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The Writer's Bookshelf P-V

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

Perfecting Your Prose
Gary Michael Smith
Chatgris Press
Box 15092, New Orleans, LA 70175-5092
193055401X $14.95

Every author who has ever put pen to paper (or in this day and age, their fingers to computer keyboard) knows they have room for improvement when it comes to expressing themselves. Perfecting Your Prose: A Guide To Improved Writing by writer, editor, educator and consultant Gary Michael Smith addresses the diverse grammar and writing issues of diction, description, the syntax of the well constructed sentence, and the orderly flow of the essay. Perfecting Your Prose covers style mechanics guidelines fully applicable to both nonfiction and fiction writing, and is an utterly invaluable self-teaching tool for high school and college students as well as aspiring and professional writers. Also very highly recommended is Gary Michael Smith's Writing For Magazines & Trade Journals: Finding Them, Writing For Them, Getting Paid By Them (Chatgris Press, 1930554036, $14.95).

Photo Scribe: A Writing Guide
Denis Ledoux
Soleil Press
95 Gould Road, Lisbon Falls, ME 04252
0961937343 $16.95 1-207-353-5454

Denis Ledoux's The Photo Scribe is an informative 128 page, step-by-step writing guide complete with exercises, examples and instructions detailing the art and craft of writing meaningful, narrative text to photo albums and memory books. The Photo Scribe is enhanced with more than 35 contemporary and antique photos with companion texts that aptly serve to illustrate and exemplify how to write the stories behind the photographs. The only writing guide ever published for the aspiring scrapbook and photo album writer, The Photo Scribe is a unique addition to the writer reference shelf.

Pie In The Sky
Patricia Condon Johnston
Afton Historical Society Press
P.O. Box 100, Afton, MN 55001
1890434396 $17.95 1-800-436-8443

Pie In The Sky: A Memoir About Writing And Publishing is Patricia Condon Johnson's personal testimony on the joys and hardships of writing for magazines, writing books, self-publishing books, and the tragedy of losing her daughter to murder. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this thoughtful and deeply engaging accounting which is hallmarked by the author's tenacity and insight. Pie In The Sky is highly recommended reading, especially by those who aspire to have their own writings published, regardless of the pressures and challenges life puts in their way.

The Pirate Primer
George Choundas
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F&W Publications
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
1582974896, $19.99

THE PIRATE PRIMER: MASTERING THE LANGUAGE OF SWASHBUCKLERS AND ROGUES represents the only general reference to examine the language of pirates, offering up a pirate vocabulary complete with pronunciation and grammar. Three centuries of distinctive terms and usages from TV, literature and history blend into entries organized by 'oaths', 'commands', 'retorts' and more. Any writer involved in pirate representation needs thorough knowledge of the lingo, making THE PIRATE PRIMER a pick for any writer's library.

Plain English Approach to Business Writing, The
Edward P. Bailey Jr.
Oxford University Press
0195115651 $9.95

Write as you would talk, this book admonishes: plain English is easier to read and understand. This slim but pointed title lays out the rules of plain English for business-oriented audiences, including examples from business documents, trade publications, and writers to illustrate important business points.

The Playwright's Workout
Michael Bigelow Dixon & Liz Engelman
Smith and Kraus
PO Box 127, Lyme, NH 03768
9781575256177, $19.95,

Writing is a skill, and like any skill, it needs to be practiced. "The Playwright's Workout: Exercises for the Dramatic Imagination from Professional Playwrights" is a collection of writing and thought exercises for aspiring playwrights who want to hone their craft further. Drawing advice from over thirty acclaimed playwrights, "The Playwright's Workout" offers much wisdom to feast upon. "The Playwright's Workout" is well worth the investment for the playwrights and prose writers alike.

Shelly Frome
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786477470, $25.00,

A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. These works may be written specifically to be performed by actors, or they may be closet dramas - simple literary works - written using dramatic forms, but not meant for performance. Every play, whether for the stage, the movies, or for television, begins with the written word. The playwright's work is the foundation upon which actors, directors, producers, and everyone else must base their productions. "Playwriting: A Complete Guide to Creating Theater" by Shelly Frome (Professor of Dramatic Arts Emeritus, University of Connecticut) is a 191 page compendium that succinctly covers every facet of writing plays. Professor Frome's commentary is enhanced with the inclusion of quotations from noted playwrights, excerpts from classic plays, and her own personal anecdotes as a former professional actor, as a teacher of acting, and as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Informed and informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly' from first page to last, and offering a wealth of practical advice and insight, "Playwriting: A Complete Guide to Creating Theater" is strongly recommended for community and academic library Theatre Arts reference collections, and a 'must read' for anyone aspiring to become a successful playwright in their own right.

The Pleasure Of Influence
Rob Trucks
Purdue University Press
1207 South Campus Courts-E, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1207
1557532532 $15.95 1-800-933-9637

The Pleasure Of Influence: Conversations With American Male Fiction Writers is a selection of eleven interviews conducted by Rob Trucks which present the wit and wisdom of eleven accomplished writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, and National Book Award winner Charles Johnson. These skilled and talented literary tale-tellers speak of their work, their inspiration, their operations both within and beyond commonly embraced boundaries, in this thoughtful, erudite collection which is very highly recommended reading, especially for those who aspire to become novelists themselves.

Plot Perfect
Paula Munier
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
700 East State Street, Iola WI 54945
9781599638140, $17.99,

PLOT PERFECT: HOW TO BUILD UNFORGETTABLE STORIES SCENE BY SCENE is a recommended pick for any who want to understand the underlying influence on creating a memorable plot, and why some plots are better than others. It teaches the rudiments of arranging scenes for better impact, layering a storyline, developing dialogue and tone to support the plot structure, and handling changing themes. The result is a step-by-step approach to understanding a plot's direction: a powerful survey for any writer who wants to hone skills to a fine art.

The Plot Whisperer
Martha Alderson
Adams Media Corporation
57 Littlefield Street, 2nd floor
Avon, MA 02322
9781440525889, $14.95,

Few things are as difficult for the novice author (or even seasoned professional writers) as developing an effectively engaging plot for their readers. In "The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master", Martha Alderson draws upon her more than fifteen years of experience and expertise working with hundreds of writers in writer workshops, retreats, and plot consultations to compile a 256-page compendium of commentary, advice, and instruction on creating plot lines and subplots, scene trackers, character development and transformation, and all the other elements that go into good story telling from beginning to end. Thorough, comprehensive, and thoroughly 'user friendly', "The Plot Whisperer" is a highly recommended instruction manual that will prove to be of enduring value for aspiring authors regardless of what literary genre they find themselves working in.

Poet Power!
Thomas A. Williams
Venture Press
12445 NW 10th Court, Coral Springs, FL 33071
1878853279 $29.95 1-954-796-0104

Thomas Williams' Poet Power!: The Practical Poet's Complete Guide To Getting Published covers every aspect and facet of the process of submitting poetry for publication. Williams explains how the business of publishing works and provides a crash course in the economics of publishing and what it means to the aspiring poet seeking publication. Poet Power! goes on to explain what editors want and the "7 Secrets" of publishable poetry; how to get published in magazines; how to have a volume of poetry published; designing and publishing one's own books of poetry; becoming the editor of one's own chapbook series; selling poetry in bookstores, retail outlets, and catalogs; gaining personal visibility in order to succeed as a published poet; and how to enhanced one's reputation as a published poet in order to achieve worthwhile goals and becoming a spokesperson for poetry in the community. "Must" reading for all aspiring poets yearning to break into print, and for published poets seeking to expand their literary audiences, Poet Power! is reader friendly, authoritative and accurate, comprehensive and practical.

Jessie Lendennie
Salmon Poetry
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9780956128751, $25.95,

Just as there is an art to writing poetry, so there is an art to the publishing of it. That's why "Poetry: Reading It, Writing It, Publishing It" by Jessie Lendennie (co-founder and managing director of Salmon Poetry) is such a useful compendium of practical information and useable insight drawn from poets and publishers in such diverse literary cultures as Ireland, Britain, America, Canada, Australia, and even Zimbabwe. The twenty-nine contributed essays are grouped thematically into three major sections: Reading It; Writing It; Publishing It. For anyone who aspires to write verse and have their poems published, Jessie Lendennie's "Poetry: Reading It, Writing It, Publishing It" is very strongly recommended and very useful reading.

The Portable Writer's Conference, updated edition
Stephen Blake Mettee, editor
Quill Driver Books
1254 Commerce Avenue, Sanger, CA 93657
9781884956577, $19.95 1-800-497-4909

Now in a newly updated edition, The Portable Writer's Conference: Your Guide to Getting Published is a compilation of wisdom from over forty-five editors, agents, and authors, presented to writers from all walks of life seeking publication. From developing a concept pitch to hear an agent say yes, to crafting a professional-quality feature article for a newspaper or magazine, to tips and tricks for running a successful home-based writing business, crafting nonfiction or self-help books, what every author must know about copyright, and much more, The Portable Writer's Conference is a wisdom-laden supplement to getting one's feet wet in the writing profession. Though not a substitute for a straightforward instructional manual to the writing business, The Portable Writer's Conference lives up to its title as a confluence of hard-earned wisdom gathered from expert writers of all backgrounds. Highly recommended.

The Positively Productive Writer
Simon Whaley
Compass Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing Ltd.
Laurel House, Station Approach, Alresford
Hampshire, SO24 9JH, United Kingdom
9781846948510, $19.95,

Simon Whaley draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as a creative writing tutor, workshop facilitator, and featured speaker at writer's circles to crate "The Positively Productive Writer: How To Reject Rejection and Enjoy Positive Steps To Publication", a 198 page instructional compendium for helping aspiring writers and novice authors whose work has been rejected for publication any number of times and are therefore struggling to continue their literary efforts. More than just a 'think positive' exhortation, "The Positively Productive Writer" is deftly organized and eminently practical. Comprised of four major sections (Setting Achievable Writing Goals; Learn To Look On The Bright Side of Life; Putting It Into Practice; and A Positive Writer's Year - Strategies To Succeed), Whaley addresses a wide spectrum of writing tools and tips ranging from having a 'writing buddy', to booster cards, to creating lists, to workshops and seminars. Every writer will experience rejection. That's why every writer should have their own personal copy of "The Positively Productive Writer"!

The Power of Memoir
Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D.
989 Market St., 5th Floor, San Francisco CA 94103-1741
9780470508367, $16.95

THE POWER OF MEMOIR: HOW TO WRITE YOUR HEALING STORY offers a fine step-by-step program on how to use memoir writing to aid in emotional and physical healing. From how to tell truths and shape a narrative to tools for healing pain. From preserving memories to exploring motivations, this is a pick for any would-be memoir writer.

The Power of Poems
Margriet Ruurs
Maupin House
2416 NW 71st Place, Gainesville, FL 32653
9781934448896, $19.95,

Poetry has very strong purpose, even if it doesn't seem as readily apparent as it once was. "The Power of Poems: Writing Activities that Teach and Inspire" is a guide for educators to blend poetry into their teaching plans and how to use it effectively for many subjects, although English and writing is clearly the primary focus. A passion for poetry and its style can be fostered well by a teacher, and Margriet Ruurs encourages readers how to fully embrace them. "The Power of Poems" is a must for any teacher who feels poetry can make a positive impact on their classroom.

The Power of the Darkside
Pamela Jaye Smith
Michael Wiese Producations
3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Suite 1111
9781932907438, $22.95,

A world where everything goes according to plan isn't terribly interesting at all; a good antagonist is essential to a great story. "The Power of the Darkside" is a guide for screenwriters who want to craft a truly memorable and believable villain, someone viewers will talk about as much as they talk about the hero. And a good hero, of course, needs an excellent villain. Sound and wise in its advice on the shadier side of the script, "The Power of the Darkside" is a must for aspiring writers and for community library collections.

Power Screenwriting
Michael Chase Walker
Lone Eagle Publishing Company
1024 N. Orange Dr, Hollywood CA 90038
1580650414 $19.95 1-800-815-0503

Professional screenwriter Michael Chase Walker (The Last Unicorn; Earthman's Burden; The Arrow and the Lamp; Seven Years in Tibet; Siddhartha; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Love and Anarchy; The Poet and the Tsar) draws upon his many years of experience and success to write Power Screenwriting: The 12 Stages Of Story Development, a structural, methodical, step-by-step, "how to" guide to writing quality screenplays quickly and efficiently. Breaking down the process in simple yet essential steps, screenwriting professor and author Michael Walker demonstrates his craft for aspiring screenwriters of all experience levels. A superbly practical, down-to-earth guide to basic screenwriting traditions, Power Screenwriting is not only recommended reading for aspiring or practicing screenwriters for television or film, but would be of profound interest to storytellers in any for of literary or artistic expression.

Powerful Proofreading Skills
Debra A. Smith & Helen R. Sutton
Crisp Publications/NBN, dist.
1200 Hamilton Ct., Menlo Park CA 94025
1560522593 $10.95 1-800-442-7477

Powerful Proofreading Skills: Tips, Techniques And Tactics is a splendid "how-to" guide showing the reader how to produce the skills for error-free documentation; proofreaders marks and symbols that are universally recognized; how to identify punctuation and grammatical terms, sentence structures and word agreements; and how to create a personal proofreaders library. Powerful Proofreading Skills is one of the Crisp Publication's "50 Minute" series and is based on sound and effective principles of self-study, self-paced learning books filled with exercises, activities, assessments, and case studies. Highly recommended.

The Productive Graduate Student Writer
Jan Allen
9781620368916, $21.00

The Productive Graduate Student Writer: How to Manage Your Time, Process, and Energy to Write Your Research Proposal, Thesis, and Dissertation and Get Published comes from an associate dean for academic and student affairs, and provides students with all-in-one guide to managing grad school's demands. From working on and finishing a project both without and under deadlines to defining essential tasks, conducting research, and translating it to a dissertation, this addresses the basics student writers need to know to get projects completed in a more efficient manner. Unlike more general college how-to guides or creative writer's guides, The Productive Graduate Student Writer's focus on the routines, demands, and processes of grad school makes for a specialized presentation that provides exact details on the process of research and writing for grad students.

The Productive Writer
Sage Cohen
Writer's Digest Books
4700 East Galbriath Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
9781582979953 $16.99

The Productive Writer: Tips & Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less & Create Success makes for a fine key to taking control of writing. It teaches systems, strategies and psychology to set goals, create a workable writing schedule, and organize thinking, and it also discusses how to increase publication and cash flow. Any writer who would increase productivity and organization needs this!

Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing
Wendy Despain, editor
A K Peters, Ltd.
888 Worcester Street, Suite 230, Wellesley, MA 02482
9781568814162, $39.00

Written and edited by members of the International Game Developers Association, Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing is a no-nonsense guide to the professional craft of writing the story, narrative, dialogue, tutorials, manuals, strategy guides, and anything else that needs to be written for modern-day video games. All contributors are themselves seasoned video game writers; they give the down and dirty on how to break into the business, what it means to be part of a writing team, principles of narrative design, and much, much more. Script samples offer illuminating examples that enhance this absolute "must-have" for anyone contemplating or pursuing a career in video game writing or technical writing, even (or especially) if they already have experience in crafting standard prose.

Proper Noun Speller
Beverly Ritter & Patricia Rhyne
Stenotype Educational Products
PO Box 959, Melrose, FL 32666
0938643673 $26.00

Court reporters, editors, researchers, and any involved in the literary and working worlds will find Proper Noun Speller an important and useful reference. Very highly recommended, Proper Noun Speller is the only complete reference of its kind and includes spelling details for the proper nouns of people, places, and things. Over 45,000 entries provide at-a-glance spelling informaton.

Psychology for Screenwriters
William Indick, author
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933471, $29.95, PB, 312pp

Synopsis: People's lives are made up of good and bad decisions, histories filled with triumph and pain, behaviors formed from a lifetime of experiences. A screenwriter's characters should be no different.

But writing psychologically complex characters requires an understanding of human behavior. Fortunately, as a screenwriter you will not need a PhD in psychology to add complexity to your work.

With the publication of "Psychology for Screenwriters: Building Conflict in Your Script", William Indick (an author, active screenwriter, screenwriting consultant, and an Associate Professor of Psychology at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey) will help you add psychological depth to your script with insights from brilliant psychological theorists like Freud, Jung, and Adler.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, a careful reading of "Psychology for Screenwriters: Building Conflict in Your Script" will enable even the most novice of screenwriters to create memorable characters and engaging conflicts that will have their audiences enthralled. While highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections in general, and supplemental Screenwritng curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "Psychology for Screenwriters" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).

Editorial Note: William Indick ( earned his bachelors degree in psychology (1993) and masters degree in music therapy (1996) from New York University. His other books include Media Environments and Mental Disorder (2021), The Digital God (2015), Ancient Symbology in Fantasy Literature (2012), The Psychology of the Western (2008), Psycho Thrillers (2006), and Movies and the Mind (2004).

Publishing Game: Find An Agent In 30 Days!, The
Fern Reiss
Peanut Butter and Jelly Press
Box 590239, Newton, MA 02459-0002
1893290832 $19.95

The Publishing Game: Find An Agent In 30 Days! by author and publishing expert Fern Reiss is a solidly written, reliable and informative guide to finding an agent to market any kind of book be it fiction or nonfiction, adult or juvenile. From coming up with an idea for a bestseller; to writing an attention-grabbing book proposal accompanied by a professional quality cover letter; to avoiding agents' reading fees; to negotiating with an agent or publisher for a profitable book deal; and much, much more, The Publishing Game: Find An Agent In 30 Days! is a truly first-rate resource which is especially recommended for aspiring authors with little or no previous experience at getting their work published. Enhanced with contact information for more than three hundred literary agents, The Publishing Game: Find An Agent In 30 Days! is an invaluable resource and an essential addition to any personal or professional writer's reference shelf.

Pyrotechnics on the Page
Ralph Fletcher
Stenhouse Publishers
9781571107831 $19.00

Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing draws important links between play and student writing, showing how language play can lend new life to writing efforts. From the developmental importance of language play and how to use a writer's notebook to encourage students to explore verbal pyrotechnics to idioms, expressions, and word inventions, this provides a fine survey paired with over twenty new craft lessons to encourage classroom and student participation in the process. Education and literary shelves alike will appreciate this!

Questions Writers Ask
Karen Speerstra
Robert D. Reed Publishers
PO Box 1992, 1380 Face Rock Drive, Bandon, OR 97411
9781934759325 $16.95

Questions Writers Ask: Wise, Whimsical, and Witty Answers from the Pros presents published professionals' answers to common questions about writing. Organized around twenty different topics (each topic is in the form of a question such as "Where do you get your ideas?", followed by a wealth of different answers to that one question by a diversity of people), Questions Writers Ask is a solid and useful primer, and deserves to be read cover to cover by anyone interested in breaking into the writing business. Nearly 6,000 quotations, many of them classic, pack this excellent resource. "Plot springs from character... I've always sort of believed that these people inside me - these characters - know who they are and what they're about and what happens, and they need me to help get it down on paper because they can't type." -Anne Lamott.

A Quick Guide To Screenwriting
Ray Morton
Limelight Editions
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, NY, NY 10010
9780879108045, $12.99,

Screenwriting is a very specialized form of writing in that it must combine story telling with cinematic technologies and techniques. Screen writing comes with its own 'tips, tricks & techniques' that must be mastered by the aspiring screenwriter. That's why "A Quick Guide To Screenwriting" by screenplay analyst and script consultant Ray Morton will prove to be an invaluable introduction to the craft. This 120 page compendium provides a succinct history of screenwriting; delineates between commercial and personal writing; and explains the three basic types of screenplays and the seven basic steps to writing a screenplay. "A Quick Guide To Screenwriting" offers ways to develop ideas, structure a story, screen play styles and formatting. Of special note is what "A Quick Guide to Screenwriting" reveals about the techniques of cinematic storytelling, screenwriting 'do's & don'ts' and getting useable feedback to improve a screenplay. Very well organized and thoroughly 'user friendly', "A Quick Guide To Screenwriting" should be considered mandatory reading by anyone considering creating a screenplay and would prove an enduringly valued addition to professional screenwriting instructional guide reference collections.

A Quick Guide To Television Writing
Ray Morton
Limelight Editions
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9780879108052, $12.99,

Although very similar in a lot of respects to writing for the cinema, television scripts have certain unique demands upon the writer. In "A Quick Guide To Television Writing", Ray Morton draws upon his many years as a successful writer, script consultant and screenplay analyst to present a succinct, compact, 112 page instruction manual for crafting a professional quality television script. Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly', "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" covers every aspect including the three principle types of teleplays, dramatic storytelling, television oriented storytelling, teleplay style and formatting, the creation of a television series, and more. Of special note is Morton's commentary on the business of television writing, the types of jobs open to television writers, and strategies for attracting television industry attention. Offering a wealth of tips, tricks and techniques, "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" should be considered essential reading for anyone aspiring to write for television. It should be noted that "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Quit Your Day Job!
Jim Denney
Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press
1831 Industrial Way, #101, Sanger, CA 93657
1884956041 $14.95 1-800-497-4909

Quit Your Day Job! by Jim Denney is a no-nonsense instructional guide which is strongly recommended reading for anyone seeking to pursue writing as a full-fledged, moneymaking, professional career. From the seven essential habits of a working writer (such as "write daily" and "set ambitious but achievable goals"); to the do's and don'ts of submitting one's work; professional relationships in the writing biz; learning how to write as quickly as possible without undercutting quality; and more, Quit Your Day Job! is a superbly presented, quite accessible and thoroughly "user friendly", reference resource for anyone considering any full time writing career.

The Quotable Writer
William A. Gordon
McGraw-Hill/North Ridge Books
PO Box 1463, El Toro, CA 92630
0071355766 $14.95

The Quotable Writer is an outstanding compendium of memorable, inspirational, and through-provoking quotations about writing, editing, and publishing books. Arranged in alphabetical categories, this witticisms, observations and bon motts range from biography and blurbs to publicity and marketing. The quotations range from such famous lines as the Mark Twain's "The difference between the right word and the almost right the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." to such practical bits of insightful wisdom as John Kremer's "Don't expect anyone to do your selling for you. That's your job." The Quotable Writer is enthusiastically recommended reading for anyone associated in any way with writing or publishing.

Readers Writing
Elizabeth Hale
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571108432 $21.00

Students often don't write original works: they summarize - and there's a big difference between a summary and original thinking. Readers Writing outlines this difference, explores the literary and writing process involved in using a reader's notebook more effectively, and provides lessons to teachers and students that discuss the process of questioning, answers, and building upon skills using the processes and strategies in a reader's notebook scenario. The result is a guide packed with keys to drawing important connections between readers and writers and unlocking the process of success.

Reading Letters: Designing for Legibility
Sofie Beier
BIS Publishers
Het Sieraad, Postjesweg 1
1057 DT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
9789063692711, $49.00,

Reading Letters: Designing for Legibility is a pick for any collection appealing to type designers, and covers the basics of assessing the optimal typeface for different projects. Chapters provide plenty of eye-catching insights into type and its applications under different conditions, showing graphic and type designers how to make logical, useful and even artistic choices. A 'must' for any collection catering to printers, graphic designers, or type designers.

Reading Writers Reading
Danielle Schaub, photographer and editor
The University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2EI
0888644590 $60.00

Photographed and edited by professional lecturer and critic Danielle Schaub, Reading Writers Reading: Canadian Authors' Reflections presents an amazing cross-section of talented Candian writers of all backgrounds and from all regions of the nation. Each two-page spread of this gorgeous and insightful coffee-table book proffers a candid, black-and-white photograph of a different Canadian author on the right, and a one-page commentary by the author about reading, writing, or similar subjects on the left, such as the comments by Sharon Thesen that begin, "Reading seems so often to encompass all that my mind is or has been composed by that I find it difficult to separate my reading form myself." A superb giftbook for anyone who enjoys reading or writing for pleasure, highly recommended.

Real Revision
Kate Messner
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B
Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571108562, $23.00,

Real Revision: Authors' Strategies to Share with Student Writers is a 'must' for any student or teacher interested in effective editing, and covers the basics of the entire revision process using tested successful strategies. Chapters look at how over thirty successful authors employ these revision strategies, teaching students how to use research, brainstorming, and planning as revision tools. Examples from mentor authors make this a powerful teaching tool for high school and beyond.

(re)Discover the Joy of Creative Writing
Paul Lima
Five Rivers Chapmanry
704 Queen Street, PO Box 293 Neustadt, ON Canada N0G 2M0
9780986563003, $14.95

Professional writer and communications instructor Paul Lima presents an invaluable writing guide, reference, and aid for authors and aspiring authors of all skill and experience levels. "(re)Discover the Joy of Creative Writing" features almost fifty exercises to stimulate ideas, practice one's craft, and (re-)experience the joy of scripting believable characters, literary world, and soul-searching insights. From word associations to tapping the power of childhood memories to 'What if?' speculation and journal exercises, "(re)Discover the Joy of Creative Writing" is a hands-on treasury of tips, tricks, techniques, and tools to motivate and refine one's art. A handy, practical, and methodical guide, invaluable to anyone seeking to organize, present, and publish their personal expertise, "(re)Discover the Joy of Creative Writing" is worthy of the highest recommendation.

Reed's Homophones: A Comprehensive Book of Sound-alike Words, fourth edition
A. D. Reed
Pisgah Press, LLC
PO Box 9663, Asheville, NC 28815
9781942016427, $14.95 Paper/$2.99 ebook/$19.95 Hardcover

Reed's Homophones: A Comprehensive Book of Sound-alike Words should be in any collection strong in English language explorations, literature, and wordsmithing, whether for school-age readers in high school to college, or general-interest collections appealing to writers and authors. It provides a quick reference for those who would quickly locate a homophone in a resource that complements a dictionary or thesaurus while imparting a sense of humor about what is included in the homophone collection: "...(including some borrowed from other tongues, and a few that aren't quite homophonic, but are awfully close) as well as frequent misspellings, mispronunciations, misused word pairs, schizophrenic antonyms, and a few pet peeves."

The wellspring of a reference designed to thwart common word misuse came from a series of 2007 newspaper articles that sparked "...a short list of common homophones that seem to attract newspaper reporters as honey does flies. Houses are "raised" by fires; actors demonstrate real "flare" on stage; people wait with "baited" breath; the view through the picture window is a "site" to behold; witnesses are rarely "fazed" but often "phased." Et cetera."

As the word rebuttal expanded to book length, A. D. Reed crafted a writer's guide to popular word pairs that should ideally be unpaired. An A-Z dictionary identifies such homophones as "access - a way in; axis - line on a grid" and other common follies of language misuse.

While reading a dictionary might not be everyone's cup of tea, Reed's Homophones serves as both an at-a-glance desk reference for writers and as a word nerd's browsing delight, offering definitions and insights that tackle and correct too-common instances of misuse, as in "segue - seamless transition" versus "Segway(R) - one-axled, two-wheeled, gyroscopic self-propelled scooter."

Reed's Homophones is an important guide for writers who adhere to literary correctness, who will want to double-check their reports and literary productions with this book. Reference collections strong in writer's guides should consider Reed's Homophones a key acquisition.

Refiguring Prose Style
T.R. Johnson & Tom Pace
Utah State University Press
7800 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322
0874216214 $26.95

Deftly edited by T.R. Johnson and Tom Pace, Refiguring Prose Style: Possibilities For Writing Pedagogy is an intuitive modern interpretation and theoretical perspective of the writing prose. As an individualistic and unique style of writing, debates and ordinances involving prose have determined an indefinite place for the writing style in essence of college level teachings, let alone recognition. A welcome contribution to the art and science of English composition and a valued addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library reference collections, Refiguring Prose Style is a defence and pursuit of rekindling the praise and societal acceptance the intimate, subversive, and vivid writing style prose.

Refuse to Be Done
Matt Bell
Soho Press
853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
9781641293419, $15.95, PB, 168pp

Synopsis: With the publication of "Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts" experienced writer and academician Matt Bell provides an encouraging and intensely practical combination instructional guide and 'how-to' manual for aspiring novelists that focuses on specific rewriting tasks, techniques, and activities for every stage of the process of writing a successful novel.

You won't find bromides here about the "the writing Muse." Instead, Bell breaks down the writing process in three sections. In the first, Bell shares a bounty of tactics, all meant to push you through the initial conception and get words on the page. The second focuses on reworking the narrative through outlining, modeling, and rewriting. The third and final section offers a layered approach to polishing through a checklist of operations, breaking the daunting project of final revisions into many small, achievable tasks.

Whether you are a first time novelist or a veteran writer, you will find an abundance of strategies here to help motivate you and shake up your revision process, allowing you to approach your work, day after day and month after month, with fresh eyes and sharp new tools.

Critique: Especially recommended reading for any novelist on how to approach the inevitably necessary work re-writes and revisions, "Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts" is exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Impressively informative and 'real world' practical, as well as very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Simply stated, if you are working on a novel and only have time to read one help and improvement 'how to' title on writing, make it "Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts" by Matt Bell.

Editorial Note: Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novels "Scrapper" (a Michigan Notable Book) and "In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods" (a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award and an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year Honor Recipient, as well as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award). His stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, Gulf Coast, and many other publications. He currently teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Relaxing the Writer
Amber Polo
Wordshaping Press
9781463727055 $11.99

Yoga teacher, librarian, and novel writer Amber Polo presents Relaxing the Writer: Guidebook to the Writer's High, a guide to putting oneself in the best possible mood to write. Chapters cover everything from ergonomics to easy-to-use stretches, aromatherapy, massage, meditation, using music or sound to one's benefit, tai chi, weight training, and even "apps to relax" that can be found on iPhones, iPods, or iPads. An easy-to-follow resource for improving the quality of surroundings outside the writer, the better to coax out the writer's internal creativity, Relaxing the Writer is highly recommended.

Rethinking Writing Instruction in the Age of AI
Randy Laist
9781943085101, $35.00, PB, 238pp

Synopsis: Writing is an invaluable academic skill, but, as writing expert and academician Randy Laist points out, "it is also much more than that. It is a tool for thinking, a means of personal expression, and a vehicle of self-discovery."

Composition instructors have long been challenged to fi nd effective ways of engaging and empowering student writers. Now as we enter the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this challenge has become even more complicated, with too many students-and too many people in general-feeling shut out of writing.

With the publication of "Rethinking Writing Instruction in the Age of AI: A Universal Design for Learning Approach", Professor Laist offers composition instructors practical ways to address the emergence of AI panic as well as insight into how to embrace it as an opportunity to strengthen writing and critical thinking skills.

Professor Laist also shows how Universal Design for Learning provides a framework that can help unpack the writing process and support instruction. "Rethinking Writing Instruction in the Age of AI: A Universal Design for Learning Approach" offers numerous hands-on writing activities that are not only engaging but also "AI proof".

Critique: This trade paperback edition of "Rethinking Writing Instruction in the Age of AI: A Universal Design for Learning Approach" by Professor Randy Laist is impressively informative, exceptionally well written, deftly organized and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, making it a timely, unreservedly recommended, and high value addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Language Arts, Teacher Education, Writer Reference, and AI collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Rethinking Writing Instruction in the Age of AI: A Universal Design for Learning Approach" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.49).

Editorial Note: Randy Laist, Ph.D., is a professor of English in the School of Applied Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Goodwin University, and he is the Chair of the English Department at the University of Bridgeport. Laist received his doctorate in American literature from the University of Connecticut. He has taught in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is also the co-editor of UDL University: Designing for Variability across the Postsecondary Curriculum.

Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts
Anna Faktorovich
Anaphora Literary Press
1898 Athens Street, Brownsville, TX 78520
9781681144375, $30.00, HC, 106pp,

"Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts" by Anna Faktorovich is essential an instructional textbook that combines the rigor of a Research Writing class with the imaginative and culturally significant realm of Cultural Studies. Concepts that are typically discussed in Research Writing textbooks, like close reading, thesis statement, and cliches, are covered in full. Complex rhetorical concepts are explained simply and fully. Additionally, the elements of a proper argument are not only digested for students, but are also assisted with discussions of political, economic, social and other types of cultural concepts such as communism or feminism. Classroom teachers who are looking for ideas to inspire their plans for students will find assignments they can easily incorporate into their instruction. Of special note is the commentary on 'Concepts Involved in a Review'. "Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts" is deliberately short, succinct, and meant to be inexpensive so that it can be utilized as a quick reference guide and idea book for cultural studies related topics (if not as the primary textbook for a course that entirely combines Research Writing with Cultural Studies). Exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts" is an ideal 'how to' reference for aspiring writers seeking to engage in research writing for any subject, in any genre, and for any publishing project.

Paul Chitlik
Michael Wiese Productions
3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA, 91604
9781932907391, $16.95,

It took Thomas Edison over one hundred tries to perfect the light bulb. Perfection - It's very unlikely for one to have perfection on their first try, and screen writing is no different. "Rewrite: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in Your Screenplay" is a manual for screenwriters that already have their screenplay written - but want to do everything they can to make it flat out the very best it can be. Seeking to improve your writing by improving the little aspects, as the little details can be invaluable in selling a story. "Writing is Rewriting". "Rewrite: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in Your Screenplay" is highly recommended for any screenwriter who wants to hammer out all of the kinks in their screenplay for community library collections catering to writers.

Joseph Harris
Utah State University
7800 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-7800
0874216427 $19.95

Written by Duke University Writing Program director Joseph Harris, Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts is a guide written especially for college students and professionals seeking to refine their academic writing technique. Leaning away from the static ideas of thesis, support and structure and toward a more naturally flowing and dynamic writing style, Rewriting challenges the reader to think of writing an adaptive, social activity and shape one's written intellectual opinions and discussions accordingly. Presented strategies for coaxing a more persuasive and intuitive tone into one's logical academic written arguments include forwarding (taking words, images, or ideas from text and putting them to use in new contexts), countering (suggesting different ways of thinking rather than simple nullification of a given ideal), and much more. Recommended for intermediate to advanced academic writers for its solid recommendations to make prose more readable, immersive, thought-provoking and natural-sounding.

Riding the Alligator
Pen Densham
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd. #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907841, $24.95,

Everyone wants to be a screenwriter and that's what makes it so hard. "Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing" is a combination memoir and career guide by Pen Densham for how to succeed more effectively at their careers in a cutthroat and highly competitive industry. Densham's experience is over dozen films and many TV series, and he has come to know the rough road to success and how success doesn't get easier because you've succeeded once. "Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing" is a choice pick for the screenwriting aspirant.

The Right Way To Write, Publish And Sell Your Book
Patricia L. Fry
Matilija Press
323 East Matilija Street, Suite 110, Ojai, CA 93023
9780977357628, $19.95

Now in a newly revised and expanded second edition, The Right Way To Write, Publish And Sell Your Book: Your Complete Guide To Successful Authorship" by Patricia L. Fry continues to be an ideal, single-volume introduction to writing and getting published whether your literary project is fiction or non-fiction. Aspiring authors will learn how to write with clarity; actually incorporate promotion into their book; locate and evaluate an appropriate publisher (including the option of self-publishing); selecting an effective agent; write saleable book proposals and professional quality query letters; establish a platform, choose an editor; upon publication get their books into bookstores; obtain valid reviews; promote and sell their book; work with distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and internet book selling websites. It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is twice referred to and recommended as a book review resource for small presses and self-published authors. If you are an aspiring author, no matter what your genre or project, you need to give Patricia Fry's "The Right Way To Write, Publish And Sell Your Book" a very careful reading. It will demystify the process of publication; alleviate anxiety through instruction, recommendation, and reference; and serve as a continuing informational resource at ever step of the process of going from manuscript to published book, and every aspect of book promotion and marketing, the responsibility for which, in today's highly competitive marketplace, will inevitable falls upon the author to perform. Also very highly recommended from Patricia Fry is "The Author's Workbook: Your Guide To Developing A Publishing And Marketing Plan", a spiral bound workbook specifically designed to accompany "The Right Way To Write, Publish And Sell Your Book" ($12.95) and is available directly from the Matilija Press website at, as are her other truly exceptionally writer instruction titles: "How To Write A Successful Book Proposal In 8 Days Or Less" ($12.95); "The Successful Writer's Handbook" ($15.95); "Over 75 Good Ideas For Promoting Your Book" ($6.50); and "A Writer's Guide To Magazine Articles" ($6.50)

The Romance Writer's Handbook
Rebecca Vinyard
The Writer Books
c/o Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187
0871162040 $18.95 1-800-533-6644

The Romance Writer's Handbook: How To Write Romantic Fiction & Get It Published by novelist, journalist, and webmaster Rebecca Vinyard is a quick-study course to crafting romance fiction for the markets and readers of today. From practical advice to creating heroes and heroines that resonate with the reader; to delicately orchestrating plot complications; to bringing alive sensual love scenes, and more, The Romance Writer's Handbook is an excellent and "writer friendly" resource and primer especially recommended for beginners seeking to break into print and intermediate level romance writers seeking to expand their published title list.

Ron Carlson Writes a Story
Ron Carlson
Graywolf Press
2402 University Avenue, Suite 203, Saint Paul, MN 55114
9781555974770, $12.00 1-651-641-0077

Ron Carlson Writes a Story is an essay by published author Ron Carlson, who has written eight books of fiction as well as short stories that have appeared in "Esquire", "Harper's", "New Yorker", and "GQ" magazines. Offering a wealth of notes, tips, tricks, and techniques for writers, as well as a window into Carlson's personal creative process during his creation of the short story "The Governor's Ball", Ron Carlson Writes a Story is both inspirational and entertaining. Especially recommended for aspiring and novice writers for its insights into the art of creativity.

The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them
Bill Mesce, Jr.
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476668505, $29.95, PB, 228pp,

Only a couple of generations ago, the Hollywood-based movie industry ran on gut instinct as film schools, audience research departments, and seminars on screenwriting were not yet dominating the cinematic medium. Today the standard is the analytical approach, intended to demystify filmmaking and guarantee success (or at least minimize failure). The trouble with this method is that nobody knows how to do it they just think they do and films are made based on models of predictability rather than the merits of the script. "The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them" by Bill Mesce(an adjunct instructor at several New Jersey universities and colleges, and an author, screenwriter, and playwright) provides a true insider's look at the craft and business of screenwriting while exploding some of the popular myths, demonstrating how little relevance the rules have to actual filmmaking. With long experience in film and television, Mesce provides insightful how-not-to analyses, with commentary by such veterans as Josh Sapan (CEO of AMC Networks), bestselling author Adriana Trigiani, and Oscar nominated screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas). Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them" should be considered a "must read" for any and all aspiring screenwriters. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections in general, and screenwriting supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them" is also available in a Kindle format ($15.99).

Rut-Busting Book for Authors
Nancy Christie
Mill City Press
9781545673386, $14.99, PB, 256pp,

Synopsis: A successful writer, speaker and blogger, Nancy Christie wrote "Rut-Busting Book for Authors" specifically for the benefit of anyone who is thinking about writing a book but can't seem to get started, or having got started is unsure of their next move.

"Rut-Busting Book for Authors" will prove to be of practical value for anyone who is unsure how to get started -- or keep going; who are wondering what publishing option to choose: traditional, hybrid or indie?; Are confused about how best to market their book and reach their readers?

"Rut-Busting Book for Authors" presents useful 'real world' advice from more than 60 authors and industry experts including: literary agents and attorneys, publishers and publicists, book editors and book reviewers.

"Rut-Busting Book for Authors" provides information on the three stages involved in writing, publishing and marketing a book: The Process--what it takes to turn your book idea into a publishable manuscript; The Publication--what publishing methods are available; The Promotion--what strategies will work best for you to create a "book buzz".

If you want to write, publish and market a book, "Rut-Busting Book for Authors" effectively showcases the process from concept to completion!

It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is one of the resources listed in Book Review Listings on page 203.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Rut-Busting Book for Authors" offers a wealth of practical information, insights, advice, and specific things to do that will be of immediate benefit to anyone seeking to write, get published, and/or marketing their book regardless of its genre or subject matter. While unreservedly and especially recommended for community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of aspiring authors that "Rut-Busting Book for Authors" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing
Slim Randles
Foreword by Max Evans
Introduction by George Cornell
Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchos, NM 87107
9781936744312 $15.95

Journalist, outdoorsman, novelist, and award-winning author Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing, a thoroughly accessible, no-nonsense guide for professional authors. The primary emphasis is upon getting one's work published for money, whether it's an article for a magazine (Randles emphasizes that many specialty-interest magazines are still alive and well, even though general-interest magazines have mostly gone out of business) or a fiction or nonfiction book for a publishing house. Tips, tricks, and techniques for the creative process are also included, but the topic of self-publishing is (more or less) left for other guides to cover. One of the most valuable lessons the reader will learn is the importance of sending a well-crafted query letter to publication editors, before pouring hours of time into creating an article or a book. "You should never 'shotgun' query letters... By that I mean changing only the editor's name and address on the query and sending it to every magazine that might be interested in the piece. This is a real temptation for beginning writers... It's actually something close to journalistic suicide." Saddle Up is an absolute "must-read" for aspiring professional writers; even those who pursue self-publishing as their primary path will find Randles' life-tested writing advice indispensable.

Save The Cat! Goes to The Movies
Blake Snyder
Michael Wiese Productions
3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd. #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907353, $24.95,

Everything there is to be done has been done before in some way. "Save The Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told" is a guide to this strange claim to cover ten genre that the populace can't seem to get enough of, a through look at fifty of the biggest movies of the past three decades to cover everything about the modern movie script and why originality isn't really dead when it seems to be but it's really just taking on a new costume and appearance. Written by a Hollywood veteran with thirteen successful screenplay sales, "Save The Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told" is highly recommended to anyone who's trying to break into Hollywood and for community library collections on the subject of film.

Say What You Mean!
R. L. Trask
David R. Godine, Publisher
9 Hamilton Place, Boston, MA 02108
1567922635 $25.00 1-800-344-4771

The highly skilled and experienced linguist R.L. Trask offers no-nonsense vocabulary advice Say What You Mean!: A Troubleshooter's Guide To English Style & Useage.. Structured like a dictionary, Say What You Mean! is specifically a compendium of English words that are all-too-often misused or confused - such as "sped" vs. "speeded", and the proper useage of "Sir" or "Dame" - these titles may be used with the full name or just first name, but using them with the last name only is improper! Although particularly useful for British English speakers adjusting to American English spellings and definitions and vice-versa, Say What You Mean! is an utterly invaluable reference and serious-minded writers of all formats are enthusiastically recommended to peruse Say What You Mean! cover to cover in order to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions.

Scenes and Sequels
Mike Klaassen
9781682229071, $14.99, PB, 200pp,

Most books about the craft of writing fiction don't even define a scene, much less describe how to write one. Even fewer address sequels. Scenes are the exciting, turbocharged parts of fiction, driving the story forward. Sequels provide a breather, where the focal character can celebrate or lick his wounds and plan his next move. Together, scenes and sequels help create page-turning fiction. The concept of scenes and sequels were championed by Dwight V. Swain (1915-1992) and Jack M. Bickham (1930-1997). In "Scenes and Sequels: How to Write Page-Turning Fiction" published author Mike Klaassen deftly builds on the work of Swain and Bickham to create the most comprehensive and concise explanation of scenes and sequels anywhere. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Scenes and Sequels" is enhanced for the aspiring author with the inclusion of a seventeen page glossary of fiction-writing terms; a four page bibliography; a four page index, and eight pages of end notes. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content, and presentation, "Scenes and Sequels" will prove to be an invaluable instruction guide and reference. Very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections, it should be noted that "Scenes and Sequels" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Science Writers' Handbook
The Writers of SciLance
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780738216560, $17.50,

The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age is edited by Thomas Hayden and Michelle Nijhuis and analyzes the challenges facing science writers who pursue careers, and how to achieve success. From key skills needed for quality science writing to maintaining a work-life balance in a home office setting and supporting oneself on fluctuating freelance monies, this is packed with powerful strategies key to success, and is a pick for any writing and publishing collection as well as many a science holding.

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words
David Lindsay
Cisro Publishing
c/o Stylus Publishing
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9780643100466, $25.95,

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words provides a fine assessment of scientific writing and research, surveying unspoken dogma, unwritten rules, and the complexities of article structure. Any researcher preparing articles for scientific journals and reviews will find this packed with basic principles applicable to scientific articles in a range of disciplines.

The Screenplay Workbook
Jeremy Robinson & Tom Mungovan
Lone Eagle Publishing Company
1024 North Orange Drive, Hollywood, CA 90038-2318
1580650638 $18.95 1-800-815-0503

Co-written by Jeremy Robinson and Tom Mungovan (a pair of experienced and knowledgeable screenplay writers who currently have two of their own projects currently in pre-production), The Screenplay Workbook: The Writing Before The Writing is a superbly "user friendly" instruction manual to all aspects of writing in the strict screenplay format. In place of an overabundance of instructions and dialogue, The Screenplay Workbook keeps its narrative advice brief and to the point, as well as packing its pages with character development worksheets, character arc worksheets, scene worksheets, plot structure worksheets, and more. The Screenplay Workbook is confidently recommended as an especially useful guide for novice and aspiring screenplay writers looking for organizational and creative tools to craft projects that will succeed in being produced for a viewing public.

The Screenwriter's Legal Guide
Stephen F. Briemer
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd St., #210, NY, NY 10010
1581150210 $19.95

Now in a new, fully updated, second edition, Stephen Breimer's The Screenwriter's Legal Guide continues to be the reference for television and film writers on the subject of contracts, options, rights negotiations, fixed compensation, contingent compensation, sequels, rewrites, revisions, credits, commissioned screenplays, copyright, work based on source material, collaboration agreements, The Writer's Guild, and more. Of special value to the novice is the appendix of a "boiler plate" sample option/purchase agreement. Every aspiring and practicing screenwriter should have The Screenwriter's Legal Guide as the core volume of their personal and professional reference shelf.

Victor West
University Publishing Company
1563 Solano Ave. #347, Berkeley, CA 94707
1575023342 $9.95

Learn the basics of story creation, plot, characterization and screenplay structure in a fine guide to writing a script. There are competing "how to" titles which also impart these basics; but this one focuses on why most scripts are rejected, providing specific guidance on how to assure acceptance.

Screenwriting 101
Neill D. Hicks
Michael Wiese Productions
11288 Ventura Blvd., Suite 821, Studio City, CA 91604
0941188728 $16.95 1-800-833-5738

In Screenwriting 101: The Essential Craft Of Feature Film Writing, Neil Hicks provides aspiring writers with all of the tools necessary to successfully create and market a screenplay for film or television production. Hicks uses an informal and entertaining approach to detailing structure, character, style, the business of screenwriting, the economics of film, agents, attorneys, and much more. Screenwriting 101 is a recommended, complete introductory course under one cover.

Screenwriting for Hollywood
Michael Hauge
Penton Overseas, Inc.
2470 Impala Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008
1880717395 $17.95 1-800-748-5804

Michael Hauge's Screenwriting For Hollywood is a two-cassette, three-hour workshop audio book, recorded live, by renowned screenwriting teacher Michael Hauge and covers all aspects of writing and selling a successful feature film or television movie, with groundbreaking information on "feminine mode" movies. Listeners will learn how to elicit emotion (a primary goal of all screen writing), create strong characters, find a story's turning points, and deal adeptly with the business side of Hollywood.

Screenwriting for Neurotics
Scott Winfield Sublett
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609382766, $24.00,

Screenwriting for Neurotics: A Beginner's Guide to Writing a Feature-Length Screenplay from Start to Finish provides writers with all the tools needed to produce a successful feature-length screenplay and offers step-by-step assessments that include keys of how to begin and how to produce a successful result. Beginners new to the screenwriting process receive a fine survey that reviews successful writing techniques and how they are applied in films, using examples from well-known classic and modern films alike. It's all about finishing off a polished script - and this is the one place to begin that covers all the bases.

The Screenwriting Formula
Rob Tobin
Writer's Digest Press
c/o F&W Publications, Inc.
700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990
9781582974620, $14.99 1-800-726-9966

When it comes to creating scripts for films and television, professional scriptwriter Rob Tobin's maxim is that 'writing well isn't just a goal, it's a responsibility'. That attitude comes across loud and clear in "The Screenwriting Formula: Why It Works And How To Use It", his deftly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction guide for aspiring screenwriters regardless of the genre they are working in. "The Screenwriting Formula" is nicely organized into three main sections: The Seven Elements (the hero, the flow, enabling circumstances, the opponent, the hero's ally, the life-changing event, jeopardy, combining story elements); The Structure (prologue, act one, act two: parts one and two, act three); The Big Picture (the logline, the outline, high-concept and low-concept stories, a titanic undertaking). Enhanced with the inclusion of two germane appendices (Prewriting Techniques and Adapting Novels to the Screen), "The Screenwriting Formula" is comprehensive, practical, and essential reading for anyone hoping to successful write a screenplay that will measure up to professional standards and commercial viability.

Screenwriting from the Soul
Richard Krevolin
Renaissance Media
5858 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90036
1580630367 $14.95

Richard Krevolin is a professor of screenwriting at the university of Southern California. In Screenwriting From The Soul, Krevolin not only teaches the specialized craft of writing a script for radio, television or cinema, he explains what it really takes to be a working, professional screenwriter. Every aspect and facet of professional screenwriting is addressed. Screenwriting From The Soul is also enhanced with a bibliography for further study and a "user friendly" index. No aspiring screenwriter can afford to be without his or her own copy of Screenwriting From The Soul close to hand.

Screenwriting Updated
Linda Aronson
Silman-James Press
3624 Shannon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027
1879505592 $19.95 1-323-661-9922

Award winning screenwriter, playwright, and novelist Linda Aronson draws upon her many years of professional experience and expertise to present Screenwriting Updated: New (And Conventional) Ways Of Writing For The Screen, a singularly useful and "user friendly" compendium of advice, examples, tips, tricks, and techniques on writing scripts for television and film. Sections cover such topics as Getting Ideas, Narrative Structure, and dialogue writing. Sample scenes abound, clearly illustrating various writing principles and rendering the concepts in concrete, unmistakable clarity. A complete "how to" course in a single volume, Screenwriting Updated is very highly recommended for both aspiring and active screenwriters.

Scribblin' for a Livin'
Thomas J. Reigstad
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616145927, $19.00,

Scribblin' for a Livin': Mark Twain's Pivotal Period in Buffalo provides an engaging portrait of Twain at a point in his life when he lived in Buffalo, worked as an editor, and became committed to full-time newspaper work. It considers his work environment and influences at the Buffalo Morning Express, offering anecdotes about his colleagues and fun work habits and providing original Twain stories and illustrations not previously reprinted. The result is a fine insight into how Twain the writer evolved, filled with rare photos and a pick for Twain students and scholars of American literature and writing as a whole.

Secrets Of The Screen Trade
Allen B. Ury
Lone Eagle Publishing Company
5055 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
1580650600 $18.95

Successful author and screenwriter Allen B. Ury presents Secrets Of The Screen Trade: From Concept To Sale, a practical guide to not only creating a screenplay that is coherent and salable, but also how to get it sold without getting ripped off. Writing tips, tricks, and techniques include a sample of overused premises to avoid (such as mysteries where the protagonist is the murderer), ten screenplay writing rules and when to break them (the first act should not occupy more than a quarter of the screenplay, unless there are so many funny jokes/action-packed events that the story is not dragging), and all too common errors to avoid, such as writing "at last he understands" in the screenplay description - the sure mark of an amateur, since "understanding" is an internal emotion and a screenplay must focus on external facets that a director can work with. Secrets Of The Screen Trade goes on to give the reader the basic low-down on submitting scripts, a process that has changed little in fifty years, and sharply warns writers not to be taken in by scam artists - such as agents who charge a flat rate instead of a sales commision, or internet sites that pretend they're doing you a favor by promoting your work online, when no serious film producer browses websites for his next movie script. A wittily written and highly recommended overview for anyone interested in the screenwriting trade.

See Jane Write
Sarah Mlynowski & Farrin Jacobs
Quirk Books
215 Church St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
1594741158 $14.95

See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide To Writing Chick Lit is a fabulously entertaining, wickedly practical, 192-page beginner's manual for the chick lit bestselling authors of next year, and the year after that, and maybe the year after that. A first of its kind to focus only on chick lit, See Jane Write is hilariously witty, incredibly compact, and begins with a peppy, condensed definition and history of chick lit. Because of that very important introduction, I now know that a) Chick lit started in Ireland, in the mid 90's, and b) All of Part One, The Big Picture is designed to inform, educate, and motivate the next group of wannabe chick lit authors. I particularly liked chapter four, How Writing Chick Lit Is Like Dating: "Think about it: What do you want to achieve with your novel (besides fame, fortune, and an addiction to checking your sales ranking on (p. 39)." The fantastic intimate stream of idea-framing consciousness continues at a merry pace. Are you getting how much fun See Jane Write is? That, by the way, is one of the reasons why a sense of humour is essential to the successful chick lit author (See Rule #2: Always have your wit about you. p.41). This rule ends with the key statement " was never a chore to read it (p.42)." See Jane Write continues on to Part Two, The Details. In eight sizzling chapters, the authors teach the basics of style, creating primary and secondary characters, structure, pacing, and piecing, grammar and punctuation, and revising and revisiting. Not only that, the last chapter is devoted to extremely savvy pointers on packaging and selling the manuscript, choosing an agent (and why you should), and dealing with rejection. Somehow I have forgotten to mention the very talented and wise coauthors of See Jane Write, you see what insouciance does to the reader? Co-authors Mlynowski and Jacobs added in Appendix 1 (p. 182) a list of "Books That Will Help You, Really." In summary, if you think you are a potential chick lit writer, this is definitely a must read for you. Additionally, if you are bored, lonely, and tired of "stuffed shirt lit", See Jane Write is even more definitively required reading for aspiring "chick lit" authors. When you are all through reading and laughing, you may be surprised how much you have learned about writing.

A Self Made Of Words
Carl H. Klaus
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381943, $18.00,

In "A Self Made of Words", Carl H. Klaus draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as the founder of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program and author of numerous published non-fiction titles to write a succinct, 98 page compendium comprised of an informed and informative essay and guide on how novice writers (and even more experienced authors) can adapt themselves to the dictums of non-fiction writing through his proffered exercises for creating engaging commentary and text that is hallmarked by a distinctive 'voice' or persona. A masterful, thoroughly 'user friendly', and highly recommended instructional guide for writers, it should be noted that "A Self Made of Words" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Sell-Your-Novel Toolkit
Elizabeth Lyon
Blue Heron Publishing
24450 NW Hansen Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124
0936085401 $17.95 1-503-621-3911

Aspiring novelists face stiff competition for the more than 5,000 novels published each year. The Sell-Your-Novel Toolkit is a guide to interpret the marketing process of getting published from first contact through confirmed sale. Elizabeth Lyon brings her years of experience as an author, book editor, writing instructor , and consultant to bear in the creation of this thoughtful, step-by-step guide to the submission process. Dozens of excerpts and full-length examples of successful synopses and queries are critiqued with suggestions of how aspiring novelists might use similar techniques and variations. Readers also gain an expanded awareness of how the publishing industry works, what editors and agents look for, what questions to ask them, and how to develop a marketing strategy. Breakthrough profiles of first-time published novelists lend a sense of comparison. Highly recommended.

Marlys Marshall Styne
c/o Buy Books On The Web
1094 New Dehaven Street, #100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
0741442965, $9.95

"Seniorwriting: A Brief Guide For Seniors Who Want To Write" by Marlys Marshall Styne is a succinct 81-page instruction manual specifically designed and intended for older men and women wanting to record their thoughts, their memories, their experiences, their observations, and their commentaries for the benefit of themselves, their friends and family, and future generations. Short writing examples and samples are provided based on Marlys Styne's own writing skills, expertise, and personal experience as a retired college English teachers who took up writing an award-winning book at the age of 73. "Seniorwriting" is a non-technical 'how to' manual and guide that is ideal for those who have never written anything before -- and holds much of value for those who have written things earlier in their lives, but who have not done anything along those lines since. There are no rigid rules or straight-laced requirements in "Seniorwriting", only practical advice, inspiring examples, alternative ideas, and motivating choices. If you are a senior and would like to record your thoughts be they simple observations or the next Great American Novel, then give "Seniorwriting" your attention. It will be one of the most rewarding reads you can do!

A Sense of Dread
Neal Marshall Stevens
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933334, $26.95, PB, 194pp

Synopsis: "A Sense of Dread: Getting Under the Skin of Horror Screenwriting" by professional screenwriter Neal Marshall Stevens features three main sections:

A detailed examination of the biological, psychological, and cultural bases of fear. What fears do we share with animals? What fears are uniquely human? What fears have we learned from our culture? From our families? From our experiences growing up? And what, exactly, is the difference between fear and dread?

A Sense of Dread then combines these ideas to explore the roots of human fear and apply them to storytelling for the screen. "The Toolbox of Dread" outlines the techniques for creating terror on the page. A wide array of horror subgenres are also explored, including why they exist, and what challenges each presents to the horror screenwriter.

Author Neal Marshall Stevens puts Theory into Practice, using examples from his own work to demonstrate how to apply his "toolbox" and the principles of "Dread" to put real scares into the pages of a screenplay. Finally, we seek to answer the question many people ask: What are you afraid of?

Critique: An absolute 'must read' combination of instructional guide and 'how to' manual for aspiring screenwriters working in the horror movie genre, "A Sense of Dread: Getting Under the Skin of Horror Screenwriting" is truly exceptional and impressively 'user friendly' in its organization and presentation, creating an ideal DIY resource for individual studies or for formal film school curriculums. While an essential addition to the core collections of professional, community, college, and university library Cinematic Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Sense of Dread: Getting Under the Skin of Horror Screenwriting" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.84).

Editorial Note: Neal Marshall Stevens has been a working professional in the entertainment industry for over thirty years. Among other projects, Neal sold his original screenplay Deader to Dimension Pictures, which was subsequently produced as Hellraiser: Deader, and wrote the screenplay for Dark Castle's feature remake of Thirteen Ghosts. In addition to his work as a screenwriter, Neal has taught online for eight years for Script University, and is currently a professor in the MFA in Screenwriting program at the David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts at Maharishi International University.

Geraldine Woods
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393714814, $29.95, PB, 384pp

Synopsis: Every English teacher has experienced it: students staring at an empty page, seemingly paralyzed by a writing assignment. The same is true of almost every novel and professional writer when faced with a blank computer screen awaiting whatever their writing project was to be. It's a phenomena popularly referred to as 'Writer's Block'.

When this happens, it may be time to back off from the Big Idea approach to the art of reading and writing, and zero in on a single sentence.

In "Sentence.: A Period-to-Period Guide to Building Better Readers and Writers", Geraldine Woods, a master teacher, offers a complete guide to a sentence-level approach to overcoming Writer's Block. Helping students (and authors) recognize the techniques that make sentences great is the first step, and there are plenty of examples here from YA novels, TV shows, and song lyrics as well as the novels, poetry, and nonfiction pieces that form the canon of middle and high school reading lists.

Lesson plans include activities to introduce the featured element of style; questions to guide students in their analysis; and writing prompts and activities to spark students' interest and creativity.

With this Little-to-Big strategy, students (and authors) can move quickly from analysis of the words between two periods to the universe of ideas of which that sentence is a part.

Critique: A complete course of detailed instruction in a single volume, "Sentence.: A Period-to-Period Guide to Building Better Readers and Writers" is an extraordinary, effective, DIY approach to overcoming writer's block and getting started with any form of literary project. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and most especially, aspiring writers, authors, and novelists, that "Sentence.: A Period-to-Period Guide to Building Better Readers and Writers" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.16).

Editorial Note: Geraldine Woods has taught English at every level from fifth grade through Advanced Placement, most recently at the Horace Mann School. She is the author of numerous nonfiction books for adults and children, including "25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" (W.W. Norton, 9781324004851, $25.95 HC, $13.64 Kindle).

Set the Page on Fire
Steve O'Keefe
New World Library
9781608686117, $15.95

Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers began as a four-year road trip author O'Keefe undertook, videotaping interviews with hundreds of published authors across the country. Some were quite famous; others were local celebrities or literary festival winners. All introduced their secrets to written success for this book, which synthesizes their insights into a succinct advice guide that includes the basic admonition to write as fast as possible and worrying about cleaning up any problems later. The result is packed with details on writing the best, most lively pieces possible no matter what the genre, and will inspire readers to become 'unstuck' and put pen to paper for more effective results.

Seven Steps to Confident Writing
Alan Gelb
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608685448 $16.95 pbk / $10.98 Kindle

Author, writing coach, and communications consultant for higher education Alan Gelb presents Seven Steps to Confident Writing, a guide to overcoming anxiety, self-doubt, and emotional hurdles to writing. Whether crafting a business memo, a speech, a blog or magazine article, a research paper, or a novel, Seven Steps to Confident Writing is an invaluable tool for breaking through paralysis and writer's block. Chapters focus on the value of incorporating storytelling anecdotes into one's communication, the importance of paying attention to one's tone, the "lapidary work" of refining, condensing, and editing one's writing into a polished piece, and more. Seven Steps to Confident Writing is a "must-have" not only for aspiring authors, but also for professionals in every field that requires writing! Highly recommended.

Shady Characters
Keith Houston
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393064421, $25.95,

SHADY CHARACTERS: THE SECRET LIFE OF PUNCTUATION, SYMBOLS AND OTHER TYPOGRAPHICAL MARKS provides a fine history of punctuation marks, creating a reference that will appeal not just to literary collections, but those involved in typographic history and social history alike. It begins with early Alexandria and moves to modern times with its survey of the evolution and changing use of eleven punctuation marks, linking punctuation choices with religion, technology, culture and literacy. With its lively dialogue and literary insights, this is a reference that will appeal across the board from scholarly to general-interest readers.

Shakespeare for Screenwriters
J.M. Evenson
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931415, $19.95,

Shakespeare for Screenwriters uses wisdom and writings from The Bard to provide a powerful template of success considering how Shakespeare created compelling character that have intrigued audiences for centuries. It's the first book to use Shakespeare's works to consider the basics of screenwriting success, examining stories, characters and scenes and providing commentary on everything from untried heroes struggling to succeed against all odds to creating exceptional settings. Any film or drama writing looking to learn from a 'master' could do no better than this guide.

Shaping Text
Jan Middendrop
BIS Publishers
Het Sieraad, Postjesweg 1
1057 DT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
9789063692230, $39.00,

SHAPING TEXT is a key acquisition for any working with text in either electronic or print form: it gathers the works and approaches of an international team of designers and features work by Luca Barcellona, Blotto, Gray 318, Klaus Hesse and many more. Chapters cover the basics, from how we read and what fonts are eye-catching to type design, type modifications for the web, design strategies, and more. Designers, authors, publishers and any who use typography in their work receive in-depth surveys on how content is processed and how typeface selection affects readers in this highly recommended pick.

Short-Form Creative Writing
H. K. Hummel & Stephanie Lenox
Bloomsbury Academia
c/o Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781350019898, $102.00, HC, 368pp,

"Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer's Guide and Anthology" by H. K. Hummel (Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) and Stephanie Lenox (who is an instructional editor for Chemeketa Press at Chemeketa Community College) is a complete introduction to the art and craft of extremely compressed works of imaginative literature. Aspiring writers are introduced to both traditional and innovative approaches to the short form and demonstrate how it possesses structure, logic, and coherence while simultaneously resisting expectations. With discussion questions, writing prompts, flash interviews, and illustrated key concepts, "Short-Form Creative Writing covers: Prose poetry; Flash fiction; Micro memoirs; Lyric essays; Cross-genre/hybrid writing; and so much more. "Short-Form Creative Writing" also includes an anthology, offers inspiring examples of short-form writing in all of the styles covered, and also includes illustrative work by Charles Baudelaire, Italo Calvino, Lydia Davis, Grant Faulkner, Ilya Kaminsky, Jamaica Kincaid, and a great many others. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Literary Studies and Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and aspiring writers that "Short-Form Creative Writing" is also available in a paperback edition (9781350019881, $33.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $30.55).

Show & Tell 6: Writers on Writing
The Publishing Laboratory
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403
9780982338209 $19.95

Show, don't tell is one of the proverbs many amateur writers hear when trying to hone their craft. In a newly revised and expanded edition, "Show & Tell 6: Writers on Writing" is a collection of essays on the subject of writing from the minds at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. These minds offer different perspectives on the many vehicles of writing, prose, poetry, novels, and more. From brainstorming to the extensive editing process, "Show & Tell 6" is a must read for any writer trying to strengthen their craft and their habits.

Shut Up & Write
Judy Bridges
Redbird Studio Press
3195 S. Superior Street #211
Milwaukee, WI 53207
9780976474272, $19.95,

All a writer needs to do to write is write. "Shut Up & Write" is an inspirational writing guide as Judy Bridges urges writers to pick up their pens and go along the way and piece together what they want out of their writing, as she critiques the values and methods to writing groups, publishing, the methods of writing, and much more. For those looking for that spice to get writing, "Shut Up & Write" is a strong pick, not to be overlooked.

The Shy Writer
C. Hop Clark
A FundsforWriters Publication
3145 East Chandler Boulevard, #110 #747, Phoenix, AZ 85048
1591135834 $14.95

A lot of writers are less than apt at dealing with other people in social events and public circumstances. This shyness will prove a decided handicap in getting published by the major houses who require their authors to go on speaking tours and take an active, public role in promoting their books. C. Hope Clark has written The Shy Writer as "how to" book for aspiring authors who want to spend their time writing and avoid or at least minimize the hard-pounding, palm-sweating, throat-choking that comes with a fear of performing in public. Beginning with defining and understanding shyness, and then discusses "Reaching Out Reaches In" through examples of singers, comedians, and actors who deal with that form of shyness known as "stage fright". The Shy Writer also deals with one-on-one and large group scenarios. Herself a shy and self-published author, Clark goes on to deal with book signings, the press and media, reviews, writers groups, and all the other experiences common to writing professionally. If you are an aspiring or published writer who dreads the publicity, promotion, and marketing aspects of being a professional author, then give a close and careful reading to C. Hope Clark's The Shy Writer -- it can make all the difference between success and failure in your chosen career!

A Sidecar Named Desire
Greg Clarke & Monte Beauchamp
Dey St.
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
9780062696380, $19.99, HC, 192pp,

Throughout history, there has been no greater catalyst for creativity among writers than alcohol in the form of a good, stiff drink -- or so they claim. "A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them" is a graphic volume in which authors Greg Clarke and Monte Beauchamp take the on an unforgettable literary bar crawl that is packed from cover to cover with historical factoids, anecdotes, booze trivia, and fascinating detours into the lives of many successful and acclaimed writers -- along with literary-themed cocktail recipes such as Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon and Philip Larkin's Gin and Tonic (set to verse). For the literary-minded drinker, whether wine, gin, vodka, beer, whiskey, or tequila is the elixir of choice, "A Sidecar Named Desire" will prove to be an inherently fascinating, informative, and occasionally iconoclastic read. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "A Sidecar Named Desire" is a fun and recommended read for all aspiring and laboring writers. While highly recommended for community and academic library collections, it should also be noted that "A Sidecar Named Desire" is also available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982554552, $25.99, CD).

Silence, Language, & Society
Robert Hartwell Fiske
Vocabula Books
5A Holbrook Court, Rockport, MA 01966
9780977436873, $12.95,

Language not only expresses out thoughts, it shapes them as well. Robert Hartwell Fiske has a very special expertise with language as the editor and publisher of 'The Vocabula Review', a publication dedicated to the study of language. He applies that expertise in "Silence, Language, & Society: A Guide To Styel And Meaning, Grace And Compassion", a pocket-sized compendium of information and insight that will prove invaluable for students of the English language, as well as writers aspiring to a deft and definitive elegance in whatever they choose to write about. How words, language and thoughts intermingle, their relationship with 'silence and society' is the focus of this remarkable little volume that continues definitions, word usage examples, and such miscellanea as imprecations and misspent words. "Silence, Language, & Society" is a treat for anyone who finds the study of the English language to be of interest either as a pastime or a profession.

Similes Dictionary
Elyse Sommer
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Road #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578594337, $29.95,

English is a complex and varied language with plenty of things to play with. "Similes Dictionary: 16,000 Figures of Speech on More Than One Thousand Topics" collections thousands of idioms and metaphors, taken from quotes from countless figures throughout history in literature, politics, the stage, and everywhere else. A comprehensive resource to help people find creative ways of spinning language in so many ways, "Similes Dictionary" is a strongly recommended addition to any writing or language studies and reference collection, highly recommended.

Simple, Brief, and Precise
Darrel Waltkers
GIA Publications, Inc.
7404 South Mason Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638
9781622775958, $24.95, 266pp

Synopsis: "Simple, Brief, and Precise: How to Write with Clarity" is a straightforward, practical, easy-to-use tool to improve writing in which author, academician, and writing instructor Darrel Walters draws from his experience reading tens of thousands of pages as a university professor to create an essential reference and guide. "Simple, Brief, and Precise" is an invaluable instruction guide for anyone aspiring to make better use of the English language and the writtenword.

Critique: A DIY writing workshop seminar in the form of a book, "Simple, Brief, and Precise: How to Write with Clarity" is an exceptionally effective and comprehensive textbook that is especially and unreservedly recommended for anyone seeking to become adept, efficient and compelling with their writing whether it is for a business report, a letter to a family member, or the next Great American Novel. While an outstanding selection choice for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for students, academia, corporate executives, freelance writers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Simple, Brief, and Precise: How to Write with Clarity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.70).

Editorial Note: Darrel Walters earned a PhD from the University of Michigan, advised masters and doctoral students at Temple University for 24 years, and now presents writing seminars for business professionals and university students and faculty.

Six Pigs in a Tub
Gene Cox
Capital City Books
1 N. 5th Street, Richmond, VA
9780984288120 $12.95

The English language can prove quite annoying at times. "Six Pigs in a Tub: A Grammar Repair Kit" seeks to help readers evade the many pitfalls and complexities that come along with English grammar and how popular culture and media are not helping. With no shortage of humor, anyone looking to command a greater mastery of English should consider "Six Pigs in a Tub".

Sixty-Four years As A Writer
Bill Gulick
Caxton Press
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
0870044532, $16.95 1-800-657-6465

For more than six decades, Bill Gulick successfully pursued a career as a writer and author. He has written twenty-seven novels, eight books of non-fiction, as well as several plays. A regular contributor to 'The Saturday Evening Post' and other national magazines, many of his published stories became major motion pictures starring such Hollywood luminaries as Burt Lancaster and Jimmy Stewart. His friends and associates in literary circles and the publishing industry are legion and range from A. B. Guthrie, to Elmer Kelton, to William McCleod Raine. Gulick has also made a name for himself as a leading authority on Pacific Northwest History."Sixty-Four Years As A Writer" is a remarkable, memorable, personal history of his life and career from his days in Oklahoma during the Great Depression to his current status as one of America's premier Western authors. Very highly recommended reading (especially for anyone contemplating a professional writing career for themselves), this is an intrinsically fascinating memoir laced with anecdotes and told in a superbly articulate and engaging narrative style for which he is so well known.

A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses
Anne Trubek
University of Pennsylvania Press
3905 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4112
9780812242928, $24.95,

To follow in the footsteps of another is what many do for inspiration. "A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses" is a unique and humorous guide to the house museums of famous authors throughout the country and presents an unusual array of thoughts and opinions on the writing cultures reverence of these locations. With plenty of humor, "A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses" is a unique blend of memoir, travelogue, and literary work analyzing the subculture of it all.

Slay the Dragon: Writing Great Video Games
Robert Denton Bryant & Keith Giglio
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932290, $24.95, 232pp,

Video games are a multibillion-dollar industry. Writing video games is substantially unlike writing for any other forum, format, or medium. The collaborative work of video game writing experts Robert Bryant and Keith Giglio, "Slay the Dragon: Writing Great Video Games" will enable even the most novice of aspiring video game writers to understand the challenges and offer creative solutions to writing for a medium where the audience not only demands a great story, but to be a driving force within it. Aimed at traditional writers who want to learn interactive narrative as well as game creators who want to tell better, more emotionally involving stories, "Slay the Dragon" is comprised of informed and informative discussions, as well as self-paced exercises covering such topics as: the "no-act" structure of video games; writing great game characters; making game play emotionally meaningful; and bringing the game world alive. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in both content and tone, "Slay the Dragon" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Gaming and Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Slay the Dragon" is also available in a Kindle edition ($17.67).

Snoopy's Guide To The Writing Life
Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz
Writer's Digest Books/F&W
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
1582971943 $19.99

Collaboratively compiled and edited by award winning short story writer Barnaby Conrad and novelist Monte Schulz (who is also the son of the "Peanuts" comic strip creator Charles M. Schulz), Snoopy's Guide To The Writing Life is an engaging collection of writing anecdotes and insights drawn from over thirty of the world's most popular writers, including Danielle Steel, Ray Bradbury, and William F. Buckley Jr. But perhaps the real star of the book is Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, featured in timeless comic strips about Snoopy's struggle to write the Great American (Dog's) Novel, as well as the other kids' attempts to construct literate book reports. Replete with a wealth of humorous, insightful, and filled with practical tips, Snoopy's Guide To The Writing Life is highly recommended reading for both aspiring writers and "Peanuts" fans.

So You Want To Be A Writer
Carl Perrin
eBookstand Books
c/o the Magnum Group
P O Box 7670, Auburn, CA 95604
1589091159 $15.95

Carl Perrin is a successfully published author of short stories, poetry, national magazine articles, and books. He draws upon his personal experience and expertise in writing So You Want To Be A Writer which is specifically designed to assist those who aspire to improve their writing skills to a quality level that will invite and facilitate publication. So You Want To Be A Writer is a straightforward, immanently useful and "user friendly" guide for beginning writers which is packed from cover to cover with hints, tips, tricks, techniques, and the "straight scoop" on everything from sending out queries, to manuscript formats and formatting, to proper proofreading, to the possibilities of self-publishing. So You Want To Be A Writer is a practical, "real world" oriented and highly recommended basic primer for the novice writer.

Something Startling Happens
Todd Klick
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
9781615930593, $24.95,

The art of writing is filled with plenty of pitfalls. "Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer needs to Know" is a guide for writers on how to create a more gripping and enticing story that won't be easy to put away. These tips are applicable to any medium, as Todd Klick presents the events that evolve the story well and keep readers glued to the story. "Something Startling Happens" is filled cover to cover with examples from award winning films, and how to adapt their essence to one's own story.

The Soul of Creative Writing
Richard Goodman
Transaction Publishers
300 McGaw Drive-Raritan Center, Edison, NJ 08837
1412807468, $34.95,

Language is one concept that unites the entire human species as a whole and working with it can be one of its greatest art forms. "The Soul of Creative Writing" is an in-depth guide to better understanding language as a whole, created to help aspiring writers use the knowledge they gain to create great and marvelous writing of their own. A first rate handbook for aspiring authors of any type of creative writing, be it short stories, novels, or poetry, "The Soul of Creative Writing" is a must for any community library collections gathering books on writing.

So You Want to Write a Screenplay
Taylor Gaines
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781620232156, $19.95, PB, 180pp,

Getting started as a screenplay writer at a young age is the key to mastering this specific literary skill. That's precisely the purpose driving Taylor Gaines to publish "So You Want to Write a Screenplay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing for Film, Video, and Television". This thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manuals includes: How to write a screenplay, from capturing the audience at the introduction to having a satisfying conclusion; How to use screenplay-writing software; How to pitch and sell your screenplay when the time comes; How to interact with agents, giving you a competitive edge over other young writers. Gaines has drawn upon interviews with a number of veteran screenwriters, producers, agents, and directors and provides a wealth of inside secrets to professional writing for television or the movies. While very highly recommended as a core addition to personal, community, college, and university Writing/Publishing collections in general, and screenwriting supplemental studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted that "So You Want to Write a Screenplay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing for Film, Video, and Television" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.95).

Speaking And Writing Well
Kathy Alba, Ph.D.
Thatch Tree
2250 N. Rock Rd. #118-169, Wichita, KS 67226
0970992901 $16.95

Speaking And Writing Well isn't another basic guide to grammar: it's a guide to improving grammar to help in job success. Chapters include a healthy dose of humor as they tackle the elements separating correct and incorrect speech and writing. Fun bear photos peppered throughout add comic relief to a very serious, readable guide.

Spellbinding Sentences
Barbara Baig
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639154 $19.99

Professional writing teacher Barbara Baig presents Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Achieving Excellence & Captivating Readers lives up to its title as a practical guide improving one's writing through study, practice, and learning from quality models. Chapters cover both nuts and bolts of syntax and advanced strategies of composition, with a wealth of demonstrative examples throughout. "Just like athletes and musicians, writers can break down the complex activity of writing into its component skills; we can practice each skill on its own, then combine it with others." Filled cover to cover with tips, tricks, techniques, and useful advice, Spellbinding Sentences is a "must-have" for aspiring writers everywhere! Also highly recommended is Barbara Baig's previous book, "How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play."

Spider Speculations
Jo Carson
Theatre Communications Group
520 Eighth Avenue, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10018-4156
9781559362832, $16.95,

What really makes a good story? "Spider Speculations: A Physics and Biophysics of Storytelling" is a collection of writings from Jo Carson seeking to answer those questions and dive into the bare science of storytelling. The dissection will intrigue and inform readers, and grant them many a tip on improving their own writing, through understanding the audience, much like a cook would benefit from knowing who he is cooking for. "Spider Speculations" contains invaluable advice for writers, granting it an enthusiastic recommendation.

Spinning Words Into Gold
Maureen Ryan Griffin
Main Street Rag Publishing Company
6731 Morganford Road, Charlotte, NC 28211
1599480220, $21.95

Anyone aspiring to a career as a professional writer needs to assemble a reference collection of sound, practical, illustrative, and comprehensive reference works that will aide them in the enhancement and application of the skills required to write correctly, persuasively, and lucratively. Author, poet, and creative writing instructor Maureen Ryan Griffin draws upon her many years of experience and expertise in "Spinning Words Into Gold: A Hands-On Guide to The Craft Of Writing" to provide aspiring and practicing writers with a compendium of useful and useable information, examples, training exercises, and resources that cover every aspect of the writing process from original drafts to pre-publication polishing. An ideal instruction manual that applies to writing in any category, genre, or purpose be it fiction or non-fiction, memoir or poetry, literary or popular, magazine article or published book. Following a useful essay and an introduction, the contents are divided into chapters dealing with the classical Who, Why, When, Where, What, and How as applied to the processes of writing. Of special note for the novice is the chapter specific to getting publishing, and the concluding chapter on continuing to write. In addition to personal reference collections, "Spinning Words Into Gold" is a 289-page instructional that is also ideal for use as a textbook for creative writing curriculums, and as a supplemental reading list entry for informal community writing groups and writer retreats.

Start and Run a Profitable Freelance Writing Business
Christine Adamec
Self-Counsel Press
1704 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225
1551805234 $14.95 1-800-663-3007

Freelance writers work at home and are their own boss. They are, in effect, one-owner small businesses. That is why before you set up as an entrepreneurial writer you need to consider the business side of writing. Writing is a business, and to be successful at it, you have to be an effective self-promoter, an able negotiator, a tireless researcher, and a talented writer. Christine Adamec's Start And Run A Profitable Freelance Writing Business will help you decide whether a career as a freelance writer is for you, and it guides you through each step in the freelance writer's profession. Start And Run A Profitable Freelance Writing Business addresses such issues as the personality traits and skills of the successful writer; when or if to quit your day job; setting up an earnings plan and setting financial goals; what to write about; how to research a topic; setting up interviews; finding clients; and how much to charge. Start And Run A Profitable Freelance Writing Business is an essential primer that every aspiring freelance writer needs to read carefully and well.

Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer
Moira Anderson Allen
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd St, Suite 210, NY, NY 10010
158115304X $19.95 1-800-491-2808

Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer by professional author Moira Anderson Allen is an extremely practical and detailed career guide for the aspiring writer seeking to become a paid professional. Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer comprehensively and accessibly covers how to make time for writing; honing research and interview techniques; find markets for written work of all kinds; writing and marketing nonfiction books and articles, and a great deal more. A no-nonsense advice guide packed with tips, tricks, and techniques, Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer is an absolute "must-read" for anyone seriously interested in developing a successful career as a professional freelance writing.

Stet Again!
Editorial Eye
EEI Press
66 Canal Center Plaza #200, Alexandria, VA 22314-5507
0935012206 $15.95

In Stet Again! writers, editors, publishers and graphic designers receive a new collection of articles gathered from the Editorial Eye newsletter on the topic of how to write and how to produce high-quality writings. Publications people from all walks of the industry will find Stet Again! a highly recommended, compelling, important collection of essays addressing everything from common nonfiction writing problems to modifying grammar and avoiding common mistakes.

Stop Talking & Start Writing Your Book
Terrance Zepke
Safari Publishing
PO Box 4881, Greensboro, NC 27404
9780990765332 $9.95 pbk / $0.99 Kindle

Terrance Zepke, award-winning author of twenty-eight fiction and nonfiction books, and co-host of "A Writer's Jouney" podcast, shares his wisdom in Stop Talking & Start Writing Your Book, a no-nonsense guide for writers of all skill and experience levels, from aspirant to seasoned professional. Chapters outline nine different ways to write a book, keys to writing nonfiction or crafting a breakout novel, guidelines for dealing with common distractions and writer's block, the role of "beta readers" and editors, and much more. "Pacing is how you control the flow of information given to the reader and often depends on the genre. For example, in a cozy mystery there better be a murder within the first few pages. In historical fiction, the pacing can be more leisurely. No matter what kind of book you're writing, you don't want to go so fast as to leave readers confused or disoriented." An excellent, user-friendly resource, Stop Talking & Start Writing Your Book lives up to its title! Also highly recommended are Zepke's additional guides to the writing and publishing process, "Stop Talking and Start Publishing Your Book" (9780990765356, $9.95 pbk / $4.99 Kindle) and "Stop Talking and Start Selling Your Book" (9780990765370, $9.95 pbk / $4.99 Kindle).

Story and Structure: A Complete Guide
Leon Conrad, author
Jason Chuang, illustrator
The Squeeze Press
9781906069254, $39.95, PB, 528pp

Synopsis: With the publication of "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide", published author Leon Conrad reveals the untold story of just how story works. Using just six primary symbols, Conrad outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all optimally solve the problems which give rise to them.

"Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" also demonstrates the much wider application of story, presenting new insights into story as a dynamic force of life, allowing the reader to access more harmony and flow in their life.

Critique: Offering a complete course of instruction for authors, novelists, storytellers, creative writing teachers, folklorists, narrative therapists, anthropologists, poets, and non-specialist general readers and bibliophiles interested in how story works will all find "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" useful and informative as they rethink ideas of story and storytelling. An ideal textbook for Creative Writing courses and workshops, "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Leon Conrad ( is the author of History Riddles, Odyssey: Dynamic Learning System (with David Pinto), and Aesop the Storyteller. He is a storyteller and story structure consultant, based in London, UK.

Editorial Note #2: Jason Chuang ( is an illustrator and storyteller based in Taiwan and the UK. His practice focuses on the exploration of human emotions through the creation of symbolic imageries, coating them with elements of the absurd and poetry.

Story Engineering
Larry Brooks
Writer's Digest Books
4700 E. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati OH 45236
9781582979984, $17.99,

What makes a good story or screenplay great? Most writers have no idea of story engineering basics, so never achieve the 'great' level they could. STORY ENGINEERING is a 'must' for any writer's library: it analyzes the design of a story line and uses it as the basis for narrative, offering six specific ways storytelling methods combine and elevate writing to its highest standards. From scene construction to character development, this discusses the basics of plot and method and is an ongoing 'must' for any aspiring writer and libraries catering to them.

Story Solution
Eric Edson
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd, #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615930845, $26.95,

The Story Solution: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take comes from a professional screenwriter who pinpoints all the reasons why typical stories don't sell. Examples from hit movies outline the elements of successful plots and approaches, with chapters going beyond the usual writing approaches to plot development to consider the pros and cons of building a story for the screen. Stories are broken down into distinct parts for analysis, with plenty of insights into the entire process of creating memorable characters and plots. A 'must' for any screenwriter and collections catering to them.

Storytelling Tips
Mark Goldman
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc.
110 West Main Street, Marion, Michigan 49665
9781624910500 $17.00

Professional actor, teacher, and mediator Mark Goldman shares his life experience in skilled storytelling with Storytelling Tips: Creating, Crafting & Telling Stories, a guide filled with tips, tricks, and techniques of the trade. Storytelling Tips has "words of wisdom" applicable to writers, comedians, actors, teachers, and anyone else who needs to hone the knack for spinning a good yarn. "What's your story about? Can you say it in one sentence? I don't mean tell me a one-sentence story. I mean, in one sentence, tell me what the essence of your story is. If you can do that, you are well on your way to being a better story crafter and teller." Highly recommended!

Storyview, version 2.0
150 E. Olive Avenue, Suite 203, Burbank, CA 91502-1849
$79.99 1-818-843-6557

Now updated into version 2.0, Storyview is a thoroughly "user friendly" visual outliner for aspiring and published authors of all writing genres ranging from the writing of novels to the scripting of screenplays to crafting of television commercials. Ideal for writers at all skill levels, the many and diverse features allow anyone to put together a map of their story, to track their ideas carefully, and to better safeguard against contradictions, speed up the outline process, print timelines of their story, and much, much more. a truly effective and efficient way to speed up and enhance the task of creating outlines, Storyview runs on Windows only, but is fully compatible with and can connect to the also highly recommended writing software Dramatica Pro 4.0.

The Story You Need to Tell
Sandra Marinella, MA, MEd
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608684830, $17.95, PB, 328pp,

In the pages of "The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss", Sandra Marinella draws upon her many years of experience and expertise as a writing instructor who has taught thousands of students and fellow educators and presented hundreds of workshops to veterans, educators, and cancer patients to provide a practical and inspiring guide to transformational personal storytelling. "The Story You Need to Tell" features riveting true stories illustrating Marinella's methods for understanding, telling, and editing personal stories in ways that foster resilience and renewal. She also shares her own experience of using journaling and expressive writing to navigate challenges including breast cancer and postpartum depression. Each of the writing techniques, prompts, and exercises she presents helps us "to unravel the knot inside and to make sense of loss". Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Story You Need to Tell" is especially commended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Story You Need to Tell" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.97).

Storytelling for Pantsers
Annalisa Parent
Laurel Elite Books
9781947482012 $19.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Synopsis: Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer? Hungry for a book that shows you how to write and revise your novel without an outline?

Discover the secret sauce to help those of us seat-flyers get at least some grounding in what we do, and to find and use a system in the chaos that is pantsing.

This book is for you if you:

Are still on chapter one - You should read this book if you have started a novel at least 68 times (the same novel) and only written the first chapter

Jump around - You should read this book if you write chapter 1. And then chapter 5. And then chapter 2. etc.

Write to Discover - You should read this book if you need to write to discover your story. ("I just watch my characters and write down what they do.")

Get Lost in the Weeds - You should read this book if you get lost in the weeds of writing and revision because portions of your novel are in different phases of the writing process.

Feel Writing is Complicated - You should read this book if you feel frustrated because "Dang it; writing's hard enough. Why do I always have to complicate it?"

Wear Pants - You should read this book if you think the cover of this book is cool, or wear pants. Because, hey, the cover is cool. So are you, and so is this book. (Who says you can't judge a book by it's cover? Pshaw.)

Critique: Annalisa Parent, a featured speaker at the Writer's Digest Annual Conference, presents Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel Without an Outline, an excellent guide to improvisational or inspiration-driven writing. Chapters are filled with unorthodox tips, tricks, and techniques to tap into one's creativity, muster confidence, balance elements of storycrafting, and much more. Highly recommended for aspiring and practicing writers everywhere! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Storytelling for Pantsers is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Style Guide, ninth edition
The Economist
Profile Books Ltd
3A Exmouth House, Pine Street, Exmouth Market, London, EC1R OJH, United Kingdom
1861979169, $26.95,

STYLE GUIDE: THE BESTSELLING GUIDE TO ENGLISH USAGE appears in a ninth updated edition and is based on the revised, updated house style manual of The Economist. Any who want to communicate well will find this packed with great advice on writing and errors, offering insights into differences between British and American English and references key to economic and business students alike. No college collection should be without this style guide!

Successful Nonfiction
Dan Poynter
Para Publishing
Box 8206-379, Santa Barbara, CA 93118
1568600615 $14.95 1-800-727-2782

In Successful Nonfiction: Tips & Inspiration For Getting Published, author and publisher Dan Poynter shares his many years of personal experience and professional expertise to explain how to successfully write a work of nonfiction regardless of subject matter, topic, category, or content. Poynter shares 38 tips on how to write; 11 tips on why you should write; 4 tips on why your writing project should be a book; 21 tips on what to write; 7 tips on doing research; 9 tips for building your book; 3 tips on copyright; 10 tips for finding the right agent or publisher; 6 tips on book promotion, and a great many more "tips, tricks & techniques" of inestimable value for the aspiring writer seeking to break into print. Successful Nonfiction is impressive, "user friendly", and very highly recommended core reference title for any personal, professional, academic or public library writer reference collection.

Successful Syndication
Michael Sedge
Allworth Press
10 E. 23rd St. #210, New York NY 10010
1581150512 $16.95

Writers and cartoonists who envision syndicating their productions will find Successful Syndication an essential guide to the process, with chapters telling how to locate and work with syndicates, how to create marketable materials and identify audiences, using the Internet to appeal, and submitting pieces for consideration. Essential for any seeking to syndicate work.

Successful Writer's Guide To Publishing Magazine Articles, The
Eva Shaw
Rodgers & Nelsen Publishing Company
PO Box 7001, Loveland, CO 80537-0001
0966269616 $15.95 1-970-593-9557

The Successful Writer's Guide To Publishing Magazine Articles is a reader friendly instructional guide to writing publishable articles for magazines and periodicals. The basic trick is to match your ideas and writing style to the needs of magazine editors. From setting goals and priorities, to querying and getting a response, to crafting a writer's resume, using proven fiction techniques for non-fiction articles, putting a new twist on a tired topic, mastering the ins and outs of research, marketing yourself and what you write, joining a group and learning from the pros, finding the time to write, facing writer's block, self-editing, rights and fees, and a great deal more, The Successful Writer's Guide To Publishing Magazine Articles successfully outlines the methods and information necessary to insure that you sell what you write.

The Successful Writer's Handbook
Patricia L. Fry
Matilija Press
PMB 123, 323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110, Ojai, CA 93023
0961264276 $15.95

The Successful Writer's Handbook collects writing articles by author Patricia Fry, which answer questions that fellow writers have asked her over the past 30 years of her professional writing career. Ranging from how to overcome writer's block; to applying particular writing talents to a niche market; to self-publishing and marketing one's own book, and a great deal more, The Successful Writer's Handbook is a superb supplementary resource which is simply packed from cover to cover with solid, practical, "real world" advice for aspiring writers seeking to have their work published and be able to make a career out of their books and articles.

Super Searcher Author Scribe
Loraine Page & Reva Basch
Information Today
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford NJ 08055
0910965587 $24.95

Super Searcher, Author, Scribe: Successful Writers Share Their Internet Research Secrets is an informed and informative look at the enormous impact the Internet has had on the craft of writing, especially in its offer of a quick and easy way to search out up-to-date information on almost anything - assuming the savvy researcher knows how to weed out the genuinely useful content from the hype, errors, and disinformation! Fifteen professional journalists, book authors, writing teachers, and literary researchers share their wisdom in finding what one needs to know quickly, efficiently, and effectively. The additional Super Searchers Web Page features link to nearly 300 Internet resources that have the highest recommendations. Super Searcher, Author, Scribe is enthusiastically recommended as a superbly presented, "user friendly" reference manual for anyone eager to optimally exploit the 24 hour, 7 day a week easy-access wealth of informational resources that the Internet provides.

The Superior Person's Complete Book of Words
Peter Bowler
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
9781567925906 $24.95 sc

Now available in a softcover edition, The Superior Person's Complete Book of Words: An Orgulous Verbal Arsenal for Everyday Use is packed cover-to-cover with accessible definitions for lesser-known English vocabulary words that demonstrate scholarship and intelligence simply through their responsible use. "Lemniscate: n. A figure of eight drawn lying on its side. An occult symbol for eternity and the mathematical symbol for infinity. But which infinity? The number of odd numbers or the number of all numbers?" An especial treasure for writers seeking to expand their verbal toolbox, The Superior Person's Complete Book of Words is highly recommended.

The Superior Person's Field Guide to Deceitful, Deceptive & Downright Dangerous Language
Peter Bowler, author; Leslie Cabarga, illustrator
David R. Godine, Publisher
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
9781567923377, $16.95 1-800-344-4771

Unlike the previous three books in this David R. Godine series, The Superior Person's Field Guide to Deceitful, Deceptive & Downright Dangerous Language is not meant solely to amuse the reader. In today's modern era when words are carefully chosen to soften the severity of what they represent, such as "extraordinary rendition" for flying prisoners to faraway countries where they can be tortured, or "transit pouch" to induce more complacency with regard to human casualties than "body bag" would, there is a greater need than ever to remain alert to insidious verbal trickery. In an era when "peace" means "war" (i.e. "pacify" means "invade and subjugate by force of arms") and "life" means "death" (as in "life insurance"), George Orwell's warnings against the misuse of language in his dystopian classic 1984 are perilously close to coming true. Of course, plenty of less deadly serious entries such as "squirrel" for psychiatrist (because they "feed off nuts") are also present for comedic relief. Perhaps the most eye-catching entry is the long list of deceptive terms used in real estate, with accompanying translations: "leafy neighborhood" means "forest fire area", "price slashed" means "was way overpriced to begin with", and "starter" or "investment" means "a normal person would not want to live here". Highly recommended.

A Syllable of Water
Emilie Griffin, editor
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781557255662, $20.00,

How does faith play into the writing of a Christian? "A Syllable of Water: Twenty Writers of Faith Reflect on Their Art" draws on how religion and faith intertwine with the creative process of crafting prose and the world of fiction. The twenty writers offer advice that is not purely Christian and useful to writers that are secular or belong to other faiths, but they do speak on how their faith has impacted them and their work. A fine guide for the amateur writer of faith, "A Syllable of Water" is a strong choice.

The Synopsis Treasury
Christopher Sirmons Haviland, editor
WordFire Press
PO Box 1840, Monument, CO 80132
9781614752851 $19.99 pbk. / $6.99 ebook

Part of "The Million Dollar Writing" series, The Synopsis Treasury is a unique resource for aspiring professional writers; it's an anthology of actual novel proposals, submitted by award-winning and bestselling authors including H.G. Wells, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Kevin J. Anderson, Andre Norton, and many more. Writing students and prospective authors benefit from studying how synopses should be made and submitted, but The Synopsis Treasury goes a step further to show valuable examples of how to effectively condense one's ideas when soliciting a publisher's interest. Of particular interest is the context of publisher responses - even the most successful writers have been asked to rethink, rewrite, and resubmit their proposals. Accessible and enlightening, The Synopsis Treasury is a "must-have" for any would-be writer trying to break into the business!

Tales from the Script
Peter Hanson, director
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036

Tales from the Script is an extraordinary documentary about the art, craft, and business of screenwriting, particularly for Hollywood movies. Consisting of the firsthand testimonies from a wealth of minds behind big-budget screenplays - some beloved classics, some icons of pop culture, and some horrendous bombs or flops (the author of the "Bloodrayne" screenplay would like it noted that roughly 20% of her original work survived what Uwe Boll did to it). These men and women recall what it was like trying to break into the business, trying to make enough money to survive while writing professionally, working with directors and actors, honing one's craft, and more. The special features include a twelve-minute segment featuring the wisdom of author/screenwriter William Goldman, and a nine-minute section expressly consisting of advice for novice screenwriters. A candid, forthright, no-nonsense collection, Tales from the Script is an absolute "must-see" for anyone interested in breaking into (or trying to advance their position within) the screenplay business. 105 minutes. Also highly recommended is the First Run Features documentary "The Tiger Next Door" ($24.95, 86 minutes).

Tarot for the Fiction Writer
Paula Chaffee Scardamalia
Red Feather
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764357237, $24.99, HC, 192pp,

Paula Chaffee Scardamalia uses myth, fairy tale, Tarot, and dreams to write fiction and nonfiction, to guide book coaching clients, and to teach writers around the country. She is the award-winning author of the nonfiction book, Weaving a Woman's Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom. Writing a novel is a wild, unpredictable (and oftentimes stormy) adventure. And sometimes aspiring writers and seasoned veteran authors alike need a compass to guide them. Because story is inherent in Tarot's structure, it is an effective map and storytelling tool -- whether writing a novel in progress or starting out on a brand-new endeavor. In "Tarot for the Fiction Writer: How 78 Cards Can Take You from Idea to Publication", Paula draws upon her years of experience and expertise with tarot myths, symbols, characters, settings, and innumerable combinations as a powerful, portable, and imaginative tool for story development, to show their value in editing and revisions, publication, and promotion. Each individual card has a story to tell and can help to map out a book. With "Tarot for the Fiction Writer", anyone working with any literary genre will discover how to hook their readers; figure out what happens next; find a unique twist in a scene; deepen character backgrounds; create meaningful settings; and identify that "Black Moment" in the storyline. One of the most unique instructional guides for the writing of a short story or a full blown novel, "Tarot for the Fiction Writer" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic writing instructional reference collections.

Teach Yourself Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction
Brian Stableford
NTC Publishing Group
4255 West Touhy Avenue, Lincolnwood, IL 60646-1975
0844200204 $10.95 1-800-323-4900

Teach Yourself Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction And Getting Published is a practical guide to the art and craft of writing novels in this exciting genre. Included in valuable advice on stretching the reader's imagination; inventing possible futures and imaginary worlds; creating fabulous creatures and alien being; and the use of magic and speculative science in constructing plots. Teach Yourself Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction provides a comprehensive account on writing skills and the creative process, including a guide to the preparation of manuscripts and the publishing field. Brian Stableford is an established author of science fiction and fantasy (having published more than forty novels thus far in his writing career), and teaches creative writing. Teach Yourself Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is highly recommended for all aspiring writers in the fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction fields.

Television Scripwriting
Marilyn Webber
Garth Gardner Company Publishing
2545 Sandbourne Ln, Herndon, VA 20171
1589650042 $26.95

Television Scripwriting: The Writer's Road Map by Marilyn Webber is a highly practical guide to the art of writing viable, intelligent, and marketable television shows and scripts. Whether attempting to turn ideas into a television series, or a seeking to earn a living as a professional writer in the exciting and dynamic medium of television, Television Scripwriting: The Writer's Road Map is a first-rate and highly recommended resource (especially for the novice with no prior experience) featuring basic information, pitfalls to be aware of, useful checklists, and much, much more.

Television Writing From The Inside Out
Larry Brody
Applause Cinema
151 West 46th St., New York NY 10036
1557835012 $17.95

TV writer-producer Larry Brody uses Television Writing From The Inside Out : Your Channel To Success to explore a medium he helped shape, discussing writing jobs available in TV work, considering teleplay development and writing for different genres, and including sample teleplays by Brody and others complete with analysis. This "nuts and bolts" reference is a recommended pick because it's packed from cover to cover with Brody's insider experience and knowledge of how the industry works.

Telling a Research Story
Christine B. Feak & John M. Swales
University of Michigan Press
839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
9780472033362, $16.00,

TELLING A RESEARCH STORY: WRITING A LITERATURE REVIEW presents Volume 2 of the revised, expanded edition of ENGLISH IN TODAY'S RESEARCH WORLD, and covers the basics of writing a literature review. It's a revision of a work on writing abstracts that appeared in English in Today's Research World and presents a range of issues particular to the writing of literature reviews. College-level collections will find this a powerful addition!

Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes
Margie Towery
Information Today, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875264, $45.00, PB, 140pp,

In publishing there are three major categories of indexes: Bibliographic index (a regularly updated print periodical publication that lists articles, books, and/or other information items); General Index (a detailed list, usually arranged alphabetically, of the specific information in a publication); Subject Indexing (describing the content of a document by keywords). Among the community of professional indexers, Margie Towery is well know for the quality of expertise as consummate indexer. In "Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes: Confessions of an Award-Winning Indexer", Margie has distilled her more than two decades of experience for the benefit of novice indexers. "Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes " defines and explores the characteristics of quality indexes: audiences and accessibility, metatopics and index structure, accuracy, comprehensiveness, conciseness, consistency, clarity, reflexivity, readability, and common sense. Writing in an engaging and accessible style, Margie shares her own struggles in indexing and offers strategies for overcoming challenges such as bias and language, indexing blocks, and working with authors. Her digressions into research on reading and decision-making provide a wider context for thinking about quality, while her suggestions and checklist for evaluating indexes round out this essential volume for professional indexers at every skill level. Simply stated, "Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes" is emphatically and unreservedly recommended as mandatory reading for anyone aspiring to become a professional indexer.

The Ten Commandments of Comedy
Gene Perret
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610351256, $14.95,

The Ten Commandments of Comedy comes from an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and teaches comedy writers to become better through following 'ten commandments' of superior comedy writing. Each rule is designed to strengthen comedy material and get the most from jokes - and when used properly, each can strengthen a gag and keep it foolproof. The objective is to deliver maximum humor - and this key to writing good comedy does so, for all levels of comedy writer and performer. Any involved in the finer art of producing comedy will find this a solid reference offering keys to what makes comedy viable.

The Ten Commandments of Typography
Paul Felton
Merrell Publishers
49 W. 24th Street, New York, NY 10010
1858943558 $22.95

Following the Biblical commandments (which could possibly offend the very religious) is a text outlining the basic foundation rules of typographic usage, starting with 'In the Beginning God created type' and juxtaposing examples of different type throughout. The religious and type theme blends throughout in a series of lively examples of rules and options, making "The Ten commandments of Typography" a unique, unusual, and enthusiastically recommended contribution to personal, professional, and academic library reference collections.

Ten Steps to Help You Write Better Essays & Term Papers, fourth edition
Neil Sawers
The NS Group
21-10405 Jasper Ave., Suite 586
Edmonton, AB T5J 3S2
9780969790198 $14.95

Now in a fourth edition with comparative MLA/APA documentation, Ten Steps to Help You Write Better Essays & Term Papers is a straightforward and helpful guide not only for high school, college, and graduate students, but also for professionals in any vocation that involves writing essays or papers. Chapters offer guidance for choosing a thesis, doing research, organizing one's paper, completing the first draft, revising and editing the draft, and much more. Specific instructions for citing sources, etc. according to MLA guidelines (often used in English or humanities essays) or APA guidelines (often used in social science essays) will prove especially valuable. "If you plan to use a website as a research reference, evaluate that website carefully. What are the credentials of the person(s) who set up the site? How often is it updated? Is the information neutral...?" One of the most eyebrow-raising yet useful recommendations for evaluating internet-based (or any other) information is the CRAAP test: Currency (is it timely?), Relevance (is it important for your needs?), Authority (what is the information's source?), Accuracy (how reliable or truthful is the information?) and Purpose (why does the information exist?). Packed cover to cover with practical as well as stylistic advice, Ten Steps to Help You Write Better Essays & Term Papers is enthusiastically recommended.

Theses and Dissertations
R. Murray Thomas and Dale L. Brubaker
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
9781412951166, $34.95

The revised classic THESES AND DISSERTATIONS should be on the bookshelves of any basic college-level collection catering to graduate students: it helps this audience understand the thesis writing process and offers references and new details on Internet searching, plagiarism, and Internet publishing options alike. Checklists and numerous examples allow students to understand the entire process, from preparing a topic and collecting information to interpreting results and making a presentation that is original and acceptable for either college credit or publication. A top pick for graduate school holdings, it's sure to be a popular, often-consulted and practical reference.

The Thesis And The Book
Eleanor Harman, et al.
University of Toronto Press
10 St. Mary Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4Y 2W8
0802085881 $14.95 1-800-565-9523

Collaboratively compiled and edited by Eleanor Harman, Ian Montagnes, Siobhan McMenemy, and Chris Bucci, The Thesis And The Book: A Guide For First-Time Academic Authors is a solid primer for writing dissertations, theses, and other academic papers of note. From avoiding "the warmed-over dissertation"; to common pitfalls by novice authors of scholarly works; to deciding how to edit and streamline a scientific paper, The Thesis And The Book is a first-rate instructional advice guide which is very highly recommended for anyone undertaking serious academic writing at the collegiate, post-graduate, and professorial levels. An important acquisition for academic departmental and university library systems, The Thesis And The Book is also available in a hardcover edition (0802088066, $30.00).

Things Feigned Or Imagined
Fred Stenson
The Banff Centre Press
Box 1020-107, Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta T1L 1H5
0920159931 $14.95

Things Feigned Or Imagined is an insightful collection of tips, tricks, techniques and advice by career writer Fred Stenson and written specifically for novice authors aspiring to create truly imaginative fiction. Individual chapters informatively address just how characterization drives the story, how to quickly hook the reader, how to make effective use of humor, and so much more. An excellent supplementary resource for fiction writers everywhere, Things Feigned Or Imagined is a very strongly recommended addition to any personal, professional, academic, or community library Writing/Publishing reference collection or reading list.

A Thinker's Guide To Effective Writing
Bill Bailey
Echo Mountain Press
4010 Echo Mountain Drive, Kingwood, TX 77345
9780979362606, $25.00

Being learned in a subject is no guarantee of fluency in writing about it. Having an original story does not automatically mean that it will be written down in paper as engagingly and seamlessly as the author intended. Writing takes a set of skills that include more than the ability to spell or a basic grasp of grammar. "A Thinker's Guide To Effective Writing" presents two sets of rules fundamentally necessary to being able to write effectively. One set focuses upon creating a text that is simple, efficient, and so clearly laid out that even grade-school children can understand what is written. The goal is to write as simply as possible without sacrificing content. The twenty-five rules comprising this set are presented, explained and illustrated with total accessibility. The second set of twelve rules promotes effective writing without consciously seeking efficiency, but efficiency often is a welcome by-product. Profuse with examples by writers ranging from Francis Bacon and Winston Churchill, to Albert Einstein and George Orwell, "A Thinker's Guide To Effective Writing" is a complete course of easily assimilated and practical instruction that is particularly recommended to the attention of students, aspiring authors, educators, editors, editorialists, journalists, attorneys, and anyone else who needs to communicate by writing whether it be on paper or on computer.

Thinking On The Page
Gwen Hyman & Martha Schulman
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599638690, $19.99, 328pp,

Martha Schulman has been teaching writing, including developmental writing and English as a Second Language, for over a decade. She has served as a consultant to faculty on writing pedagogy at The Cooper Union. She has also taught writing to American-bound college students in China. Her fiction, essays, and reviews have been widely published. Gwen Hyman is the Director of the Center for Writing at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. She is the author of Making a Man: Gentlemanly Appetites in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel (Ohio) and co-author, with Andrew Carmellini, of Urban Italian (Bloomsbury) and American Flavor (Ecco). In a superbly crafted collaboration, Schulman and Hyman draw upon their many years of experience and expertise to create "Thinking On The Page: A College Student's Guide to Effective Writing", a 328 page instructional guide that is deftly organized into twelve chapters: Reading; Writing; Doing Analysis; What is an Essay?; Asking Questions, Generating Ideas; Idea Threads; Discovery Drafts; Working with Your Discover Draft; Claim Drafts; Assessing and Working with Your Claim Draft; Research; Final Drafts. Itself exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, "Thinking On The Page: A College Student's Guide to Effective Writing" is very highly recommended as a reference for college and university students, and would well serve the needs of non-academic aspiring writers seeking to hone and improve the quality of their writing. Highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections, it should be noted that "Thinking On The Page" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.49).

This Business of Screenwriting
Ron Suppa
Lone Eagle Publishing Company
2337 Roscomare Road, Suite Nine, Los Angeles, CA 90077-1851
1580650163 $19.95 1-310-471-8066

Ron Suppa has taught screenwriting for more than twelve years at UCLA Extension and is one of the most in-demand film professors on the lecture circuit. He has designed and written This Business Of Screenwriting to serve as a kind of survival guide for aspiring (and experienced) screenwriters having to deal with the crucial juncture where art meets business. Drawing on his years of experience as both a buyer and seller of screenplays, Suppa conveys a genuine sense of what the real world of professional screenwriting is like, and thereby helps the reader to compete on an insider level in this very specialized aspect of professional writing. Suppa offers practical tips on preparing for a writer's life, crafting a marketable screenplay, launching a screenwriting career, writing for television, and the use of screenwriter tools such as treatments, pitches, spec screenplays, and adaptations. He also covers protecting your work, representation, the marketplace, deal making, and a great deal more. This Business Of Screenwriting is practical, authoritative, detailed, and invaluable for the beginner, and holds much of interest and utility for even the experienced writer.

Three Rules for Writing a Novel
William Noble
Paul S. Eriksson, Publisher
PO Box 62, Forest Dale, VT 05745
0839780508 $17.95 1-802-247-4210

William Noble's Three Rules For Writing A Novel is a guide to story development that shepherd's writers through the art of writing a novel. Noble starts by asking three essential questions: What's Happening?; Who Am I?; Where Am I?. and then uses the answers to these questions to create a solid foundation for developing a story. With this structure in place, writers move on to motivating the story, establishing a sense of place, and creating tension. Three Rules For Writing A Novel includes useful information on developing characters and using point of view to get the story across. Drawn from three of his previous "how to" books on the art and craft of writing, (Steal This Plot, Make That Scene, "Shut Up", He Explained), Three Rules For Writing A Novel is an invaluable and recommended study for any aspiring novelist.

The Three Wells of Screenwriting
Matthew Kalil
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932863, $26.95, PB, 200pp,

Working from a writer's perspective, in "The Three Wells of Screenwriting: Discover Your Deep Sources of Inspiration", writer, director and script editor Matthew Kalil deftly explores how aspiring scriptwriters draw upon their innate creativity and inspirational resources that will help them consciously develop new scripts or strengthen old ones. "The Three Wells of Screenwriting" includes 29 exercises and techniques that help novice (and even seasoned) screenwriters to craft and develop stories that contain fresh ideas, intriguing characters, original scenes, inventive dialogue, unique locations, and important themes. Extraordinary, practical, effective, inspiring, and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional manual and guide, "The Three Wells of Screenwriting" is unreservedly recommended for professional, community, college, and university library Performing Arts - Screenwriting collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that as an ideal resource for successfully dealing with the problem of 'writer's block', "The Three Wells of Screenwriting" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.95).

Thriving as a Graduate Writer
Rachel Cayley
University of Michigan Press
839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
9780472039128, $29.95, PB, 236pp

Synopsis: With the publication of "Thriving as a Graduate Writer: Principles, Strategies, and Habits for Effective Academic Writing", Professor Rachel Cayley offers a comprehensive guide to the multifaceted challenges of writing in graduate school.

Professor Cayley shows readers how to think about academic writing, how to manage an academic text, and how to establish an effective writing practice. Graduate students from all disciplines will find concrete strategies and motivation for the enterprise of academic writing.

Intended for both multilingual writers and those for whom English is a first language, "Thriving as a Graduate Writer: offers essential writing support in quick, easily digestible chunks.

Readers of Thriving as a Graduate Writer will: Learn how to establish an effective writing practice; Discover how to position themselves as competent and engaged writers; Learn how to structure their writing, craft effective sentences, and create movement with a text; Develop processes for draft revisions; Create individual writing strategies that will last throughout their careers.

Critique: In addition to graduate students there is another readership that will greatly benefit from the information, instructions, tips, tricks and techniques that comprise "Thriving as a Graduate Writer: Principles, Strategies, and Habits for Effective Academic Writing". Its authors of academic and non-fiction books involving any and all subjects. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Thriving as a Graduate Writer" will also have an immense value to anyone with an interest in Foreign Language Instruction, English as a Second Language, and Writer/Author Technical Education. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental Writer's Workshop curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "Thriving as A graduate Writer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.95).

Editorial Note: Rachael Cayley ( is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication at the University of Toronto. She also writes Explorations of Style, a blog on academic writing for graduate students.

Time To Write
Frank Milligan
Quill Driver Books
1254 Commerce Avenue, Sanger, CA 93657
9781884956768, $16.95,

As we grow older, one of the best ways to create an enduring legacy for future generations is to record in writing our own life stories, our experiences, observations, values, the products of our imaginations and our perspectives. Frank Milligan draws upon his experience and expertise in publishing fiction and nonfiction, as well as teaching creative writing and business writing in "Time To Write: Discovering The Writer Within After 50", a comprehensive and 'user friendly' instruction guide that will take aspiring older writers with an initial concept or idea and walk them through each stage to crating a finished, ready-to-publish manuscript. "Time To Write" is a 304-page compendium of practical tips, techniques, insights and shortcuts that will enable the reader's writing, talent, desire and drive to crate a written document with a minimum of distraction. Although specifically intended for older readers, "Time To Write" has a great deal of value for younger writers seeking to put their own ideas and stories down in a publishable form.

Tips to Writers from a Book Publisher
John Schmidt
Path Publishing
9781891774959, $9.99, PB, 143pp

Synopsis: Comprised of hundreds of 'real world' practical tips based on and drawing directly from author/publisher John Schmidt's fifty years of experience and expertise, "Tips to Writers from a Book Publisher: Making Book Publishing a Fun Adventure" is no ordinary 'how to' compendium of 'tips, tricks & techniques'. Rather it is a impressively informative combination of instructional and instructive insights into writing, publishing, and getting published.

The subjects covered are as practical and they are informative, ranging from General Advice about the Publishing Business; Submissions; Marketing; and Self-Publishing; to Computers and Tech Support People; Encouraging Other Authors and Yourself; and an Appendix (Definitions of Poem Forms) -- along with so much more!.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Tips to Writers from a Book Publisher: Making Book Publishing a Fun Adventure" is impressively 'reader friendly' in tone and commentary style -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended reading for any and all aspiring writers and novice publishers -- as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Writing/Publishing collections.

Top 100 Power Verbs
Michael Lawrence Faulkner
FT Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133158854, $27.99,

One of the major tools of business is effective communication. That's where "Top 100 Power Verbs: The Most Powerful Verbs and Phrases You Can Use to Win in Any Situation" can be extraordinarily useful. Author Michael Lawrence Faulkner (with the assistance of Michelle Faulkner-Lunsford) has compiled a 336 page compendium that begins with identifying the connection between communication and success in general, and how to best utilize this assembled collection in particular, then goes on to provide the top 100 'action verbs' for business, bargaining, getting in the last word, presentations, sagacity, socializing, networking, and so much more. Superbly organized and presented, "Top 100 Power Verbs: The Most Powerful Verbs and Phrases You Can Use to Win in Any Situation" is very strongly recommended as a personal and professional linguistic resource and reference. It should also be noted that "Top 100 Power Verbs: The Most Powerful Verbs and Phrases You Can Use to Win in Any Situation" is also available in a Kindle edition ($17.39).

Trail Writer's Guide
Cinny Green, author
Maureen Burdock, illustrator
Western Edge Press
126 Candelario St., Santa Fe NM 87501
9781889921501, $16.95,

A handful of captivating, black-and-white illustrations by Maureen Burdock enhance Trail Writer's Guide, a simple book of tips, trips, and techniques for jotting down one's transitory instants of inspiration while experiencing the wilderness. Whether one is moved to write poetry, dialogue, description of discoveries, or simple journal entries, Trail Writer's Guide is both practical and motivational. Highly recommended. "Step back with pen and paper in hand. First write about being a witness, an observer in a place; step back even more and ascribe a special moment in that place when you became a participant. For example, observe the wind fluttering the tree branches (witness) and then feel it blow your hair back (participant). How have you shared the tree's experience?"

Travel Writer's Guide
Gordon Burgett
Communication Unlimited
PO Box 6405, Santa Maria, CA 93456
0970862113 $17.95

Now in an significantly updated and expanded third edition, Travel Writer's Guide by world traveler and author Gordon Burgett is a straightforward "how-to" manual for paying for one's own vacations or even making a living simply by writing magazine and newspaper articles while traveling either at home or abroad. From planning a safe and profitable trip, to taxes and the law, to writing an effective query letter to magazines, to advice for converting a single idea into a multitude of articles, to the utilization of photos in composing travel articles, to tips for conducting interviews and selling copy, Travel Writer's Guide is a first-rate compendium filled from cover to cover with practical ideas and money-saving/money-making advice for any literate traveler who could use a little extra financial recompensation to underwrite their journeys by becoming a published travel writer.

Travel Writer's Handbook, The
Louise Purwin Zobel
Surrey Books/PGW, dist.
230 East Ohio St., #120 Chicago IL 60611
1572840056 $15.95 1-800-788-3123

Now in a new, expanded, and updated fourth edition, The Travel Writer's Handbook informs aspiring travel writers on how to find the right "hook" and market a story before leaving on the trip; how to do research and marketing right from home on the Internet; how to use the World Wide Web to sell (and even publish) a travel article; how to write query letters that land assignments in advance; how to sell, resell, and then sell again what you have written; what to take along, from documents and personal needs to laptops; how to set up and conduct interviews with important people; how to take and use photos to help sell stories; how to take advantage of freebies and junkets without compromising integrity; and how to convert rejections into acceptances. The Travel Writer's Handbook is further enhance with twelve "tried and true" travel article formats and how to write them, plus hundreds of tips on writing and traveling -- and enjoying both! Louise Zobel has published hundreds of travel articles and stories, The Travel Writer's Handbook is a distillation of practical information by an expert, clearly communicated to the reader and a model of what a "how-to" book ought to be for maximum utility and "user-friendly" instruction.

The Trivium
Sister Miriam Joseph, C.S.C., Ph.D.
Paul Dry Books
117 South 17th Street, Suite 1102, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
0967967503 $16.95

Deftly edited by Marguerite McGlinn, The Trivium: The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar, And Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Rauh (1898-1982) is a "user friendly" guidebook to better understanding the structure and usage of the English language. Individual chapters address everything from syllogisms, to common linguistic fallacies, to hypothetical and disjunctive propositions, and more. A superbly presented and accessible guidebook The Trivium offers a solid grounding for writers of all degrees of experience and background in fiction, nonfiction, as well as especially academic writing where the interpretations and literal truth of linguistic expression is under an exacting scrutiny. The Trivium is a highly recommended and welcome contribution to any serious and dedicated writer's reference collection.

Turning Life into Fiction
Robin Hemley
Greywolf Press
2402 University Avenue, Suite 203, St. Paul, MN 55114
1555974449 $16.00 651-641-0077

Updated and expanded by Robin Hemley (Director of the Nonfiction Writing Program as Iowa University), Turning Life into Fiction is a newly updated and expanded how-to manual for skillfully converting real life experiences into exciting storytelling. Packed with writing exercises, techniques for recording and generating ideas from day-to-day experience, and advice for dealing with the potentially thorny ethical issue of borrowing experiences from the lives of strangers and loved ones, Turning Life into Fiction is a "must-read" for practicing and aspiring fiction writers everywhere. Highly recommended.

Turning Your Life's Stories Into A Literary Memoir
Peggy Lang & Robert Goodman
Silver Threads
3830 Valley Centre Drive, PMB 102, San Diego, CA 92130
1893067041 $12.95

Turning Your Life's Stories Into A Literary Memoir: A Memoir People Actually Want To Read is a straightforward "how-to" guide to skillfully preserving one's memories in book form. Emphasizing writing tips, tricks, and techniques that will absorb readers into what you have to say, chapters cover the definition of a memoir, literary techniques in story structure, craft and style to add one's unique imprint to writing, common pitfalls with dialogue, sentence construction, or background research, how to spark one's memories, and more guide the reader to write in a professional manner. A final chapter walks lay people through the simplest basics of how to get published, whether self-publishing, e-book, onlin publishing, private publishing, or traditional publishing. A short and simple guide that effectively covers the basics of memoir writing and publishing.

The Ultimate Creative Writing Partner Dramatica Pro
150 E. Olive Avenue, Suite 203, Burbank, CA 91502-1849
$269.99 1-818-843-6557

Now in version 4.0 for both Windows and Macintosh, The Ultimate Creative Writing Partner Dramatica Pro is an impressively thorough and exhaustively compressive software created and designed to specifically aid writers of all skill and experience levels, ranging from the aspiring novice to seasoned and published professional. Tools to improve plot structure, scene creation, visualize characters, apply different story modes, and much, much more offer a wealth of insight and a "user friendly" means of keeping track of drafts and details. A superb reference and working tool for any writer, The Ultimate Creative Writing Partner Dramatica Pro is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh and offers a complete and enthusiastically recommended step-by-step writing system which will enhance any literary effort whether it be personal or commercial.

Uncovering the Logic of English
Denise Eide
10800 Lyndale Avenue South, Suite. 181, Minneapolis, MN 55420-5687
9781936706006, $20.00

Literacy is what led the common people out of serfdom and into enlightenment. "Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Solution to America's Literacy Crisis" is a guide to understanding the complex language of English which often seems quite overwhelming to early learners and can lead to reductions in literacy. Hoping to serve as a rulebook for English and explain the anomalies that are rife within the language, "Uncovering the Logic of English" is a thoughtful guide for anyone who wants to understand language better or is looking for advice to help them teach it.

Uncreative Writing
Kenneth Goldsmith
Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023-7015
9780231149914 $22.50

Author and "uncreative writing" teacher of the University of Pennsylvania Kenneth Goldsmith presents Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age, a thoughtful examination of how writing techniques traditionally thought to be separate from those of creating literature, such as cutting and pasting, databasing, identity ciphering, and programming, can provide authors new inspiration for rethinking how they use language and creativity. From using Internet searches to craft poetry, to applying courtroom testimony, to generating poetry through use of artificial intelligence, Uncreative Writing connects the most unorthodox of methods to practices employed by famous writers and artists including Walter Benjamin, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Andy Warhol. The result is an invigoratingly different style of writing guide, that reveals how jump-starts to one's imagination can be achieved through what seems (at first glance) to be the unlikeliest of means. "If we think of words as both carriers of semantic meaning and as material objects, it becomes clear that we need a way to manage it all, an ecosystem that can encompass language in its myriad forms."

Undoing The Silence
Louise Dunlap
New Village Press
POB 3049, Oakland, CA 94609
Consortium Books Sales & Distribution (distributor)
34 Thirteenth Avenue NE, Suite 101, Minneapolis, MN 55413-1007
9780976605492, $20.01 1-800-283-3572

Louise Dunlap began her career as an activist writing instructor during the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. In "Undoing The Silence: Six Tools For Social Change Writing" she draws upon her more than forty years of experience and expertise to create a kind of instruction manual teaching the reader the power of a personal voice that can enable any citizen to effect change in our society through the use of the written word. Dunlap explains the writing process, using such real-life examples as the peace workers in California, labor organizers in South Africa, community organizers in Boston, and others who have use the written word as an essential instrument for social change and the redress of grievances. "Undoing The Silence' includes practical 'freewriting' techniques, strategies for reaching an intended audiences, innovative exercises for giving and receiving feedback, as well as tactics for rethinking, editing, and rewriting free-flowing drafts. Of immense and immediate value for aspiring writers wanting to effectively engage in the social, political, economic, and cultural issues of the day through the power of the written word in all of its forms and formats, "Undoing The Silence" will prove to be as informed and informative as it is instructively effective.

Universal Principles of Typography
Elliot Jay Stocks
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
9780760383384, $40.00, HC, 224pp

Synopsis: We communicate with text every single day, but what does it mean to really understand type -- to use it with clear intent and purpose?

The art and science of typography combines subtle tweaks to line lengths with harmonious combinations of weights and styles; considered typeface pairings with a robust set of alternate characters; exciting technological advances with the realities of font licensing. There are so many ways designers can optimize how text is read and influence the way its message is understood -- and yet so many designers miscommunicate without even realizing it.

Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, with the publication of "Universal Principles of Typography: 100 Key Concepts for Choosing and Using Type", typography expert Elliot Jay Stocks pairs clear explanations of each principle with visual examples of it applied in practice. By considering these concepts and examples, you can learn to make more informed, and ultimately better, typography decisions.

Building upon tried-and-tested principles from the world of print through to the very latest advances in browser technology, "Universal Principles of Typography" will equip you with everything you need to make the most informed typographic decisions in your design work today.

The featured principles covered in "Universal Principles of Typography" include: Characters & Glyphs; Font v. Typeface; Hierarchy; Inclusivity; OpenType; Pairing Type; Rhythm; and Web Fonts .

Each principle is presented in a two-page format. The left-hand page contains a succinct definition, a full description of the principle, examples of its use, and guidelines for use. Sidenotes appear to the right of the text, and provide elaborations and references. The right-hand page contains visual examples and related graphics to support a deeper understanding of the principle.

With "Universal Principles of Typography", authors, publishers, and printers will gain a deep understanding of the universal principles of typography and learn how to apply them across any work they do with type, ranging from the simplest of documents to the most complex of cross-platform design systems.

Critique: A complete and comprehensive course of instruction in typography, as well as being thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Universal Principles of Typography: 100 Key Concepts for Choosing and Using Type" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, technical college, and university library Calligraphy, Decorative Design, and Typography collections and curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Universal Principles of Typography: 100 Key Concepts for Choosing and Using Type" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Elliot Jay Stocks ( is a designer and musician, based just outside Bristol, UK. After founding the typography magazine 8 Faces in 2010, Elliot joined Typekit (now known as Adobe Fonts) as Creative Director, and helped lead the service's transition into desktop fonts and the Creative Cloud ecosystem. He then went on to take several Creative Director roles and collaborated with Google to launch the typography education resource Google Fonts Knowledge. Elliot currently focuses exclusively on typographic projects, as well as publishing the newsletter Typographic & Sporadic, and hosting the podcast Hello, Type Friends!

UnTechnical Writing
Michael Bremer
UnTechnical Press
PO Box 272896, Concord, CA 94527
0966994906 $14.95

Michael Bremer's UnTechnical Writing: How To Write About Technical Subjects And Products So Anyone Can Understand clearly and cogently explains how to write and produce good documentation, and how to deal with the business side of writing as well. Michael Bremer even addresses such tangential issues as office politics and using the bottom line to get management support for better documentation. UnTechnical Writing is a unique and invaluable guide for anyone charged with the specialized responsibility of writing user-friendly instruction manuals for any kind of product.

UPI Stylebook And Guide To Newswriting
Bruce Cook, et al.
Capital Books, Inc.
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172
1931868581 $20.99 1-800-758-3756

Now in a fully updated fourth edition, UPI Stylebook And Guide To Newswriting is the collaborative effort of Bruce Cook, Harold Martin, and the Editors of UPI. A no-nonsense, professional style manual, UPI Stylebook And Guide To Newswriting features both basic and advanced techniques for the craft of writing for print, broadcast, or television news, with specific information concerning everything from covering the white house or other governmental agencies to science writing, business journalism, foreign correspondence, the law of libel, codes of ethics, and much more. Highly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, the solid information and even warnings (for example, journalists can and have been taken to court for gathering news information in private homes without the owner's consent - even if they were permitted entry by the police). An absolute "must-have" resource manual for anyone considering or pursuing a career in journalistic writing.

Video Game Writing from Macro to Micro, second edition
Maurice Suckerling and Marek Walton
Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781683920298, $44.95,

The second updated edition of Video Game Writing from Macro to Micro reviews the history of game writing from the 1960s to modern times and consider not only the evolution of specific games and styles, but the changes involved in programming them. Students involved in writing such games will find a solid foundation that covers everything from collaborative processes and the basics of design, plot, and editing to contracts, screenplay terminology, text types and game-oriented approaches, and more. From terminology to macro and micro concerns, this wide-ranging blend of history and how-to applications is especially recommended for beginners new to the gaming environment who want a quick understanding of options and challenges specific to the video game writer's environment.

Views from the Loft
Daniel Slager
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South, #300, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1246
9781571313232, $20.00,

The exchange of ideas is a key factor in improving oneself to become a better writer. "Views from the Loft" discusses the importance of the writer's group and a method of constant feedback. Filled with musings from countless writers, they offer insight on how to create ideas, getting it onto paper, criticizing and being criticized, and the success and failure of publishing. "Views from the Loft" is filled with inspiration and push for the would be writer who wants to better master their craft, very highly recommended.

The Virgin's Promise
Kim Hudson
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907728, $19.95,

The journey from innocence and into womanhood is a major topic in modern fiction. "The Virgin's Promise" discusses this archetypal character and how to intertwine it with the hero and tell an engaging and riveting story unlike any other in today's avenues of performing arts. "The Virgin's Promise" is a solid addition to any stage writing collection, highly recommended.

Vivid and Continuous
John McNally
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381561, $19.95,

VIVID & CONTINUOUS: ESSAYS AND EXERCISES FOR WRITING FICTION provides college-level readers with a helpful key to becoming a writer, offering a supplement to beginning courses in writing that focuses on lessons and exercises supporting a writer's efforts. Novels and short stories are used as examples to support lessons that help would-be writers think more deeply about their work. From building characters to using humor, this is packed with clear pathways to success.

Vocabulary Dictionary and Workbook
Mark Phillips
A. J Cornell Publications
18-74 Corporal Kennedy Street, Bayside, NY 11360
0972743944 $16.95

University teacher and editor of 30 years' experience Mark Phillips presents Vocabulary Dictionary and Workbook: 2,856 Words You Must Know, a quick-study self-teaching tool for expanding one's English vocabulary. Vocabulary Dictionary Workbook is divided into over two hundred chapters, each chapter presenting a dozen or so words with straightforward dictionary definitions and an example of the word's use in a sentence, plus simple bonus exercises at the end to reinforce the reader's familiarity. The words are organized alphabetically among all chapters as a whole, so that looking up any individual word is a simple matter regardless of what chapter it is from. The words covered include many that are most likely to be on the SATs and other standardized tests, or included on the job or peppering everyday conversation. An absolute "must-have" for anyone preparing for college entrance exams, and an excellent, easy-to-use literacy improvement resource for everyone else.

The Voice of the Muse
Mark David Gerson
Light Lines Media
223 N. Guadalupe St. Unit 171, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
9780979547553, $17.00,

The Award winning author of The Moonquest, Mark David Gerson, now imparts his wisdom to help aspiring writers become more than that in "The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write". Promoting various and varied techniques to assist would-be authors to help get their ideas down effectively on paper, "The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write" suggests tips to create fascinating worlds and characters that people will love to read about and want to see more of. "The Voice of the Muse" is highly recommended to wanna-be writers everywhere and for community library writing/publishing shelves.

Voice Whizardry
Maity Schrecengost
Maupin House Publishing
PO Box 90148, Gainesville, FL 32607
0929895673 $19.95 1-800-524-0634

Accessibly written by an award-winning children's author and former classroom teacher, Voice Whizardry: 36 Discovery Activities To Develop Personal Writing Voice is an instructional guide or manual teachers of students grades 4-8, as well as home schoolers wanting help children cultivate their writing talents. Offering a wealth of creative activities designed to help one choose topics carefully, adapt a personal writing voice to reflect different audiences and genres, expand vocabulary, and much more, Voice Whizardry is a superbly presented supplement to any balanced language-arts program. Topics covered include journal writing, expository prompts, thinking process, choosing details, and much more. Side examples of teacher discovery complement the student discovery activities to better help teachers get in touch with their own creative side too.