instruct and train the stars so they can successfully compete against other pro and celebrity couples. Judges and viewers score the dancers. The remaining pair wins the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.

The celebrities begin with high hopes, excitement and enthusiasm, but few have a clue what is expected or involved. They don’t know a Jive from a Foxtrot or a Cha-Cha from the Mambo. Dance terms like extension, lifts, frame, form, or footwork are as alien as Mars and Jupiter. Stars are unprepared for the discipline and dedication, tears and frustration, pain and physical stamina needed … much less harsh critiques by the judges. To top it off, their reactions and emotions are on display for the entire world to see.

As a new writer, you are much like the stars. You’re thrilled with the prospect of writing. You love words, their lyrical quality, imagery, and the sensations they evoke. So, you begin, ready to conquer the writing world. It’s not long until reality sets in. Writing terms like character development, conflict resolution, plot formation, voice, effective dialogue, tense confusion, editing, revisions, and show - don’t tell bombard you. You stomp, yank at your hair, rant and rave at your ineptness.

It’s clear that you’re in over your head, and yet, you can’t stop scribbling. You know you want to succeed, but need help to get there. This is when you need a professional tutor to guide you and move your writing forward.

How to Help Yourself

Subscribe to writing magazines, newsletters, read “how to” books, enroll in writing courses, join a writer’s group, attend a conference. Listen to advice. Absorb information. Be brave enough to send your words out for others to read. Don’t be angry or defensive when you receive rejections or responses you don’t agree with. Embrace constructive feedback as well as praise.

Take a lesson from the celebrities on Dancing with the Stars and learn your craft. Revise, rewrite, and practice again until your words flow smoothly. Growing writers who have desire, discipline, and determination will achieve their writing goals. They are the ones who will bring the prize home. You can be one of them!




Chris Lotts

Brief bio: His agency’s clients include Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, and Robin Hobb.

Works for Lotts Agency. Looking for sci-fi and fantasy. Contact Information: Query via and first 5-10 pages of story, no attachments.

Ginger Clark

Brief bio: She has worked with Curtis Brown since 2005. She currently lives in Brooklyn and graduated from Bryn Mawr College.

Works for Curtis Brown Ltd. Looking for Juvenile (young adult and middle grade) science fiction, horror, romance, and fantasy.

Contact information: send query letter, synopsis of work, sample chapter, and brief resume to

Sarah LaPolla

Brief bio: Sarah earned her MFA in Creative Writing from The New York School, and has worked with Bradford Literary Agency since May of 2013. Works for Bradford Literary Agency.

Looking for young adult and adult fiction. On the adult side, she is looking for literary fiction, science fiction, magical realism, dark/psychological mystery, and upmarket commercial and/or women’s fiction. For YA, she is interested in contemporary/realistic fiction that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of adolescence. YA sci-fi, horror, mystery, and magical realism are also welcome; and she would love to find a modern Judy Blume for the MG market.”

Contact Information: Send a query, first chapter, and synopsis to

Pooja Menon

Brief bio: Pooja graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA and later received her MFA from The Otis School of Art & Design. She’s worked with Kimberly Cameron & Associates since 2011. Works for Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Looking for fantasy novels that are original and layered, with worlds as real and alive as the ones created by Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling. In YA, she’s eagerly looking for submissions across all genres (contemporary, adventure, realist, paranormal romance, gothic, horror, historical, steampunk, dystopian, magical realism, urban fantasy, and new age). Pooja is also acquiring nonfiction adventure and travel memoirs, journalism and human interest stories, and self-help books addressing relationships and the human psychology from a fresh perspective.

Contact Information: Send query letter, one page synopsis and 50 pages as an attachment to



Defining the Young Adult Genre

by Victoria Pakizer

Young adult literature is named after its target audience: young adults. These stories have an adolescent protagonist, written with young adults as the primary audience. They focus on tangible story elements like character, plot, and setting rather than theme and style. Plots explore problems that adolescents face, such as young love gone wrong. These issues are never devalued and always treated seriously.

This genre is usually found outside the children and middle grade section and never included in them. Separating the genres places a barrier between them, stating that these are not books written for children, but for adults.

One reason for the separation is controversial content. Many young adult books contain swearing, drugs, sex, and violence. Some argue the content is inappropriate for books targeted at younger audiences, while others say young adult literature should explore such topics because it’s what adolescents struggle with.

Another controversy surrounding the genre is defining it. Some people claim it’s not a real category, but a marketing tool. Part of this stems from the wide variety offered. Current bestsellers include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, a book about two cancer patients falling in love, and Divergent by Veronica Roth, a series about a dystopian universe. Some people argue that Rick Riordan’s bestselling series, Percy Jackson, is young adult, but others say it’s middle grade. People argue that classics like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye count as young adult literature.

Despite all the controversy, young adult is a thriving genre. Currently, five of ten best sellers on are young adult literature. This year alone, adaptations of young adult books, such as The Maze Runner, The Book Thief, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, and Mockingjay: Part 1 among others, are all coming to theatres near you. The genre is here to stay.

Creative Writing Institute just hired tutor Emily Orford, who is an expert in this department. She has already written our Writing for Young Adult Course and it will debut in the next week or two.
















A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Proverbs 25:10



CWI Sponsors

Cancer Patients in Writing Courses

Creative Writing Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that sponsors cancer patients in free writing courses. As a nonprofit organization, we can also provide extremely competitive prices for the public. Every student receives a private tutor. 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. Donations help support this ministry. If you can help, we thank you. See "Donations" in the left column, which are, of course, tax deductible.



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.). For the best evaluation, use dialogue. Submit to our CEO, Allow two weeks. One evaluation per person, please. Follow directions. That's the first mark of a real writer. See evaluation testimonies below.




I'm happy to have found your writing site as your cause is dear to me. I am a many-time cancer survivor and love the opportunity you have taken to help cancer patients. At age 23, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer that had metastasized to ten lymph nodes. In 1997 I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I have also had 3 squamous cell and 2 basal cell carcinomas removed. Yet, here I am at age 72, happy, healthy, cancer-free and writing. Anonymous

The CWI is a great organization that fosters the love of creative writing in everyone. Kudos! Paul T.___________

The evaluation helped me because I had no idea what my strong points were. It showed what parts of my story was weak and that I should focus on those areas until they become strong points. Annette T.___________

Wow and way wow!! I really didn't expect such a complete job. So kind of you. I feel like I owe you big. I know I have some weaknesses but I never could find them. I can go over other's work - I do it all the time in class - but not my own. I want to communicate my stories to others. I believe it is my one gift that God has given me to share his love. I am a natural storyteller. However, I have always told instead of written. I so appreciate the direction. I have earnestly been praying for this and I feel like this is my first real solid answer. I will be seeking to hone my skills. I will be seeking YOUR HELP in my new mission field. Lavonne C. __________

Lynn 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 you, Lynn, and Jo have given me. You are all truly unique. Linda C. __________

[I] received a wonderful and detailed writing evaluation of a fantasy short of mine from @deborahowen ; she's awesome; I highly recommend her. Tracy K._______



Copywriting: What is it? Does it Pay Well?

What is a Copywriter?

by Jill Broom

Copywriters make good money. When people ask what I do for a living, a blank look often follows.

“You’re a copywriter? You deal with copyright law?”

“No, I write text that is designed to sell a product, service, idea or person.”

“Ah, I see.”

I’m not sure they understand.

How to Find Work

Though a good amount of work stems from being a chatterbox, most of my business comes from contacts. When starting out, identify anyone you know who could benefit from decent copy.

Are friends or family members self-employed or business owners? Are there any local companies that have a great service or product but produce uninspiring, inappropriate-apostrophe-riddled flyers?

Be Adaptable

I’ll have a go at any written material – web content, case studies, business proposals, company Facebook profiles… anything! I’m not shy about suggesting a business could benefit from producing weekly blogs. Think of the advantages of having a website with more valuable content!

Using Social Media

Twitter is my favorite way to stay informed about client industry news and current affairs. I follow relevant companies and news channels, making it easier to write blog posts or newsletter articles. I also follow some copywriting gurus who regularly tweet inspirational tips. LinkedIn keeps me up to date with hot topics concerning fellow copywriters.

How Much to Charge

Sometimes I charge a flat fee; other times I charge by the hour. With the latter, I run the gauntlet of trying to accurately estimate the time I’ll spend on a job or risk slashing my hourly rate.

I’m a long way from the six-figure income that online copywriting ads claim you can earn. Nowadays, businesses just don’t have large marketing budgets. You must be affordable, but don’t undersell yourself. Your services are valuable. If you’re just starting out, try charging £15 an hour (approximately $23). Increase your price as you gain experience. It’s a balancing act. When I master it, I’ll let you know.

In a Nutshell

If you’re going to be a successful copywriter, you need to be adaptable. Don’t expect to earn big bucks instantly. Keep your ears open for information to use in your writing; and, above all, TELL people what you do.

* Jill is a copywriter, proofreader, and editor. Contact her at



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.

1. Read Christine Cassello's poem in the Weekly Avocet - #114.  Please share this issue with all those you know who love poetry and nature. Congratulations, Christine!

2. One of our own tutors was once a little angel in a church pageant - well, almost. Read Emily-Jane Hills Orford's recently published story, "The Littlest Angel," and share a chuckle (or two). Go to and find the story on page 19.

3. CWI Tutor Releases New Book, To be a Duke. After experiencing an unhappy first year of his life, a dog named Duke believes he has found his forever home. In adjusting to his new home, Duke learns thrives, learns tricks, and quickly discovers his ability to howl is rewarded as a talent. Where he was once beaten for howling, his new family encourages it. 

Duke has boundless energy and his family introduces him to agility where he excels. Duke discovers that he has a dignified name, something that he has to live up to. When he excels in obedience classes and agility events, Duke realizes he has found his niche. Life is good, especially when he learns how to be a Duke. See the promo here: and at

4. Congratulations to our Writing for Children tutor, Diane Mae Robinson, on her two newest book awards. Sir Princess Petra's Talent (book two) won a bronze medal in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, grade 4th – 6th category. Sir Princess Petra (book one) won 1st place in the 2013-2014 Sharp Writ Book Awards, children's books category. This is the 4th book award for Sir Princess Petra since its publication in 2012, and the 1st book award for Sir Princess Petra's Talent since its publication in fall of 2013.

5. (a) Student Jianna Higgins brings home another win with an honorable mention medal in the 2014 Global Ebook Awards in the Popular Literary Fiction category. (b) Jianna is a top 5 finalist in the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards 2014 in Women's Fiction, (c) and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Kindle Best Indie Book Awards in YA category! But why quit there? She has (d) been short-listed as a finalist in the Writers' Village International Novel Award, Spring 2014, open genre, (e) is a top five finalist in the 2013 Kindle Best Indie Book Awards in short fiction, and (f) a current finalist in the Cygnus Awards 2014 for speculative fiction. WOW! Congratulations, Jianna!!!!

6. Tutor, Emily-Jane Hills Orford, has had another memoir/story published in the Curious Tourist Guide (Vol. 17 Issue 7 August 2014). Her story, "The Stagecoach Ride" is on page 23. *High fives, EJ!

7. Hi Deborah. I wanted to share the good news with you and Jo Popek about my recent writing successes. I feel I owe it, in large part, to my fantastic experience in Jo's Creative Writing classes. My short story, "Summer Tale" has just been published in the July issue of Still Crazy magazine. A second story, "Dearly Beloved Daughter," was selected in a competition held by the Great Lakes Commonwealth for inclusion in their anthology, Imagine This which will be published this fall. The Oak Park Writers Group has published my memoir piece, "Bombs Bursting in Air" and a poem, "Dark Lover" in their anthology, Keystrokes Volume IV.

And . .  I've made the first cut in a flash fiction contest sponsored by Women on Writing with "The Whole Truth," a piece that grew out of an assignment for one of Jo's classes. Winners will be announced this fall. I've recommended a variety of your classes to numerous writing buddies and will continue to do so in the future. Again . . . thank you, thank you, thank you! Diane Maciejewski

* CONGRATULATIONS, DIANE! We gave you the material, but you're the one who did the work and made it happen, girl.

8. CWI writer Zena Shapter has been nominated for a Ditmar Award for Best New Talent! The Ditmar Awards recognize and celebrate achievements by Australians in speculative fiction writing: Zena said: “I’m seriously chuffed to have received this vote of confidence from a community of writers I respect so much.”

*Well done, Zena!



Writing will fulfill you

Writing will be worth the sacrifice

Writing will make you more than you are



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.


Deborah Owen and Creative Writing Institute, Inc., its board and staff make no warranties or guarantees of any kind. Writing success comes from knowledge and persistence. We endeavor to be accurate in every way, but the publishing industry and research material fluctuates almost daily. Therefore, 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. We all do. Direct questions to our CEO,


Connect with our CEO

Twitter: DeborahOwen




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