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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 Creative Writing Institute

• Fantastic creative writing courses

• The individual attention you so richly deserve

• Your own private tutor six days a week

• Prodding when you lag behind

• A challenge to become more than you are

• Unbeatable prices

• Rapid progress

• Personal encouragement

• Start your course within 24 hours

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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 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.

* 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. __________



Hysterical Homonyms

by Betty Crawford

Homonyms are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

I think a retired English teacher must have written this. Read all the way to the end. It took a lot of work to put this together!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. We have hymnals in church, but no hyrnals. We say Amen, but not Awomen.

There is no egg in eggplant, no ham in hamburger, and neither pine nor apple in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England, nor French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are animal organs. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is not from Guinea, nor is it a pig.

And think of how the human brain works with language.

When reading, and without skipping a beat, most times we know which homograph to use by the process of syntax! And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call the remaining one?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

Now, this is what I call backwards thinking. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Should we ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Do our noses run and our feet smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy the following: there is a two-letter word that may have more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.' It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?

Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP friends, we brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has very special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more definitions.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I'll wrap this UP, since it’s time to shut UP!

Now it's UP to you to do as you please with this confusing information.



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.

























Announcing !!

Short Story Contest Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to the following 2015 short story contest winners. All of these entries will be published in our Winter Anthology (available in December) along with a number of award-winning guest writers. Thank you one and all for making this another successful contest.

 1st Place -- Michael Coolen - Let Me Tell You a Story

 2nd Place -- Julie Fox - The Silver's Secret

 3rd place -- Randa Sansing  - The Adventures of Nick and Ronny—Helping Granny Lomax  

 Honorable Mention -- Anne Skalitza - Broken Glass

 Honorable Mention -- Irene Wittig - A Lucky Day


Judge's Choice Stories

(Which means the judges requested these stories be printed in the anthology, although they are not winning entries.)

Sharon King-booker - Winterkill

 Victoria Franzese - Senior Class Prank

 Andrew Herd - Focus

 Kathleen Fisher - Backpack Buddies and the Missing Trophies

 Jamie Hathaway - Weeping Willow

 Angela Needham - Miss Goins is Gone?

 Katherine Muir - Self-Help

 Rosanne Gulisano - Terror on the Gulf

 Victor Espinosa - A Rough Goodbye

 Victor Atterbury - I got More than I Bargained For

Once again, congratulations, and thank you to the following judges for their time, efforts, decisions, and excellent coordination.

Head judge: Ms. Jo Popek

Contest Coordinator: Ms. Jianna Higgins

Judge: Mr. Lynn Carroll

Judge: Ms. Emily-Jane Orford



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.

1. Terri Cummings, up and coming writer/poet and former 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. This gal has the process nailed! High fives, Terri!

2. To be a Duke has done it again! Reader's Favorite, an international book award contest that features thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, has featured entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

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.

3. 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.

4. Congratulations again to Terri Cummings! Dorothy Alexander of Village Books Press will publish her 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. You go, girl!

5. 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!

6. 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. Go, Diane!!

7. 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!



The Writing Rut

by Deborah Owen, CEO

The only difference between a writing rut and a coffin is that the coffin has the ends filled in. Take a serious look at your position in life and judge yourself.

  • When was the last time you spent one hour writing?
  • When was the last time you completed a project?
  • When was the last time you submitted something?
  • When was the last time you sold something?

Don’t look now, but you’re probably in a writing rut. Answer these questions:

  • Do you procrastinate writing?
  • Do you procrastinate learning?
  • Do you select your market before you begin writing?
  • Do you analyze published articles in your prospective market?

If you don’t write, don’t study, don’t research markets, and don’t analyze what your markets print, how do you expect to make progress? You’re driving nails in your coffin and giving up everything you hold dear. Someday you’ll look back and realize life has passed you by and you didn’t do the thing you valued most.

Are you ready to say, “I want to bust out of my coffin/writing rut. How can I do that?” Now we can help you.

1. Do you want to write fiction or nonfiction?

2. Start reading the genre of magazines that prints articles you want to imitate.

3. For the first week, write 15 minutes at the same time every day. If you can’t think of anything to write, write a letter to the girl/guy who jilted you years ago, or write to a loved one who is gone. Practice writings clear your mind of trivia and help you get in the groove.

4. On the second week, write 30 minutes at the same time every day.

5. If you’re writing a short story, make a rough outline that tells the main point of each scene. Answer 50 questions about the protagonist (hero) and antagonist (villain).

6. Join a creative writing club, either local or online, and become active in it. These are the people that will give you the most important feedback. Two good online writing clubs are and is very large, and is much smaller. Both are excellent.

At this point, you’ve done a self-analysis and taken some steps to correct your course. You’re carving time out of each day to get back on track. What comes next?

Knowledge. Where do you get knowledge? At a writing school. Did you know there are a lot of free writing courses on the internet? But be warned, there is no teacher to grade your work, so there’s no way to tell if you understand the lesson properly and make the proper applications.

Writing is an extremely competitive business. If you enter the selling arena without proper preparation, the chances are good that you’ll get lost in the stampede. Taking writing lessons is not an option. If you want to become a selling writer, writing courses are an absolute necessity. The average writer needs 3-5 courses to learn the basics.

Creative Writing Institute  is a nonprofit charity and for that reason, we can offer the best prices on the net. Every student receives a private tutor, so you can sign up for your writing course by clicking on the course you want (above), and begin within 24 hours!

What? No money? We’ve got you covered. You can break your tuition into four easy payments. We won’t charge you interest. No administration fee. No registration fee.

Today is the day to kick the head and foot out of your coffin, arise from the writing rut, and take your place as a creative writer. Creative Writing Institute will help you every step of the way, but it’s up to you to take the first step.

The decisions you make today will determine your writing future tomorrow.




Writing will fulfill you

Writing will be worth the sacrifice

Writing will make you more than you are

Get your writing course today!



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

Twitter: @DeborahOwen




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A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in

pictures of silver.

Proverbs 25:10


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. We all do. Direct questions to our CEO,