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Secrets of a Nun: My Own Story Earns Outstanding Ratings!

I am so happy to have participated in the 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards with my submission, Secrets of a Nun: My Own Story! Although I did not win the award, I am thrilled to share the book received outstanding, 5 out of 5 ratings in every category! Please read on to see the full review from a judge at the 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards.


Entry Title: Secrets of a Nun: My Own Story

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. 

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style: 5


Judge’s Commentary:

The author has a beautiful writing voice, extremely engaging and friendly, a contrast to what some readers may hold as their personal experience with nuns. The author sounds more like a learned friend whose visits you always look forward to.

Stories are shared with excellent detail and well-rounded illustrations, containing multi-faceted action and emotion, and sensory details that bring scenes to life. It’s a beautiful thing when an author writes with apparent ease and talent, cloaking the tremendous work that went into such a story. Well done.

We’re invited into a world usually described as hidden in secrecy, and it’s eye-opening to see the kinds of personal politics and vendettas usually seen in sorority houses. The author has welcomed us into fascinating corners of this realm, creating a memorable story. Scenes of sexual attraction, especially Jonathan’s coming on to her, are written beautifully, again surprising us with the details.

Beautiful descriptions of settings, especially the ‘jewel like chapel’ that is given such detail in such a short phrase. Author masters a lovely economy of words, presenting us with nice imagery. Roseann keeps hitting up against her boundaries, creating a nice sense of tension in the beginning, and we observe and feel her growth throughout. Very well done. A beautiful read.

Judge, 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

How to Hook Your Reader: 4 Tips for Fiction Writers

“Make ’em laugh; make ’em cry; make ’em wait.” –Charles Reade

Many readers pick up a new book and begin with the first couple of pages to see if they want to continue; your task as a writer is to figure out how to hook your reader in these first moments. From exciting action to a teasing puzzle waiting to be solved, there are many ways to begin your story to ensure your audience will be interested. Here are four tips to master when learning how to hook your reader.


How to Hook Your Reader: 4 Tips for Fiction Writers

  1. Begin with an Important Moment

“High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour.” –David Lodge, Changing Places

If you start your novel at a pivotal moment in the story, your reader will likely want to read on so they can find out what happens afterward. You are always welcome to add backstory later in the story to help set the scene, so feel free to begin at a very important moment and backtrack later. Beginning the novel near the end is a great tactic for building suspense and hooking your reader.

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How to Cut “Fluff” [4 Writing Tips]

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” –Elmore Leonard

This post shares writing tips for removing “fluff” for your work. When you first learned how to write, likely you were faced with assignments with lofty word counts; adding some unnecessary and “fluffy” words helped to fill the requirement. When penning a novel or working as a writer, unfortunately “fluff” is no longer going to cut it. Here are four writing tips for removing this dreaded tactic from your pages.


4 Writing Tips for Removing “Fluff”

  1. Plan Ahead

Often when writers begin, they pen their article or chapters as they go, without careful planning. Planning ahead is an essential writing tip that can help you write stronger and tighter copy, free from “fluff.” Plot maps can be very helpful for this; create a loose structure or outline and follow it as you go.

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