The Reason Shame is the Beating Heart of All Great Stories – written by Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb published a phenomenal blog post about her taste and the reason shame is the beating heart of all great stories. I admire her knowledge and her willingness to share it. Thank you, Kirsten!




I read a ridiculous amount of novels and I’m very picky, namely because I have the attention span of a fruit fly with a crack habit. Like most modern readers, it takes a lot to grab then keep my attention.

Most books I end up putting down or returning to Audible for another. There are books I finish then forget. Most are meh. Good way to kill time not much more. But then there are the ones that stick, the stories I never grow tired of reading and rereading and recommending and as you can see, I have very eclectic taste.

Some of my fondest loves are Heart-Shaped Box, Big, Little Lies, American Gods, Prisoner of Hell Gate, The Joy Luck Club, Luckiest Girl Alive, the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer, and anything written by Fredik Backman Britt Marie Was Here being my favorite.

Yet what do all these great stories have in common? Why do they make me laugh and cry and cheer? What is so cathartic about these books?


To continue reading Kristen Lambs post, please go to her blog by clicking the link below:



Shame, Shame, We Know Your Name—Or Do We? Shame & Fiction – by Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with an excellent blog post about Shame & Fiction. Thank you very much Kristen for sharing your knowledge with us.



Picture courtesy of Kristen Lamb’s blog post


Recently, I wrote a guest post This is the Reason All Great Stories are Birthed from Shame. It was a tough post and I needed a nap after writing it. It forced me to peel back layers I hadn’t touched in years. But the post got me thinking about probably the single most important element of great fiction
Since that post was not per se a craft post, I wanted to explore what I began on that blog here today. I firmly believe shame is the critical ingredient for fiction to resonate. It’s the difference between a forgettable fun read and a book we keep and read over and over.


Some Examples

I dig examples. I learn better when I have some to work with, so sharing some goodies with you today.


To continue reading go to the Original Blog post!



January/February 2017 Writing Contests

Rachel Poli has provided us with this early year’s writing contests for the first two months of 2017.
Thank you Rachel!! You’re great!

Rachel Poli

january-february-2017-writing-contestsJanuary 2017

Genre: Fiction
Theme: Family Matters
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: January 2, 2017
Entry Fee: $18
Prize: First place – $2,500

Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Glass Mountain Magazine
Deadline: January 9, 2017
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: $100

Genre: Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: January 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10 for one entry or $15 for two entries
Prize: First place – $1,000

Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Women’s National Book Association
Deadline: January 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $20 for non-members, $15 for members
Prize: $250

Genre: Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: The Masters Review
Deadline: January 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: $2,000

Genre: Short Short Story
Theme: N/A
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: January 16, 2017
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: First place – $3,000

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Dreams, Premonitions, and the Unexplainable
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: January 31…

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