Prompt: Spies

Their ideal base for retreat and restocking for the next mission.

The mountains were green, thick, and peaceful. It was hard to believe that danger was not far from us. We can’t stay here anymore. I dipped my hand into the water–blue, green, and icy-cold. The water had kept us alive; it brought our supplies, and it would carry us toward our mission tonight…

What happens next?

Finish this prompt in 500 words or less and email it to – selected prompts will be featured on our blog.

Good luck writers!

Things You Need to Know for Your First Novel- From Someone Writing Theirs

pexels-photo-largeI am currently 70,000+ words, about two-thirds of the way, into my first novel, and I’ve already learned so much. While it sounds a little unprofound and self-explanatory, I’ll only get to write my first novel once. I want to document what I’ve learned while it’s still fresh so that you guys can read it, and so I can look back on it. That being said, let’s jump right in! Continue reading

Staying Focused When Distractions Are All Around


It’s ironic for me to write this post, as I am one of the most distract-able people around. Youtube videos, tumblr black holes, Wikipedia searches and kids (none of my own, just those I live with) are only the start of things that can derail me when I sit down to write.

We won’t always have a quiet place. We might never have a dedicated office or coffee shop to escape to. So what do you do when your surroundings are full of distractions, legitimate or otherwise?

Speaking to single writers, our issue is we probably won’t always be single. So before marriage and children (and more) come into the picture, let’s talk how to start prioritizing our writing now.

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Feature Friday: Rachel Griffin

Pen Friends ~ Meet Rachel Griffin, YA Writer and 2016 Pitch Wars Winner & Mentee, as she shares her writing journey and dreams. And don’t miss her blurb of the novel that won Pitch Wars! 

DSC07251.jpgSP: Hi Rachel! Will you tell us a little about yourself and how you started on your writing journey?

Thank you for having me! I’ve been writing ever since I was a little girl. By the time I graduated high school, I had binders stuffed full of poetry, songs, and short stories. I even had a poem published in a collection of poetry when I was thirteen. When I got to college, it was hard for me to find time to write, and before I knew it, years had gone by without creating anything new.

Several years after graduating college, I found myself dissatisfied in my work. I asked myself if I could do anything in the world, what it would be. Writing popped into my head instantly, and from that day forward I’ve taken my writing seriously. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: Advice for a Month of Daring Imagination

Are you a WriMo?

I know, I know. Some of you are looking at that title and asking, “NaNo-What-Now?” I had the same reaction back in 2009 when I first discovered National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. It’s an international event where writers commit to writing a novel of 50,000 words (or more) in just 30 days. Sound crazy? That’s what I thought, too.

But let me tell you a secret: NaNoWriMo changed my writing life. And it could change yours, too, if you’re willing to take the dare.

shield-nano-side-blue-brown-rgb-hiresImage courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

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Author Interview: S.D. Grimm

Pen Friends, we are so excited to introduce you to debut YA author, S.D. Grimm! She’s someone you should definitely get to know (and her novel launches next week)! Plus, there’s a GIVEAWAY — check it out below.


SP: Welcome, S.D.! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I write young adult sci-fi and fantasy because I love it. I started writing when I was in elementary school–second grade. It was a story about a lost sock. Only my lost sock was a living being who had been separated from his mother and siblings. Seven years ago I started writing with the hope of being published. And that book? Scarlet Moon.

SP: I know you were a Pitch Wars mentee (like our own Nova McBee is this year). What was the contest experience like? Would you recommend it for up and coming writers?

Pitch Wars was an awesome experience. I highly recommend it. Not only did I have a fabulous mentor, who taught me a lot, but I got my novel ready for pitching, and the edits my mentor suggested led to a polished novel that eventually helped me land my amazing agent. In addition to that, I have a community of friends who went through the same process, and they are so amazing. I would say that community of writers alone is invaluable.  Continue reading

Prompt: Alaska

alaska 1

I no longer feel my fingers, but the worry I have over deadly frostbite fades as I stare up at the lights in the sky…

What’s your idea?

Give us your best Alaskan escape Prompt in 500 words or less. We will share our favorite story with our readers.

Email your prompt to:

Author Interview: Rebecca Sky

Pen Friends ~ Come meet author and wattpad sensation Rebecca Sky as she shares about her writing and some of her own life stories, (which are just as gripping as her fiction!)


SP: Welcome Rebecca! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I’m the oldest of 5 kids, a wifey to a hot Canadian rock star, dog lover (I know writers are supposed to like cats, *whispers* cats scare me), I’m a red head (sadly this does define me), and I live on an island just off the coast of Seattle, Washington—because of this I tell people I’m a Pacific Islander.

My journey to writing is a long one, so I’ll give you the quickest version I can. When I was little I was fascinated with stories, my family was poor and we didn’t have TV or money to buy books so I’d hunt around the neighborhood and in parks and collect pop and beer cans to return to the grocery store for the $0.05 reward. I used that treasure at garage sales, buying every book I could find. My collection varied from manuals, to historical recounts of China, to Nancy Drew mysteries. When I wasn’t flipping through their pages, I was adorned in wild costumes and acting out scenes from plays I’d make up for my siblings. It was all a very “Little Women” lifestyle.

Continue reading