Tuesday, April 28, 2009

 

Interview with Nancy A. Jackson, Runner Up in our Fall 2008 Essay Contest


Nancy started writing as soon as she could pick up a crayon, doing poetry books and a "newspaper" for the neighborhood. She was an English major at Ohio State, where she also got a law degree. She practiced law for about 25 years, then worked as executive director of a Michigan nonprofit. She also worked as the single mom of two girls, Katherine and Jenna.
Now that she's retired from 80-hour workweeks, she's writing again, and her daughters, as well as her husband, Tim, are her constant cheerleaders. She also sells out-of-print books online, and she writes articles for Internet content providers. In the past few years, she and Tim have traveled to Japan, Greece, Turkey and South America. Her cats, Bart and Charlie, wish that she would travel less and play with them more.

Visit her website at: http://www.nancyhira.com/

If you haven't read Nancy's winning essay, " The Price of a Room," you can do so here.

Interviewed by: Marcia Peterson
WOW: Congratulations on placing in WOW's Fall 2008 Personal Essay Contest! What inspired you to enter the contest?

Nancy: I loved the subject. It really got me thinking about how hard it’s been for me to get a room of my own and use it in a meaningful way. I think that a lot of really talented women are done in by the pressures of the many demands on them, and the difficulty of finding time and space to write. I think of Sylvia Plath and Zelda Fitzgerald as just two examples.

WOW: You have made not one, but two, writing spaces for yourself in your home. Can you describe these spaces for us, as well as your writing routines?

Nancy: One space is in the kitchen/ dining room area, and it’s really more open, more for routine work. The lower level is a long desk with all my reference material on it—that's where I go when I need to concentrate. I tend to do my writing in the afternoon and at night. I’m really a night owl.

WOW: It's always interesting to hear about a writer's routines, thanks. From your essay, it sounds like your first husband wasn't supportive of your writing, although your current husband is very encouraging. What has this difference meant to you? How important is family support to a writer?

Nancy: Family support is crucial, and I find that it’s harder for women to come by. For one thing, when your children are young, you can’t just tell them, “I’m taking 4 hours off now to write, so talk amongst yourselves.” Also, I had to work to support my children, so I was exhausted a lot of the time while they were growing up. My first husband had to put up with the full brunt of my emotional collapse, so it was harder for him to be supportive, I think. My present husband is wonderful about my writing—but then, it’s just the two of us at home, so I’m not balancing many different roles anymore.

WOW: I love that "talk amongst yourselves" comment. If only! Are you working on any other writing projects? What are some of your writing goals for the future?

Nancy: I want to be able to earn enough money with my writing to support the work I really want to do – finishing a nonfiction book on choosing senior housing options for our elders (or ourselves). Then, of course, every writer has a great fiction idea floating around—I've got a few myself. That will come in time.

WOW: Switching gears, I notice that you've done a lot of traveling around the world. How did you decide where to go?

Nancy: All my life, I’ve wanted to see the Greek islands. After that, I was very intrigued by South America, particularly Brazil. I saw Budapest with my younger daughter. We had a fabulous time!

WOW: Any favorite places?

Nancy: Oddly enough, the Black Hills of South Dakota. I found them to be a very peaceful, spiritual place.

WOW: We don't always have to go far to find lovely places to visit, do we? Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Nancy! Before you go, what one bit of advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

Nancy: It’s never too late to start writing. It’s one thing you can do regardless of age.

***
To find out more about WOW's quarterly contests, please visit: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

 

Interview with Natalie Wendt, First Place Winner

Our Fall 2008 Essay Contest’s prompt was inspired by Jill Butler’s book, Create the Space You Deserve: An Artistic Journey to Expressing Yourself Through Your Home. Jill offered a favorite quote from Winston Churchill: “We create our dwelling and afterwards our dwellings create us.” She believes it runs both ways simultaneously. That is, as we create ourselves, we create our homes, and in the creating of our homes we have the opportunity to recreate ourselves.

Natalie Wendt took first place with her essay, "Going Forth and Coming Home." It's a fabulous essay, and today we'll share an interview with Natalie touching on her many adventures, as well as some tips about entering writing contests.

Natalie grew up in Idaho, graduated from College of Santa Fe in 2005, and traveled extensively Asia, Europe and North America. A former resident of Sravasti Abbey in Washington state, she now spends her days as a substitute teacher in Spokane’s elementary schools. Her writing has appeared in “Q View Northwest,” “The Fig Tree,” and “The Spokesman-Review.” This is the first contest she’s ever won.

Interviewed by: Marcia Peterson

WOW: Congratulations on winning first place in WOW!'s Fall 2008 writing contest! How do you feel?

Natalie: I’m thrilled! I’ve never won first place in anything before. It’s very exciting. I’m a regular WOW! reader and it’s wonderful to be a part of it. I’m really looking forward to the Premium Green subscription too!

WOW: That's great, and I think you'll love Premium-Green . In your essay, you talk about the lure of an uprooted life, and how nomadic life was your dream. Why do you think you felt that way? It seems so adventurous!

Natalie: I think part of that impulse came from growing up in a small, close-knit community where I didn’t fit in. I felt claustrophobic in my hometown. Everyone had known everyone else since birth. Being a nomad seemed like the opposite way of living. I’m fortunate that my family treated my wanderlust as normal. My parents always encouraged us to experience new things and learn about the world, and they didn’t complain when we went off to see the world! My younger sister is a globetrotter too. It seems natural to me.

WOW: You've really acted on that wanderlust, traveling all around the world. How did you decide where to go? Any favorite places?

Natalie: I went to India for pilgrimage and to go to Buddhist teachings. Both of my main spiritual teachers lived in India for decades, and I was able to meet many of their teachers in India, which was very special. During my three months there, I basically went wherever His Holiness the Dalai Lama was teaching, and the traditional Buddhist holy places.

Everywhere else, I went where I found a place to stay! I didn’t really have enough money to travel as long as I did, but I do have a huge extended family and a lot of friends who live abroad. I stayed with cousins, friends of cousins, second cousins I’d never met before, my best friend from third grade, a friend’s ex-boyfriend, and my own ex-girlfriend, among other people. As a result, I ended up it places I never would have thought to go, like a Welsh college town, a suburb of Frankfurt, and a genuine Tuscan villa. The only places in Europe I went out of my way to visit were romantic Italian cities: Rome, Florence, Venice and Verona. I went for the food, the art and the atmosphere, and it was everything I hoped.

My favorite places were Dharamsala, Bodh Gaya and Bangalore in India, and Rome. Dharamsala’s the Tibetan capital-in-exile, and Bodh Gaya’s where Buddha became enlightened. Bangalore is a beautiful city in southern India, and I loved it because it was the first place I stayed on my trip. And Rome’s just irresistible.

WOW: It sounds like you've had some great adventures, Natalie! Have you always been interested in writing? What other writing have you done?

Natalie: Writing has been my passion for most of my life. When I was in high school I had a ‘zine. I constantly wrote short stories, essays, and terrible poetry. I didn’t share my writing with many people though, and I went through a long phase of not showing my work to anyone.

Last summer I started submitting my work. I’m still quite new to it, but I’ve had some success. I’ve had a handful of nonfiction articles published. My first published fiction piece will be up the Homestead Review website very soon as a runner-up for a contest.

WOW: Congratulations on your fiction contest success and published articles. Currently, you're substitute teaching at the elementary school level. How's that going? Are you interested in a career in education?

Natalie: Substitute teaching makes every day an adventure. My degree is actually in Elementary Education, and I started working in a classroom when I was barely twenty years old. I was still a student back then and at times I felt way too young to be teaching anybody. Traveling and getting more diverse life experience has helped me be a better, more confident teacher. I was recently offered a classroom of my own for next school year. It’s tentative until the education budget is worked out but I’m excited about it. Spending a day with six-year-olds is a lot like going to another country. I never know what will happen and it keeps me flexible.

WOW: That's great that you'll be getting your own class. Your students will be lucky to have you as a teacher. Are you working on any other writing projects?

Natalie: Yes! I write almost every day. Currently, I’m piecing together my notes from my trip into narrative form, and working on a young adult novel set in rural Idaho. I regularly contribute to my local gay and lesbian monthly newsmag, Q View Northwest.

WOW: You sound very busy! Finally, we have to ask (you are a first place winner, after all): Do you have any tips for our readers who may be thinking about entering writing contests?

Natalie: If you’re interested in entering, go for it. Contests give you a deadline, writing guidelines, and incentive to put out your best work. It’s like writing assignments for a class, but with prizes. Contests that give you a critique are especially great because you get feedback.

Other than that, edit. For years, I tried to write things perfectly the first time. It didn’t work, and later I would read through and cringe. I’ve found that when I dedicate more time to editing than to writing, I’m happier with the end result and I’m more likely to get published. Write, edit, edit, edit, and then put it aside. Pick it up later and edit again. And good luck!

WOW: Super advice, Natalie! Thanks and best of luck with your various endeavors.

* * *

>>> Tune in every Tuesday for more contest winner interviews!

>>> To find out more about WOW's quarterly contests, please visit:
http://wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

 

Interview with WOW! Runner-Up Julie Donner Andersen

Julie grew up in rural Ohio where she graduated from the University of Toledo and married shortly thereafter. The stay-at-home mother's writing career started nearly two decades later when, faced with divorce and life as a single parent in 1996, she chose a job with a political action committee as a speech writer. This stint lead to becoming a lobbyist for parental rights at the Ohio state capital, which occasionally took her to Washington DC. Her political networking skills helped to hone her freelance writing career. While researching information about chat rooms for a Christian publication, Julie met her present husband in a chat room for Canadian widows and widowers. After marrying, Julie moved with her two children to Ontario, Canada. At age 40, Julie and her husband welcomed a new baby to their family, and "The Brady Bunch Bonus Family" became a happily blended group of five.

Julie's experience with marrying a widower was the catalyst to penning her first book, a self-help guide, entitled PAST Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman's Journey as the Wife of a Widower. Her personal website hosts a helpful message board for women dating or married to widowers. The following year after her first book was launched, Julie switched genres and wrote again from life experience, this time with humour. Her comically illustrated book Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge...of Midlife! has been compared, much to Julie's delight, to the writing style of the late Erma Bombeck, her idol.

At present, Julie's works can be read on over 200 websites internationally. She has continued her freelance writing career enthusiastically, with published articles and stories appearing in print publications such as Metro Seven (Australia), Family Digest, and Golden Living magazines. Julie is currently working on her next humour book, entitled Lance Romance In His Underpants: A Girls' Guide to 'Guy Things' as well as a tear-jerker book of letters from a mother to her daughter spanning 30 years, entitled I'll Always Be With You: Memoirs Of A Mother's Love. This is her second writing contest win.

Visit Julie’s websites:

If you have not done so already, read Julie's runner-up entry here.

Interveiwed by: Anne Greenawalt

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the WOW! Fall 2008 Personal Essay Contest! When you saw the topic for WOW’s Fall 2008 contest, did you know immediately what you wanted to write about, or did you need time to mull it over?

Julie: Being that I usually write about my life experiences, I have a library of ideas always floating around in my head, ripe for the picking. Drawing on my early childhood home, as well as my life as a wife of a former widower, helped me pen the two winning articles I submitted for the contest.

WOW: That's right--not only did your essay "Lady of the House?" earn the runner-up prize, but your other essay "Country Fried City Girl" earned an honorable mention. Your writing resume doesn't end there, either. Which of your many writing accomplishments makes you most proud?

Julie: I have written two books of which I am extremely proud. My first book, "PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman's Journey as the Wife of a Widower" has been one of my publisher's best sellers, and continues to help women deal with their relationships and resulting issues. Because of this book's popularity, I have been able to open a message board for wives and girlfriends of widowers, where they can find support, advice, encouragement, and hope among their fellow "sisters."

My second book, "Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge of Midlife" is an illustrated humour book. After years of researching grief information for the first book, "Parentally Insane" was a breath of fresh air. Penning it allowed me to stretch my skills as a writer. I had a lot of fun with it, and it's nice to hear from female readers who not only appreciate the humour that can be found in aging, but who can also relate to the serious physical and emotional ups and downs of parenting in their 30's , 40's, and beyond.

WOW: It sounds like you have experience writing and publishing in different genres. Do you have a preference between writing fiction and non-fiction?

Julie: As someone who wears her heart on her sleeve and writes from life experience, non-fiction is my genre of choice only because it seems to come easier to me than fiction. Although "Parentally Insane" is fictional, many of the ideas came from life with my own insane family (but don't tell them!).

WOW: Don’t worry--my lips are sealed! Did you enjoy your time as a speech writer? How does speech writing compare to other types of writing?

Julie: Oh yes, I thoroughly enjoyed speechwriting because it gave me personal, intimate insight into the political process. It also gave me a chance to express some of my own political opinions through someone else! I am terrified of public speaking, so translating a like-minded politician's views into my own words gave voice to my deeply held beliefs while, at the same time, remaining true to the politican(s) and constituents whom my speech represented. It is thrilling when the speech you write snags a sound bite by the media, but even more exciting when your speech brings a crowd to tears...or to their feet! To me, that is what writing is all about: moving people emotionally and/or giving them food for thought.

WOW: It must be quite an experience to watch others' reactions to your writing. Eliciting an emotional response in your readers/listeners is definitely motivation to keep writing. What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Julie: "Write what you know and love." This piece of advice has never failed me. Also, my grade school English teachers deserve a nod for how they demanded proper grammar and correct spelling from their charges. There is nothing more off-putting than reading something chock full of grammatical errors, which brings me to my second best piece of advice: editing is key. I edit my works at least fifty times before submitting. It's amazing just what you can catch, even on the fiftieth edit!

WOW: Thank you, Julie! Keep up the great writing!

To find out more about WOW's quarterly contests, please visit: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

 

Interview with Allie Comeau, Runner-Up in 2008 Winter Flash Fiction Contest

2008 Flash Fiction Winter Contest Runner-Up, Allie Comeau, is a freelance writer living in Fort Collins, CO with her wonderful husband and two extremely energetic dogs. Allie studied Creative Writing at the University of Arizona and feels truly blessed to be able to make a living doing what she loves. Allie writes an active lifestyle blog for Sierra Trading Post and has been published in print magazines and online. She enjoys writing of all kinds – both fiction and nonfiction. Right now, she’s working on several projects and hopes to finish her first novel very soon.

If you haven't read Allie's winning short story yet, "Staring at Soles," please do so at http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/downloads/printable/20-FE1-Winter08Contest-AllieComeau.html . Read on to see where Allie gets her ideas and inspiration for her writing!

WOW!: Allie, congratulations on your story, "Staring at Soles", winning runner-up in the Flash Fiction contest. Your story is full of emotion. Was it hard to fit all that emotion into a story with limited words?

Allie: Thank you! When I wrote this story, it just poured out so quickly I didn’t really have time to think about it. It’s just an emotional subject. The moment when a woman decides to leave her husband – I can only imagine it would be one of the most emotional moments in her life. I just tried to convey that. My copywriting experience definitely came in handy here – I’ve learned to write tightly and leave out unnecessary words.

WOW!: That is very important in writing flash fiction or any kind of fiction, really--leaving out unnecessary words! You also were able to add quite a bit of back story into this flash fiction piece since it is important the reader knows that Laura has been through this before. How difficult was working in the back story?

Allie: I knew I wanted this story to be about a woman deciding to leave a man, but I wasn’t sure why she was going to leave him until I started writing it. The back story just came to me and it was easily told in her thoughts and her realization that the situation was never going to change. It had happened before, it’s happening now, and it would happen again. It just worked.

WOW!: It seems like several authors work the same way as you. They know where they are going with the story but not quite sure how they are getting there. It is AMAZING and worked well for you when an author watches the story unfold before her eyes. Was it easy for you to come up with your title? How do you usually choose titles for your work?

Allie: Actually, I used to be petrified of titles. They’re so important – if the title is bad, readers might never get to the first page. But now I look at them as opportunities to intrigue the reader. Someone told me the best way to title your work is to find a statement, image, or description that really stands out within the story and steal it. If there isn’t one, then you need to worry about more than the title.

WOW!: Great advice. Thanks for sharing that tip with us. What themes do you like to explore in your fiction? Do the themes in "Staring at Soles" exemplify what you typically write about?

Allie: Ah, that’s my problem. I like to explore everything. Lately, however, I’ve become fascinated with specific moments in time – life-changing moments when someone makes a decision that radically alters the course of his or her life. What are the motivating factors behind the decision? What was the impetus? I just think it’s so interesting.

WOW!: And that theme probably supplies a lifetime of writing ideas. We'll look forward to reading more of your work, exploring the life-changing moment theme. In your bio, you stated you enjoy writing fiction and nonfiction. What other fiction pieces have you written? What types of nonfiction pieces have you written?

Allie: I enjoy writing nonfiction pieces about things I’m interested in, like health & fitness, the environment (I’m a total tree hugger), animals and travel. But writing nonfiction about things I’m unfamiliar with is fun, too. It can be extremely educational. My dream job would be to write for National Geographic – that would be it for me. As for fiction, it’s all over the map. I’m working on a little collection right now about those moments in time I mentioned above.

WOW!: What a great way to look at writing nonfiction. It does give us a chance to learn about something new or explore a topic more in depth. Have you had luck publishing or winning awards with fiction and nonfiction work?

Allie: I don’t know if there’s much luck involved in publishing – more like plain old perseverance. I sent out query after query for a year before I landed my first article. It’s tough to get assignments without clips. But it’s finally starting to happen. I have an article slated for the August issue of Delicious Living Magazine, a national health magazine that sells in Whole Foods, and I publish regularly now in a Northern Colorado magazine called Style. I’ve also been published in the local community paper and various websites online. This is my first published fiction piece, though, so I’m pretty excited about it.

WOW!: Congratulations on your perseverance and success! That is very exciting, and we are glad that WOW! could publish your first fiction piece. Your bio also states that you write a blog. Please tell us about it.

Allie: I write an active lifestyle blog for an outdoor gear retailer. I publish seven days a week and cover all the things I enjoy writing about – health & fitness tips, green tips, outdoor news, adventure travel, etc. It’s so fun that sometimes I forget it’s a job. I really enjoy it.

WOW!: What a great writing job. We will definitely need to check that out. You write full time for your career, according to your bio. What is your daily routine like? What types of writing help pay the bills?

Allie: I love the freedom that comes with freelancing. I work more than ever, but it’s on my own terms and that, to me, is well worth it. I start the day off researching and writing that day’s blog post, networking a bit online, and then I use the rest of the afternoon for other projects, assignments, querying, creative writing, and marketing my writing business. People are surprised that I can stay so focused working from home. It’s not difficult in the least because I love what I’m doing and want to be successful. As for the bills, copywriting and blogging are taking care of those for the time being.

WOW!: Thank you for sharing with us your typical writing day. Many freelancers wonder how other writers organize their day and stay focused. These tips are great! You are also working on a novel. Can you tell us a little about it?

Allie: I would like to, but the same person who taught me how to title also told me that you should never talk about an unfinished work before it’s time. If you let the cat out of the bag too early, it may never come back. Plus, I don’t really know what’s going to happen yet myself. I’ll keep you posted, though!

WOW!: Thanks for keeping us posted, and for letting us in on the advice that a mentor gave you. We can all learn so much from each other. What advice do you have for other writers who would like to enter a WOW! writing contest?


Allie: Rewrite and rewrite until you’re happy with each and every word. With only 500 words, each one has to count. Other than that, just go for it and don’t be afraid to put your writing out there. Oh, and good luck!

WOW!: Thank you, Allie, it has been fun and interesting getting to know you. If you want to read more about Allie, check out her blog at http://blog.sierratradingpost.com or her website at www.alliecomeau.com . You can also email her at alliecomeau@gmail.com .

Happy Writing to everyone!
Margo Dill
http://www.margodill.com/

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Monday, February 04, 2008

 

Interview with WOW! Runner Up Marketa Oliver

Runner Up: Marketa Oliver
Des Moines, Iowa
Congratulations, Marketa!

Marketa's Bio:

Marketa George Oliver has a background in writing, but it is in writing reports, budgets and capital plans in her role as a City Administrator. Creative writing, though, has always been an interest. Marketa is fortunate to have many interesting adventures and travels on which she can draw. She loves travel and has studied overseas in both Austria and Australia. She enjoys movies, backgammon, cards, The Cure and the Iowa State Fair. What brings her the greatest joy, however, is spending time with the colorful, passionate characters in her life.

We welcome Marketa and congratulate her for placing in the Fall 2007 Essay Contest, sponsored by the Globe Pequot Press' skirt! books. If you haven't done so already, please read Marketa's inspirational story, Scrounging for Schillings.

Then come back and join us as we chat with a well-traveled, well-versed writer and a dynamic woman.

***

WOW: I was reading about your position as City Administrator and saw that you've been very successful and you've been honored with many prestigious awards. How does winning the contest compare to your other successes?

Marketa: I was shocked to find out that I was a finalist. Once I read the bios of the other runners up and the winners, I was even more surprised and very excited. To be included in a group of writing professionals was truly an honor in itself.

WOW: What inspired you to enter the contest?

Marketa: I have always been interested in creative writing, but have not pursued it much in recent years. Last year, I met up with 5 of my other partners in crime in Vienna and we wined and dined around the City in a fashion that we may possibly have not truly appreciated 20 years ago and certainly could not have afforded. Shortly before I entered the contest, I had also been to a reunion with the full group of people I studied with in Vienna a few months before I saw the contest. We shared many stories. Those memories were all fresh in my mind when I stumbled on the Women on Writing website.

WOW: You've certainly had some wonderful experiences. How exciting it must be to spend those adventures with friends. WOW is fortunate that your trip to Vienna refreshed your memories. I'm sure you took many photographs and perhaps made some journal notes while you were there. Does this give you a lot of material for creative writing projects?

Marketa: Traveling has been a cornerstone of my life and my personality. I love the adventure of discovering a new place or new language and the comfort of visiting old ones. The best experience is when you get to share that adventure with a spouse or close friend. When my husband and I got together last year with friends in Vienna, one of the most interesting aspects of that trip, was the chance to see the city through their eyes.

WOW: In your bio, you stated that you've always had an interest in creative writing. Is this the first time you've pursued creative writing?

Marketa: I used to write poetry when I was much younger. I also have recently developed some skeletal children's books based on some experiences I have had with my daughter.

WOW: Talking about the experiences you shared with your daughter bought to mind, The American Doll collection. My granddaughter collects the dolls and the storybooks that come with them. I was thinking your traveling experiences could make some very interesting stories for little girls. Now that you've placed in the contest, will you be writing more essays and entering more contests?

Marketa: Depending on the subject area, I think I would enter more contests. This experience will definitely make me interested in pursuing creative writing on a more regular basis. This experience also bolsters my confidence to enter another contest.

WOW: You mentioned the colorful people in your life, how supportive are they when it comes to encouraging you to write?

Marketa: They are fabulous people who support me in whatever I aspire to do.

WOW: You are so fortunate to have fabulous people in your life. Sometimes our friends and relatives don't realize how much of a role they play in our creative lives. It seems that you are very busy in your position of City Administrator; do you still get the opportunity to travel?

Marketa: I still have opportunities to travel, but not as extensively as before I became a City Administrator. Although, as part of my CA position, I attend at least one national conference each year and they are quite often held in places I would not naturally think of visiting. In that sense, my current position has helped me discover new places.

WOW: To me, "Scrounging for Schillings" was a very inspiring spiritual experience. I too have learned to appreciate that miracles do not always come in epic proportions. Is spirituality still a big part of your life?

Marketa: I do not have perfect attendance in church, but I consider myself a spiritual person. I try to instill values of kindness, equity and compassion in my daughter each day and try to exhibit those qualities myself.

WOW: Spirituality is a big part of my life too. In my writing career, I plan to tidy up some lose ends. Have you set any writing goals for 2008?

Marketa: I want to finish the skeletal children's book(s) that I have written and find an illustrator for them.

WOW: Good luck on finishing your children's books. With your organizational skills and enthusiasm, I'm sure you'll reach your 2008 goals. Do you have any advice for other women writers? Would you recommend they enter writing contests?

Marketa: I would recommend to any of the women that are interested in writing to pursue it. It does not have to be the great American novel, it can simply be writing about a special memory. Our stories are threads that connect generations. A few years ago, I bought my father a book that had a prompt per day for a special moment in life. It asked the owner to write about a first kiss; the day a child was born; a special childhood activity; etc. I treasure reading those short answers. I know my daughter loves to hear about the day she first walked or what we did when we found out she was on her way, so I know that I need to get busy with my pen to stay connected.

***

If you haven't done so already, please read Marketa's award winning story, Scrounging for Schillings

And remember, every Tuesday we'll be featuring an interview with one of the top 10 winners from the Fall 2007 Essay Contest. So, be sure to check back and see who's up next!

For more details on WOW! Women On Writing's current contest, please visit:

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php

Cher'ley Grogg
My website:

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