Archive for February, 2009

The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Giveaway Begins March 1st

Win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Where’s the Writer Mama Giveaway going to be on March 1st?


Over at Sage Cohen’s Writing the Life Poetic blog!

Have you been there yet? Writing the Life Poetic blog is a resource and community space for poets and writers that offers information, inspiration, writing prompts, and an ongoing dialogue for readers of Writing the Life Poetic (coming March 23rd from Writer’s Digest Books!).

Check it out on Sunday and be sure to answer the question to participate in the first day of the giveaway! The winner will be posted in Sage’s blog on March 2nd. Be sure to check back and see who wins!

Hope to see you there!


The First Week of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway

Whew. You know when I come up with these great ideas, I don’t always think through the mechanics.

You know, the how-exactly-am-I-going-to-pull-THAT-off? part of the plan.

I just do stuff.

And most of the time it works out better than I could have imagined.

So, here we go in grand experiment number 2,010…The [Rough draft] Line-Up for Week One of The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway:

Sunday, March 1st: Sage Cohen’s blog, Writing the Life Poetic

Monday, March 2nd: Erin Goodman’s blog, Exhale. Return to Center

Tuesday, March 3rd: Angela Giles Klocke’s blog, This Woman’s Beautiful Life

Wednesday, March 4th: Nathalie Hardy’s blog, Nathalie’s Notes

Thursday, March 5th: Jenni Crain’s blog, Write the Journey

Friday, March 6th: Donna McDine’s blog, Write What Inspires You!

Saturday, March 7th: Anne-Marie Nichols: A Mama’s Rant

I’m just waiting for the thumb’s up from numbers 2 – 7 and then we’re off. I’ll make the links live as I hear back. Stay tuned!

And tune in next week to see which blogs will be chosen next!

Two Great Writer Mama Quotes from The Writer Mama E-zine February 2009 Issue

“I used to put [my daughter] into the pushchair and walk her around Edinburgh, wait until she nodded off and then hurry to a cafe and write as fast as I could. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you know you have very limited time. I’ve probably never been as productive since, if you judge by words per hour.”

~J.K. Rowling

“Get the seat of your pants into the seat of your chair and make time to do the work. It will never be the perfect time and you will never have enough time to do everything. But do it, do it, do it!”

~ Karen Katz
This concludes the February archive of The Writer Mama e-zine. What did you think? How are we doing? Feel free to make a comment!
Many thanks to our fabulous managing editor, Sage Cohen and our seven columnists. The full scoop is right here.

Writer Mama Success Rhythms: February 2009

Christina Katz and daughterBy Christina Katz

Ultimately there’s only one person in charge of the big-picture planning of your writing career. That’s just one person who is responsible and accountable for making the “right” choices and decisions. You! You must steer your own ship into the happiest harbors for you. Here are some success rhythm tips for how to let your passions be your guide, just in time for Valentine’s month.

I recently had a phone coaching session with a former student who was being a bit hard on herself. In my class, she’d decided to focus on a specific topic to develop her platform but was starting to feel like maybe she’d made the wrong choice. And hey, we all make the wrong choice sometimes. So, don’t waste even a second beating yourself up or belaboring the point. Just hone in on the topic or topics you want to devote your time to instead. This can apply to topics and craft. Perhaps you thought you liked writing certain forms like fillers and profiles, only to find after a time that you can whip off essays and how-tos more quickly. This is a helpful discovery, so run with it!

The same writer mama had experienced some success placing articles, but felt impatient with her progress, like she should be either further ahead of where she was or accomplishing something different. If you do this too, stop. Forget what you haven’t achieved and look closely at what you have accomplished and continue to accomplish. Do you enjoy striving for these goals? If yes, how can you draw on what you’ve learned and leverage it for more success in the short and long runs? Regardless of the type of success you have selling your work, if you are already somewhat successful, you have lessons that you can learn and success you can amplify.

The truth is that like writing, self-promotion involves a lot of trial and error. Last month I wrote about thinking your platform through before you hop online, but this isn’t written in stone. Sometimes dabbling around online is the best way to learn. One caution, though: some choices can’t be undone–like the name of the blog you choose or the name of a group on Facebook (as I just learned). So think it through before you act. Remember the three keys: clarify your topic, niche, and audience first and try to get it right the first time. And if you make a mistake, just start over. No biggie.

Professional Development
It’s still early in the year and not too late to plan to attend a writing conference in 2009. Consider your objectives first. Will you attend primarily to learn, to network, to pitch a book, or for another reason? What do you need to learn? Whom do you want to meet? What type of book will you pitch? These are all important questions to answer before choosing the best conference for you. Visit for a full listing of writers’ conferences and workshops.

Trust your instincts and follow your passions. One fresh choice can lead you in a happier direction. Then you’ll enjoy what you do so much more than you would if you confined yourself to uncomfortable limits.

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.

The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!

Writer Mama, How to Raise A Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina KatzHiya mamas,

March 15, 2009 is not just my daughter’s seventh birthday (!!!), it’s the two-year anniversary of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids published by Writer’s Digest Books.


And I want to do something BIG to celebrate. So, I’m giving away thirty-one (yes, you read that correctly, 3-1) copies of Writer Mama around the blogosphere.

So, who loves Writer Mama and wants to give a copy away to readers?

If you would like to be considered as a stop on The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway, please e-mail me at “writer mama 2 at earthlink dot net” with the following info in your e-mail (feel free to just copy and paste this info into your e-mail):

Your real name:

Your blogger name (let me know if I should use it instead of your real name):

Your blog’s name:

Your blog’s URL:

Your blog’s launch date:

How often you post to your blog:

A one or two-sentence description of what you blog about and who your blog is for:

Your snail mail address:

Naturally, your information will never be shared or sold.

Writer Mama Gold Star BadgeInclude your snail mail address if you’d like to receive a thank-you gift in the mail after the conclusion of the blog tour. Your blog will also be added to the Writer Mama Riff’s blogroll, if it’s not on there already. And you will receive the Writer Mama Gold Star Site badge. >>>

Each blog tour host will be announced daily in the Writer Mama Riffs. You can choose winners using “’s” Random Integer Generator or however you like. Signed, numbered books will be sent directly to winners on a weekly basis (first seven, second seven, etc.).

As for my daughter, she’s getting the pony birthday party she’s been waiting for since she was three years old.

It’s going to be tough to top all this but you know how I love to try. I hope you will toss your blog into the ring! Thanks in advance for your time. 🙂

The Freelancer’s Phrase Book: What “Send Me Your Clips “Means To You

Abby GreenBy Abigail Green

“Send me your clips.”

It’s a good sign when an editor asks for samples of your writing. It usually means he’s interested and wants proof of your skills before offering you an assignment. In the publishing world, “clips” are short for “clippings.” Of course, these days clips are more likely to be PDFs than snippets of newsprint, but we’ll get to that. Here are some common questions about clips.

Q: Which clips should I send?

A: The general rule is to send three to five clips no more than five years old. I say, send a couple of your best, most relevant clips and don’t worry about how old they are. Of course, if your best clip is from 1995, include some more recent ones as well. It really doesn’t matter how many clips you send, but keep in mind that most editors won’t comb through a huge pile of paper.

Q: How should I send them?

A: Defer to the editor. Don’t e-mail her PDF files unless she invites you to. If you can send her a link to your Web site where she can download them herself, that’s ideal. If you only have hard copies of your clips, mail them. (Faxes may smear or be illegible.) Spring for overnight mail if the editor’s in a hurry. And while color copies are nice-especially if there are photos or art accompanying your article-clean, black-and-white photocopies are fine. Never send the originals, since you may not get them back.

Q: Do I need to wait for an invitation to send clips?

A: No. If you’re sending an unsolicited query by mail, by all means include some clips. However, photocopies (and postage) aren’t cheap, so I usually mention some publications I’ve written for and offer to provide clips upon request. In e-mail queries, links to online clips are fine, but again-don’t send unsolicited attachments.

Q: What if I don’t have any clips?

A: Have you written an article for your church newsletter? Had an op-ed run in your local paper? Published an essay in your alumni magazine? Those count as clips. If you really don’t have anything that qualifies as a published writing sample, offer to write a few things for free so you can get some clips.

One last tip: I make regular trips to Staples to photocopy my latest clips before they get lost in the recycling bin. Then I file them so they’re easily accessible when an editor says those magic words.

Abigail Green is a freelance writer in Baltimore. Over the past 12 years, she has written for national, regional and online publications including AOL, Bride’s, Baltimore Magazine, Cooking Light and Health. She blogs about the lighter side of pregnancy, parenthood and potty training at Diary of a New Mom. She also teaches the six-week e-course Personal Essays that Get Published.

Fit to Write Tips: Treat the Writer Within

Kelly James Enger and sonBy Kelly James-Enger

Will you buy that special someone a Valentine’s gift this year? What about buying something special for yourself? It can be as simple and inexpensive as new gel pens in far-out colors to something unique like personalized note cards or a gorgeous leather journal with creamy vellum paper.

If you treat your writing like a business and file a Schedule C this year, the cost of your indulgence is a tax write-off as a business expense. Maybe now you’ll give yourself permission to buy that new time-tracking software or an all-in-one printer/fax/scanner. Even if you simply write for the love of it, a book on writing, a new notebook to jot down your great ideas, or even an inspirational CD that summons your muse is a worthwhile investment. Treat your favorite writer (that’s you, right?) to a valentine that will make writing more pleasurable and celebrate your gift.

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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