The Practice of Creativity

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Hi writers,

Ten years ago, around this time of year, I became a published (and paid) writer! My story, ‘Family Line’ was published in the Stories of You: Tales of the Second Person. That story has gone on to be widely anthologized in print and audio. I still get goosebumps thinking about that milestone.

“Family Line” appeared in this recent anthology

Let’s celebrate my win with something to support your writing life!

Here’s what I’m going to do:

I’ve created an early bird special for you to enroll in my Chart Your Path to Publication online course which starts in January 2023. I only open this course once a year.

I know that might be enough for you but I’m going to do something AWESOME here which is to include my very popular mini-training on Savvy Submission Strategies for Writers!

This mini-training helps you take the fear, overwhelm and confusion out of the submission process so you can be a more visible, successful and confident writer.

To get you ready for 2023, I’ll send you the training (two videos) and then you can join me in an interactive live workshop via Zoom on Sunday, Dec 4, 2022, 4pm EST:

           “How to Navigate The Submission Stream”

During the workshop, I will be guiding you through exercises to help align your writing goals with easeful ways of getting more of your work into the “submission stream”, accepted, and published. We’ll have time for Q&A so you can get answers to some of your burning questions. 

*Delivered via Zoom. I’d love for you to be there live but if you can’t it’s no problem–it will be recorded!

Many of you have wanted to work with me and this course provides a great way to do so.

 

 Chart Your Path to Publication online course

Modules on how to submit your work, tools of the trade (how to write cover letters, bios, query letters, book proposals), how to find markets for your work, author mindset (how to navigate rejection) + MUCH MORE+ a Live Coaching Call

My online course provides you a roadmap to expertly and joyously navigate your way through the ever-changing and volatile landscape of publishing.

This course will teach you strategies to beat the odds of rejection. You’ll learn how to select markets for your work,  how to submit your work, track submissions, and find great resources.

If you come to the end of every year wondering why you aren’t more widely published, this is the course for you!

Let me support you to get published and experience confidence every step of the way.

My early bird special is pretty amazing. Those of you who know me know I like to “over deliver”.  

This offer is gone 11:59 pm Monday, Nov 28 (Pacific Standard Time)

Check out all the details for enrollment here.

In a week or so I’ll be telling everyone outside this community about Chart Your Path to Publication and offering it at a higher price and without this bonus workshop. So, if this sounds good to you, I’d go here now.

Best,
Michele

PS, I should mention that this year’s cohort of writers I worked with in Chart Your Path to Publication had many writing successes including: 

-Earning their first publication credit!

-Getting more sales of their work!

-Establishing and refinement of their writing practices

-Upgraded mindset about what is possible for them

-Gained more confidence working with editors, agents and publishing professionals

-Negative writing habits dissolved, even after years of struggle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi creative community,
Although Halloween is officially over, I’ve got something for you if you enjoy horror, stories about the undead and/or want to support diverse creators.
I just contributed to the Indiegogo campaign for Blackened Roots: An Anthology of the Undead.

Blackened Roots is an anthology of stories written by Black writers from all over the world featuring tales of non-traditional zombies. Think The Girl With All The Gifts, not The Walking Dead.

The anthology is co-edited by Stoker-nominated and award-winning editor and writer Nicole Givens Kurtz at Mocha Memoirs Press, and award-winning producer and editor Tonia Ransom at NIGHTLIGHT. At least three stories from the anthology will air on the NIGHTLIGHT podcast.

Even if you can’t give at this time, would you do me a huge favor and share this campaign in your networks? TY!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/blackened-roots-an-anthology-of-the-undead–2#/

Nicole is an amazing author, a writing buddy of mine and also published one of my stories in the groundbreaking Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire. And, I’ve been privileged to have one of my stories anthologized bu Nightlight. They are great team!
I asked Nicole to share a few words about this project:
1 . What makes your Indiegogo unique?
Our Indiegogo is unique because it features all Black horror authors proving non-traditional zombie stories. Many of these authors are award-winners and we’re working with an award-winning podcast, NIGHTLIGHT.
2 . Why should people support it?
People should support diversity in speculative fiction because representation matters, not just for those represented, but for everyone. Members need to see other ethnicities and races in various roles beyond stereotypical ones. It affects how Black people are seen.
3.  What’s the deadline?

The deadline for the Indiegogo is due November 25th.

4. Any other things about the indigogogo  you care to share.

The table of contents for this volume of non-traditional zombie stories features Eden Royce, Sheree Renee Thomas, Brandon Massey, Craig Laurence Gidney, and so many more. Also, this is the first volume of its  kind.
This anthology will be released during Black History month in 2023. Please share with your networks!

Hi Writing Peeps!

During the past six weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and working with writers through my free training ‘Savvy Submission Strategies for Writers’ and those who enrolled in my new online course ‘Chart Your Path to Publication’.

The work has been deep, heart-filled and energizing. Writers came eager to learn and share their experiences navigating the submission process.

Some writers, if they are very lucky, have mentors that guide them, most learn through painful trial and error. I want to provide a shortcut for YOU in submitting your work and navigating your way through the volatile landscape of publishing.

Imagine what getting better writing results in 2022 might feel like.

For a short time, I’m opening enrollment to my online course Chart Your Path to Publication. My online course provides structure and accountability for YOU—two key things that I know as a successful writer and coach are essential to writing success. You’ll feel less overwhelmed, confused and afraid about submitting your work and publishing after taking my course.

If you sign up NOW, you’ll be able to take part in the live Q&A via Zoom on February 5 at 12pm EST (or send questions that will be answered on the air. Session will be recorded). Charting Your Path to Publication teaches strategies to beat the odds of rejection. You’ll learn how to select markets for your work, track submissions, and find great resources.

We’ll also spend time exploring the role of author mindset as vital to publishing success. There is no one path to publication, but we can follow and replicate the strategies of accomplished writers. By the end of the course you will have an action plan with concrete steps toward publication (or, if already published with a plan about how to become more widely so).

Ready to join me and the other amazing writers who have made the commitment to themselves to get more of their work in the world? All the enrollment details are here.

Hi writing community! I’m really close to wrapping up my long-awaited comprehensive workshop on “Savvy Submission Strategies for Writers”. Writers often struggle with consistently submitting their work to agents, publishers, journal and anthology editors, etc. and dealing with the fear of rejection. We often don’t have efficient processes in place to keep track of our submissions. This workshop addresses those concerns and provide folks the tools to double their submission rate and feel confident while doing so and MUCH more. I’ll be offering my workshop in Nov. But before I offer it, I have a couple of questions. Can you help me out? You can answer the questions in this super short survey (and get a little more detail about the workshop).https://qfreeaccountssjc1.az1.qualtrics.com/…/SV…

THANKS, I really appreciate it!

P.S. We’re still in a pandemic and we’re still dealing with its impact on our writing habits, routines and motivations. My free guide may be helpful to you. Have you checked it out?: Ten Ways to Keep Connected to Your Writing Self during COVID-19 go to: https://mailchi.mp/creativetickle/tenways

It’s mid-summer. And my morning writing practice is full of it. 

Full of summer and full of story. 

I don’t know about you, but I love the creativity that summer sparks in me. 

And this summer–I have something special for you: A FREE author event that is heart-centered and is about connecting our bodies, minds and imaginations. Feeling embodied and writing with an awareness of the body can lead us to new insights as Herring notes:

Our cells have memories. Our bodies have stored all of our experiences-those expressed and unexpressed, even those forgotten. They are there waiting for us.

-Larraine Herring, Writing Begins With the Breath

I’m delighted to share with you that I’ve teamed up with 10 other amazing writers and writing coaches to bring you:

Write from the Heart: How to create and nourish your fiction or memoir so you can finally finish the book you were born to write. 

And what’s more? I’m giving you a complimentary ticket! Yay 🙂

You can claim your seat for this FREE 2-day workshop here: traciskuce.com/mtberger

Check out a few of these heart-centric topics we’ll be covering:

  • How to Create a Nurturing Writing Routine
  • Developing Stronger Internal Conflicts in Your Novel
  • Tap into Your Character’s Impossible Longing
  • How to Leverage the Power of Affirmations for Your Writing Life
  • How to Create Your Own DIY Writing Retreats

These roughly twenty minute presentations will be packed with tips, exercises and techniques.

My presentation is on one of my favorite topics—the power of positive self-talk: ‘Brain Hacking: how to leverage the power of affirmations for your writing life’.

If you’re ready to nourish your creative heart and dive deep into your story, then you’ll want to register for this FREE event. It happens LIVE August 5 & 6 at 12 pm PT/ 3 pm ET 

Get your complimentary ticket here: traciskuce.com/mtberger

afrofuturistbundle

Looking for a summer reading bonanza? And a playlist, too? I’m thrilled to be included in this NEW Afrofuturist and Black Fantastic ‘storybundle’ featuring established and emerging voices in speculative fiction. It was curated by award-winning writer Tenea D. Johnson and includes work from a Horror Writers Association lifetime achievement winner, Tiptree winner, a couple of Parallax winners, fresh voices from the Caribbean and Africa, African historical fiction, intelligent space romps, vampires, and a fiction album.

I believe this is the first Afrofuturist and Black Fantastic themed storybundle. It’s my first time being included in a curated storybundle!

How does it work?

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE. For a little more you’ll get 11 books! My novella, Reenu-You about a mysterious virus seemingly transmitted through a hair care product billed as a natural relaxer is one of the ‘bonus books’.

Bundle buyers also have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to Mighty Writers, an amazing organization that supports young writers! Check out all the details below. This bundle is available for just three weeks. And, please feel free to signal boost. Thanks!

https://storybundle.com/afrofuturism

One of my writing joys in 2020 was producing a monthly column on creativity for the Chatham County Line. It’s always been a strong publication and great community resource, but under the recent leadership of Randy Voller and Lesley Landis it has flourished. The layout and design is fantastic.

In the summer, I began a three part series about how publishing and writing will change during this decade. The last installment of the series spotlights diversity and is now available. Documenting the ugly things about publishing and its lack of diversity was painful. For a while I had writer’s block (which is atypical for me) because I had to relive and remember the ways I’ve been affected by the cumulative effects of multiple ‘isms’ in publishing’s history. In the end, I found a way to strike a balance between talking about the structural obstacles and point to the tentative positive direction of change. That felt like a win as it gives the average reader a way to understand the issues without overwhelming them. And, I took some of the most charged parts of my experience out to explore in a future long-form essay, so that’s a win, too. Writing always leads to more writing!

You can read it (and parts 1 & 2) on the updated website. I look forward to writing more columns this year. And, if you’ve got a topic you’d like to see me explore, please let me know!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks: Writing and Publishing in the 2020s-Part 3

Coming of age in the 1970s and 1980s, I never read a commercial novel that featured a character that was anything like me: African American, female, wickedly smart, urban, and geeky. The children’s and young adult market was dominated by white heroes, white heroines and white authors. If I came across an African American character, they were typically described by the color of their skin (in contrast to white characters who were never described by skin tone) and simplistically rendered. They functioned as a sidekick, devoid of cultural experiences that connected them to the rich kaleidoscope of African American life. It wasn’t until college (!) that I discovered commercial (and literary) novels that reflected some of my life experiences back to me. This was a result of two factors. One was the success of small independent presses begun by second wave feminists that published new work by a diversity of women writers. The second was that by the mid-1980s traditional publishing briefly opened up to a few African American female writers, including Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor.

Read the rest here

Happy New Year!

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. But I do like to have a set of guiding intentions for the year which are different than resolutions or even goals. Intentions feel less rigid than resolutions. This year to support my intentions, I am trying something new—Chris Brogan’s 3 Word Process. Chris Brogan is a consultant and bestselling writer and he has been sharing his 3 Word Process for over a decade. I had never heard of his process though it is quite popular.

You decide on three words and they guide “your choices and actions day to day”. They represent one’s commitments for the year and as Brogan says act as “lighthouses”. From his practice over the years choosing three words is better and more powerful than four words or two words.

I like the simplicity of narrowing one’s focus to encompass three meaningful words. Also, I believe 2021 will be a transitional year (especially the first half) due to the pandemic. Last year, my well-groomed goals quickly flew out the window as was true for many. Adaptability and flexibility were key lessons for me in 2020, so there’s no reason now to get locked into rigid goal-setting given so many variables out of my control.

My words for 2021 are Systems, Replenish and Solo

Systems: I want to undertake systems level change and integration with my technology (i.e. multiple computers, phones, etc.), but also between my career, writing life and coaching business. I’m looking for efficiency and ease.

Replenish: Despite the pandemic, 2020 was the most successful year I ever had as a creative writer and coach across all metrics (e.g. publications, relationship-building, craft up leveling, revenue generated, and fun had). It was also an incredibly successful year in my academic career. I, however, burned the candle at both ends and have been doing so for a long time. I need fill the creative well.

Solo: I love collaborations and am good at them, but 2021 will be the year for discernment. Some of my academic collaborations are naturally coming to an end because our projects are nearing completion. Others, I will need to consciously change or end. As a writer and coach, I will use this word to remind me to weigh the pros and cons of a potential collaboration.

If you are looking for a guiding rubric in 2021 besides the standard New Year’s resolutions, you may enjoy the 3 Word Process. Find out more here. And, if you decide to use his process, please share your 3 words—we can hold each other accountable!

Photo credit

Happy holidays everyone! I hope you are safe and well!

I wanted to share some EXCELLENT news!

I recently discovered that my novelette “Doll Seed” published last year (in FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction) has won the Carl Brandon Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society.

It carries with it a $1,000 cash prize.

The Carl Brandon Society is composed of fans and writers of speculative fiction and their mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction.

I’m thrilled, honored and a little breathless!

My story is about dolls, magic, and civil rights. It even imagines what happened to those black and white dolls that were used in psychology experiments leading up to the famous Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

Persistence and belief in one’s ideas is everything—I worked on and submitted this story for YEARS before it found a fantastic home!

My thanks goes to Marjorie Hudson who gave me great editorial advice on the story, many moons ago, and Val Nieman who was an early and enthusiastic reader.

Congrats to Akwaeke Emezi for winning the Parallax Award for their YA novel Pet (Random House) & all the amazing writers on the Honors Lists!

More about the Carl Brandon Society and the awards here.

“Doll Seed” appeared last summer in FIYAH. I’d love for people to support this wonderful magazine, so if interested, you can purchase the issue here.

 

 

 

Hi folks,

I’ve got a GREAT opportunity for you. Two spaces just opened up for my last RESET, RENEW, RECLAIM virtual writing retreat being held TOMORROW, Saturday, Dec 12, 11-3. And, I want to make it available to you for $39 (originally $69)! My purpose is to support and uplift writers and I’d love for you to experience this retreat at a SWEET price.

Saturday’s topic is Author Mindset/Creating Juicy Goals for 2021. We’ll spend our time reflecting on our writing in 2020 (the ups and downs), how to set up sustainable and favorable conditions for our writing life in 2021. We will align our goals to writing systems and prepare for what might throw us off track.

We’ll dream together about to how to create a writing ‘eco-system’ that is sustainable and fun for you in 2021! This has been one of my most productive writing years (despite the pandemic) and I’m going to share all my writing hacks with YOU.

If you haven’t been writing and miss being in a community of writers, this retreat is for you.

During the retreat there will be writing time, mindfulness exercises for focus, cool writing exercises and group coaching. We’ll have the option for a short lunch break and/or additional writing time.

Now is the perfect time to plan for what you want your writing life to LOOK and FEEL like for 2021. The last weeks of Dec and first weeks of Jan are often the worst time to do this kind of work—we’re usually tired from the holidays.

2021 is guaranteed to bring new challenges and opportunities to our writing lives, so let’s prepare!

I hope you join me tomorrow!

I can accept payment:
-via PayPal: bergermichele2005@yahoo.com
Questions? email me: mtb@creativetickle.com


Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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