Writing Advice from Classic Authors

5 Romantic Fanfiction Tropes We Can Thank Jane Austen For

Not many authors are favored by serious literary scholars and casual readers alike, but Jane Austen is one of the chosen few. Writers continue to be inspired as well, as evidenced by the romantic fanfiction tropes we’ll explore here.

Many have pondered what makes Austen’s oeuvre so beloved by so many; personally, I think a huge part of her enduring relevance is that she popularized a number of classic tropes that we still see and love today, in everything from the erotic novellas of Anaïs Nin to everyone’s favorite rom-coms like Clueless.

You’ll also spot Austen in the more obscure corners of the internet, particularly in fandom. Both Austen titles and fanfiction are known for their romantic plots and protagonists who are set on finding true love — or just as often, those who have it thrust upon them unexpectedly. There’s even an established crossover of the two, with “Jane Austen Fan Fiction” (known to fans as JAFF) growing in popularity with the dawn of the Wattpad era. Read More→


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Merci, Colette: How the Legendary French Author Continues to Inspire

This heartwarming essay by Tyler Scott is an homage to Colette (1873 – 1954), the bold and fearless French author, and discusses how she continues to inspire writers at any stage of practice:

In the fraught year of 2020, I had been too addled and worried to write very much. After a career as a freelancer, I started to wonder if things had ground to a halt. Was this the end of the line for me? After all that work? All that research? All those accolades? As Claudia Emerson, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and onetime classmate told me, “Sometimes it’s just easier to quit.”

So, what opened my eyes, jolted my imagination, made me grab a pen and pick up my dusty journal? Colette. Thanks to a famous French author, I am writing again for the first time in months. Read More→


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Octavia Butler’s Rules for Writers: Wisdom for Every Stage of Practice

Octavia E. Butler (1947 – 2006), the esteemed American author of science fiction, broke ground in the white male-dominated world of science fiction.  Here we’ll explore Octavia Butler’s rules for writers, with wisdom for every wordsmith no matter where you are on the journey.

Butler was one of the first women and one of the first African-Americans to succeed in the genre of sci-fi. To break through in this realm, she had to blaze her own trail, and became rigorously self-disciplined in her writing practice. She stuck to a strict schedule, sometimes rising at 2:00 am to write for several hours before heading out to whatever odd job she held before becoming a full-time author. Read More→


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Dear Literary Ladies, Part One: Writing Advice From Classic Women Authors

Wouldn’t it be great to get writing advice from women authors — some of the most iconic voices in literature — even (or especially) those who are no longer with us? Here’s your chance!

In this first of a multi-part series of roundups we call “Dear Literary Ladies,” we’ve “asked” classic women authors some of the universal questions about writing and the writer’s life, and found the answers in their first-person musings.

Peering through the lens of the past is an intriguing way to examine issues and questions that linger into the present. It’s now easier and more acceptable for women to write both for pleasure as well as profit, to be sure. Read More→


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Get Your Words Into the World

Literary Ladies Guide is pleased to announce the publication of Get Your Words Into the World: Comparing and Navigating Today’s Publishing Options, From Traditional to Self-Publishing and Everything in Between. This concise guide will help you sort out what path might be best for you and presents lots of free resources and links, whether you’re looking for an agent, thinking of being an “indie author,” or tempted to try short-run printing.

You’ll find plenty of “how to write a book” books, plus plenty of advice on websites. There’s also tons of advice on marketing your book once it’s produced. This book tackles the in-between part — navigating the various publishing options available in today’s ever-changing publishing landscape. Read More→


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