The Scribe's Window

The Scribe's Window Helping writers find their voice and realize their publishing goals

The Scribe’s Window is a book development company committed to helping both fiction and nonfiction writers express themselves more clearly, more honestly, and more powerfully through developmental editing, coaching, and workshops.

Tis the season for writer’s conferences. I adore this little snack bag. #thiseditorslife #thisagentlife
06/23/2018

Tis the season for writer’s conferences. I adore this little snack bag. #thiseditorslife #thisagentlife

My client, Sadeqa Johnson, continues to do her thing promoting AND THEN THERE WAS ME! If you're in Virginia, check out h...
05/01/2017
Pens Up, Fears Down with Sadeqa Johnson

My client, Sadeqa Johnson, continues to do her thing promoting AND THEN THERE WAS ME! If you're in Virginia, check out her writing workshop that starts tomorrow. (And, yes, I've been known to crack the whip when necessary). http://wtvr.com/2017/05/01/pens-up-fears-down-with-sadeqa-johnson/) #ScribeOn #AndThenThereWasME

RICHMOND, Va. - Sadeqa Johnson has worked with top authors like J.K. Rowling, Amy Tan and Bebe Moore Campbell before co-founding her own boutique publishing house.

A wonderfully truthful piece. I salute you Peternelle van Arsdale! Congrats on your novel!
03/04/2017
How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Market and Just Write

A wonderfully truthful piece. I salute you Peternelle van Arsdale! Congrats on your novel!

If I had to reduce to one word what caused me to leave book publishing, it would be this: Dread. There were so many kinds of dread as an editor. Dread of the not-great cover that you’d have to try …

The Writer's Circle
10/15/2016

The Writer's Circle

How important is your eraser to you?

Magical communication across generations!
05/08/2016

Magical communication across generations!

04/14/2016
The Atlantic

The Atlantic

Ta-Nehisi Coates on writing: "I always consider the entire process about failure, and I think that's the reason why more people don't write."

04/13/2016
Curtis Sittenfeld

I love this.

So Eligible got a solidly bad review from The New York Times today (and the review also contains plot spoilers). It's not the first time one of my novels has gotten a bad review from the Times, let alone from many other publications or from anonymous online reviewers. Public criticism is definitely part of being a novelist, and although I have a far thicker skin than I once did, I'll never love it. (I skip reading some bad reviews, but I'm too curious to skip the Times.) Weirdly, though, one of the lessons I've learned in the 11 years since my first novel was published is that many things in your life and your career have to have gone right in order for your novel to receive a prominent negative review. Today's review is a bummer, but it's certainly not a tragedy.

It's actually strangely hard to quantify a book's success--is it sales? reviews? reader feedback? I would say no to all of those because I've read excellent books that were barely reviewed or barely sold (and I've read terrible books that were widely praised and sold well). Sometimes when interviewers ask if I'm writing for a particular audience, I say that I want to write a book I'd enjoy reading if I hadn't written it. If I hadn't written this one, I too might wonder if the world needed another Pride and Prejudice retelling (for that matter, I'd be skeptical about the plots of my other books--Laura Bush?! Psychic twins?!!) but I'm confident that if I did read Eligible, I'd enjoy it. In the end, I really do think "success" for a novelist means writing the book you meant to write.

In other words, at the risk of revealing myself to be the cornball I fundamentally am, I've found that, as with so much in life, affirmation in writing has to come from within.

Btw is a post this long-winded even legal?!

Patron of the Arts
02/22/2016

Patron of the Arts

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case." -Chuck Close

#scribeon
12/18/2015

#scribeon

#boom

25 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer
11/17/2015
25 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer

25 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer

Everyone has a story to tell. And pretty much everyone (at least everyone of a certain variety) has dreamed about writing that story down and sharing it with the world. But, er, how?

Elin Hilderbrand, Marisa de los Santos, Elizabeth Strout and my author at #16. Sadeqa Johnson, you are in the best compa...
11/12/2015
23 Books You Should Read This Winter

Elin Hilderbrand, Marisa de los Santos, Elizabeth Strout and my author at #16. Sadeqa Johnson, you are in the best company. Many more "must read" lists to come! #scribeon

Just in time for Thanksgiving vacation, we've got your roundup of the best books to crack open this Winter. Women's fiction author Brenda Janowitz has shared with us her recommendations for the best holiday books! If you missed her past picks, here are

"Asked if he had considered giving up writing, the 44-year-old writer said: “I did give it up. I actually destroyed th...
10/14/2015
Man Booker winner's debut novel rejected nearly 80 times

"Asked if he had considered giving up writing, the 44-year-old writer said: “I did give it up. I actually destroyed the manuscript, I even went on my friends computers and erased it.” He said he retrieved the text by searching in the email outbox of an old iMac computer. #scribeon

Jamaican author Marlon James says he nearly gave up writing after his first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected 78 times by publishers

#truth #scribeon
09/06/2015

#truth #scribeon

Truth 🙌🏼

08/08/2015
The Atlantic

Worth the entire 3 minutes and 42 seconds.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on writing: "I always consider the entire process about failure, and I think that's the reason why more people don't write."

Yes!
08/01/2015

Yes!

"I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine... before she realizes she's reading." -- Maya Angelou -- The Angelou Johnson Family

Love the old boozy old world of publishing and the relationship between Harper Lee and her editor this article describes...
07/13/2015
The Invisible Hand Behind Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

Love the old boozy old world of publishing and the relationship between Harper Lee and her editor this article describes (not much has changed). #whydevelopmentaleditorsareimportant #theinvisiblehand

Signs point to a close collaboration between Harper Lee and Tay Hohoff, the editor who worked with Ms. Lee as her novel went from a dark tale to a redemptive one.

03/30/2015

In exactly one month, I board the train to Boston for the Muse and the Marketplace 2015 Writer's Conference. Love the folks at Grub Street! Check out my micro-interview and share the toughest criticism you've ever received on your writing.

Mobile Uploads
03/25/2015

Mobile Uploads

Accountability is key!
03/22/2015
Accountability | GrubStreet

Accountability is key!

In every class I teach, my students most commonly discuss the issue of prioritizing their writing.

To read later.
03/14/2015
Toni Morrison | NEA

To read later.

Author Toni Morrison being awarded the 2011 National Book Festival's Creative Achievement Award. Photo by Kristina Nixon/Library of Congress

One of my favorite, most hard working authors! Sometimes a self published book can be a stepping stone to being traditio...
03/11/2015

One of my favorite, most hard working authors! Sometimes a self published book can be a stepping stone to being traditionally published. But you must have a publishing mindset from the beginning.

This is for #writerstipsTuesday & #TBT. This book right here started it all for me. I self-published in 1997, sold 9,000 copies in 6 months, and was then picked up by Grand Central Publishing which at the time was Time Warner. Although I have come a long way as a writer, the "secret" to my success was that I had a good story, but the book was very well-edited. A great developmental editor and then I hired a separate copy editor. So when people read Temptation, they were not distracted by errors. That's one of the secrets, aspiring writers. Publish quality. No matter what it costs. Publish. Quality. Period.

02/21/2015
American Express and Indie Filmmaker Nelson George | The Journey From Dream To Screen

"We see the final product -- the crystalline product of many refinements and revisions. But that journey is grimy. It's struggle. It's dirty. It's painful" -- Nelson George.

When best-selling author Nelson George (Hip Hop America) met failure, he questioned the choice to become an indie filmmaker. Find out why he never stopped on...

The Grande Dame!
02/18/2015

The Grande Dame!

Happy 84th birthday to Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison! During her decades-long career, Morrison taught at several renowned colleges and universities including Yale, Barnard, and Princeton, all the while creating an impressive body of literary work. Her first novel to bring her national attention was “Song of Solomon,” published in 1977. Her 1987 novel,” Beloved,” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, as well as the American Book Award.

Among many other accolades, Morrison was selected for the Jefferson Lecture, and, in 2012, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US. Upon awarding her, President Obama said of Ms. Morrison: “Toni reaches us deeply using a tone that is lyrical, precise, distinct and inclusive. She believes that language 'arcs toward the place where meaning might lie.' The rest of us are happy to be following along for the ride."

Morrison published a book for young readers ages 9 and up, “Remember: The Journey to School Integration,” filled with stirring stories and archival photographs depicting the history of school desegregation: http://www.amightygirl.com/remember

For books about other trailblazing girls and women in the arts, visit our "Creative Arts" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/creative-arts

To encourage your children's interest in creative writing, visit our blog post on "Fantastic Adventures and Amazing Tales: Encouraging Creative Writing and Storytelling" for a selection of writing-oriented books, toys, and activities for both children and teens at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=4937

And, to learn about more remarkable African American girls and women, visit our "African American History" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/history-biography/history-united-states?cat=201

Thanks to Teach Kids Productions for sharing this image!

01/29/2015
Marie Forleo

Love Marie Forleo and was delighted to find this Q&A about writing a book. Her Tip #3? That's what coaching at The Scribe's Window is all about.

Trying to write a book, but too busy making money to get it done? Watch this semi-vintage #MarieTV for help.

Fun article on how an editor helps a writer.
01/28/2015
Editing, Uhh! What Is It Good For?

Fun article on how an editor helps a writer.

I’m closing in on finishing a book about how to see as a writer [note: wear glasses], and there’s a little section on editing in there, from which some of this is excerpted and massaged. (Po...

Patricia Polacco
12/23/2014

Patricia Polacco

Looking for a few more aspiring novelists to fill out my Online Writer's Group. Come to my Free Online Informational Ses...
12/16/2014
The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group | The Scribe's Window

Looking for a few more aspiring novelists to fill out my Online Writer's Group. Come to my Free Online Informational Session on Sunday, December 21st and learn all about it.http://www.thescribeswindow.com/writers-group/

The Scribe's Window Online Writer's Group New Group Starts November 18th Click to Learn More! The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group is a supportive, learning environment for those seeking to improve their writing and who are prepared to be generous and constructive in their critique of others. T…

12/06/2014
EHE: Emily Heckman Editorial

Yes!

Shelly Oria Recommends...
WRITERS RECOMMEND
Posted 12.05.14

“Show up: at your desk, on the page. Show up often, show up with an open heart, show up all hardcore and ready to work. But when you don't show up, when it's been days and weeks and months and you haven't shown up, take a bath. By which I mean: be kind, be gentle. Whatever you do, don't be an asshole to yourself. Screaming at yourself will—at best—carry you through an hour, a day of work. Ultimately, artistic journeys are about truth and self-discovery, and we can't be truthful or discover ourselves when someone is yelling at us, even if (or especially if) the yelling is taking place inside our own heads. But here's the thing: We all live with an inner asshole and he isn't going anywhere. Which means, we kind of have to learn how to become best friends. Take your inner asshole out on a date. Go to your favorite gallery, spend two hours at a coffee shop with a book, visit a spa—whichever act of kindness can shock your system. When the date is over, ask, Hey, what do you need? Say, I'm trying to write this story, this essay, this novel; is there anything I can do that would make it possible to work tomorrow morning? Ask, how can we do this together? When we're truly kind, something shifts in us.”
—Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)

There's nothing better than putting a newborn book on the shelf. This client started with a manuscript consultation, had...
11/17/2014

There's nothing better than putting a newborn book on the shelf. This client started with a manuscript consultation, had three months of coaching, and now she has a finished book. I'm super happy for her.

It was a honor and a challenge (super long book) to work on EDGE OF ETERNITY last year. He talks about working with me a...
11/04/2014
Ken Follett Explains How to Write Black Characters as a 65-Year-Old Brit

It was a honor and a challenge (super long book) to work on EDGE OF ETERNITY last year. He talks about working with me at minute 14.

Listen to Episode 93 of Slate’s The Gist: Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS feed ∙ Download ∙ Play in another tab Today on The Gist, Riveted author Jim Davies explains the cognitive science behind what we find compelling. Plus, author Ken Follett explains his methods for holding interest through thousand-pl…

10/30/2014
www.sadeqajohnson.com

Super excited for my client, Sadeqa Johnson, who will be published by St Martin's Press in 2016! It was a long road, which she traveled with persistence and faith.

10/24/2014

In talking to a prospective client today, I realized I have acquired several books written my African women: ZENZELE: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire, DO THEY HEAR YOU WHEN YOU CRY by Fauziya Kasindja, and STARRING IN YOUR OWN LIFE by Lena Nozizwe.

Stunning, revealing essay by one of my clients!
10/22/2014
That Smell - Full Grown People

Stunning, revealing essay by one of my clients!

It’s not armpit odor, or old urine, or greasy hair. It’s the smell of human skin trying to metabolize, to slough off, the stench of alcohol.

Did I really think I could start the Writers Group the same week my kids return to school? Yes, I did think I could, but...
08/29/2014
The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group | The Scribe's Window

Did I really think I could start the Writers Group the same week my kids return to school? Yes, I did think I could, but my wiser self triumphed. So The Scribe's Window Online Writers Group is going to start on October 7th. Applications being accepted now until September 18th.http://www.thescribeswindow.com/writers-group/

The Scribe's Window Online Writer's Group New Group Starts October 7th Click to Learn More! The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group is a supportive, learning environment for those seeking to improve their writing and who are prepared to be generous and constructive in their critique of others. Thi…

08/27/2014

Super excited to welcome all the new folks to my page! I speak to everyone who is interested in my services personally, so inbox me here or at my website www.thescribeswindow.com.

Is your novel finished and you're wondering what to do next? Are you stuck with your writing and need a boost? Are you c...
08/24/2014
The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group | The Scribe's Window

Is your novel finished and you're wondering what to do next? Are you stuck with your writing and need a boost? Are you curious about how a Writer's group might help you? I'm inviting you to find the answers to these questions. Inbox me.http://www.thescribeswindow.com/writers-group/

The Scribe's Window Online Writer's Group New Group Starts September 9th Click to Learn More! The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group is a supportive, learning environment for those seeking to improve their writing and who are prepared to be generous and constructive in their critique of others. T…

Are you thirsty for constructive feedback on the novel you're writing? We are now accepting applications for the 8-week ...
08/22/2014
The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group | The Scribe's Window

Are you thirsty for constructive feedback on the novel you're writing? We are now accepting applications for the 8-week Scribe's Window Online Writer's Group. Join us for the free online orientation on August 24th. http://www.thescribeswindow.com/writers-group/

The Scribe’s Window Online Writer’s Group is a supportive, learning environment for those seeking to improve their writing and who are prepared to be generous and constructive in their critique of others. T…

Upworthy
08/15/2014

Upworthy

One of our favorite quotes from "Dead Poets Society." We'll miss you, Robin Williams.

Thanks to Global Citizen for the photo.

Is Your Novel Ready for a Literary Agent?
08/07/2014
Is Your Novel Ready for a Literary Agent?

Is Your Novel Ready for a Literary Agent?

You want to be sustained by your writing—emotionally and financially—so you can do it some more. So do I. The secret to reaching this realm is the guidance and support of a literary agent, that ...

Strong advice here
07/31/2014
Is Your Novel Ready for a Literary Agent?

Strong advice here

You want to be sustained by your writing—emotionally and financially—so you can do it some more. So do I. The secret to reaching this realm is the guidance and support of a literary agent, that ...

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