This blog is moving to as of December 30, 2009

I know.

It’s sad.

I’ve been here for three whole years.

This was my FIRST blog and I loved every minute of being here.

I hope that WordPress will let it live on for a good long time.

What a wonderful context for Writer Mamas we created together!

But, sadly, it’s time to move on.

Come and find me at my new digs:

And while we’re both thinking of it, would you please update your links to

Thanks so much!

2010 is going to be an exciting adventure. Thanks for sharing the ride!

I’d love to hear what you think of my NEW blog. Meet me over there, okay?

And if you feel moved to share what this blog has meant to you, I welcome your comments!

Writer Mama Success Rhythms

By Christina Katz Christina Katz and daughter

Now that all thoughts are turning towards 2010, l’d like to point out the key change I think all writers, including writer mamas, need to make. We all need to diversify our skill sets or we won’t be able to compete in the new marketplace. So as we enjoy the holiday season, think about how you will diversify your writing portfolio in 2010.
Craft: Try new forms. Your writing is going to be read in ways that have not even been discovered yet. How can writers prepare for this? By getting your needle unstuck and busting out beyond your most comfortable literary forms.
Never forget that attention spans are shrinking and that everyone is overworked and underpaid. So solemnly swear right now: I will not waste other people’ time. I will only write what is compelling, necessary and needed. Otherwise I will keep my words to myself until they are polished and targeted enough to share.
This, after all, is what writers do: we nurture clusters of words until they are ripe for the reading. Nurture ’em first. Share ’em only when they are ready.
Pitching: Diversify your income streams. You’re going to have to pitch more people more often just to earn what you were earning before or simply to generate enough leads to earn. So, don’t get your needle stuck on just this one editor or that one editor.
Yes, ongoing relationships are still great when the opportunity comes along, but don’t hope for that. Become gig-minded instead. Focus on landing and executing one gig at a time and then move on. Go for more gigs.
If an ongoing relationship with an editor yields steady results, great, but write for the sake of the writing well, not to hook your cart to one particular publisher or editor’s cart in hopes of regular assignments. And even when you get a stream of steady assignments, be sure to write for others in case that stream dries up.
Platform Building:
Streamline your platform-building efforts and specialize. The future of platform-building is going to involve streamlining. I’ve certainly learned this from personal experience.
You are going to have to keep your platforms simple, sisters. Don’t overlook specializing as a crucial preliminary step. And partner wisely with others, not just with anybody. It’s a crowded, cluttered, noisy Internet out there now. Rise to the top of the Google list by sounding one, clear, strong note, not by running bumpy scales instead. Okay? You’ll need to do your footwork to figure out your specialty.
Professional Development: Be choosy and select only the best. Just like you can’t be everything for everybody, you also can’t go everywhere and do everything. So, be picky. Don’t join just any associations. Join the best associations for you. Don’t attend too many conferences (or none). Attend those that will assist your career most. And don’t base your decision on price tag alone. Pay more for the right association, the right conference, etc. in order to preserve your time and energy. Above all, invest in your own career first, before assisting others.
Hope your Writer Mama Success Rhythms continue into 2010 and beyond, mamas.

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 started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on Good Morning America. 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.


Writing and Publishing The Short Stuff
Especially For Moms (But Not Only for Moms!)
With Christina Katz
Now includes both regional and national markets!
Class Begins January 13, 2010
Prerequisites: None
Finally, a writing workshop that fits into the busy lives of moms! You will learn how to create short, easy-to-write articles-a skill that will make it easier to move up to longer, more time-consuming articles when you’re ready. Try your pen at tips, fillers, short interviews, list articles, how-tos, and short personal essays-all within six weeks. Now includes markets!
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at
Personal Essays that Get Published
With Abigail Green
Class Begins January 13, 2010
Prerequisites: None
The popularity of reality shows, blogs, and tell-all books proves that it pays to get personal these days. Whether you want to write introspective essays, short humor pieces, or first-person reported stories, your life is a goldmine of rich material that all kinds of publications are pining for. Personal Essays that Get Published will teach you how to get your personal experiences down on the page and get them published. Students will learn how to find ideas, hone their voice, craft solid leads and endings, reslant their work for different markets, and submit their essays for publication.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at

Updated and Improved!
Turn Your Specialty Into Course Curriculum
With Christina Katz

Class Begins on January 13th
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor. Recommended before CSNBP.
I bet you have worked long and hard to discover your specialty, narrow the focus of your expertise, and build your credibility, so shouldn’t you also develop a course curriculum that you can use as the starting point for years of teaching and learning from your students? I have been doing this for eight years and in this six-week class, I will share all of the insights I have learned so you can create your own class, including strategies for cultivating a following of students who succeed. This is probably the most important class I teach because it helps writers make the most of the expertise they already have.
Cost: $399
Register at

Coming Classes:

Pitching Practice: Write Six Queries in Six Weeks
With Christina Katz

Class Begins May 12th
Prerequisites: WPSS with published clips or permission from the instructor.
In this writing class, pitching is all you do. Each week, you will study a successful writer’s query and create your own list of steps to follow. You will receive a three-page worksheet weekly, which will provide helpful ideas and checklists to help you systematize your query writing process and increase your productivity.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at

Updated and Improved!
Craft A Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal
With Christina Katz

Class Begins on March 3rd
Prerequisites: Former student or Permission from Instructor.
Most writers underestimate the comprehensiveness needed to craft a saleable book proposal that will garner the interest of agents and editors. They also mistake the definition of platform and importance of aligning their proposal to a solid track record. A two-time author, Christina has helped hundreds of nonfiction writers succeed over the past seven years. Now she’s making her proposal-writing advice available in a six-week e-mail course to aspiring authors who want to nail the proposal the first time around. The best way to craft a short, tight proposal that will impress agents and editors is with the help of a seasoned professional.
Cost: $399.00
Register at

Read the updated information and register here.

 Invest In Your Writing Career Today
& Reap Greater Rewards Tomorrow.

The Freelancer’s Phrase Book: “Byline”

By Abigail GreenAbby Green
Is there any greater thrill than seeing your very own name in print? Unless it’s in the obituaries or police blotter, that is. I’m referring to seeing your byline accompanying an article you penned yourself. I’ve been at this for more than a decade, and I still get a little burst of pride when I spot my byline — probably because I know how much hard work went into getting to that point!
If you’re trying to build your clip file and get recognized for your work, obviously you want to focus on publications that give bylines. Not all do, however. Some magazines run writers’ bylines for feature articles, but not for shorter pieces like the front of the book sections. And some publications give a credit rather than a byline — meaning your name may be listed in tiny italics beneath the piece rather than in 18-point type at the top. Of course, the font size and location on the page of your byline is up to the graphic designers.
Many publications also include short writers’ bios, such as “Abigail Green is a frequent contributor to the magazine,” or “Freelancer Abigail Green lives and writes in Baltimore.” Some may even plug your book, blog or website. When you’re studying markets for your work, take note of how bylines are handled so you’ll know what to expect.
A word of caution: if at all possible, confirm the spelling of your name before your article goes to press. I have been dismayed to see my hard-earned byline as “Abigail Greene” and other interpretations. Once an article of mine even appeared with another writer’s byline. Turns out the designer had pasted in the wrong name. Fortunately, they were able to correct the error on a color printout so I can still use the clip. For even more peace of mind, ask to see the galleys (the pre-publication layout of your article) before the magazine goes to press.
Byline or credit, small type or large, above the text or below; these may seem like trivial issues, but for writers, getting credit — and recognition — for our work is vital. Just make sure to keep your increasingly recognizable name out of the police blotter, OK?

Abigail Green has published more than 150 articles and essays in regional and national publications including American Baby, Baltimore Magazine, Bride’s, Cooking Light, and Health. Her work also appears in the new book, “A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers.” (Adams Media, 2009). Abby holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. in publishing from the University of Baltimore. She writes the “Crib Notes” column for The Writer Mama e-zine and the “Understanding Personal Essays” column for Writers on the Rise. A mother of two boys, she blogs about parenting, publishing and more at She also teaches the six-week e-course Personal Essays that Get Published.


Digital Book World
New York, NY
January 26 – 27
Panelist: “Get Noticed! Earn Attention for Every Book”
More info

Private Workshop: Power Up Your Platform for the Internet Age
Sunday, February 28th
Location: TBA
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Cost for 3-hour workshop: $75.00
Increase your visibility and influence based on your personal strengths and balancing offline and online strategies.
E-mail me to get on the list

The Associated Writing Programs Conference
Denver, Colorado
April 7 – 10
The Colorado Convention Center
More info

The American Society of Journalists & Authors Writer’s Conference
April 24-25
More info

Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference
Oklahoma City, OK
April 29 – May 1
Embassy Suites Hotel
More info

The Northwest Author Series: Third Season!

2009-2010 Northwest Author Series

Next up: Amber Keyser on How to Use a Critique Group to Enhance Your Writing on January 24th.
More info

And the recipients of the January 13th Writer Mama Scholarship are…

Writer Mama ScholarshipThat’s right. The applications were so promising this time around that I decided to select two WPSS scholarship recipients. And they are:

Robin Paulsen


Carol J. Alexander

Hearty congratulations, Robin & Carol! Happy holidays!

I look forward to working with you in class in a few of weeks. I will send you a class confirmation shortly.

Please note: This is not a giveaway. This is a scholarship. I don’t just hand these things out like…like…like I hand out books! 🙂

And, for the record, choosing scholarship recipients is  extremely challenging because I receive so many applications from worthy writers. Truly, this was tough choice. I received more promising candidates than ever this time around.

I encourage you all to apply again for the next WPSS class in March. Anything you can do to beef up the your traditional publication credits between now and the next application round is a good strategy.

Thanks to EVERYONE who applied!

The next scholarship offered will be for the March 2010 Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff class. Watch my new blog,, for all the details! I’m very happy to be able to grant one scholarship each time I offer this class (giving two this time was an exception).

Subscribe to The Writer Mama e-zine to stay abreast of when I’ll be accepting applications next time around. (Click on the envelope glyph in the upper right hand corner of the blog.)

And congratulations again, Robin and Carol! Please help me congratulate our recipients in the comments.

Fit To Write Tips: Get Grateful

By Kelly James-EngerKelly James Enger and son
Last month, I talked about the benefits of having an inspiration file. Inspiration is critical to your success, certainly. But this month, it’s the perfect time to go a step beyond that – and think about what you’re grateful for. This applies to both your health and your writing career.
One recent study found that college students who focused on what they were grateful for (as opposed to those who simply recorded events that had happened or things that had annoyed them) experienced better mood, more sleep, and fewer colds than their peers. So feeling grateful may boost your immune system as well.
I admit, it’s hard to feel grateful sometimes — like when my strained calf keeps me from running. But then I remind myself to appreciate the fact that I’m not immobilized – and I can still bike at the gym, even if it’s not nearly as fun. Looking for that proverbial “silver lining” can keep you feeling grateful this Thanksgiving season – and the rest of the year as well. 
Author, speaker, and consultant Kelly James-Enger is a certified personal trainer and the author of books including Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life (with Ellie Krieger, R.D.). Her book, Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create your own Writing Specialty and Make More Money, is aimed at novice freelancers; Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money helps experienced writers boost their bottom lines. Visit  for free articles about freelancing and more information about her.

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