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September Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 15, No. 9 September 2015
© 2015 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

Well Art

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* Article - "Speaking of Writing"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Book Review
* Markets
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As Labor Day approaches, we are reminded of how much time accelerates as we increase in years. I've heard all my life that time passes more quickly every year and after a certain age, I came to realize how true that is. So let's use the time we are blessed with productively. One productive way to spend time is in writing our life stories, for many reasons. Don’t worry, I won't list them all here and now. But...

One of the benefits of putting our lives into words, especially the more difficult aspects of them, is the cathartic relief it offers. Some believe that talking about our problems is the best way to resolve them. Plenty of research shows that writing is more beneficial. The article in this issue explores the relationship of verbal and written approaches to dealing with life. The message may help you benefit more from your writing efforts and offer more pleasure to your readers.

To help improve your writing skills, check the book review. This volume offers good advice for those planning to eventually make their life-writing available for others, whether through publishing for an unknown public, or sharing with a close group of family and friends. Style makes your content easier for readers to absorb and this book offers examples of usage that will keep readers engaged with your content.

If publication is your goal, find paying markets for your gems below and by clicking on the Paying Markets menu tab. Why not share your stories with the world? We're waiting.

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: "Writing is about memorable phrases, evocative descriptions…about being a link in someone else's understanding of the world." Catherine Bramkamp, author Don't Write Like You Talk
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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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WRITING TO SELL Writing to Sell.
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WTH,WTG writers say...

"Thank you so much for the excellent feedback. I'm enjoying this class and am learning so much."

"I really enjoyed this topic! I went through about six drafts of this essay and found the first 5 were really great therapy and helped me sort out some things."

"You have given me so much information, this course is very informative. Thank you."

"I really value your critique and advice! I find you have been very helpful!"
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ARTICLE - Speaking of Essay Writing
Dale Carnegie is the granddaddy of making friends, influencing people and public speaking, all connected when you think about it. Carnegie believed public speaking involved "the revealing expression of a human personality," just what personal essay writing involves. So, Carnegie's four steps to effective speaking apply to life-writing, and most other writing as well. These principles will enrich your personal essays for readers and for yourself.

1) Limit your subject. Essays, like speeches, communicate better when they focus on a limited theme. The more areas you try to cover, the less you can say about each which leaves readers unsatisfied. Skimming personal topics doesn’t help you heal or grow, either.

2) Add depth. Any theme will be more meaningful if you express why you believe or feel as you do. Delve into your deepest thoughts and feelings to identify and resolve what bothers you. That is the essence of personal, therapeutic writing.

3) Use examples. Examples bring readers into the story and evoke their empathy. Select anecdotes that dramatize your premise. Describe people, things and feelings with vivid details that connect to your theme. Recalling and expressing your feelings about past events helps you clear your emotional clutter and move beyond the pain and inertia that stress can cause.

4) Use familiar words. Clarify your meaning with words that people will understand without keeping a dictionary at hand. Select concrete terms, rather than vague ones. For example, "He wore dirty shoes," does not create a vivid image. "He wore white buck oxfords dotted with mustard and not ketchup," lets us form a concrete image and adds information about the person. Concrete language, especially about emotions, takes your thoughts deeper into your soul and encourages the healing process.

Follow these four steps and you will reach more readers, learn more about yourself and improve your health and memory function. Life-writing yields so many benefits, you owe it to yourself to practice it daily.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

Write about the first day of school—yours or someone else's that you witnessed.
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Looking for extra income while you help people? Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow licenses let you set your own hours as a workshop facilitator. All instructions provided. Individuals, facilities and associations may lead these easy-to-conduct therapeutic writing workshops.

Individuals, facilities and associations may license and conduct these easy-to-lead therapeutic writing and discussion programs:
* Writing for Wellness - Why wait until a specific condition strikes to write to heal? Writing helps maintain good health. This four-week expressive writing and discussion course is designed to help adults maintain good health by: reducing stress levels, improving immune system function, working through negative emotional issues, and increasing working memory. Clinical studies indicate that those who are coached in expressive writing show the greatest improvement in stress levels and memory function. Learn more at: Wellness.
* Writing About Cancer - promotes healing and growth for patients and survivors. Visit Cancer to learn more.
* Writing for Personal Caregivers - contributes to stress reduction and coping. Visit Caregivers to learn more.
* Writing for Health Care Professionals - may be eligible for CEUs in your area. Visit Care Professionals to learn more.

You do not need to have special education to be a successful facilitator. What you do need is compassion for people, a desire to help others face their demons and heal, and the ability to talk to others in a group setting and market the workshops. All courses promote personal healing and/or growth. Each license comes with lecture material, a step-by-step facilitator guide, handouts and an evaluation survey. Begin your new career helping others. Email Licensing for details.
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From:"How Words Can Heal–What Is Your Story?" by Debra Manchester MacMannis, LCSW. "There is now a considerable body of research showing how powerful it can be to write about difficult events.... What can be learned from their findings?
1. It is better for our health and well-being to express our negative feelings.
2. Venting emotions is the first step in a process.
3. Writing about our problems can bring some needed distance and new perspective to bear on the situation.
4. For writing to be healing, we must find the positive parts of the story."
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Book Review ~ The Creative Writer’s Style Guide by Christopher T. Leland
We spend most of our writing time worrying about the content or our life stories. But there is another side to writing if we want our readers to engage in our work and enjoy the reading experience. The most powerful, moving stories can be weakened by correctly writing. Style involves rules of construction that readers expect and require in order to get the most out of our work.

In The Creative Writer's Style Guide, Christopher Leland provides comprehensive coverage of the various rules of grammar, usage, and stylistic conventions that make creative writing easier to read without distraction or frustration on the part of readers. There are differences among creative writing (which includes memoirs and other forms of life-writing) and academic and journalistic writing. This book focuses on creative output. But Leland doesn't stop there. He addresses a number of larger issues of content that can trip up the most trippingly-written work.

While not a detailed guide as are the formal style guides (Chicago and AP, for instance), this book includes an impressive number of instructions for parts of speech, punctuation, plurals, formatting sentences and paragraphs and many other rules of usage. The author includes examples of correct and incorrect usage and when writing may benefit from breaking the rules. But to break rules without losing your readers you must first know the rules and then know why you want to break them. For that you need guidance and this book delivers.

In Part II, some of the larger issues Leland covers are word choice, metaphor, pace, offensive language, dialect, allusions, transitions (my personal favorite), and much more. These treatments go beyond the realm of most style guides and deal with the creative aspects of writing more than the mechanics. Both are essential to the creation of clear, effective writing.

Many questions your have about usage will likely be answered here, and reading the whole book might introduce you to questions you didn’t know you needed answered. The abundance of examples helps writers understand the differences between jotted words and professionally crafted sentences. Serious writers, especially those seeking publication, might find The Creative Writer’s Style Guide becomes the most-used reference work in their collection.
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Contact the source listed for details and to request guidelines. An extensive list of paying markets for personal essays appears at Markets. Writing to Heal,Writing to Grow does not screen or endorse these listings. Submit at your own risk and always check guidelines first. Good luck! If a link doesn't work search for the title.
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Literal Latteopen to essays up to 8,000 words on any topic. All entries considered for publication. Now provides online submissions as well as snail mail. Prizes are $1,000, $300 and $200. Entry fee $10, deadline Sept. 30. Find the addresses and past winners for reference to what they like at: Literal Latte.

American Literary Review awards $1,000 and publication to the winner of the creative nonfiction/essay contest. Offers the same to poetry and short fiction entries. Essay word limit 6,500. Deadline Oct. 1, fee $15. Accepts online submissions only. Find details and past winners at:American Literary Review.

Highfield Press sponsors an "Autumn Leaves" contest based on a picture appearing on its Web site. One winner in each quarterly contest receives $1,000. Send between 500 and 1,000 words. Personal essays qualify. Deadline Oct. 15, fee $20. Find more details at Highfield Press.

Bleeding Heart Publications takes book-length essay collections, memoirs and more. Deals with new authors and has a strong interest in creative nonfiction. This is a truly global small press issuing four to eight titles each year. Learn more about this publisher and what else they like at Bleeding Heart Publications.

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