Everyone Knows The Alphabet: Thoughts on Screenwriting

Former NYC agent and current AofS coach Jon Sternfeld discusses screenwriting in Art of Storytelling’s ongoing series of guest blogs on the writing process. Jon has worked under the VP of Development at a major independent production company, Good Machine Inc. (The Ice Storm, In the Bedroom, Happiness) under writer/producer James Schamus. In charge of […]

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 […]

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 http://juliemannina.wordpress.com/. 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 Novel, English as a Second Language

In Art of Storytelling’s ongoing series of essays by guest bloggers, Russian novelist Nadia Clifford explores writing a novel in English when English is your second language. Nadia, who is working on her first novel, grew up in Moscow and now lives in the Boston area. Art of Storytelling is offering an E-Course entitled International Novel/Memoir: […]

Semiautobiographical Novel: A Eulogy

On June 9, 2012, I hosted a reading of six memoir and fiction writers at Santoro’s Bookstore in Seatte. My father is dying of Parkinson’s. One evening I was thinking about how at his funeral all the eulogies would be cleaned up, politically correct versions of the truth. Why couldn’t someone tell a real story, I thought, about […]

Writing the Hot Coals

Missouri backyard after hunting season. Famous spiritual healers past and present talk about “letting go” of the past. Holding on to traumas of the past is like holding onto a hot coal. Just drop the hot coal, they say. How can a writer reconcile this with spending years writing a memoir or semiautobiographical novel? Not […]

Owning the ugly

Wheel of Fortune, acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 20″, http://www.carolineallen.com. In July of this year, I underwent surgery for a total thyroidectomy. It wasn’t cancer, just a thyroid that was profoundly overactive, speeding up my metabolism so fast that I went down four sizes in less than three months. Luckily, I enjoy Romney-care in Massachusetts, […]

How to write the dance of your soul

Silver Falls, Oregon I had a good friend in London in the early 1990s, Celia Goodyear, who worked with children with severe cerebral palsy. Most of the kids had no control of their bodies whatsoever and could only move their eyes. A common issue with such profoundly handicapped kids is they don’t detach from their […]

How to write: Outsider art

Screaming Me, acrylic on cardbaord, http://www.carolineallen.com I have an art studio at the base of the apartment building where I live. It has windows to the street. A local artist called, said she saw my art in the windows, and was curating a show for outsider artists. Could she come into my studio and see […]

How to write: When beautiful isn’t beautiful

Seattle healer Ellen Newhouse (www.ellennewhouse.com) and I were working on a chapter of her memoir called Loner. She was describing how she liked to church hop when she was just a young girl. She was Jewish and adored Temple, but also went with friends to Catholic Mass, even took a catechism class. She was writing […]