Ambit Creative
Adele Annesi

Adele Annesi is an award-winning editor and writer. She was a development editor for Scholastic, and is now a book editor specializing in business, culture and memoir. Her columns, reviews and stories appear in blogs, newspapers, magazines and literary journals, including 34th Parallel, The Fairfield Review, Hotmetalpress, Marco Polo Quarterly, Miranda Literary Magazine, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Southern Literary Review and Tertulia. Her "After the Sunflowers" essay is part of Press Pause Moments: Essays About Life Transitions by Women Writers . Adele conducts workshops for libraries and other venues. She is currently working on a novel and a series of short stories. Visit her award-winning editing blog for writers, Word for Words , and her online workshop at Adele M. Annesi .

From the Editor’s Desk: Building a Bibliography

In preparing for a recent workshop, I updated the bibliography and organization list I use as a handout for the class and was struck by the importance of keeping this a living document updated with each new find. See which resources from this partial roster you already have in your reference library.

Poets & Writers (P&W): More than a magazine, P&W offers loads of free information, support and guidance on contests, grants, news, small presses, and lots more—all with free access.
The Writer : This magazine offers advice and instruction that are a cut above the rest on craft, interviews, getting published, freelancing, and markets.
The Writer’s Chronicle: This publication offers master’s level essays, articles, news, and information on the art of writing.
Writer’s Digest: This magazine is the most well-rounded resource for emerging writers.

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP): Membership in AWP is most worthwhile. It offers a database on educational and market opportunities, conference discounts, and the magazine—ideal for teaching professionals and prospective students.
National Writers Union (NWU): The NWU is a great fallback for freelance writers, editors, and journalist who need help with contracts, legal issues, and insurance. You can also obtain a press pass.
Pen American: This is one of the world’s most prestigious writing organizations and is a preeminent international literary and human rights organization. Membership provides a number of literary books.

Books on Craft
179 Ways to Save a Novel (Peter Selgin): A must-have reference tool as comprehensive as an MFA, but lots easier and less expensive.
Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott): A companion that guides writers through common problems and concerns.
Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway): Reflections by the author on the promise and pitfalls of the writing life.
Escaping into the Open (Elizabeth Berg): A heart-to-heart on the writing life and particular challenges.

First Paragraphs (Donald Newlove): A truly artistic approach to crafting first paragraphs. Getting a handle on these principles will serve the entire work.
The Forest for the Trees (Betsy Lerner): A prescriptive from a savvy editor and literary agent on the ins and outs of the writing, editorial, and publishing process.
Getting into Character (Brandilyn Collins): A solid method for in-depth character development.
Grace Is Where I Live (John Leax): A poet’s godly perspective on the writing life—in all its grit and glory.
How to Get Happily Published (Judith Appelbaum): The basics of the publishing process.
Living by Fiction (Annie Dillard): The importance and relevance of good fiction and storytelling.

Revision and Self-Editing (James Scott Bell): A must-have on how to revise and edit, with principles that are easy to understand and implement.
The Art of Fiction (John Gardner): A quintessential work on the art of writing fiction.
The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile (Noah Lukeman): A comprehensive guide to all facets of good writing for publication. Just change this to the first five sentences, if not the first five words.
The Writer’s Book of Hope (Ralph Keyes): A chicken soup viewpoint of rejection, hope, and the writing life.
Writing Down the Bones (Natalie Goldberg): A poetic view of the challenges and beauty of writing and the writing life.
Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maass): A must-have by super agent Donald Maass for novelists seeking to avoid the endless loop of rejection.
Writing to Learn (William Zinsser): A great primer on the symbiotic and ongoing relationship between learning and writing.

Reference Books
The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual: The journalist’s guide to style and legal issues.
The Careful Writer: A time-tested guide on word usage and language.
The Chicago Manual of Style: Used by nearly every literary magazine and publisher for everything from formatting, style, and citations.
The Elements of Style: A guide to the principal requirements of plain English style. Focuses on the rules of usage in literature, composition, and grammar.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary: A comprehensive guide to words and word-related usage and style. Also works as a thesaurus and is available free online.

To pose an editing query, contact Adele Annesi. Click here to visit my online writing workshop.


Press Pause Moments