The Poetry of Walking

Mystery Forest - Denise Enck

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ― Mary Oliver Would you like to journey down a path that will help conjure creative insight? A common premise in Taoism is, in the literal sense, that Tao means Path, a road that … [Read more...]

With Crooked Legs of Hackberry

On Crooked Legs of Hackberry

At 21, I traveled through India for six months. My world-view had been scrambled, and writing about my travels helped me unscramble it. I had never seen people starving on the streets, their limp bodies scooped up in the morning by a front-end loader. I had never been surrounded by large groups of beggars or lepers. Nobody had ever pushed into my face a live cobra curled in a … [Read more...]

On the Virtues of Pens, Paper & Pixels

For writers of the imagination, what we fear the most is a disruption, a blockage, a sudden dam that changes the course of the river of creativity. Back in the late sixties and early seventies when technological innovation began to creep into the public consciousness, I shunned all the so-called marvels of computers when it came to my writing process.As a novelist, I … [Read more...]

Six Steps to Deal with Rejections

dealing with rejections

Whether we like it or not, ever so often, like an unwelcome houseguest, rejections creep upon us. It doesn’t matter where you are in your writing career or the number of books you have published; rejections lurk around us writers like shadows. Even after having nine books in the market, every time that I receive a rejection letter, it hurts and stinks.That said, no one … [Read more...]

10 places to find reviewers for your self-published book

How to find reviewers for your self-published book

Self-publishing is a great way to get your book into the world. But when you self-publish, you take on all the responsibilities that a traditional publisher usually would, including marketing the book, soliciting reviews, sending out review copies, and generating buzz. (And it's best to start on these things before your book is published.) So, how do you do find the reviewers … [Read more...]

Reflections of a Writer


In 2012, for NaNoWriMo, which is an annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world, I commenced work on my third novel. I honestly had no desire of doing so because in the 1st week of November 2012, I had a book launch. My nonfiction book, Mouth Full, was scheduled for release at the South Asian Literary … [Read more...]

How to Publish Your Poetry – Some Advice.

On Publishing Poetry

Though the focus of this article is on poets & poetry, many of the tips below are appropriate for writers of fiction and nonfiction as well.Where should I publish my poems? Finding the right places to submit your can be tricky. Here's where to look.Poet's Market My best suggestion for locating publishers is that you get your hands on a copy of Poet's Market, … [Read more...]

Why multi-genre writing rocks!

Sweta Srivasta Vikram books

During the week of June 14-17, I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to attend the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference. It is a program that offers the opportunity for people to meet fellow writers and learn from some of the best in the field, and I was ecstatic. But a dear friend, who is privy to my day-to-day madness, asked me, “Do you have any energy left to participate in a … [Read more...]

How to write an excellent book review query

Skiing in Interzone - a fictitious book

So, your book is finished and you need to get the word out. You've found some book reviewers who you'd like to email. You're hoping they'll accept a copy of your book for possible review.But here's where it can get kind of tricky. Those reviewers are busy, and more likely to say "yes" if you approach them in the right way.Here's how to do that: 1. Start with the … [Read more...]

10 public speaking tips for writers

Public Speaking for Writers

Writers often work in solitude. But when it's time to do a reading or a book signing, or to give a presentation or speech, you're no longer in your own environment, and the nerves can really kick in! Do you dread public speaking? Here's how to alleviate anxiety when you find yourself in the spotlight.1. Don't depend upon electronic devices. Preparing your notes on a … [Read more...]

So You Want to Be a Writer?

writing / image credit: rockpuppet

Writing can be very rewarding, but both beginning and experienced writers sometimes have trouble getting motivated, staying inspired, finding the time, and continuing their work. Here are ten tips to jump start your writing - and keep it going.1. WriteActually write. It sounds simple, but for some people it is not. There are plenty of wannabes who claim to be writers … [Read more...]

The one thing an author should never, ever do.


I'm a reviewer. I hang out on message boards frequented by other reviewers. One popular topic on these message boards is that of authors who comment on reviews of their books.Almost all reviewers agree that authors shouldn't ever do it, and when it happens, someone often links to the site where it's going down, so we can all go over and see how badly everyone behaved. … [Read more...]

On writing poetry – how to write terrific poems

Book / copyright pear83 /

Here are some tips on learning about poetry, finding your unique voice, and writing terrific poems.Preparation & Inspiration for Writing Poetry Read as much contemporary poetry as you can. Those who read little poetry rarely succeed as poets. (Just as those who don't experience a wide variety of foods rarely succeed as chefs, and those with little experience running … [Read more...]

Where and How to Sell Your Poetry Books

Print books vs. e-books

So, you've self-published your book.Now what? Your book just arrived from the printer. Having them published was the easy part. Now your greatest challenge is upon you - you need to get your work out of those boxes and into the hands of appreciative readers.It's difficult enough for publishers to sell poetry books (poetry sells slowly & people are especially hesitant to … [Read more...]

Poetry Careers – Can You Make Money With Poetry?

Book / copyright pear83 /

Poets new to publishing sometimes ask how to get paid for publishing their poetry, and how to make a living as a poet.The answer, in a nutshell, is: you don't. Writing poetry is very rewarding, but not usually in monetary ways.Even the best-known poets typically also teach, work in the publishing industry, journalism, or in some other field.What do poetry … [Read more...]

Self-publishing Your Poetry Book or Broadside


How can I arrange to have my book printed / published? There are various ways to go about it. You can put together a small book by hand, or have a local printer publish some books for you. Or, you can buy a publishing package from a "self-publishing" or "print-on-demand" company. They are all viable options, depending on your budget, needs & preferences. Read on for some … [Read more...]

Authors Copyright and Permissions


For some reason, we receive a fair amount of email from folks looking for contact information for particular writers. On occasion those searching for copyright permissions inquire as well. Below you'll find advice on locating writers, poets, their estates and copyright holders.Finding an Author One of the best sources for locating living authors is the Poets & … [Read more...]

The Lowdown on Copyright for Poets and Writers

Copyright - Typewriter Key

What you need to know about copyrights: Here at Empty Mirror we often get email from folks who would like to know more about how copyright works. Here's a brief explanation.[Please note - I am not an attorney, and the information presented here has been gathered from a number of sources. I am talking here about copyright practices in the US & Canada. If you would … [Read more...]

17 Syllables: The Death of Traditional Haiku

basho / wikipedia

Recently, I came across a poetry site touting the virtues of the winning work of a recent Haiku contest. The "Haiku" in question was an ode to the writer's car. Something small but vitally important died within my soul.In our fast-paced society brevity is king. Texting has replaced conversation, microwaves have replaced ovens, tweeting has replaced letters. It's no … [Read more...]

How to Promote A Literary, Music or Art Website


So, you've got a new website. Now what? Your website is finally online. That was the easy part! Now for the real challenge - getting the word out about your site & attracting visitors. And, since most of your visitors will find you through the search engines, you'll need the search engines to visit your site regularly also. (That's how they'll figure out what your site's … [Read more...]

Writing Effectively for the Web


Why Write Differently for the Web Than for Print? Text on the web presents unique problems for the writer, webdesigner, and reader, for a number of reasons.Computer monitors are harder on the eyes than paper. Compared to the printed word, they're fairly low-resolution (even "high definition" ones!), so the words are not as sharp as they are on paper. Studies have shown … [Read more...]

Constrained Writing Techniques

3 Constrained Writing Techniques / photo by Leah Jones

Constrained writing can produce some unexpected results. In my recent experimenting with language and poetry, I remembered some of the Surrealist/Dadaist techniques I’d learned in my youth, and added a few updates of my own.Found PoetryThe site has a pretty interesting explanation of Found Poetry: A found poem uses language from non-poetic … [Read more...]