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MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .

SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .

LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .

BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .

SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .

SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .

M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .

ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .

STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .

GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .

JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .

JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .

LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .

ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .

ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .

In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    We’ve arrived at the Winter Solstice, which is the holiday we celebrate at our house. We’re pretty tired of the dark by the time the sun gets to the end of its tether every year, and we’re pretty darn excited about sunlight coming back into our lives again. It takes its toll on us, this long night of the soul, and reminds us that things matter in this world, that the passing of the years is deeply significant. So we’ve been talking here for the last couple of weeks about how to find Joy & Fulfillment through Writing, how to find Gratitude through Writing.

    We’ve also been remembering cause-&-effect, because that’s what everything is all about, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.

    So let’s talk today about community among writers, all of us here in this hapless little rowboat on the high seas together, sharing the benches and taking turns at the oars and scratching our heads over the constellations and occasionally pulling someone back into the boat before the sharks get them.

    This is where gratitude will always lead you—to human bonding.

    Be in it for what you have to give.

    I honestly, sincerely believe in the power of modeling behavior, so I’ve been here on this blog for six years now teaching for free what I know about writing fiction, hoping that you will take away not only craft but a sense of compassion for your companions in this writing life.

    I’m not going to deliberately lose my house to the bank, but I am aware that writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme and that even the most experienced mentors are no better than writers have ever been at making more than a sort of transitory middle-class living at this work we love best. I wake up every single day and remind myself what it was like to be young and and broke and passionately in love with words and to have nowhere to go for help.

    Give as generously as you can. Don’t be bossy, and don’t assume you know more than those with greater experience, but show compassion to your fellow writers and share the camaraderie with kindness and an open heart.

    Serve your turn at the oars.

    Be thoughtful about what you need to take.

    Nobody’s an infinite well of resource. We all give, and we all take. We pass the torch from hand to hand, from experienced to innocent, from generation to generation. Where you stand now I once stood, and when you move up the ladder of knowledge tomorrow someone else will arrive to take your place.

    I have learned what I know from some of the best, and I continue to read and study every blessed day the writers and mentors who have come before me in this parade of literature holding the lantern high. Right now I’m reading The Notebooks of Henry James. He will never know the unbelievable gift he has given this unknown editor, just a stranger born long after he died, but he would not want his wisdom to stop with me. So what I get from his notebooks I will share with you.

    When it comes time to ask for what you need, know where you stand on the ladder and do not underestimate what you are asking of others. Above all, treat everyone with humility and great good humor.

    Never be the one making it more difficult.

    Be the one making it easier.

    Respect the act of communing.

    And when you have made that connection between yourself and other writers, when you have arrived here at the dock and found your seat in the rowboat, when you have said hello and shaken hands and asked politely where they keep the water and rowing gloves, take a moment to bow your head for the wonder of it all.

    What goes on between human beings really cannot be explained.

    I give everything I can to you because in giving it I’ve found myself.

    And you have given me back your hearts.



    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories




4 Responses to “How to Find Community through Writing”

  1. I haven’t been reading your weblog for long, but even so it has honestly enriched my life – which is to say, my writing, such an important part of my life. I’ve been wielding the pen for a long while now, and teaching children how to do it also, and still there is so much to learn. Always, always. Thank you for being one of the compassionate teachers. Thank you for all you give, so we can give it on through our words.

  2. “Nobody’s an infinite well of resource. We all give, and we all take. We pass the torch from hand to hand, from experienced to innocent, from generation to generation. Where you stand now I once stood, and when you move up the ladder of knowledge tomorrow someone else will arrive to take your place.”

    I really appreciated this paragraph because it rings so true. There is nothing I am more grateful for than those more experienced and knowledgable than me being kind enough to share what they know in order to help me improve. This is an absolutely wonderful post. Thank you for your dedication to your readers, I know I’ve learned quite a bit from it.

  3. Jeffrey Russell said on

    “May you always do for others, and let others do for you.”

    Have a good holiday, Victoria

  4. Thanks for this inspired blog and post – Have yourself and great Christmas and New Year X