Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

short listed! July 28, 2016

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Yay!  A short short story I wrote for a Writers’ Digest contest has been shortlisted to the Top 5.  How exciting!  Now the public can vote on their favourite.  The winner will be published in Writers’ Digest magazine.  I would so appreciate your support!  The stories are here: You don’t have enough points, sir.  I’m Entry B. (Think B for Bird 🙂 ) You just have cut and paste into their comments to vote. Easy peasy.  Please vote for me! Thanks!


9 simple ways to be a better writer from Catherine Coulter July 13, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:49 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

CATHERINE COULTER has had 62 books on the New York Times bestseller list, so she knows a thing or two about writing.  Here are her 9 SIMPLE WAYS TO BE A BETTER WRITER from her session at Thrillerfest:

1. Nix the adjectives.

2. Avoid other words for “said,” and avoid redundancies.

3. Excise the exclamation marks.

4. Forget the euphemisms.

5. Don’t fall into stereotypes.

6. Use caution in sex scenes.

7. Avoid endless introspection.

8. Skip over-the-top violence and language.

9. “And above all, don’t take yourself too seriously.”

Read the complete article on


pitching at a conference July 12, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:59 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are 99 days before the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, and I’ve just remembered I have to prepare for my pitch.  I’ve been so excited about my blue pencil appointment with Diana Gabaldon that I’ve completely neglected the fact that I have an agent to meet with.  I anticipate having Grace Awakening Myth ready to pitch, or perhaps Number Eight, a high interest, low vocab novel I have had ‘just about finished’ for two years.  (Seriously, it’s missing about 2000 words, but Grace was a bully and completely took over).

The last time I pitched at a conference, I ended up with a contract for Grace Awakening with a small Vancouver publisher.  This time I’m meeting with a big time New York agent, and I feel a little out of my depth!  Writers’ Digest features a post this week on how to pitch to agents at conferences.  I am eager for the tips, and perhaps you’ll be interested, too.  See you in the appointment line!


6 tips for self-editing from Jerry B. Jenkins June 19, 2012

Filed under: Commentary,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

In the Writer’s Digest video, How to Become a Ferocious Self-Editor,  author Jerry B. Jenkins  recommends that in order to be publication ready, every author needs to intensely self-edit.  He advises that you should,

  • make every word count
  • pay attention to your dialogue
  • avoid hackneyed language and situations
  • get quickly to your point
  • maintain one point of view
  • resist the urge to explain

I’ll be watching for these as I’m going over draft two of  Grace Awakening Myth (aka Book three) this week.  What are you self-editing these days?


%d bloggers like this: