Staying inside all month? Let our books save you from boredom

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

If you’re like most of us, you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately.

Fortunately, both our readers and writers have been making the most of it. The 10K Novel-Building Challenge, where participants race to write 10,000 words and help each other improve their novels, is wrapping up. Three outstanding authors will soon be receiving awards to recognize their hard work.

For readers, that means there are more chapters to Buzz, more completed first drafts to dig into, and more published books making their way into our Hot Off the Press section!

And with the end of the Challenge comes the beginning of our new writing group, the 20-Year Novel Club, currently welcoming any newbie novelists—or published authors—who want to stay motivated to write every single day. If you’re a writer looking to get crackin’ on your novel, join us now and be one of our charter members.

I know you can’t wait a minute longer to devour the tasty morsels we’re serving up in this issue, so let’s have a look at the menu:

In her Art & Soul column, author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes the intimacy of a quiet, snowy morning. “The sweet silence of morning as the coffee brews,” she writes, “and you stand watching out the window as the squirrels scamper and flit across the frozen ground.” Her piece is crafted with such sensual intensity, you’ll be hanging on every word.

Next, if you’ve ever wondered whether to put a period inside or outside a set of parentheses—or needed a good trick to remember “you’re” vs. “your”—columnist Shirley Holder Platt, Tier V Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, has you covered. As she claws into the nuances of the tricky traits and slippery syntax of the English language, Shirley also answers the age-old question, when would an ellipsis have 4 dots instead of 3?

Finally, I’m excited to introduce Lorene Albers, Tier III Newcomer Author, who explains in her debut column how not to take criticism personally, and instead use it to improve your story. “Don’t look at critiques as a personal affront,” Lorene writes. “Instead, welcome them as stepping stones that elevate your writing to the next level.” Conversely, if you’re the one offering feedback, Lorene has some helpful advice for you as well.

On the cover this month is Patricia Elliott, a British Columbia–based romance author who found herself at a low point in her writing career and managed not just to lift herself out, but also become a better writer and learn some life lessons in the process. Patricia recently sat down to tell me all about how she wrote her first novel on her breaks at work, why staring at a blank page for twenty minutes often helps, and why she enjoys “mermaiding” so much.

As you continue to get to know the interior of your home much better than you ever thought you would, sprawl out on your couch for a spell and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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