eCollegeFinder Writing Blog Award

The Top Writing Blogs Award was created to provide students with a collection of helpful and encouraging blogs from authors, publishers, book reviewers, writing experts, and talented bloggers. This list is made up of writing blogs that will inspire and teach our student readers to find their writing style and improve their skills, whether the students are writing an essay for Composition 101 or starting their first novel!

After a competitive round of voting, the rankings are in! View eCollegeFinder's Top Three Writing Blogs below and scroll down to check out the other finalists for the award.

Congratulations again to all of our winners and finalists! Please email any questions or comments about the competition to awards@ecollegefinder.com.

Online Colleges

Miss Snark's First Victim

Miss Snark's First Victim is a blog for aspiring authors who seek to improve their writing and critiquing skills. The blog is best known for its Secret Agent contests, which feature a (secret) literary agent who critiques submitted excerpts and chooses winners, and the annual Baker's Dozen Auction, which features a slew of agents vying for winning entries by - you guessed it - placing bids! Secret Agent contests and the Baker's Dozen have led to, and continue to lead to, agent signings.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
There is no single writing course or "trick" that will improve your writing skills. To write well, one must read well (that is, read good writing), write copiously, and continually seek and respond to critique from other writers. Writing well is a journey of continual growth; if you are willing to embark on that journey for the long haul, the time and effort you have invested will be reflected in your work. Without fail.

Online Colleges

A Writer's Life with Liz Fielding

My blog, A Writer's Life, is a gossipy chat about writing, living, and friendship. It's a place to share what I'm doing and exchange experiences with friends, readers, and writers.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read widely in the genre you wish to write. Even in romantic fiction there are wide variations from Regency Historical, to 'romcom' contempories, to hot Vampires. You need to find the area that you love best and will feel most comfortable writing. Write for yourself first; if you don't enjoy your story, the chances are that no one else will. Don't expect to be perfect from day one. Like every skill, you'll improve with practice.

Online Colleges

Unwritten

Unwritten is a blog written by a full-time mama masquerading as an author in my spare time. You'll meet other authors who I interrogate ruthlessly with my notorious random questions. Book reviews come fairly often, as well as writing contests and giveaways. There's something for everyone!

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Writing is work; know your limits, take care of you, and remember that attitude is everything. Read Unwritten's full answer by clicking here.

Top Writing Blog Finalists

Alex J. Cavanaugh

I'm a sci-fi writer on a journey of discovery... books, writing, movies, music, games, and TV shows. Home to the Insecure Writer's Support Group, my blog features writing news and author accomplishments. My first book, CassaStar, was released October 2010. The sequel, CassaFire, comes out February 28, 2012.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
You must be both a reader and a writer. Learn the rules of writing - when you become proficient, you will know when to break them.

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All Things Writerly ~ A Blog

Inspiration, observation, information, and general writing babble by author and writing professor Patricia Ann McNair. "All Things Writerly ~ A Blog" features interviews, conversations, and guest posts with writers and readers. Stop by to visit the writing rooms of authors past and present, to sample a writing prompt, to listen or join in on talk about writing short stories, keeping journals, the art of reading, and living a writing life.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Nothing breeds good writing like developing a writing habit. Writers need to write to grow; follow the advice of James Thurber: "Don't get it right, get it written." The value of a daily practice of putting pen to page, along with a daily dose of reading the work of others, cannot be overestimated. In short: write, write, write, AND read, read, read.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that All Things Writerly ~ A Blog posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Anne R. Allen's Blog with Ruth Harris

This blog aims to provide information on how to be a writer in the 21st century. It's not just about the nuts and bolts of writing, but how to prepare to enter an industry that's in a state of seismic upheaval. We address self, small-press, and traditional publishing, and provide how-to's for platform building and social media marketing.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to new writers is to be prepared for a long journey and learn how to enjoy the process. No time spent writing is wasted and the only way to fail is to stop trying.

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Author Julie Cohen

An honest, funny, and informal blog about Julie Cohen's life and the writing craft. I was a teacher for ten years, have had over a dozen novels published, and continue to teach creative writing courses. I answer questions and examine writing techniques, usually about novel writing.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read as much and as widely as you can. And write. Write all the time, about everything. Writing is a muscle that gets stronger through use. An empty page can be daunting, but allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes because you can always revise your work afterwards.

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Author's Echo

Author's Echo covers writing, geekery, and one writer's attempts to get published no matter how many times he has to bang his head against the wall (at least until said head-banging impairs his ability to blog.)

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Practice. And don't quit no matter how many people say you suck. They don't know what they're talking about anyway.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Author's Echo posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Blog of Horror Author Matt Nord

My blog is mainly just to inform people about my writing and projects I'm working on and/or have released, as well as share general ramblings about my experiences in writing. I also like to talk about zombies, lots and lots of zombies.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to students who are looking for a career in writing is to START WRITING! And don't stop. The minute you stop is when the dreaded "writer's block" sets in. Push through it and stop whining!

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Blog of Horror Author Matt Nord posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Bluestalking

I started my blog as a way to share my love of reading with others who have similar tastes. Eventually it became my writing portfolio as I honed my skills by way of writing much more frequently and with more attention than I ever had before. Suddenly, authors and their publicists were finding me, offering free review copies, and asking that I write about their books. While I do often review books sent to me - and interview and promote their authors, as well - I've remained dedicated to my original purpose: sharing the books I love with the world.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
It sounds obvious, but write, write, write, and read, read, read. Read much and widely. Once you've found a genre or two you're interested in writing, find the very best published authors in that genre. Study what they do and how they do it; deconstruct their books, articles, or whatever they write paragraph by paragraph, page by page. Then, take what you've learned and customize it to make it your own. Keeping writing what you love and what comes naturally and you will keep evolving, getting better and better as you grow through experience.

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Bob Sanchez: Writing, Reading, and a Bit of Travel

My blog is an eclectic mix of posts that either amuse me or try to inform others about books, writing, and self-publishing. I have an extensive background in technical writing which heightens my awareness of the writing craft.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
One of the best things you can do to hone your skills is to read, read, read in the genre of your choice. Take notes on what works and what doesn't. Write as often as you can, in a journal for example. Don't be afraid to rewrite, because it's critical.

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Book Chase

Book Chase is a combination of book reviews and discussion pertaining to bookstores, libraries, authors, publishers, and avid readers. It is aimed at readers who are searching for something interesting (but perhaps a little bit obscure) to read next, the kind of book that often slips through the crack unnoticed. I enjoy starting chatter about indie publishers and writers, and a substantial percentage of my book reviews are of from that source. Producing Book Chase helps keep me knowledgeable about bookselling and publishing trends - and I hope it does the same for my readers.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I firmly believe that two things are key if one is to improve his writing. The first is to write often and to edit even more often, regardless of whether your audience is one instructor, no one but yourself, or several thousand Internet readers; practice is the main objective. The second key is to read constantly from a variety of sources. Avid reading helps a writer develop an ear for style and allows him to develop and choose the style that fits him best.

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Brightwriter60

My blog is a collection of my thoughts about writing short stories and, more recently, my attempt to complete a novel. Posts include my ideas about the structure, pace, and characterization required for a short story, as well as occasional posts about grammar and punctuation reminders.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to students would be to develop a very tough shell that protects you from ever giving up. And to write something every day, even if it is only a hundred words. Writing is like other pursuits in that every second of regular practice will enhance your ability. For example, David Beckham still practices his free-kick over and over again on a regular basis.

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Charmalot Chronicles

Charmalot Chronicles is a sparkling fusion of one author's publishing insight and writing escapades. With series like Melody/Monday and Manga Muse, each week highlights fresh music and art to inspire creativity and ignite readers' excitement in their own projects.

Blogger bio: Jordan McMakin interned at Puffin Books and Viking Books for Young Readers and was an editorial assistant at Disney*Hyperion Books. She is the award-winning author of "Prince Ezrick and the Morpheas Curse".

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?

  • Read
  • Trust your process
  • Write what sears your heart/brain/soul

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Clifton Hill - Writer. Artist. Head thoroughly lodged in the clouds.

As an avid reader and writer of the fantastical, I like books. My blog is dedicated to my artist's journey as I learn the path of the writer. Along that path I share the books that I have read and what I have learned from them: what works, what doesn't, and an analysis of why. I also share writing tips, thoughts on the journey, and my interest in the growing self-publishing movement and why it can be both a good choice and a horrible one.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?

  • Read and write. Repeat...a lot! But don't forget to analyze.
  • Writing is easy. But writing something that is good AND sells is a whole other level. You will not reach it without pain, time, and lots of failure. Make sure that you are always willing to learn. Write on!

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Cornflower Books

A general book blog, eclectic and wide-ranging, but with a strong personal influence reflecting my own and my readers' interests, concentrating on reviews, book news, a monthly online book group, bookish chat, and author interviews.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read as much and as widely as you can, absorbing correct use of grammar, spelling, and clarity of expression, then from that strong foundation, develop your own voice.

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Country Lite

My blog could be considered a jaded look at a life I don't quite get and am all the more surprised to find is mine. As with so many of us, one moment I was one thing, the next I was inept controller (ha) of a dog and children, all 3 reluctant to be controlled and mastering new forms of resistance every day. At that point, the builders turn up and I find myself in my dressing gown, shivering, scowling, and making endless tea.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
As for improving ones writing: who am I to offer any advice? Be true to yourself, don't underestimate your audience. Imagine your mother reading it. Don't post stuff drunk. That should cover most bases. If in doubt, take out. Less is more. And don't let "I" dominate. Me, Me, Me - we've all seen you, sit down. Enjoy it.

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D.J. Kirkby

As I am the Writer in Residence for Portsmouth Libraries, a published author of novels, nonfiction and academic writing, my blog is a mixture of writing related updates, advice, and support, as well as a random way to relax and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
As a lecturer in Midwifery for Bournemouth University, my specific advice to students on how to improve their academic writing acumen is for them to examine and follow the unit assessment guidelines carefully, and to meet with their academic advisor to discuss drafts of their academic work to ensure their work is going to meet the expected standard. Never be afraid to seek guidance and support from your academic advisor!

My specific writing advice for the writing of novels and nonacademic text would be the same as that which I give to everyone else on my website. Students are invited to follow my blog and look at what I have written under my Other Writing and Writer in Residence tabs, or to sign up on the first Writer in Residence page for writing updates to be delivered directly to their inbox.

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Daily Dodo

Daily Dodo is a creative writing-centric blog that is both a platform for my own flash fiction and that of guest writers. It is a light-hearted place where I explore issues surrounding the creative process. You will also find weekly reviews, summaries of my works in progress, and posts that link my personal life to my writing.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
In three sentences? Write something every single day. Talking and reading about writing isnít writing. Finish pieces of work as regularly as possible and send them out into the world - this is the only way you will feel you are growing as a writer.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Daily Dodo posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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David Powers King

A resource for creative writing advice, story devices, and an all around fun place to hang out for any science fiction and fantasy enthusiast. There's also an occasional giveaway and offers for thorough sample pages and query critiques.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Don't just read and write. Go where writers are (online through blogs or in person through conferences and critique groups). You will be surprised by how complex (and exciting) the writing world really is.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that David Powers King posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Diane Fordham

My aim when creating my blog was to inspire the aspiring writer. I will never forget when I started to pursue my dreams of being a writer and those who encouraged and inspired me. Now I, as a published writer, want to encourage and inspire.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The advice I would offer to students to improve their writing is to read. Whatever their goals are as writers (short stories, novels, non-fiction, etc.), they should read as much as they can and be aware of other writers' styles, word flow, and what makes writing something worth reading. Being determined and accepting that rejection is a part of the process of writing is also important.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Diane Fordham posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Donna Newton's Blog

First and foremost, I am a writer - an author and screenwriter to be precise - but that doesn't mean that I don't have a little fun along the way. I'll help you help your writing... in an enjoyable way! (Just check out the "A Bit of Fun" category on the blog.)

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Learn the craft and lay the groundwork. Every writer makes mistakes. It's whether you correct them that will determine your success. My motto: "No matter how good you are at writing - there is always something else to learn."

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Donna Newton's Blog posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Elizabeth Baines

This blog provides a personal insight into the writing life and the writing process. I also give accounts of literary events I've attended and report the discussions of books by my reading group.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Steep yourself in literature; read all the time and attend literary events. But also make time for your writing and be disciplined with yourself; make sure you use your writing time and be prepared to edit thoroughly whatever you've written.

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Ella's Edge

My voice is about finding beauty in the everyday. We all can relate to the black 'ní white moments of life, but there is joy to be found in the gray. Iím so not the Pollyanna type. Blogging is helping me to find the ripples of light in my daily life.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
On this journey called life we have to keep learning and keep moving towards our dreams and our goals. Your view is unique. Yes, we all share experiences, but remember to use your voice. The essence of your authenticity is what sets you apart!

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Fabulosity Reads

My blog, Fabulosity Reads, is an outlet for me to share fantastic books and writers whom I come across in my reading hobby. It has evolved from just doing reviews, which is still the primary function, to also helping mainly new writers with the promotion of their books.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
People always say find your voice and off we go on a tangent within ourselves trying to locate that voice. I think it's important to remember that you've always used that voice. It's not some mystical entity that requires a quest into unknown parts of your innerself, it's in the way you think, talk, and express yourself. That's what makes you stand out in a crowd. Work on perfecting that unique part of yourself and you will always find an audience wanting to listen.

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Fish Publishing

The Fish Blog aims to say to all writers and aspiring writers, "look, we have a love of words, we respect and admire what writers are trying to do with them, and we will endeavour to help in the ways we have built over the years: publishing them, encouraging them, and thanking them."

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Learn the craft. It's all about how the words are arranged on the page. All natural talent can be improved upon. Listen to advice from those who know what they are about. Don't worry about "finding your voice" - you may have many. Enjoy your writing and the effect it has on others.

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Fonts and Fiction

Fonts and Fiction is an online diary I visit when I have something to say, rather than feeling obliged to write in a little book with a lock and key every night! It's a mix of practical advice for writers, examples of my own writing, posts about family news, and promotion for fellow-writers' work.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to students wishing to improve their writing skills would be to read! This way you'll find a genre you're interested in, you'll see the correct way to punctuate your book/story, and you'll improve your imagination and grammar. All very important when writing. Find a 'hook' (something that makes the reader want to keep reading) early on in your story and keep it flowing with dialogue. Remember to 'show' not 'tell' and make your characters believable. Even a hero has flaws. No one's perfect!

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Fonts and Fiction posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Glynis Smy - Writer

A relaxed blog housing the angst and trials of a writer. The road to publication is fun and this is the place I share my tips, joys, and woes.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read, read, and read some more. Listen to your heart and not always those who think they know best. Find your own voice. Accept critiquing with good grace, but use it only if you believe in what they say. Edit your work, never accept second best.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Glynis Smy - Writer posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Helena's London Life

I write about life in London which includes books, art, fashion, and food from my Nordic viewpoint. The main reason I started the blog was to have a vehicle to write every day and as a result a new story was born on the site: How I Came to be in England. This story has now become a fully fledged manuscript called 'The Englishman'.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
It's simple; read as much as you can and write as often as you can. The more you read, the better you'll be at recognizing good writing and the better writer you'll be yourself. Writing is a craft: the more you practice, the better you'll be.

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In Time...

In Time... I named my blog this because IN TIME we will learn, grow, and create a published work. If the author hones his craft and has passion for it, the prose will reveal itself to us. To me, creativity is a terrible thing to waste. Although creative writing is important to any author, other creative outlets are equally important: art, design, and music; for without them, there would be no inspiration for our writing.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I would advise a fledgling author to read their chosen genres - we learn so much from other authors - and, mainly, to become involved in the writing blogger community. There is endless advice, humor, friendship, and respect found there. Nowhere else would you find a more caring community. I have forged many blogger friendships of all ages, many in their teens and even an eleven-year-old. They are bright, funny, and full of life. As adults we can forget the effervescence of youth.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that In Time... posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Janet Sumner Johnson: Musings of a Children's Writer

My blog mixes writing with a little fun and a little inspiration. I also sneak in my fascination for personalized license plates.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The best way to improve your writing is to... wait for it... write. Write, write, and write some more. Edit your work, seek critiques from peers, then listen to those critiques. But really the most important advice I could give is to never give up. Trite, but true.

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Janice Horton

My blog is a fun informative place to read about the highs and lows of writing and to read about some interesting and inspiring authors in my author showcase. I also regularly ask for advice from my readers and like to get them involved in my writing; for example, in choosing the title of a yet unnamed work in progress from a brief synopsis.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I would advise them to have confidence in their own writer ëvoiceí and appreciate that good writing comes straight from the heart and not off the back of a bandwagon.

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Jean Bull's Writing Blog

An interesting blog in words and pictures of what it's like to be a writer and self-publish your own novel. It also gives further information about books that I've read and places I've visited: all useful resources to build stories on.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read, read, read as much and as widely as you can. Keep a notebook handy and jot down any interesting events or conversations; you'll never remember them! Write, write, write! Keep exercising your 'writing muscle': like other muscles, if you don't use it you'll lose it!

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Jessica Hart: Writing Romance Around The World

Jessica Hart: Writing Romance Around the World is a light-hearted look behind the scenes of a writerís life. Itís honest about the downs as well as the ups of writing for a living, and although its ultimate aim is promotion of my romances, for me itís really about making a personal connection with readers and writers around the world.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Before you start writing, think about WHAT youíre writing and WHY youíre writing. Keep your structure simple. Cut any word that doesnít come naturally to you and replace it with one that does. Learn how to use a full stop.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Jessica Hart: Writing Romance Around The World posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Kaye Manro

My blog features the career path of an author. It contains a wide variety of subject matter on inspiration and story ideas, the elements of style and writing, the publishing industry, and interviews with published authors. You will find articles ranging from science and technology to character development and plotting of a story, with everything in between. Currently, I am publishing with a focus on the Science Fiction Romance genre and my blog reflects that arena at the present time.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Study. Write. Read. Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, you need to know how to craft a sentence using proper grammar and know your subject by researching your topic of interest. If your goal is to become a published author, practice writing all the time and keep up with the latest industry trends. Read all you can no matter your field of interest, as this will only improve your skill; you never know when an idea based on something you have read may become inspiration for your next written work. If you are interested in selling your work, promoting and marketing yourself as an author is a large part of the publishing industry, so with this in mind, go forth and write.

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Kinda Going with the Flow

Kinda Going with the Flow chronicles one writer's journey through the writing process. An author's ultimate goal may be publication, but, if the journey isn't fun, then what's the point?

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Be clear. Be brief - especially when blogging. Don't worry about rules. Write what's true in the easiest, clearest way.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Kinda Going with the Flow posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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L'Aussie Writer

My blog's name is L'Aussie Writer, which contains a lot of information. I am an Australian published writer of short stories and travel articles, and France is a favourite travel destination of mine, thus the 'L'Aussie'. I post articles on writing, I post entries to blogfests (which usually involve creative writing), and as founder of Romantic Friday Writers (which has its own blog), I post my fortnightly flash fiction (under 400 words) to my writing blog. I usually post 3 times a week.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?

  • Be inquisitive and be aware of what is going on around you.
  • Always keep a journal to jot down story ideas or great descriptions you might read in a book or magazine. You can study these excellent words and phrases later and discover why they caught your eye. Then you can practice writing something even better!
  • Some say writing can't be taught; I disagree. Read every 'how to' book on your craft, attend creative writing seminars, take creative writing courses at an educational institution, but you must write, write, write. The best way to learn is to do, not just to keep learning about it. Do it!
  • Enter flash fiction competitions. I found writing flash fiction made the biggest difference to my writing. I learned to create a story then to cut it back to only what really mattered. Flash fiction is usually under 1,000 words. My Romantic Friday Writers group writes 400 words and under. There are some other flash fiction challenges that write 100, or even 50 words and under.
Click here to read the student-targeted entry that L'Aussie Writer posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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LEXI REVELLIAN: my writing and other related matters...

As an author who has self-published four novels and sold 46,000 copies so far, I write about whatever is currently obsessing me in the field of writing, publishing, and the eBook revolution. My blog has links to the sites I find interesting/useful.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read a lot (but only what you enjoy or it won't stick). Take pride in getting the craft issues right - apostrophes matter. Never, ever bore the reader.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that LEXI REVELLIAN: my writing and other related matters... posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Literary MacGregor

I've spent most of my life with words and books. I am a successful author, former publisher at Time-Warner, and a longtime literary agent - the blog is my way of giving back to the writing and publishing community by sharing what I've learned with writers. We look at the business of writing - creating, selling, marketing, career management, and working with editors, agents, and publishers.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
There are very few great books, but every great book begins with a great idea, however, a great idea does not constitute a great book, therefore, keep refining your craft. Books aren't written, they are re-written; read widely and write regularly. Establish a plan for your writing life: learn to listen, face your fear, and don't expect non-writers to understand. There is value in writing, not just in getting published.

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mainewords

My blog is a writer's blog, with the random bit of real life thrown in. The intent is to improve my own writing and connect with others who are trying to do the same.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I'll repeat the best advice I ever got from my 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Bouchard: keep writing. In other words, practice. Because eventually, practice makes pretty good.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that mainewords posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Medeia Sharif

This is the blog of Young Adult author, Medeia Sharif. Expect posts about reading, writing, and random personal stuff.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Donít write in a bubble. Join critique groups, go to conferences, and accept other peopleís input. All of this will shape your manuscripts for the better.

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Melissa's Imaginarium

My blog is a potpourri of writing, books, author spotlights, and anything that catches my eye or I want to talk about. I have no set topics each week and I find my readers enjoy the spontaneity of it.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to students looking to improve their writing acumen is to concentrate on their own unique voice, read anything and everything they can, and always have an open mind. Many times, people try to write in a particular style, but I've found that nothing is better than your own voice. Read as much as you can because you never know what you'll learn or how that info will percolate in your brain for a future story idea. An open mind is key because it helps you to be willing to accept advice and see things from other perspectives.

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My Journal

I began my blog to keep a record of ideas and plans that came from everyday life to inspire my writing. My blog follows everyday happenings and turns them into something that I can write and hopefully sell one day. When something surprises or delights me, I reach for my pen, then I blog it.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
If writing students wanted to improve their writing, I would recommend keeping a journal. Anything at all, especially write about people who make you mad, conversations and feelings you may have are always useful for using as a starter for a short story or poem at a later date. Carry a diary with your daily jottings around. Preferably, keep more than one diary. They will give you hours of amusement when you look back on them.

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Mystery Writing is Murder

This blog focuses on the writing craft and the writing life for writers of all genres.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Set small, attainable goals for your writing. Even writing for 5-10 minutes a day means growth and establishment of a writing habit.

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Mythik Imagination

Mythik Imagination is a blog about storytelling, from Science Fiction and Fantasy to weird real life things. It covers behind-the-scenes looks at the writing process, tutorials, and creative ways that new (and old) technologies are changing the world. The title comes from a series of short story collections presented in the classic style of old-time pulp sci-fi magazines.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The biggest advice I would offer students is to never give up and to write as much as possible. I think the true secret to success is that if you are persistent and always keep trying, you will eventually achieve your goals. I think the key to good fiction writing is creating a good story where the reader can't wait to find out what happens next.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Mythik Imagination posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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N. R. Williams, The Writing Craft

I started this blog as a way to connect with other writers and readers and progressed to include not just information about my own writing, but how to reach your personal goals as a writer. I love helping others and I have expanded this idea into a series of classes that you can read more about at my other blog.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
As a fictional author, I will address this question as such. If you are new to fiction writing, take the time necessary to learn to write well. In today's market, anyone can self publish, but it is a mistake to do so until you learn the craft. I highly recommend taking classes from either me or someone else.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that N. R. Williams, The Writing Craft posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Non-Fiction Chronicles of a Fiction-Filled Life

This blog traces one writer's journey from an initial small press release to independent publication. Entries focus on meshing writing with everyday life, indie publishing news and guidance, reviews, NaNoWriMo, and the author's personal reflections.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
A steady, unending accumulation of words is my suggestion if authorship is desired. It might sound redundant, but acquiring a voice, discovering a preferred POV, genre and themes, and establishing rhythm can only occur by active digits and an engaged, unfettered gray matter. Short stories, flowing yarns, flash fiction; relaying observations onto real or virtual paper is fundamental for students wishing to improve their literary acumen. The story doesn't need to be perfect; it simply needs to emerge.

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Not Only In Thailand

My blog is about my life. I share my worries, hopes, and fears, and use it as a space to organize my thoughts (I have also been known to share embarassing stories, but don't tell anyone!) I get a lot of support from my blog friends, many of whom I have met in real life, and I have found it a great way to share information, get answers to questions, and connect with like minded people.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The best advice I can give is to believe in yourself. Everyone creative has their inner critics... you know, the ones that tell you that you can't do it or that you are not as good as *insert person's name here*, but the truth is that you can do it. The only person that will ever stop you from achieving your goals is you, so get out there and go for it!

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Paris Breakfast

Paris Breakfast's intent is to give readers a brief, yet sensory, trip to Paris. To inspire dreams of past trips or trips not yet ventured. I do this by taking the reader down one particular street or inside one particular shop or throwing together diverse visual and verbal images connected by a color or a theme. My wish is to show what I've experienced in a way that makes the reader feel free to share their own personal impressions of similar situations or memories.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I plot out my posts with a beginning, a middle, and an end, almost like a mini movie. I try to include a story or some dialogue to liven things up and make it feel real. I edit and simplify as much as possible to make the text seem more like a conversation between the reader and myself. First you have to experience things, then imagine sharing them with your best friend. How can you tell an interesting story? What a writer brings to the table is their voice, their specific point of view. When I meet a Paris Breakfast reader for the first time and they tell me I sound just like my blog, I know I've succeeded.

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Patsy Collins

This blog is subtitled 'Words about writing and writing about words', which I like to think sums it up pretty well! I pass on writing tips, especially those connected with competitions, interview interesting people, and brag about my own success (whilst keeping tactfully quiet about any failures). There's random stuff such as wednesday's word of the week (which isn't weekly), pictures of ships, descriptions of cakes, and The Sphere. The biggest draw, though, is probably the many links I post for free to enter writing contests - several new ones every week.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Write. Reading is also important, as is studying techniques and learning basic skills such as spelling and punctuation, but it's impossible to improve writing without writing.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Patsy Collins posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Rach Writes...

At Rach Writes... I work to foster the sense of community that exists amongst writers, assisting it to grow wherever possible through initiatives like my Writersí Platform-Building Campaigns, Beta Match (a way to find critique partners and beta readers), and the provision of writing and blogging advice. My blog is a way for me to document my journey from unpublished writer to published author, while at the same time sharing other writers' journeys as well.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I believe that everybody has the ability to write a story, be it fiction or non-fiction, essay, flash fiction, or novel. However, it takes dedication and perseverance to write a good story, one that will keep readers turning the pages and begging for more at the end. Writing is a craft and, like any other skill, it can be learned. So keep an open mind and always seek out opportunities to improve your writing skills, from reading books in the genre youíre writing to joining critique groups, critiquing other writersí work, attending workshops, and reading blog posts and articles on writing. And donít forget to write, often and regularly, so that writing becomes a part of you. As you grow, so too will your writing skills, until one day you achieve your dream, whatever that may be.

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Rachel Morgan Writes

Rachel Morgan Writes is the personal blog of author Rachel Morgan. Here you can follow her journey through publication, read some of her fiction writing, find writing tips, discover other authors, read book reviews, watch book trailers, and just about anything else to do with books and writing!

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
"Read, read, and keep on reading. Books have been my education."
— Mary Wesley

So here's my advice: Read, read, READ books and practice, practice, PRACTICE writing! It's amazing how much you can pick up just from reading well-written books. And, as a musician and math teacher, I know there is no substitute for putting in hours of good practice. After all, they say it "makes perfect"!

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Rachel Morgan Writes posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Rachna's Scriptorium

My blog is my online writing room where I share tips on the craft of writing. I also share my experience about my own publishing journey and talk about books, characters, and other writing and publishing related activities.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read a lot. Reading expands your knowledge. Write everyday. Writing a little everyday hones your skills as a writer. Get your work critiqued by someone you trust and also critique other writers' work, as critiquing sharpens your analytical skills.

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Reading and Writing

My blog is about all aspects of reading and writing: from interviews with published authors to information about writing, markets, and getting published.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to students includes grasping the basics of grammar and punctuation and reading widely.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Reading and Writing posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Shallee McArthur

A place to gain confidence in your writing ability through craft advice, encouragement, and book reviews geared toward writers.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read as much as you can. Write as much as you can. Learn as much as you can. Then, when your head is exploding with knowledge and experience, forget everything and write from the heart.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Shallee McArthur posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Silver's Reviews

My blog contains book reviews of new books either just published or waiting to be published (ARC - advanced reader copies) and books that have already earned a reputation. The genre is mainly historical fiction and mystery with a few fiction and non-fiction thrown in.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
To improve your writing, you must not give up, and you must rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite. With time, your writing will become smoother, more fluid, more creative, and turn out to be what you want it to be... ready for someone to enjoy what you have written. If you look at my earlier reviews, they did not have as much description or focus on the characters or their development and essence to the book. As I "grew" in my writing, you will notice less focus was made on the storyline and more on why the characters made the book worth the read. Writing is work, but worthwhile work.

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Sometimes, the Wheel is on Fire

I don't repeat the same stale writing advice found in countless other sites, books, and magazines. Instead, I offer entirely different stale advice and present it in a way some call "hilarious" and others say is "severely skewed, bordering on insane." But mostly I just mess around with the English language and hope I get a laugh.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read outside your genre. Write even when you don't feel like writing. No matter how great you think your work is, get a professional editor. And for God's sake, put on some pants.

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Steven Chapman (writer)

My blog aims to highlight not only my own writing career, but the pitfalls and successes that writers go through during their struggle to "make it." Whether your aim is to see your book in print, improve your writing, or just have some fun, I aim to offer suitable - and hopefully at times humorous - writing advice as I chart my own attempts to break into the world of publishing.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The best way to improve your writing is to read, read, read. As with any craft, studying is key, and it is only through reading, voraciously and avidly, that we learn how to improve our own writing. You'll learn what works and what doesn't work, what the rules are and how and when to break them, what trends and conventions will endure, and new styles of prose you may never have dreamed of. So read, in and out of your comfort zone, and find out how the world of writing can work for you.

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Susan Uhlig

You'll find tips about writing and the publication process on this blog, plus recommendations of great reads. There's also a writing quote of the week posted every Tuesday.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Work on your word choices. Use strong verbs and you'll discover adverbs aren't necessary. When using adjectives don't tell your readers what they already know (i.e. green grass); instead tell them what they don't know (i.e. muddy grass). Cut out those weedy words that pop up in your writing (i.e. about, almost, just, very, well, suddenly, finally, really, that).

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Tara Bradford Writing and Photography

I started my blog six years ago while living in Paris. The blog has evolved into a melange of posts about social issues of the day, as well as poetry and photography. I also include observations and encounters from my travels. As Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." But you don't have to travel far to find inspiration. Often my posts are sparked by a newspaper article, a book, or inspired by someone I meet or art I see in daily life.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
If you want to improve your writing skills, keep writing! Persistence is key and writing on a regular basis helps keep ideas flowing. Like any talent, writing requires nuturing. Reading literature is also important to focus on how a story should flow, character-building, plot, foreshadowing, etc. It's important to learn to tell your own stories; to share your unique experiences with your readers. They may learn something from you - or their reaction to your ideas might spark a spirited debate!

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The Alliterative Allomorph

"Where songs chatter and prose sings."

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Learn the rules until you can recite them by heart. Then learn how to break them without people noticing. And ultimately, trust your instincts - I learned that one the hard way. I spent five years trying to write like other people were telling me to write until my publisher came along. She encouraged me to be true to myself. Being true to myself is what got me published.

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The Book Addict

My blog, The Book Addict, is a place I post reviews for all the books I read. I read about 100 books a year. My reviews have evolved over the few years this blog has been up and running.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
I found the best way to improve my blog and reviews was to just. keep. writing.

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The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

The Eagle's Aerial Perspective is a blog focused on writing and books, with additional posts on a range of subjects. Some of those include science, movie reviews, and personal posts by the blog author.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Write and read as often as you can. The first, because a writer, after all, puts down words, and the more you do it and explore words, the more you will discover your strengths and weaknesses. The second, because books are great teachers of what works and what doesn't work; and don't flinch away from the bad ones, because they show you where you can avoid the same mistakes that author made.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that The Eagle's Aerial Perspective posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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The Girdle of Melian

My blog is focused mainly on my writing journey, from drafting, revising, and beta reading, to seeking an agent, and all the trials and joys in between. I also feature book reviews, inspirational posts, research and writer-related links, and some travel related content.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The most important advice I have to offer students is to accept all the advice they can for improving their writing and editing skills, but, ultimately, to trust their own judgement and not try to please everyone. And read! Never stop reading and exploring the works of other authors.

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The Leaky Pencil

The Leaky Pencil focuses mostly on the writing of Canadian Author, Chris Allinotte. The blog discusses everything from the trials of getting motivated, to sharing the ups and downs of publication and rejection. From time to time, Chris writes about writing itself, asking questions about why and how the different things that make a good story are so important, and what a writer can do to improve their own work. Every now and then, the blog also features a "free" story by Chris for your reading pleasure, too!

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
For any writer looking to improve, which should be the goal of every writer, practice. Write! Do it every day. Be willing to fail! For inspiration and help along the way, choose books on writing that ask you questions and make you work, like On Writing or The Art of Fiction, while avoiding any book that gives you answers, contains a "sure fire formula", or any sort of guarantee that you'll be rich and famous if only you buy and follow the book.

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The Paperback Pursuer

The Paperback Pursuer is a blog where I read, review, and discuss new and upcoming book releases of all genres. I read several books a week, post reviews as I write them, and spread the word using some of today's most popular social networking sites, as well as the sites of book-sellers. Every month there is a chance to win awesome books/eBooks, as well as a chance to read book excerpts and author interviews. In the future, I also plan to have author and writer guest-posts on popular topics, and maybe, I'll host a writing contest of my own.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Writing is not something that can be learned in a day, and it definitely takes practice, but the more you write, the better writer you become. I have been reading and writing since before I was in Kindergarten, and throughout the years - at home, in school, at work, and even when writing reviews - my writing style has constantly improved and evolved into a format I am happy with. There will always be writing quirks that I'll have to work out, but writing itself is a creative outlet specific to whoever is composing it. If you love reading or writing, do it the way that you are comfortable with, proofread and work out the kinks, and come out with a final product that makes you feel happy and accomplished.

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The Writing Bug

The Writing Bug is a light-hearted look at the trials and tribulations of a freelance writer.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
The best way to improve your writing is to do it. Lots of it. Draft, write, edit, and edit again until it is the very best you can achieve. Then determine to do even better next time.

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This Writer's Life

A published short story writer blogs about her writing journey, rejections and acceptances, getting better at not being distracted, the creative process, and juggling 2 part time jobs to pay the bills.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Read writers you admire and notice how they do it. And less is more, be brief, not flowery.

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Thoughts in Progress

My blog is designed to inform readers of new books being released and introduce them to a variety of authors. The blog is designed to encourage more reading in all genres and provide helpful information from authors and publishers.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice would be to read, read, and read. The more you read, the more it helps improve your own writing. Reading gives you new insight into styles and techniques of others, thus helping you develop your own style.

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Untroubled Kingdom

My blog is part of my journey. It`s about writing, personal struggles, friends, and laughter. We all have dreams, and, too often, we set our sight on our destination and forget about the enriching process that gets us there.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
We are all students with something new to learn each day. To other writers I say, "This is your story. Show me what your characters are feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting. If they stumble over a rock, I want to experience it. Go deep and drag me with you. Don't follow someone else's trend. Forge a story from your heart. That's how you achieve true greatness. And if the world doesn't like it, don't worry. You're a writer. They can't take that away from you."

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Write Now

Write Now provides information, links, author interviews, book reviews, and connections for writers of all genres and skill levels. It offers an opportunity to discuss mechanics, tips, and trends in the writing world. I invite you to join the conversation!

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Keep writing! Continue to learn and to be open to feedback.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Write Now posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Write Up the Hill

Write up the Hill contains snippets of what (and sometimes how) I write and the occasional diagram and information of what I do when planning a series. I also mention writing friends or hold a Q&A spot with an author. The house up the hill, where I live with my husband - who scratch-builds Historic racing cars in miniature - and our two rough collie dogs, is on the borders of Lancashire and West Yorkshire, UK. The house is surrounded by moorland meadows, grey stone walls, sheep and a variety of wild creatures; all that is "grist to the writerís mill".

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
My advice to students: read books in all genres and a variety of magazines, comics, and graphic stories. Donít be afraid to experiment with your writing. Give your ideas time to bubble. If you have your work critiqued, think hard about all the comments, whether they praise or criticise.

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Writercize

My blog is provides unique exercises to inspire word play, hone the craft of the written word, and bulldoze writer's block for authors, bloggers, poets, freelancers, teachers, students, dreamers, and writers of all kind. It is a non-judgmental space to practice writing and try on all different methods and styles, from fiction to poetry to marketing, journalism, and other real world writing applications.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Practice, practice, practice. Don't censor your brain as you write - write what you love and what interests you, and do the same with reading. Once you've poured it all out onto the page or the computer, pull out the grammar handbooks and writing instruction manuals to go back and edit. Finally, while editing, know when to follow the rules and when to break them - for example, it may be wise to follow the rules closely for a term paper, but break them for impact in a short story.

Click here to read the student-targeted entry that Writercize posted for the Top Writing Blogs competition.

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Writing for Woman's World Magazine

Woman's World, a weekly magazine, pays $800 for an 800 word romantic fiction story. I offer inspiration, advice, instruction, and story analysis to those who wish to sell to them.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Write, write, write. Know your market. If you don't, study it. Don't let the literary elite discourage you from writing popular fiction. You can't sell a story you don't submit. Don't take rejections personally. Don't give up.

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Writing to the Edge of Darkness

This blog is designed to educate, inform, and promote authors, while entertaining readers. I run various series on different days of the week. One of the most popular is publisher Q&A's.

What advice can you offer students aiming to improve their writing acumen?
Understand that modern writing techniques are guidelines, not rules. Write and read on a daily basis to practice your craft. Embrace your voice and never try to write like someone else.

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