For Writers

moran-brazelton1I’ll be back at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference in June 2018.

Looking for a great way to polish up your novel for submission? Sign up for the one day, pre-conference workshop. Wednesday, June 27th, 9 am to 3 pm. CLICK HERE

Stuck? Finish That Novel

 “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”  Ernest Hemingway

Lost in the weeds with your novel? Find your way out by focusing on structure, narrative arcs, characters, and more, in this practical day-long workshop into writing — and finishing — your novel. Deborah Turrell Atkinson and Lise McClendon, long-time JHWC faculty, will lead this concentrated day of writing and analysis.

Debby and Lise have been conducting this workshop for a few years – since 2010. They know their stuff.

The workshop is Wednesday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Limited to 15 participants. Box lunch included. $150. Deadline is June 6th.



There is this thing in the writing world called ‘narrative thrust.‘ It’s the urgency of the plot to move forward, as expressed by character action, suspense, tension, and the unexpected. If the unexpected comes from your main character, that is ideal. I don’t want people to predict what my characters will do. But there must be a balance there as well: the actions of the character must come from motivations that you the writer have built into them.

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3 simple habitsDid Hemingway spend all his time living in his head, trying to make up stories? Hell no. He’s probably the prime example of “Live fully outside your writing.” You don’t need to go to war, or learn how to be fight bulls, to be a great writer though. Embrace the life you have, explore the backwaters, meet strange people, and most of all observe. Being a great listener and observer will change your writing for the good.







“Cultivate eclectic tastes.” What does this mean exactly? Don’t follow the crowd, look around, think for yourself. Don’t be embarrassed about being different, it’s what makes you stand out.

Indulging in your passions is almost the same as cultivating eclectic tastes. But when you find one taste or two that really rocks your world – that’s when you come into your “fullness” as a writer and as a human being. Never apologize for your passions.

Read more great writing advice at

All these topics and more will be discussed at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference in June. If you’re working on a novel and want to take it to the next level, consider the Pre-conference workshop on June 22, 2016, from 9 am – 3 pm at the Center for the Arts in Jackson. Intense, personal, and transformational. Limited to 15 participants. (The workshop can be taken separately or in addition to the entire weekend conference.)

I’ve been writing fiction for more than thirty years and publishing it for more than 20. Before that — and during all those years — I read an enormous amount about writing. As a journalism major I only took a couple university creative writing classes and am largely self-taught, one of the great things about being a writer.

“Writer Teach Thyself” should be our motto!

 What’s your favorite writing book? Here are a few of mine. I’ve read and loved them all. Click on the covers to read more. Let’s get writing!