Plus, a new way to connect with writers, discuss your interests, and receive feedback on your creative endeavors.

“a gold trophy in a snowy field” by Justin Cox and Midjourney

Today, I’m really excited to announce My Writing Community!

My Writing Community is a Discord server purpose-built for writers by writers. We hope that it becomes a place to talk about writing and also have the space to explore other things we’re interested in — like what we’re reading, watching, and creating. We can even talk about food! Everybody loves eating, right?

The Writing Cooperative’s previous Discord server was just for people connected to the publication. Instead, My Writing Community is built by a fantastic team of people: Eric Pierce, Gretchen Alice, Justin Cox, Sinem Günel, and Zulie Rane! My Writing Community unites us all in a single shared space. This is not The Writing Cooperative’s community; this is a place for everyone to connect. It’s called My Writing Community because we want you to feel part of it. We want you to call the Discord server my writing community, too!

Read the official announcement to learn more about My Writing Community and how to join.

Justin’s Picks for January

Typesetting for the Self-Published by Dale E. Lehman

Did you pay attention to typography? Do you know the rules of typography? Do you even know what typography is? Based on books I’ve seen, a great many self-published authors don’t, or maybe they just don’t care. It’s therefore worth diving into the subject.

The Level of Description in Your Fiction by JF Danskin

Counterpoint — you could argue that Tolkien does describe some characters. When introducing Bilbo he goes into some detail, down to his hairy feet. But if you check again, you will see that he is actually describing hobbits in general — a new species introduced in the book.

Finding My Voice Again by Aisha Yusuf

The day I received the first copies of my book is the day my university sent an email they would be moving to online classes due to Covid-19. In the days that followed, the rest of the city and the world shut down. There was a lot of uncertainty during this time. During the months my book became the last thing on my mind. I watched the news nervously as Covid-19 took over the world, and drowned myself in Netflix and junk food to subdue my anxiety about the state of the world.

Why Writers Should Care About AI Art by Anna Burgess Yang

Yet the sea of articles has always been accompanied by a sea of semi-relevant generic Unsplash images. I’ve seen the same pictures of desks, mountains, and coffee shops used over and over. Very few people created any type of unique image. And who can blame them? It often wasn’t worth the effort.

How to Keep Your Head Up as a Non-Native Writer by Maclean Tamanda Mbepula

We are not the first non-native speakers writing for the world to see, use or enjoy. We have a host of champions that go before us that both native and non-native writers and readers can positively agree are or were excellent at their craft. Writers such as Roald Dahl, Kahlil Gibran, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Vladamir Nabakov, and Rabindranath Tagore. Roald Dahl was my favourite writer as a child and I only just learned that he was of Norwegian descent and spoke it at home, even though he grew up in Wales and England.

The Dos and Don’ts of Plagiarism by Lizzie Jay

As a freelance writer, I’m assuming you wouldn’t stoop low enough to plagiarize someone else’s work on purpose, but the problem comes when you do it by accident. And that could happen if you forget that you copied your notes word for word, or you accidentally paraphrase someone else’s work but don’t think you need to cite your source.

Cai Emmons, Who Taught Us All About Writing by Sharon Johnson

I can only guess that the use of a laptop and keyboard as her muscle function waned was painstakingly slow. I think her writing was her final gift — to all of us, and perhaps to herself, as she described herself as a completionist.

How to Write for Print Newspapers and Magazines by Nick Wolny

In our digital age, many of the most established brands continue to publish a physical magazine, even if the magazine’s readership has declined, because it cements their status as an influential publication. Often, if you write a magazine article, it will also be used online.

“I Remember It Like It Was Just Yesterday…” Really? by Martha Manning, Ph.D.

Most of our writing invokes emotional memory. It is the kind of recollection that is received, processed and retrieved in a state of emotional “arousal.” In other words, when what we feel is intense. Arousal ranges from high-octane excitement to neutral/blah. Neutral would be a state in which our feelings aren’t really engaged at all.

Pointing Out Grammatical Mistakes is an Act of Extreme Privilege by Walter Rhein

For now, just understand that if you have the ability to recognize grammatical mistakes, you’ve had the privilege of a good education. When it comes right down to it, poor grammar isn’t about you and your annoyance. It’s about social injustice.

Best of The Writing Cooperative in January was originally published in The Writing Cooperative on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Author: Justin Cox