Weekly Round-Up: Pen Names and Pentameter

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Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we've created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week's posts all in one place.

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Who do you think is the best book villain of all time? Vote now in Arch Villain Madness: The Final Sixteen.

What's in a Name?

When you're an author, your name isn't just your identity—it's also a significant piece of your brand. To ensure your name is working for your brand, read Three Reasons to Use a Pen Name and decide if a pen name is right for you.

Ever stumbled over using a contraction with a proper noun in your writing, as in "Brian's a baseball fan"? This week, we remember Bill Walsh, copy editor at The Washington Post and expert grammarian, through his advice on Contractions With Proper Nouns.

Agents and Opportunities

This week's new literary agent alert is for Damian McNicholl of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. He is looking for great nonfiction and fiction that appeals to a wide audience and makes people think, laugh, and sob.

As a new author, it can be hard to know what to expect—and how to survive. Prepare yourself for the world of publishing with 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Tom Leveen. Then check out Tips for Surviving a Book Tour from a Debut Novelist.

Poetic Asides

For this week's Wednesday Poetry Prompt, write a poem entitled "As (blank) as (blank," replacing the blanks with your chosen words or phrases.

Meet Jaswinder Bolina, American poet and essayist, and check out a poem from his collection Phantom Camera.

This week's Poetry Spotlight shines on Poetry@Tech, a poetry program offered through Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.

Do you know your poetry terms? Get a refresher with 37 Common Poetry Terms.

Poetic Forms

Ars Poetica: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at ars poetica and the art of writing poems about poems.

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 26

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to write about an article of clothing.

Authors Share Tips on Writing Mystery and Thriller Novels That Readers Love

23 Authors Share Tips on Writing Mystery and Thriller Novels That Readers Love

23 authors share tips on writing mystery and thriller novels that readers love, covering topics related to building suspense, inserting humor, crafting incredible villains, and figuring out the time of death.

Jaclyn Goldis: From Personal History to Historical Fiction

Jaclyn Goldis: From Personal History to Historical Fiction

Debut author Jaclyn Goldis explains how her novel When We Were Young was inspired by her real-life grandmothers and how many times she rewrote her first chapter.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Forced Decision

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Forced Decision

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, force a character to make a decision.

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 25

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to write about a cryptid.

From the Practical to the Mystic: 7 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

From the Practical to the Mystic: 7 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Bestselling author Erika Robuck provides her top 7 tips for creating an engaging historical fiction novel.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 559

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a short poem.

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 24

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to create a new myth.