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Writing Advice


Ferradiddledumday Reviews

Appalachian Novel: 

Available in paperback:

Available for Kindle:

2016 Appearances:

  • 3/22/16 Franklin County Library (Rocky Mount) 6–8 PM

  • 4/14/16 Westlake Library 2 PM–4 PM

  • 4/23/16 Franklin County Library (Rocky Mount) 10 AM–1 PM

  • 4/29/16 Penhook, VA. Water's Edge Country Club Author Event 6:30 PM

  • 5/7/16 Wytheville, VA. Library 10 AM-2 PM

  • 5/12/16 Fincastle, VA. Fincastle Public Library,  6:00 PM

  • 5/14/16 Vinton, VA. Vinton Public Library, 11 AM
  • 6/11/16 Rocky Mount, VA. Virginia Office Supply 10AM-noon
  • 6/25/16 Danville, VA. Brewed Awakening 10AM-2 PM
  • 9/24/16 Danville, VA. Brewed Awakening 10AM-2 PM
  • 10/29/16 Westlake. Runk & Pratt Festival, 10 AM-2 PM
  • 11/18/16 Westlake, CJ's Coffee Shop, 1-3 PM

"Authors on Grayson" in Galax, VA 2011

Blue Ridge Resources:

 Booker T. Washington National Monument

Appalachian Resources:

My Blogs:  

Amazon Author Page 

My Appalachian Folktale

ISBN 978-0-9842449-1-1


Newspaper Articles:






Helpful Books for Writers

When I do workshops or speaking engagements, I'm sometimes asked what "writing" books I recommend. Here's a list of books that have helped me:

. . . and there are others.

Writing Groups

While some folks consider writing a solitary activity, I find it helpful to network with other writers and get input from them. Currently, I belong—or have belonged—to these groups:

Lake Writers (the literary branch of the Smith Mountain Arts Council) is an informal group that meets twice a month. Most of us are retirees who want to perfect our writing; many of us seek commercial publication for our novels; several of us write for local publications. The critiques are usually very helpful. We sometimes sponsor a writing contest, guest speakers, or a publication—such as Voices From Smith Mountain Lake (2014, the spoof Nekkid Came the Swimmer (2015), or Reflections on Smith Mountain Lake.

Valley Writers (a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club) also meets twice a month in Roanoke and is a bit more varied (non-retiree members); again, the critiques are also helpful. Since I live so far from Roanoke, I no longer attend Valley meetings.

The Virginia Writers Club meets annually in either Richmond or Charlottesville but holds quarterly meetings in Charlottesville I've served as an officer and member of the VWC Board of Governors in the past. Currently, I'm a life member.

I used to attend a Roanoke area SCBWI critique group which met monthly. We'd e-mail our pages to the other members in advance of the meeting, so we are prepared to discuss and critique each other's work when we meet at a local coffee shop. (I really liked this system, but getting into Roanoke wasn't practical for me.)

In the past, I've been a member of SCBWI and the Roanoke Valley Branch of the League of American Pen Women. I recommend both groups.

I recommend that beginning writers (or not-so-beginning) find a group of like-minded individuals.

Other Advice (It's mostly about reading)

Read. Read a lot. Read in the genre you write and read out of your genre.

Blog. Blogging is a good way to hone your writing skills and develop a readership. I've been blogging since 2006, and it's taught me a lot.

Read blogs. Read agents’ and editors’ blogs to help keep up with the publishing industry. Read other writers' blogs. Read friends' blogs.

Perfect your craft. Attend classes and workshops. Read.

Learn the terminology. One place to learn is the Creative Writing Glossary.


Contact me