Archive for the 'The Writer Mama Zine Archives' Category

Dear Mamas, (Begin April Issue of the Writer Mama E-zine)

I anticipate that the economy is going to bounce back eventually. An economic upswing is inevitable. Will you be ready for it when it comes?

When the economy tanked on us, I kept the prices for e-mail classes low, even though people have told me over and over that my class prices are absurdly low. I even asked my fellow teachers to keep their prices low with me.

I think I kept class prices low for the right reasons. And even though an upswing is inevitable, I would not say it’s quite here yet.

So now I’m going to give everyone one last chance to get a good deal or deals and then it’s time to move on (and up). Let’s hope the economy swings with us.

Therefore, you can still sign up for any of my classes or classes with highly recommended instructors by June 30th and pay the old, low prices.

Or you can sign up after July 1st and pay the new higher prices.

The old price on entry-level classes was (and still is) $199 until June 30, 2009.

Ridiculously low, right? I know! I hope you will take advantage of it.

The new price on entry level classes will be $250 as of July 1, 2009. The rate for advanced classes will also increase and prices will vary.

Hre’s how our prices compare to others six-week classes on the market:

Us: $199.00

Them: $425 or $275 or $350 or $500

I will continue to offer one scholarship for Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff to one worthy scholarship applicant. But if you want to pay the lower price, don’t wait for the scholarship. The scholarship has always been intended for folks who cannot afford to pay.

We now offer a total of eight different classes, all with highly qualified and recommended instructors. Check out our newly updated classes page. I just added a sampling of feedback from satisfied students.

The economy IS going to bounce back eventually. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to choose to develop your writing skills with us. We’ll keep helping you write right through the recession. Then when the economy swings back up, we’ll all swing back up right along with it.

Make good things happen,

Christina Katz
Publisher & Editor


Dear Writer Mamas, (February 2009)

[Should have posted this two days ago when I sent the e-zine out. Please forgive… ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

Howzit going, mamas?

How are you feeling about your writing career in 2009 so far?

I’m doing pretty darn good. I’m writing this from my hotel room in Times Square in New York City where I am having a fabulous time attending the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. So far, the conference has been terrific. You are invited to read more about it by following my posts in my Get Known blog or my tweets on Twitter. (I swore I’d never use the word “tweet” but there, I just did, and it didn’t even hurt.)

And I have more exciting news. In fact, I have a grand total of three announcements. Here they are:

First Fabulous Announcement: This is the week to apply for the Writer Mama Scholarship. You can copy the application from the Writer Mama Riffs blog to apply. See all the details here. Deadline is February 15th. Is this fabulous or what?

Second Fabulous Announcement: A brand new class called Writing for the Web will also start on March 11th. This class is taught by my former student Jennifer Applin. Jen has been very successful writing for online markets for the past couple years and if you have wanted to write for online markets wisely, then THIS is the class for you! And it gets even better. Jen is also granting one full scholarship for her class for those who feel like they can’t afford it (Please read all the info in this posts on applying for scholarships). If you are interested, read the class description here. Then read my interview with Jen about her experience writing for online markets here. And if you feel you can’t afford the class, try for the scholarship! You can get all the detail from Jen’s blog, Managing the Motherload.

Third Fabulous Announcement: Sage Cohen has been on hiatus from teaching in order to make space for the birth of her son, Theo. You can catch up on all that good news here. But now she’s back to teach her class, Poetry for the People. And guess what? We’re so scholarship-happy around here that Sage is also offering one free scholarship to a deserving poet. You can read all about Sage’s scholarship offer here. And next week, keep an eye on The Writer Mama Riffs blog because I’ll be posting an interview with Sage about her class, her forthcoming book, Writing the Life Poetic, and her new roles as mom and wife! (You can also read about these things in her column in this e-zine, “The Articulate Conception.”)

Note: You may only apply to ONE of the three scholarships being offered for the classes that begin March 11th. Apply to the scholarship for the class you most want to take. There will be more fabulous scholarships coming in the future!

Also Please Note: I kept the price of our fabulous classes low over the New Year to give a nod to the collapsing economy. But the economy will regroup and when it does, the prices for all classes will bump up to keep up with inflation. Therefore, if you want to get these classes while they are cheap, don’t wait! I can’t say when that price increase will happen. Could be September…we’ll see how it goes.

When do classes start? Wednesday, March 11th. It would be beautiful for us if all registrations could happen by March 4th!

What are all the classes being offered?

With Christina Katz:
Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff (Especially for moms)
Pitching Practice: Write Six Queries in Six Weeks
Platform 102: Grow Your Specialty Into An Online Platform
Writing for the Web with Jennifer Applin
Poetry for the People with Sage Cohen

Instructor Abigail Green will be taking a short hiatus from teaching for the birth of her second son (!!!). For all the updates, you can tune into her blog:

To learn more about classes with our highly qualified instructors, visit the new classes page (this location has changed from 2008 in case you need to alter a bookmark). If you have any questions, please contact Christina, Jennifer or Sage. (If you contact me this week, please cut me some response-time slack because I’m traveling. Thanks!)

So, mamas, what’s it going to be this month?

I hope you pick FABULOUS!

Make good things happen,

Christina Katz
Publisher & Editor

Giveaway alert: If you read all the way to the bottom of this e-zine, you will find a book giveaway you can enter. This month’s giveaway is The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters by my good friend and writing mentor, Wendy Burt-Thomas.

Writer Mama Quote of the Month

I don’t know much about creative writing programs. But they’re not telling the truth if they don’t teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.

~ Doris Lessing

Being Enough: Closing Words for Busy Moms

Megan Pincus KajitaniBy Megan Pincus-Kajitani

“So much perfection argues rottenness somewhere.” – Beatrix Potter

Writer mama, your imperfections are what make you special, what make you yourself. Forgive them — better yet, embrace them — as you do in your children or in the characters you create and write about.

Of course you can always work on yourself, grow and evolve. But aim for being true of heart rather than for being perfect. Remember, human imperfections make for the best stories, in writing and in life.

Megan Pincus Kajitani is a California-based writer mama and recovering overachiever who blogs at Having Enough (In a “Have-It-All” World).

Bookmark These Winning Sites, Mamas

Christina Katz, photo by Mark BenningtonBy Christina Katz

Tiny Sips of Tough Love = Good Medicine

In my opinion, all writers need to find a way to find and heed the advice that we might rather avoid and resist. For years, all I wanted to read was writing inspiration. I didn’t like it when I had to hear anything that was a cold, hard dose of reality like, “Writing is a businesss, so you have to treat it like a business,” or “Nobody cares if you’ve written a book,” or the number of books that go out of print each year (ouch!).

But what I’ve found is that the more willing I am to take in and absorb these realities, the better prepared I am to respond to the fact that is my writing career.

Beats living in a fantasy, any day.

So, I’d like to share the resource I turn to for a steady of trickle of things I may (and may not always) like to hear: There Are No Rules, a blog by my editor, Jane Friedman, who is Editorial Director at Writer’s Digest Books.

Jane is extremely knowledgeable about writing-related issues of every stripe and the big-picture of what’s happening in the publishing industry. I hope you will subscribe and imbibe the publishing industry wisdom that comes through her blog.

Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, is working on her second book for Writer’s Digest Books, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform. She has also written over two hundred articles for magazines, newspapers, and online publications and has appeared on “Good Morning America.” Christina is a popular writing instructor who has taught hundreds of writers over the past seven years. She blogs daily at The Writer Mama Riffs and is publisher and editor of two zines, Writers on the Rise and The Writer Mama. More at

Self-care for Mom Writers: September is for Starting Over

Amy Mercer

By Amy Mercer

We’ve made it through the summer, mamas! I can’t speak for everyone, but I know many mamas who have given themselves over to entertaining children at the beach, in the movies, on the trails of mountains, at children’s museums, the aquarium, the neighborhood pool and as camp chauffeurs. Summer is the time when taking care of ourselves–our bodies and our writing–seems to slip.

Now that it is fall again, now that our children are back on a schedule, it’s time to step back in line, time to get back to business. It’s time to get up early and go for a run before dropping the kids off at school, time to walk past the dishes in the sink, the unmade beds and sit down Brush the cobwebs off, call that muse back to her station and get to work.

Move your Muscles. My husband and I have been watching the Olympics after we put the kids to bed at night, and while I’m proud to call myself a “writer,” I know that the act of writing is no spectator sport. As a thirty-seven year old mother of two, I’ve enjoyed watching Olympians Dara Torres (41) and Constantina Tomescu-Dita (38) compete with athletes half their age. Most of the writers I know push their minds more than their bodies as they sit in front of computers for long stretches of time without moving a muscle. I’ve queried several writing colleagues of mine about how they move their muscles while they work. One colleague says she sets the kitchen timer to go off every fifteen minutes which reminds her to stop her work, get up and stretch. Another writing friend makes deals with herself for writing time, for example, she can only sit down to write after she has been to her yoga class. I try to run every morning and when I return, I sit at my computer in my running clothes, which keeps me from reaching for that piece of banana bread. Think of Dara and Constantina as you write, mamas, and don’t forget to push your body as well as your mind.

Write about women athletes for inspiration, women who you admire for the way they push past their physical limits. Find a local female “celebrity” who has accomplished an impressive physical feat and ask for an interview. For example, there is a local woman who swam across the English Channel a few years back, I remember reading in the local paper about how she found time to train in between being a mother and a harpist in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Thinking of Kathleen Wilson swimming in the cold harbor-water every day made it easier for me to go for my morning run and edit that essay.

Make Muse-worthy Music. My sister listens to upbeat music on her ipod while she pushes her double jogger every morning because it drowns out the chatter of her children and allows her a little zen time. Download some favorite songs and listen to them while you write, you might find your muse in the lyrics and you might just get up and dance around the room every time the kitchen buzzer goes off…speaking of, there goes mine, it’s time for me to stretch!

Amy S. Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and two sons. Her writing has been published in skirt! Magazine, Literary Mama, Diabetes Forecast and A Cup of Comfort for Writers. Amy is Blog Editor for Literary Mama and Associate editor for The Writer Mama Zine. More at Dreaming About Water.

Write Like a Pro: Back To School For Kids (And You!)

Mary Andonian

By Mary Andonian

You’ve purchased a gazillion school supplies, packed them in a paper grocery bag, and watched your child drag the crumpled mess up the road. As the yellow bus fades around the corner you breathe a huge sigh of relief: schedules have officially resumed for your kids and you.

An efficient schedule first requires a good Daily Planner. I prefer the familytime.mine mom’s organizer / 17-month calendar. It tracks against a school calendar so you can manage everything in one place.ย  Take it with you to the next soccer game and schedule in all your writing time between now and the end of the year.

Couple of things to look forward to: Chris Baty’s annual national novel writing month in November. Even if you only write nonfiction, you can still participate in this wonderful event. Also, if you can swing it, schedule a weekend writing retreat. I go on an annual retreat the weekend before Thanksgiving. If you’re like most moms, it’s your last reprieve before the frenzy that doesn’t let up until January 3rd.

Schedule a writing class. Why should your kids get all the intellectual stimulation? If you’re too busy to attend a workshop, consider online and correspondence course alternatives. Check out Writer’s Digest or Writers on the Rise (Christina Katz’s other popular eZine). Both have a slew of class offerings to choose from. (Can’t decide? You can always trust word-of-mouth.)

When my daughters were two and three, I signed up for a two-year Institute of Children’s Literature course.ย  This is one of the oldest, most respected courses for learning how to write for the children’s and teen markets. Regardless of which course you choose, the best ones are those that require you to submit your writing for evaluation. At some point you’re going to have to face criticism. Allow yourself to write poorly so you can move on to the next phase of your writing dream.

If you can’t afford a class, consider self-study. Purchase or borrow a few books to enhance your abilities. Some of my favorites: Julie Cameron’s The Artist Way; Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat (a screenwriting book that will help any writer of any genre); and Katharine Sands’ Making the Perfect Pitch (for when you are ready to sell the stuff you write in November).

I’m sure you know all about good books. Christina Katz’ Writer Mama no doubt led you to this column.

Mary Andonian is the agents and edtiors coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference, one of the largest writers’ conferences in the United States. In past years, she was Co-chair and Program Coordinator. She just completed her second book, Bitsy’s Labyrinth. Contact Mary at maryandonianwwconference AT

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