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Writer Mama Scholarship


Writer Mama ScholarshipVALUE: $250.00!!!
Are you a mom, who would love to take the Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff Class that starts October 7th, but you would not otherwise be able to afford it?

Then you qualify for The Writer Mama Scholarship.

Application deadline for the next Available Scholarship for the October 7th Writing & Publishing The Short Stuff Class is between Monday, September 7th – Sunday, September 13th!

Details here.

Succulent September: The September Issue of Writers on the Rise Begins Here

Christina KatzI received a message from Sam last month after the July/August issue of Writers on the Rise went out. He said, “One of your best newsletters. I know it didn’t just happen on its own.”

It sure didn’t! There are nine of us who work diligently to make this newsletter as helpful as it can be ten times a year. Next month we will celebrate six years of Writers on the Rise. Six years!

Writers on the Rise started out as a simple e-mail I sent out to my former students so I would be able to keep in touch with them after my family moved from Bellingham, Washington to Wilsonville, Oregon.

Each year, we expanded a little bit. At first, my students contributed to the publication. Then I started recruited other writing professionals to contribute. Next, it wasn’t long before my students became writing professionals. Many of them contribute today. Several have books out, coming out, or deals in progress. I could not be more pleased.

The original e-mail list was a couple hundred writers; today it’s thousands. But I can’t help feeling that more writers would love to hear about us and would benefit from all of the excellent writing craft advice we offer. So along those lines, I’m going to ask for a couple of favors:

  • Could you forward this issue to five writing friends? (There’s a button at the bottom of the e-zine that makes this easy.)
  • Could you send a quick e-mail to Writer’s Digest and nominate us as one of the 101 Best Websites? Just click here here when you are ready to nominate us. Our physical address is:
  • Could you link to us in your blog, mention us in forums you participate in, or drop our name when you are on Facebook or Twitter? We have a  Facebook fan page and you are welcome to join it. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, I’m “@thewritermama.”

Folks can subscribe through the e-zine, if you forward it to them, or they can visit our webpage to subscribe.

Thanks for spreading the word! As always, I look forward to taking Writers on the Rise to a whole new level in 2010…but I’m sure your writer friends won’t want to miss all we still have to offer in the 2009.

In the writing spirit,


Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor

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Reasons to Write: Write to Grow

Christina Katz

By Christina Katz
Another of the many reasons I write is to grow. I recently doodled a picture of my writing career and it came out looking like a garden. Each row of plants represents something I do: writing, publishing, speaking, teaching, hosting, mentoring, etc. The money invested in my education both in the past and my continuing, ongoing education enrich the soil and allow for a steady stream of crops coming up season after season.

I love that feeling of putting good stuff in and getting good stuff out. Of composting the old writing to see what new something can grow out of the steaming, decomposing muck. The realization that what remains can be reused to enrich the next crop. That nothing goes to waste.

Given the economy, and the massive switch over to a “gig” economy from a more long-term career focus, some days I can’t believe how lucky I am to have started my garden over a decade ago, so that I’m not rushing and trying to catch up with the times.

I remember my early days as a writer though. There were just a few shoots coming up in my garden. I remember the feeling that I did not have enough gigs cropping up and the frustration of not being exactly sure what to do to get more.

I stayed with it though. I found mentors. I read books. I attended workshops. I went to writer’s conferences. I interviewed successful people I admired. And I expanded my skills beyond just writing.

We are living in changing times. The real farmers who have actual farms and acreage and seeds and the hope of future crops are in trouble. And just because I have created my own farm so to speak, which doesn’t require any actual soil, seeds, or crops, doesn’t mean I should turn my back on the real thing-the real world, I mean.

The Internet is swell. It has allowed me to have the career I’ve always wanted. However, I find myself needing to remember that I don’t live in the virtual world my 2.0 career thrives on. Rather, I live in the real world with real people and real pains and joys and middle places.

The Jungian psychologist Marian Woodman speaks often in her work about the shadow side of things. Every person has a shadow side. Deny the humanity of a person long enough and the shadow side will take over. The shadow side is unfeeling, numb, and insatiable, unlike the alive, intuitive, balanced self who can experience the full spectrum of emotions, connect and know beyond circumstance.

The saving grace for me, as a person who thrives in the Internet Age, is that I found my legs as a writer first. Writing has always helped me discover my feelings, communicate with others, and stretch as a human being. Writing has always been a way to grow. I am convinced that without writing my spirit would have been thwarted, stuck, and confined to that horrible feeling of darkness-my shadow.

The shadow is a cold, dark and miserable place to exist on a daily basis. And though I haven’t lived there in many, many years, if you’ve ever been there, then like me you know about the fear and hopelessness that chokes or smothers anything that wants to grow.

This summer, I hope you will come outside and play in the warm, fertile haven of the garden. You can even bring your notebook. Just be sure to get some dirt under your fingernails.

Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina KatzChristina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.

Dear Fellow Writers (July/August e-zine starts here…)

Christina Katz

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about writing career trajectories, the paths writers choose, the goals we set, and the growth we experience.

I’ve also been thinking about how speeded up things are getting and how this need for speed can put a lot of stress and strain on writers.

The Internet has been a boon to us, bringing us the ability to connect with like-minded others around the world. But from an evolutionary perspective, I don’t know how prepared we are for all of this and I wonder what the long-term implications are for the writing life.

There is one thing I do know for sure: we all need to break out of the group mind once in a while and assess where we have been, where we are, and where we are going from a very personal point of view.

Like the columnists you read here ten times a year, the best writers have always been capable of thinking their own thoughts and expressing them in a way that is unique to them.

But lose this ability to the rush and the grind and, as a writer, you pretty much lose everything.

For me, it’s important to maintain a balance between serving the group and serving myself and my family. And after creating a goodly amount of success over the past several years, it sure feels good to carve out a little time for self-reflection and planning this summer. Even after just a few weeks of slowing down, I sense the future coming into clearer focus.

I hope you will give yourself gift of time this summer.

You work hard. You deserve it.

Make good things happen,

Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor

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Reasons to Write: June-The Discovery Zone

By Christina Katz
If you’ve ever read my books, heard me speak or taken a class with me, then you are no doubt familiar with a drum I Christina Katzbeat often and hard: don’t wait to be discovered; produce yourself!

The flip side of my frequent don’t-wait-to-be-discovered admonition is, naturally, to discover yourself. The word “discover” means to see, to get knowledge of, to learn of, to find, to gain sight of, to notice and to realize.
Once you become willing to discover yourself, you have the key to everything-you can know your thoughts, uncover your plans and ambitions, and see the best path right in front of you.

Why is this so important these days? Because if you don’t know which direction you are headed and why, there are more ways to get off the path and into the woods than ever. So if your choices feel like they spoke in too many directions, why not pause and dive back into self-discovery? Even five minutes of self-reflection can get you out of spin mode and reset your clarity of direction. Because if you don’t know who you are, what you are all about, and where you are going, then nobody else is going to get it either.

Why then, would you want to write to become discovered, when the same skill can be used to see and know anything and everything you are ever curious about? When you feel adrift in a sea of choices, don’t reach for the input of others. Reach for your pen or your keyboard and-WOOSH!-you’ll find that you had the power to shine in your capable hands all along. Next thing you know, you are off, making discoveries that can take you and your readers anywhere.

Through writing you can discover a new use for something old. Indeed the process of writing IS a new use for something old: you get to share a seemingly endless stream of words on nothing but good ol’ brainpower. What a joy to discover something for yourself through the process of writing that may have been previously known to others but was unknown to you.

Writing allows you to chance upon ideas, to observe closely or from a distance, to notice what you hadn’t before, to find out things that thrill and dismay you, and to identify, name and claim what is revealed.

When you write to discover, instead of writing to be discovered, you are an active force in the world. You become privy to your own thoughts, your personal passions, your true feelings, your once distant memories, and the very stuff you need to express. Your efforts pay off with exponential rewards, which cannot be topped by literary accolades or rave reviews.

You remember to write for the pure bliss of writing. You come to the center. The seed. The source from which creation springs. And from there, do you really need the adoration or acclaim or attention of others? You don’t. You have it all. The key to creation. The core. The root. And the discovery is divine.

Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.


Check Out the May/June Issue of Writer’s Digest magazine while it’s still on the stands! Going off stand on June 14th!

May/June 2009 Writer's Digest Magazine

I have a six-page feature, “Build Your Power Platform” appearing in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. My article is part of a twenty-page feature section on how to stand out to agents and editors. Other contributors in the feature section include M. J. Rose, the Writer’s Digest Staff, Jeff Yeager, and editor Jessica Strawser. The May/June issue features an interview conversation between Stephen King and Jerry B. Jenkins and the announcement of the annual 101 Best Websites.

Dear Fellow Writers (June Issue Begins)

Christina Katz

I’ve just returned from the Writer’s Digest/BEA Conference and Book Expo America back-to-back.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience speaking to writers looking to develop platforms in two sessions, selling out copies of Get Known Before the Book Deal that were on hand, listening to thriller author Karin Slaughter and former Publisher’s Weekly editor Sara Nelson, seeing all the folks from the Writer’s Digest Publishing Community including publisher (and my former editor) Jane Friedman, touching base with some agents I know, and having a chance to hang out with a couple of former students.

At Book Expo America, I enjoyed several days of education about the publishing industry. I was able to see where publishing stands today (more or less since the show was smaller this year and some houses were not represented at all) by touring the entire floor of the Jacob K. Javits Center. I bumped into or met lots of booksellers, librarians, editors, agents, writers, and authors and just generally tried to get as much out of the experience as possible so I could pass on what I learned to my readers and students.

I was able to add my several days of immersion at BEA to all that I had already heard and learned at the Tools of Change Conference in February and I’ve drawn several conclusions for writers looking to grow skill sets and expand careers that will survive in the new, complicated future of publishing that is already upon us.

For rising writers, it’s often hard to know how to prioritize our time each day to grow a writing career, especially if that time is already limited. I’ve posted my observations in my Get Known Before the Book Deal blog (here). I hope you will read it and take my hard-won observations to heart when you are planning for 2010.

I always want writers to succeed because writers are my tribe. I have been serving writers for many years but the only writers I can really assist are those who are willing to work hard and consistently and take 100% responsibility for their efforts.
There is no luck in the publishing business. There is only the “luck” that you cultivate through education, effort and action and then leveraging that professional prowess into making informed, strategic decisions that are win-win-win for all parties involved.

In other words, it isn’t about you or me; it’s about us. And the people who understand this are going to stay healthy and vital and the people who don’t are quite likely to leave the playing field. We are watching the walls melt in the publishing industry. But this isn’t the end, really, it’s more like a new beginning for those who can stand navigate shifting ground.

It is my pleasure to help writers make good choices and help you work hard towards goals that are for everyone’s highest good. I feel like all the time, energy and money that I have invested to stay current is a huge advantage for every student I work with and I look forward to updating they way I work to keep up with changing times.

Whenever you feel unsure about which way to go, I hope you will remember the motto…

Make good things happen,

Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor

@thewritermama on Twitter
Please note: June 14th is your last chance to pick up Writer’s Digest with a special platform section. June 30th is your last chance to sign up for August classes at reduced prices. And my June Webinar for Writer’s Digest has been moved to October. Keep reading for more details.

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    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
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