A writing coach without a red pen

A writing coach without a red pen

A writing coach without a red pen.

Check out this great article about William Zinsser, brilliant editor and writing coach, 90 years old and still helping writers! He says it so well — as a writing coach myself, I wish everyone knew the process could be made so much more easy!

People come to him in stages of typed-out paralysis, stalled, uncertain whether they have written too much or too little. He tries to help them organize their thoughts by condensing, reducing — learning what not to include.

“By talking to them, by finding out who they are, I bring out their own personality,” he says. “And ease their mind, for God’s sake.”

Interested in Writing Coaching? You’re worth it, and so is your writing!

Find out more at my website, or email me at cburbank@carolburbank.com

Non Fiction Writers: Great Headlines

Non Fiction Writers: Great Headlines

It’s the first thing a reader sees, and the ONLY thing many readers take in, so headlines are pretty critical to your success as a writer. Here are some resources for great headlines for bloggers and journalists. It’s chock full of links to help you improve your headlines.

Here’s the article that spawned this post: The Key to Writing Great Headlines, with details on crafting:

  1. How-to headlines – “How to Get Rich Writing Cookbooks”
  2. Lists – “7 Ways to Clean Your Cat”
  3. Secrets Revealed – “Big Deduction Secret the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know”
  4. Fast & Easy – “Quickest Way to Make a Fast Million”

According to advertising godfather David Ogilvy, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

NEW PAGE! Prompts & Exercises

NEW PAGE! Prompts & Exercises

Check out our new Prompts & Exercises page, here by public demand, a place for the current monthly exercise for short form writing, and other prompts, exercises, and challenges.

Go check out the new page! And please send me any intriguing writer’s prompts and challenges you come across, by email of comment.


WORD Wednesdays: gyneocracy

WORD Wednesdays: gyneocracy

WORD Wednesday is an opportunity to showcase cool words each week and share them, and I’m moving it over here from my Art•Spirit•Nature blog so that more writers will enjoy it. I get most of my new words from a cool site called Wordnik, which has a Word-of-the-Day feature.

Other sites with Word-of-the-Day include Mirriam-Webster, WordSmith, WordThink, and the NY Times Learning blog.

I found this word particularly appropriate:



from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Government by women.
  • n. A society ruled by women.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Government by a woman or by women; female power or rule.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a political system governed by a woman


Greek gunaikokratiā : gunaiko-, gyneco- + -kratiā, -cracy.

from the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Neologism, no etymology, but constructed from Greek gune, -aikos (γυνή, -αικος) ‘woman’ and kratos (κράτος) ‘power’. Disambiguates usage of matriarchy: gynecocracy refers to societies ruled by women, distinct from matrilineal bequeathing of property and matrilocal residence of brides. (Wiktionary)


“The explanations that have hitherto been offered to account for the transition from gynecocracy to androcracy have invariably been biased by the ideology of the extant Men’s State.”

The Dominant Sex: A Study in the Sociology of Sex Differentiation, by Mathilde and Mathias Vaerting

“Descent in the female line, not uncommonly found among primitive peoples, undoubtedly tended to place women in a position of great influence; but it by no means necessarily involved any gynecocracy, or rule of women, and such rule is merely a hypothesis which by some enthusiasts has been carried to absurd lengths.”

Feeling Stuck? Quickstart coaching will break through your writer’s block!

Feeling Stuck? Quickstart coaching will break through your writer’s block!

Are you ready to break through that writer’s block? COACHING HELPS! Spring Forward with Storyweaving Coaching

I will help you make progress on your creative project!

Photo by Carol Burbank
Ready to Bloom?

For the months of March and April, I’m offering a special discount for three coaching sessions to get you unstuck! Why stay down when you can get the help you deserve to shine?

I’ll help you find a way out of your block. We’ll work together to set realistic, achievable goals and open up new possibilities!

The first step is the hardest — let’s do it together.

3 Breakthrough Sessions will get you moving!

Sometimes, everyday life gets in the way of our creativity Usually, we just need a little help to get us out of the doldrums and back into that manuscript! Are you ready to spring forward? Find out more!  Claim your special discount and arrange a free 30 minute chat to find out more!

Carol Burbank
Storyweaving Coaching and Healing

What:     Three Breakthrough Coaching Sessions
When:      At your convenience!
Where:    via phone or skype
Cost:    Only $250 (a $50 savings)
Offer Ends: April 15, 2015

For 20 years, I’ve been teaching writing and supporting creative people in finding their joy and discipline! I am a published author, hold an MFA, and I’ve taught writing in universities and intimate workshops around the country. As an experienced coach and mentor, I am a passionate supporter of my clients’ goals and visions!

I know from experience: YOU CAN LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE NOW!

Tell a New Story about an Ancient Myth: Ansel Elkins’ Autobiography of Eve

Tell a New Story about an Ancient Myth: Ansel Elkins’ Autobiography of Eve

One of my favorite tricks (if trick is the right word) that poets do really well is shifting the perspective of an old story we think we know, and showing us something entirely new! Here’s a new way to look at Eve — fierce, powerful, free!


Autobiography of Eve
Ansel Elkins

Wearing nothing but snakeskin
boots, I blazed a footpath, the first
radical road out of that old kingdom
toward a new unknown.
When I came to those great flaming gates
of burning gold,
I stood alone in terror at the threshold
between Paradise and Earth.
There I heard a mysterious echo:
my own voice
singing to me from across the forbidden
side. I shook awake—
at once alive in a blaze of green fire.

Let it be known: I did not fall from grace.

I leapt
to freedom.


If you’re feeling stuck, or want to expand your writing mind, stretch your writing muscles, why not try retelling one of the ur stories of your particular culture? Take the leap!

Famous Writers Attended our Holiday Party!

Famous Writers Attended our Holiday Party!

Our January party was graced by some amazing guest speakers, which, in addition to the sparkling companionship and delicious food, made for a magical evening. Click on any pic for a slide show effect:

Many thanks to Grace for her hospitality, and everyone in attendance for treats and good conversation. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to our next celebration event!

Included in Women’s History Month Literature Pack

Included in Women’s History Month Literature Pack

Hello Accokeek Women Writers Group and Women’s Pages Readers,

I wanted to pass this along as a bit of good news. My two books have been included in our National Women Veterans Speaker’s Bureau’s Women’s History Month special pack. A very interesting idea brought about by the two co-founder women veterans. Here’s the link to the press release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/military/womenveterans/prweb12518332.htm

Bloggers & Poets!! Great free course

Bloggers & Poets!! Great free course

Writers, the folks behind WordPress are launching a free poetry course. I’ve participated in their blogging workshops and they’re great! Free, participatory, as much or as little work as you want to put in, and did I mention, FREE?

Poets of the world, unite!

The idea behind Writing 201: Poetry is to bring together poets of all styles, temperaments, and experience levels in a way that encourages writing, sharing, and discussion.

You get to decide how laid back or challenging you want the course to be.

Each day for the duration of the course (not counting weekends), you’ll receive an assignment, made up of three parts: a word prompt, a poetic form, and a poetic device. You get to choose which of these you want to explore (if any).

Read more: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/writing-201-poetry-signup/