learn to write

I Might Cry: Contest Finalist!

My book, My Writer’s Sampler: Exercises in Learning to Write Fiction, is a finalist in the Red City Review contest! Winners to be announced September 1.  http://redcityreview.com/book-awards/2017-finalists

Sampler and Further Investigation (a mystery) are each finalists in their own categories in the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. (Winners to be announced in October.)

This feels overwhelming, since for most of my life I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I wrote stuff, like one does, school papers; memos, procedure manuals, and reports for work. My first book, Frugal Living for the 21st Century, has good reviews on Amazon. When I tried to branch out into fiction, I learned that a good imagination is not all it takes to write fiction that other people will want to read.

I was slowly learning, from concepts brought out in two critique groups. One day I realized that thanks to the magic of Google, I didn’t have to wait for writing skills to happen to come up in the group, I could look for them. As a part of that research I wrote thirty-two short stories, each meant to exercise a skill I had found. That research became My Writer’s Sampler. We all have stories to tell. Telling them in a way others will like can be learned.

One of those short stories expanded and became a mystery novella, Further Investigation. People who read it seemed sincere when they said they liked it, so I’m now working on two more, Cold Case and Flight Risk.