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Margaret Ann Spence > BLOG > My Writing

AuthorU – Helping Writers

It was a beautiful few days in Denver at the AuthorU Extravaganza September 15-17. Writers, publishers and vendors enjoyed three days of networking and information sessions. The most useful for me were the workshops on social media. But it was not all work. We ate delicious food and enjoyed a play performed by best-selling women’s fiction author and Days of Our Lives actress Mara Purl and actor Christopher Law. Judith Briles, “The Book Shepherd” founder of the writer support group AuthorU had shattered her shoulder in a fall the week before. This did not stop her from running the conference with her usual energy and charm. Best of all, for me, was that my novel, Lipstick On The Strawberry, was a finalist in the “Draft to Dream” Book Competition. The competition for unpublished manuscripts is judged by a panel of librarians. I make myself blush by repeating what the judges said about my story – but then again I want you to buy it when it is published. Here’s a sample of the judge’s comments: “The quality of the writing drew me into the story immediately…” “She is an excellent writer. She has a great ability to create the scene and describe character…” “The writing style…is very fluid, and it’s just good writing…a pleasure to read it.” So that’s enough bragging for now. Above is the photo of the certificate. Three cheers for Judith Briles and AuthorU!

Plots and Plotting

Cambridge University Botanic GardenJust got back from a trip to Europe. Spent the last few days in Cambridge, England. My photos reflect the cool gray rain-filled skies. My novel, Lipstick On The Strawberry, is set partly in Cambridge. There’s a scene in the beautiful Cambridge University Botanic Garden. As I walked that garden the other day, I thought, a good novel is like a well-planned garden. No wonder the word “plot” is used for both books and gardens. In the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, gravel and woodchip paths wind past a pond, rock gardens, formal lawns and beds of flowers in full bloom. Trees, strategically planted, obscure the planting beds around corners, drawing the visitor forward to see what is around the bend. That’s what I hope readers will do with my novel – turn the page to see what happens next!