How to Write a Nonfiction Query Letter

by Emilee Newman Bowles and Lindsay Flanagan The query letter. It’s your audition, your one shot at piquing an agent’s or editor’s interest so they want to see more. And it either thrills you to the tips of your fingers to write it or scares you to your very core. We’re guessing it’s the latter,…

Writing a Nonlinear Timeline

by Emilee Newman Bowles with Angela Eschler, Adrianne Montoya, and Lindsay Flanagan Have you ever thought about time travel? What if we said it’s possible—well, sort of. We don’t have a DeLorean, and we’re not sure falling through Stonehenge can take you back in time, but we do have a pretty awesome literary device to…

Nonfiction Cover Design—Must Knows & Nots

by Brian Halley with Mike Nash Book-cover design is about getting the reader’s attention (hooking them) and then reeling them in with promises about what transformative and/or emotionally and intellectually exciting experiences they’ll get from the book. If it’s narrative nonfiction (a memoir or biography or immersion-journalism experience), you want striking images and titles that…

Choosing Your Fiction Title

by Marla Buttars Coming up with a title can make even veteran authors groan in agony. Don’t believe us? Check out some of these original titles we found in an article from The Huffington Post: All’s Well That Ends Well  sends a much different message than War and Peace  (by Leo Tolstoy). The High-Bouncing Lover …

Choosing Your Nonfiction Book Title

by Marla Buttars Titles, as we mentioned in the previous blog about fiction titles, are an important marketing tool. Both nonfiction and fiction titles serve as an immediate hook for readers searching for certain content, whether it be a good romance, a book about the law of thermodynamics, or something to help them improve their…

The Rules for Magic, Powers, and Awesome Skills

  by Angela Eschler and Lindsay Flanagan Super-spies and superheroes. Ninjas and mysterious nomads. Magicians and monsters. Spaceships and species. (The story glands are salivating!) But there are some “rules” to consider before you dive in and go crazy with the super-possibilities. If you’re writing something fantastical (be it magic, sci-fi, or any type of…

I Wrote 25K Words in Less Than Three Days

And You Can Do It Too! by Rachelle J. Christensen I just returned from a fabulous writing retreat where I killed my writing goals, and I can’t wait to tell you about the simple methods I used to write 25,000 words, or roughly 120 double-spaced pages, in two and a half days! There are three…

Writing Software—Which is Best?

by Annette Lyon Q. What is the best software to write with? A. USA-Today best-selling author says Scrivener for writing and Microsoft Word for editing.   Writing Time-Saver and Organization Heaven Annette Lyon: I use Scrivener mostly for drafting and revision. Some reasons: Big projects, like novels or nonfiction works, are impossible to keep in your head all at…

10 Themes for Writing Your Life Story

By Emilee Newman Bowles Want to write your life story but don’t know where to start? You’ve learned a lot of lessons in life, and you’ve had experiences you’d like to share with others, whether with family, friends, colleagues, or even complete strangers. But as you’re musing on all the experiences you’ve had, you begin to wonder…

Defining Creative Nonfiction Categories

Genre Distinctions So You Can Get Yours Right by Marla Buttars With the publishing industry constantly evolving these days, you may ask the question, “What exactly is creative nonfiction?” And you may wonder if your life history or the lessons you want to leave as your legacy fit the definition. Can you have any fiction…