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Daily Writing Exercises Returns! Get ready for NaNoWriMo (or not-NaNo)

It’s almost October, which means it’s almost November, which means that a bunch of writers around the world are about to take part in the ritual of setting a goal to write fifty thousand words in one month. NaNo excitement!

Given all this writerly energy in the air, this is also a great time of year to try and get back into a regular writing practice, if possible (sometimes it really, really isn’t). If that’s something you’re interested in, allow me to tempt you with the Daily Writing Exercises email series.

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, writing included. Doing short writing exercises or prompts can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure and keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress. They’re especially useful for writers in a slump or who constantly feel blocked due to stress, uncertainty, or just not wanting to write due to to the state of the world.

There are a ton of us. You’re not alone.

Continue reading “Daily Writing Exercises Returns! Get ready for NaNoWriMo (or not-NaNo)”

The Author's Web Toolkit

Webinar Weekend: The Author’s Web Toolkit

I’ve teamed up with my fellow Debut22 author Lisa Stringfellow to bring you two webinars for writers, pre- and post-published. We both feel strongly that authors should have a web presence, even a basic one. We’ll give you the tools to create and maintain a website and a social media presence even if you aren’t tech-savvy or trained in digital marketing. Join us for:

Build It Better: Essentials of an Author Website
with Lisa Stringfellow

When: Saturday, July 24, 2021, 1-3PM Eastern

What are the essential elements of a great author’s website? Whether you are pre-published or published, there are key elements everyone should include on their websites.

In this workshop, Lisa Stringfellow will share her experience as an author and technology instructor to discuss elements of good website design and how to establish a web presence that will help your readers connect with you. She’ll discuss platforms and tools, branding, accessibility, and the nuts and bolts of building and updating your site. Learn how to make sure your author website has the essentials it needs to make an impact!

And/Or

Spend Less Time Tweeting and More Time Writing
Social Media Strategies for Authors
with K. Tempest Bradford

When: Sunday, July 25, 2021, 1-3PM Eastern

Authors need to use social media for publicity, audience building, and community connection. And yet, social networks are undoubtedly time sinks, distractions, and can sometimes be bad for our mental health. All of which can eat into writing time.

Maintaining a balance between time on and off social media is important, especially for authors who want to lean more toward being OFF it. In this webinar, K. Tempest Bradford will offer tips for how to limit your time on social media without having to delete your account and how to set up a system of auto posting and scheduling that will allow you to maintain an appropriate presence without annoying your friends and followers.

Each webinar is $40. Register for both at the same time and get $10 off.

Can’t afford the price? No worries. We have scholarships. Details on the registration page.

Creating Diverse Characters

Next Class: Deep Dive Intensive on Creating Diverse Characters

It’s Writing the Other core class time again! I’m excited for this next one as it’s my favorite: Creating Diverse Characters. I teach this one with Nisi and Piper J. Drake, so you’ll get three deep perspectives on how to write characters different from yourself.

This year we’re doing a new class structure that’s shorter and less expensive. We wanted to make it more financially accessible to folks who may still be struggling to deal with pandemic-related budget issues. And if the price is still out of reach, we have scholarships.

When: June 12 – 20, 2021
Where: Online via Zoom or Asynchronous classroom, accessible at your own pace
Price: $200 – $300

There are two course options:

Option 1: Asynchronous ($200) — Writers who cannot join us for the live Weekend Intensive can chose this option. Starting June 12 you’ll have access to the private WordPress classroom where we will post lectures in text form and the recordings of the sessions. Starting on the 14th we’ll post readings, discussions, and more writing exercises (some of which instructors will offer feedback on). For this option you can log in at any time and participate on your schedule.

The time commitment for the Asynchronous portion of the class will depend on your level of participation. Discussions based on lectures, short readings, and writing exercises will take place during the week. Discussion threads tend to be wide-ranging, so students should try to check in at least once a day or every other day. You may manage your time as needed based on your own schedule.

Option 2: Weekend Intensive Plus ($300) — On Saturday and Sunday June 12 & 13 students will gather virtually on Zoom (see detailed schedule below) for lectures, Q&A, discussion, and writing exercises with live feedback. From Monday June 14 through Friday the 18th students can log in to a private WordPress forum for further discussions based on readings and more writing exercises. This section of the class is asynchronous, meaning you can log in at any time and participate on your schedule.

This option is limited to 25 students.

See all the details, schedule, and scholarship app info at WritingTheOther.com.

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Next Writing the Other Webinar: Are You My Ally?

Yes, I do intend to have a very busy May :D In addition to the Rekindle Unworkshop I’m also co-leading a webinar on allyship for creative folks.

Got privilege? Want to know what it’s good for? Want to make use of your advantages without insulting those who may not share them? There are so many ways creative people can help each other. With suggestions ranging from practical tips to aspirational dreams, this seminar empowers would-be allies to support BIPOC and other marginalized creatives and #ownvoices work while boosting the presence of marginalized genius.

When: May 1, 2021, 10AM – 1PM Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $20 – $30 or Whatever You Can Afford

Visit the Writing the Other website for for further details or to register.

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Rekindle Your Will To Write | A Writing Unworkshop

If you fell off the writing wagon or constantly feel blocked due to stress, uncertainty, or just not wanting to due to *gesturesAll This and ready to try and get back to it, this unworkshop is for you. Play a no-pressure writing game with me and author Alethea Kontis to spark your imagination and get words on paper again.

We’ll be playing Sugar, Porridge, Spoons, a game for writers designed to push past your internal editor and get you creating weird and wonderful stuff without the pressure of trying to produce something specific.

We’ll meet on Zoom for live virtual game sessions on:

  • Saturday May 1 | 5PM – 7PM eastern
  • Sunday May 2 | 4PM – 6PM eastern
  • Wednesday May 5 | 4PM – 6PM eastern
  • Saturday May 8 | 5PM – 7PM eastern
  • Sunday May 9 | 4PM – 6PM eastern

Click here to convert to your time zone

All sessions are optional. If you can make some but not others, that’s fine. Participants will have access to videos of each session afterward.

You’ll also be invited to a private Discord server where you can discuss the outcome of each game session.

This unworkshop costs $40 and is open to writers ages 14 to 114 years old. There are scholarships available.

Click Here For Details or to Register

Scholarships

There are 4 scholarships available to writers who cannot afford the registration fee for class. Half are specifically for Black, Indigenous, and other Writers of Color, half are available to any writer from any identity background.

To apply, fill out this form. You’ll be asked to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words) and a statement of financial need (300 words). Please Note: I define financial need broadly, from those who absolutely can’t pay to those who may have the money but can’t set it aside for a writing course. Don’t self reject!

Application Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific April 21, 2021.

Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves

New Webinar: Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves?

I get asked a version of this question all the time. So does anyone who is outspoken in the diverse literature space. It usually comes in the form of:

Should white creators write characters of color?

or

Should abled creators write characters with disabilities?

or

Should heterosexual creators write LGBTQIA+ characters?

and so on.

Truth is, the answer is simple (yes) and also complex (yes, but…), thus some people need guidance in answering the question for themselves. Lucky for y’all, Nisi Shawl and I are willing to offer that guidance.

Our next webinar is on this topic, it costs $20 – $30 or whatever you can afford, and will happen on March 6th. If you cannot make the live webinar you can register to get the video after. Details and registration are on Writing the Other.com. Hope to see you there.

Daily Writing Exercises: Preptober + NaNoWriMo 2020

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, writing included. Especially when you’re gearing up to set down 50,000 words in 30 days.

Doing a 10 – 20 minute writing exercise can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure, give you the chance to try out new craft skills, or simply keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress.

Whether you’re getting ready for NaNoWriMo, or starting a new long fiction project, or just want to try building a daily writing practice, this course is for you.

Click here to Register

Part 1 – Preptober (Reg Ended)

Starting October 1 you’ll get a short writing exercise via email every day for a month. These exercises will give you an opportunity to play around with voice, point of view, dialogue, and other aspects of craft plus help you get to know your characters better and dig into details of your setting. You can use the exercises to prepare for NaNoWriMo, or a non-NaNo project, or as warm-ups before starting on your current work in progress.

Part 2 – NaNoWriMo

Starting November 1 you’ll get a different set of writing exercises via email every day for a month. The November exercises will all relate directly to your work in progress, diving into the characters, the world, and the plot in ways that will help you keep moving forward.

You can sign up for Part 2 for $45. Grants are still available for those who can’t afford the registration fee.

Grants

There are a total of 10 grants available to writers who need them. Grants are for both parts of class. Five grants are available to Black, Indigenous, and other Writers of Color, five are available to any writer from any identity background.

To apply, fill out this form. You’ll be asked to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words) and a statement of financial need (300 words). Please Note: I define financial need broadly, from those who absolutely can’t pay to those who may have the money but can’t set it aside for a writing course. Don’t self reject!

FAQ

Do I have to be doing NaNo to take this course?

Nope! If you just want a month or two of writing exercises that will help you with your fiction or get you into a daily writing practice, this course is for you.

What are the technical requirements?

Just an email account.

Can I donate so more people get grants?

Yes! And you’d be the absolute best for doing so. Click here to donate via PayPal. You can pay to cover the full grant price or just part of one. Any amount donated is appreciated.

New Webinar: Cultural Appropriation – What It Is and How To Avoid It

Nisi Shawl and I are teaching a webinar on Cultural Appropriation next month. This class has low-cost registrations and a donation/Pay What You Can Afford option to make it more widely available to writers affected by COVID-19. Basic details:

When: May 2, 2020, 10AM – 1PM Pacific Time (Click to see when this happens in your time zone)
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $20 – $30 or Whatever You Can Afford (Details Below)

Most writers want to avoid Cultural Appropriation but worry that they don’t fully understand what it is or how to ensure their work does not include it. They wonder what the difference is between appropriation and exchange or between appropriation and influence. And they hope avoiding cultural appropriation doesn’t mean only writing stories about people from their same race, culture, or ethnic group.

In this 3 hour webinar, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will offer concrete answers to those questions and a set of resources to help authors navigate these tricky waters. The webinar includes two short lectures and a lengthy Q&A.

Click here for full details or to register

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New Class: Managing Social Media for Writers

I’m teaching a new class for Cat Rambo’s Academy for Wayward Writers about how to manage social media if you’re a writer. Especially if you DON’T want to be on it. Details:

When: Sunday, May 3, 2020, 1:00-3:00 pm Pacific Time
Where: Online via Video Conference
Price: $99 ($79 for existing Academy students) – scholarships are available

Authors need to use social media for publicity, audience building, and community connection. And yet, social networks are undoubtedly time sinks, distractions, and can sometimes be bad for our mental health. All of which can eat into writing time. Maintaining a balance between time on and off social media is important, especially for authors who want to lean more toward being OFF it. In this class, K. Tempest Bradford will offer tips for how to limit your time on social media without having to delete your account and how to set up a system of auto posting and scheduling that will allow you to maintain an appropriate presence without annoying your friends and followers.

Classes are limited to 15 students. They are taught online and require reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane; a webcam is suggested but not required. Classes are recorded for the benefit of class members only.

Click here to register.

Willamette Writers logo and image of Tempest

I’m teaching at the Willamette Writers Conference

The Willamette Writers community recently announced the lineup of teachers and keynote speakers for their conference this summer, and for the first time I’m one of them! There are a ton of amazing writers, editors, and agents on that list and I’m honored to be listed alongside them. Plus, I’ve been hearing wonderful things about this conference for a while and I’m excited to attend and absorb some knowledge myself.

The conference takes place July 31 – August 2, 2020 and currently the in-person event in Portland, Oregon is still happening. However, there is now a virtual option for the conference and, if need be, the event will go full virtual.

Here’s the list of my Master Class, Panel, and Workshops:

Master Class: Describing the “Other”
Three Sessions: Monday – Wednesday, July 27-29, 5-7 PM Pacific

Writers who want to create fiction with characters from different identities, cultures, and backgrounds often grow anxious when it comes time to describe people from marginalized groups. They wonder which words and phrases they should avoid and which words to use instead. In this Master Class, writers will learn how to avoid these description pitfalls. Through lecture and writing exercises, we’ll go beyond the basics of eliminating food metaphors and other tired/inaccurate clichés and explore how to make conscious, respectful, and inclusive language choices. Writers will come away from the session with a set of resources to help them avoid descriptions that unwittingly reveal or perpetuate bias and oppression. Bring your computer, tablet, or pen and paper for hands-on exercises.

Panel: Current Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Friday, July 31, 2020 9:00 AM-10:30 AM

The world of Science Fiction and Fantasy is imaginative, big, and wild. Join noted SFF authors as they discuss current themes that have found their way into SFF, and how the industry has changed in the last few years.

Workshop: Intersectionality and Characterization
Friday, July 31, 3:45 PM-4:45 PM

When writers first conceptualize characters, they often have one or two aspects of identity firmly in mind. In focusing on one particular aspect of identity – such as race or ability or sexual orientation – you can lose sight of the fact that there are always overlapping areas of identity that affect how a character moves through the world. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how Intersectionality can be used as framework for creating fully-dimensional characters, especially when those characters are from identities and cultures different from your own. There will be hands-on writing exercises, so bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper.

Workshop: Writing Outside of Your Experience: Characterization
Saturday, August 1, 10:45 AM-12:15 PM

Representation and creating characters that reflect the diversity of the world we all live in is fundamental to writing great fiction. But writers often find it difficult to represent people whose gender, sexual orientation, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity is very different from their own. This can lead to fear of getting it horribly, offensively wrong and, in the face of that, some think it’s better to not even try. But representation is too important to ignore. In this workshop, K. Tempest Bradford will give you tools and set you on the right path to writing characters who represent the “Other” sensitively and convincingly. There will be hands-on writing exercises, so bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper.

In addition, I will attend the Writers of Color Social on Saturday morning at 7:30 if there’s an in-person event.

Registration prices:

  • Online Registration: $299.00
  • Full Conference Registration: $559.00
  • Friday Only Registration: $284.00
  • Saturday & Sunday Only Registration: $404.00

You can find more details and register here. I hope I see some of you this summer!