Stacey D. Atkinson


If you write or publish books, chances are you'll find yourself at the alter of BookExpo America (BEA), the most important author and book event in North America. It's a trade fair held at the Javitz Centre in downtown New York City, where thousands of authors, publishers, librarians, book buyers, international rights buyers, and other book industry experts walk the halls in hopes of discovering the next big book. Little did I know what the first 24 hours had in store for me. 

It's been an incredible week of networking for me: I met some interesting people and stumbled upon some great opportunities. I don't know what made this week so much different from past networking attempts. I've even taken workshops on how to network, but still, even knowing the techniques never made it any more palatable. It always felt like an exercise in dry heaving. But something changed this week. I experienced an ah-ha moment, finding myself in the throes of networking and it didn't feel like work.

Have you ever wondered if you are following the rules of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style when you write? Perhaps you have an editor to take care of such things so you don't have to stress about it too much. But for those of us stuck in the never-ending loop of rewriting and editing our own work, here are some great style guides to know about and to have on hand for easy reference.

Today I get to teach kids about self-publishing and I am so excited about it! I was invited to Fisher Park/Summit Alternative School in Ottawa to be part of Open Your Eyes Day for students in grades 7 and 8. I'll have 45 minutes for my presentation (to 4 different groups throughout the day) to give them the salient points of writing and publishing. 

Today's blog is dedicated to lovely literary tattoos. Perhaps one day I will be brave enough to get one myself, but for now I'll enjoy them from afar on my Pinterest board.

Be inspired.


This week I was invited to participate in Frye Festival, Atlantic Canada’s largest literary happening held each year in Moncton, New Brunswick. I was asked to give a short reading of an unpublished manuscript at an event cleverly titled Drafts and Draughts, which took place at a small coffee house-type venue at the main festival hotel, Delta Beausejour. The thought of reading a draft piece of work in front of an audience made me a bit nervous but I was excited to do it. Here’s how I prepared.

If you haven't heard of plain language writing, don't worry. It's not rocket science, in fact, it's rather simple and easy to do. But it does take an awareness of how you write in order to avoid confusion for your readers. For example, academic and government writing is notorious for ambiguous, jargon-thick text that is hard to read and understand. But with a few quick fixes, you can transform your text in a way that will increase the reader's connection with your message. Here are 10 things I learned that can help you be a better writer.

This week I received an email from Netflix saying they'd added new seasons to some of my favorite shows. Finally! If you live in Canada, as I do, you know that we have to wait forever for new content to appear on Netflix, and when it does happen, it's like Christmas all over again. For any writer who loves storytelling, what better way to get inspired than to watch feature films, documentaries, TV shows, and Netflix series--a playground of wacky and original characters and plots.

It's common for writers to work at their computers all day (and night), forgoing eye breaks due to bursts of inspiration, only to end the day with dry, tired eyes. I am entirely guilty of this and I figured it was time to stop complaining and do something about it. So after neglecting my eyes for over three years, I finally visited my eye doctor this week and here's what I learned.

Last weekend the movie Divergent opened in theatres across North America, earning an impressive box office debut of $56 million. Since all authors dream of seeing their books turned into screenplays, we can give a collective "yay" for Veronica Roth, the 25-year-old Divergent author who incredibly wrote the book while she was still a student in university (when you got it, you got it)! Those involved in making the movie are now moving ahead with filming the second installment, Insurgent, since it's clear they have a franchise to rival that of The Hunger Games. In celebration of authors and their brilliant imaginations, here are a few more success stories about books (self-published!) turned into film.

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