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HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL SYNOPSIS: https://katebroad.substack.com/p/from-the-archives-the-synopsis

Nuts and bolts on how to write a synopsis for a novel to use when pitching agents and publishers. This is my most-read post on my Substack, Ask an Author, and I just re-sent it this week for new subscribers and anyone who needs a refresher -- so it seemed like the right choice to share here, too! It looks like I'm the first comment, so I'm excited to see additional posts to read and share. :)

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OBJECTS OF BELONGING

The hidden link between our stuff and our sanity

https://alicewilkinson.substack.com/p/the-hidden-link-between-our-stuff

How, since I've moved around so much, the stuff I've carried with me is what brings me a sense of place and belonging.

I chose to share this with you all because it's a piece that, in the process of writing, helped me understand myself (and others) a lot more

Looking forward to reading one from your archives!

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The first post in my serialized MEMOIR ABOUT MY FORMER LIFE AN EVANGELICAL:

https://constanceford.substack.com/p/evangelical-therapy-part-1?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

I'm telling a story, so best to start at the beginning!

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TRAUMA RECOVERY

The veiled meaning behind 'family emergency'

Few euphemisms are as handy in a traumatic crisis, but obscuring the truth comes at a cost

Why this one? Because I think it can help a lot of people who've been in this situation and didn't even realize the impact it had on them.

https://shriekingcactus.substack.com/p/the-veiled-meaning-behind-family

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GENEROSITY GONE WRONG

What I Keep Getting Wrong about Generosity

https://open.substack.com/pub/onpurposeproject/p/what-i-keep-getting-wrong-about-generosity?r=f96pn&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcome=true

A braided, narrative essay that explores the American notion of generosity and how it drains us in unexpected ways, both in our daily lives and most especially in the workplace.

I chose it because I was surprised by the amount of traction it got!

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WHAT I SAY WHEN SOMEONE ASKS, "BUT WHAT'S SUBSTACK?"

I was so excited to become a Substack author, but when I'd share my big news with friends and followers they were flummoxed. "What's that?" they'd ask. I finally came up with a good response!

https://open.substack.com/pub/tzivia/p/its-like-if-wordpress-and-mailchimp?r=1rzbry&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Hi everyone! Happy Friday!

CHRONIC STRESS AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD

How Chronic Stress Relates to your Relationship with food.

https://jennyedenberkmsed.substack.com/p/how-chronic-stress-relates-to-your

This article is about how stress and chronic stress have a negative impact on your relationship with food, what foods you choose and how present and aware you are during eating.

I chose this article because it's a good representation of the various topics I like to write about and encompasses my love of both food, eating, psychology and nutrition (and stress reduction).

Thank you so much for reading and sharing if you feel compelled to do so!

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BEING COMFORTABLE WITH JUST BEING

How to be comfortable when nothing is happening

https://juliarymut.substack.com/p/how-to-be-comfortable-when-nothing

This is about being comfortable when nothing is happening, you don't know what's going to happen next, and you feel uncertain.

We tend to be uncomfortable with awkward silences and want to fill them as quickly as we can. I find these moments fascinating and if we're willing to allow them, they can reveal new things about ourselves. (NOTE: I chose this because I want to start writing more personally and to learn how to write about things we're all afraid of. This isn't my best post but I want to get better at writing on topics like this)

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SCIENCE FICTION (& CRAFT)

"What the future leaves behind".

https://thewritinggrove.substack.com/p/what-the-future-leaves-behind

Interview with Australian sci-fi author Grace Chen about her debut novel, "Every Version of You."

The novel is about people wrestling with how relationships exist both in the real world and digitally (and at times hybrid). If you could live in a world without war, disease or environmental collapse, would you? Even if that world was 100% digital?

I loved talking to her about language, worldbuilding & her process.

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MUSIC (specifically COVER VERSIONS)

Rearrange Their Faces ... Give Them All Another Name

https://songstudies.substack.com/p/rearrange-their-faces-give-them-all

It's a post about Cat Power's recreation of a famous Bob Dylan concert (first as live performance, then as album) and what that might mean for thinking about cover versions.

I chose this one because it's an arguably more accessible route into some of the nicher things I write about: objects in songs, songs as objects, the musicality of lists, the unthought known. Plus, it's a deliberately rambling piece but hopefully not in an annoying way. I took a prompt from Bob Dylan and Cat Power to 'go wandering'.

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LOAVES OF TIME

How Leandre thé boulanger rebelled against tradition to create a slow life on his terms

https://open.substack.com/pub/unfoldingconversations/p/loaves-of-time?r=hmlcq&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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NOT READING THE COMMENTS

Outstanding Minus: On "performance reviews" and not reading the comments

https://bethshelburne.substack.com/p/outstanding-minus

This is an essay I wrote ahead of releasing a podcast series about how, as creators, we must protect ourselves from haters.

I wanted to voice the anxiety creators feel about negative public feedback and contextualize the bullshit of "performance reviews" in American professional culture, something I dealt with in legacy media for 20 years before I became an independent journalist.

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HOW TO STUDY THE MASTERS

https://open.substack.com/pub/citlaflor/p/how-to-study-the-masters?r=1pf3ue&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

One of the most important practices to study art is to learn from others and sometimes taking a class is not possible, but how beautiful it would be if I could learn from Frida Kahlo! The resources we have then is to learn from their paintings. In this post I talked about how can we approach master paintings and how can we effectively study them.

I chose this is I keep coming back to this post and it is one of my favorite ways of doing art.

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"RELATABLE" FICTION,

"A lesson in Relatable Characters"

https://open.substack.com/pub/martileimbach/p/a-lesson-in-relatable-characters?r=3vbux&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

I chose it because it was the first thing I wrote on Substack and I was quite nervous but I did it anyway. My favourite part of it is when I talk about what makes a great opening paragraph in fiction (or non-fiction):

"...when I read a great opening paragraph, I begin to feel a longing to stay with the author, the book, the characters, the place. I want to inhabit these rooms and these times."

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HOW TO SEE LIKE AN ARTIST

By cultivating our own artistic eye, we gain not only a new appreciation for life but also unlock our own incredible potential for creativity and innovation.

https://crystalbeshara.substack.com/p/how-to-see-like-an-artist

As a professional artist and arts educator, I've witnessed the powerful transformative effects that not only creating beautiful things has on us, but the healing impact of simply by gazing upon and unearthing beauty in the every day.

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PETER, PAUL & MARY

Digging Peter, Paul & Mary

https://www.listeningsessions.ca/p/digging-peter-paul-and-mary

An overview of the music the beloved folk trio made between 1966 and 1968 after their primary period of commercial and cultural success.

I choose it because it is a good example of what I like to do with my writing: do deep dives on musical artists that have typically not received such treatment.

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Hi everyone,

I'd like to shout-out my post on BURNOUT & TRAUMA: https://clareegan.substack.com/p/theres-something-missing-from-the

It's about how the cultural conversation about burnout often obscures the role of workplace trauma, and why we need a more nuanced conversation if we are to overcome it.

I'm sharing it because its journey has surprised me - the piece has resonated with people I didn't expect it would, and has provided a small measure of community around the topic of trauma, which is often defined by isolation.

Thank you for reading! (And now I'm off to open a million tabs and immerse myself in your wonderful work!)

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ADDICTION, RECOVERY, SOBRIETY

On Shame & Cocaine, Giraffes & Communion

https://danaleighlyons.substack.com/p/shame-cocaine-addiction-connection

It's about shame, belonging, and enough-ness (with a side of drugs and insanity).

A short, interesting read...that offers a message some might find helpful and hopeful.

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HUMOR, CREATIVITY, WELL-BEING

SOMEBODY BURNED MY $200 CANDLE (AND HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED)

https://aliv.substack.com/p/somebody-burned-my-200-candle

This is a new post that reflects on (and links to) a post I wrote a year ago called IT’S TIME TO BURN MY $200 CANDLE -- the posts together tell the story of making a big purchase and then feeling undeserving of it, and not lighting my candle for 3 years... until my dog-sitter burned it for me. I use the experience to reflect on the “knowing-doing gap,” which is when we know we want to do something (burn the candle) but don’t take action. Ultimately I learned the lesson - which we tend to learn again and again-- that if you don’t burn your candle, somebody else will.

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GUN VIOLENCE, FEAR AND FACING EVIL

Title: Fear No Evil?

https://toddweir.substack.com/p/fear-no-evil

I wrote this essay/sermon after a mass shooting in nearby Lewiston, ME. It is about dealing with fear and indifference and finding courage in the face of atrocity.

I chose this article because it is my most read post, and because it was written when I felt raw and gritty and angry, yet controlled and clear.

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AGATHA CHRISTIE'S MESSY WORKING NOTEBOOKS

https://presenttense.substack.com/p/agatha-christies-working-notebooks

We runs lots of pieces about current suspense authors but researching and writing this piece (part of an Agatha series) helped me feel much better about my own chaotic notebooks; if it worked for her, it's good enough for me! All of the Agatha posts emphasize just how resilient and unique she was--one of the "least-suffering" and most prolific authors of all time. And did you know she surfed?

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SELF DISCOVERY

From Doing to Being: An Immigrant's Quandary

https://open.substack.com/pub/lilypond/p/from-doing-to-being-an-immigrants-perspective

This essay is a self-inquiry of an immigrant's achievement compulsion and how that had eaten me alive.

I chose it because I believe the desire to achieve is rooted in our need to be seen, accepted and to belong. It's especially true and painful for immigrants in any country. I think many of my fellow first-generation immigrants can relate, but I also think that most of us, regardless of whether we are immigrants or not, can relate to the pressure of doing vs. being.

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GENTLE ADVICE ABOUT WHETHER AND HOW TO WRITE ABOUT TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES WHILST KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE

Suggestions for Writing About Big, Scary, Difficult Things

https://sophienicholls.substack.com/p/suggestions-for-writing-about-the

I chose this post because we sometimes mistakenly think we should push ourselves to write about painful things - and I'd be so happy if this helps one person today. Thank you, Sarah!

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CONQUERING FEAR

"Nobody is thinking about your secret stash of nudie mags"

https://farmingfulltime.substack.com/p/nobody-is-thinking-about-your-secret

It's about not worrying about what others think and doing the things that bring you happiness.

I chose it because I enjoyed the hell out of writing it and hitting publish was terrifying, but so worth it!

Thank you so much for reading!

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MENTAL HEALTH

Teens Are Struggling With Mental Health - Here's How You Can Help

https://www.teenhealthtoday.com/p/the-teen-mental-health-crisis-what

Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues are a huge challenge for youth right now - this is a curated collection of excellent resources and ideas about how to help.

I chose this because it's the biggest concern for a lot of parents and teachers right now, and because it showcases one type of newsletter I like to write - providing a guide to resources from a variety of sources.

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MY COCKER SPANIEL.

"For the Love of Dog - Bruce Almighty"

https://jackiedaly.substack.com/p/for-the-love-of-dog

The lovable antics of my amazing dog, and how he saved me.

Come for a stroll with the almighty Bruce and I...

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Why focus on the numbers may be the worst advice for creatives

https://shinjinim.substack.com/p/focus-on-the-numbers-worst-advice-for-creatives

Why this one? Because I’ve seen so many artists & creatives bemoaning the Instagram algorithms. This post may help you to think a bit differently about social media & your creative work & worth.

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WHY I AM HERE ON SUBSTACK

The Books of Our Lives

https://matthewmlong.substack.com/p/of-the-books-of-our-lives

This post gives my reasons for writing on Substack, why I am excited to be pursuing this passion project, and excited to be part of this community.

I have only been on this platform for 3 months so I don't have a large archive but I think that this post is a good introduction to me and why I am here. It is sort of gateway into everything else I write.

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CEMETERIES, HISTORICAL FICTION, BOOK REVIEWS, MEMORY

Graveyard Ghost

https://marissagallerani.substack.com/p/graveyard-ghost

A spooky season themed read about the novel Pure, by Andrew Miller, and my own personal love of cemeteries. Reading this book about the destruction of Les Innocents and the creation of the Catacombes in Paris made me consider where my favorite resting places are, and why I love them so.

I chose it because not only are cemeteries a niche interest of mine, but also it encompasses so much of what my newsletter is about: books, how they relate to my life, humor, and a touch of chaos.

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FORGIVENESS

"Seeing with our eyes. Recognizing with our hearts."

An astonishing story of how the parents of a daughter who was murdered recognized the goodness in her killers, and.....

https://onmoneyandmeaning.substack.com/p/peter-and-linda-biehl-story-of-forgiveness

I chose it because I've been learning from Peter and Linda (the parents) my adult life, and you can too.

Thank you Sarah. I look forward to reading other's posts.

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WHAT MAKES WRITING IRRESISTIBLY GORGEOUS

The Sentence That Hooked Me On Words

https://ronamaynard.substack.com/p/the-sentence-that-hooked-me-on-words

How and why the first sentence in a children's book is still my touchstone as a writer

I dared to be a joyful nerd and found a lovely band of word nerds.

Thanks, Sarah, for starting this inspired and inspiring conversation.

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LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS

What it’s like to live with severe ME/CFS: https://madelleine.substack.com/p/what-its-like-to-live-with-severe

I chose it because it shows a life that very few people get to see. Showing what ME/CFS is really like helps to fight stigma. We’ve been seen as ‘lazy’ or ‘malingerers’, but we aren’t. ME/CFS is a seriously debilitating illness that robs you of life.

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PROFOUND HUMAN CONNECTION OF A MOST UNEXPECTED KIND

The dark side of the hut, 50 years later

https://open.substack.com/pub/johnsundman/p/the-dark-side-of-the-hut-50-years?r=38b5x&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

A journey I made fifty years ago to a remote African village during a time of famine, pestilence and drought.

This is by far my most popular essay, people seem to relate to it.

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HOPE + GRIEF

Navigating Grief + Finding Hope

https://open.substack.com/pub/jenniferbochik/p/navigating-grief-finding-hope?r=5nk2i&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcome=true

This post is about using intention setting and gratitude to find hope in the midst of intense grief. I chose this archived post because, while writing it, I convinced myself that I could be hopeful and grieving at the same time. Thanks for the prompt, Sarah!

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RURAL IOWA'S BIG DIVIDE

Leaving Okoboji

https://iowatransplant.substack.com/p/leaving-okoboji

A frumpy 60-year-old woman in a yellow Mustang convertible driving across rural Iowa with its wind turbines and pig stink.

This was my first post and it helped me start to decide what my voice would sound like on Substack.

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PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (in support of CREATIVE PRACTICES)

Planting a garden of notes and ideas

https://michellelacroix.substack.com/p/a-garden-of-notes-and-ideas

We don't always have to know where an idea will lead or what purpose a note will ultimately serve for it to be worth writing down—and in fact, there are long term benefits to be had when we do.

Chose this one because I see a lot of writing out there about very "left brained", highly structured PKM systems (which I love) *and* I see a lot about more "right brained" creative practices (which I also love), but not a whole lot out that that really marries the two.

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MY STRUGGLES WITH FEAR AND HOW YOGA HAS HELPED: https://danehrenkrantz.substack.com/p/afraid-of-fear

Headline: Afraid of Fear

It’s about what happened when I got myself into a situation I didn’t trust myself to handle well.

I chose to share this because it was the second post I made and hasn’t been widely read. As a writer, I’m often too personally guarded. In this piece, I was more open.

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TO REMAIN POSITIVE KEEP A CHILDLIKE SENSE OF WONDER (Rachel Carson, Super Moon, Ancestry)

https://patriciacusack.substack.com/p/to-remain-positive-keep-hold-of-a

I chose this post because I enjoyed writing it.

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MY LOVE FOR WRITING

Why I write... and why I can't stop.

https://wordsbycarla.substack.com/p/why-i-write

I wrote a piece about why I write and how important it is to me, even through the pain. Mostly through the breakthroughs.

I chose it because even with the dozens of posts I've written, this is the one that, at its core, represents why I'm here and why I do what I do.

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CALLING MYSELF A "WRITER"

This Morning, No 47. On where I am.

https://graciegardner.substack.com/p/this-morning-no-47

Finally saying out loud, that I am, in fact a writer. The courage that takes. All the people that open little windows in my life, in all of our lives, for me to be able to see and say that.

I chose this post because it flowed out of me with ease when I wrote it.

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FRIENDSHIPS

15 Truths About Adult Friendships I Didn't Know Before

https://latebloomersclub.substack.com/p/reflections-on-friendships

I chose this because I thought I was the only one who continue to struggle in my friendships and while kids are honest about their friends, adults aren't! So many people resonated with it, I was surprised. It also gave me courage to continue to write about what I want to write about which is how to live in the now within the nuanced topics we all face.

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GIVING INTO CHAOS

A post about embracing the messiness of parenting young children and not sweating the small stuff.

https://open.substack.com/pub/ourtimesandseasons/p/giving-in-to-chaos

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Q + A WITH A GRIEVER

- Griever's Dossier: "grief, like a lot of hard feelings, was something I carried with me but always outside of me"

- https://grieversball.substack.com/p/grievers-dossier-mona-lee

- This is one in a series of ongoing interviews called the Griever's Dossier where a grieving person shares their story.

- I chose it because it's the most popular feature of my Substack and I see myself going in the direction of more interviews.

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MAGICAL REALISM, FICTION, ALCOHOLISM, GIRAFFES

"The Masculine Urge to Visit a Psychic Giraffe in Khartoum"

https://charliebecker.substack.com/p/the-masculine-urge-to-take-marzipan

In this short story, the protagonist goes across the world on a ludicrous adventure trying to escape himself and picks up some interesting traveling partners along the way but ultimately fails.

I chose to share this story because I am gearing up to write a lot more fiction and this has been a story I want to make into a series so it's been calling to me lately.

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HERBALISM

Herbal Joy in Winter and a Chai Tea Adventure

What is Herbal Joy in Winter to you?

https://anne4712v.substack.com/p/herbal-joy-in-winter-and-a-chai-tea?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

I chose it because it expresses my joy in working with herbs as a seasonal adventure, and it invites others to join me in studying herbs in the kitchen.

Thank you, Sarah. I am having fun reading all the posts.

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HUMOR - OATMEAL COOKIES ARE THE BEST EVER, DONT @ ME OR KING OATRIC

Coronation of a New King: Oatmeal Raisin

https://www.findingwitsend.com/p/coronation-of-a-new-king-oatmeal

It's about how Oatmeal Cookies are the best cookie and the overthrow of the tyranny of chocolate chip.

I chose it because people love it, regularly cite it as their favorite of mine they've read and the photo of King Oatric is now my phone background that pops up when someone calls. Which....can be difficult to explain to people who are new to the whole Rick Experience™

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