daily writing exercises header

Daily Writing Exercises Returns! Get ready for NaNoWriMo (or not-NaNo)

It’s almost October, which means it’s almost November, which means that a bunch of writers around the world are about to take part in the ritual of setting a goal to write fifty thousand words in one month. NaNo excitement!

Given all this writerly energy in the air, this is also a great time of year to try and get back into a regular writing practice, if possible (sometimes it really, really isn’t). If that’s something you’re interested in, allow me to tempt you with the Daily Writing Exercises email series.

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, writing included. Doing short writing exercises or prompts can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure and keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress. They’re especially useful for writers in a slump or who constantly feel blocked due to stress, uncertainty, or just not wanting to write due to to the state of the world.

There are a ton of us. You’re not alone.

Continue reading “Daily Writing Exercises Returns! Get ready for NaNoWriMo (or not-NaNo)”

The Author's Web Toolkit

Webinar Weekend: The Author’s Web Toolkit

I’ve teamed up with my fellow Debut22 author Lisa Stringfellow to bring you two webinars for writers, pre- and post-published. We both feel strongly that authors should have a web presence, even a basic one. We’ll give you the tools to create and maintain a website and a social media presence even if you aren’t tech-savvy or trained in digital marketing. Join us for:

Build It Better: Essentials of an Author Website
with Lisa Stringfellow

When: Saturday, July 24, 2021, 1-3PM Eastern

What are the essential elements of a great author’s website? Whether you are pre-published or published, there are key elements everyone should include on their websites.

In this workshop, Lisa Stringfellow will share her experience as an author and technology instructor to discuss elements of good website design and how to establish a web presence that will help your readers connect with you. She’ll discuss platforms and tools, branding, accessibility, and the nuts and bolts of building and updating your site. Learn how to make sure your author website has the essentials it needs to make an impact!

And/Or

Spend Less Time Tweeting and More Time Writing
Social Media Strategies for Authors
with K. Tempest Bradford

When: Sunday, July 25, 2021, 1-3PM Eastern

Authors need to use social media for publicity, audience building, and community connection. And yet, social networks are undoubtedly time sinks, distractions, and can sometimes be bad for our mental health. All of which can eat into writing time.

Maintaining a balance between time on and off social media is important, especially for authors who want to lean more toward being OFF it. In this webinar, K. Tempest Bradford will offer tips for how to limit your time on social media without having to delete your account and how to set up a system of auto posting and scheduling that will allow you to maintain an appropriate presence without annoying your friends and followers.

Each webinar is $40. Register for both at the same time and get $10 off.

Can’t afford the price? No worries. We have scholarships. Details on the registration page.

Ravenloft Header

Ravenloft and Har’Akir and Ankhtepot, Oh My!

Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is out in the world and already there are hundreds of gamers preparing their horror campaigns around it. I am still so excited to have been part of making this book along with a spectacular team, moreso now that it’s out and I’m seeing people’s reactions to it.

I worked on one of the domains, Har’Akir, which is a fantasy realm based on ancient Egypt. If you’re new around here you might not know that I’ve been researching ancient Egypt for years and years for fiction projects and that’s the main reason I was tapped for this. I loved getting the opportunity to reimagine the problematic aspects of the domain that were introduced decades ago based off of media depictions of ancient Egyptian culture and custom that were not very accurate or respectful.

If you’re interested in learning about Har’Akir before deciding to pick up the book, I have some resources for you!

Continue reading “Ravenloft and Har’Akir and Ankhtepot, Oh My!”

Creating Diverse Characters

Next Class: Deep Dive Intensive on Creating Diverse Characters

It’s Writing the Other core class time again! I’m excited for this next one as it’s my favorite: Creating Diverse Characters. I teach this one with Nisi and Piper J. Drake, so you’ll get three deep perspectives on how to write characters different from yourself.

This year we’re doing a new class structure that’s shorter and less expensive. We wanted to make it more financially accessible to folks who may still be struggling to deal with pandemic-related budget issues. And if the price is still out of reach, we have scholarships.

When: June 12 – 20, 2021
Where: Online via Zoom or Asynchronous classroom, accessible at your own pace
Price: $200 – $300

There are two course options:

Option 1: Asynchronous ($200) — Writers who cannot join us for the live Weekend Intensive can chose this option. Starting June 12 you’ll have access to the private WordPress classroom where we will post lectures in text form and the recordings of the sessions. Starting on the 14th we’ll post readings, discussions, and more writing exercises (some of which instructors will offer feedback on). For this option you can log in at any time and participate on your schedule.

The time commitment for the Asynchronous portion of the class will depend on your level of participation. Discussions based on lectures, short readings, and writing exercises will take place during the week. Discussion threads tend to be wide-ranging, so students should try to check in at least once a day or every other day. You may manage your time as needed based on your own schedule.

Option 2: Weekend Intensive Plus ($300) — On Saturday and Sunday June 12 & 13 students will gather virtually on Zoom (see detailed schedule below) for lectures, Q&A, discussion, and writing exercises with live feedback. From Monday June 14 through Friday the 18th students can log in to a private WordPress forum for further discussions based on readings and more writing exercises. This section of the class is asynchronous, meaning you can log in at any time and participate on your schedule.

This option is limited to 25 students.

See all the details, schedule, and scholarship app info at WritingTheOther.com.

Amplify Black Stories Storyteller Cohort

Amplify Black Stories Storyteller Cohort 2021

This week The Brown Bookshelf and the Highlights Foundation announced the inaugural Storyteller Cohort for their Amplify Black Stories initiative. And if you look reeeaaallly close at the image there you’ll see me! In company with 23 other Black writers of kidlit! It’s a wall of Black Excellence! And I’m so honored to be part of it.

The program is focused on supporting Black storytellers, confronting industry challenges, and fostering change. In addition the work the storytellers are doing, the Brown Bookshelf and Highlights will be conducting seminars and talks with the publishers involved with the same goals. It’s really important that all the work isn’t put on authors since we’re not the ones with the marketing departments and ability to allocate marketing funds.

Continue reading “Amplify Black Stories Storyteller Cohort 2021”

Ignyte 2021 Header

I Am An IGNYTE Award Nominee!

Best birthday week news! FIYAHcon announced the IGNYTE Awards shortlist and I am a double nominee. WOOOOOOT

Writing the Other got a second Community Award nomination, an honor I’m sharing with the amazing Nisi Shawl. I’m also nominated for the Ember Award for unsung contributions to genre. EEEEEE

I’m so thrilled and humbled by this. Especially as I’m in categories with so many people and entities I admire and love. How can I deal with being in the same category as Michi Trota or Tananarive Due or Diana M. Pho or L.L. McKinney & Tochi Onyebuchi or or or? Just… this is 100% wonderful.

Beyond that, the entire ballot is fire and I don’t care if that’s an overused pun! hee. So much thoughtfulness went into all the categories so that they celebrate a myriad of important contributions to the genre. Fiction AND non-fiction AND thoughtful criticism/reviews AND media AND community.

Voting is now open to all. I highly suggest you go down the ballot and read, watch, or listen to the things you haven’t already. There’s stuff on here I haven’t gotten to yet. Once I do, I’m going to share what I intend to vote for.

And finally: thanks to the FIYAH team and folks on the selection committee for this honor. ??????????

I Am Not A Strong Black Woman

I Am Not A Strong Black Woman

This post was originally a Twitter thread. After this week’s events, I decided it needed to be a blog post, too.

Let’s start with this video by TikToker ebonie_qt/Cindy Noir:

Watch the whole thing before you continue (it’s a minute long and closed captioned).

Watched? Okay let’s go.

Like Cindy Noir, I am also NOT a strong Black woman.

Continue reading “I Am Not A Strong Black Woman”

Black famous

Big Names, Anthology Covers, and Being “Black Famous”

Do you know about the concept of “Black Famous”? One of my favorite TikTokers, @Straw_Hat_Goofy, did an awesome video series on Black actors that are very well-known within the Black community even if they aren’t so much in the mainstream. They’re known to us through TV shows and movies made for Black folks. Sometimes an actor who is Black Famous becomes mainstream famous, but us Black folk will always hold them dear cuz we knew and loved them back when.

There are tons of Black Famous actors that white folks have no idea about or maybe saw them in a thing once. White folks don’t necessarily see these actors as famous, and probably wouldn’t name them as being important. However, put that actor in something? Black folks will watch.

I’m sure every marginalized community has some version of this. It’s not limited to actors. It goes for music, dance, poetry, and (most importantly to this post), fiction. There are Black authors Black readers know and love that white folks have little to no clue about.

Continue reading “Big Names, Anthology Covers, and Being “Black Famous””

Tempest and Sheree Renée Thomas

Listen to me on the Glitchy Pancakes podcast

The folks at Glitchy Pancakes invited me and Sheree Renée Thomas on to talk about #OwnVoices fiction. Not just what it is, but also some of the complexity behind how people wield that label in writing and reading discourse online. It was a great conversation and I always love talking to Sheree cuz she’s amazing.

Click here to listen and I highly suggest you subscribe as well!

are you my ally header

Next Writing the Other Webinar: Are You My Ally?

Yes, I do intend to have a very busy May :D In addition to the Rekindle Unworkshop I’m also co-leading a webinar on allyship for creative folks.

Got privilege? Want to know what it’s good for? Want to make use of your advantages without insulting those who may not share them? There are so many ways creative people can help each other. With suggestions ranging from practical tips to aspirational dreams, this seminar empowers would-be allies to support BIPOC and other marginalized creatives and #ownvoices work while boosting the presence of marginalized genius.

When: May 1, 2021, 10AM – 1PM Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $20 – $30 or Whatever You Can Afford

Visit the Writing the Other website for for further details or to register.