Saturday, January 15, 2005

Getting Started As a Creative Writer

It seems that in almost each business or technical writing seminar I deliver, someone will walk up to me during a break asking for advice on writing or publishing a book of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or children's literature. I immediately suggest taking three proactive steps:
  1. subscribe to a writer's magazine
  2. enroll in a writing course
  3. research publishing markets
The obvious tip I am taking for granted is that the writer should write daily--no excuses. Once that essential is under control, consider these starting points.


Writer's Magazines
All the three magazines listed below provide great tips for novice and even experienced writers. I have at one time or another subscribed to each, so I can vouch for their relevance, accuracy, and readability.


Writing Courses
Most college adult continuing education programs offer writing courses for poets, dramatists, journalists, and novelists. The magazines listed above also advertise or manage writing courses. Online writing tutorials are also available. Go to www.google.com and search "writing courses" and browse the first few hits.


Publishing Markets
Many creative writing publishers list their submission requirements on the Internet, and some actually accept electronic submissions. For those who prefer books, here are some of the most useful ones:
Remember to read continually for inspiration and knowledge, and to write with whatever time is left over for fluency and productivity. Good luck!

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