Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Festival, NaNoWriMo, Oh My!

Sandy Tritt

Who enjoyed the West Virginia Book Festival? We did, for sure. We—our team at Inspiration for Writers, Inc., which included author/editor Emma Broch Stuart, editor Jennifer Jett, editor Stacy Tritt, webmaster (and more) Eric Fritzius, grammar guru Wilma Acree, and I—loved meeting so many readers and writers. We talked and we gave away prizes and we talked some more.

Rhonda Castle was the happy winner of the grand prize—a basket of lots of IFW goodies, including our brand new Tips and Techniques Workbook II and a gift certificate for $200.

Besides giving out lots of prizes, we had fun chatting with writers. In the next photo, Tom “Bond” chats with editor Jennifer Jett.
Check out our Facebook page for more photos and more winners. Sure hope you can join us next time.

Oh, and since November is going to arrive before our next blog article, we want to remind you that November is, as always, National Novel Writing Month (go to for more info). Karel Havel of Canada was kind enough to share with us his NaNoWriMo Excel chart that helps him organize and accomplish his goals. If you’d like a copy of this chart, just comment below or email me at

If you went to the WV Book Festival, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and if you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo, please let us know that, too. We enjoy hearing from you!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Join Us at the WV Book Festival

Sandy Tritt

Exciting news for those of you in the West Virginia/Ohio/Kentucky area—the 2015 West Virginia Book Festival is back! An exciting line-up of authors includes Homer Hickman (October Sky, Rocket Boys), Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book), Jodi Picoult (Songs of the Humpback Whale, Harvesting the Heart, Picture Perfect, My Sister's Keeper) and so many more. Go to to see the line-up.

Inspiration for Writers, Inc., will have a booth at the festival, so if you’d like to meet some of our editors and staff, please be sure to stop by. We’ll be in the center aisle right next to West Virginia Writers, Inc. We have lots of freebies—pens, spiral notepads, whiteboards, sticky notepads, tote bags, Writing Wrongs cards, Comma Usage cards, glossy copies of “The Writer’s Prayer,” and more to share with our visitors, and some of our editors will bring books for sale. We will also debut our new, improved, 50% larger Inspiration for Writers’ Tips and Techniques Workbook. Oh, and door prizes. We’ll be giving away a special prize every hour, including a gift basket with a copy of our workbook, lots of goodies, and a gift certificate for $200 good toward any editing or writing service. But, mostly, we’d just love to chat with you and answer your writing questions in person.

Admission is free, and the festival will be in the Charleston Civic Center. Kickoff is Friday, October 23, 2015, with a writing workshop by authors Cat Pleska and Fran Simone from 10 a.m. until noon. The marketplace, where we will be, is open from 1–5 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, October 24, the used book sale starts at 8 (be there early for the best bargains!) and the marketplace will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Charleston Civic Center is located at 200 Civic Center Drive in Charleston, WV 25301. For directions, go to

We look forward to chatting with you. See you there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Humbling Homonyms Part 1

Wilma Acree

As an avid reader, I sometimes chuckle and often cringe at errors I see in print. Just this morning, I cringed when I read this headline: 22 Dear Killed in North Hills Hunt. Yes, I am sure those deer were dear to others in their herd, but really!

If you are confused about dear/deer, make up some nonsensical rules to retain the meanings. For example, you might want to lean your ear against someone dear, but you would not do so to a wild animal (deer).

Other misuses I’ve encountered lately are shoo/shoe and waste/waist.

To shoo means to drive away. A shoe is something that covers your foot. Imagine my mental images when a writer wrote about “shoeing a fly.” An image of a fly wearing four tiny red shoes flitted across my mental screen. If only I could draw that . . . Alas, my artistic skills are nil.

If waste/waist gives you trouble, associate waste with the proverb: Haste makes waste. Or use the sentence: If I eat the food my children waste, my waist will increase. Imagine a thin person scraping plates over a waste can versus a person of increasing girth eating food from several plates.

Spell checkers or even grammar checkers will not catch homonym errors. You must rely upon your own brain, a language expert, or a trained editor. Better still, all three! None of us are infallible, but publishing a novel or even an article with homophone errors decreases your credibility and makes your reader wonder about your reliability.