News & Announcements—

International Literacy Day

Did you know that September 8th was International Literacy Day? When I think about what reading has done for me, and what would have happened to me if I never learned how to read, I go weak in the knees. What would I have done without Beatrix Potter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeline L’Engle and L.M. Montgomery? […]

A Big Announcement About the Way I Communicate

I’ve been spending the summer thinking and dreaming about why I’m here, what I’m doing on social media, and why I run this creative writing school in the first place. It does feel remarkable to me that the Story Is a State of Mind community has grown the way it has. Who would have thought […]

How I lost my writing, and found it again.

I don’t usually do this, but I made you a video newsletter. There was something I wanted to tell you in person, so I brought my laptop into a quiet room and figured out how to make the built-in camera work. I’m a private person. This might be surprising, given my website, I know. But […]

Courage Comes Before Confidence

  Pretend you love writing. Close your eyes. Imagine working on your book. I mean, really picture it in your mind. You’re sitting in a room, writing. Envision a pile of paper beside you – that’s your manuscript. It’s finished. It’s ready. As you pictured yourself writing your book, how did you feel? Did you […]

The Story Intensive 2015: Update!

  The details for The Story Intensive 2015 are up today! The Story Intensive is my signature writing program. It’s the main event for my writing school, and it only happens once a year. Registration isn’t open yet – you have until July 14th to think about it. You still have lots of time to […]

We’re hiring!

Our team is expanding, and we are searching for the right person to join us at We are searching for an enthusiastic communicator: a guardian, concierge, and moderator for our online community. Are you the people person we’re searching for? Do you know the person we’re searching for? Read about the job below, please […]

The 2015 Little Bird Contest Winner!

The winner of this year’s Little Bird Contest is Corrie Adams, author of “Paradise.” First Place: “Paradise” by Corrie Adams, from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada Neil Smith picked her story out of 101 blind entries we received this year. I couldn’t wait to read the story when I learned the prompt she used to start it: […]

Meet the Little Bird 2015 Judge!

Introducing the Little Bird Contest judge: Neil Smith! Have you read his work before? If not, go read Bang, Crunch right now. It’s an incredible collection. (U.S. readers go here). His new book, Boo, comes out this May! Story Is a State of Minders, you know a little of Neil’s work – he wrote Isolettes, […]

Happy Birthday, Little Bird!

We are proud as peacocks this year – our writing contest is five years old today! I wanted to put a picture of a peacock on this page, but peacocks aren’t really little birds, are they? So here is a picture of a baby peacock. Over the past five years, we’ve seen hundreds of brand […]

Write what you want to read.