Monday, March 26, 2012

* Lynn Goodwin - Writers Advice *

I'm delighted to introduce Lynn Goodwin, author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers. Lynn also runs Writer Advice which is just bursting with information!

Today, I'm posting the first half of my interview with Lynn, and the second will follow tomorrow. I'm sure you'll enjoy everything she has to share with us.

1) Welcome Lynn! First and foremost, because of the April 18th deadline, please tell us about your current Flash Prose Contest.
Thanks for asking, Becky. This is the seventh year Writer Advice is running a Flash Prose Contest. I decided to call it Flash Prose after realizing that there are many compelling memoirs that read like fiction, and their authors have as much chance of winning as those who send compelling prose. 

We're searching for flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction that grabs, surprises, and mesmerizes readers in 750 words or less. If you have a story or memoir with a strong theme, sharp images, a solid structure, and an unexpected discovery, please submit it to the WriterAdvice Flash Prose Contest. Complete details are at The judges will be former winners, and you can read their winning stories by clicking on Archives. 

If you have any questions before submitting, please e-mail me. My address is in the last paragraph of the announcement about the contest at Can't find it? Write directly at

       2) What are some of your favorite “writerly” websites, besides your own, of course! (I noticed you have some listed on your website.)

As you noted, we have lots of resources listed on the website. It's been a couple of years since I've checked all the sites to make sure they work. In addition, I've reviewed many I like on Website Reviews,

Truthfully, my favorites vary depending on my needs. I like the interaction available at Story Circle Network,, and WOW! Women on Writing, Both cater to women telling their stories, and so does The National Association of Memoir Writers, 

Obviously I'm interested in memoir, personal writing, and life stories. I like the outreach at Red Room,

I wrote about Book Slut,, quite a while ago, and I'm delighted to see they're still in operation. I used to be a huge fan of Goodreads, , but lately I haven't had time to visit much even though I greatly respect all the reviewing they encourage. I also like IndieBound,, though we have not reviewed it yet. 

More faves, for varying reasons: HARO,, Media Bistro,, and The Writer's Almanac, So many websites, so little time. No wonder I don't get more writing done.

3) What are some of your favorite books on craft? Favorite memoirs?

I love Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, because she helps writers find their voice. Pat Schneider also helps both writers and writing teachers find and enhance their voices in Writing Alone and With Others. Annie Lamott's Bird by Bird is a classic that crosses the lines between writing and memoir. Ditto for Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind. There are more, of course, but I'm sticking to "some."

Caroline Kraus's Borderlines is a memoir that I can't forget along with Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place. For a treat read Rachel Sarah's Single Mom Seeking, Veronica Chater's Waiting for the Apocalypse, Sybil Lockhart's Mother in the Middle, and Kathy Briccetti's Blood Strangers. Whenever I interview an author, I feel like I get inside information and I care more about the book because of it.

      4-A) How long have you been writing?

I've written intermittently since Mr. Stewart had us write a story a week in sixth grade. I became obsessed with journaling when my mother was in the last years of her life and needed my help. Journaling saved my sanity then. I decided to share the process with others in a book called You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers. It's a valuable resource. Copies available on Amazon.  


      4-B) Did you grow up loving books?

I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Mickey Mouse Club magazines, Stranger than Science, Nancy Drew (a forbidden pleasure), and anything in our 19-volume 1957 World Book Encyclopedia.


Thank you so much, Lynn! You've provided so many wonderful sites and other important information. We'll all look forward to Part 2 of the Q&A tomorrow, which will be questions 5 through 9.  

* There's also a book give-away! To enter all you have to do is leave a comment about this interview, or ask Lynn a question. You can do that here, or in tomorrow's Part 2 comments, or both. Two Comments DO give you Two chances. No other rules! * So, please come back tomorrow. *

A quote from Lynn, regarding her manuscript consultations:

"I tell you WHAT I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT. This often opens doors for writers. I plant seeds, you nurture them, and your writing blossoms." - Lynn Goodwin


  1. Lynn--Memoir is one of my favorite genres to read as well as write. Some of my favorite memoirs are Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shoutin'," "Make Me Into Zeus's Daughter" and "Stolen Lives." Have you read any of those? (I am going to check out the ones you mentioned. I'm always interested in new--to me--titles.)

  2. Great interview with Lynn Goodwin. Thanks for the info, Becky. I also enjoy memoir.

  3. Sounds like a lovely person!


  4. I'm off to check out Writer Advice and the flash contest! Many of the writing advice books Lynn listed are my favorites, too.

  5. Lynn and I are reading some of the same books! I read Natalie Goldberg but the Wild Side isn't my favorite. Writing Down the Bones is my first and favorite read of Goldberg's. I am wondering if Lynn has read other Goldberg books?

  6. I love memoirs and will be checking the ones you mentioned out! Thanks!

  7. Memoir is a fascinating form for both writer and reader.

    Bossy Betty, I'm delighted that you'll check them out.

    Bookie, I've read some others by Goldberg, and I wonder if my fondness for WILD MIND comes from the time I first read it.

    Janet, I'm delighted that you're visiting Writer Advice.

    Pearl, thank you so much.

    Linda, I'm so glad you liked the interview.

    Sioux, STOLEN LIVES sounds familiar.

    Becky, I love your responders. Thanks so much for sharing my story here.

  8. Hi Becky, wow, what a great post! I'll check out Lynn's site and some of the other links that you guys gave us.

    I'll be back tomorrow for Part II.

    Kathy M.

  9. Wow, lots of information, Becky. Thanks. Susan

  10. Interesting interview! Thanks for all the great links. :)

  11. Great interview Becky and Lynn. I too love memoir. I'll have to check out your recommendations! Thank you.

  12. I love Bird by Bird and On Writing by Stephen King. Two of my favorites.

  13. Nice interview!

    I really like the links to helpful sites. Definitely bookmarking this page!

  14. I'm looking forward to checking out some of these resources. Having been a caregiver a couple of times, I think this book sounds great.

  15. Hi Lynn and Becky,

    Thanks for a great interview and for sharing such useful information.

    Now there are so many links I need to check out.

    Two writers have recently suggested "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I need to buy that one.


  16. Irishoma, I agree. Great book.

    Marcia G, there are some inexpensive copies available on Amazon--just in case you don't win here.

    Thanks, Kelley.

    Patricia, I agree.

    Author of You Want to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  17. Thanks, my fellow Lynn.

    Daisy, Susan, Oregon..., I appreciate your responses. So nice to hear reactions.

    I encourage everyone to check out Writer Advice. We'll have a new issue coming out at the beginning of April.

    If you are a caregiver or know a caregiver, take a look at You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers. You can read pages at Amazon. BIG HINT: Put in the whole title, including the subtitle. =)


  18. Thanks for the plethora of websites. They will keep me busy for hours when I should actually be writing!


I'm still getting quite a few spam comments that are Anonymous, so I'm trying "User with Google Accounts." If anyone tries to comment that I know, and it won't let you, send me an email, okay? Thanks so much.