17 Things I Learned from Serious Writers at WordFest

17 Things I Learned from Serious Writers at WordFest

#6: Watch out for “so what?” stories. A “so what?” story is one wherein all conflicts are resolved but where’s the payoff? Where’s the emotional satisfaction? What does the reader feel at the end?

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Get Picked to Speak—An Essential Guide for Newbies

“If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation, your audience never will.” —Harvey Diamond

Do you wish to move your career forward, grow your business, promote your book, connect with new clients, or highlight your message? Then you might want to consider public speaking.

Get Picked by authors Aurora Gregory and David Pitlik delivers a fresh perspective on tried-and-true methods, steering you away from the pitfalls of public speaking so you can get picked to speak.

Whether you’re looking to build your resume, strengthen your LinkedIn profile, or kickstart a new career, Get Picked will teach you how to find conferences that work for your expertise, how to effectively pitch to them, and how to deliver a compelling speech worth listening to.

Their in-depth, proven methods for writing an irresistible speaker proposal keeps you ahead of the game—because they’re ahead of the game. From writing session titles to creating drama to constructing a session story, you’ll never have to guess if your speaker proposal is worthwhile.

All their instructions are well written and easy to understand, and I appreciated the humor throughout the book to keep me entertained, which came as no surprise to me since David Pitlik spent seventeen years as a TV comedy writer. The resources on writing a speaker bio, speaker submission samplers, and dos and don’ts were a fantastic surprise, once again making this book so valuable to me as a pitching speaker.

If you’re ready to head into the speaking arena, then Get Picked is the perfect companion for any new speaker.

You can purchase their book here or visit their website here.

“Speaking at conferences is, hands down, the best way to raise your profile, be seen as an expert, and win business. Rather than focusing on one-to-one marketing methods, you can leverage your time by speaking to hundreds of prospects at once (usually, for free!). Get Picked  is the book I wish I had written on the topic. Grab this fluff-free guide to getting your name in conference programs and implement the savvy advice today. Your business or career will thank you.” —Lori Nash Byron, CEO, Famous in Your Field



Arm Your Authorly Arsenal: 10 Weapons for Novelists

As novelists, our weaponry usually consists of a piping cup of coffee, a valiant iTunes playlist, and a mighty thesaurus. But like any weapon-wielding warrior, we need to arm our arsenal with only the sharpest tools. I present to you, heroes and heroines, the ten must-have books for novelists.

1. Writing Deep Scenes

I feel like I’ve been without my armor as a novelist this entire time because I only recently discovered this magical scroll last week. Action, emotion, and theme are three concepts discussed in this resource to help you create memorable scenes.

2. A Writer's Guide to Characterization

Want to understand why your heroine stays locked away in her castle every night? Want to learn why your hero is a total jerkface to his minions? This book digs deep into your characters’ personalities, and I’m in love with the quizzes that help you choose the right archetype.

3. Your First Novel

Before you become a knight, you must become a squire. Your First Novel is a must for beginning novelists who need a walk-through.

4. The Emotion Thesaurus

Conquer any dialogue battle with Angela Ackerman’s Emotion Thesaurus. I wield it often, and you should too.  

5. The Novel Planner

Don’t expect to defeat the dragon if you don’t have a strategy. This planner has calendars, weekly tasks, and outlines to help you in your journey.

6. The 3 A.M. Epiphany

Want to be a strong, mighty writer? You’ve got to exercise that brain. Get creative and ward off writer’s block with The 3 A.M. Epiphany.

7. Bird by Bird

Everyone needs a muse, and Anne Lamott is the creative influence you need to stay inspired.

8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Long live the king (Stephen King)! Learn more about the craft of writing. But beware of adverbs, for they pave the road to hell.

9. Writing Day In and Day Out

When you’re ready to raise the white flag and call it quits, Andi Cumbo-Floyd gently lifts your weary chin to her angelic face and whispers, “You must keep writing, noble one. Let me show you.”

10. The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists

Think of this book as the War of Art for novelists—know yourself, know your enemy, only fight when you can.

What’s in your authorly arsenal? We’re always looking for books to help us conquer writer’s block and other afflictions.