Journeys of the Heart

An author's journey

Tips for Writers from the GLVWG Conference

The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Write Stuff Conference was this past weekend.  I had a wonderful time networking with other authors and attending sessions on both the business and the craft of writing.  After re-reading all my notes, I thought I’d share a few of the most important tips I picked up.  Here they are in no particular order: 

  1. Stickiness, the concept of enticing people back multiple times to check on you, is the new buzz word in media.  For writers it means providing interesting, engaging content on your blog, website or Facebook page. 
  2. Know your premise.  Now this may not be exactly what you think it is.  Usually when thinking of premise, one thinks of a short summary of the story idea outlining the major goal, motivation and conflict.  Author James M. Frey puts a bit of a different spin on the word premise.  He describes it as 1 – 2 lines that express the arc of the story starting from where it begins to where it ends (sometimes interchangeable with the theme of the book?  It looks like this: Love leads to insanity (Othello) or Alcoholism destroys love (The Days of Wine and Roses)  An author then proves the premise by setting up a step sheet outlining the steps required to move from the beginning to the end of the premise.  This provides the author with a mini-outline as a guide. 
  3. Also from James Frey, 3 of his rules for authors: 1.Read, read, read. 2. Write, write, write. 3.Suffer, suffer, suffer.  He had other rules, but I didn’t go to the pre-conference workshop so I can only share those three. 
  4. Tell your story with passion.  As an author, write stories that you feel strongly about.  That passion and enthusiasm will communicate itself to agents and editors and will likely get them to look at your work. 
  5. Send a book out at least 184 times before hiding it in that box under the bed.  Wow! Are there that many publishing houses?  Anyway, I think the point is that often we give up way too soon.

 Ponder these tips and then go write something. Or send something out to one of the 184 publishers that you missed.


March 29, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Love this blog, Kathy! Those were 9 of his 10 rules! Read, read, read, write, write, write, suffer, suffer, suffer. Then he’d wait for someone to say, “Hey, that’s only 9.” Frey: “Oh yeah. Don’t use too many exclamation points.”

    Here’s a tip from me. At conferences, smile and talk to people, even if you’re shy. You might meet someone who you become great friends with, someone who can help you on your path to become published, or someone YOU can help on their path.

    I still do that and have plenty of time to hang with my “old” friends. That’s old as in long-time, not age! It was a great conference.

    Comment by pattie | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the tips, Kathleen! Wish I could have been there. Maybe next year!

    Comment by Amanda | March 29, 2010 | Reply

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