April 21, 2021

Jennifer Green & Lorraine Martindale: New Baristas

Jennifer Green & Lorraine Martindale: New Baristas

Please join us in welcoming our two newest Baristas, Jennifer Green and Lorraine Martindale! We are excited to add these two talented editors to our team. You may have noticed their contributions already, but if not, check them out here and here. You can learn a little more about them on our Baristas page or just keep reading! About Jennifer:Jennifer is our Publications Barista. An English teacher by day and freelance editor by night and weekend, she loves helping writers find their voices and refine their craft. In addition to completing the editing certificate through the University of Chicago Graham School in 2020, Jennifer holds degrees in psychology and English from North Carolina State University, Meredith College, and the University of Nottingham (UK). When she’s not teaching or deep into a developmental edit, she can be…

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April 10, 2021

“A Most Clever Girl,” by Jasmine A. Stirling, A Book Review

“A Most Clever Girl,” by Jasmine A. Stirling, A Book Review

In Jasmine A. Stirling’s debut children’s book, A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice, she paints a kid-friendly portrait of the literary life of Jane Austen. As a rule-breaking and imaginative child, young Jane was to become one of the first female novelists—and a massively successful one at that. A Most Clever Girl highlights Austen’s determination in the face of adversity in a time when a woman writing books was simply preposterous and the only roles women had in literature (“fluff” she calls it) were one-dimensional. Focusing on Austen’s childhood, Stirling implores children to see themselves in the character enthralled in a world of writing stories in her study, performing plays with her large family in their barn and staging dramatic readings of her work. Young readers also learn about finding their…

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April 7, 2021

Webinar for Writers Live on FC! Hosted by Dan Blank

Webinar for Writers Live on FC! Hosted by Dan Blank

We at the Café are excited to announce that on April 30th at 2pm Eastern we will be hosting a webinar for writers who want to learn how to create an author platform and market their books. Dan Blank will be presenting on various topics. Check out the details below and mark your calendars! An Introduction to Author Platform and Finding Your Ideal Readers Dan Blank has helped thousands of writers develop their author platforms, launch their books, and create marketing strategies that work. In this 1-hour webinar, he will share his methodology for how to develop your author platform, market your writing, and find a sense of joy and fulfillment in the process. He will discuss social media, finding your ideal readers, how to present yourself online, and the key elements of book launches. A…

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March 30, 2021

March Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

March Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

Happy end of March! This month has been really, really busy. I’ve been up to a lot of things, some of which will show up lately in pretty cool ways. For now, with y’all, I wanted to share the five most important things I learned (or was reminded of) this month. Do some little marketing task every day. If you’re self-published, there’s lots of options. If you’re going traditional, build inroads with editors and agents.  Perfectionism might be our greatest enemy.  Sprizzy and Social Growth Engine are two services that help promote videos. SGE seems to work much better, even if they feel much sketchier to the user.  It’s amazing how far people are willing to go to help you if you just ask them for help.  Our second greatest enemy is probably working on…

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March 17, 2021

“Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” A Book Review by Lorraine Martindale

“Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” A Book Review by Lorraine Martindale

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is a biography of horror fiction writer Shirley Jackson by Ruth Franklin. My first encounter with Shirley Jackson was reading “The Lottery” in junior high. It was the first story that truly disturbed me; the stoning of an innocent woman was a shock. The culprits were not villains. They were regular people, going about their regular lives in their bucolic village. Jackson was confronting conformity at a time when the individual wasn’t valued. I could have been one of them. I wasn’t the only one implicated. After it was published in The New Yorker in 1948, the magazine received letters calling “The Lottery” “outrageous, “gruesome,” and “utterly pointless.” The New Yorker had never received so much mail in response to a work of fiction. Jackson received letters as well,…

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