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August Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 20, No. 8 August 2020
© 2020 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
*Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Writing Quote
*"Anthology in the Time of COVID"
* Course Offerings
*Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Markets
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Another month, another quandary. What to do with all this time? Some of you are no doubt busier than ever with jobs either at home or on site, with children and/or spouses hanging out at home, plus the usual life chores. If that's your situation you may be thinking that getting back to "normal" would seem relaxing.

Others may have no job, none of the customary activities, be the only member of your household, have read every book you have twice or more, viewed more reruns than you remember and struggle to fill each day with something useful and/or fun.

Writing is one way to accomplish both. It can be fun, it's always exciting when your efforts work as intended, and it offers improved health, but by no means a cure, and no replacement for medical advice. However, many clinical trials conducted on patients with a variety of physical and psychological conditions have shown a number of health improvements to those writing their life stories.

Well, right now, most of our life stories have a tie to COVID-19. See the article for a way to make your stories beneficial to others as well as to you. There is no time like the present to start, or expand, your life-writing.

Please wear a mask in public, keep a good distance from others and wash those hands. And still make time to...
Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect.
Carol Celeste
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From:"How Words Can Heal–What Is Your Story?" April 2013 blog by Debra Manchester MacMannis, LCSW of Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara (CA)."In the majority of the research on the effectiveness of this simple tool [expressive writing], people are asked to write about events for twenty minutes a day for just three days in a row.... Imagine if each of us took the time to write about whatever life events still remain mired in negativity, if only once a week for a few months. My guess is that the healing power of words....will bring greater compassion for ourselves and for others."
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Writing Quote""We should all feel as if we're in over our heads when we write; that's how we know we're writing about something that really matters." Lee Martin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
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All courses are conducted by email and begin every Friday. Compare the prices to other online personal essay courses and you'll realize the value offered. Meidabistro=$499, Gotham Writers Workshop=$395,$295 and up, Truby's=$449 to name a few. Don't wait another day. To register now or order a course as a gift visit Writing Courses.
These courses are now offered:
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ARTICLE - "Anthology in the Time of COVID"
In this time of COVID-19, opinions differ on how inundated publishers will be with articles on the vicious virus and how it impacts our lives. Some believe time must pass before people will want to read the many stories about COVID experiences. Others believe COVID-19 stirs a need to learn how others are coping and to compensate for our isolation with related reading. Judging from the contest themes and other methods of sharing the written word that are promoted, people are curious about this battle right now, in the midst of it.

Anthologies are certain to appear in the future. This pandemic impacts every single life so there should be plenty of material for numerous volumes. That means publishers will be busy culling through submissions which will take time. There won't be room for all works that deserve sharing and yours may be among them.

The solution to that is to consider compiling your own anthology. This is also the age of self-publishing. Why not become publisher of your own collection of tales about your COVID-19 experience? We are all in this together, but not in exactly the same way. Writing your stories may help others as well as benefiting you in the manner of expressive writing.

The same principles that apply to commercial works apply to your personal collection. They need editing, book layout and cover design, but you can accomplish publishing much faster.

Anthologies need a theme and COVID-19 is a dandy. In addition to the virus as a main theme, numerous sub-themes can turn into separate anthologies with seemingly endless possibilities.

If you don't have enough stories of your own to make an anthology, consider asking others for entries. Family, friends, strangers—everyone has COVID-19 stories. As the publisher of the anthology, you have the right, and responsibility, to edit what you publish, keeping it loyal to the particular theme.

Your anthology may trigger a bigger and better change in your life than the dreaded COVID-19.

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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
Write about how you combat boredom.
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We all have pandemic stories. If you want to share yours, here are some publications looking for pandemic stories for you to check.

True Story Contest, deadline Aug. 19. Write a story that shares a true moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100 words. Cash prize of $100 plus feedback for all submissions. Good opportunity for new writers. Submit at True Story Contest.

Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
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