Why not turn that novel into a short story?

May is almost over and so is National Short Story Month.

Did you submit a short story? Wish I’d spent my time on NSSM instead of reading, studying and ripping my current work in progress (WIP) apart. Now I’m considering just burying it in the back of my closet and denying its existence.

Is Your Idea a Short Story or Novel?

Makes me wonder if my “novel” be better as a short story???

There are three days left in National Short Story Month. Three days, hmm. Not sure I can write something worth reading in three days.

No, let me revise that statement. I can write something, but getting it ready for prime time is the challenge.

Ding, ding, ding! Light bulb moment. Why not try? I love a challenge. What about you?

Did you submit a short story for the month of May frenzy?

Do tell. And do share any success stories.

Maybe it’s too late to get in those submissions for National Short Story Month but it’s never too late for inspiration to strike.

On Twitter check out  #ShortReads or  for a list of people, places and stories. And follow @ShortStoryMonth for more….

FREE contest Alternating Current (There’s still time!)

The Fiction Desk (There’s still time!)

Every Writer Magazine

Fiction Writers Review

Story A Day

Every Day Fiction

Flash Fiction On Line

The Stoneslide Corrective

Nano Fiction

Reading the Short Story

Flavor Wire 

Get a FREE trial subscription to Found Press.

Okay, is that enough to get the juices flowing?

No? Then watch a pro – Steven King.

Time to start clicking those keys. Happy writing!



Do you need a little push to finish writing that book?

How about $2000.00?

And a book contract?

Is your WIP still languishing half-finished in a drawer or file?English: W.I.P.

Maybe this contest is just the incentive you need to finish that book and get a publishing deal.

The Write Life sent out information about a no fee, contest called Publish or Perish.

Deadline August 15, 2015.

So this summer, finish that manuscript and polish it till that thing shines like a brand new penny. Then put together a killer marketing plan and head over to Publish or Perish and enter their latest contest.

Sounds so exciting right?

Do you know of another contest?

If so share the info in the comments section and let’s get writing.

I love comments, tell me what’s happening with you and if you’re not already, please follow @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!

Do you start stories with a nutgraf?

Nut what?

Sunday afternoon and I’m breezing through my emails. I need to pay bills, after all, it’s the first of the month. However, my inbox is overflowing. But we all know it’s more fun to read emails, than pay bills. Click, delete, click, read a little, click, read a good story, click… whoa.

Nut what? I continued reading IMITATION IS PART OF BEING A WRITER, by Jane Friedman. So intrigued, I clicked on the links she provided and kept right on reading. Love it when I discover new information that makes me a better writer. Thanks, Jane.


Nutgraf is slang for the editorial heart of a story.
It tells the reader what the story is about and why the reader should care.

Next link I learned from Theo Pauline Nestor, who explains on her blog WRITING IS MY DRINK, not only what a nutgraf is but how to use a nutgraf “trick”. (Also spelled Nut Graf or Nut Graph).

Maybe you’re shaking your head, thinking, Jean, you didn’t know what a nutgraf was? Nope, I didn’t, but I do now and I’m excited to practice.

Do you want to know?

Head on over to and read NUTGRAFS FOR MEMOIRS AND PERSONAL ESSAYS to begin your quest.

Happy writing!

thankyou note card


Share your best too

I know today is Tuesday. However, I love the premise of David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.” 


It was right then, between when I asked about the labyrinth and when she answered me, that I realized the importance of curves, of the thousand places where girls’ bodies ease from one place to another, from arc of the foot to ankle to calf, from calf to hip to waist to breast to neck to ski-slope nose to forehead to shoulder to the concave arch of the back to the butt to the etc.

Source: John Green, Looking For Alaska 


Check out David Abrams’s The Quivering Pen and

Erika Dreifus Sunday Sentence for great reads and

don’t forget my last Sunday Sentence.

Summer is for reading…

  • Are you reading a good book?
  • What sentence stood out in your mind?
  • Share by posting or linking back here.