4 Tips from 4 Emerging Writers: “Find Your Light”

Under 30

We’re kicking off the new year with a few tips from emerging Chicago writers. They are making waves locally and beyond with their short stories, podcasts, and storytelling shows. we’re happy to share with you the tips that have helped them forge the beginnings of what will be long careers.

  • Ines Bellina: “My favorite tip is, and forever will be, the following: Get. Your. Butt. On. That. Chair. Every single day. There’s no way around it, folks. If you fear the chair, then give yourself permission to write for only five minutes a day. You’ll probably end up writing more than that. And if you don’t, you’ve at least devoted five whole minutes to your craft.”
  • Tom Harrison: “As a writer, you’re going to find yourself in the suffocating and inescapable thought-prison of “Oh my god, I’m terrible and nothing I ever do will be good enough.” The trick is to react not by giving up, but by going “Oh, cool. Then I guess I can do whatever I want!”
  • Eric Ruelle: “The director of a play might give an actor the note to, ‘find your light,’ if the actor’s face isn’t visible to the audience – the same goes for emerging writers looking to express their talent. Seek out publishers, performance bookers, and mentors that exemplify the work you do. Notice that, ‘your light,’ might not be the same as other writers’ and appreciate that. Any award, publication, or achievement your peers receive keeps the opportunity for you to write alive. Lastly, if you can’t find it, create your own light and put it out there. Not only is it good for you, but I have found no greater joy than being able to highlight the work of artists I admire with the shows that I’ve produced over the years.”
  • Ted Wesenberg: “Here’s my favorite writing tip: Write every single day.”

In summary: if you want to succeed as a writer, be a writer. Ignore your fears. Forgo procrastination. Find your community. Find your support. Find a way to put your pen to the page. For more writing tips and recommended tools, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For bimonthly tips and tricks on how to further your writing career, sign up for our newsletter.




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Our very own website and registration will be here by end of May!

Hello, our amazing fans and friends.

Just a note to let you know that we’ve been working on all sorts of back-end stuff: fulfilling our Kickstarter rewards, creating content for the new website, and creating registration links.

We are also ironing out the schedule for September. To stay up to date, either follow this blog, or follow us on twitter or “Like” our facebook page.

Yes, there will be poetry

Our inbox has been blowing up (ish) with request for a Poetry panel in September.

Today we can confirm it:

Yes, there will be a poetry panel.

Speakers are unconfirmed, but as soon as they are confirmed, you can bet their names will be here.

Wanna actually see it happen? Then donate here. We can’t make this happen unless we get our start up funds.

You must contribute by 8 pm on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

What is unique about the Chicago literary community?

Ian Belknap, Founder and Producer of Write Club

“This uncommon sense that we all want each other to do well.”

“In Chicago, there’s much more the sense that the work itself is exciting.”

William Shunn, Author and Co-host of Tuesday Funk

“One of the things that I really appreciated when I came to Chicago was the fact that there didn’t seem to be much literary snobbery.”

“I got involved with the Tuesday Funk reading series which was open to not just poetry, non-fiction, but genre fiction also, and eventually started running that series. And I think that the way all those different worlds are coming together in Chicago is really very positive, very exciting, and I just want to see more and more and more of that.”

What do you think is unique about the Chicago literary community? Tell us in the comments below or tweet it to us on Twitter or post your comments on our Facebook page.

Nice posts from Science Fiction writers

The Chicago Writers Conference is getting some blove (pronounced “bluv” that’s Blog-Love) from some cool science fiction writers. Check it out!

From Inhuman Swill, the blog of Science Fiction author William Shunn.

Blog of science fiction author Tobias Buckell.

Enjoy, and happy reading!


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O’Reilly Likes Us!

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New Video from CWC Founder

Chicago Writers Conference Founder Mare Swallow explains why she started the CWC and why Chicago needs a writers conference. Watch the video here:


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Why does Chicago need a Writers Conference?

“The live lit scene in Chicago is exploding”

– Ian Belknap, Write Club Founder and Producer @writeclubrules

“Chicago is this amazing literary city”

– Mare Swallow, Founder Chicago Writers Conference @chiwritersconf

“Chicago has a really vibrant and accepting literary scene”

– William Shunn, Co-host of Tuesday Funk @tuesdayfunk

Chicago Writers Conference is coming to Tribune Tower September 14-16, 2012

Query Critique for Writers Added

We’ve just added a new reward to our Kickstarter campaign, this one especially for writers who want to get published.

The Guide to Literary Agents editor Chuck Sambuchino has generously donated his critical eye and editorial services. For $50, a backer may receive a query letter or book synopsis critique.  Each backer who snaps up this reward (5 available) may submit up to one page (single spaced) of an agent query letter or book synopsis for feedback from Chuck.

In addition to editing the Guide to Literary Agents and its companion blog, Chuck is also a best-selling humor author. Chuck is also one of the Chicago Writers Conference presenters.


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CWC speaker Doug Seibold featured in Chicago Reader this week

Chicago Writers Conference speaker Doug Seibold (founder, Agate Publishing) was interviewed by the Chicago Reader for the Spring Books Issue this week.

Click here to read the article.

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