Category Archives: On Writing

What Off Earth Made me Write my First Novel?

Stamey-Wild Card1-200x300It’s been fun to revisit my early writing, as www.BookViewCafé.com  releases new editions (with new covers!) of my early science fiction novels originally published by Berkley/Ace/Putnam. Publishers Weekly: “Stamey puts feeling into this tale of the prodigal daughter.”(Now available also in audio, print, and ebook from Amazon)

I wrote my first novel while finishing my undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing, a science fiction tale originally titled Homeworld Stranger. After sending the manuscript to a few publishers and receiving rejections, among them a note that the story contained “too much emotion for science fiction,” I tossed it into a box and went traveling. When my partner later urged me to try again, I’d forgotten where I’d already sent it. With my usual failure to “do things the right way,” I ended up sending it to Berkley/Ace again, and this time they accepted it, changing the title to Wild Card Run.
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Laughing and Learning with Laurel Leigh

Laurel Leigh helped WWP kick off the year “write” with talking about how to diagnose some of the issues authors are searching for in their manuscripts. Laurel had brilliant examples and anecdotes to share.  Check out Laurel’s website at We had plenty of new members attend, and we bet they learned a ton. Everyone  is waiting with their pens ready to come to our October meeting with Terry Persun on “Exploring the Amazon Avenues for Authors.”


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New WWU Correspondence Course

Writing (and Selling) the Novel:

Offered by WWU Senior Instructor and WWP member Sara Stamey, the novel-writing course is offered through mailings/emails and online instructional materials. It centers on developing skills for writing the novel, writing and revising the opening 20-30 pages, and creating a professional-quality packet of agent/editor query letter, synopsis, and chapters, aiming for eventual publication.

Stamey has published three novels with Berkley/Putnam of New York, as well as short stories, poetry, and nonfiction articles. Her most recent novel, Islands, published locally by Tarragon Books, was a ForeWord Magazine “Book of the Year” award finalist. She has taught creative writing courses for WWU since 1989, and also offers professional editing services as a “book doctor.”

For more information or to register (credit or non-credit options at WWU), contact Sara or

May is National Short Story Month

May is National Short Story Month, aka NaShoStoMo. So if you like to write short stories, this is your month!

Just like April’s National Poetry Writing Month, NaShoStoMo also has a goal of 30 in 30 days. Some people, especially us procrastimasters, may think this number is overly ambitious.  But these are not supposed to be perfectly-crafted, ready-to-publish short stories. Think of it like any writing exercise–it’s just geared to get you writing.

Some Tips for churning out 30 short stories in a month:

  • Don’t edit, just write.
  • Each day start a new story even if the last one isn’t finished.
  • Stumped for ideas? Try a writing prompt like
  • Don’t stop just because you missed a day–22 is still an accomplishment!

If you don’t feel up to 30 stories in 30 days, there are lots of other ways to celebrate short stories. You can write just one or two stories, or work on old unfinished stories. Even if you are not a short story writer you can show your support by picking up an anthology and reading some short stories. You can also join the #storysunday Twitter discussion where people share their favorite short stories.

What are you doing for National Short Story Month?