Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Join us for the 41st Southeastern Writers Workshop, June 17-21, and you can submit any or all of our contests ~ for FREE!

Register for one day or all four ~ there's no minimum requirement!  And there a so many contests to choose from!  Do you have a novel, a short story?  Maybe humor, inspirational or personal narratives?  No matter!  There's a contest for you!  And best of all...

Every contests awards CASH PRIZES!!

  • The Hal Bernard Memorial Award for Novel
  • The G.T. Youngblood Award for Short Fiction
  • The Vega Award for Speculative Short Fiction
  • The Julie L. Cannon Award
  • The Bill Westhead Memorial Award
  • The Angel Award for Holiday Seasonal Writing
  • The Thomas Max "You Are Published" Contest
  • The Award for Excellence in Inspirational Writing
  • The Humor Award

The submission DEADLINE IS May 15, 2016.  

Read the full guidelines on our website.

41st Southeastern Writers Workshop 
June 17-21, 2016 
Epworth by the Sea 
St. Simons Island, Georgia

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Get Up To 3 FREE!

What would you give to have an award-winning author give you pointers on your manuscript?

Join us for the 41st Southeastern Writers Workshop, June 17-21, and you can submit up to 3 manuscripts for evaluation by our faculty ~ for FREE!*

For 2016, we have 4 categories for MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES:

  • Novel (Evaluator: David Fulmer)
    • The first chapter and a five-page synopsis
  • Nonfiction (Evaluator: Jedwin Smith)
    • The first chapter and a five-page synopsis –OR– Complete manuscript not over 1500 words 
  • YA Fiction (Evaluator: Michele Roper)
    • The first chapter and a five-page synopsis 
  • Screenplay (Evaluator: Michael Lucker) 
    • The first 10 pages and a 3-page synopsis 

The submission DEADLINE IS May 28, 2016.  

Read the full guidelines on our website.

* 2-day minimum registration required.

41st Southeastern Writers Workshop 
June 17-21, 2016 
Epworth by the Sea 
St. Simons Island, Georgia

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Lesson Learned From Another Writer’s Works

I learn something from every book I read. Today I re-learned the danger lurking in character names. In one paragraph, the author had Jamie, Jennifer and Jimmy. One danger is using a name that is acceptable for either sex. I had to think back to remember Jamie was not a guy. A couple of paragraphs later, a last name was mentioned. Oops. Whose last name?

Yes, the full name was given earlier, on a page I read yesterday, and I couldn’t remember the connection. I’ve read books by that author before—a national award-winning writer who is VERY successful—and I’ve had the same problem. First names give way to last names over and over—takes awhile for me to get them all straight, and I “ain’t no dummy.” Makes me wonder how easy it is for other readers to keep ‘em straight.

I have always tried to make it easy for my reader to recognize my characters’ names by the same rule a speaker is supposed to follow. The KISS rule, “Keep it simple, Stupid.” (The Stupid refers to the speaker and the author.)

I give ‘em a name, continue to use it, and keep in unlike any other character’s name.

In my upcoming memoir, I had to change names of real people because there three men with the same name:  Bob the hunter, Bob the game warden, and Bob the judge. I changed the hunter’s name, but each time I mention the warden or the judge, I made it clear who was who.  By the same token, I try to keep the story/writing above the  “simple” because if I don’t, I’ll lose the reader in the first couple of pages.

I think the most important aspect of writing is to avoid confusing the reader—and thereby losing the reader, who won’t come back for another book.

Susan’s novel When Darkness Fell won the Indie Award for best Regional Fiction. Her first novel The Bottom Rail placed as semifinalist in the Georgia Author of the Year Awards for first novel.  Two short stories won first place in their genres from the Knoxville Writers Guild in 2015.  She has won numerous awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry at various SWA workshops.  She has eight published books, two at the publishers.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bonus Blog — 7 Days Remaining!

★☆★ WRITERS ★☆★

Would you like to attend the 41st Southeastern Writers Workshop

The 41st Southeastern Writers Workshop is June 17-21 at Epworth by the Sea on the gorgeous St. Simons Island, GA!  SWA is offering two scholarships!  One for Student Writers (high school and college) and one for Adult Writers!

Win one of two scholarships to the SWA Writers Workshop!

Here’s how to enter:

Student Writer: ages 15-25 and enrolled in high school or college.  If the student writer is under 18, a parent or guardian must accompany him/her.
Adult Writer: age 18 or older
Submit a 500-word essay describing your journey as a writer and how attending the 41st Southeastern Writers Workshop will change your writing life.  Include why you are the most deserving of the scholarship.  Student Writers must include the name of their school or college.
The entry deadline is midnight on April 18th. Please email your entry to purple@southeasternwriters.org with a subject line of SWA Student Scholarship or SWA Adult Scholarship.
The scholarship pays for tuition only.
Winners will be announced May 1st

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lessons Learned from a Private Investigator

from FundsforWriters, Volume 16, Issue 14

I write mystery, so that means I'm reading and researching sites, blogs, and books by cops, agents, and private investigators to make my work more authentic. However, in reading a PI site (Diligentia Group), I found the following post about lessons learned over the years as an investigator. I wasn't three items into it before I saw these lessons could be applicable to writers. 


  1. Always be learning. Learn by doing and observing others.
  2. Know thyself. Know your strengths and where you need help, and don't be shy about either.
  3. Differentiate yourself. Don't be ordinary. Create a brand.
  4. Authenticity. Being genuine and authentic is very attractive these days when the world is wrought with fake and "Buy my book."
  5. Stick to your principles. Be honest and straightforward. Protect your reputation.
  6. Be helpful. Good things happen when you lend a helping hand.
  7. Don't be everything to everyone. Pick your genre, find your readership base, and avoid trying to write for every reader out there.
  8. Do work you are proud of. If you write slow, so be it. If you write Christian, erotica, YA; whatever the style, voice and genre, own it.
  9. You are never the smartest or dumbest person in the room. Ask questions. Learn more. Help others do the same.
  10. Don't stop thinking of new ideas. You're in a creative environment, and change is happening all around you. Be constantly seeking ways to be unique.
  11. Adapt. This industry changes fast. Roll with that change.
  12. Embrace technology. Yes, that means learning ways to publish, brand, and network, whether you like it or not.
  13. Follow the facts. Make decisions or form opinions based upon fact, not rumors, gossip, innuendos, or half-truths.
  14. Be inspired. Be aware of the world around you.
  15. Do great work. Don't shortchange the quality of your writing.
  16. Be skeptical. Operate with a critical eye. Don't fall for the latest class, how-to, software, or book that claims to teach you the perfect way to [fill in the blank].
  17. Persistence. Probably the most important of the list, persistence carries you through those times when you think you should not be writing.

Amazing the similarity, huh?

Thanks ~ Hope

C. Hope Clark is a freelance writing expert, author of the award-winning Carolina Slade Mystery Series,  and the Edisto Island Mystery Series, and editor of FundsforWriters.com, a weekly newsletter service that reaches 40,000+ writers. Learn more at her website chopeclark.com