Monthly Archives: June 2015

6 Ways to Conquer Writers Block

Every author dreads developing writer’s block. Luckily my guest host, Catherine Bennett, author of Devon’s Choice, offers six terrific ideas to kickstart your writing. Welcome Catherine! 1045235_10153069845085122_261005835_n copy 4Hi Ariella! Thank you for having me on your blog to discuss one of our favorite topics – writing. As an author, one of the hardest things to work through is writer’s block. It’s happened to me many times (nearly every time I sit down in front of the computer). The following are some suggestions that have helped me to break free! Help, I’m Stuck! (Or Free Yourself of Writer’s Block) According to Wikipedia, the definition of Writer’s block is as follows: “Writer’s Block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers.” pen and notebook MF This dreaded “condition” seems to affect every writer at some time in his or her career. Words may pour forth easily for a while and then the mind shuts down at the very thought of writing. If the condition lingers too long, panic can ensue. From there, the writer might experience a feeling of failure and doom, especially when friends or even worse, your agent, asks what is in the hopper. The following are some suggestions that have helped me in the past to get out of a slump and move forward:

  • Write everyday. If you have an idea for a story, now matter how         unrefined, write it down. One simple phrase can begin a story or keep it moving.
  • Pictures can lead to an idea. I often look through photographs or drawings and will save my favorites. Using them as visuals can trigger an idea.
  • Think of the movies you’ve seen or books you’ve read and re-invent parts of them. I’m NOT advising plagiarizing, but there are seldom completely original plots in books or movies.
  • Don’t become overwhelmed. Thinking that “I’ve got to write a book” is certain to induce anxiety. Instead think, “I’ve got to think of some really cool characters names” which is more fun to play with.
  • Indulge in a good book. Many times reading can re-ignite the imagination.
  • If desperation sets in, walk the dog. Walking can free the mind and the dog won’t think you’re crazy if you talk to yourself about an idea.

For more ways to give your writing a boost, visit my website at devons-choice jpg copy About Catherine: I grew up in Ohio where I currently live with my husband and our two rescue Labradors. Some of my favorite things include reading, shopping, pepperoni pizza, Hershey bars and hanging out with my two grown sons. I also love dogs, so going to the dog park is cheap entertainment for my husband and I! Growing up an only child, I had many imaginary friends. I believe this – and a love of books – fueled my desire to write. It was many years later that my dream of becoming a published author came true. You can find my newest romance, “Devon’s Choice” on the following sites:


Barnes & Noble:



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Great Writing Contest for Aspiring Romance Authors

Love Heart in Sand

Writing Contests are a great way to get helpful feedback, improve your craft, and possibly get your manuscript seen by agents and editors. For years I have been one of the judges for the annual Heart to Heart Contest, and I have witnessed editors and agents request full manuscripts from the entries they judged. Here’s what you need to know:


The 2015 Heart To Heart Contest, sponsored by the San Francisco Area Romance Writers, is now open for entries!

The Heart To Heart Contest is opened to all unpublished romance writers who are looking for an opportunity to have their work read by experienced writers and published authors.  Show off your “cute meet” moment in your manuscript, and receive personalized feedback on your scene.  The top three finalists in each category will have their manuscripts read by one literary agent, one traditional publishing house edit, and one e-publishing editor.  Enter the Heart to Heart contest for a great opportunity to have your work read by industry professionals!

CONTEST CATEGORIES: Contemporary, Erotic, Historical, Paranormal, and Young Adult


WHAT TO ENTER: Send us that magical scene in which your hero and heroine meet for the first time, maximum 15 pages. (An optional one-page set-up may be included, but will not be judged).  This is the moment that really brings readers into the story and encourages them to keep reading.


Electronic submissions only — Rich Text Format (.rtf) only

Cost: $15 for SFA-RWA members, $25 for non-members

Eligibility: Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline

Scoring: Scoring is based on 20 key areas. First round entries receive three scores averaged together.

Top three entries will be forwarded to the final judges.


August 31, 2015 – Deadline for submissions

October 5, 2015 – First-round finalists notification

November 6, 2015 – Final round winners announced

FIRST ROUND JUDGES: All entries will be judged by three judge volunteers.  Our first round judges include RWA PRO and PAN members. Each entry is matched with at least one published author.  All entrants will receive written feedback on their entry from all three judges.

FINAL JUDGES: Three in each category: one literary agent, one traditional publishing house editor, and one e-publishing editor.

TOP PRIZE: Certificate

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please visit contest-rules.htm.

FINAL JUDGES AND PAST WINNERS: contest-winners.htm.

For questions, email our contest coordinator at heart2heartcontest @ gmail . com

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