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The Writer's Bookshelf I-O

A-E F-H I-O P-V W-Writes Writing-Z

The I Ching For Writers
Sarah Jane Sloane
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1577314964 $14.95 1-800-972-6657

Plenty of spiritual guides have been written on the subject of the I Ching; but none with the specialized focus of Sarah Jane Sloane's The I Ching For Writers: Finding The Page Inside You, which tells how to apply I Ching concepts to writer's block and inspirational paths. Each of the I Ching's sixty-four hexagrams is interpreted by Sloane from years of study of over fifty translations, and synthesized into comments pertaining to writer's struggles with words. The I Ching For Writers: Finding The Page Inside You evolves into a delightful, inspirational cure for writer's block under Sloane's careful applications and analysis.

I Don't Want to be a Pirate - Writer, Maybe
Robert S. Swiatek
Aventine Press
1023 4th Avenue #102, San Diego, CA 92101
1593305281, $12.50,

A different kind of thief that isn't heard about too often - the ones in the book business. "I Don't Want to be a Pirate - Writer, Maybe" is Author Robert S. Swiatek's account of his adventures with a certainly treacherous industry of books. Covering all the joys, disappointments and hemorrhoids that he as a writer has had to deal with during his career, while still keeping a positive and upbeat demeanor about it all and encouraging aspiring writers not to give up and keep up their efforts. "I Don't Want to be a Pirate- Writer, Maybe" is highly recommended for would be writers and a must have for community library collections catering to them.

The I Love to Write Book
Mary Lane Kamberg
Crickhollow Books
3147 S. Pennslyvania Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
9781933987057, $16.95,

A love for writing is something to be nurtured. "The I Love to Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writes" is a collection of tips, tricks, and advice for young writers. Whether they want to make a career out of their craft or just better hone their hobby, Kamberg gives the knowledge and lessons needed to improve a young writer's craft for any purpose. Fiction, non-fiction, letters, poetry, or short stories are all covered, making "The I Love to Write Book" an ideal gift for the young potential author in one's life.

Imagining Ancient Women
Annabel Lyon
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
9780888646293, $10.95,

Especially recommended reading for any author aspiring to write historical fiction, "Imagining Ancient Women" by Annabel Lyon is clearly a 'must read'. The welcome addition to the Henry Kreisel Lecture Series published by the University of Alberta Press, this slender, 64-page lecture lays out the processes of researching historical sources for useable material in creating believable characters, backgrounds, scenarios, and stories that contemporary readers can readily relate to. Informed, informative, insightful, scholarly, 'reader friendly', of immense and immediate practical value, "Imagining Ancient Women" is highly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library Literary Studies and Writer Reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide
Margaret Kerrison
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933419, $29.95, PB, 264pp

Synopsis: What gets your heart rate going more: reading a story about dinosaurs, or being chased by one? The emerging discipline of immersive storytelling recognizes the power of creative works that put the viewer at the center of the action.

With the publication of "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide", theme park designer Margaret Kerrison shares tips and tricks for writers on teams tasked with bringing a narrative to life.

How do you take an idea from inspiration to manifestation? How do you move from telling a story to creating a world? "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" is a richly illustrated instructional guide and 'how-to' manual -- the first of its kind written specifically for writers and in which Kerrison lays out the craft of immersive storytelling by using case studies to show what works, and highlights the essential role of the writer on a complex creative team.

For aspiring (and experienced) screen writers ready to take the kernel of an idea and turn it into a full-fledged experience, "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" presents the ideal blueprint.

Critique: A complete and comprehensive course of real world practical and illustrated instruction under one cover, "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" is impressive in its 'user friendly' commentary, organization and presentation. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Screen Writing collections and supplemental curriculum course lists, it should be noted for students, academia, novice/professional screenwriters and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" is also available in a complete and unabridged audio book format (Dreamscape Media, 9781666611236, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore, Margaret Kerrison received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Her career spans 14 years of experience in television, film, digital media, games, brand storytelling, location-based entertainment, and immersive experiences. She has worked as a Story Lead, Story Consultant, and Writer for multiple projects around the world, including Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars: Launch Bay, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Avengers Campus, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, National Geographic HQ, and the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted. She was a Disney Imagineer from 2014-2021. She is currently a Sr. Experiential Creative Lead for Airbnb. She has a dedicated website at

Improve Your Writing With NLP
Judith E. Pearson
Crown House Publishing
6 Trowbridge Drive Suite 5
Bethel, CT 06801
9781845908614, $29.95,

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, USA in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns learned through experience ("programming") and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. Bandler and Grinder claim that the skills of exceptional people can be "modeled" using NLP methodology, then those skills can be acquired by anyone. Bandler and Grinder also claim that NLP can treat problems such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, myopia, allergy, common cold and learning disorders, often in a single session. NLP has been adopted by some hypnotherapists and in seminars marketed to business and government. It has also now been adopted and adapted to the process of writing with "Improve Your Writing With NLP" by Judith E. Pearson. This 216 page compendium is essential a complete and analytical course in teaching aspiring authors cognitive strategies to improve their writing, as well as learning the writing process in all of its facets, how NLP models for creativity best apply, and perhaps most usefully of all, how to overcome the inevitable 'writer's block'. Thoroughly 'reader friendly', "Improve Your Writing With NLP" is a unique and highly recommended addition to any aspiring or professional writer's instructional reference collection.

Index it Right! Volume 3
Enid L. Zafran, Editor
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875004, $40.00,

Index it Right! Advice from the Experts, Volume 3 is a recommended reference adding the third installment to the "Index It Right" series and provides advice for indexing professionals on everything from ebook indexing and meta-tagging to indexing in niche areas from science to literature. Chapters cover the history of index, special indexing challenges such as indexing multicultural texts and ethnic names, and keys to teaching and using indexing. It's a fine pick recommended for any involved in the profession.

Indexing Tactics & Tidbits
Janet Perlman
Information Today, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875257, $45.00, PB, 170pp,

"Indexing Tactics & Tidbits: An A to Z Guide" by Janet Perlman (who draws upon her more than 30 years of experience and expertise as a professional indexer of books and journals) is very highly-recommended reference for indexing professionals. A master indexer, Janet Perlman presents a treasure trove of practical, in-depth explanations and advice present in an alphabetical format. While bringing her own in-depth, conversational style and a multitude of fresh topics to the table, "Indexing Tactics & Tidbits" provides answers and insights on such vital subjects as audience analysis, clients and contracts, computers and software, ethics and standards, index depth and length, index structure, periodical indexing, professional resources, quality and usability, work methods and strategies, and much more. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, content, organization and presentation, new and experienced indexers alike will appreciate how "Indexing Tactics & Tidbits comprehensively and accessibly addresses the tasks of indexing by one of the truly preeminent indexers working in publishing today. Indeed, "Indexing Tactics & Tidbits" will prove to be a core and valued addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections in general, and Indexing supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

Infographic Guide to Creating Stories
Hank Quense
Strange Worlds Publishing
9798985309713, $24.99, PB, 118pp

Synopsis: Do you have a story struggling to come out? Do you know how to write it down? Or how to tell it? Writing a story involves weaving many elements together to create a singular tale. If you're stumped on how to get started then giving the "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories: Learn How to Write a Story" by the award-winning author Hank Quense is a good way to begin.

In this basic 'how to' instructional guide and DIY manual, Quense tells you how to create your story. He believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" concentrates on the last two.

"Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" concentrates on developing characters including such rarely discussed requirements such as a dominant reader emotion and the character's biography.

Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to illustrate complex points. Still section discusses subplots and how to utilize them and how to nest them within the main plot. A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the emotional arcs.

Other topics covered in "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" include: character arcs, scene design, point-of-view, writing voice and more.

Critique: A complete course of 'how to' instructions on the art and craft of writing stories other people would enjoy reading, "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories: Learn How to Write a Story" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Highly recommended to the attention of all aspiring writers, and while also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99), "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" is an especially useful and commended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections and writer workshop curriulums.

Editorial Note: Hank Quense has a blog at blog: He can also be followed Twitter at, on Facebook at, and on the Writers and Authors Resource Center

Inner Drives
Pamela Jaye Smith
Michael Wiese Productions
11288 Ventura Boulevard, #621, Studio City, CA 91604
1932907033 $26.95

There are some basic principles to writing good characters into novels and dramas and with them the aspiring screenwriter or novelist can produce powerful, three-dimension figures. Inner Drives: How To Write & Create Characters Using The Eight Classic Centers Of Motivation surveys these principles from the world of mythology, using plenty of examples teamed with exercises to help writers structure characters, devise subplots, make logical connections and more. Chapters discuss 'inner drive centers', link art and writing to New Age concepts, and survey archetypes and classic examples.

Inside the Best Sellers
Jerrold R. Jenkins & Mardi Link
Rhodes & Easton
121 East Front Street, 4th floor, Traverse City, MI 49684
0964940116 $21.95 1-616-933-0445

Inside The Best Sellers shares the stories of famous authors who published their own books because the New York publishing giants had dismissed their manuscripts. The result of taking the risk of self-publishing was fame, financial success, and bestseller status. All of these authors reveal inspiring "rags to riches" stories of beating the corporate/conglomerate publishing system. Inside The Best Sellers is engaging, motivating reading for anyone with a manuscript ignored or dismissed by the publishing elites. In this new age of desktop publishing and do-it-yourself marketing, anyone willing to do their self-publishing homework, and invest their energy and time can accomplish their own dreams of literary immortality on a shoe-string budget. Inside The Best Sellers has demonstrated that it has happened to others, even in this corporate age publishing conglomerates and a fiercely competitive bookselling environment.

Inside the TV Writer's Room
Lawrence Meyers, Editor
Syracuse University Press
621 Skytop Road, Suite 110, Syracuse, NY 13244-5290
9780815632412, $24.95,

INSIDE THE TV WRITER'S ROOM: PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR SUCCEEDING IN TELEVISION collects interviews with some of today's top episodic writers and explores the artists' keys to succeeding in the television writing world. From compromises on creative efforts to how to start writing and find a unique focus, this is packed with clear, winning instructions perfect for an aspiring TV writer or college-level libraries catering to them!

Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent, The
Lori Perkins
Writer's Digest Books/F&W Pub.
1507 Dana Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45207
0898799090 $16.99 1-800-289-0963

In The Insider's Guide To Getting An Agent: The Definitive Writer's Resource, Lori Perkins shows the aspiring author where and how to target the right agents; the "10 Commandments" for writing an effective query letter; what should be expected from an agent; the anatomy of an attention-getting book proposal; how to build and maintain a great working relationship with an agent; protocol for handling a first book deal; the potential of subrights, publicity and foreign sales; and how to know when it's time to make writing your day job. Lori Perkins is the founding partner of Perkins, Rubie, and Associates, a New York literary agency representing about 150 authors, with foreign representation in eleven countries. She draws upon her more than fifteen years of practical, real-world experience to make The Insider's Guide To Getting An Agent one of the most useful reference books any aspiring or fledgling author can read.

Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language
Seth Lerer
Columbia University Press
9780231137942, $24.95 www.columbia/edu/cu/cup

Why is there such a difference between English spelling and pronunciation, and how did grammar rules develop? INVENTING ENGLISH is an engaging survey considering all the oddities of English: it not only covers these oddities but places them in rare American historical perspective, adding background to a survey where others would focus on linguistics alone. High school, college and public library holdings alike will find it a lively historical survey of how people discovered and developed new forms of expression bundled into the English language we know and use today.

Is Life Like That?
John Dufresne
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393065411, $26.95,

Most people who sit down in front of a typewriter or their computer intending to write the next 'Great American Novel' never finish the project. What such aspiring authors need is to give a careful reading to John Dufresne's "Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months". This is a 314-page compendium of sage observation, sound advice, practical realities, and chronologically organized schedule of how to go about crafting a publishable novel in six months time -- all laid out in 26 weeks of step-by-step progress from beginning to end. Of special note is a most effective and interestingly presented bibliography comprising the final chapter -- 'What I Was Reading While I Was Writing'. Thoroughly informed and informative, "Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months" will prove to be invaluable for the novice beginner, and hold a great deal of interest for experienced authors in non-fiction categories who feel they, too, have a novel to write.

Is There a Book Inside You?: A Step-by-Step Plain for Writing Your Book
Dan Poynter & Mindy Bingham
Para Publishing
PO Box 8206, Santa Barbara, CA 93118-8206
1568600194 $14.95 1-800-727-2782

Is There A Book Inside You? is a practical, comprehensive, easy to follow, step-by-step plan for translating an idea or story into a readable book. Is There A Book Inside You? teaches how to pick a topic, break the topic down into easy-to-attack projects, how and where to do research, making writing as easy as possible, improving the material, manage writing partnerships, evaluating publishing options, and developing an individualized and workable plan. Is There A Book Inside You? reveals the secrets of breaking into print -- even for an unpolished, inexperienced writer. Is There A Book Inside You? teaches how and where to find the help of researchers, editors, peer reviewers, clerical support, contract writers, and co-authors. Is There A Book Inside You? is`"must" reading for any beginning writer, and has much of value for even the experienced professional with publishing credits.

The Jane Austen Writers' Club
Rebecca Smith
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781632865885, $27.00, HC, 352pp,

While creative writing manuals tend to use examples from twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers, "The Jane Austen Writers' Club: Inspiration and Advice from the World's Best-loved Novelist" by Rebecca Smith (who teaches creative writing at the University of Southampton; was the Writer in Residence at Jane Austen's House Museum from 2009 to 2010; and who still works closely with the Museum, running writing workshops and judging their competition for young writers) is the first 'how to' for aspiring writers to look at the methods and devices used by the world's most beloved novelist. Austen was a creator of immortal characters and a pioneer in her use of language and point of view; her advice continues to be relevant two centuries after her death. Rebecca Smith deftly examines the major aspects of writing fiction (plotting, characterization, openings and endings, dialogue, settings, and writing methods) sharing the advice Austen gave in letters to her aspiring novelist nieces and nephew, and providing many and varied exercises for writers to try, using examples from Austen's work. "The Jane Austen Writers' Club" also provides a number of exercises and functions perfectly as a timely primer on writing that features utterly timeless advice. As informed and informative as it is thoroughly 'user friendly', "The Jane Austen Writers' Club" is an invaluable instructional study that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and academic library 'how to' collections on writing truly memorable fiction. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Jane Austen Writers' Club" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Jeff Herman's Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009
Jeff Herman
Three Dog Press
c/o The Jeff Herman Agency
3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262
9780977268245, $29.95,

Having written a manuscript is only the first and initial step toward being published. In many ways, it is the easiest part of the publication process. Turning that manuscript into a published book requires special knowledge, targeted skills, and useful contacts beyond those required to simply write well. That's where a reference and resource like "Jeff Herman's Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009" will prove invaluable. Now in a completely updated and substantially expanded 19th edition, "Jeff Herman's Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009" is a 1070-page compendium of practical and descriptive information that begins with five individual sections listing publishing conglomerates, independent U.S. publishers, university presses, Canadian publishers, and literary agents. That alone would make this exhaustive reference a worthwhile addition to any writer's reference shelf. But "Jeff Herman's Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009" is made even more useful with the inclusion of an impressive 'Advice for Writers' section providing 'real-world' information on all aspects of the publishing process from literary agents, to book proposals, to time management, to rejections, and more. Of special note are the concluding sections dedicated to providing insight and information with respect to Independent Editors and Resources for Writers. Enhanced with a Glossary and an exhaustive Index, "Jeff Herman's Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009" is an enthusiastically recommended resource guide for novice and experienced authors alike!

Journal Keeping
Dannelle D. Stevens & Joanne E. Cooper
Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Dr., Sterling, VA 20166-2012
978579222161, $24.95,

There are many purposes for keeping a daily diary or personal journal. Making a written record of our lives, experiences, and thoughts often helps us to understand them better, provide an emotional relief, memorialize accomplishments, benefit our posterity, and establish the only kind of immortality that most of us can hope for. That's why "Journal Keeping: How To Use Reflective Writing For Learning, Teaching, Professional Insight, And Positive Change" by Dannelle D. Stevens and Joanne E. Cooper is such an invaluable and highly recommended instructional manual for aspiring diarists and journalists. "Journal Keeping" identifies and explains the uses of keep a journal for personal and/or professional development, how journal writing helps to organize, prioritize, and clarify creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Of special note is what the co-authors have to say about journal keeping in this era of the personal computer as a means to enhance and educator or administrator's management abilities, as well as decreasing the stress of their responsibilities. With its illustrative case studies, "Journal Keeping" is also of immense value as an instructional resource for aspiring writers seeking to hone their own creative abilities with respect to the written word. "Journal Keeping" is a highly recommended addition to personal, professional, academic, and community library reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Journey from the Center to the Page, Revise and Updated
Jeff Davis
27 Lamoree Road, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
9780976684381, $16.00,

Writing and Yoga are two concepts alien from one another, or so one would think. "The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writings" is author and Yoga enthusiast Jeff Davis' guide to combining these two loves. Advising readers to channel their spirit to enhance their writing and immerse themselves in their work, his tips and suggestions are as sound as his soul. "The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writings" is highly recommended for any writer looking to unleash the best of themselves and for community library Spirituality and Writing collections.

The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook
Kimberly Yorio
Page Street Publishing
27 Congress Street, Suite 103, Salem, MA 01970
9781624140600 $21.99

The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook: How to Share Your Passion for Cooking from Idea to Published Book to Marketing it Like a Bestseller comes from an author who has some 20 years in publicity to her name, who has worked on the book campaigns of some of the biggest names in cooking, from Julia Child to Ina Garten - so her how-to guide isn't just about how to write a cookbook; it's about how to create a superior, marketable product. Chapters incorporate this publicist's viewpoint with the mechanics of how to publish a cookbook, offering a step-by-step focus on what cookbook options are, how to choose between the, how to select and feature recipes, and how to craft a winning book proposal that will have publishers salivating. Any who aspire to write a cookbook must have this advice-filled guide.

Joy Writing
Kenn Amdahl
Clearwater Publishing Company
PO Box 778, Broomfield, CO 80038-0778
0962781525 $12.95

Joy Writing: Discover And Develop Your Creative Voice by published author Kenn Amdahl is an expertly presented introductory guide to the artful approaches to creative writing. Covering the major aspects of the writing process, Joy Writing begins with the fundamental question of "Why Writer?" and then presents five major sections in methodical order: "Before You Write"; "Beginning to Write"; "Thinking about Language"; "The Overall Flow of any Work: and "Improving". For its outstanding perspective, interpretation, and quite stimulating presentation, Joy Writing is very strongly recommended and "user friendly" reading for both novice and seasoned writers alike, but most particularly those aspiring writers struggling with expressing or developing their own distinctively artistic and creative style.

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper
Three Rivers Press
c/o The Crown Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780307341709, $18.95,, 1-888-523-9292

Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy is a personal growth teacher, an artist, an inspiration speaker, a bestselling author, and under the pen name SARK has written and compiled "Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting The World With Your Words And Stories And Creating The Time And Energy To Actually Do It", a compendium of creative games and techniques that aspiring writers will find to be invaluable in the practice of their chosen craft. There are any number of excellent 'how to' books on how to write better, more effectively, and even more profitably. The unique focus of "Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper" is an emphasis of practical 'how to' exercises to generate ideas, become inspired by people and things, make time to write within the context of a busy schedule, deal with writer's block and 'bad writing blues', -- even tips on getting published. Enhanced with personal anecdotes, uplifting quotes, interviews with artists, and more, "Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper" is a welcome and recommended read for all novice authors and holds a great deal of benefit for experienced writers as well.

Jump Start Your Writing
Mary Hubley
Bluefish Bay Publishing
1093 A1A Beach Blvd., Suite 148, St. Augustine, FL 32080
0970726783 $10.95

Jump Start Your Writing offers hundreds of creative activities to inspire writers of all experience levels. Exercises such as trying one's hand at a variety of scenes, revising classic poems into prose, and practicing with different narrative points of view are presented alongside simpler suggestions to get creative juices flowing, such as finding a baby photo of oneself or taking a walk amid nature. Black-and-white photographs add a cheerful touch to this handy collection of tips, tricks, and techniques for streching one's mental muscles for all manner of writing projects.

Just My Type
Simon Garfield
Gotham Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
9781592406524, $27.50,

JUST MY TYPE explores the history and powers of fonts and type and considers their history and applications. This surveys the evolution of fonts and considers how different fonts became associated with particular applications. From the use of Trajan on bad movie posters to what makes a font impart an official feel, chapters provide a lively, inviting history of typefaces and their changing uses. Any collection strong in graphics arts references will find this a winner!

Keep It Real
Lee Gutkind, editor
W.W. Norton
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10110
9780393065619, $22.95,

Who says that non-fiction has to be just the facts and nothing else? "Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction" is a guide for writers who are set to write nonfiction but want to do it with some flare, by taking the concepts of fiction - scene, dialogue, metaphor, suspense, and applies them to reality, as a way of telling the truth in the way it happened. Explaining the genre as a whole, sifting through facts to find the best story, points of view, libel fears, immersion, and so many more concepts are covered, making "Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction" highly recommended for anyone who wants to dive into this field.

Keys To Great Writing
Stephen Wilbers
Writer's Digest Books/F&W Pub.
1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207
0898799325 $19.99 1-800-289-0963

In Keys To Great Writing, Stephen Wilbers covers every aspect of the craft of writing and shows the aspiring author how to develop a writer's "voice" that is unique, precise, and effective with their readership. Wilbers covers every aspect of writing from grammar to revision strategies, offering clear, effective information. Of special value to the novice writer are his: Four Mythos of Great Writing; The Elements of Style Checklist; The Elements of Composition Checklist; The Four-Step Writing Process; Glossary of Grammatical Terms; Proofreading Checklist; Four Common Errors in Word choice; Five Ways To Bring Music to Your Writing; and Fourteen Techniques to Eliminate Wordiness. Keys To Great Writing is a complete and highly recommended course in one volume and a valuable reference guide enabling writers to stand out with a distinctive style and literary presence all their own.

Kicking In The Wall
Barbara Abercrombie
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608681563, $15.95,

Sooner or later any serious author will encounter that most dreaded of all literary dilemmas -- writer's block. Starring at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen and not being able to think of anything to put down on it. That's why "Kicking In the Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Quotes to Help You Break Through Your Blocks and Reach Your Writing Goals" by Barbara Abercrombie (author of "A Year of Writing Dangerously") will prove to be such an invaluable resource and reference for anyone having to write for their living. This 248 page paperback compendium is packed from cover to cover with practical, applicable, and thoroughly 'user friendly' tools for overcoming writer's block. Expertly organized into a major section offering specific 'things to do', "Kicking In The Wall" also include a section called 'What They Wrote' which offers real world examples by writers on having overcome this particular obstacle. If you can only afford a single 'how to' writer's reference book for your personal resource shelf, then make it Barbara Abercrombie's "Kicking In The Wall"!

Landscapes for Writers and Game Masters
Scott Rice-Snow
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476683577, $29.95, PB, 250pp

Synopsis: Landscape science tells fascinating stories, whether in writing fiction or creating a role-playing game. Earth's varied terrain provides many examples of scene-specific challenges and resources for story characters, with distinctive land features, compelling locations, and intriguing traits.

Landslides, floods, coastal erosion, glacier movement, and volcanism can deliver fresh plot points and alter the social character of an imagined region. Characters traveling different river types encounter very different puzzles, opportunities, and combat environments and the same variety awaits within other classic settings, such as caves, mountains, deserts, shorelines, and volcanic zones. Atypical landscapes such as tundra, karst, and vast glacier surfaces can breathe fresh air into any stories.

"Landscapes for Writers and Game Masters: Building Authentic Natural Terrain into Imagined Worlds" by Scott Rice-Snow is a reference source for creative writing and game world building. It delves deeply into many landscape characteristics that help set the tone, shape character behavior, and drive the plot. Chapters are divided into diverse geographic environments, from rivers and shorelines to caves and volcanoes, and show how knowledge of the terrain can deliver plot points, add veracity, pose key problems, establish conflict, and lead into the next scene. Readers will discover how authors and game masters can effectively weave land and terrain into their stories.

Critique: Illustrated in black-and-white photos, "Landscapes for Writers and Game Masters: Building Authentic Natural Terrain into Imagined Worlds" is an invaluable and innovative resource for the novelist and the video game creator. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Landscapes for Writers and Game Masters: Building Authentic Natural Terrain into Imagined Worlds" is a unique and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections. It is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Scott Rice-Snow is Emeritus Professor of Geological Sciences at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He has published research in river, glacial, and karst geomorphology, as well as hydrology, geoarchaeology, and geoscience education. He also hosts the website, documenting unique landscape features and their narrative/gameplay potential.

Landscapes with Figures
Robert Root, editor
University of Nebraska Press
233 North 8th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68588-0255
9780803259836, $21.95

Landscapes with Figures: The Nonfiction of Place is an anthology of essays, memoirs, nature writing, and travel narratives from thirteen different authors, gathered under the central theme of discussing the effect that a sense of place has on one's writing. Each essay is accompanied by a separate commentary by its author, the better to add perspective. Landscapes with Figures is emphatically not a "how to" manual for writers, but rather offers a wealth of insights to relating personal connections to places with one's perceptions and insight into narrative. An excellent source of inspiration for advanced writers seeking to enhance the integrity and authenticity of their settings.

The Legal Forms Toolkit
Daniel Sitarz
Nova Publishing Company
1103 W. College St., Carbondale, IL 62901
9781892949486, $39.95,

Every incorporated American business must have a legal framework of permits and bylaws to operate. Every parent should have a will and/or trust to insure their assets will be entrusted properly allocated upon their passing. Every citizen at some point in their life will need to know about such legal issues and concepts as a power of attorney, deeds and leases, prenuptial agreements, and other commonly encountered legal situation. Frequently legal issues will be unique and not amenable to 'boiler plate' paperwork. All too often the high cost of an attorney precludes ordinary people from doing what they can do for themselves under U.S. laws, both state and federal. That's why "The Legal Forms Toolkit: The Ultimate Guide To Creating Custom Legal Forms" by attorney-at-law Daniel Sitarz is so timely and useful a resource. Enhanced with an accompany CD-Rom featuring hundreds of legal forms that can be readily printed out, "The Legal Forms Toolkit" is an ideal instruction and information manual that is superbly organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' by the non-specialist citizen needing to craft and create any kind of legal contract that would be in accordance with state and federal laws and guidelines. "The Legal Forms Toolkit" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library reference collections.

Let's Get Creative: Writing Fiction That Sells
William F. Nolan
Quill Driver Books
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
1884956505, $14.95

William F. Nolan is the successful author of more than eighty works of fiction and so brings to "Let's Get Creative: Writing Fiction That Sells" a very special expertise based on personal experience and hard work. Writing with a much appreciated clarity and occasional touches of human, Nolan covers getting started as a writer, where ideas can (and do) come from, the critical value and necessity of a story's climax, the use of dialogue, 'characterization-within-action, the art of revising a manuscript, the value of humor, achieving a personal writing style, employing all five senses in the art and craft of writing fiction, developing conflict to create and hold reader interest, 'hooking the reader', the differences between writing short stories and full length novels, shifting between prose and script writing, handling rejection (the inevitable lot of even the most accomplished and successful authors), and dealing with publishers and literary agents (also inevitable for aspiring writers seeking to become – or continue as – successfully published authors). A superbly presented and informative introduction 'how to' manual to the art, craft and realities of writing fiction, "Let's Get Creative: Writing Fiction That Sells" is a 'must' read for the novice author and has a great deal to recommend it to even the more seasoned fiction writing as well.

Life Writing/Writing Lives
Bette H. Kirschstein, editor
Krieger Publishing Company
PO Box 9542, Melbourne, FL 32902
1575240688 $21.50 1-800-724-0025

Life Writing/Writing Lives is an informative collection of ten outstanding essays addressing the practical and intellectual issues related to writing and reading biography, autobiography, memoir, and hybrid blends of these three categories. In the essays, authors of memoirs and biographies explore the complexities of their specialized writing craft, while other contributors address the theoretical side of life writing (especially life writing as literature). Life Writing/Writing Lives is rewarding reading for anyone who enjoys good biography, and very highly recommended for anyone contemplating writing the autobiography or memoir, as well as those seeking to research and write the biography of someone else.

Fred White, Ph.D.
QuillDriver Books
1821 Industrial Way #101, Sanger, CA 93637
1884956335 $14.95

Most basic writer's 'how-to' guides advise using personal experience to create memorable writing but just how is this done? Enter Fred White's LifeWriting, a survey of 'photo journalism' focusing on how personal-experiences narratives can be created. His definition of 'lifewriting' tells how to add zest to topics by injecting a dose of personal experience tinged with personal opinion and values. The individual chapters cover everything from organizing an outline and considering themes to building the body of an essay using life experiences.

Lights! Camera! Fiction!
Alfie Thompson
Running Press
125 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
076242401X $12.95

Lights! Camera! Fiction! The Movie Lover's Guide to Writing a Novel is for any who have watched a movie and thought they could've written better. The basics of characterization, plot development, tension development and high drama – all parts of the movie – are also a writer's tools; yet this is the only book to link storytelling skills using examples from film studies. College-level students of either film or writing will find it important.

Line By Line
Claire Kehrwald Cook
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
0395393914, $12.00 1-800-225-3362

Based upon the Modern Language Association guidelines, Claire Kehrwald Cooks' instructive 'how to' manual for aspiring authors, "Line By Line: How To Edit Your Own Writing" completely demystifies the process of self-editing, a vital aspect of honing, polishing, and otherwise preparing a manuscript for publication. All the relevant issues are addressed including basic grammar; pruning unnecessary words and phrases; balancing related sentence elements; making subjects and verbs agree; using pronouns accurately; the correct usage of punctuation marks; and avoiding the 'questionable usage' of words and phrases. A welcome and core addition to personal and professional writing reference collections, "Line By Line" is especially recommended reading for aspiring writers, published professionals, business managers and government officials needing to communicate with clarity, advertising and public relations professionals, scholars and students, as well as technical and science writers.

Living Write
Kelly L. Stone
Adams Media Corporation
57 Littlefield Street, 2nd floor, Avon, MA 02322
9781440506246, $16.95,

Writing things down, often in a personal journal, has been a long and established psychotherapeutic tools and creative psychological exercise. This practice has also proven to be an invaluable approach for authors seeking inspiration and substance for their literary efforts. "Living Write: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft Into Your Daily Life" by Kelly L. Stone is a 224-page instructional manual that will teach anyone how to make writing a daily priority, create and maintain enthusiasm for their writing activities, gain confidence in their abilities as a writer, and establish a professionalism in their writing quite distinctive from those who simply sit down on occasion to write something. Of special note is a comprehensive program specifically constructed to overcome and eliminate negative writing habits. Enhanced with an accompanying CD, "Living Write: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft Into Your Daily Life" will prove to be useful for the novice seeking to establish good writing habits, as well as more seasoned authors seeking to tap the power of their subconscious mind and harness it to their writing agendas and projects.

The Low-Residency MFA Handbook
Lori A. May
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 704, New York, NY 10038
9781441198440, $19.95,

A Master of Fine Arts degree is something quite prestigious to achieve, but it isn't always easy to cease your career to pursue it. "The Low-Residency MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Creative Writing Students" is an advisory for those who are pursuing their MFA and want to use the low-residency route to this level of degree. Made up of several brief residencies throughout the pursuit, Lori A. May fully describes what is required for to make this work, drawing on those who have experienced this on their route to their MFA. "The Low-Residency MFA Handbook" is a must for anyone trying to push their creative writing educational credentials to the next level.

Lucky Break
Howard Junker, editor
361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801
0325001561 $17.95 1-603-431-7894

In Lucky Break: How I Became A Writer, Howard Junker introduces nineteen contemporary authors who describe their struggles in transforming themselves into successful and professional writers. Fro some, the idea of being a writer seemed to run in the family, for others, writing was a way of breaking with their families, for still others, writing was the only way to find their own voice, to preserve what was uniquely theirs. These very personal and candid essays were drawn from the pages of the West Coast literary journal ZYZZYVA. Among the authors featured are Sheila Ballantyne, Opal Palmer Adisa, Philip Levine, Jewelle Gomez, Justin Chin, David Rains Wallace, Sallie Tisdale. Becoming a writer is a momentous, sometimes turbulent process. The writers suggest that beyond the necessary talent and hard work (and occasional luck break) lies more hard work -- the task of "being" a writer. They offer engaging accounts of not just the craft of writing, but the many strands that must be woven together to create a personal identity as a writer. Lucky Break is highly recommended for all aspiring writers and novice authors.

Make $$$ as a Non-Fiction Writer
Duncan Long
Loompanics Unlimited
PO Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368
#64240 $14.95

In Make $$$ As A Non-Fiction Writer, Duncan Long draws upon his more than 30 years experience as an author and educator to help the reader discover if he or she has the right "stuff" to become a professional non-fiction writer; what kind of workspace and equipment is needed; realistic expectations of income as a non-fiction writer; how to present one's self professionally; whether or not to secure the services of an agent; how to develop writing assignments; whether or not freelance writing is the way to go; how to effectively pitch writing ideas; dealing with writer's block; and how a finished piece should look like when it's sent out for a publisher's consideration. Whether you aspire to being a part-time or full-time writer of nonfiction, begin with a thorough and careful reading of Duncan Long's Make $$$ As A Non-Fiction Writer.

Make Me a Story
Lisa C. Miller
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571107893, $20.00,

Stories have always been excellent educational mediums, and today is no different. "Make Me a Story: Teaching Writing Through Digital Storytelling" is a guide to teaching young writers the importance of good writing by showing that good writing is the key to a visual presentation of a story. The art and music should empower the writing, and Lisa Miller gives good advice on teaching this writing lesson. "Make Me a Story" is an excellent resource for English and Language arts teachers of elementary students, highly recommended.

Make Money Self-Publishing
Suzanne P. Thomas
Gemstone House Publishing
PO Box 19948, Boulder, CO 80308
0966469127 $19.95 1-800-324-6415

Make Money Self-Publishing is a compendium of invaluable advice and "how to" tips, tricks and techniques drawn from fourteen successful self-published authors who have written and published their own works in the genres of cookbooks, mysteries, travel guides, business, education, and women's fiction. Aspiring self-publishers will learn how to evaluate the potential of their book concepts; avoid making costly "beginner" mistakes; learn effective and essential marketing ideas; discover profitable places to sell books outside of traditional bookstores; publicize and promote their book on the Internet and the world wide web; calculate how many books need to be published in order to earn a living; balance the hours of work against a potential income figure; decide when and why to publish other authors; even how to sell publishing rights to a major New York house for additional profits. Make Money Self-Publishing is a valued and much appreciated addition to any personal, professional, school or community writing/publishing reference book collection.

Making Nonfiction from Scratch
Ralph Fletcher
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310125, $18.50, PB, 134pp,

In "Making Nonfiction from Scratch" children's book author Ralph Fletcher draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to offer a candid critique of how nonfiction writing is often taught in schools and gives teachers the inspiration and strategies they need to help their students write authentic nonfiction. Skilled nonfiction writers draw on strategies, techniques, and craft found in other genres: poetry, comedy, even mystery. Without those elements, nonfiction would be dry and dull. "Making Nonfiction from Scratch" helps bring all of those aspects together and shows how each genre can enrich nonfiction writing. Ralph emphasizes the power of choice, mentor texts, and nonfiction read-alouds in making nonfiction an everyday part of classrooms. The "Classroom Connection" sections throughout "Do you have students whose nonfiction writing is formulaic, devoid of energy and voice?" suggest immediate, practical strategies for putting the ideas in the book to use. Two case studies and a chapter on the dos and don'ts of nonfiction writing instruction round out this short, practical book. Any informational writing should be insightful, accurate, and well organized - but it doesn't have to be boring. Ralph invites you to make your classroom a place where students can create delicious nonfiction full of passion, voice, and insight. Although primarily intended as an instructional resource and reference for classroom teachers, "Making Nonfiction from Scratch" is also very highly recommended to the attention of aspiring authors seeking to write non-fiction articles or books. Simply stated, "Making Nonfiction from Scratch" should be a part of every school and community library instructional guide or curriculum manual reference collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Making Nonfiction from Scratch" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.19).

The Making of a Bestseller
Brian Hill & Dee Power
Dearborn Trade
30 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2500, Chicago, IL 60606
0793193087 $19.95 1-800-245-2665

The collaboration of Brian Hill and Dee Power, The Making Of A Bestseller: Success Stories From Authors And The Editors, Agents, And Booksellers Behind Them answers the fundamental question of why certain authors seem to be able to have what they write consistently end up on best seller lists. Readers will learn how literary agents affect the publishing process, how good and bad reviews affect sales, what the role of the bookseller is with respect to a book's success or failure in the marketplace, the importance of marketing and publicity in determining a books impact upon the reading public. The Making Of A Bestseller reveals just how more than fifty best-selling authors approach the craft of writing and marketing their books in ways that aspiring authors can emulate with their own works. If you want to be a professional author whose books are commercially successful, then give a very careful and considerate study to The Making of a Bestseller.

The Making of a Story
Alice LaPlante
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393337082 $18.95

Alice LaPlante pours her fifteen years of experience as a writer and educator into The Making of a Story, a solid and instructional guide to writing, from inspiration to the process of getting ideas on paper to editing and refining one's work. Presented in a format that lends to being read straight through or used as a reference tool in response to specific issues, The Making of a Story is accessible, user-friendly, packed with examples and an all-around solid pick for aspiring writers everywhere. "One good way to think about openings is to think in terms of balance. Either things are out of kilter, or they will soon be; there's an imbalance, or a missing link, some mystery about what is happening that draws us into the story. It can be subtle... but it has to be there."

Making The Perfect Pitch
Katharine Sands
The Writer Books/Kalmbach Pub.
KSB Promotions (publicity)
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187
0871162067 $18.95 1-888-533-6644

If you are a writer who seeks to be published by an established major press, then you are going to need the services of a good literary agent. The problem is that acquire the services of a really good literary agents, a writer cannot simply go out and hire one. The best agents must be persuaded by the writer to take him or her on as a client -- and that requires a considerable body of information and effort. Enter Katharine Sands' Making The Perfect Pitch: How To Catch A Literary Agent's Eye, a strongly recommended, "hands-on" instructional guide revealing all the elements and practicalities of crafting a successful pitch. Making The Perfect Pitch is composed of forty insightful articles from top literary agents and other authorities in the publishing field, providing everything any aspiring author needs to know in order to get themselves an agent who will, in turn, sell the publishers on accepting the manuscript for publication.

Manual Of Writer's Tricks, A
David L. Carroll
Marlowe & Company
841 Broadway, 4th fl., NY, NY 10003
1569246076 $12.95

In A Manual Of Writer's Tricks: Essential Advice For Fiction And Nonfiction Writers, David Carroll (Emmy Award- winning television writer and author of twenty-five books, including How To Prepare Your Manuscript For A Publisher) successfully collaborates with Sheree Bykofsky (literary agent and co-executive editor of the New York Public Library Desk Reference) to provide essential tips, tricks and techniques for aspiring fiction and nonfiction writers seeking to save time, improve their style, and avoid common pitfalls associated with the act of writing. This compendium of stratagems and literary shortcuts offer invaluable advice for writing with expression, improving structure, correcting and rewriting with greater efficiency, developing "writer's logic", avoiding the hazards of burnout or boredom, dealing with a lack of motivation or writer's block, and reworking scholarly prose for greater clarity and reader engagement. A Manual Of Writer's Tricks is a "must read" for novice authors just starting out, and has a great deal of value and insight for even the more experienced and seasoned writer.

Marketing And Selling Your Books On The Internet
Dan Logan
The Runaway Press
1241 Knollwood Drive, #137, Cambria, CA 93428
189007702X $8.95

Now in an updated second edition, Marketing And Selling Your Books On The Internet is a very highly recommended 68 page booklet that provides complete introduction and step-by-step instruction for the self-published author and small press publisher for utilizing the Internet as a marketing and promotional tool. Dan Logan draws upon his considerable expertise to show how to establish an Internet connection and utilize Net tools; develop an online presence; effectively utilize E-mail, newsgroups, print-on-demand services; create and market E-books; as well as integrating the Internet into other marketing efforts.

Marketing Strategies for Writers
Michael Sedge
Allworth Press
10 E. 23rd St. #210, New York NY 10010
1581150407 $16.95

Writers who want to assure success have to be even more aggressive in today's competitive market: this uncovers some tactics not mentioned in other books; from how to create a winning professional appearance and using networking to establish publisher contacts to breaking into difficult markets and self-agenting. An important guide for any would-be author.

Master of The Cinematic Universe
John Bucher & Jeremy Casper
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932412, $14.95, PB, 130pp,

Cooperatively written by John Bucher (an award-winning writer / director / producer from Los Angeles, California) and Jeremy Casper (an award-winning writer / director / producer from Los Angeles, California, and who currently teaches film at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center where he has held workshops for well over a thousand short films with his students and alumni) "Master of The Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code to Writing In The New World of Media" is a guide to the future of trans-media storytelling. Content creators of every flavor are constantly needing to expand the mediums they can work in. "Master of The Cinematic Universe" serves as an invaluable resource for using the timeless truths of story structure to craft established as well as up and coming short-form media formats. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Master of The Cinematic Universe" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Theatre/Cinema/TV instructional reference collections. For the personal reading lists of students, film buffs, and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, it should be noted that "Master of The Cinematic Universe" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.59).

Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot
Jane K. Cleland
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639673, $16.99, PB, 230pp,

Suspense is one of the most powerful tools a writer has for captivating readers but it isn't just for mystery or action/adventure thrillers. From mainstream fiction to memoir, suspense creates the emotional tension that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. "Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot" by award-winning author Jane Cleland is a hands-on guide to weaving suspense into any narrative. "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot" shows aspiring authors how to navigate genre conventions, write for their audience, and build gripping tension to craft an irresistible page-turner. "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot" explains how to: Implement thirteen no-fail techniques to construct an effective plot and structure for your story; Use Cleland's 'Plotting Road Map' to add elements of suspense like twists, reversals, and moments of danger; Write subplots with purpose; Improve descriptions, character development, sentence structure, and more. Packed with case studies, exercises, and dozens of examples from best-selling authors, "Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot" is the perfect key to writing suspenseful, engaging stories that leave readers wanting more. Simply stated, every aspiring writer, regardless of the genre they are working in, should give a careful reading to what Jane Cleland has to offer in "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot". For the personal reading lists of aspiring novelists, it should be noted that "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Mastering the Business of Writing
Richard Curtis
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, Suite 400, NY, NY 10010
1880559552 $18.95

In Mastering The Business Of Writing, literary agent Richard Curtis discloses everything a writer must know about publishers, agents, and how to succeed in the writing business today. Mastering The Business Of Writing arms both aspiring and experienced writers with the knowledge they need to build and manage successful careers in the turbulent, fast-changing world of publishing. Through a series of insightful and entertaining chapters, Curtis analyzes the state of the publishing business and details the strategies and skills that will benefit writers in today's marketplace. Mastering The Business Of Writing shows how to approach the various markets, negotiate successful contracts, benefit from agents, and handle legal matters. Curtis' advice comes from a real insider's view of the business issues facing writers. Organized into five section, Mastering The Business Of Writing covers 45 different topics including agents (what they do and they role they play in building an author's career); how to outline ideas for successful book proposals; the pros and cons of book packagers (are they blessing or menace); why sales conferences are critically important to the fates of books; and why buyers for bookstore chains are critical to a book's success or failure. Mastering The Business Of Writing is an unusual and candid insider's perceptive insights on the business of being a writer.

Memo from the Story Dept.
Christopher Vogler & David McKenna
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907971, $26.95,

Good characters make movies memorable. "Memo From the Story Dept.: Secrets of Structure and Character" is a script writing guide from Christopher Vogler & David McKenna as they bring their expertise in film and character to bring notes on how to make characters truly memorable, stating their advice is applicable to any medium, be it film, novel, or video game. For those who want the best quality out of their work, "Memo from the Story Dept." is a choice and very much recommended read, not to be overlooked.

Memories of the Soul
Nan Merrick Phifer
Ingot Press
PO Box 40025, Eugene, OR 97404
Blessingway Author's Services (publicity)
134 East Lupita Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505
9780984206001, $19.95,

Everyone has a story; it's getting the story out that's the challenge. "Memories of the Soul: A Writing Guide" serves a s a guide to help writers get their feelings and experiences out and on paper and make them into a coherent story easily understood by readers. For those who aren't sure of how to put a pen to paper with meaning, "Memories of the Soul" may be the guide that they need.

Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook
Laura Kalpakian
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9780826363114, $19.95, PB, 208pp

Synopsis: A memoir is any nonfiction narrative writing based in the author's personal memories. The assertions made in the work are thus understood to be factual. While the memoir has historically been defined as a subcategory of biography or autobiography since the late 20th century, the genre has become differentiated in form, presenting a narrowed focus. A biography or autobiography tells the story "of a life", while a memoir often tells the story of a particular event or time, such as touchstone moments and turning points from the author's life. The author of a memoir may be referred to as a memoirist or a memorialist. (Wikipedia)

"Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" provides a lively instructional guide and DIY manual for anyone looking to wrestle the unruly past onto the page. In thirteen chapters, Laura Kalpakian provides tools to develop narrative form, scenic depiction, character development, and dialogue. There are chapters devoted to excavating the Family Story and the slippery Truth, especially when telling stories not solely your own.

In "Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" Kalpakian also explores the use of letters, diaries, and photographs, and she offers tips for research, publishing choices, and the uses of music. With a broad exploration of technique and development, and a range of reference, Memory into Memoir includes examples, extensive resources, and animating prompts.

Critique: An exceptional comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in style, organization and presentation, "Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community library, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections. For aspiring and experienced writers alike, "Memory into Memoir" it should be noted that "Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Laura Kalpakian is the author of thirteen novels and four collections of short fiction. Kalpakian is also the winner of an NEA Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, the Anahid Award for an American writer of Armenian descent, the PEN West Award, and the Stand International Short Fiction Competition.

Mentors, Muses, & Monsters
Elizabeth Benedict
Free Press
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781439108611, $24.99,

There are central figures in everyone's lives who are the cornerstones of who they have become. "Mentors, Muses, & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives' is a collection of essays from many writers as they reflect on these individuals who have changed the course of their lives. Thirty different perspectives offer very different stories and shows the impact of positive and negative influences can drastically have. "Mentors, Muses, & Monsters" is an intriguing and top pick for those who want to understand inspiration and the people who provide it.

Jill Talbot, Editor
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609380892, $39.95,

METAWRITINGS: TOWARD A THEORY OF NONFICTION deserves a place in any college-level literary criticism collection and is packed with examples and interviews demonstrating the finer art of writing about writing. Metawriting is present in Facebook and web pages and has fostered essayists and nonfiction writers in the next generation. METAWRITINGS offers a first-person collection packed with insights both literary and stylistic, and pairs pieces steeped in humor with astute analysis for a diverse anthology that remains lively despite its serious-sounding title.

The Mind's Eye
Kevin Clark
Pearson Longman
51 Madison Avenue, 29th floor, New York, NY 10010
9780205498239, $25.33

University academician Kevin Clark holds a Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as a widely published poet. In "The Mind's Eye: A Guide To Writing Poetry", he brings to bear his many years of experience and expertise to provide aspiring poets with a clear, instructive, and occasionally inspiring 'how to' manual and guide to writing clear, engaging poetry. All the elements of poetic expression are covered including imagery, sound, implication, conflict, transformation, lyricism, structure, portraiture, narrative, traditional forms, sequencing, and revision. Featuring more than one hundred skill building exercises in writing poetry, eighty model poems by diverse contemporary poets, a concise summary of at the end of each chapter distilling its main concepts, as well as suggestions for forming poetry-writing groups, arranging poetry readers, and even how to publish poems, "The Mind's Eye" is an ideal instruction manual and guide that will prove invaluable for aspiring poets whether writing for simple self-expression or who have ambitions to being published.

Mind Your Business
Michelle Wallerstein
Michael Wiese Productions
3940 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
1932907769, $24.95,

Mind Your Business: A Hollywood Literary Agent's Guide to Your Writing Career is a 'must'' for any writer wishing to break into the business of writing for Hollywood. It comes from a former agent who knows all the insider's answers to what the industry expects and needs, and it considers the business end of screenwriting over the usual 'how to write' approach. No film or business collection should be without this specific set of insider secrets.

The Mindful Writer
Dinty W. Moore
Wisdom Publications
199 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781614290070, $12.95, HC, 152pp,

Dinty W. Moore is a professor at Ohio University, where he directs the graduate program in creative writing. A highly regarded and active figure on the literary scene, Moore is often invited to speak and teach writing workshops nationally and internationally. He has published several books of fiction and nonfiction, including two books on the craft of writing. "The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life" by Professor Moore is not a typical "how to write" book, rather it is an illumination of the creative process: where writing and creativity originate, including how mindfulness plays into work, how to cultivate good writing habits, how to grow as a writer and a person, and what it means to live a life dedicated to the craft of writing. Inherently fascinating, absolutely practical, and creatively inspiring, "The Mindful Writer" will prove to be of enduring benefit for novice writers and established professionals alike. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for students, aspiring writers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Mindful Writer" is also available in a paperback edition (9781614293521, $9.95) and in a Kindle format ($6.99).

Mining Your Past
Richard Lee Zuras
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781958754030, $17.95, PB, 194pp

Synopsis: No one has ever seen the world the way you have. This is a truth that noted author, poet, and professor Richard Lee Zuras knows well.

As a writer, mining your past for its characters, its lessons, its regrets, and its joys can feel intimidating, but it leads to authenticity in any writer's work that simply cannot be replicated. No one has seen the world the way you do, and so learning how to tap into that world as you create new stories is an invaluable way of finding your voice.

"Mining Your Past: A Creative Writing Professor's Guide" is an accessible and informative writing guide in which Professor Zuras skillfully combines his previous written works and personal histories with concrete tools for any readers looking to integrate their own pasts into authentic writing.

Refreshingly reader-focused, "Mining Your Past" provides the aspiring writer with tangible methods for uncovering their unique world view in order to create more compelling and genuine storytelling. The reader will step away with a greater faith in their potential as writers and with a better understanding of their own pasts, making this an essential read -- especially for novice writers searching for a way to share their stories, as only they can tell them.

Critique: A complete course of informative and practical instruction for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, "Mining Your Past: A Creative Writing Professor's Guide" will be of special and enduring value for anyone with an interest in writing stories, poetry and song lyrics. In full compliance with the old adage of 'Write What You Know', this throughly 'user friendly' DIY instructional is unreservedly recommended for novice writers and has a great deal of insightful and thought-provoking value for even the more experienced author, essayist, song writer, or poet.

Editorial Note: Edward Lee Zuras ( is a professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where he has taught creative writing for more than twenty years. His own stories and poems have appeared in dozens of literary journals including Story Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Weber Journal, Big Muddy, Jabberwock Review, Lake Effect, Chicago Quarterly Review, Laurel Review, Yemassee, Xavier Review, Confrontation, Red Rock Review, and Passages North. Richard has held writing conference scholarships at Bread Loaf, Wesleyan University, and Pirate's Alley Faulkner, and is the author of the novels The Bastard Year, and The Honeymoon Corruption as well as the poetry collection Birds at the Post Office (all from Brandylane Publishers).

MLA Directory of Scholarly Presses in Language and Literature
James L. Harner, editor
Modern Language Assoc. of America
10 Astor Place, NY, NY 10003-6981
0873526813 $25.00

Now in its second edition, the MLA Directory Of Scholarly Presses In Language And Literature is an essential reference for scholars and writers looking for book publishers. Containing updated information on 315 publishers in literary and linguistic studies, entries include contact names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses, subjects published, languages published, submission requirements; documentation style, number of manuscripts submitted and accepted each year, number of outside readers (if any), time between submission and publication decision, time between decision and publication, contracts, royalties, and copyright provisions. Five indexes list the presses by their publishing interests, imprints and subsidiaries, series titles, editorial personnel, and languages of publication.

MLA Handbook: 8th Edition
The Modern Language Association of America
85 Broad Street, Suite 500, New York, NY 10004-2434
9781603292627, $15.00, PB, 160pp,

Synopsis: The Modern Language Association is the premier authority on research and writing. The MLA takes a fresh look at documenting sources in this newly updated and revised eighth edition of the "MLA Handbook".

Works are published today in a dizzying range of formats. A book, for example, may be read in print, online, or as an e-book or perhaps listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. Previous editions of the MLA Handbook provided separate instructions for each format, and additional instructions were required for new formats. In this groundbreaking new edition of its best-selling handbook, the MLA recommends instead one universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any type of source.

Shorter and redesigned for easy use, this new eighth edition of the MLA Handbook guides writers through the principles behind evaluating sources for their research. It then shows them how to cite sources in their writing and create useful entries for the works-cited list.

More than just a new edition, this is a whole new MLA style.

Critique: Simply stated, this new 8th edition of the "MLA Handbook" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to both community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, and should be considered mandatory reading by every author and every publisher and a permanent part of their professional reference collection. Students, academia, authors and publishers should also note for their personal reading lists that this 8th edition of the "MLA Handbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. MLA members host an annual convention and other meetings, work with related organizations, and sustain one of the finest publishing programs in the humanities. For more than a century, members have worked to strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature.

MLA Handbook For Writers Of Research Papers, seventh edition
Modern Language Association
26 Broadway, 3rd fl., NY, NY 10004-1789
9781603290241, $22.00,

The Modern Language Association is the premier reference resource of the proprieties of written English. Now in an updated and expanded seventh edition, "MLA Handbook For Writers Of Research Papers" continues to be a comprehensive, current, and authoritative guide to research and writing in an online environment offering simplified guidelines for citing works published on the Internet, as well as citing works from other sources including digital files and graphic narratives. This new edition is enhanced with more than two hundred additional examples, several research project narratives, and research paper formats. Of special note is the chapter devoted to abbreviations. Absolutely indispensable, the "MLA Handbook For Writers Of Research Papers" is an essential addition to personal, professional, academic, and community library reference collections.

Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000
Movie Magic
150 E. Olive Avenue, Suite 203, Burbank, CA 91502-1849 $219.00 1-818-843-6557

Endorsed by none other than Academy Award winning script writer and director Francis Ford Coppola, Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 is an amazing software package that runs on either Windows or Macintosh platforms and is designed expressly to accommodate the needs of writing for the silver screen. Special features include index-card format, a name bank for generating character names, means to import scripts from other writing software, real-time pagination, automatic check for common formatting errors, real-time auto-correction, real-time spell check; password protection for scripts; and much, much more. Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 also comes with built-in and invaluable internet features including the ability to collaborate on-line with a writing partner; publish scripts directly to the internet; export entire scripts to a PDF format; export script reports, breakdown sheets, and selected pages or scenes to a PDF format; and even register scripts online. Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 also comes with unique production features including full export into Movie Magic Scheduling; full production breakdown reports; a production solutions guide; industry standard revision draft colors; the ability to generate set lists and rundown sheets, storyboard linking (only in Windows); and real-time scene re-numbering. Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 is confidently recommended to aspiring and experienced film script writers as being an excellent, time-saving, "user friendly" computer tool for generating professional quality film scripts.

Movies In The Mind
Colleen Mariah Rae
Judith Asher, Publisher
PO Box 2853, Santa Fe, 87504-2853
0964419653 $14.95

With Movies In The Mind: How To Build A Short Story, Colleen Rae provides the aspiring writer with compendium of sound advice, techniques, and strategies for writing plausible, believable, resonating fiction. Each informative chapter is a gem of sound, practical, illustrative, and occasionally inspiring instruction and includes: Entering The Storymaker's Realm; Fiction's Building Blocks; Participatory Art; Digging The Clay; Whose Story Is It Anyway?; Unlocking Your Story; How To Birth A Story; and There's Always A Critic. Very highly recommended for anyone seeking to improve the quality of their fiction, Movies In The Mind is further enhanced with a section of Exercise Pages, a Reading List; and a user-friendly index.

My Big Sourcebook
EEI Communications
EEI Press
66 Canal Center Plaza #200, Alexandria, VA 22314
0935012192 $19.95

Any one who works with words or pictures will find My Big Sourcebook an important reference: a listing of books, software, web sites, workshops and more which pinpoints resources which can supplement a project. From graphics and desktop publishing resources to books on grammar and usage, My Big Sourcebook packs in the tips, tricks and techniques.

My Career as a Book Reviewer Defending the Faith
Maurice A. Williams
Maurice Williams, Publisher
ASIN: B01F43ZUCA $2.99

In 2008, Maurice A. Williams began writing and posting book reviews to the internet, partially in effort to promote his own book Revelation and cement his name as a writer. All in all, he's written about a hundred reviews; yet his name and his book remain in relative obscurity. As he produced these reviews, he vastly revised his notion of what a book review (and a good book reviewer) should be. This collection gathers 70 reviews that Williams considers his finest pieces. Ideally, they should be read alongside the books they refer to; but they are also stand-alone works that offer fellow book reviewers and readers much food for thought. Not only does My Career as a Book Reviewer Defending the Faith successfully sum up the extent of one book reviewer's career; but it presents different approaches to reviewing. Book reviewers new to the industry and to writing about others' creations would do well to look at this collection as a series of templates for producing powerful reviews, which could easily serve as a solid example for creative writing classes covering the fine art of book reviewing.

My Guide: How To Write A Novel
Claire Pickering & Rebecca Richmond
Richard Pickering Ltd.
Carpenter Court, 1 Maple Road
Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SKY 2DH, UK
9780957237209, $15.99,

A lot of people have ambitions to write the next 'Great American Novel', but very few of them have any idea as to how to go about it. That's where "My Guide: How To Write A Novel" by the team of Claire Pickering and Rebecca Richmond comes into play. This 340 page compendium is a complete and comprehensive instruction manual that is so well designed and presented that it is an ideal, almost step-by-step instructional guide that anyone can follow in creating a novel that will be publishable -- and profitable! Beginning 'Developing Your Craft (an opening chapter on how to get started), "My Guide: How To Write A Novel" is organized offers informed and informative chapters on Research and Preparation; Laying the Foundation for Your Novel; Crafting Your Storyline; Characters; Adding Power; Dialogue; Grammar and Other Important Factors; Spelling, Punctuation and Other Important Considerations; Consolidating and Final Polish. One great distinction that sets "My Guide: How To Write A Novel" above other 'how to' writing manuals is an entire chapter specifically devoted to 'Seven Steps to Publication'. An extraordinarily well crafted instruction manual that is ideal for anyone with no previous experience as a novelist, "My Guide: How To Write A Novel" is very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections. Ideal as a curriculum textbook for Creative Writing classes, it should be noted that "My Guide: How To Write A Novel" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.35).

Mystery Writing In A Nutshell
John McAleer & Andrew McAleer
James A. Rock & Company, Publishers
9710 Traville Gateway Drive, #305, Rockville, MD 20850
9781596635050, $9.95 1-800-411-2230

John McAleer taught crime fiction at Boston College for almost forty years and is an Edgar Allan Poe Award winner, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and best-selling author in the mystery and suspense genre. Now, in collaboration with his son Andrew McAleer (who is also a Professor of Crime Fiction at Boston College), John McAleer draws upon his extensive expertise and experience to provide aspiring writers with a succinct manual of instruction with "Mystery Writing In A Nutshell: The World's Most Concise Guide To Mystery And Suspense Writing". Comprised of seven densely packed chapters that focus on 'Creating Suspense and Action'; 'The Story & The Hook'; 'Fodder for Writing (Ideas for Getting Ideas)'; 'Voice, Voice, Voice'; 'Clues & Making Tracks'; 'Character Development'; and 'Plot Pourri', "Mystery Writing In A Nutshell" also features a 'Final Word', 'Final Tips', and 'Notes'. Of special interest is the concluding section (Miscellaneous) featuring important addresses for mystery writers, conversations about writers and writing, questions for William G. Tapply, Robert B. Parker, Margaret McLean, 'The Writer in Us', and a short essay on 'Writers Influencing Writers'. Thoroughly reader friendly, informed and informative in presentation, "Mystery Writing In A Nutshell" is superbly organized and very highly recommended as being one of the best introductory guides to writing commercially successful mysteries available to aspiring writers and novice authors today.

Naked At The Podium
Peter V. T. Kahle & Melanie Workhoven
74th Street Productions
350 North 74th Street, Seattle, Washington 98103
0965570231 $15.95

Naked At The Podium: The Writer's Guide To Successful Readings is a very practical guide of tips, tricks, and exercises for authors who may not be quite so at home giving a public reading as with the usual day's work of bringing drama to blank sheets of paper. Techniques presented include how to use body language, cure pre-reading jitters, become one's characters, and generally make the reading a memorable promotional event to spread word of one's book. Naked At The Podium is strongly recommended reading for authors seeking to promote their books through public readings at bookstores, libraries, or other venues.

The Nasty Little Writing Book
Madelyne Rovenhauer & D. W. St. John
Poison Vine Books
1393 Old Homestead Drive, Second floor, Oakland, Oregon 97462-9506
0965840786 $29.95

Written by literary agent Madelyne Simone Rovenhauer, with the assistance of D.W. St. John, The Nasty Little Writing Book is a very special guide to writing your own book and getting published - with a dark, satirical twist. Not all of its sometimes cynical advice is meant to be taken literally; many an aspiring or published author will savor a well-earned chuckle from the tongue-in-cheek suggestions. Parody assertions such as that publishers do not remainder books before their time, or that the author bears no responsibility for publicity, are not to be read at face value! At the same time, many insider "dirty little secrets" in the New York dominated publishing industry are exposed for all the world to see, from an expose on sentence sophistry to writing crises as a ploy. Highly recommended as leisure reading for the experienced writer looking to enjoy a good (albeit occassionally rueful) laugh, The Nasty Little Writing Book should be required reading for anyone who aspires to be a "best selling" published author from one of the major publishing houses.

The National Writers Association Guide to Writing for Beginners
Sandy Whelchel
Rowman & Littlefield Education
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706
9781578866854, $24.95,

Anyone can be a writer. In fact, it's particularly hard to get through the public school system without at one time or another doing some form of creative writing. "The National Writers Association Guide to Writing for Beginners: A How-To Reference for Plot, Dialogue, Nonfiction, Internet Publishing, and More" is simply a guide to getting ones mind going for the process, broken into short, bite sized chunks of information easy to digest for people wanting to get themselves writing once more and how to do it well on a technical level, while serving as an introduction to the writing business as a whole complete with a wade in copyright laws. "The National Writers Association Guide to Writing for Beginners: A How-To Reference for Plot, Dialogue, Nonfiction, Internet Publishing, and More" is highly recommended for any aspiring writer just starting out and for community library collections catering to them.

New Perspectives On Technical Editing
Avon J. Murphy, editor
Baywood Publishing Company
26 Austin Avenue, Amityville, NY 11701
9780895033949, $47.95,

The newest addition to the Baywood Publishing Company's 'Technical Communications Series', "New Perspectives On Technical Editing" is a collection of ten informed and informative articles by experienced and knowledgeable editors that have been compiled by Avon J. Murphy, a professional technical editor and owner of Murphy Editing and Writing Services. Murphy is also a fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and currently the book review editor for "Technical Communications", the quarterly journal of the Society for Technical Communication. With the articles providing a range of perspectives, aspiring editors will find informed and informative information on a range of editing issues such as ethics, legal issues, strategies for diverse media, electronic editing, editing technical journals, and a great deal more. Each chapter features extensive references. Enhanced with an annotated bibliography that provides an evaluated description of one hundred editing resources. A critically important read for anyone who aspires to an editorial career, "New Perspectives On Technical Editing" is an exceptional reference and highly recommended for professional and academic Writing/Publishing reference collections.

The New Writer's Handbook 2007
Philip Martin
Scarletta Press
10 South Fifth Street, Suite 1105, Minneapolis, MN 55402
9780976520160, $16.95 1-877-687-2324

Expertly compiled and deftly edited by Philip Marin, "The New Writer's Handbook 2007: A Practical Anthology Of Best Advice For Your Craft & Career" is a compendium of sixty practical, insightful, informed and informative articles that aspiring writers of fiction and novice authors of nonfiction will find to be invaluable as they approach the craft and business of being professional authors. The contributors are experienced, successful, and range from award winners, to writing instructors, to working journalists, to editors, to literary bloggers, to best-selling authors. A critically important and strongly recommended addition to personal, professional, academic, and community library Writing/Publishing reference collections, "The New Writer's Handbook 2007" covers general writing techniques and marketing tips, as well as specific book project pitching tips and models for writing career success.

The Nighttime Novelist
Joseph Bates
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
9781582978468, $22.99,

Most writers have 'day jobs' unrelated to their literary activities and must do their creative writing during times of leisure -- a very limited commodity in these hectic times. Joseph Bates draws upon his extensive experience and considerable expertise as a published writer of both fiction and nonfiction to write "The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time", a 272-page compendium of practical advice and considerable insight into how any aspiring author can write their novel by utilizing the bits and pieces of available time throughout their day (and night). Superbly organized into quick and easy 'mini lessons', "The Nighttime Novelist" offers techniques for breaking down and dealing with the various elements of the novel; overcome commonly encountered obstacles to writing productively; and consistently enhancing the quality of the novel as the writing process progresses. Of special note are the 'Try It Out' assignments and more than twenty-five interactive worksheets that will prove to be of invaluable assistance for the 'spare time author' for starting to write, keeping on with writing, and completing the writing of a novel. With its 'notebook' style spiral binding allowing "The Nighttime Novelist" to lay out flat on a desk or table, this thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide is especially recommended to anyone and everyone trying to write a novel while holding down a day job and meeting their responsibilities to family and friends.

Nonfiction Notebooks
Aimee Buckner
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B
Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109521, $18.50,

"Nonfiction Notebooks: Strategies for Informational Writing" by educator and author Aimee Buckner is a 128 page instruction guide specifically designed for aspiring writers of non-fiction. This thoroughly 'user friendly' manual is organized into six succinct chapters; Writers Notebooks: An Informational Twist; Strategies to Explore Topics; Strategies to Gather Information; Predrafting Strategies; Strategies to Craft Informational Pieces; and Assessment. Informed, informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Nonfiction Notebooks: Strategies for Informational Writing" is an ideal reference for students tasked with writing papers, as well as novice authors wanting to write non-fiction pieces and books for publication. Highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should also be noted that "Nonfiction Notebooks: Strategies for Informational Writing" is available in a Kindle edition ($10.49) as well.

Nonstandardized Quests
David E. LeCount
Heinemann/Reed Elsevier, Inc.
361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801
0867095229 $15.00

Nonstandardized Quests: 500+ Writing Prompts That Matter by highschool English teacher David E. LeCount is an invaluable aide for creative writing teachers. Nonstandardized Quests is packed cover to cover with ideas for unusual writing assignments meant to get young people to think and put effort into expressing themselves. Each topic (such as "a guidebook for horses on how to get along with flies") has a corresponding website for research, and samples of student writings intersperse the abundant ideas. Nonstandardized Quests is also useful and highly recommended for aspiring writers looking to flex their creative muscles via self-administered mini-projects.

A Novel Approach To Writing
Alfie Thompson
Running Press
125 South Twenty-Second Street, Philadelphia, PN 19103-4399
076242401X $12.95

A Novel Approach To Writing: Lights! Camera! Fiction! by movie buff and professional writing instructor Alfie Thompson is a guide to writing great novels especially for movie lovers. Chapters instruct how to watch movies with a writer's eye for what works and what doesn't, blending believable character traits into scenes and plots, using goals to reveal character motivation, judiciously applying foreshadowing and flashback, the power of the suspense of disbelief and how to encourage it, smooth plotting, and much more. A Novel Approach To Writing is a valuable supplement to aspiring and practicing fiction writers, outlining how to absorb the most advanced techniques and inspiration from multimedia experiences and transform it into improved quality within one's own work.

Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion
Romesh Gunesekera & A. L. Kennedy
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781780937106, $24.95,

A collaboration between Romesh Gunesekera (whose first novel "Reef" was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize and is the author of six novels including "The Sandglass" which won the inaugural BBC Asia Award" and "Heaven's Edge" which was cited as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and A L Kennedy (Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick, UK, and whose novels include Everything You Need (1999), The Blue Book (2011) and Day (2007) which won the Costa and Saltire Book of the Year), "Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion" is a 240 page compendium that is packed from cover to cover with practical tips for aspiring novelists on how to write and publish their novels. Deftly organized and presented in three major sections the provides an introduction to the forms and history of the novel and helps you plan and research your masterpiece, develop characters and compelling narratives and your own authorial voice; contains guest contributions from Philip Pullman, Louise Doughty, Glenn Patterson, Jeanette Winterson, Jonathan Franzen, Stevie Davies, Doris Lessing, Tash Aw, Elif Shafak, Anne Enright, Tim Pears, Anita Desai, Tim Lott, Amit Chaudhuri, Andrea Levy, Alan Hollinghurst, Bernardo Atxaga, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Michèle Roberts, Joan Brady, Lynn Freed, Evelyn Toynton as well as a number of the 2013 list of the Best of Young British Novelists including Kamila Shamsie, Tamima Anam, Naomi Alderman, Ned Beauman, Jenni Fagan and Joanna Kavenna; and offers practical advice on collaborative writing, overcoming writer's block, editing and rewriting and finding an agent and a publisher for your work, "Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion" will prove an invaluable instructional reference and guide for the beginner, and has a great deal of value for even the more experienced author. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).

Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises
Sherry Ellis, editor
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014-3658
1585425222 $13.95

Edited by personal writing coach Sherry Ellis, Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers is a carefully selected collection of writing exercises from some of today's most acclaimed fiction writers such as Steve Almond, Jayne Anne Phillips, Virgil Suarez, and more. From activities just to get motivated practicing writing, to ones focusing on point of view, character development, dialogue, plot and pacing, setting and description, revisions, and more, Now Write! focuses on ideas to get aspiring and practicing writers' creative juices flowing, or engage in activities such as learning to identify the distinctions between real dialogue and smooth, fictional dialogue. Prefacing each idea is a couple pages of solid advice and concepts to keep in mind when crafting the next potential masterpiece. A highly recommended, practical guide for any aspiring writer seeking to take independent study to the next level.

Now Write! Mysteries
Sherry Ellis & Laurie Lamson, editors
Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9781585429035, $14.95,

There's more to a mystery than a crime and a culprit. "Now Write! Mysteries" is an advisory guide for those who love mysteries and want to try their own pen to create their own stories, be it for novels, screenplays, or other formats. With many tips and tricks and what to think about no matter what type or degree of mystery one is pondering of creating, "Now Write! Mysteries" is a choice and much recommended read for aspiring writers with a love of keeping people guessing.

Nuts & Bolts
Lisa M. O'Hearn, editor
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Difficulties
501 3rd Street NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20001
9781937604080 $30.00

First in a guidebook series to the art and profession of writing for publication in scholarly journals, Nuts & Bolts: Writing Outstanding Journal Articles lives up to its title with no-nonsense instructions, tips, tricks, and techniques for writing review articles, research articles, and theoretical articles. Topics covered include how to keep one's writing as bias-free as possible, expected mechanics and style (punctuation, quotation, reference citing, etc.), the submission/publication process including peer review, and much more. "Do not refer to people with disabilities as their disabilities. For example, do not use the term 'epileptics;' instead identify these individuals as 'people with epilepsy.'" Nuts & Bolts is an absolute "must-have" for any aspiring contributor to a scholarly journal.

Off the Page
Carole Burns, editor
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393339885, $14.95

Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Ending, and Everything in Between is an anthology of interviews with a diversity of authors describing the creation process of a literary work. Joyce Carol Oates begins and ends her writing process creating and reworking the beginning of a book; A.S. Byatt assembles a novel from "blocks of color"; and E.L. Doctorow crafts a story from a specific and compelling image that often springs to mind without context. From the intersection of sex, love, and literature (Martin Amis insists that good sex is impossible to write about!) to the reader's part in the creative process (or at least, the effect that readers' imagined reaction has on the mind of the author), Off the Page runs the gamut of influences and effects upon the evolution of a book. Originally typed directly on interviewer Carole Burns' computer as she listened to the interviewees and posted in real-time on the Web, Off the Page is undeniably authentic in his honest portrayal of the authors' mission to write literature worth reading.

On Books and Writers
Matthew J. Bruccoli
The University of South Carolina Press
1600 Hampton Street, 5th Floor, Columbia, SC 29208
9781570039027, $39.95

Writing is a passion and calling, and some people turn it into a life. "On Books and Writers" is a love letter to writing from Matthew J. Bruccoli who has made it a half century of devotion to the craft of writing, as he demonstrates with pieces he has composed over the years on the subject, proving a scholarly and educational collection on the subject. With a unique voice and much wisdom and advice for those pursuing the craft themselves, "On Books and Writers" is a fine collection not to be missed for any literary studies or guides on writing collection.

On Writing Romance
Leigh Michaels
Writer's Digest Press
c/o F&W Publications, Inc.
700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990
1582974365, $16.99 1-800-726-9966

In addition to several nonfiction books, Leigh Michaels is the published author of more than eighty romance novels and so brings a very special expertise to "On Writing Romance: How To Craft A Novel That Sells", her instruction manual for aspiring writers in a demanding and popular genre. Practical, comprehensive, informed and informative, "On Writing Romance" covers the origins and evolutions of the romance novel, and then takes the aspiring writer through each and every stage of the writing and publishing process. Breaking down more than thirty romance subcategories, aspiring writers will learn how to steer clear of cliches and stereotypes by studying the genre they propose to establish themselves in; craft engaging and realistic characters that will appeal to a discerning readership; add conflict through the use of secondary characters; utilize tension and timing to make love scenes come alive; and provide stories with 'happy-ever-after' endings that are neither ordinary or uninspiring, but will reward the reader with a story that they will remember long after the book is finished and returned to the shelf. Enhanced with a sample query letter, a cover letter, and synopsis, "On Writing Romance" also provides specific and practical 'how to' information on preparing a manuscript for submission to agents, editors, and publishers. Anyone seeking to write a commercially successful romance novel of any kind should begin by giving a careful and considered reading to Leigh Michael's "On Writing Romance".

One Year To A Writing Life
Susan M. Tiberghien
Marlowe & Company
c/o Avalon Publishing Group
245 West 17th Street, 11th floor, New York, NY 10011-5300
9781600940583, $15.95 1-800-788-3123

Susan M. Tiberghien draws upon her years of experience and expertise as a veteran writing instructor, writers' conference speaker, and graduate school lecturer in "One Year To A Writing Life: Twelve Lessons To Deepen Every Writer's Art And Craft". A gifted writer in her own right, Susan Tiberghien covers journal writing, personal essays; opinion and travel essays; short stories (included the 'Short-Short'); dreams and writing; dialogue; folklore, fairy tales, and contemporary tales; poetic prose and the 'Prose Poem'; memoirs and biography; rewriting; and more. Of special note are her chapters on 'The alchemy of Imagination' and 'Writing the Way Home'. Enhanced with a specialized bibliographies and a comprehensive index, " One Year To A Writing Life" is an informed and informative, as it is inspired and inspiring -- making it strongly recommended reading for all novice writers and aspiring authors.

The Online Writer's Companion
P.J. Aitken
Allworth Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781621535287, $19.99,

The Online Writer's Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer packs in a wealth of information on how to build a career as a freelance writer, and covers everything from pricing, locating, and bidding on writing jobs to blogging for pay, handling clients, employing a rating system that will bring in new work and clients, and more. From what kinds of jobs writers can look for to how to handle work when it comes, this is a writer's guide no aspiring writer should be without.

On Writing and Failure
Stephen Marche
9781771965163, $12.95, PB, 128pp

Synopsis: Failure is a topic discussed in every creative writing department in the world, but "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer" by seasoned writer Stephen Marche is the book every beginning writer should have on their shelf to prepare them for rejections from the publishing industry.

Less an instruction guide on writing and more a 'how-to' manual on what you need to continue existing as a writer, "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer" aptly describes the defining role played by rejection in literary endeavors and contemplates failure as the essence of the writer's life.

Along with his own history of rejection, Marche offers stories from the history of writerly failure, from Ovid's exile and Dostoevsky's mock execution to James Baldwin's advice just to endure, where living with the struggle and the pointlessness of writing is the point.

Critique: Simply put, "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer" must be considered essential reading for anyone seeking to write for a living, be it as a novelist, essayist, poet, columnist, or any other writing genre. Itself exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "On Writing and Failure" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections. It should be noted that "On Writing and Failure" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.79).

Editorial Note: Stephen Marche ( is a novelist, essayist and cultural commentator. He is also the author of half a dozen books, and has written opinion pieces and essays for the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Esquire, The Walrus and many others.

The One-Idea Rule
Mark Rennella
Matt Holt Books
c/o BenBella Books
9781637743980, $19.95, PB, 208pp

Synopsis: Focused on a simple principle and designed to bolster writers' confidence and skills, writing coach at Harvard Business School, with the publication of "The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work", Mark Rennella offers practical advice for students, novice writers, and aspiring authors -- with the specific goal of leveling the playing field between beginners and those with more experience.

After a 30-year career as a writer, instructor, and editor, Mark Rennella has crafted a battle-tested method to help students and young professionals who want to improve their writing. It called the One-Idea Rule and is anchored on the assertion that every component of a successful piece of writing should express only one idea.

With "The One-Idea Rule", readers embarking on their adult lives and professional journeys as writers will have a reliable methodology they can easily remember and count on for all of their writing tasks, as well as increased confidence about the cogency of their writing and its potential for impact in the public sphere.

Most advice about writing looks like a long laundry list of dos and don'ts. For those already accomplished as writers, these lists can be a helpful addition to an already-developed communication style. But for teens and young adults starting college, as well as young professionals entering the workforce, it can be challenging to wield such complex advice to tackle increasingly demanding writing assignments.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The One-Idea Rule" is an ideal, effective, and thoroughly 'user friendly' how-to writing primer aligned and empathetic with any new or experienced writer's needs. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, or university library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and Writer's Workshop curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Mark Rennella is a respected author, teacher, and scholar with a gift for storytelling. He has taught writing and composition throughout his career, including his current role as writing coach for MBA students. His publications include Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Leaders: What the Airline Industry Can Teach Us About Leadership, co-authored with Nitin Nohria. Mark earned a Ph.D. in American history from Brandeis University and has taught literature and American history at Harvard University, the University of Miami and the University of Tours (France).

Open Your Heart With Writing
Neil M. Rosen
Dream Time Publishing
6860 Gulfport Avenue South, Suite 950, South Pasadena, FL 33707
9781601660084, $14.95

Writer, psychologist, academician, and Founder/CEO of eWay Direct (an e-marketing technology company), Neil M. Rosen brings a very special expertise to his advice in "Open Your Heart With Writing: Mastering Life Through Love Of Words". Inspired and inspiring, "Open Your Heart With Writing" was written for the specific purpose of helping people in all walks of life realize what they can achieve in terms of self-help and self-realization through the simple process of writing down their thoughts, their ideas, their observations, their reflections, their stories, poems, and essays. "Open Your Heart With Writing" is not intended as a guide to improving writing skills, nor is it intended as an instruction manual on getting published. Rather it shows how to take fleeting thoughts and cultivate them into richly embellished tales of mystery, drama, history, poetic expression, and even a kind of spiritual nourishment for the soul. Whether writing in a journal or diary format, or simply jotting things down in a convenient notebook, "Open Your Heart With Writing" will enable anyone to have confidence in writing for the simple, helpful, intrinsic joy of it.

Ordinary Miracles
Danny Iny
1650 Lincoln, Apartment 1201, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3H 1H1
1411672526 $14.95

Ordinary Miracles: Harness The Power Of Writing And Get Your Point Across! by Danny Iny is an informed and informative introduction to the writing process as a modern medium for communication. Insightfully providing readers with information clarifying the misinformed understandings presented in grade school and how they might be effecting the writing of many students, Ordinary Miracles addresses such issues as writing structures for effectively presenting solid and compelling arguments; how grammar can be used effectively by sometimes breaking rules; the subtle differences in structure and how it affects readers; and how to choose just the right words to get a specific point across. Ordinary Miracles is very strongly recommended reading for classroom teachers and aspiring writers for its concise understanding of the process of writing as an evermore creative, persuasive, and informative medium for communication.

Organic Screenwriting
Mark David Gerson
MDG Media International
9708 Calle Chamisa NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114
9781499306750, $16.00,

Screenwriting, also called script-writing is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games. It is frequently a freelance profession. Screenwriters are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to development executives. Screenwriters therefore have great influence over the creative direction and emotional impact of the screenplay and, arguably, of the finished film. They either pitch original ideas to producers in the hope that they will be optioned or sold, or screenwriters are commissioned by a producer to create a screenplay from a concept, true story, existing screen work or literary work, such as a novel, poem, play, comic book or short story. "Organic Screenwriting: Writing for Film, Naturally" by professional screenwriter Mark David Gerson is a 222 page instruction manual emphasizes what he describes as a 'Muse Stream' approach to writing scripts. Replete with effective techniques, exceptionally useful exercises, and practical inspiration, "Organic Screenwriting: Writing for Film, Naturally" is a seminal work that should be read carefully by any and all aspiring writers for film or television and will serve as an enduringly useful reference work. Very highly recommended, it should be noted that "Organic Screenwriting: Writing for Film, Naturally" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

The Organised Writer
Antony Johnston, author & narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781472977182, $22.95, CD

Synopsis: The Organised Writer is a practical, no-nonsense system that allows you to write without worrying about administration, business affairs, or scheduling. This straight-talking guide will help you become more productive, cope with multiple projects, and make time within your life to write - while also dealing with non-writing tasks more efficiently.

It includes advice on how to: Manage your schedule; Prioritize your writing time; Take notes effectively; Work with a 'clean mind'; Get more written every day; Deal effectively with non-writing tasks; Set up a foolproof filing system; Organize your working space.

Spend a weekend setting-up the system described, and you'll make the time back with interest. You'll get more written every day and complete more of your other tasks without being overwhelmed by all the things you have to do, forgot to do, or don't want to do.

Critique: Also available from Bloomsbury Yearbooks in a paperback edition (9781472977182, $22.95, 272pp) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), Tantor Media has produced "The Organised Writer: How to stay on top of all your projects and never miss a deadline" narrated by the author Antony Johnston in a complete and unabridged audio book edition (6 CDs, 7.5 Hours) that is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Writing/Publishing collections.

Editorial Note: Antony Johnston is an award-winning author and creator of the hit Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde, which was based on his graphic novel. His work spans books, film, graphic novels, videogames, podcasts, music, and more, with titles translated throughout the world. He lives and works in England -- and is highly organized.

Over 75 Good Ideas For Promoting Your Book
Patricia L. Fry
Matilija Press
323 East Matilija Street, Suite 110, PMB 123, Ojai, CA 93023
096126425X $6.50

Patricia Fry's Over 75 Good Ideas For Promoting Your Book is a splendid 71-page compendium of sound, practical, applicable, and effective suggestions for the self-published author, small press publisher, or independent book publicist to effectively promote and publicize any book, whether it is a work of fiction or non-fiction, intended for and adult or juvenile readership. From compiling mailing lists, soliciting promotional testimonials, sending complimentary copies to key people, or writing magazine articles, to publishing a newsletter, creating a website, tapping into the library market, offering a book as a premium, selling books on the road, appearing on radio and television, or designing a market plan, Over 75 Good Ideas For Promoting Your Book is invaluable, sales improving, money saving, anxiety relieving, and very highly recommended for writers and publishers in today's highly competitive book selling marketplace.

Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus
David Auburn, et al.
Oxford University Press
198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314
9780195342840, $40.00,

Words are a writer's tools. The larger the writer's vocabulary the more options available for expressing ideas. That's why every dedicated writer seeking to master their craft will have a good thesaurus as a core part of their personal and professional reference shelf. Now in a completely updated second edition, the "Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus" provides more than 300,000 synonyms and 10,000 antonyms, with real-life example sentences. enhanced with notes on American English usage by Bryan Garner, Word Spectrums showing shades of meaning between polar opposites, and a comprehensive language guide, The "Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus" is a core reference work suitable for professional authors and non-specialist general writers alike. This new edition also features Word Toolkits and Wordfinder, two invaluable aids that will help to define and delineate nuances of word usage. Simply stated, the "Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus" is a core and recommended addition for personal, professional, community, and school library Writing/Publishing reference collections.