For Writers

Writing develops through a series of milestones. Writing regularly. Seeking feedback. Finishing pieces. Submitting polished pieces. Being rejected. Being accepted. Published. Paid. Solicited for more. It take persistence, but there’s always another milestone to keep the journey interesting.

Gathered below are writing tips and other resources. 

Workshop Tips

Richard taught writing workshops at The Writers Studio from 2019 through 2022 and has been a student in many workshops and classes over the years. These articles may be helpful for those taking writing workshops and classes at any school or program.

Wintery image of a tree in a field of snow under a bright blue sky and rising sun. Text: Give the Gift of Creative Writing at The Writers Studio. Email Liz Kingsley at liz@writerstudio.com to pay for a class or make partial payment toward a class for friends or family

“A Guide to Workshops at The Writers Studio”

“A Few General Tips About Attending Workshops”

The Writers Studio Craft Class Spring 2017 reading list

“The Writers Studio
Experience”

Writing Tips

Below are several articles with writing tips for writers and poets.

“A Submission Process”

“Learning to Horror”

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

“A Writing Process”

“Move It to the Top”

young unshaven man looking at mirror in bathroom

“The Limits of Success”

“Making the Poet”

man in blue polo shirt sitting on blue couch

“Counseling the Writer”

brown cattle

“Art is Sacrifice

Resources

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

Below is a growing list of literary and speculative writing resources including books, videos, presentations, etc. that may be helpful to writers and poets. While literary and speculative resources are separated below, there is often overlap that may be helpful for writers of any genre of writing.

Submitting

Richard wrote an article about how he submits here: “A Submission Process

And here’s a great way to deal with rejections: compete for the most rejections with the annual Rejection Competition organized by Reneé Bibby!

Literary Fiction & Poetry Resources

Writing & Craft

Richard wrote an article about his own process here: “A Writing Process

  • Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (Penguin Classics, 2014)
  • Robert Olen Butler, From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction (Grove Press, 2006)
  • Lisa Cron, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere (Ten Speed Press, 2016)
  • Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Publications, 2005)
  • Dan Killgallon, Sentence Composing for College: A Worktext on Sentence Variety and Maturity (Heinemann, 1998)
  • Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anchor, 1995)
  • Brooks Landon, Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Plume, 2013)
  • Noah Lukeman, The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile (Simon & Schuster, 2000)
  • Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook (Mariner Books, 1994)
  • Jordan Rosenfeld, A Writer’s Guide to Persistence: How to Create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice (Writer’s Digest Books, 2015)
  • Sandra Scofield, The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer (Penguin Books, 2007)
  • Sandra Scofield, The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision (Penguin Books, 2017)
  • Blake Snyder, Save the Cat! (Michael Wiese Productions, 2005)
  • Blake Snyder, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies (Michael Wiese Productions, 2017)
  • Benda Ueland, If You Want to Write (Martino Fine Books, 1938, 2011)
  • John Yorke, Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story (Harry N. Abrams, 2015)

Revision

  • James Scott Bell, Revision and Self-Editing for Publication: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Novel That Sells (Writer’s Digest Books, 2008, 2012)
  • Susan Bell, The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself (W. W. Norton & Company, 2008)
  • Renni Browne & Dave King, Self-editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2004)

Speculative Fiction & Poetry Resources

Writing & Craft

  • Philip Athans, Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014)
  • Steven Harper, Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story (Writer’s Digest Books, 2011)
  • Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Scribner, 2000, 2010)
  • Damon Knight, Creating Short Fiction: Revised and Expanded Third Edition (ReAnimus Press, 2016)
  • Nancy Kress, Elements of Fiction Writing – Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Writer’s Digest Books, 2011)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story (Mariner Books, 1998, 2015)
  • Joe Mynhardt, Horror 101: The Way Forward – Career Advice by Seasoned Professionals (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2014)
  • Philip Pullman, Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling (Vintage, 2018)
  • Robert Qualkinbush, How to Improve Your Speculative Fiction Openings, Second Edition (ReAnimus Press, 2013)
  • Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward, Writing the Other: A Practical Approach (Aqueduct Press, 2005)
  • Jeff VanderMeer, Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction (Abrams, 2013, 2018)
  • Tim Waggoner, Writing in the Dark (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2020)
  • Chuck Wendig, The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience (Writer’s Digest Books, 2013)
  • Carolyn Wheat, How to Write Killer Fiction (Daniel & Daniel Publishers, 2003)
  • Kate Wilhelm, Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop (Small Beer Press, 2005)
  • John Yorke, Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story (Harry N. Abrams, 2015)

Revision

  • Lee Murray & Angela Yuriko Smith, Mark My Words: Read the Submission Guidelines and Other Self-editing Tips (Yuriko Publishing, 2021)

Worldbuilding

Fairy Tales

  • PDF: Kate Bernheimer, “Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale
  • Kate Bernheimer, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (Penguin Books, 2010)
  • Maria Tatar, The Classic Fairy Tales (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999)
  • Annual Journal: Fairy Tale Review (Wayne State University Press)

New Weird

  • Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, The New Weird (Tachyon Publications, 2008)
  • Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (Tor, 2011)

Speculative Poetry

Ursula K. Le Guin

More Blog Posts For Writers

Wintery image of a tree in a field of snow under a bright blue sky and rising sun. Text: Give the Gift of Creative Writing at The Writers Studio. Email Liz Kingsley at liz@writerstudio.com to pay for a class or make partial payment toward a class for friends or family

A Guide to Workshops at The Writers Studio

It can be difficult to sort through all the offerings from the Writers Studio to pick which classes are best for you or the writer in your life to which you would like to gift a workshop. Here, then, is a guide to our offerings, depending on your writing goals and interests.

Tucson Poetry Festival 2021 Poster with illustration of mountains and details about dates and featured poets: Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18, 2021 with workshops taught by Linda D. Addison, Raquel Gutiérrez, Eduardo C. Corral, and Jake Skeets, a reading, and an open mic

The 39th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival is Coming Soon

The 39th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival is coming up in two weeks! Registration is available on our website for poetry workshops taught by our featured poets on Saturday, April 17, 2021. They will also be reading that evening and there will be an open mic (would you like to read one of your own poems?!) on Sunday afternoon, April 18, 2021.

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

Free Writers Studio Tucson Class Online This Thursday

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

Tucson teachers Lela Scott MacNeil and I will be online for a free writing class this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to provide a writing exercise, explain The Writers Studio method, and discuss how our program can support your personal writing goals.

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

Summer 2020 Writing and Teaching

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

This summer 2020, I’m teaching both a Tucson Workshop and “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds”, reading a lot of speculative poetry, and writing.

A Submission Process

In this new post, I will provide tips and resources so that my workshop students and other writers can submit their best work to potential markets.

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

Writing Workshops for Spring and Summer 2020

Out of focus circles of light of different sizes and warm and dark colors

In addition to my usual 8-week Writers Studio Tucson Workshop, I’m bringing back my popular online “Crafting Fantastic and Imaginative Worlds” workshop for poets and writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror!

Learning to Horror

Trees, sky, light on water in Daphne, Alabama

After years of focusing on literary poetry and fiction, including completing my undergraduate education in creative writing and taking writing workshops, I’m finally embracing my original genre aspirations.

NaNoWriMo Calendar

Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2019

Writing Progress Sticker Calendar by NaNoWriMo for November 2019

I really, really, really want to reach 50,000 words in November and I want to do it in 2019 before the new decade starts and we’re in the far future.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launch on August 12 2005

Move It to the Top

I have learned a valuable lesson about writing this year as a result of teaching writing workshops. This led to a breakthrough in writing poetry that has transformed my poems in the past few months. Here is what I have learned.

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

The Limits of Success

I was not prepared for how much worse imposter syndrome would get once I started writing regularly, getting published, participating in public readings, teaching…

Alice Hatcher Craft Class

📚 I participated in a fantastic craft class today with Alice Hatcher, author of The Wonder That Was Ours. She was interviewed by Reneé Bibby, Director of the Writers Studio Tucson, and local students in the Master and Advanced workshops.

Book cover of Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder, with a cat on the cover hanging from a frayed rope

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

The tone and humor might be a little dated, even insensitive and problematic at points, but there’s no question that Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is a book packed with useful, easily digestible, but comprehensive information.

Weekly calendar on two pages in NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal written in pencil

Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2018

Weekly calendar on two pages in NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal written in pencil

I’ve written an entire novel before, a few of them in fact, but I’ve never completed 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month in November.

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

Sunday Task

How to group poems into manuscripts that will go out to several potential markets?

I have no idea.

Making the Poet

Oregon last at sunset with pink and yellow and dark sky over beach at dusk

I don’t believe in natural talent. I use “believe” on purpose because I might be wrong; nevertheless, there’s more to talent than whatever innate capabilities a person might be born with that makes them prodigy and genius.

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

Counseling the Writer

Counseling, when you find the right counselor and when you engage with them honestly and with a willingness to do what they suggest, can work wonders and reshape your entire life.

A cozy corner of Story Land

A Writing Process

A cozy corner of Story Land

My writing process is just one example of a writing process that will hopefully inspire you to build your own.

The Writers Studio Craft Class Spring 2017 reading list

The Writers Studio Experience

The Writers Studio Craft Class Spring 2017 reading list

It occurs to me that I haven’t written much about The Writers Studio workshops I’ve been attending regularly for the past year. It has been such a positive experience that I think I have been trying to keep it all to myself. No more.

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

Art Is Sacrifice and Other Bullshit

The problem with some men (Many? Just me?) in their twenties is that they won’t shut up and listen. Instead they pronounce. Loudly. I pronounced on a writing forum that the only writers who are successful and published are those who sacrifice themselves entirely and painfully to their art. I called out people I believed would probably never be published to defend my pronouncement. I called out housewives and retirees specifically.

The Years of Fantasy and Horror

The Year's Best Fantasy, First and Second Annual Collections

I remember fondly buying a few editions of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling in the 1990s. I was in my twenties and while many of the stories and their level of craft were opaque to me at the time, I felt I had stumbled onto a magical tradition.

Geography Club movie actors

Book-Making and Other Analog Treasures

This is the time to enjoy the way things used to be or are currently, before everything changes due to technology. A day of physical book making followed by watching VOD.

Bridegroom documentary movie poster with Tom Bridegroom and Shane Bitney Crone with rainbow stripes

It Hurts

A long time ago when I lived in Rochester, New York, I stupidly wrote a letter to a coworker and mailed it to his home. It was not really a love letter, but it might as well have been.

Macbook Lamp Notebook Desk writing

A Writing Journal

What was previously my blog – full of news, likes and commentary – should now, I think, become a writing journal, a document more closely related to the craft of writing.