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Faith and a Box Full of Clock Parts by Karen Dionne

I’m ten years old. My Big Ben-style alarm clock has stopped working. Maybe I wound it too tightly, maybe it’s just worn out. Whatever the reason, the alarm hasn’t gone off in days. I know I can fix it, if only I can get a look inside. When I tell my parents, they don’t laugh. Instead, my dad gives me a set of miniature screwdrivers, my mom gives me an empty shoebox, and on that day, my writing career is born. Okay, technically, I didn’t take up novel ...

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10 Tips for Launching A Book Without Losing Your Mind by Randy Susan Meyers

  Randy Susan Meyers will be on the faculty at the 2013 Backspace Writers Conference May 23-25, New York City Unmitigated panic. Unrelenting fear. Ulcer-inducing worry. Two years ago my book was launching and I should have been on cloud nine. I was realizing a life-long dream at a time when many my age popped Lipitor. I was edging close to a sedative habit. Looking back to my novel debut, terror defined my anticipatory state-of-being. How would I bear ...

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Jeff Kleinman’s Guidelines to Good Conference Attendeeness

  Jeff Kleinman will be on the faculty at the 2013 Backspace Writers Conference May 23-25, New York City   Step #1. TALK to fellow participants. A couple of months ago I whined about how tough it was to get a project that was really ready to go – a project with a great voice, great writing, great concept. Do you realize what a huge boon you have at these conferences, literally tripping over published authors and – possibly even more intriguing – ...

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The Problem with Middles by Eliza Graham

Midway this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, Where the right road was wholly lost and gone. Dante, translated by Dorothy L Sayers. Middles can be hard. When I start a novel the writing process has the freshness of a holiday trip: new characters, a sense of an untrodden path that could take me anywhere. I have an outline but it doesn’t bind me too strongly to a particular route. I hurl myself into the first twenty or thirty ...