Writer's Zone

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When I started writing, I didn’t know another writer.  I’d spend days looking for the tiniest things. Remember, this was before the Internet, so that meant trudging down to the library (love the library but I wanted to write!), and buying all the reference books I could find and afford.

I promised myself that if I ever learned anything about the craft, the business or the writing life, I’d share it to spare other writers from having to trudge through those same mud puddles.

Nearly three decades later, I haven’t forgotten that promise and all through these years, I’ve tried to share, mentoring, writing articles, lecturing, workshops, and helping writers one-on-one.  As a result, there is a lot of information for writers on this site.

I’ve created the Writer’s Zone Library on this site. It is free and password protected. You will need to agree to get my monthly newsletter (which is the means through which we’ll get you the password).  Sign up using this form:



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The library articles were all ones that, by request, I had uploaded to Kindle and other retailers. The challenge was that I had to charge for them or to go through a third party and jump through hoops. Now I have the ability to offer them all for free in a variety of ebook formats, so I’m removing them from Kindle and other retailers. You can and are welcome to get them free from the library here.

You’ll also find a trove of articles in the On Writing blog.  On Writing Blog And lots more in the My Kitchen Table blog. My Kitchen Table  You might want to use the search bar to save yourself time scrolling through thousands of articles.

There’s also a lot of Podcasts, video and audio, Writing Podcasts, Video & Audio on a slew of topics of interest to writers. Be sure to watch the Inspire Me! series! Inspire Me! Series

To find out what’s going on with writers, the industry and book business, check out Vicki Hinze Today, which is a Mon-Fri publication of items of interest.   Vicki Hinze Today  

I also encourage you to browse through the individual book pages’  Special Features sections and Media’s Press section to see things like Press Releases and Press Kits.  So when you need to do them, you can see samples for reference.  My way isn’t the only way, but it’s a way that’s worked for me, and I hope it’ll work for you, too.

The Writer’s Zone project is now a Q & A where writers can ask a question and I’ll do my best to answer.  I don’t know it all, far from it, but what I do know, I’ll share.

Those interested in the Christian community or writing/reading Christian fiction, can find a lot of information at www.christiansread.com.  There’s a Mon-Fri publication of news pertaining to that community as well in Christians Read Today. Christians Read Today  

If you can’t find something you need, let me know.  Odds are, I have something on it somewhere. Wishing you every success in your writing career!



P.S.  I’m often asked for Conference Recommendations.  Here’s a note I wrote to Authors on the topic:

The Essential Writing Skills articles are in the Writer’s Library.  Some articles are also in the general library in the “On Writing” category.  Expanded versions are in the Writer’s Library.




There are many wonderful conferences with much to offer attendees.  It really depends on what you specifically are hoping to gain from attending.  Do know your specific conference goals before you elect to attend and bear those goals in mind during your attendance.

Here are a few conferences I have found productive.  This isn’t an inclusive listing by any means, but conferences I’ve found productive for specific reasons:

1.  ITW ThrillerFest (includes AgentFest and CraftFest). Industry heavyweights teach at this conference.  Craft, business and industry status.  An author seeking an agent can speak to many at once.  And the caliber of workshops is amazing.

2.  Ninc. (Novelists, Inc.)  Whether a retreat or full conference, Ninc is always terrific for insights and experience-sharing.  The late night chat sessions are worth the conference fee all on their own.

3.  ACFW.  The American Christian Fiction Writers conference is to the Christian authors’ community what ThrillerFest is to the Thriller/Suspense community.

4.  ACRA Bootcamp.  For the author learning craft, this bootcamp is a perfect choice.  It’s held in Jacksonville every year by Ancient City Romance Authors.  The focus is on craft, not romance, and that makes this a great regional conference.

5.  RWA National conference.  If you’re looking to learn craft, to have face-to-face appointments with agents and/or editors, RWA might be the right choice for you if you’re writing romance.  There are a lot of ancillary activities with other industry professionals (including librarians) that make it a productive conference.

Those are a few of my favorites, though I have many others.  As I said at the start, it depends on what you’re seeking at a conference.  That’s the criteria I’ve always used to determine whether or not to attend.

6.  Edgar Symposium.  In New York, this one-day symposium is mystery focused with panelists and interviews.

7.  Left Coast Crime.  In 2012 in Sacramento, CA.  This mystery-centric conference is touted as one of the best.

8.  Malice Domestic.  This year is the 24th annual conference.  It’s in Bethesda, MD. Again, good reputation and mystery centric.

9.  Buchercon.  This is a national level conference in Cleveland, OH.  In my humble opinion, one of the very best for mystery authors.

10. DragonCon.  Atlanta, Georgia.  Notorious for being the world’s largest fantasy/SF convention.  Fans are very active at this conference and it is indeed an event.

11.  Crime Writers Conference.  Hosted by Sisters-in-Crime, and content varies but it is always an informative and insightful conference.

12. Comic Con.  It’s a huge fan-based conference and a lot of fun.  Expect anything–and ditch preconceived notions.  🙂

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