Welcome to Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog

Welcome to my writer’s blog. I hope my blog will help all aspiring writers get articles, columns, poetry, and books published. And, I hope that it will also help you promote yourselves as writers.

Anyone can be a published writer. You will need to learn the simple steps. It’s like learning plumbing or carpentry. There is no mystique to getting published, even though most people think there is.

Even if you’ve never written anything except a letter, you can learn to write articles, columns, poetry, and books. Everyone has basic writing skills, but these skills need to be cultivated so that people will read what you write.

So many aspiring informational writers don’t write in a readable style. You must learn to write in short sentences, using an economy of words. You need to be brutal about editing what you write. You also need to write in short paragraphs, so your writing is attractive to the reader’s eye.

Remember that writing is not me-centered. It is for the reader, not you. Always consider your audience. Your readers do not want to wade through a lot of information to get to the point that you are trying to make.

Grab the reader’s attention from the beginning with interesting information. You are not writing an English composition that will work its way up to the most important information. You want the reader to be interested enough to continue reading and turn the page. Writing should be interesting, clean, and crisp with smooth transitions from one paragraph to another.

Most of all, writing should be fun, not tedious. If you focus on writing in a simple way, breaking down information comprehensibly– without using a lot of technical terms–you’ll find that your writing is an enjoyable, rewarding process.

As for poetry, write with strong images. Think of yourself as a painter who creates vivid images. You should create vivid images through your words. Don’t just write sentences and try to pass them off as poetry. Too much free verse is like that.

Read poetry by master poets who treat it as the art that it is. Become interested in traditional forms of poetry, too.

Whatever genre of writing you choose to do, learn to write it well by doing a lot of reading in that genre.

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About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I am also the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I have signed books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won thirty-three poetry awards. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I am an internationally-published haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, haibun, free verse, acrostic, cinquain, etheree, and sestina poet. My poetry has been translated into six languages, and I have done poetry readings at a variety of bookstores, libraries, art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. My poetry has been displayed at supermarkets, art galleries, libraries, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I've been interviewed on cable television about my poetry. I also hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I was also self-employed as a communications/public relations/marketing consultant with 111 clients in 16 states. In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give special lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and to those at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and to libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America. Currently, I am Second Vice President of the Haiku Society.
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3 Responses to Welcome to Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog

  1. Carolyn Sniffen says:

    I am currently reading your book You Can Be a Columnist. Although I have some experience writing for my local newspaper, I haven’t been able to build a successful writing career. I am a classroom teacher, and I know the frustrations parents endure when dealing with an impersonal public school system. My writing goal is to produce a weekly column that addresses parents’ concerns: educational issues, such as standardized testing; teacher competence; bullying etc. I’m hoping that by the time I finish your book I will have more insight into newspaper publishing and column writing.
    Sincerely,
    Carolyn Sniffen, Largo, Florida

    • Carolyn:

      Thanks for your comment. You mention you have had some experience writing for your local paper. Was it columnist experience?

      If you’re trying to build a writing career, although local weekly papers don’t pay anything or much at all, they do allow you to get experience that will let you move on. Someone I just met last summer, for example, took my advice and started writing a travel column for his local weekly paper. Now, after a year, he has a column running in a metropolitan paper that pays him well. And, he gets paid for speaking engagements.

      I think that in your case, you could move on to a national parenting magazine– after you get newspaper experience– and have a monthly column running which would pay well.

      As I point out in my book, columnists often get consulting jobs and speaking engagements that pay them well. From the writing itself, you often don’t earn a living at it, unless you move on to writing books, which you could do, after a lot of columnist experience. It’s the related fields that allow you to make money.

      Charlotte

      • Carolyn Sniffen says:

        Hi, Charlotte.

        I had not idea you had replied to my email in August until today (Nov. 9, 2010). I was playing on the internet during lunch and came across my original note and your response.

        If possible, I would like to initiate contact with you–from one experienced writer (you) to a wannabe (me).

        Please feel free to email.

        Sincerely,
        Carolyn S. Sniffen
        Largo, FL

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