Email Etiquette

Email Etiquette

As Professional Writers, we conduct most of our business and communication via email. Thus, more often than not, email is the only thing that clients and employers only have emails to form opinions of us as professionals, which is why we know more than most the importance of email etiquette. Good email etiquette can be there difference between return business and recommendations and bad reviews and bankruptcy. On that note, I found this very helpful inforgraph with tips to ramping up your email etiquette game. It may seem silly now, but you will probably end up using these tips a lot more than you thought.

 

6 Tips for Creative Writers

Creative Writing

In honor of National Novel Writing November, here is an article by journalist and writer Justin McLachlan about the 6 common writing mistakes that can make you seem like an amateur. Now to go home and rewrite all of my work.

  1. It’s ok if characters just say things. They don’t have to grouse, whisper, bellow, and ejaculate their dialogue. Dialogue attributions are just markers to help orient the reader.
  2. You don’t need to use italics for emphasis. Put important words in important places rather than using italics to lend emphasis.
  3. Slow it down on the point of view switches. Stay with one character instead, and if you must change—save it for a scene break or other clear delineation.
  4. There is such a thing as too much description. Adjectives and adverbs are the death of good writing. Get rid of modifiers and replace them with strong and active verbs. For now, cut the italics and trust your reader.
  5. Complex writing does not equal complex thought. Instead of getting out of the reader’s way and letting the story envelop them, this kind of showy style puts a wall up and paints the author’s face across it. It also kills clarity, which is just another wall in and of itself. Aim for clear, simple writing.
  6. Characters and places with pretentious and unpronounceable names. A lot goes into a name, and getting them right in genre fiction can be hard. However, if the reader can’t pronounce what you’ve written it is highly likely that they will stop reading.

For more details on these six writing mistakes, check out McLachlan’s article.

Warror Writers Helping Vets Move Forward

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There are many reasons we write. We write to communicate, to share ideas. We write to entertain. And sometimes, we write to heal. Warrior Writers aims to do just that by inviting veterans from all around the country to come to their workshops. The workshops are led by Jan Barry, a Vietnam veteran. He provides the attendees with prompts, which they will respond to in a journal and then share with the group. Barry is also a poet and Ramapo College journalism lecturer.

Lorraine Ash, writer for The Daily Record and author of the article “Art and writing helping vets move forward,” asked one U.S. Army Somalia veteran, Sarah Mess, about how the program is helping Mess uncover and expel lingering feelings.

“I’m able to express and tap into things here that maybe I didn’t even know were still stirring, like I did today. I’m able to bring those things to the surface and share them in safe spaces with people who’ve experienced similar things,” Mess said.

While Mess uses the workshops for healing, a U.S. Army medic named Eli Wright, who served in Iraq, wanted to express that pain is not the only driving force to these workshops. Wright told Ash:

“We’re not all here because we are broken by the military and trying to heal. We have a lot of veterans involved in these projects who are not combat veterans. A lot served during peacetime, but they’re still artists and they still have plenty of things to say. It’s not all about war trauma.”

Whether the veteran needs the pen to heal, or merely as a way to express himself or herself, news of these workshops further proves the power of writing. Our words are an extension of ourselves, after all; they’re the parts of our soul we can actually see.

 

Get To Know: Red Cedar Review

Photo Credit: Abigail King

You have probably heard of Ing, Fourth Genre, and The Black Sheep. However, Red Cedar Review is another on on-campus publication that employs Professional Writing and English majors.

Currently, Chief Editor, Jordan Poll, and Professor Robin Silberglied run the Red Cedar Review with the help of their staff including Leslie Zimmerman, Katie Susko, Molly Janasik, Nicole Kaufman, Taylor Neverman, Connor Yeck, Lizzie Oderkirk, Katlyn Lindstrom, Alison Hamilton, Marta Werbanowska, Philip Russell, and Lindsy Sambaer.

Red Cedar Review is a journal of literature and art founded and run by undergraduate students at Michigan State University. Debuting in 1963, Red Cedar Review is the longest-running journal of its kind in the United States. They have even published renowned authors such as Margaret Atwood, Pablo Neruda, Tom Bissell, and Stuart Dybek. Today, Red Cedar Review is dedicated to the support of young literary and artistic talent through the exclusive publication of undergraduate students. Their mission is to provide undergraduates across the country with the opportunity to publish their own original works of prose, poetry, and visual art in this prestigious journal.

Unlike most on-campus publications, Red Cedar Review only takes work from undergrads outside of MSU. However, this year, they are hosting a contest for Michigan State undergrad writers and visuals artist. They are seeking submissions of written and visual art from MSU students to feature their 50th anniversary edition of Red Cedar Review that will be published digitally this spring. In addition, as a contributor, you will be given a special printed copy of the publication.

For more information on Red Cedar Review and contest submission guidelines, go to their website: http://www.redcedarreview.com/