May 2nd in Massachusetts

As an artist, both visual and literary, I’m fascinated with how artists are dealing with the current chaos. Ecological disturbances, global violence, the digital revolution that has opened us up to the entire world in an unprecedented way — how is this affecting artists? After the downing of a plane over Ukraine, I dreamed of people falling from […]

The Ecology of Hierarchical Thinking

Watercolor landscape, A month ago, a friend gave me a packet of lettuce seeds and I sprinkled them in the garden. I was just admiring the tiny lettuce leaves springing up and for some reason turned to thoughts of hierarchical thinking. In a hierarchy, the seedlings might well be seen as less than the […]

Writing the Expat Novel

Assisi, Italy,   I’m working on a series of four novels, EARTH, AIR, FIRE and WATER, two of which are expat novels (stories set in foreign countries). In EARTH, my protagonist is rooted to a farm in America. In AIR, she floats above the culture in the Orient. In FIRE, her ego is burned […]

Coaching new writers and why I love it…

The two sisters at the window, acrylic on canvas, How can I explain the path that has led me here, the journey that keeps bringing me back to the beginning? After 30 years of writing and coaching and teaching, more than a decade as an international newsroom journalist, and another decade plus as a […]

Building an Author Platform

Most writers have heard about the importance of building an Author Platform. New writers are encouraged to magnetize an audience for their books well before publication. They build literary websites, create Facebook Fan pages, blog on the writing process, tweet, all to create a buzz.  The idea is that an agent will more likely sign a […]

Getting Published: The Query

In Art of Storytelling’s ongoing series of essays on the writing process, former New York literary agent and current writer and AofS coach Jon Sternfeld weighs in on the query letter. Jon’s insider knowledge of how to approach an agent is invaluable to any writer who wants to get published. (Be sure to watch for […]

Writing a Novel: One Soul, Two Lives

Guest blogger Julie Mannina discusses her novel about past and present lives, Rhamanta, in this ongoing series of essays on writing by guest bloggers. Read more about Julie on her blog As a child welfare attorney, I see compelling stories every day. Several years ago, I decided to try to record those stories that really […]

Writing a book? Take the Leap!

I had a dream last night. A new writer stood on a cliff in a vast landscape, just at the edge of a crevasse. What a vista she had standing there, the land full of wild rock formations, dramatic cloud shadows. The cliff she stood on faced another land mass just mere feet away. I […]