Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Call for Numbers!

WHOOPS!  Sorry folks.  This post was supposed to go out yesterday, but somehow it got lost somewhere between my mind and the computer.   So here is your official call for numbers.  Because of the delay, I'll add an extra day (that rhymes! Because that's what I do when I slack.  Make up poems.  Okay, not really.)

So post your numbers here on the blog (not on FB) between now and midnight Wednesday (PST) and  win a copy of our fabulous ANWA president's book,


One quick note: this is an ebook so the winner will receive a link to the book for free. 

Okay ladies, let's do this.  HAPPY WRITING!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

And the winner is...

Congratulations Donna Fuller! 
Email me at anwaevents at gmail dot com with your address and I will get Janette's book mailed out to you!  

Thanks for participating everyone.  Here is a little writing inspiration from our wonderful founder:

Finding Your Theme

by Marsha Ward


Several years ago, I had a wonderful week in cool Prescott, Arizona, where I attended the Hassayampa Institute for Creative Writing at Yavapai College. In the friendly atmosphere created by the limited enrollment and the nurturing faculty and staff, I got to know many fine folks, and did revisions on work that had been mired in mud for a long while. The intensive writing workshop helped me focus on aspects of my writing that I had neglected. I had a chance to reach deep within myself to find emotions and conflicts that needed to be present in my characters to make them real.

The most important thing I found, though, was my theme, my reason for writing. I'd agonized over this issue for years. Why DID I write? I knew I felt compelled to do so, but did not know the underlying motivation.

It took me by surprise, when I was asked a single question, that the answer I gave was my theme, my motivation. The question was, "What do you want to share with the world through your writing?" I was blown away when my answer provided me with the purpose I'd been seeking to identify for such a long time.

I said, "I write to help people find hope amidst their trials, to learn to overcome, not just to wallow in misery."

Now you may think that doesn't apply to a novelist's work, that it's more suited to an essayist or a self-help guru. However, as I look back over my books, I think it fits nicely into what I have written. My principal characters pick themselves up in various ways and go forward with their lives. They illustrate how personal attributes and growth can help a person persevere.

I was very glad to have found my theme at long last. However, I don't go into every writing session thinking, How can I make my characters toe the mark and hold to the theme? I build my characters' attributes, motivations, and conflicts carefully and then let their actions come forth. Because I do this legwork out of my value system, the theme will be there, in one form or another, when I have finished.

How do you find what you want to write about? Maybe the same question I was asked will help you isolate your theme, too.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Call for Numbers

You have all made it half-way.  You have officially made it to the ranks of other famous "half" things. Like half price, half marathon, half wit...

Because you are so awesome, this week we're giving away an awesome *signed* book from Janette Rallison.  

Leave your numbers for the week in a comment here on the blog (fb doesn't count) by the end of Tuesday and automatically be enrolled in a drawing for:


Sunday, July 20, 2014

And the winner is...

Congratulations Peggy Urry!  
You won our *special* half-way gift card and swag!  I will contact you via email and get those items to you asap.

In the mean time, here's a message from Rebecca Lamoreaux, our Conference Co-Chair, to keep the rest of us going:

My admiration goes out to all of you today. To each and every one of you who have pushed through thick and thin to reach your goals.

The reason I am saluting you today is because of the inspiration you are to the rest of us, who have for years gone through the things that you have already done. Your books, and your joy at having your books, gives hope to the rest of us that one day our books will join yours on the bookshelves in stores and in the world of Kindle and Nook.

So here's to you and your books - to the endless time and effort of editing, critiquing,  rewriting, and sometimes killing off your babies. Here's to knowing when you have to cut out your favorite scene, and knowing how your characters will react in any situation. Here's to the many queries and the frustration of rejections, to slogging through writing a synopsis, and to the joy of seeing your book in print.

Thank you for showing us that our dreams can become realities, and for writing books that entertain us to no end!

And here's to many, many others in our critique groups, Facebook groups, and blogging groups who have helped us out, inspired us, and cheered us on. Thanks for showing us it can be done!


Monday, July 14, 2014


Hey all.  I'm sure you've been super busy perusing our NEW WEBSITE.  Isn't it awesome???

This is a big week for ANWA and for the ANWA Summer Challenge.  That's right ladies, we officially reach our half-way mark THIS SUNDAY!!! 

To celebrate, we're going to have a special giveaway for a $15 AMAZON GIFT CARD, plus some extra ANWA swag just because we love you.


You can be entered THREE TIMES into this drawing:
1- post your numbers here on the blog (required)
2- leave an extra comment on the blog telling us your favorite thing you've written so far
3- tweet or post about it on the ANWA Facebook and Twitter pages- let's give our ANWA sisters who haven't joined the challenge a little motivation to jump in (especially since we'll only be at 5,000 by Sunday, so catching up is a snap).

That's it.  Happy writing!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations Kathy Cowley!  
Email me at anwaevents at gmail dot com and I'll get that mailed out to you!

For the rest of us, here is some inspiration from the author of this week's giveaway, DeAnn Huff http://www.dogdenhuff.com/ :

Too often novice authors rely only on miscommunication between characters to create conflict in stories. Harlequin editor, Victoria Curran, reminded 2014 ANWA Conference attendees that our conflicts need to be strong enough so that one good conversation between the characters won’t resolve all their problems. But have you considered that your characters can be role models for others, especially children and youth? Have you thought about putting at least one character in your novel, perhaps a mentor or a sidekick, who is an example of a good communicator? We can teach light and truth one word at a time. Here are some characteristics of a good communicator:

Good communicators apologize when they make mistakes.

Good communicators resolve conflict without confrontation.

Good communicators speak positively and express gratitude.

Good communicators think before they speak.

Good listeners pay attention.

Good listeners don’t interrupt.

Good listeners don’t make judgmental generalizations.

By making one of your characters a good communicator, then the communication errors of your other characters will be more obvious. If the good communicator is a main character, then it will force you to create a conflict that can’t be simply resolved by the characters sitting down and having an honest conversation. Try good communication in your writing—and if not in your writing, try it in your real life!

Monday, July 7, 2014


I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July weekend.  If you're like me, you spent the weekend traveling away from home, so in honor of the vacation weekend our giveaway this week will be:

ONCE UPON A TOUR by D. Ogden Huff

Just post your numbers (remember, estimates ok) by midnight Tuesday night to be automatically entered into the giveaway.  
Good luck and keep writing!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Congratulations to DONNA HATCH!
I'll get that mailed out to you. 

Now for the rest of us, here's a great writing lesson from our illustrious founder, Marsha Ward.

Whet the Appetite
by Marsha Ward

I recently heard someone refer to the need to wet someone's appetite for a book manuscript. That's when I knew I had my topic for today's blog post.

What the person meant to write was "whet." The word comes from the Old English hwettan, meaning "to sharpen, encourage." We use it today in at least two contexts: to sharpen knives or other bladed implements, and to stimulate, enhance, or increase; such as desire, appetite or curiosity.

Seeing "wet" applied to appetite for anything makes me think the opposite: to dampen down or diminish, and that's not what you want to do when you present a book manuscript to an agent or editor. You want to whet that appetite for your work.

Now that you understand the difference, let's wander off into the first meaning for whet, because I have a childhood memory to share. My father had a whetstone, a fine-grained stone about 6 or 7 inches long by 2 inches wide and an inch thick, that he used to sharpen and hone the blades of knives, principally his pocketknife. Those were the days when a man wasn't a man unless he carried a pocketknife in his, well, pocket, and my Daddy was no exception. Sometimes, if he was away from home, he used spit on the surface of the stone before he honed the blade of his knife to a sharpness that could slice through a tomato without denting the skin. If he was home, he used a bit of machine oil. In fact, when I handled the whetstone, I recall it had a slight oily film on the surface.

Sometimes Daddy used the whetstone to sharpen a camp axe, but mostly it was his knife that I remember him stroking repeatedly over the surface, back and forth, one side and then the other. He would test the sharpness of the blade on his thumb as he progressed with the task, until he was satisfied at the keenness of the edge. Only then did he attempt to use his knife on the job.

We have to do the same thing with our writing: perform the mundane, almost hypnotic task of coaxing out words, testing the sound and the keenness of them as we go, until at last, they are perfect. Only then will they do the job they are designed for: entertaining or educating others.