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Learn the truth about your writing skills in this 20-point evaluation. For the best evaluation, write your story in past tense, 3rd person (he, she, it). No more than 2,500 words, please.
Write EVALUATION in the subject line. Story/article must be G-rated (no swearing, graphic scenes, etc.). Submit to DeborahOwen@CWinst.com. Allow two weeks. One evaluation per person, please. Follow directions! That's the first mark of a serious writer. See evaluation testimonies below.
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* 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 Mr. 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 http://amzn.to/1R1NyvL.
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. 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.
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 scattered air molecules. But 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!
Deborah Owen and Creative Writing Institute, Inc., its board and staff make no warranties or guarantees of any kind. Writing success is a product of personal 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. We all do. Direct questions to DeborahOwen@CWinst.com.