This is not just another writing course – it’s an unforgettable experience that transports you and your writing to a new level of clarity, eloquence and productivity.
When you purchase this program, you are making a serious and powerful commitment to your writing. You go forward with the discipline of a writer: this program is about attention, and it demands both kindness and rigour.
“For those asking about writing, motivation, blocks: check out Story is a State of Mind. Smart, encouraging, practical.” – Margaret Atwood
“The best online classroom I’ve found so far.” – Maggie Bolitho
“There is no course like this in university, I’m certain; it’s priceless.” — Steph VanderMeulen
We created a sweet little program called The Story Starter Kit if you’d like to try Story Is a State of Mind before committing to the whole course. Good for both beginners and beginner minds. Click here to learn more.
Most of the time, I believe in a non-competitive writing environment. But the truth is that every writer needs a good deadline. Right? It’s good for us!
That’s why every spring I host a short fiction contest based on my daily writing prompts on Twitter. The winning stories, selected by an author I respect and admire, are published in an annual short fiction anthology: The Little Bird Stories.
Click here to find out how to enter the next Little Bird Writing Contest + buy the stories as digital downloads.
(I donate all of the profits from the sale of this eBook to the Pelee Island Bird Observatory to help protect the real little birds out there. Check out their website to see how you can help them, too.)
The Incomparable Short Story
Do you feel ready to submit your story to a journal or writing contest? Good. That means you love it. Now, are you certain that it will stand out from the rest?
I’ve read a lot of short fiction submissions. I can’t bear to see exceptional writers make these avoidable blunders – and miss the opportunity to publish great stories. So I’ve harvested the ten most common mistakes most short fiction writers make when they submit their work, and turned them into a writing guide called The Incomparable Short Story.
Download this free guide before you send your story out. Trust me.
The Incomparable Short Story is free when you subscribe to my newsletters. The sign up form is just to the right, at the top of the page.
Further Resources & Recommendations
This is the very best program I know that deals with the other side of the writing biz: how to get published. If you have a collection ready, or an idea for a book, or you want to find the right agent, buy this. This program by Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen is massive, inspiring, significant, beautiful and thorough. It will instruct and motivate you more than any other how-to-get-published program that exists out there.
2012 is the year of the short story.
Click here to read the manifesto.
Lectures & Interviews
The Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts Lecture.
I was invited to teach a small group of writers on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in July 2011. I was the only writing teacher – there were 200 students at the school, and all but eleven of them were visual artists working in a variety of other genres.
I became known as the teacher who assigned naps. In this lecture to the MISSA faculty, students and community, I explain my scientific method. Click on the audio link below to listen.
(This is about 20 minutes long. In the last 5 minutes, you can hear me read an excerpt from the last story in my book, This Cake Is for the Party.)
Yoga and Writing.
A lovely Skype chat with Roseanne Harvey of It’s All Yoga, Baby. She asked me about how my meditation and yoga practice informs my writing, why I always seem to write about health nuts, and what it was like to edit Michael Stone‘s new book.
Book Madam Live Chat.
In September 2010, Julie Wilson of Book Madam interviewed me in this funky live-to-chat format – kind of like Google chat, but with pictures. I explain the system I use to manage my time (I call it my “three-dot formula”) and I show you what the pages of my best writing journals really look like. (Hint: they’re not actually full of writing.) Click here to watch.
The Joyland School for Creative Writing.
Joylandmagazine.com has a special section on their site that is devoted to conversations about craft and writing. Read my interview with Faye Guenther, who asked smart questions about how to engage a reader immediately, why I don’t use quotation marks, and how my characters can be like ghosts.
The Walrus: This Chat Is for the Dreamers.
Fiction editor Jared Bland invited me to talk about how I wrote the story “Paul Farenbacher’s Yard Sale,” and why I sequenced the stories in my book the way I did. Then I got into how much writing a story is like cloud watching. Read it here.
Pickle Me This: When You Should Take a Creative Rest.
I went on a two-month writing retreat one winter, and I didn’t write very much at all. In this piece I explain how that happened, and why I think that sometimes it’s better not to write every single day. This is my favourite piece from my 2011 virtual book tour, because I received so much feedback and gratitude from people who’d read it. Click here to read it.